Monday, April 24, 2017

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3919: Donald Trump's Hands vs. Xi Jinping's Hands - Beta & Alpha - Body Language & Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

This image was captured several weeks ago during Xi Jinping's and his wife's (Peng Liyuan) visit with Donald and Melania Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

It's particularly interesting to contrast the two leaders' nonverbal signals.

At first glance, President Trump's hands may appear to be in a "Low Conventional Steeple" - yet this is not the case. While Trump very often (much too frequently) does indeed display conventional steeples, his hand's will sometimes morph into this pseudo-steeple/pseudo-prayer configuration. This indicates the President is experiencing Anxiety and is in a significantly Beta Emotional State. As his anxiety increases his hands will move much closer together.

Xi Jinping's hands are each positioned, palms-down on his knees. They are also bearing some of his upper body weight as his torso is leaning/angled forward. This configuration very much says, "We're done with this discussion", "Let's go", "The meeting is completed", "I want to be finished", etc., and similar emotional variations on this theme.

Trump's Torso is further back - which is unusual for the President. On the vast majority of occasions, he his leaning further forward than anyone else in the room - but not on this occasion. This also is significant, at least in this moment, to his relative beta status vs. Xi Jinping's relative alpha authority.

Another unusual feature in this image is seen when comparing the relative angle of Donald Trump's upper legs (thighs) to than of Xi Jinping's. Trump makes it a practice to very often sit with a very wide "Seated Crotch Display" (more colloquially known as "Manspreading"). Yet here Trump deviates from his usual SOP - and his legs are held more closely together. This is also highly indicative of a relatively protective, beta Trump thought-emotion moment vs. that of the more alpha Xi Jinping. Mr. Trump also sat in this same manner relative to President Obama when they visited in the Oval Office just after the 2016 election.

Summary: In this moment Trump's body language is expressing a relatively low confidence, beta and acquiescing emotional mindset - While Xi Jinping is the more alpha and wants to "move on" to the next issue.

In any kind of negotiation, such nonverbal display dynamics are profoundly valuable - as these let you glimpse inside the hearts and minds of your opposition.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3918: The Image of Kim Jong-un He Most Prefers the World to See - and What It Tells Us

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3916: Marine Le Pen's Anger and The French Election

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3914: Mike Pence's Recent Statement regarding Trump, "He's a Man of His Word"

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3775: Women Try 'Manspreading' For A Week

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3778: Steve Harvey Recounts His Miss Universe Mistake

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3769: Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3670: Paul LePage's Voicemail Rant