Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4184: Why Does Donald Trump Point So Often? • Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

Why does Donald Trump point so frequently?

Forefinger finger (Index finger) pointing is offensive in all countries and across all ethnicities. Such practice should be highly discouraged in all but the rarest circumstances. 

Whenever a politician is choosing a journalist for a question, too often they will point with their index finger. But, alternatively, and far superior to forefinger pointing, would be using all the four fingers and the thumb, with one's palm facing upward, the arm partially extended - such that the wrist, elbow, shoulders - and finger joints are all relaxed. Pointing in this palms-up fashion is rapport building, while index finger pointing is rapport destroying.

But most of President Trump's pointing fits entirely into another type of behavior.

Does it raise your flag when a person - who doesn't know you very well - uses words such as: "We", "Our", "Us", "Let's", etc.? It should. This fits into a type of behavior known as "Forced Teaming" (de Becker) and it's a common technique of manipulative individuals. In scenarios which are out of context to mutual familiarity and/or agreement, such verbal forced teaming is an attempt at making you feel as if you belong to the same clan, team, etc. If you're part of any group/belief system, then you'll be significantly more likely to follow established rules/orders - and much more apt to be manipulated.

If you know what to look for, you'll also spot concomitant paralanguage and nonverbal forced teaming analogs.

Donald Trump frequently points to a random person in a crowd, a member of Congress, or his cabinet. When he does so, it's a body language form of forced teaming. It makes the other person feel as if the president temporarily raises them to the level of a peer - even if they literally and logically know it's not actually true. This makes it significantly more difficult to say, "no" to him - and much more likely that he'll be successful at winning others over to his way of thinking.

Summary: Donald Trump's frequent pointing is a common manipulative technique of nonverbal forced teaming.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4183: Aly Raisman, Larry Nassar, and USA Gymnastics

Body Language Analysis No. 4181: Ann Curry, Matt Lauer, "Verbal Sexual" Harassment, and NBC • Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4179: Senator Dick Durbin questions Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen

Body Language Analysis No. 4177: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen regarding Donald Trump's "Shithole Countries"

Body Language Analysis No. 4166: Logan Paul's Apology

Body Language Analysis No. 4159: Nikki Haley, Jerusalem, and the United Nations

Body Language Analysis No. 4149: Zendaya, Zac Efron, and "The Greatest Showman"

Body Language Analysis No. 4136: Seminole Heights/Tampa Florida Serial Killer - Criminal Profiling

Body Language Analysis No. 4090: Harvey Weinstein, Sexual Assault, and Impulse Control Disorder