Friday, October 11, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4399: Donald Trump — Stalling, Protection, Deception, Contempt — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTO)

In this image, Trump is holding his hand to his ear. It's a common gesture which, on its surface says, "Please speak louder / I can't quite hear what you're saying". Presidents have performed this act for years — Ronald Reagan used it on nearly a daily basis. Of course, it's possible that he may not have heard the question clearly. But, more often than not, it's primarily used as a stalling technique so Trump will have a few seconds longer in order to formulate his answer.

If we look closer, we can see Trump is holding his right hand to his left ear. To accomplish this dynamic, he must reach his arm and hand across his torso. It's possible that Trump is holding something in his left hand, although, he rarely carries anything. What's dramatically more likely, is that Trump feels threatened by the nature of the question and this nonverbal configuration affords him more emotional cover/comfort. Reaching across one's body is a protective posture — a truncated form of self-hugging.

While Trump's facial expression in this moment, is for him relatively unanimated — it's far from neutral. There's tension in his mid-face, his eyebrows are vectored downward and his eyelids are partially closed. There's significant muscular contraction of his lower eyelids. This facial expression indicates critical evaluation and suppressed anger. The President is also displaying subtle contempt on his right mid-face (a subtle snarl-like expression). He doesn't like the question that's being posed.

The etiology of the president's rhinorrhea (runny nose) is not publicly known — however, it's chronic and unrelated to the other components of this nonverbal display.

SUMMARY: In this moment, President Trump is, with high probability, hearing the question being asked, but he's stalling for time. He needs the extra seconds to formulate an answer — which strongly suggests deception. Moreover, Donald Trump feels threatened by the subject of the question and feels the need to protect himself and/or cover/hide his answer. The President also has anger and contempt for the question and/or the person asking it.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4398: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi ("60 Minutes" Interview)

Body Language Analysis No. 4397: Donald Trump Defends Himself Against The Whistleblower

Body Language Analysis No. 4396: Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Hearing — Reading Between the Lines

Body Language Analysis No. 4395: Mike Pompeo - "Just the Past Ten Days Alone, We've Killed Over a Thousand Taliban"

Body Language Analysis No. 4394: Donald Trump, "I am The Chosen One"

Body Language Analysis No. 4376: Jacinda Ardern and Donald Trump - a Study in Contrasts

Body Language Analysis No. 4340: Ruby Rose gets Emotional regarding her new Role as Batwoman

Body Language Analysis No. 4336: Alita: Battle Angel, Large Eyes, and Sexual Attraction

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate