Body Language Analysis №4030: Charlottesville, Empathy, and One Expression Donald Trump Should Have Displayed — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
There is one crucial expression Donald Trump never displayed during any of his statements regarding the recent violence and tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.
It’s certainly an expression he should have made — for it’s indicative of the emotions of sadness, grief — and the empathy one feels for other peoples’ suffering. This is true regardless of whether their suffering is physical, emotional, or both.
Look at the image below. On the evening of 28 January 1986, Ronald Reagan gave a speech regarding the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (the entire speech is included at the bottom of this article). Note the muscles of his central forehead are contracted and vectored upward (an elevated CFC). Concomitantly, his inner (medial) eyebrows are also elevated — while simultaneously, his outer (lateral) eyebrows are lowered. The corners of his mouth are also down-turned.
Regardless of your political affiliation, if you were watching President Reagan’s speech that day, you had no doubt Ronald Reagan was truly feeling grief for the families and loved-ones of those seven Astronauts. It’s also not surprising (to those with modest or high empathy quotients) that just by looking at a picture or video of another person who is sad, suffering, or grieving (without even knowing any specifics) — will engender those same emotions in the viewer.
Grieving is absolutely necessary for healing. When a leader grieves, they give both a momentary and historical personification for our collective grieving. And it’s in these moments when our grief is shared that perhaps we’re most human.
This post and the associated website serve as reference sources for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed here 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 — not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.