Saturday, October 7, 2017

Body Language Analysis No. 4085: Donald Trump's "Calm Before the Storm" Comment - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Thursday 5 October 2017, just prior to a dinner with high-level US military personnel and their spouses, President Trump made a cryptic and rather disconcerting statement alluding to, "The calm before the storm".

What follows is that brief dialog followed by a partial nonverbal analysis. 

PRESIDENT TRUMP (beginning at 0:00): You guys know what this represents?


PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't kn - Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Ω  µ

JOURNALIST B: What’s the storm of?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Could be - the calm - the calm before the storm.

JOURNALIST C (over-talking): What is it?

JOURNALIST D: On Iran? On ISIS? On what?

JOURNALIST E: What storm Mr. President?

PRESIDENT TRUMP (over-talking): We have the world’s great military people in this room - I will tell you that. And, ah, we're gonna 've a great evening. Thank you all for coming. Thank you.

JOURNALIST F: What storm Mr. President?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You'll find out

• During first three seconds of video
• Sweeping Upward Finger (notated by )
• Suppressed Smile

This image is of lower resolution due to movement of both the camera and President Trump - and in addition, the photo is magnified.

He calls attention to not only the place and event - but within the context of military personnel being present. The use of his index finger is hyper alpha - and its upward vectoring is - from his point of view - optimistic and favorable.

His suppressed, partial smile (many people would call a "smirk") and is indicative clandestine/non-disclosed information.

• Head Tilt
• Palm Up
• Head Tilt
• Unilateral suppressed smile
• Elevated Eyebrows
• Vocal Tone

All these signals occur during 0:04 second, as he says, "I don't kn- ..."

This nonverbal cluster indicates a direct yet deliberately sarcastic contradiction to his verbal and self-truncated statement of, "I don't kn - ..."

• Unilateral Suppressed Smile (smirk)
• Head beginning to tilt back 
• As he says, "... before ..." (the first time he says "before", during 0:05)

A suppressed smile almost always indicates meaningful information which is not fully shared.

• Contempt
• Disgust
• Head Tilting further back during 0:06 just after he says, "... "I don't kn - Maybe it’s the calm before
   the storm."..." (the first time, notated by Ω)

His head tilt in this body language cluster is, in part, a distancing phenomenon. Clustered with his contempt and disgust is a nonverbal way of saying, "I know something that you don't know - and you are beneath me".

• Tongue Click
• Unilateral Suppressed Smile
• Elevated Eyebrows

During 0:06 second (notated by µ) less than a half a second after the immediately preceding image, just after he says, "I don't kn - Maybe it’s the calm before the storm."

This unilateral suppressed (false) smile together with a Tongue Click - is patronizing and bodes ill for the receiving person/group who is the recipient of "the storm".  The Tongue Click a hyper-alpha nonverbal-paralanguage signal.

• False Smile (Disgust Smile)
• Dynamic Head Tilt - emphasizing his Disgust.

During 0:13 (notated by )

• Elevated Central Forehead Contraction
• Suppressed Mouth Smile
• Bouncing up and down on feet

- during 0:27 as he says, "You'll find out". This particular suppressed smile is subtle - watch the video several times as the still image does not capture the dynamic nature of this nonverbal tell. An elevated Central Forehead Contraction together with a Partial Mouth Smile (even a subtle one) in this context indicates Arrogance or Contempt (although both of these emotions may be manifested by other facial expressions).

His bouncing up and down on his feet/toes indicates an adrenaline surge indicated by excitement.

Summary: Most people are interpreting The President's "Calm Before the Storm" statement - as an ill omen for either Rex Tillerson or Kim Jong-un/North Korea.

President Trump's disgust and contempt may be directed at the recipient of "the storm" - or the members of the press (or both groups). The context, personnel present, and the President's reference suggests "the storm" is a military metaphor.

Donald Trump is excited about the ramifications of his secret. It's a particularly hyper-alpha moment for him. A partial/suppressed smile is nearly always indicative of withheld information - and this phenomenon is classically exemplified in this short video.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4084: Senator Corker Reacts to Secretary Tillerson's Statement (and President Trump)

Body Language Analysis No. 4082: Brother of Stephen Paddock (Las Vegas Shooter)

Body Language Analysis No. 4080: Getting Under Donald Trump's Skin - San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Reacting to Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke

Body Language Analysis No. 4078: Toddler Steals Prince Harry's Popcorn

Body Language Analysis No. 4064: The Murder of Laci Peterson - Part II - A Red Flag Conspicuous by its Absence

Body Language Analysis No. 4061: Pennywise,"IT", and Bill Skarsgård's Demonic Smile - Why is IT so Scary?

Body Language Analysis No. 4037: Charlottesville Protester Quits Boston University after Death Threats

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. 3903: Rex Tillerson Disagrees with Donald Trump