Saturday, November 19, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3760: Rory McIlroy's "Little Interviews" - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

This version of "Little Interviews" is highly recommended - not only for its comedic value, but also for its wealth of body language moments.

Rory McIlroy is by most accounts a likable personality - and he held up well in Billy's hot seat. Yet Caroline Wozniacki's spirit was also on the set.

Beginning at the 2:19 mark, Billy begins: "I know Andy Murray's a good mate of yours, but who's your favorite girrrrrrrl tennis player?".

McIlroy [laughing sincerely, but in a self-deprecating 'I've-been-caught' manner and blushing]: "Ohhhh, ahhh, favorite girl tennis player ..... ah-ummm [looks down to his right and scratches his right shoulder with his left hand followed with a puffer fish exhalation].

Billy: [brief laughter]

McIlroy: "Honestly Billy, I've stopped following women's tennis [R2E2 with a brief nodding up and down] ... the last couple years."

Billy: "Maybe a good call."

McIlroy: "I think so."


Scratching the opposite shoulder is a signal of "honest anxiety" - and more specifically a hesitancy to  discuss (or disclose). It's often seen when a person is searching for the "right words".

When someone looks down to their right - it's an epiphenomenon of a simultaneous experience of sincere and significant emotion tone - often correlated with affection, melancholy, love, regret and sadness.

A deep exhalation with the billowing outward of one's cheeks ("Puffer Fish") has a calming affect - slowing down the heart rate and respiration while also lowering the blood pressure. It's also very often correlated with the completion of a difficult act or decision and is seen with feelings of resignation (thus somewhat similar to a slow shrugging).


As he turns to Billy and says, "Honestly Billy, I've stopped following women's tennis ... the last couple years", Rory McIlroy makes an R2E2 (Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression) along with subtle nodding of his head. This is very obviously a deception and his R2E2 display is an effort to convince the audience and young Billy by recruiting him as a co-rationalizer. While the R2E2 is not always indicative of deception - it is seen frequently in that context and very often the person displaying it is also trying to convince their self.

From a paralanguage perspective, McIlroy's use of the word "Honestly" here is also very conspicuous for a lie and/or an agenda-driven undercurrent. Although this coupling of correlated behaviors is completely missed by 99.7% of people, nonverbal signals are often paired with such statement-analysis (language analysis) tells.

Summary: Rory McIlroy has regrets regarding his past relationship with Caroline Wozniacki and still harbors significant affection for her.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3759: Nicole Kidman's and Jimmy Fallon's Almost Date Redux

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3557: How Megyn Kelly really feels regarding Bill O'Reilly

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3755: Donald Trump, Empathy and Facial Expressions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3745: Kris Bryant Smiles Throughout the Entire Last Play of Game Seven

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3734: SNL's spoof on the 3rd Presidential Debate - and 3 Insincerity Flags

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3701: Hillary Clinton, Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3652: Simone Manuel & Penny Oleksiak Win Olympic Gold

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3603: David Cameron's Resignation, The Brexit and Beta Body Language