Thursday, April 6, 2023

Body Language Analysis No. 4683: Donald Trump's First Arraignment, Part II — Entering the Courtroom — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)


Yesterday, Donald Trump was arrested and arraigned in Manhattan. He pleaded “not guilty” to all 34 Felony charges. What follows is a body language analysis of Trump just prior to his entrance into the courtroom.

The corresponding descriptions appear below each of the following images.

This is the first view of Trump’s face in an outer hallway, just prior to walking through a door — passing into an inner hallway in the Courtroom (0:08).

This is a screen-captured image taken from a video from a distance, so the resolution is not optimal — however, we can discern significant detail.

Trump’s mandible (jaw) is retracted significantly (pulled backward). The corners of his mouth are also vectored backward and down. These are configurations highly indicative of fear.

Note that Trump is also simultaneously displaying an Inward Lip Roll. An Inward Lip Roll is an outward manifestation of the psyche’s attempt to quiet one’s facial expression as well as an attempt to prevent the crescendo of strong emotions.

There is extreme tension in the tissue above Trump’s upper lip and below his nose (‘mustache region’) — simultaneous with flaring of Trump’s nostrils. These facial dynamics are highly consistent with fear.

Trump’s upper eyelids, while not extremely widely opened — are definitely opened wider than baseline (his normal) — and is best seen in this low resolution image on Trump’s left eye (our right).

This evanescent eyelid dynamic is somewhat diminished on his right (our left) due to Trump’s (longstanding) mild-to-moderate age-related ptosis (droopy eyelid) of his right upper eyelid.

Now look at his eyebrows. Pay specific attention to the medial (inner) eyebrows. Note how the contour of his eyebrows slope upward as they approach the area above the bridge of his nose (again, more noticeable on Trump’s left, our right).

This upward sloping of the inner (medial) eyebrows indicates a simultaneous contraction and elevation of the central forehead muscles. This finding, taken in concert with his other, above mentioned facial dynamics, is highly indicative of fear.

Less than a second later (still at 0:08), Trump looks down and to his right and exhales through a constricted, loosely-pursed, mouth opening.

This dynamic exhalation through a purse-string-like mouth opening is sometimes called a ‘Puffer Fish’. Often (but not always) this is accompanied by the cheeks temporarily convex-outward billowing during exhalation.

The Puffer Fish dynamic is a subconscious/edge-of-consciousness display seen just prior to (or immediately following) a particularly emotionally and/or physically taxing event — and will slow down the heart rate, slow the respiration, and lower blood pressure.

Notice Trump’s eyelids are closed at this moment. This Puffer Fish Exhalation together with temporary closed eyelids are commonly seen together as one enters a place/a moment of anxiety, anticipated conflict, a difficult conversation, etc.

This Puffer Fish + Temporary Eyelid Closure combination can be thought of as “putting on one’s game face” — and this occurs just as Trump passes through the Doorway where he knows the cameras are filming.

A second later, Trump’s mouth reconfigures into a Forward Lip Purse. A Forward Lip Purse signals a partially or fully undisclosed disagreement — or a partial or fully clandestine plan — a classic and profoundly crucial body language signal indicating a Lie of Omission.

Trump continues to enter this inner courtroom hallway — while the officer immediately in front of him lets go of the door.

Trump is unaccustomed to opening doors himself.

As this is occurring, Trump displays a Prolonged Lateral Jaw Thrust. Coupled with the other nonverbal signals which accompany this behavior, it signals intense disagreement, suppressed anger (often suppressed rage), and contempt.

(Note: A Prolonged Lateral Jaw Trust [here, only about 2 seconds in duration] is to be differentiated from other lateral movements of the mandible [jaw] which are accompanied by other facial components and is typically lasts less than 0.5 seconds or shorter)

Here, during 0:12, Trump is now in the inner hallway. His eyes are narrowed (eyelids partially closed) with tension in his lower eyelids. He looks toward the courtroom (and the man who didn’t hold the door open). His lips narrow. This is a cluster of anger.

As Donald Trump hears a reporter ask, “President Trump — will you come speak to us? President Trump?”, his face begins to transition from anger to fear.

As he turns to enter the courtroom, Trump then closes his eyelids — in an attempt to compose himself.

SUMMARY: Donald Trump displayed variable emotions on his way into the courtroom for his first arraignment yesterday including fear, anxiety, withheld information (clandestine plan/lie of omission), intense disagreement, intense anger/rage, and contempt…

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