Saturday, December 21, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4404: Donald Trump's reaction to being booed at the World Series — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

President Donald Trump was vigorously booed as he and the First Lady were introduced on 27 October 2019 during the fifth game of baseball's World Series. What follows is a nonverbal analysis of Trump's reaction as seen in the above video.

This first image (captured during 0:01) shows Donald Trump as he was in the act of standing up. Note his Inward Lip Roll as well as his Jaw Jut.

A Jaw Jut is a signal of an adrenaline surge. An Inward Lip Roll is typically a sign of one's psyche trying to suppress strong emotions, however, it can also be seen during moments of moderate to extreme physical exertion.

The President's nostrils are also flared significantly. Taken in toto, this nonverbal cluster indicates that the effort Mr. Trump had to put forth in order to stand up quickly from a seated position is, for him, a moderately physically demanding activity.

When he hears the announcer mention him and the First Lady, he rotates his head and neck to his right (0:10). Notice the expression on his face. His eyebrows and forehead are significantly elevated — while his eyelids are nearly closed.

Trump's lips are pursed forward with a narrow opening (as if to say, "Oooouuu!").

A split-second later, still rotating his head-neck, his mouth opens wider (As if to say, "Aaaahhh!").

Note his mouth opening is wider horizontally than it is vertically (although this camera angle makes this disparity somewhat less contrasting). Crucially, his lower teeth are visible.

The President's eyelids are still mostly closed while his forehead and eyebrows are retracting upwards (maintaining this opposite direction dynamic). True surprise is always accompanied by widely-opened eyelids.

A sincere (non-feigned) expression of surprise would also have a dramatically vertically opened mouth (significantly taller than it is wide). In addition, teeth are not visible during moments of sincere surprise.  Trump's 'surprise' is acted — it's completely feigned.

After his head and neck are fully rotated and he's looking at Melania, Donald Trump displays, what for him, is rare — a Sincere (Duchenne) Smile.

Note that at this moment, Trump's:

• forehead is relaxed (and lowered)
• eyebrows are also relaxed
• eyelids are partially (mostly) closed
• furrows in each of his lower eyelids are concave-upward
• mouth corners are pulled significantly upward
• cheek muscles (zygomaticus major) are contracted and bunched upward
• only his upper teeth are visible  All of these are components of a true smile of joy-happiness.

At this moment, Trump hears only the cheer of the crowd and is delighted.

But just a few seconds later, Trump is displaying the first inkling that something is amiss (0:14). The crowd is booing loudly. Notice how red his face is growing (This image is not altered in any way). Watch it again, paying specific attention to the color change.

In this specific scenario, Trump's facial hue dynamic is caused by three factors:

A. Peripheral Vasodilation — blood vessels near surface of his skin on his face are growing wider in diameter. This physiology is involuntary and, in this emotional context, is a form of blushing.

B. Valsalva Manuever (an involuntary Valsalva, and here it's only partial), a moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway (in this case, partially closed).

C. Increased Abdominal Pressure (contracting one's "stomach" [abdominal musculature])

At the 0:17 mark, he has no doubt — things have turned badly. He's sure of it now. Notice how full and red his face and neck have become.

Trump directs his gaze downward — for a moment not looking at himself on the Jumbotron (0:18).

Three seconds later (0:21) he looks back at his image on the big screen while people are booing. Trump is embarrassed. He looks ill — as if his pain is physical, not emotional.

Shortly after his lips close, the President makes this face (during 0:24). This is a highly characteristic expression of disdain, disgust, repulsion, and disappointment. Moreover, and profoundly, in this moment — all of these emotions are self-directed.

If an actor needed to make this expression, they would be well-advised to bring to mind a strong memory of bitter self-disappointment and self-disgust.

And not surprisingly, to anyone who has studied nonverbal communication in-depth, the mere act of successfully recreating this expression will also bring about feelings of bitterness, disappointment, and self-disgust.

Observing carefully, you'll be able to see Donald Trump swallowing during the 0:24 mark as well. You can sense his stomach acid in his mouth. This is not a metaphor — rather it's literal.

For in the ten or so preceding seconds (as noted previously), Trump's intra-abdominal pressure increased and he's not inhaling — rather he's exhaling. His tongue is retracted and bunched in the back of his mouth.

Trump's facial expression in this moment is very similar to that seen during an involuntary and painful Valsalva maneuver together with increased intra-abdominal pressure (i.e., Bowel movement, or painful procedure, etc.).

A distinct expression of Fear mixed with Painful Disbelief can be seen on Trump's face during the 0:26 mark.

Trump hard-swallows during 0:29. He has a bitter taste in his mouth. Regret and (emotional) pain are prominent here.

During the 0:33 mark (just prior to the camera fade-out), we see Trump display what is known as a Tight Tongue Jut. A tight tongue jut is a signal for the thought-emotions of:

• Disdain
• Disgust
• Repulsion

Take care not to confuse a Tight Tongue Jut with a Loose Tongue Jut or a Wide Open Tongue Jut, for all three indicate entirely different thought-emotions.

At this moment, Trump is feeling a combination of both Regret and Contempt (0:40).

After he sits back down (0:48), Trump again looks physically unwell — as if he were in considerable physical pain. His pain, however, is emotional.

Trump inhales (between teeth with a forward pushing tongue) in an, "Okay, let's get this over-with" type of emotional tone (as one might say at the beginning of an anticipated painful experience), (0:50).

He sits forward on his chair (his baseline behavior, which may be in part due to his shoe/heel lifts) and interlaces his fingers (frustration).

Trump closes his eyelids almost completely, hunches his shoulders, foreshortens his neck, tilts his head back — with his chin pushing forward (0:51). His fingers remain intertwined. This is a classic nonverbal cluster of Arrogance.

In the very last frame of this video, we see Trump displaying another Tight Tongue Jut (Disdain, Disgust, and Repulsion).

SUMMARY: Last night, during the fifth game of The 2019 World Series, Donald Trump was forcefully booed by a large percentage of the crowd. This was followed by loud and repeated chants to "Lock him up!".

Trump reacted with self-repulsion and self-disdain. Although his pain was emotional, he looked as if he was in significant physical pain. The President also displayed bitter-regret, disbelief, and fear.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4403: Mike Pompeo's Interview in Nashville by Nancy Amons

Body Language Analysis No. 4402: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grills Mark Zuckerberg during Congressional Testimony

Body Language Analysis No. 4401 Nancy Pelosi's and Donald Trump's 'Meltdown Meeting'

Body Language Analysis No. 4400: Trump speaks with First All-Female Astronaut Spacewalk

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 — Reading Between the Lines