Sunday, January 28, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4189: Tom Cruise, a Broken Ankle, and Rebecca Ferguson - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson were recently guests on The Graham Norton Show. In their effort in promoting their upcoming film Mission: Impossible - Fallout, they also (unknowingly) put on a series of nonverbal teachable moment displays. What follows is a partial body language analysis.

During 0:06 - as Graham Norton is exclaiming, "You're nearly finished ..." and Tom Cruise realizes it's now time for him to have to discuss his broken ankle. He then displays a False Shirt Cuff Adjustment. This is a signal of Alpha Up-Regulation or "Dialing Up One's Alpha" - typically seen in people (usually men) who already have an alpha personality - however during moments when realize they must "Step it up" further/"Step up to the plate".

During 1:09 - 1:11, Tom Cruise displays a Tongue in Cheek combined with a Jaw Confessional. This moment shows classic Emotional Dissonance - for he is embarrassed that he messed up the stunt (as evidenced by the Jaw Confessional - quick and brief lateral movement of the jaw) - yet he feels very much like "He's Just Won" - because he now gets to show us a video of him running/toughing it out despite his broken ankle (the Tongue in Cheek tells us this). Thus this is a moment of a manufactured (false) self-deprecation combined with braggadocio (e.g., "Aw, shucks folks - it was nothin'.").

During 1:14, just after Simon Pegg says, "... I can't watch this ...", Tom Cruise touches Rebecca Ferguson on her knee.

As she touches him on his upper arm (with her full palm).

Rebecca Ferguson proceeds to prolong her touch of Tom Cruise - as she holds onto his elbow. Simultaneously, he displays a False Sock Adjustment on his left leg (he broke his right ankle). This is another example of alpha up-regulation.

This empathy/affection display of Ms. Ferguson - together with another example of Cruise "Dialing Up" his alpha - betrays their mutual affection.

During 2:04 - 2:06, Rebecca Ferguson, rapidly shakes both of her hands, vertically with fingers splayed. This is a display signifying the desire to ward-off a painful emotional or physical experience - either for oneself or for another person. When it's done for another person - it's indicative of a high-empathy display.

During 2:32, just before the close-up view of Cruise breaking his ankle, the actor displays another example of a nonverbal "Warding Off" signal. Note how, even though his mouth is opened very widely, his lips are stretched very tightly - with none of his teeth being visible. Additionally, his eyelids are momentarily shut/nearly shut - also in a moment of muscular high-tension.

In this instant, Cruise is re-living the event and a portion of his own accompanying physical pain. If he were instead, displaying this body language for another person - (as was Rebecca Ferguson with her finger-splayed, hand shaking) - it would be another signal of high empathy.

During 2:47, Ms. Ferguson touches Mr. Cruise on his knee once again - as Cruise, more prolongingly, touches Ferguson on her mid-back, and just above her right elbow, and ...

.... a couple seconds later, during 2:49, he also reciprocates by touching her knee one more time.

Rebecca Ferguson then touches his shoulder and back with her hands, as she momentarily forehead-touches Tom Cruise's shoulder (3:17 - 3:19). Such forehead touching is a highly reliable nonverbal signal of strong affection.

Yet again, Cruise then touches Ferguson's knee for the third time in just over two minutes. Outside the world of sports, with rare exception, the only two reasons an adult touches another adult on the knee are:

• A Power (Hyper-Alpha) Display or
• Sexual Attraction

Summary: Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson have both affection and sexual attraction for each other. 

Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 

See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4188: Donald Trump Gets Booed at Davos for Calling the Press "Fake"

Body Language Analysis No. 4186: Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, and Disgust

Body Language Analysis No. 4184: Why Does Donald Trump Point So Often?

Body Language Analysis No. 4182: North, South Korea, and the Olympics

Body Language Analysis No. 4158: Michelle Williams regarding Kevin Spacey - "All the Money in the World"

Body Language Analysis No. 4143: Billy Bush regarding Donald Trump on the "Access Hollywood Tape" (Stephen Colbert Interview)

Body Language Analysis No. 4131: Michael Flynn's Clandestine Plans

Body Language Analysis No. 4097: Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, and a Tennis Tongue Tell

Body Language Analysis No. 4026: Aubrey Plaza, Ingrid Goes West, and Emotional Intelligence