Sunday, June 4, 2023

Body Language Analysis №4695: Ron DeSantis Unusual Repetitive Jaw Movement (Video, Photos, and Analyses)


This past week, Ron DeSantis embarked on his first out-of-state trip after formally announcing his candidacy for President — including stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

What follows is a partial Body language, Paralanguage, and Statement analysis of Ron DeSantis during an interview in New Hampshire on Thursday, 1 June 2023.

*The corresponding descriptions appear below each of the following images.*



Note that at the 0:03 mark, DeSantis hard-swallows. Although his Adam’s apple [thyroid cartilage] is less prominent than most men, we can clearly see it moving up and down.

Hard Swallowing is an extremely common anxiety tell. More specifically, it’s a sign of a dry mouth/throat — and thus, an indicator of potential anxiety. Deep swallowing stimulates the production of saliva.



A second Hard-Swallow is displayed during 0:18.

Note DeSantis begins this first answer with, “You know, it’s interesting …”. We all know the dictionary definition of “interesting”, yet here’s an extremely common context where its meaning is highly sarcastic, accusatory, and aggressive.



Note also, DeSantis is holding his hands (fingers intertwined) in front of his groin area. This behavior is a variation of what is known as a Fig Leaf (aka Genital Guarding).

Fig Leaf/Genital Guarding is a very common body language manifestation of emotional discomfort, low confidence, and feelings of intimidation. DeSantis displays this body language far more than most Governors or Presidential Candidates.



Fig Leaf/Genital Guarding is also seen during moments of respect and/or deference for a political, powerful, or religious superior (i.e., VP meeting with/standing next to their President [political or corporate] — or when meeting with the Pope).


Fig Leaf/Genital Guarding is also commonly displayed during some religious and other formal/respectful ceremonies (i.e. Weddings, Funerals, visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, etc.).


 At the beginning of the above video (0:04–0:18), DeSantis repeatedly moves his jaw back and forth (laterally). There’s also an occasional less prominent but noticeable forward motion component. Please watch the video, as this is impossible to see the dynamics in images.


…And during another video (same interview, immediately above), DeSantis exhibits this same Jaw movement behavior (0:00–0:14):



…And yet another clip (same interview, immediately above) of this identical Jaw movement is seen (0:03–0:09, 0:54–0:57) in this video segment.

Note each of these above three highlighted segments clearly show this jaw movement when DeSantis is not speaking (at rest). However, in order to accurately discern if this behavior also occurs whilst he’s speaking — a direct, forward facing camera view is required. 276

Said another way, this same noted jaw movement is easily camouflaged (and probably also present) when superimposed with other body language and, of course, together with normal speech — if the proper (forward) camera angle is not viewed.

*It’s profoundly important to note that the degree of repetitiveness of the particular jaw movement demonstrated in these examples is NOT routine body language behavior.*

With extremely high likelihood, the cause of this jaw movement is a secondary manifestation of a specific and discernible medical condition.

Tardive dyskinesia is a possible etiology of this jaw movement, but this would be a highly atypical presentation for TD — and thus it’s extremely unlikely the cause for this specific repetitive movement.

A less remote possible cause for this repetitive jaw movement is Tourette’s syndrome or another, similar tic/tic-like condition.

Tourette’s Syndrome and other Tic-like conditions can be exacerbated by anxiety, depression, tiredness, or even excitement.

(It’s crucial to rule out various medical causes of tic-associated conditions — such as Huntington’s Disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Wilson’s Disease, Hypothyroidism, Head Trauma, Poisons, Drugs, etc. [this is not a complete list])

Ron DeSantis has *no known* history of any of the above conditions.



Note DeSantis’ Elevated Central Forehead Contraction simultaneous with a partial/subtle Mouth Smile (i.e. during 0:36).

Everyone (but hopefully not too often) displays this facial expression *on occasion* during times of:

• Arrogance 
• Contempt
• Incredulity (specifically, Smug Incredulity)

§ Note each of these emotions may be manifested using other body language/facial expressions.

However, those who display this combination of expressions *frequently or during crucial moments* — have an extremely high correlation with Sociopathy or Psychopathy (collectively referred to as Antisocial Personality Disorder).



DeSantis displays this Elevated Central Forehead Contraction with a simultaneous Mouth Smile Expression multiple times during this interview — i.e., again during 1:20.

When DeSantis was asked (1:14), “Do you want Florida — or do you believe Florida is welcome [sic] to the LGBT community?” — He answered, “Have you ever been to places in South Florida?”

Note that DeSantis did NOT answer the question that was asked — instead, he spun his answer into yet another attack on Disney.

Moreover, notice his qualifier, “*South* Florida” — implying that *he thinks* perhaps that Miami is accepting of the LGBTQ community — but the rest of Florida is not.



During 0:54, we see an example of an Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression (R2E2).

Once again, everyone makes this expression from time-to-time, but hopefully not too often.

A Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression may have a split second duration (ergo, a microexpression) but it can last a good bit longer (several seconds).

The R2E2 is expression indicating that the person is trying to Rationalize something, trying to gain your Rapport, and/or trying to gain your Empathy (it’s crucial to note that it’s not an indication that they’re empathic — only that they’re trying to gain YOUR empathy.

Nonverbal novices will often confuse the R2E2 with that of disgust or contempt — however, the expression-scenarios have very different meanings (Do you know how these emotions and facial manifestations differ?).

When a person displays an R2E2 *frequently*, always ask yourself the following questions:

What was their primary emotion as they spoke?
• What, specifically, are they trying to convince me of?
• Why are they trying to Gain my Rapport?
• What are my gut feelings of their motive(s)?
• Do they truly believe what they, themselves, are saying?
• How do I feel about their overall level of sincerity? (What’s their Sincerity Quotient?)
• Are they feigning a weakness?
• If so, what is it?
• Are they trying to Gain my Empathy?
• Why?
• If so, what is it?
• Are they trying to Gain my Empathy?
• Why?

The vast majority of the time, those who make the R2E2 expression are trying to rationalize — to convince themselves of something — AND, more importantly, they’re also trying to recruit you/convince you to be a Co-Rationalizer via the manipulation of your Empathy.



Did you notice DeSantis’ facial sweating? Could he be ill? Possibly. The lights could be hot or the room temperature could be elevated — but probably not. This is most likely secondary to his anxiety or other causes (1:12).



At multiple times, DeSantis displayed an Index Finger (forefinger) Point (1:20–22, 1:25–27, and to a lesser degree at 0:20–0:21).

Index Finger Pointing is extremely negatively received across all cultures around the World. With rare exception, it’s a rapport destroyer.

SUMMARY: On multiple occasions during this interview, Governor Ron DeSantis displayed a highly repetitive Lateral Jaw Movement with a secondary and less pronounced forward vectoring (jaw jutting) component.

The degree of repetitiveness of this particular jaw movement demonstrated in these examples is NOT routine body language behavior. With extremely high likelihood, the cause of this jaw movement is a secondary manifestation of a specific and diagnosable medical condition.

More specifically (after other medical conditions are ruled out), with considerably high likelihood, Ron DeSantis’ repetitive jaw movement is most probably secondary to effect of drug(s) — specifically, a stimulant (i.e., cocaine), colloquially, known as ‘Cocaine Jaw’.

All those familiar with stimulant abuse who would recognize ‘Cocaine Jaw’ are encouraged to comment.

Interested in learning Body Language/Nonverbal Communication & Behavior Analysis in Group-Zoom sessions? Want to learn how to identify a Sociopath, a Psychopath, or other Manipulative Behaviors? We’ll be meeting the 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month (90 minutes/session for 1 year, 36 hours total). Please email me at for details.


This post and others accompanying it, serve as a reference source for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts.