Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3777: Donald Trump, Ben Carson — and Mike Pence’s Poor Poker Face — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Most politicians believe they have good poker faces, yet few do — and VP Elect Mike Pence’s is particularly poor. This short video segment from earlier today contains many tells — two of which are highlighted here.
Beginning at 0:03, the future Vice President says, “Ah, we’re excited ta, we’re excited to have Dr. Carson- ah, as our ah, intended nominee — of, for ah, Housing and Urban Development. We’re looking forward to another very productive week — in the transition and setting a historic pace and, ah — ah, I’ll be spending some time in New York this week — and be spending some time in, ah, here in the Trump Tower …”
Note during 0:11–0:12, Governor Pence lifts his briefcase with his middle, ring and little finger of his left hand — while his thumb and forefinger (index finger) adjusts his jacket in a pseudo-buttoning maneuver as he says, “… We’re looking forward to another …”.
This false buttoning/jacket adjustment is a strong signal of anxiety — yet we can slice this nonverbal MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) even thinner. The movement (which, of course, was never a legit attempt to button his jacket) of both his arm and brief case momentarily covering his torso, is a classic blocking maneuver. Pence feels emotionally uncomfortable with respect to the cabinet choices and/or cabinet position selection process — signaling a strong contrast with his own words. Anytime there is disparity between verbal and the nonverbal messages — it’s the nonverbal signals which always tell true feelings.
A second later, as he says, “…. very …. “, Mike Pence’s eyebrows and forehead elevate while his eyelids simultaneously close in an extended blink. This is an unnatural movement — as these closely juxtaposed tissues are pulling in opposite directions. Such an eyelid/eyebrow incongruity in is a strong signal of insincerity.
Summary: Vice President Elect Mike Pence feels significant anxiety with the cabinet member selection process and/or some of the specific people picked.
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.