Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4309: The Little Girl in Red, "Tender Age" shelters, and Empathy - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

Photo credits: John Moore

When you first saw this now anti-iconic photo (above and the close-up below), what was your first thought?

Well, this is a bit of a trick question, because your first reaction should NOT have been to think about this image first - rather you should have felt it first. This would indicate you have substantial Emotional Empathy.

So long as our emotional empathy is developed - when we see another person in pain - whether it be emotional pain or physical pain, we should "feel them" first. And we should naturally, and reflexively feel their pain - without thinking. We empathize. We experience similar emotions.

(In the next moment, if you have a developed sense of Compassionate Empathy - you would then think about what you could do to help - and then act upon it.)

When we're in such a state of emotional empathy, particularly initially - we will mirror the facial expressions of those with whom we're empathizing.

Although we can primarily visualize the right side of her face and only portions of her mid-line and left face, we can still clearly discern that this two-year-old's:

• Central forehead is contracted and elevated

• Her eyebrows are simultaneously depressed in all but the medial (inner) portions

• Her upper eyelids are open widely - while her lower eyelids are tightened

• Her nostrils are flared

• Her mid-face is significantly tightened

• Her neck muscles (platysma) is tightened 

• Her lips are stretched thin as her mouth corners are being pulled laterally and down

• With a simultaneous exposing of her lower teeth during in a jaw drop

• Whilst crying and screaming

SUMMARY: It's no mystery to most people who view these images, that this little girl is in an emotional state of deep anguish and fear.

Yet there is still a mystery here - for why, upon looking at these and similar photos - does a substantial percentage of the general population still not experience any (or very little) emotional empathy? The answer is multifactorial. In a very basic sense, emotional empathy deficits can be divided up into genetic and environmental causes - both nature and nurture.

"If you only have 'empathy' for people who are in your group/tribe/same color skin/same religion/same country - you can stop deluding yourself. That's not empathy - it's just an extension of your ego."

Piper Anne Twain

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See also:

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4306: Donald Trump, a North Korean General, and a Salute

Body Language Analysis No. 4304: Donald Trump's and Kim Jong-un's Handshake in Singapore

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4284: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Deadpool 2, and Alpha Up-Regulation

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4255: Roger Stone and Julian Assange

Body Language Analysis No. 4209: Emma Gonzalez, Florida HS Shooting, and Emotional Processing

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