Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3774: Luke Bryan Hits/Slaps a Fan For Flipping Him Off — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Luke Bryan hit or slapped a man in the audience Wednesday night during a concert in Nashville. The event was The Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam — which is a benefit concert for military veterans. It appears that Bryan’s action was in retaliation for the man flipping Bryan the middle finger.
Bryan’s hand and arm positions before the altercation were (naturally) quite active — indicative of a high alpha configuration.
As he wash holding/blocking the man’s right hand with his left hand, Bryan simultaneously strikes or slaps the audience member (0:15).
Here the moment is viewed from another angle.
Immediately afterward, as he walks away, Bryan then pulls-in his left hand for a prolonged period. His right elbow is also not high alpha (not pointed out) — but also pulled in toward his torso. This is a profound beta body language switch — immediately following a hyper-alpha, high adrenaline state (hitting/slapping another person) as well as his preceding high-alpha state of dancing/performing on stage.
The immediate switch to a significantly beta body language (and thus also a beta emotional tone) tell us that Bryan thought he was wrong to hit or slap the man. He feels guilty. If, in that moment, he felt he was correct and justified in his actions, Luke Bryan would have maintained his high-alpha body language (swagger).
An interesting detail here is that as Bryan strikes or slaps the man — there is no “thunk” or sound of impact — as the microphone was in his right hand (his striking hand). Moreover Bryan’s singing voice is not diminished despite the fact that the microphone is momentarily away from his mouth (0:17). These observations are highly suggestive that Luke Bryan was lip syncing this song.
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.