Sunday, August 20, 2017

Body Language Analysis No. 4037: Charlottesville Protester Quits Boston University after Death Threats - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Nicholas Fuentes, who participated in the recent white supremacy/white nationalist/neo-nazi protest in Charlottesville has quit Boston University due to alleged death threats.

What follows is a transcript of the above video followed by a partial nonverbal analysis.

"I was supposed to be entering Boston University for my sophomore year, but in response to recent death threats and threats against my physical safety, I decided that that might not be the best idea. When you start receiving death threats to the extent that I have, it just becomes a liability to my brand, to my academic success and everything else, when - you do have to worry about people ganging up on you or whatever. 

It's disturbing to me the level of hate that people have been able to express and been able to feel against they've never met, never saw, never had a conversation with. They say that we're the hateful ones, we're the bigots - and I get messages all day long from people I've never met telling me what a terrible person I am. There's no hate on this side - I hate no one. I would never do anything like that, and so I, I think it's a little bit upsetting that the political climate is the way it is [R2E2]. 

My reason for going down to Charlottesville over the weekend was to demonstrate. It was to show solidarity for a cause which has not been talked about in the mainstream media, which the American never got a vote on - and that is the fundamental transformation of the composition of our country."

During multiple segments of this video (e.g., 0:02 - 0:05, 0:07 - 0:08, 0:53 - 0:54) Mr. Fuentes displays nonverbal behavior known as a "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" (aka "High Confidence Head Wiggle"). A self-righteous head wiggle (SRHW/HCHW) is a relatively rapid, side-to-side movement or the head and neck, which also may involve the torso (as in this example), as well as sometimes an overlying similar motion of the jaw (mandible)

The duration of a Self-Righteous Head Wiggle is sometimes very short (therefore a microexpression or nearly so) but often is much longer (Mr. Fuentes' SRHW waxes and wanes several times throughout this video).

As its name states, the Self-Righteous/High Confidence Head Wiggle is associated with emotions of high confidence and self-righteousness. It's very common in those who are far from their emotional baseline's - during hyper-alpha moments. While we all may use this body language from time-to-time, an increased frequency of this behavior is correlated with impulse control disorder. It's useful to think of the SRHW/HCHW as a form of nonverbal swagger. As this behavior cannot be captured with an image, watching the video to fully appreciate its dynamics is strongly encouraged.

On multiple occasions during this interview, Mr. Fuentes spoke with his mouth in an asymmetrical configuration. This particular example (above) was displayed during 0:14 just before he says, "... it just becomes a liability to my brand ...". With the exceptions of injury, stroke, nerve palsy, or long-standing habit/tic behavior (none of which applies here), this display is highly correlative with either:

A. Swagger/Bravado, or
B. Deception/Insincerity

It's notable that both of these are overlapping emotional states.

During 0:21, as he says, "... you do have to worry about people ....", Mr. Fuentes displays what is known as a "Head Thrust" - which is another nonverbal display indicating hyper-alpha, high confidence, hubris behavior. Indeed, it's also known by the synonym, "Head Hubris". You may notice this is similar to a "hair flip" dynamic (more commonly seen with women).

Another very common nonverbal display of Mr. Fuentes' throughout this video, were his frequent Exaggerated Mouth Movements. These are hyperbolic contortions of the lips, jaw, and face which are not at all necessary to pronounce the accompanying words. These facial illustrators are seen when a person is feeling relatively alpha vs. the people with whom he's interacting ("assigning them" a beta status) - or in this case, those who may be watching on TV or online.

During the 0:49 segment, as he said, "... I, I think it's a little bit upsetting that the political climate is the way it is ..." - Mr. Fuentes displayed a particularly telling nonverbal signal known as the Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression (aka R2E2). This one is extremely short-lived - thus it's also an example of a microexpression. For many people, it's easy to overlook or attribute any significant meaning to it - yet, it's profoundly telling.

The words "rapport" and "empathy" are included in its name because these are the emotions/goals that the person is trying to achieve in others. It does not mean they possess empathy or have yet achieved any rapport. It's often the opposite.

Whenever you see an R2E2 displayed, always ask yourself:
  • Why are they trying so hard to persuade me?  
  • Does this individual sincerely believe what they're saying? 
  • Of what specifically are they trying to convince me? 
  • What is their underlying emotion? 
  • What is their underlying motive? 
  • Do they "feel" sincere or insincere to me? (what does your "gut" tell you?)
A body language novice will misinterpret the R2E2 as disgust or sometimes contempt (Do you know how to differentiate these common errors vs. the R2E2?)

It's important to note that we all make the R2E2 expression - on occasion. Yet when you see it displayed too often, or (as we see in this example) in the wrong context - a red flag has just been raised.

Those who over-use the R2E2 include:
Be extremely cautious with anyone who over-displays the R2E2 expression (or any other body language) - for these situations, at best you're being manipulated.

Note that just before Mr. Fuentes says, "... There's no hate on this side - I hate no one ...", for a full second (0:42 - 0:43), he closes his eyes in an extended blink.

A moment later (0:45 - 0:46) just before and as he says, "I would never do anything like that ...", Nicholas Fuentes again displays a prolonged blink.

These two extended eyelid closures (prolonged blinking) - are forms of lack of eye contact - just prior/during these two declarative statements of denial are particularly suspect for deception.

This expression, during 0:44, just after Mr. Fuentes says, "... I hate no one ...", he displays a barely suppressed smile with simultaneous facial blushing. He's taking sincere joy-pleasure in what he knows to be a deceptive statement. This is a form of what is known in the nonverbal realm as "Duping Delight".

A finding which is highly conspicuous by its absence was a complete lack of any display of empathy when denying his hate ("... There's no hate on this side - I hate no one ...")  and actions he "would never do". Nor was empathy expressed at any other time in this video. This nonverbal vacancy is highly significant, since Heather Heyer was killed by an individual of the group with whom he was associated and an event he attended only a few days ago. On the contrary - these were times he was suppressing a sincere smile.

A rather bizarre finding in this video is the lack of normal movement and diminished dynamic anatomical changes of Mr. Fuentes' lower eyelids along with his forehead. There is no doubt that this 18-year-old has had Botox treatments.

Mr. Fuentes' declaration of, "... it just becomes a liability to my brand" - is a very odd statement. It's dramatically out-of-context - particularly his use of the word "brand". Any behavior, verbal or nonverbal, which is so extremely out-of-context should always set off alarms.

When a person who participated in a white supremacist/white nationalist/neo-nazi protest says, "... It's disturbing to me the level of hate that people have been able to express and been able to feel against they've never met, never saw, never had a conversation with. They say that we're the hateful ones, we're the bigots - and I get messages all day long from people I've never met telling me what a terrible person I am" - his irony and complete lack of empathy is lost on no one.

Summary: Nicholas Fuentes sees himself as an alpha personality. At no time does he display empathy in this video. He's trying much too hard to convince the interviewer and audience that "he's a good person" - and that he should not be the target of others' anger. And although most people would also leave a University where they received death-threats, he loves the resulting lime light. Mr. Fuentes' sincerity quotient is nonexistent during this video. His denial of hate and bad acts are deceptive - and moreover, he takes joy in his deception.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4035: Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner, and Phone Tells

Body Language Analysis No. 4033: Prime Minister Theresa May Regarding Charlottesville Violence, "I see no equivalence"

Body Language Analysis No. 4031: One Gesture to Never Use When Condemning Neo-Nazis

Body Language Analysis No. 4029: Charlottesville, Heather Heyer, and Sincerity

Body Language Analysis No. 4027: Warning Signs - Police Officer Shot Multiple Times at Close Range

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

Body Language Analysis No. 3968: The Grenfell Tower Fire, Empathy, and Emotional Processing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3912: Keri Russell's Schadenfreude, Matthew Rhys' Fear, and a Hesitancy to Disclose

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3770: Fidel Castro, Ed Sullivan and Mirroring