Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4290: President Trump regarding talks with North Korea - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Tuesday, President Trump met with South Korean President, Moon Jae-in at the White House. During a question and answer session in the Oval Office, the American President spoke about his scheduled upcoming Summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. What follows is a partial body language analysis of a portion of this video.

JOHN (Journalist, beginning at 1:31): Can you give us an update Sir, just on where things stand with - with The Summit? Ah, President Moon's National Security Advisor, on the way here, seemed to think that things are on-track, and that - this will indeed happen.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we're moving along and, we'll see what happens. Ah, there 're certain conditions that we want, and I'll think we'll get those conditions - and if we don't - we don't have the meeting - and frankly, it has a chance to be a great, great meeting for North Korea - and a great meeting for the World. Ah, if it doesn't happen - ahnn, maybe it will happen later. Maybe it will happen at a different time. But, we will see. Ah, but we are - a-, talking - ah, thee meeting's scheduled as you know on June twelfth in Singapore - and, ah whether or not it happens you'll be knowing pretty soon - but we're talking right now.

During 1:37 - 1:38, as the journalist says, "... National Security Advisor, on the way here, seemed to think ...", President Trump displays a classic mild disgust display.

There are two crucial times during this short statement when the President Shrugs his Shoulders - during 1:47 as he says "... conditions ...",  (shown in the photo immediately above) and again, during 2:01 as he says, "... happen ..."

A shoulder shrug is a signal for the thought emotions of:

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

Notice Donald Trump is also looking down as he's shrugging. In this context, this action is a significant adjunct nonverbal. 

Of course, a shrug is a dynamic act - and thus is not captured adequately in a still image. Please watch this segment of the video several times to view these gestures in-context.

During 2:13, as the President says, "... ah ...", he displays an expression with significant Regret - and more specifically, that of Sheepish Regret.

At the very end of this particular answer (2:18), just after he says, "... but we're talking right now", The President displays an expression primarily of Frustration (with a secondary component of Regret). This is notated by the symbol in the above dialog.

SUMMARY: Confident leaders don't shrug. Whether a person's overall personality is alpha, beta, or (like most) somewhere in between - shrugging is a significant signal of low confidence.

Those who closely follow Donald Trump's behavior aren't surprised to hear that many experts are now are saying it's a good bit less likely the Summit with North Korea will go on as planned.

President Trump's body language displayed here - that of regret, sheepishness, frustration, apathy, and low confidence - all indicate that Trump believes he probably won't be meeting with Kim Jong-un on 12 June 2018.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4289: A Royal Wedding, Suppression of Tears, and Meghan Markle's Mom

Body Language Analysis No. 4287: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - Why Do We Kiss with Our Eyes' Closed (most of the time)

Body Language Analysis No. 4285: President Trump regarding Undocumented Immigrants: "These aren't people - these are animals"

Body Language Analysis No. 4283: Unidentified Man with Qatari Ahmed Al-Rumaihi in Trump Tower Elevator on 12 December 2016

Body Language Analysis No. 4254: Tony Robbins, Nanine McCool, and the #MeToo Movement

Body Language Analysis No. 4217: Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther, Anxiety, and Alpha Up-Regulation

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4039: Blue Angels, Surprise, Emotional Processing, and Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3911: Simone Biles gets Pranked on "Ellen"