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Dr. G. "Jack" Brown
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In the everyday world, we often see more than one emotion displayed and a great example seen here. Herta Mueller, a Romanian-born German writer and Nobel Literature Prize winner shows both fear and anxiety in this photo. Of course, these two emotions often overlap. Ms. Mueller's upper eyelids are open slightly more than normal - consistent with fear in this context. Her classic inner lip roll indicates anxiety. Herta was speaking at a news conference. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2010 at Body Language Success
Covering one's mouth may mean several different things depending on the context. Can you name any of them? Covering the mouth is common when one is surprised. It is also common in embarrassment and fear. When a person covers their mouth, they may have just lied or believed what they just heard may be a lie. When a person covers their mouth, they usually don't want to talk at that moment. It is very important to correlate one body language signal with others seen at the same time, just prior or immediately afterwards. You want to see three or more... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2010 at Body Language Success
Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino from Jersey Shore is displaying classic contempt. I hope this surprises no one. The emotion of contempt is the only unilateral universal facial expression. It is often confused with a slight smile. Contempt is always directed at another person or group of people. Contempt is such a strong emotion, that the recipient of contempt in the context of marriage, will suffer a significantly increased number and severity of illnesses for a period of four years (probably longer, but this was the duration of the study). The display of contempt will also predict marriage failure with an... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2010 at Body Language Success
Here we see three professional athletes. Sasha Christian (lady on left) and Julien Dupont (man in the middle) listen to Mark Webber (far right). They're all great at what they do. Sasha's a champion wake boarder, Julien is a freestyle (bicycle) rider and Mark drives Formula One cars. What I find interesting here is that Julien is out of his element and he's a bit defensive. Mark is also attracted to Sasha (She's also attracted to him). Mark and Sasha bodies are facing each other, while no one is facing Julien. Julien's arms are crossed in a classic defensive context.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2010 at Body Language Success
I think Clive Owen is a fantastic actor - but here he is not acting. I enjoy seeing actors interviewed, because this is a great demonstration of what a powerful tool body language really is. Despite being a skilled and professional actor, the real emotions will always leak through. The behind the ear scratch is very consistent with anxiety, and in particular anxiety associated with a lie. Of course, you can never know what a person said when you weren't present, and only one signal is not enough to insure accuracy, but this particular sign is one of the highest... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2010 at Body Language Success
This particular facial signature is a less-confident cousin of lip pursing. It is highly consistent with Hesitancy and a person who is Actively Weighing their Options. This is Japan's Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda during a recent press conference. Like many countries, Japan is wrestling with high dept and a weak economy. Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2010 at Body Language Success
Here we see his assistants "MIrror" Gerard Hollier's posture. He's their new boss and it's Houllier's first match as manager for Aston Villa. We tend to strongly mirror those we admire. It is also a fundamental rapport-building tool used by the perceptive to gain another's favor or friendship. Care should be taken not to mirror others too exactly or too close in time, lest it backfire. Subtlety is paramount. In addition, it would be wise to avoid mirroring in many subordinate-superior relationships, for in some contexts it will be taken as an affront by the superior. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at Body Language Success
Spacial requirements are a very interesting phenomenon and integral to understanding body language. Here we see former President Clinton and former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Blair has invaded Mr. Clinton's "Intimate Zone" (6 to 18 inches) which is normally reserved for spouses, parents, children, close friends, lovers and pets. Even though Mr. Blair and Mr. Clinton are friends, when a person enters your intimate zone, there is a strong tendency to not look directly at the other person - which is what we see demonstrated here. The exceptions for this are extreme intimacy (parent-child or lover-lover) or in situations... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at Body Language Success
Actor Juliette Lewis displays a universal sign of Worry and Concern at the Toronto International Film Festival. This is a great example of a learned actor, like any other accomplished person, while able to suppress her facial expression of an emotion - it "leaks" out in her hands. Be very aware of this and other tells in all negotiations, business and in your personal life. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at Body Language Success
This is Charles Rondeau, a fund-raiser for Quebec's Liberal Party, just prior to testifying on an inquiry into the appointment procedure for judgeship in Quebec City. The expression we see here is the "Puffer Fish". It is seen almost exclusively just after, or more commonly, just prior to a stressful event. I've seen great examples of this prior to sporting events, in the courtroom, before big exams and after difficult surgeries. Always remember, a person's words will not give the tells that the nonverbal language will. If you see the Puffer Fish - you can be sure that a major... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at Body Language Success
This is Sergie Krikalev. He is a Russian Cosmonaut and he has spent more time in outer space (803 days) than any other person thus far. He's also head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. He is said to be the last citizen of the U.S.S.R. because he was on the Mir Space Station in 1991-92, when the Soviet Union collapsed. He's the veteran of six space flights and he' also a fighter pilot. Needless to say Sergie Krikalev is an extremely accomplished guy. He's also an open-minded man. His body posture in this picture demonstrates that well. He's leaning... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at Body Language Success
The "Cheek Scratch with an Open Mouth" is a very common expression of disagreement-related anxiety. It is especially common among men. Here we see Deputy Moscow Mayor Pyotr Biryukov also elevating both his eye brows and all of his forehead muscles. In this context, these additional signals indicate apprehensiveness-doubt. When you see someone display this gesture cluster (often displayed very briefly), they are in disagreement with what they are seeing or hearing. They believe a different course of action should be taken, and they have a specific plan in mind. Be aware that you may be blind-sided by their plan,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at Body Language Success
The reason men find women more attractive in high heels has its basis in biology. High heels make the legs look more tone, which gives the illusion of better health and more fertility. Men don't realize it, and women may rarely think about it, but the human male is attracted to females who show signs of increased fertility. Along these lines, high heels also accentuate the arch in the lower back, they contract the gluteus muscles which emphasize the derrière, they tilt the pelvis forward, and lengthen the legs. All these characteristics are consistent with increase fertility - thus increased... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at Body Language Success
When someone tells a lie, a certain set of body language signs known as "manipulators" increase compared to what is normal (baseline) behavior for that person. One of the most common signals is eye rubbing. When a person with glasses rubs one eye, this is particularly consistent with lie-associated anxiety. The more signals you see which may indicate lying in a short period of time, the more confidence you should have that a lie has taken place. One sign does not a lie make - you should see three or more to have a high degree of deception detection confidence.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2010 at Body Language Success
This is a great example of a "Bitter Smile". Here, Michael Schumacher is seen at a press conference prior to a Grand Prix in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. Believe it or not, 99.5 % of people think they are smiling - or at least think they are projecting a neutral face - when they wear this expression. It is thus a great example of another phenomenon - just how rarely people are aware of how they project to others. Those who study and practice body language become masters at this facial & body "situational awareness". Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2010 at Body Language Success
Milla Jovovich is expressing an "I just remembered" gesture along with fairly classic surprise here (her eyes were probably opened wider a second before this photo was taken). These hand positions are also a sign you will see when people are trying to remember - although, unlike Milla's face, their facial expression will be more consistent with deep thought. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2010 at Body Language Success
Here you see a great faked smile by a great actor. We cannot all smile with true enjoyment smiles all the time. Good "Social Smiles" are part of real world. I think Ed Harris is a fantastic actor, but here he falls short (at a press conference). This is what is known as a false-surprise smile. In a true, felt smile, the forehead muscles are relaxed - which is not the case here. Ed's forehead is contracted with furrows across the entire width and nearly from top to bottom. His eye brows are significantly raised and his upper eyelids are... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2010 at Body Language Success
Carl Levin has served as Senator from Michigan for over 30 years. Here he is speaking at a press conference regarding the Small Business Lending Bill. His image of looking over his glasses may be part of his persona, but this is universally received negatively by all audiences - even audiences of one. People feel as if they are being judged, intimidated and patronized. It will set the audience in a negative mind-set before anything is even said. These negative feelings will grow as the presentation/discussion progresses. I don't for a minute believe, that Mr. Levin wants to evoke these... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2010 at Body Language Success
I first heard the term "Thousand Yard Stare" speaking with soldiers and veterans recounting battle and the immense stress associated with war. Thus, one of the emotions this expression is indicative of is depression-associated anxiety. It can certainly be seen with (although not exclusive to and not a requirement in the diagnosis of), those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In such cases, the lids are often open a bit wider than normal - consistent with fear. Ironically to some, this expression can also be seen in boredom. The third emotional possibility of the Thousand Yard Stare, which I believe... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2010 at Body Language Success
Sebastien Buemi displays a nearly classic surprise emotional expression here. If his mouth had been opened wider in a roughly circular shape, it would have been perfect. True surprise is the shortest of all emotional expression, so classic pictures of full-blown surprise expressions are relatively difficult to find. Perhaps, if this photo was taken a quarter second earlier or later we would have seen such an example here. Notice how Mr. Buemi's eyelids are extremely wide open. I call these eyes "white and wide". Normally, the upper eyelid covers three to four millimeters of the iris (colored part of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2010 at Body Language Success
This is a great example of Eye Blocking. Here, Kazuo Inamori, the Chairman of Japan Airlines Corporation, is responding to a reporter's question nonverbally before he answers verbally. When a person doesn't like what he sees or hears, the eyes will often close. Sometimes this will take the form of a prolonged blink or blinks. This in not consciously controlled. It is innate to all human beings. Even people who are born blind will do so. Japan Airlines Corp. is down-sizing and like many companies, experiencing dept problems. Mr. Inamori doesn't like the question, so his eyes close in attempt... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2010 at Body Language Success
Here you see Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Washington Redskins, shaking Wade Phillips hand. The Redskins had just defeated the Cowboys, 13-7. Notice how Shanahan also pats Phillips on the shoulder/back. It's very intriguing how often the winning coach makes this additional gesture. Many consider this additional touch mildly patronizing. In the business world, the boss often does this to his employees. It's as if, just for the moment - the winning coach takes the role of the boss, while the losing coach plays the subordinate. If you're a business owner or even a mid-level manager, this is a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2010 at Body Language Success
Here is a great example of a sincere smile. Notice how Isabelle Giordano's upper and lower eye lids are partially closed. This is the most essential component of true, felt happiness/joy. So often we concentrate on just the mouth, both when we make a smile and when we measure the sincerity of others. Crow's feet may appear or be accentuated (if pre-existing / age-related) as well, but the partial eye closure is the key to a true smile. Notice also how Isabelle's mouth only shows her upper teeth. The "squared-off" false smile which people will make, pulls their mouths more... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at Body Language Success
Here sits Mr. Chase Carey. He is President, C.O.O. and Deputy Chairman of News Corporation. Notice how his hands are clasped and his thumbs are pointing up. The thumbs up component seen here, indicates he is confident and things are going well. If you are negotiating or doing business with someone who also displays this posture - but then you see their thumbs "retreat" into the hands, something negative (at least to them) was just been spoken. Even if their words are positive and confident, if their thumbs just went down, you can be sure they're worried or displeased at... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at Body Language Success
Sporting events are a great place to see emotion and body language. Whether in the crowd, the players or the coaches - we routinely see a wide variety of emotion in a short period of time. Here we see Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, with his lower Jaw protruding in the 2010 season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. This is known as a Jaw Jut. It is a sure sign of moderate to severe anger. It also is a signal that the person is not aware of the level of their anger. More importantly, when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at Body Language Success