Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3887: Why Does Donald Trump Point at People So Often? - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

People point for various reasons. But why does Donald Trump point so often?

Index finger (forefinger) pointing is universally offensive and thus should be discouraged in all but the rarest of occasion across all cultures.

As a candidate or an office holder, choosing a particular journalist or audience member to ask a question is an obvious and common reason for a politician to point. Yet far superior to index finger pointing - and one which builds rapport rather than destroying it - would be with all the digits loosely extended, with the palm facing upward - and with the arm partially extended, such that the wrist, elbow, shoulders - and fingers are relaxed.

But what we are referring to here is a different scenario.

Have you ever become aware - often when someone who doesn't know you very well - is trying to manipulate you when they too often use words such as, "We", "Us", "Our", "Let's", etc. In situations which are disproportional and are out of context to your mutual familiarity or level of agreement, these words are part of a common form of verbal manipulation. They are attempting to make you feel as if you are one group, one family - and of one mindset. If you feel you're part of the same clan, you are more likely to agree to their decisions and their proposed course of action - and more likely to be manipulated. Yet you may not feel this emotionally comfortable is these settings. Listen to your instinct.

Donald Trump will often point to a person in the audience (which may be someone he knows - however many times it's a person he's never met) - and often it's a fellow politician beside him on stage. This pointing is a nonverbal form of this same phenomenon - what some call "Forced Teaming" (de Becker).

Candidate and now President Trump often used/uses these two forms of communication together - the verbal and the nonverbal (as well as a third component of "Paralanguage") as tools of forced teaming - thus increasing his odds of success. Of course, he's not the only politician who does this, but he is currently the most visible.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3886: Donald Trump, Russia, Healthcare, and "Huge" Negotiation Faux Pas

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3884: One Important Expression James Comey Displayed Often During His Testimony Before the House Intelligence Committee 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3882: Donald Trump to Angela Merkel During Press Conference, "At least we have something in common"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3872: "Fearless Girl" Statue in Manhattan's Financial District

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3862: Oscars Mistake - "La La Land" erroneously named Best Picture over "Moonlight"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3809: Horse Lays His Head On Coffin As He Mourns The Loss Of His Human Best Friend - Cross-Species Body Language & Emotional Intelligence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3799: Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia - Full Lips and Lip Pursing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3591: Jo Cox, The Brexit and Sincere Smiles