Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Body Language Analysis №4680: TikTok CEO, Shou Chew's testimony before Congress - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On 24 March 2023, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Chew testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. A portion of that testimony is included in the above video (0:30 through 1:29 & 1:50 through 2:36).

What follows is a Body Language, paralanguage, and statement analysis of a portion of this segment.

(All of the following descriptions appear below the corresponding images)

Note that from 1:07 though 1:14, Mr. Chew says, “The potential security, privacy, content manipulation concerns raised about TikTok, are really not unique to us” — he displays a morphing gesture (illustrator) which began with a closed palm-up, loosely-gripped configuration with the tip of his thumb drawn together touching/in close proximity to the other digits of his left hand… (1:08).

… and it progressed to a more closed, palm-up fist (increased hostility, defensiveness, and indignant emotional tone) as Mr. Chew speaks about privacy and content manipulation.

His statement “are really not unique to us” is an example of the manipulative technique of ‘Whataboutism’. 

Mr. Chew gestures with a variation of what is sometimes called a ‘Political Point’ with his left hand (and arm) from 1:14 to 1:17, as he says, “Ownership is not at the core of addressing these concerns.”

The Political Point is a gesture that’s relatively rare outside of individuals who are not in politics, some attorneys, public speakers, and corporate leadership/corporate spokespeople.

While the Political Point is an alpha-beta hybrid, it leans strongly to the alpha end of the spectrum. The Political Point is used in lieu of (and should be thought of as a more clandestine form of) index finger (forefinger) pointing.

The Political Point and its variations are dominant signals and are used by people in closed emotional states. These particular gestures are used by those who are not interested in listening, but who are attempting with concerted effort to advance their agenda.

From 1:17 to 1:21, Chew says, “We will firewall-protect the US data from unwanted foreign access” — as he once again gestures with his left arm/hand.

This time he uses a variation of a hand-chop. This is common in those trying too hard to appear self-righteous — and when a hand-chop is displayed in the context of trying to defend against accusations (or lies) — with high-probability, it signals their guilt.

Note how Chew’s elbow is progressively moving further out (more lateral), away from his torso as he says this (enhancing his efforts at defensiveness — but signaling guilt and feigned self-righteousness).

(Although it’s not seen in this particular example, this hand-chop with lying/guilt correlation is further amplified if the additional component of an index finger point is simultaneously displayed)

Chew states, “TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will *not* be manipulated by *any* government”, as he continues to gesture with his left arm/hand (back to a ‘Political Point’ configuration). 

In all four of these examples previously shown, Shou Chew gestures with his LEFT hand. However, earlier in the video (0:37 to 0:45), we can see that Chew is right-handed (shown here writing with a pen in his right hand).

If Chew had been sincere (truthful) in the four statements accompanying these four above-noted gestures, he would have used his dominant, right hand — not his left.

This hand-dominance/sincerity correlation is particularly true in a witness in sworn testimony (especially on such a worldwide stage), an interrogation, and when one is being accused of lying or illegal/unethical acts.

Now let’s go back further in the video. Beginning at 0:53, Mr. Chew says, “ByteDance is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government. It’s a private company. Sixty percent of the company is owned by global institutional investors. Twenty percent is owned by the founder — and twenty percent is owned by employees around the world.”

An instant before he says, “Sixty” (0:59) and again as he says the word — Chew displays two successive Contempt displays. The first is subtle, but crucial. This is an example of a microexpression as it is extremely short in duration.

The second Contempt display is more noticeable (higher in amplitude and longer in duration but still very short). Please watch the video — and use the slow motion feature, as still images do not capture the dynamics of these behaviors.

Just before he says, “the founder” (“twenty percent is owned by the founder”), Chew suppresses a smile (1:05).

Then just after he says, “the founder” (1:05), Chew displays a Loose Tongue Jut. A Loose Tongue Jut indicates the thought-emotion of “I’ve been (or about to be) caught”, “I’ve been bad”, or “I’ve just done (or about to do) something stupid”.

Although not a necessary component of a Loose Tongue Jut, Chew’s simultaneous eyelid closure serves to amplify its thought-emotions.

As he is saying, “…and twenty percent is owned by employees around the world”, Chew shakes his head in a side-to-side “no” illustrator (1:05–1:07). Please watch the video as it’s impossible to show this behavior with a still image.

As Chew says, “not” (“The potential security, privacy, content manipulation concerns raised about TikTok, are really not unique to us”) he displays an amalgam of both Disgust and Contempt (1:13).

Simultaneous with this (and beginning just prior to it), Chew also displayed a subtle shoulder shrug. Shoulder shrugs indicate the thought emotion of “What could I do”, “What do I care?”, “What does it matter?”, “What could I do about it?”

As Mr. Chew says, “not” (1:25) …

…as well as he says, “any” (1:26) (“TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will *not* be manipulated by *any* government”). Chew displays particularly exaggerated facial expressions. The expression immediately above is a form of a Duping Delight. A duping delight is a smile out of context — signaling the person’s joy-happiness in their belief that they have been successful in perpetrating deception.

This last statement of Chew’s, with its volume and other accompanying vocal qualities, highlighted with these last two highlighted facial expressions, in this context, stand on their own as particularly arrogant, self-righteous, challenging, and deceptive.

SUMMARY: Based on his body language, paralanguage, and statement analysis, CEO Shou Chew was lying during the above noted segment of his testimony before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee last week.

Shou Chew also displayed hostility, defensiveness, indignance, contempt, disgust, and arrogance directed toward members of Congress. hostility, defensiveness, and indignant.

All those interested in learning #BodyLanguage — and using it to improve your professional and personal life, please email me (, esp. attorneys, judges, actors, directors, crisis management, C-level executives, sales, teachers, parents, health care professionals…


Friday, March 24, 2023

Body Language Analysis No. 4679: Donald Trump's first public comments regarding Stormy Daniels — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The whole world has been waiting and is expecting the indictment of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Thursday 5 April 2018, Donald Trump made his first public comments regarding Stormy Daniels. He did so on Air Force One (video link above). What follows is a nonverbal analysis of this crucial exchange.

 *The written analyses included here appear below the corresponding images.*

JOURNALIST (beginning at 0:16) : Mr. President — did you know about the hundred and thirty thousand dollar payment to Stormy Daniels?


JOURNALIST: Then why did Michael —

DONALD TRUMP: [over-talking] What else?

JOURNALIST: — why did Michael Cohen make this if there was no truth to her allegations?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well you’ll have to ask Micheal Cohen. Michael’s my [pause] attorney and you’ll have to Michael.

JOURNALIST: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I don’t know. No.

During 0:19–0:22, as the Journalist asks, “… the hundred and thirty thousand dollar payment to Stormy Daniels?” — the President displays a classic Forward Lip Purse (not to be confused with a lateral lip purse).

A forward lip purse is an indication of clandestine thoughts and/or plans are partially or fully being withheld. The person displaying this expression is surreptitiously (fully or partially) disagreeing.

In this context, his Forward Lip Pursing screams out that Trump was lying.

The image immediately above (captured during 0:22) shows the President a split second after his monosyllabic answer. Notice how his eyelids have opened substantially. This dynamic is due to a surge of adrenaline — secondary to Fear.

Note also, in that same image, the then-President’s mouth configuration — that of emotional shock amalgamated with fear.

A peculiar moment occurred when the President’s two young interns/assistants, who had just been leaning in from opposite sides of Air Force One’s aisle (o:22), immediately hid themselves from the camera …

…upon hearing the question, “Mr. President — did you know about the hundred and thirty thousand dollar payment to Stormy Daniels?” (This second image was captured less than a second later, also during 0:22).

Their behavior, of course, signals the interns’ common knowledge of Trump’s emotional sensitivity (anger) to this topic. They have no desire to appear as gawkers.

This is a prime example of the axiom that the body language of others who are on stage and knowledgeable of the speaker — will, acting as subconscious surrogates, often betray his inner thoughts and behavior.

Trump displays additional Fear and Emotional shock displayed during 0:27.


During 0:33 (just after he says, “… you’ll have to ask Michael”), as the President points to another journalist, he displays a microexpression of:
• Mouth of Fear + Sadness
• Elevated Central Forehead Contraction (Elevated CFC)
• Eyelids once again opened widely (Adrenaline Surge secondary to Fear)

This nonverbal cluster indicates Emotional Pain.

During 0:35, as a journalist asks, “Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?” Donald Trump displays a Tight Tongue Jut (more specifically, at the end of this sentence — immediately after she says the word, “money”).

Do not confuse a Tight Tongue Jut with a Loose Tongue Jut or a Wide Open Tongue Jut, as they indicate completely different thought-emotions.

A Tight Tongue Jut indicates the emotions of:

• Disdain
• Disgust
• Repulsion

Think back to when you last saw an infant being fed a food they didn’t like — this is the same tongue dynamic they exhibit. They reject the pureed asparagus, just as much as Trump rejects this question and the thought-emotion it evokes.

His wide open eyes and mouth of fear are clearly evident during 0:36 as he says, “No, I don’t know. No.”

After answering this question with, “No, I don’t know. No.”, the President then displays a classic expression of an amalgam of Regret-Frustration (during 0:37).

Note the classic lateral vectoring of the corners of his mouth (regret) — and the muscle contraction/bulging in the region above the upper lip (Frustration)

Although it’s not a required component of a regret expression, in this moment, his simultaneous longer duration blink/bilateral eyelid closure serves as a regret amplifier and deception tell.

Trump just told a lie and he’s trying to emotionally distance himself in this moment.

A split-second later (still during 0:37) Trump rocks backward on his feet — temporarily retreating into the relative protection of the narrower aisle-way. Although his eyes have now opened, his regret expression persists.

SUMMARY: There is a clear distinction between a person who regrets because they feel remorse and another person who feels regret because they are caught. Donald Trump has likely never felt remorse-regret, only culpability-regret.

Although his multitudes of deceptions have been well-documented by other means, Donald Trump’s nonverbal displays exhibited during the above video clearly indicates that the President lied on Air Force One on 5 April 2018.

Donald Trump lied when he said he didn’t know about Micheal Cohen paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels. Trump also lied when he denied knowing from where Michael Cohen got the hush money.

Anyone interested in learning Body Language in great detail, please email ( me — esp. attorneys, judges, actors, directors, crisis management, C-level executives, sales professionals, teachers, parents, and health care professionals.


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Body Language Analysis №4678: Joe Tacopina — Trump’s Newest Attorney —Eyes Wide Open


Trump’s newest attorney, Joe Tacopina, recently made the rounds on multiple national news networks. The video above, from MSNBC, includes an interview with Ari Melber.

Unlike most of my analyses, this one is written largely, but not entirely, from a differential diagnostic/teaching point-of-view (using the Socratic method).

The descriptions are included below the corresponding images.

Trigger Warning: This post also includes references to and images of cult leaders responsible for deaths and mass-suicides — as well as a mass-murderer.


One particular nonverbal display Mr. Tacopina displayed prominently (although, crucially, not continuously) during this interview was that both of his upper eyelids were frequently opened widely.

Taken in isolation, when both eyelids are widely opened, it should bring to mind the following possible thought-emotions/causes:

  • Surprise
  • Emotional Shock/Emotional Processing
  • Rage (Extreme Anger)
  • Fear
  • Drugs (Stimulants)
  • Psychosis (some, but not all examples Psychoses)
  • Melodrama/Deliberate Hyperbole (i.e., Over-acting, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”)
  • Side-effect of Forehead Botox (rare to unusual)
  • Medical Conditions (i.e., Thyroid Eye Disease, Parinaud’s syndrome, Rare lesions of the midbrain, etc.)



Surprise is a very short-lived thought-emotion (literally lasting only a second or two, no more) while Emotional Processing/Emotional Shock lasts a much longer time. Can you differentiate these two nonverbal displays? (Christine Lagarde, above, is displaying true surprise)

Is the behavior Mr. Tacopina displaying indicative of Surprise? Why/why not? Is the behavior of Mr. Tacopina displaying Emotional Processing/Emotional Shock? Why/why not?

Stimulants can also be a possible cause of frequent bilateral widely opened eyelids. What are some other behaviors/findings you would typically see in a person who is using stimulants?

What about Melodrama/Hyperbolic behavior? Never forget: Acting is a form of lying, but with consent of the audience — while lying is acting without the audience’s consent.


Thus, most everyone over-acts (melodrama) whilst lying — but only a relatively small percentage will under-act (i.e., displaying a blunted affect relative to any given situation), (Nikki Haley, above, captured in a Hyperbolic moment).

This behavioral axiom is particularly telling during confrontations, testimonies, on-camera scenarios, etc. — when the accused/suspected person is in the limelight.

Therefore, when a person is behaving melodramatically, there’s a high to very high-likelihood that they’re also lying.


Bilateral and frequently elevated upper eyelids (as well as sometimes retracted lower eyelids) are also possible indications of fear. Is Tacopina exhibiting other signs of possible fear? If so, what? (Putin, above, is exhibiting Fear and Emotional Shock)

Are there other signs of possible rage (extreme anger) present? Intriguingly, although mild and moderate levels of anger are associated with partial closure of one’s eyelids, when anger escalates to high levels, the eyelids will open widely.


Mike Shanahan (circa 2010) amidst a moment of moderate anger crescendoing to rage.

While some individuals with Psychosis have bilateral widely opened eyelids, not all people with psychosis exhibit this finding.

*Trigger Warning for next three posts (18 through 20)*


Examples of Psychotic individuals exhibiting bilateral widely-opened eyelids include Marshall Applewhite (Heaven’s Gate Cult and associated mass suicide), …


…Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre), …


… and Charles Manson.

Occasionally (unusual, but not rare), people with moderate to heavy Botox treatments to their forehead will have the secondary side effect of eyelids that open much too wide than is their intention. Has Tacopina had relatively recent Botox injections in his forehead?


Callista Gingrich’s widely opened eyelids in this image are secondary to excessive Botox in her forehead.

Which of the above causes of bilateral eyelid retraction are also associated with diminished impulse control? (i.e., reaching across Ari Melber’s desk and repeatedly invading Melber’s personal space [intimate space] whilst trying to grab a document/notes out of his hand)? i.e., here during 7:06…,


… and here during 7:10 …


… and yet another invasion into Melber’s personal space (intimate space) during 9:44.

Thyroid eye disease can also result in bilateral eyelid retraction (as well as eyeballs [globes] which are pushed forward/”stick out” (aka proptosis or exophthalmos). The above image is a patient with both proptosis and extreme bilateral eyelid retraction.

Although medical testing would be required to rule this out, Tacopina does not have the appearance typical of Thyroid Eye Disease.

Also, we would expect eyelid retraction associated with Thyroid Eye Disease to be persistent, not intermittent — and behaviorally linked.

There are other (much rarer) causes of eyelid retraction, i.e., certain lesions of midbrain, such as Parinaud’s syndrome.


Parinaud’s syndrome can be ruled-out in Tacopina’s case, given his ability to also gaze upward. A key feature of Parinaud’s Syndrome is a paralysis of upwards gaze seen here in another interview given the same day.

Another notable behavior exhibited by Mr. Tacopina was his frequent use of ad hominem attacks against Michael Cohen.

At the very least, those who use disparaging verbal language are signaling that their arguments are weak (or non-existent). Ad hominem language is also a behavior of those who are perpetrating deception.

Moreover, Tacopina denies what was obviously and factually-proven lie committed by Donald Trump — saying it wasn’t a lie because it wasn’t done under oath (i.e., Perjury. Of course, the vast majority of lying is not done under-oath).

This Lying vs. Perjury distinction is Law School and Human Behavior 101 material — so fundamental and profound, that virtually every adult should have (along with Melber) caught it as they watched this interview.

Why is an experienced attorney, being interviewed on a major network, whose client is the former President of the United States, so blatantly misrepresenting basic law, psychology, and common sense?

Early in Ari Melber’s interview, Melber asks Tacopina, “Is Stormy Daniels a lawyer?” — Tacopina then asks the exact same question back to Melber, “Is Stormy Daniels a lawyer?”, Melber answers, “Yeah.”

Tacopina repeats a truncated version of the question again, “A lawyer?” — Melber re-asks, “Yeah. Is Stormy Daniels a Lawyer?”

Tacopina then says, “I thought you asking [sic] if she’s a liar. Is she a lawyer? I, I [stuttering and pausing] don’t think she’s a lawyer. I don’t think her lawyer was a lawyer [chuckling/feigned laughing]. But, ah, Stormy Daniels is not a lawyer.”


Note as Tacopina says, “liar” (during 0:28) “I thought you asking [sic] if she’s a liar”), Tacopina makes the following expression (please watch the video, as it’s impossible to capture the dynamics in a still image).

This is an example of a Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression (R2E2). A Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression is displayed by everyone from time-to-time.

However, those who display the R2E2 often or at crucial moments are trying to rationalize their behavior (and/or trying to gain your support in co-rationalizing). They’re also trying to build rapport with you and gain your empathy for their situation, opinion, or plan.

R2E2 can look a lot like disgust or contempt (Can you tell the difference?).

When you see an R2E2 displayed, always ask yourself, “Why is this person trying so hard to gain my rapport and empathy? Why do they want me as a co-rationalizer? Are they displaying this behavior too frequently?

Ryan Goodman (Chaired Professor NYU Law, Former Special Counsel Dept of Defense, Former Chaired Professor Harvard Law, etc.) tweeted yesterday, “Joe Tacopina has had an attorney-client relationship with Stormy Daniels.”

Here is the link to Ryan Goodman’s tweet 

…and here is Goodman’s screenshot of a transcript of crucial exchange between Tacopina and Don Lemon during an exchange on CNN in 2018:

The reason Tacopina asked, re-asked, and re-asked again the above-noted question, stuttered, chuckled/feigned laughter, and displayed an R2E2 expression is because all of the following (over-lapping reasons) are true:

A. The question caught him off guard

B. He was stalling for time

C. The question gave him significant anxiety

D. Tacopina had an attorney-client relationship with Stormy Daniels

E. Tacopina knows he cannot represent Trump in any case relating to Stormy Daniels

E. Tacopina knows that he’s not being forthright.

F. Moreover, Tacopina’s statement, “I thought you asking [sic] if she’s a liar (referring to Stormy Daniels) is a form of projection/Freudian Slip — for Tacopina committed a lie of omission by not telling Ari Melber, the audience, (and possibly Trump) that he, in fact by his own description, had an Attorney-client relationship with Ms. Daniels.


SUMMARY: Joe Tacopina’s eyelids were opened widely and frequently during this interview.

Whenever you see a person frequently displaying bilaterally, widely opened (upper) eyelids, it should bring to mind the following possible thought-emotions/causes:

• Surprise

• Emotional Shock/Emotional Processing

• Rage (Extreme Anger)

• Fear

• Drugs (Stimulants)

• Psychosis

• Melodrama/Deliberate Hyperbole (thus possible deception)

• Side-effect of Forehead Botox

• Medical Conditions

Joe Tacopina’s repeated ad hominem attacks demonstrate his belief that his client, Donald Trump, has a weak defense.

Joe Tacopina is claiming Trump did not lie because it’s not “material, under oath, in a proceeding”. Tacopina is ethically wrong — and factually and legally incorrect.

In this interview, Joe Tacopina exhibited significantly diminished impulse control. Why?

Joe Tacopina, by his own admission, had a previous attorney-client relationship with Stormy Daniels and thus cannot represent Donald Trump in any manner related to her.

Did Joe Tacopina ever reveal to Donald Trump that he had had an attorney-client relationship with Stormy Daniels? If so, did this reveal occur prior to or since Tacopina taking Trump on as his client?

Did Donald Trump knowingly retain, or has he continued to keep Joe Tacopina as his attorney, in an effort to gain knowledge, evidence, and privileged insight to what he otherwise would not have access?

All professionals interested in learning Body Language, please email ( or DM me — esp. attorneys, judges, actors, directors, those in crisis management, C-level executives, sales professionals, teachers, parents, and health care professionals.