Friday, October 25, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4400: Trump speaks with First All-Female Astronaut Spacewalk — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Earlier today, President Trump spoke with Astronaut Jessica Meir, Ph.D. during her extravehicular activity (EVA) with Astronaut Christina Koch. This was the first-ever all-female EVA in history. During the initial portion of this conversation, Donald Trump spoke in error, saying that it was the "first ever female spacewalk". Astronaut Dr. Jessica Meir tactfully and humbly corrected Mr. Trump as she continued their conversation. She did not want to take credit for something she hadn't done. What follows is a nonverbal analysis of Donald Trump during this brief, but crucial portion of their dialog.

DONALD TRUMP (continuing at 1:12): ... They're conducting the first — ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the Space Station ...

ASTRONAUT JESSICA MEIR (beginning at 2:01): Well — thank you [pause]. First — first of all, we don't want to take too much credit because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us. This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time.

As he was initially speaking to the Astronauts, President Trump had had his torso, head, and neck flexed down and forward – directed toward the microphone on the table.

Just after Astronaut Meir says, "First — first of all, we don't want to take too much credit because there have been many other female spacewalkers", at 2:11, Trump immediately looks up. His eyebrows and forehead are already elevated before he repositions his head. Note how his eyebrows are partially closed, with a 'droopy' appearance. The eyelids vs. eyebrow-forehead complex are moving in opposite directions in this moment — which is always a body language alarm. There is also a mild amount of disgust displayed on Trump's mid-face. This nonverbal cluster is strongly projecting the thought-emotion, "I can't believe she just corrected me!"

A split second later, the President immediately closes his eyes in a prolonged blink (2:11) in a classic example of distancing behavior. This dynamic is a manifestation of arrogance and castigation. People in power will often close their eyes just prior to and during the first few seconds of a reprimand. It also serves the dual purpose of the psyche trying to collect itself, trying to prevent an outburst — for often, as is the case here, the president is in a public forum, and must try and refrain his criticism. However, these signals are tells, aka "leaks" for his true thoughts and feelings.

Simultaneously, the President interlaces his fingers. In this context, this hand-finger dynamic is a strong indicator of frustration.

He then leans his torso and looks his right, nonverbally saying, "Can you BELIEVE this woman?" His eyelids remain partially closed — continuing to scold Dr. Meir while projecting mild disgust. 

The President then shows us something he rarely does on camera — he touches his face (2:13 - 2:16). Moreover, he does so in a very particular manner. With his right middle finger extended, Donald Trump first touches the upper part of his nose, between his eyes. Notice his other fingers are, to varying degrees, partially contracted (flexed).

Maintaining his extended middle finger, he then rubs upward to his forehead.

... and then back down again. Notice his index finger (forefinger) retracts (flexes) even further, placing his middle finger in a more isolated configuration.

Trump then traces with his middle finger over his right eyebrow ...

... onward to his temple

... and he finishes this finger trace touching the upper portion of his ear.

This gesture is very much what it looks like — Donald Trump is giving Astronaut Jessica Meir the finger while she's walking in space. He's nonverbally telling her to 'fuck off'. In his mind he is cursing very loudly and consciously — but his body language is a subconscious manifestation of this internal shouting. The louder our inner screaming grows, the less aware we are of what our faces and bodies our doing.

If you weren't paying close attention, you'd miss it

This is an example of one of many different subtypes of what is known as a Partial Emblematic Slip. It's termed 'Partial' because it's a gesture which is not being held in its typical, elevated, very deliberate, hand-and-finger on full display — usually in front of and on a level with the user's chest, neck, or face. Notice Trump's psyche camouflages this maneuver by maintaining his forefinger (index finger) partially extended.

It's labeled as 'Emblematic' because its a highly specific gesture (illustrator), with its meaning universally recognized: "Fuck You! or "Fuck off!" (although there are many other emblems that are regional or local, this one is known worldwide).

Its nomenclature includes the 'Slip' descriptor, because it's a subconsciously generated nonverbal act. It 'leaks', thus telegraphing a person's true emotions despite what is being said.

As Astronaut Meir stated, there have been many other female spacewalkers. The first woman ever to walk in space (EVA) was Soviet Cosmonaut, Svetlana Savitskaya on 25 July 1984. The first American Woman to Walk in Space was Kathryn Sullivan on 11 October 1984. 

SUMMARY: The President of the United States, gave Astronaut Jessica Meir the finger today, during her historic spacewalk. Trump's nonverbal 'Fuck off!' gesture was a result of his anger at her polite and humble correction of a verbal mistake he had just made. During a world-wide televised event, Dr. Meir did not want to take credit for something she had not accomplished. Trump displayed his middle finger obscenity subconsciously — in the form of a partial emblematic slip.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4399: Donald Trump — Stalling, Protection, Deception, Contempt

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

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. 4393: El Paso Mass Shooter - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Body Language Analysis No. 4392: The Secret Tells behind Donald Trump's Statement, "No Puppet. No Puppet. You're the Puppet"

Body Language Analysis No. 4312: South Korea Defeats Germany at The World Cup