Saturday, November 18, 2017

Body Language Analysis No. 4126: Jeff Sessions' Joking regarding Kislyak/Russia - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTO)

Yesterday during a meeting of The Federalist Society - three days after Jeff Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee - he openly joked about communicating with the Russians.

Intriguingly, this conference took place at The Mayflower Hotel - which was one of the locations where (then) Senator Sessions did, in fact, meet with Sergey Kislyak during Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign (April 2016).

During his Senate confirmation hearings, Attorney General Sessions denied, while under oath, any contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Moreover, he stated he was unaware of any contacts between members of the Trump campaign staff and any Russian officials.

What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of Jeff Sessions in the above video.

ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS (beginning at 0:00): But I just was thinkin', Ya know I should - ah, wanna ask you is - is Ambassador Kislyak in the room? Ω ...

Just after he says, "... is Ambassador Kislyak in the room? ...", Jeff Sessions' jaw momentarily projects forward (captured in both of these images less than one second apart during 0:05). This is known as a "Jaw Jut". Watch this several times in at 1/2 and 1/4 speed.

Nonverbal novices will often falsely interpret ALL Jaw Juts as signals of anger - yet this is a gross oversimplification. If anger is present, other nonverbal indicators will also be seen.

For a moment consider the verbal homonym, "Hot" as it is used in the English language. One can say, "It's hot outside" (referring to temperature) - or "This pepper is hot" (spiciness) - or "She is hot" (physical attractiveness) - or "A particular news subject is hot" (popularity). Despite the fact that the word is pronounced the same and spelled the same - within these contexts, we have no difficulty determining their respective meanings of "Hot". However - when removed from their sentences, it's impossible to define them. The same is true with nonverbal homonyms. Thus, as with all nonverbal behavior, a "Jaw Jut"- should always be interpreted in the context of the other signals contained in the "nonverbal sentence".

Is Jeff Sessions' jaw jut in this setting a signal of anger? What other coexisting signs either confirm or refute the presence of anger?

Don't make the mistake of interpreting a Jaw Jut as a component of laughter either. During moments of sincere laughter (and to a lesser extent with sincere smiling) - the jaw moves in the opposite direction - it retracts. 

SummaryIn the absence of anger and other signals, a Jaw Jut is a signal of Hubris in addition to Insincerity.

Many people have little ability to avoid "cracking a smile" when they're hiding something or deceiving. This is often colloquially referred to as having a "poor poker face". Jeff Sessions is one such person. Both consciously and unconsciously many people with this tendency believe that if they laugh and smile frequently - then others won't be able to tell when they are lying. Sessions' act of openly joking regarding Russia and Ambassador Kislyak camouflages his relative lack of ability to suppress his smiling and laughing out of context. This tactic of "Hiding in Plain Sight" is similar to a sixteen-year-old purchasing multiple items at once hoping the cashier doesn't notice the cigarettes.

In a larger sense, Jeff Sessions' act of openly joking about Russia - and Russia's aggressive interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election (verified by all US Intelligence agencies) has the profound additional effect of normalizing this and similar election interference - both in the minds' of foreign powers and in the minds' of the average American.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4125: Michael Flynn, Trick Arrows, and Suppressing Strong Emotions

Body Language Analysis No. 4123: Jason Momoa, Aquaman, the Quindent, and a Secret

Body Language Analysis 4121: Roy Moore's Far Too Frequent Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4119: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at APEC Summit - Part II

Body Language Analysis No. 4114: Robert Mueller, Critical Evaluation, and the Double-L

Body Language Analysis No. 4093: Fear and Harvey Weinstein - Emma Watson's Reaction

Body Language Analysis No. 4088: Kit Harington's April Fools' Prank on Rose Leslie

Body Language Analysis No. 3982: Bangkok Police Officer's De-Escalation Genius

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3896: Did Matthew Perry Really Beat Up Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?