Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3912: Keri Russell's Schadenfreude, Matthew Rhys' Fear, and a Hesitancy to Disclose - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

There was a very curious exchange between Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys during their recent guest appearance on Watch What Happens Live - and much of it was their body language. The two are "real-life" partners and as well as portraying a married couple as co-stars (who are also undercover KGB agents) on the television series, The Americans.

Notice the couples' positioning as a caller just begins her question, "When did you two realize you were more than just colleagues, and that you both had the hots for each other?"

At this moment note, the couple has their legs crossed toward each other.


As Keri Russell turns to put her drink down, for about two seconds (0:07 - 0:08), she displays a very specific expression.

In this cropped, close-up of this same instant, we see this is a combination of what is a bit of disgust mixed with can be described as Schadenfreude. Some would define schadenfreude as a form of malice - or a pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.

Her nonverbal expression is very much saying, "I'm going to enjoy watching you get yourself out of this one".

In this same instant, Matthew Rhys displays a mild amount of fear.

Mr. Rhys then maneuvers in an excellent of a "Butt Adjust" (or Butt Adjustment) as he lifts it off the chair an inch or two in a moment of considerably heightened anxiety together with feeling the need to dial-up one's alpha qualities (0:11). Rhys' psyche is saying, "I need to step it up".

Notice that Russell's torso is now leaning away from Rhys.

Rhys then crosses his leg away from Russell in addition to also leaning away with his torso.

Andy Cohen (beginning at 0:38): And then did it re-kindle when you were making The Americans? 

Rhys: N-, wel-, well.... Yes. 

Russell: [Laughs Loudly]

Rhys: Took a while -

Cohen: Do you have a different story? (pointing to Russell)

Rhys: Took a while

Russell: No, basically we, we did all the readings together, and then all the things ...

From 0:42 - 0:48, Matthew Rhys rubs/scratches beneath his right thigh with his right hand. This signals Significant Anxiety and more specifically a Hesitancy to Disclose the Truth. It's important to note how this nonverbal tell occurs simultaneously with Rhys first beginning to say "No" - then switching his answer to, "Yes".

Meanwhile, Russell is leaning even further away from her partner (this signal alone is screaming, "You are lying").

Summary: This nonverbal exchange is notable for its heightened anxiety, a hesitancy to disclose the truth - as well as outright deception. The whole story is not being told. Moreover, Russell's schadenfreude for Rhys in such a public setting is suggestive of a significant rift in their relationship.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3911: Simone Biles gets Pranked on "Ellen"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3909: North Korea's Parade - Projecting Power and Control

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3907: Donald Trump Shows His Cards regarding North Korea

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3901: Jared Kushner in Iraq

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3875: Children Interrupt Dad During BBC News interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3822: Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3704: Hillary Clinton, Likability and Presidential Debates

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3541: Chris Christie's Wife - Mary Pat's, Reaction to Donald Trump's "Woman Card" Comment