Monday, November 19, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4361: Donald Trump "Jokes" about leaving office - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Thursday 15 November 2018, President Trump gave a speech at The White House conference on Supporting Veterans and Military Families. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of a crucial portion of this speech.

After about ten minutes of listing claimed accomplishments of his administration, Donald Trump said (continuing at 11:05), "... So, in addition to everything else, as you see, I did thee [sic] promotion of military spouse hiring across the federal government. (He then goes off script at 11:15) Fact is I've done a lot! I could s-, I could s- Good-bye everybody. Goodbye everybody Ω . That's a lot! . That IS a lot. That's more than anybody's ever even thought about - and I'm proud of it. And we're not finished yet. That's why § I figured I did so much I could leave now   (Then the President goes back on script).


Just after he says, "... I could s-, I could s- ..." and as he's stepping away from the lectern, just as he starts to say "... Good-by everybody...", Donald Trump waves with his right hand/arm (during 11:19 and notated by the symbol).


He then immediately displays a single palm-down sweep, wave-off after his reiteration, "... Goodbye everybody...".

This nonverbal dynamic is indicative of feigned dismissal - a signal of a passive-aggressive emotional tone (during 11:21 and notated by the Ω symbol).


The President then immediately displays - what in nonverbal parlance is known as a Jaw Confessional (during 11:24 and notated by the symbol). A jaw confessional is a fast and short-lived lateral thrusting of the jaw. (The jaw [mandible] may be moved toward either one's right or left. Trump has a bias to displace his jaw to HIS left). A jaw confessional indicates what is about to be said (and less commonly, what was just spoken) is a source of some embarrassment and/or shame - ergo, it's a type of confession - and thus, importantly, has an element of truth.


He displays additional Jaw Confessional signal just before he says, "... That IS a lot..." ( during 11:27 - 11:28)


And another jaw confessional just after he says, "That's why I figured I did so much I could leave now ..." (11:37 ).

Note also during 11:35 (notated above by the § symbol, as he says, "why" ["That's why I figured I did so much I could leave now"]), President Trump shrugs both shoulders. Shrugging (which may be performed with shoulders, hands, thumbs, eyebrows, forehead, knees, feet, etc.) indicates the thought-emotions of:

• I don't know
• I don't care
• What does it matter?
• What could I do?

The President is rationalizing out loud. This is a glimpse at the man behind the curtain (albeit a rather thin one). As this nonverbal signal is not able to be captured in a still image, please watch the video to see this dynamic. 

SUMMARY:  When Donald Trump goes off script, he's very often confessing, projecting, and/or lying.

Moreover, careful observers will note - there's an element of truth in every joke - and in this example, it's substantial.

Donald Trump's verbal, paralanguage, and nonverbal behavior during this portion of his speech on Thursday 15 November 2018, indicates that he is considering resigning the office of the Presidency of the United States.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth"

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4352: Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Salman, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Body Language Analysis No. 4333: Ivanka Trump's response to Robert Mueller and Trump Tower Meeting

Body Language Analysis No. 4327: Trump and Putin just prior to Helsinki Press Conference

Body Language Analysis No. 4309: The Little Girl in Red, "Tender Age" shelters, and Empathy

Body Language Analysis No. 4295: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and Red Flags


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Friday, November 16, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off • Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Monday 12 November 2018, GE's CEO, Larry Culp gave an interview on CNBC. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of that exchange and some recommendations and ideas I would propose if he were one of my private clients.

In a business setting, with rare exception, a man should always wear a navy or black suit. Even light grey suits should be avoided, let alone plaid, or beige. Only navy and black suits command the highest authority, rapport, and influence. Mr. Culp should also opt for a solid-colored shirt (white or blue) with a tie. For the fashion-forward, this may seem very vanilla - but in a professional setting, this conservative color-scheme is important and proven.

Culp is the CEO of a cutting-edge corporation and his appearance - including his haircut should reflect a forward-looking fashion. No one expects him to be a model, but with respect to fashion, Culp's hairstyle is 1970esque.

Throughout this whole interview, Larry Culp's voice cracks and is a bit gravelly. Along with his dry throat caused by anxiety, he also displays a multitude of very noticeable hard-swallows. These are often associated with Culp stuttering and stammering.

In addition, Mr. Culp often performs a lip/tongue-smacking maneuver associated with his hard-swallowing/stuttering-stammering. These have a tic-like quality.

This cluster of hard-swallowing, gravelly voice, stutterings-stammerings behaviors is secondary to his high level of anxiety - a pattern quite prominent in both amplitude and frequency. It's a real red flag. Any layperson or shareholder would look at this pattern/characteristic alone and correctly interpret that this is a nervous man who's bit off more than he can chew.

Another noteworthy pattern throughout the interview is that Larry Culp's verbal responses seemed as if he was responding as a politician. He should have initially answered definitively - following up with an explanation. Instead, Mr. Culp, like a lot of people with lower confidence, less experience, and/or who are relatively educated/cerebral - does not give a decisive answer, but rather, first delves into a more lengthy explanation. Responding to questions in this manner tends to lose listeners and importantly - makes Culp look weak, wishy-washy, and sometimes dishonest. In contrast, I would highly recommend he respond with, "Yes, and here's why ..." or "No, but let me elaborate on that ...", or "That's not completely clear, but here's what we're going to do ..."

Many times, the GE CEO responded to questions in a manner which seemed to deliberately set a low bar, indicating his diminished confidence and feelings of instability. Taken alone, this sends signals of strong pessimism and trepidation - and thus, it's no surprise that shareholders responded with a sell-off. (e.g., "This is a challenge of a lifetime given where we find the company today" [When asked why he took the job as CEO], "Well, we have to prove that out" [in response to the question, "Can you attract the people you need to?"], "We are working very hard with the power team to get a better grounding in our reality" [A non-answer answer], "Very much, a sense of urgency David" [in response to, "Are you going to quicken the pace of asset sales at this point? Is there a sense of urgency?"], etc.).


You may have noticed the way Larry Culp was sitting. Captain chairs - particularly a design which are narrower as these appear to be are not recommended. While having armrests on chairs is important for the person being interviewed - if the chair is too narrow and especially if the armrests are relatively high - it forces the arms in an awkward configuration - causing the elbows/forearms to rest to high. This, in turn, causes the shoulders to hunch and upper back/neck to tighten - leading to increased anxiety and a substantially more beta appearance. Mr. Culp should exert more control of the interview process. Surprisingly, although this was conducted in GE's office (home field advantage is always wise and should be prioritized), the interview set design was less suboptimal. Culp should instead use a chair which is a bit wider and with lower armrests.

Mr. Culp should sit forward on the chair a few inches - such that his back and his buttocks are not touching the back of the chair. A slight forward lean with one's back - nothing dramatic, perhaps 10º - 15º is recommended. When we're fully engaged and enthusiastic in a conversation (or film) - and if we want to build influence and rapport - we should lean and position ourselves slightly forward in the chair.


President Obama, while overall very adept with his nonverbal skills - also sat too far back in chairs and in addition, he often distanced himself further by crossing his legs in a European-style. This configuration is one reason why some of his critics thought him aloof.


If a man sits with his legs (thighs) spread very widely, this is colloquially referred to as "Manspreading" (technically termed "Seated Crotch Display" - à la Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin).


(Note how Viktor Yanukovych and his legs are acquiescing while and Vladimir Putin shows him who holds the power)

The manspreading hyper-alpha seating style is offensive - and an approach that's certainly not recommended. Mr. Culp, however, goes a bit too far in the opposite direction, for his upper legs (thighs) are configured in a relatively beta manner - parallel and facing directly forward (and perhaps even slightly knock-kneed), rather than spreading moderately (e.g. ~ 25º - 30º). Sitting further back in the chair (particularly with the chair design seen here) prevents this approach - while forward sitting with moderate leg-spreading will up-regulate Culp's psyche and make him feel (and appear) more alpha, powerful, assertive, and confident. Intriguingly, it will also engender a greater fluidity to his speech.


This is a hand position which should be avoided but is engendered by keeping the elbows resting on the armrests one's chair. It projects feelings of a hidden agenda (and conjures up images of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons).


Charles Montgomery Burns ("Mr. Burns", who, coincidentally, is the owner of a Nuclear Power Plant).

While interviewers are used to the relatively close proximity one typically sits when conducting such interviews, most interviewees are not. This often makes them feel uncomfortable - as sometimes the interviewer encroaches into the interviewee's personal space. Thus, to partially alleviate this effect, the small table to the side of Culp's right leg should be removed from the set.


Matt Lauer used to routinely cross his legs in a European-style and he would often touch his foot against the interviewee as an intimidation tactic. Among other things, this is a strong signal of narcissism.

Notice too, Mr. Culp's foot and leg placement. With one leg/foot forward, and the other positioned a bit backward - it causes increased anxiety and lower confidence during an interview. Moreover, shareholders and the average onlooker will sense the lower confidence of a person seated this way. Depending on what the rest of the body is doing, this telegraphs the impression that a person wants to leave (like a date who is anxious to depart) - which is true with respect to this interview. The audience may also subconsciously take it as a sign of an ominous corporate forecast. He should have both feet flat on the floor, with equal forward positioning.

Larry Culp should also slow down the pace of his speech. In doing so, he would better control the tempo of the interview. By answering quickly, he displayed anxiety and his diminished confidence (this also has a feedback effect of decreasing his confidence even further). Speaking more slowly would also lower the tone of his voice slightly, which would serve to up-regulate his alpha qualities (internally, with his own psyche - as well as from the point of view of onlookers).


David Faber in the midst of a pen-surrogate-finger-point-hand-chop

Larry Culp's staff should have asked in advance who was going to interview him and then reviewed his idiosyncrasies and prepared Larry accordingly. David Faber (Culp's interviewer here), has the habit of holding a pen in his right hand and gesturing forward with it - in what is known as a surrogate-finger-point-hand-chop. This hyper-alpha dynamic is aggressive and intimidating. Unfortunately, there are a few news personalities for whom this as a staple of their interviewing style - despite it being a universally offensive gesture (slightly better than an index-finger-point-hand-chop [when no pen/pencil is used]). Culp's assistant should have performed their prep work and, a few days prior, asked Mr. Faber not to use this gesture (and with a friendly reminder just prior to the interview).


Beginning at 13:16 in the video, Mr. Faber asks Mr. Culp, "Are you hampered at all in the marketplace by a deteriorating credit rating and by perhaps the longer-term concerns of some of those customers?" During this question, particularly the last portion, Culp is nodding up-and-down (in the affirmative). This body language is completely disparate from his verbal answer. Whenever the verbal and the nonverbal responses contradict each other - it's the nonverbal display which is telling the truth. Thus, Culp's verbal response here is misleading at best, and with high-likelihood, indicative of deception (Please watch the video, as the dynamic nature of this gesture cannot be captured in a single image).

Mr. Culp should avoid the use of the word "folks" - this is both a dated and Americanized colloquial.

Larry Culp dramatically over-uses the word "frankly" in this interview. This is a term he should eliminate from his vocabulary. Its use is a red flag, for very often it signals a lack of full disclosure and an attempt at manipulation. Most people associate its use with dishonesty and a patronizing tone.


Culp repeatedly smiles out-of-context - this example occurring during 15:07 - just as he says "Nobody's happy" ("... Nobody's happy with, with [stutter] where we are today ..."). As this nonverbal display contradicts his verbal language, people will accurately interpret it as insincere and view Culp with suspicions.


In this moment, captured during 14:14, we can see Culp blushing. This occurs as Faber remarks that in the past, the conglomerate model of GE was viewed as a positive quality - but it now appears to be "going the other way". Culp's smile in this instant is sincere - and his accompanying blushing (a sincerity amplifier) in this context connotes true embarrassment.


Another interesting moment was displayed at the 3:00 mark as Culp's right eyebrow elevates as he says "through asset sales" ( "... we need to bring the leverage down and I think we've got plenty of opportunities through asset sales ...). This unilateral eyebrow/forehead elevation (assuming the entire forehead is fully functional, e.g., no Bell's palsy, no asymmetrically applied Botox, etc.) is indicative of doubt. (Ergo, Larry Culp does not truly believe that asset sales will sufficiently lower GE's leverage). 

Larry Culp displays a multitude of unilateral eyebrow elevations while answering Faber's questions. Even a person with no body language training will easily and subconsciously interpret this as a person who is doubting their own words.


A split-second later (still during 3:00), Culp's left eyebrow and forehead twitches. This microexpression - conveys an additional level of doubt.

Immediately after this Culp displays a Hard-Swallow (one of many he commits during this interview) and smacks his lips. This is evidence of his dry mouth and throat - consistent with his elevated anxiety.


Another second later (during 3:01), we see Culp display a Loose Tongue Jut - indicating the thought-emotion of "I've been bad", "I've just done a stupid thing", and/or "I've been caught". Although most people would not notice this signal or interpret it accurately, it's highly consistent with Culp disbelieving his own statement.

SUMMARY: Larry Culp's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage (vocal qualities, cadence, rhythm, pitch, etc.) behavior during this interview indicates that his confidence level is low and he has a significantly heightened level of anxiety. He doubts a significant number of his own answers during this exchange. Mr. Culp's emotions are not simply being felt within the context of this televised interview, but also toward GE's prognosis in the near and mid-future.

With very high probability, Larry Culp's low confidence and anxiety clearly displayed during this interview led to GE's stock sell-off.

Larry Culp is not Tony Hayward - and GE's stock sell-off is not BP's Gulf Oil Spill. Yet Culp and Hayward would both have been well-served by ongoing media training. Such preparation is an integral component of the communication and PR skills needed to run a fortune 500 company - and a comprehensive approach to crisis management.

There's a high probability that Larry Culp's tenure at GE will last less than two years.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris


Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question"

Body Language Analysis No. 4355: Comparing Donald Trump and the Tree of Life Synagogue to Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Disaster

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia 

Body Language Analysis No. 4351: Donald Trump Stops Anthony Kennedy in His Tracks 

Body Language Analysis No. 4339: Pre-Confession Interview of Murderer, Chris Watts

Body Language Analysis No. 4308: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's most Telling Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4286: Aaron Schlossberg's Racist Rant

Body Language Analysis No. 4278: Jaws - "You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat" - vs. A Real Shark Encounter on a Paddleboard


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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




During the remembrance ceremonies marking the Centenary of the end of WWI today in Paris, the interaction between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was noteworthy.

What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the two men's exchange.


Many people have speculated regarding the significance of President Trump's jacket adjustment after shaking hands with President Putin. This is a common alpha-upregulatory behavior. Alpha upregulators are a set of body language behaviors displayed by individuals who normally may be moderately or even highly alpha personalities - when they're caught in the midst of a relatively beta moment. This is exactly what's occurring here.

Although he's normally alpha, Donald Trump feels he's beta to Vladimir Putin's alpha status. It's important to emphasize that this is Trump's perception - and this is why he feels the need to upregulate. Yet while Trump's psyche attempts to dial itself up, Putin is already walking away to his seat.

This is literally the same behavior of a beta gorilla halfheartedly pounding his chest - after the alpha male gorilla has already established his dominance.


Now, let's back up a bit. Just as Putin finishes shaking Trump's hand, he's trying hard to suppress his mouth smile. This is not a sincere smile - and in Putin's efforts to suppress it, along with his tightened mustache region, his eyelids are opened very wide as his eyebrows also elevate. Putin, an ex-KGB officer, in this moment, cannot maintain a poker face (a skill at which he's quite accomplished and otherwise routinely successful). This is profound.


Putin then gives Trump the Thumbs-up gesture. This universal nonverbal signal of optimism very much matches his facial expression. Note how his forehead has now relaxed, his eyebrows are also lowered and he has concave-up furrows in his lower eyelids (all requirements for a sincere smile). His mouth smile, while still somewhat suppressed, has broken through the thin facade. Putin is pleased.


As Vladimir reaches to shake Melania's hand (whilst still smiling), Trump pats Putin on the back. Note Trump's Jaw Retraction - along with an Inward Lip Roll. In this context, this nonverbal cluster indicates an effort to suppress strong emotions. 

Notice Emmanuel Macron's expression in this instant - it's one of contempt (a slight snarl-like configuration).


Trump maintains this jaw retraction as he stands back up. Macron's expression of contempt continues - combined with his right forehead elevating in disbelief.

Angela Merkel's central forehead is elevated along with a pseudo-smile, indicating her disgust and incredulity.


Putin then pats Trump on his left arm - just above his elbow. It's important to note that Putin did not touch Macron or Merkel in this manner.



But if we look back even further - at a few crucial seconds  -just as Putin was approaching the other leaders, we see a display of his which was omitted in the first video. Please watch just a few seconds - beginning at the 1:37:45 mark - of this second, comprehensive video.


As Putin approaches - walking closer to the other heads-of-state, he shows us a classic Tongue-In-Cheek display.


In this context - clustered with the other simultaneous nonverbal signals (e.g., his elevated central forehead), Putin's tongue-in-cheek behavior telegraphs his smug feelings of "I just won", "I gotcha".

SUMMARY: Donald Trump's nonverbal behavior in Paris today, indicates he feels that he is beta to Vladimir Putin's alpha. The American president clearly doth acquiesce. Moreover, Putin cannot contain his sincere emotions of joy-happiness with his dominance over Trump - and by extension, the United States.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross 

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth"

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4352: Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Salman, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Body Language Analysis No. 4350: Ashley Kavanaugh during Brett Kavanaugh's Swearing-in Ceremonies for the Supreme Court

Body Language Analysis No. 4334: Ivanka Trump and the Pistol Steeple

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate

Body Language Analysis No. 4317: Scott Pruitt Confronted in Restaurant by Kristin Mink

Body Language Analysis No. 4303: Donald Trump, the G7 Summit, Women's Empowerment, and Rage


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Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




I've analyzed Donald Trump's behavior thousands of times (over 400 of these analyses are published) - but this one stands out.

On Friday, on his way out to Marine One, Trump held a press gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House. He spoke about several subjects - one of which was Matt Whitaker.

What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of two key moments of Trump's exchange.

DONALD TRUMP (continuing at the 3:27 mark in the above video): I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker has a great reputation and that's what I wanted.

I also wanted to do something which, frankly, I could have brought somebody very easily from the outside. I didn't wanna do that.

When Sessions left, what I did - very simply is - take a man who worked for Session
[sic].


During 3:46 - 3:47, as he says, "... is take a man who worked for Session [sic]", Trump very clearly gestures with his right hand - and, as if he were Christian clergy giving a sermon - traces the sign of the Cross.

Holding his right hand in a vertical plane, he first gestures upward.


Maintaining this vertical planar configuration, he then moves his right hand downward.


His hand then comes back up - very deliberately - returning to the center of the cross.


Next, he then gestures to his left.


And then finishing this religious nonverbal metaphor by moving his right hand to his right. 

Please watch the video, as these still images do not capture the dynamics of this behavior.

It's important to note that some Christian denominations traditionally gesture first to their left and then to their right, while others finish their crossing gesture in a right-to-left fashion.

Make no mistake, the President deliberately displayed this very clear sequence of gestures. Trump has never exhibited this unmistakable and classic Christian behavior in public since he announced his candidacy on 16 June 2015.


Now, go back a few seconds (3:42). The President proceeds through another unusual nonverbal cluster. As he says, "When Sessions left ...", he forms a fist with his left hand - holds it at mid-face level - and then moves it down as if he his pulling on a lever.


The President then forms a fist with his right hand (this image captured from a different camera). This double fist pose is a stance of aggression."


He then brought his fists closer together...


Then disengaging his fists, pulling them apart as his hands opened up.

This double-fisted sequence demonstrates Trump's clear dislike toward former Attorney General Sessions and the President's aggressive mindset toward stopping Robert Mueller's investigation.

SUMMARY
: President Trump used a traditional Christian crossing gesture on the South Lawn of The White House Friday while voicing his praise for Matt Whitaker as acting Attorney General. This maneuver was a deliberate and conscious act. In this context, such crossing is pseudo-religious - and indeed, it's cult-engendering.

Trump either perceives himself as a religious figure - or he wants his followers to view himself as god-like (or both).

Moreover, Trump's double-fisted dynamic indicates both his dislike of Jeff Sessions and his aggressive tactics toward Robert Mueller.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question"

Body Language Analysis No. 4355: Comparing Donald Trump and the Tree of Life Synagogue to Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Disaster

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia

Body Language Analysis No. 4351: Donald Trump Stops Anthony Kennedy in His Tracks

Body Language Analysis No. 4339: Pre-Confession Interview of Murderer, Chris Watts

Body Language Analysis No. 4336: Alita: Battle Angel, Large Eyes, and Sexual Attraction

Body Language & Emotional Intelligence - Analysis No. 4106 (Reposting with Addendum): Jordan's Queen Rania meets with Rohingya Refugee Children & Melania Trump's Visit to Children's Shelter/Detention Center

Body Language Analysis No. 4299: Bill Clinton confronted regarding Monica Lewinsky Affair


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Friday, November 9, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question" - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




As he departed for his trip to France on Friday 9 November 2018, Donald Trump answered questions on the South Lawn of White House. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of President Trump during a portion of this press gaggle.

ABBY PHILLIP: Do you expect Matt Whitaker to be involved in the Russia Probe? Do you want to -

DONALD TRUMP: (over-talking) It's up to him.

ABBY PHILLIP: Do you want him to rein-in Robert Mueller?

DONALD TRUMP: What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.


During 20:37, just after Abby Phillip asks, "Do you want him to rein-in Robert Mueller?", Trump closes his eyes, tilts his head to his right, and clearly displays Contempt. This contempt expression is centered on his left mouth corner, the tightening of the area above his upper lip and below his nose (aka the 'mustache region') along with the (mild) flaring of his left nostril.

His closed eyelids - as well as the tilting of his head, while not required for a contempt display, here both act as contempt amplifiers.


Two seconds later, during 20:39, Trump displays what is known as a Lip Curl (his upper lip flaring out slightly) as he says the word, "is". A lip curl signals hubris, braggadocio, and/or bravado. Listen carefully, for Trump tends to have a slight lisp when displaying the lip curl signal (a nonverbal tell he often exemplifies). 


Trump responds with a "Finger-point-hand-chop (during 20:43) as he says, "You ask a lot of  ...". When verbally responding to a question in this manner, it's a subconscious affirmation that what was asked (in this case, "Do you want him to rein-in Robert Mueller?") is in fact true. Ergo, Trump does indeed want the new acting Attorney General to control Muller's investigation.

Trump's desire to do so, is, of course, obvious to even casual observers, but this is a fantastic example of a such a nonverbal display. Here's the Rub though: to note times when someone who you like, believe, and trust - exhibits identical nonverbal behavior (e.g., in everyday scenarios). If we fall victim to our subjective tendencies (our confirmation bias) of people we care for - would we then be able to spot the lie? The insincerity? The manipulation? The vast majority of times, the answer is clearly, "No". Therefore, using nonverbal tells is an objectivity tool - a way of checking our own opinions when, as human beings, we are inherently biased.


Another Contempt display (20:46),  is signified on Trump's left mouth corner and mustache region. There is also a secondary element of Disgust conveyed in this moment.


Trump then displays a Loose Tongue Jut (20:47). This signifies the thought-emotion of "I've been bad", "I've been caught", "I've just done/said a stupid thing". This is seen when the psyche is scolding itself for making an unforced error.

From a statement analysis and behavioral analysis perspective, whenever a person responds to a question by calling it, "Stupid", with extremely high likelihood, it's a clear signal they feel that they've been sussed. They're trapped. If his intentions were honest, Trump should have simply answered, "No". Moreover, this response also indicates a lack of impulse control.

SUMMARY: Donald Trump's nonverbal behavior indicates he has both contempt and disgust for journalist Abby Phillip. Moreover, Trump knows he's made a mistake in naming Matt Whitaker as the Acting Attorney General - and yet he does fully intend to use him to "rein-in" Robert Mueller's investigation.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth"

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4352: Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Salman, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Body Language Analysis No. 4350: Ashley Kavanaugh during Brett Kavanaugh's Swearing-in Ceremonies for the Supreme Court

Body Language Analysis No. 4348: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings - Part II

Body Language Analysis No. 4321: Donald Trump and The Queen

Body Language Analysis No. 4317: Scott Pruitt Confronted in Restaurant by Kristin Mink

Body Language Analysis No. 4316: Sarah Paulson, The Met Gala, and Madonna

Body Language Analysis No. 4302: G7 Leaders Surrounding Donald Trump


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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth" - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)



On Thursday 1 November 2018, Jonathan Karl of ABC News interviewed President Trump. One of Trump's responses went particularly viral. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of this interview.

JONATHAN KARL (continuing at 3:49): And finally, I remember, you remember - well on the campaign, you made a promise, you said, "I will never lie to you". So, can you tell me now, honestly, have you - kept that promise at all times? Have you always been truthful?

DONALD TRUMP: (over-talking) Well I try, I mean I do try, I think you try too. You say things about me that are not - necessarily correct. I do try and - ah, I always wanna tell the truth - when I can, I tell the truth. I mean sometimes it turns out to be where something happens - it's different or there's a change - but I always like to be truthful. 


Throughout the great majority of this entire exchange with Karl (including further back in this interview [beginning at 2:12] as the President answers questions regarding the ongoing diaspora of Central American people walking north through Mexico), Trump looks down and to HIS right (with both eyes and to a lesser degree, his head and neck).

Eye contact during deception is an intriguing phenomenon. When someone is telling a lie, the percentage of eye contact they have with the other person (or the camera) is biphasic. It almost always either increases (and thus, often takes on the feel of staring) - or it decreases. Moreover, when their eye contact does decrease, the quadrant to which the liar most often looks is THEIR lower right quadrant (exactly what we see here).

Notice too, the verbal language President Trump used. He never said, "Yes", "Always", "I'm always truthful", or "One-hundred percent" - rather Trump said:

• "Well I try"
• "I do try"
• "I always wanna tell the truth"
• "when I can, I tell the truth"
• "I always like to be truthful"

Such hedging, whether in written or verbal form, are profound statement analysis tells indicative of deception.

In addition, Donald Trump immediately proceeds with the premise that Jonathan Karl also lies when he says, "I think you try too. You say things about me that are not - necessarily correct". This is a manipulative method known as Forced Teaming (de Becker). It's as if to say, "We're in this together Jon - you and me" - and - You lie too Jonathan, everybody lies, but we all try not to".


Now flashback to an earlier portion of this interview. Beginning as Trump says (continuing at 2:31), "... you have caravans coming up that, look a lot larger than it's reported, actually, I mean I'm pretty good at - estimating crowd size - and I will tell you - they look a lot bigger than people would think ..."


From 2:31 to 2:39 Trump displays a combination of a Suppressed Smile along with what is known as a Lip Curl. Please watch the above video - as any still image does not capture the dynamic nature of this nonverbal behavior.

In this context, a suppressed smile is what is a nonverbal phenomenon termed as Duping Delight (Ekman) - which is a form of body language 'leaking' - wherein the person displaying it, is taking true joy in THEIR belief that they're successfully deceiving people. It's crucial to emphasize here that you don't have to agree at all with the ethics of their lying or their motive. Moreover, they may not be fooling anyone at all - but THEY believe they are doing so.

A lip curl (note the outward curl of Trump's upper left lip) signals Hubris, Braggadocio, and Bravado. Trump tends to have a slight lisp when he displays his lip curls (both in this example and on other occasions). This is best exemplified as he says the word "size" during 2:37.

Notice too, that during 2:36 - 2:39, Trump's shoulders elevate slightly as he puffs up his chest (and perhaps elevates a bit on his toes). While not a required component of either a lip curl or duping delight, these additional dynamics add to this particular body language sentence - a nonverbal grouping called a cluster. These extra components serve as amplifiers - of both the joy he has in the act of deceiving - as well as his hubris, braggadocio, and bravado.

SUMMARY: During this interview, Donald Trump is looking down to his right the vast majority of the time - the direction of gaze to which most people look during the diminished eye contact of deception. Trump also demonstrates classic nonverbal tells indicating he takes pleasure and hubris in the belief he's successfully perpetrating his lies.


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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4355: Comparing Donald Trump and the Tree of Life Synagogue to Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Disaster 

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia 

Body Language Analysis No. 4351: Donald Trump Stops Anthony Kennedy in His Tracks 

Body Language Analysis No. 4349: Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford - Part III

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate

Body Language Analysis No. 4321: Donald Trump and The Queen

Body Language Analysis No. 4316: Sarah Paulson, The Met Gala, and Madonna

Body Language Analysis No. 4309: The Little Girl in Red, "Tender Age" shelters, and Empathy

Body Language Analysis No. 4282: When Public Displays of Affection are More Frequent than those in Private


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