Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4250: Donald Trump, "We've been very tough on Russia" - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Tuesday, President Trump met with the Leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuanian at the White House. With the exception of Ukraine, these Baltic Nations face a greater threat from Russia than any other country. Therefore, the nonverbal and paralanguage behavior exhibited by Donald Trump during their meeting was particularly telling as he addressed the subjects of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

What follows is a nonverbal analysis of one crucial sentence of the above video.

 At 12: 07, President Trump continues, "So, ah, ya' know I-we've been very tough on - that, we've been very tough on Russia, frankly ..."

More subtly during 12:11 and to a greater degree during 12:12, Donald Trump's right eyebrow raises twice - each for a split second. These signals are projecting the thought-emotions of doubt and disbelief. Moreover, this is an excellent example of nonverbal communication contradicting the verbal language.Whenever these two are in disagreement - it's the nonverbal message which is telling the truth.

These very evanescent right eyebrow raises are also textbook illustrations of microexpressions. The example above was captured as he says, "... very ..." - during 12:12.

Please watch the video at regular speed - and again at 1/2 and 1/4 speeds - for the still image does not display the dynamic nature of this motion.

Less than a second later (captured in the above image, still during 12:12), as the President says, "... Russia ...", he briefly shrugs both shoulders. A shoulder shrug signals the thought-emotions of:

• I don't know
• What does it matter?
• What else could I do? / I'm in a Dilemma

None of these are remotely contextual to the verbally strong declaration, "... we've been very tough on Russia ..." - that is, if indeed the President believed his own statement. Said another way, if a person were telling the truth in this context, speaking this sentence - they should NEVER shrug.

The last of these three possibilities - What else could I do? / I'm in a dilemma - takes on profound meaning if the President felt he was trapped in a 'Catch-22' with Russia/Vladimir Putin.

Again, please watch this shrug in the video at several speeds. 

From a Statement Analysis/Paralanguage perspective, there are two important tells in this brief sentence.

One paralanguage red-flag comes with Trump's use of the word, "frankly". The vast majority of the time, when people use the word "frankly", they are indeed being deceptive.

The use of the word "frankly" also betrays another less obvious and somewhat related sentiment: Insincerity and the False Pretense of Parity. That is to say, much of the time when people use the word "frankly" - they are pretending to be your peer and to have your welfare as a priority, but it's really their interests they're putting first. Thus, a high percentage of the time, this word is a red flag. Protect your flank!

Another paralanguage tell arrives earlier in the sentence. Listen carefully, as President Trump says, "So, ah, ya' know I-we've been very tough on - that ...", during 12:08 - he stutters as he first says, "I" - and then switches to "we've". This is remarkable for two reasons:

• Donald Trump uses the first person pronoun singular "I" with greater frequency than most people - but not on this occasion!

• Here he switches to the first person plural pronoun "we" (we've). In this context, Trump's preference for the use of "we" occurs because his psyche feels that if he were to say "... I've been very tough on - that ...", he would be telling an even greater lie. This overlaps with the phenomenon of Forced-Teaming (deBecker), because the President is spreading-out the burden of the lie (aka a Diffusion of Responsibility) from "I" to "we" (we've).

Summary: Captured in this single sentence is an utterly classic body language - paralanguage cluster for deception. President Trump believes he was lying when he said, "So, ah, ya' know I-we've been very tough on - that, we've been very tough on Russia, frankly ..."

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4249: Will Smith, Sophia the Robot, Robot-Empathy, and Responding in Context

Body Language Analysis No. 4247: Donald Trump says Goodbye to Hope Hicks

Body Language Analysis No. 4245: Security Video of Stephen Paddock (1 October Las Vegas Shooter) - My KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 3642 (Reposting): Did Donald Trump Know Vladimir Putin Prior to The 2016 Election?

Body Language Analysis No. 4241: Vladimir Putin responding to a question regarding the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Body Language and Medical Analysis No. 4221: Why are Donald Trump's Pupils So Large?

Body Language Analysis No. 4207: Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (Parkland, Florida), Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and Empathy

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4022: Jessica Alba's Rules for Naming Her Baby

Body Language Analysis No. 4017: Elisabeth Moss, Anthony Rizzo, and a Signal of Sincerity