Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Body Language Analysis No. 4031: One Gesture to Never Use When Condemning Neo-Nazis - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Palm-down gestures should be rarely be displayed by anyone in a leadership position. Illustrators that are oriented with the palm facing downward are hyper-alpha and hyper-aggressive. They're patronizing and condescending. They're rapport destroying and contempt projecting.

While palm-down gestures may solidify the opinions of (some of) those who already agree with you - and further alienate those who previously disagree with you - like all alpha and hyper-alpha body language, they will crucially serve distance the opinions of those who people who are undecided. Thus from a leadership or any kind of political point-of-view, palm-down gestures should be strongly avoided.

These effects are greatly amplified when they're overused - and when an outstretched arm is employed.

Fascinatingly, palm-down gestures also will result in a poorer recall of the subject matter by any members of the audience (even an audience of one) - a detail which should not be lost on politicians, professors or parents.

On Tuesday, President Trump held a press conference where, in answering questions regarding the recent violence and loss of life in Charlottesville, he said, "there's blame on both sides". Many people, including many current high-level Republican office holders, feel Donald Trump is very much practicing a "Moral Equivalency" between Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, white supremacists - and those standing up to these and other hate groups.

Summary: From a body language perspective, palm-down gestures - especially those made with an outstretched arm, should almost never be used by anyone in a leadership position. In the past several days, as Donald Trump has claimed to distance himself from the Neo-Nazi movement, this nonverbal principal is particularly germane, as it evokes memories and feelings associated with the quite similar Nazi Salute.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4030: Charlottesville, Empathy, and One Expression Donald Trump Should Have Displayed

Body Language Analysis No. 4028: Donald Trump's Response to Charlottesville Violence, "On Many Sides"

Body Language Analysis No. 4026: Aubrey Plaza, Ingrid Goes West, and Emotional Intelligence

Body Language Analysis No. 4024: Donald Trump Threatens "Fire and Fury" to North Korea

Body Language Analysis No. 4019: John Kelly and Donald Trump in the Oval Office

Body Language Analysis No. 4011: Anthony Scaramucci's First UK Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 3985: Grief, Pain, and Barometers of Empathy

Body Language Analysis No. 3974: Elle Fanning, Robert De Niro, and Easter

Body Language Analysis No. 3958: Vladimir Putin interview with Megyn Kelly