Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3778: Steve Harvey Recounts His Miss Universe Mistake — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Through a series of mishaps while emceeing last year’s Miss Universe Pageant, Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia (Ariadna Gutierrez) as the winner. Minutes later Harvey corrected his mistake and awarded it to its true recipient, Miss Philippines (Pia Wurtzbach).
Despite having told his story hundreds of times (having occurred in December of 2015), Monday night while recounting his story once again on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, the comedian displayed multiple nonverbal tells indicative of anxiety. One cluster in particular is dissected here.
Beginning at 2:14, as Harvey says “… I don’t know what the hell I was thinkin’ about man. I was — it was the most gut-wrenching walk — I’ve ever had in my life — and I went back out there …”, Mr. Harvey squeezes his index finger, middle finger and ring finger of his left hand with his right hand. He also moves his legs together and apart several times (most notable between 2:16–2:18). This body language cluster is reminiscent to many of a young boy who has to use the bathroom. It indicates a high level of anxiety — and moreover, the fact that Harvey displays this nonverbal signal a year later tells us that Steve Harvey’s overall empathy level (his “Empathy Quotient”) is significantly higher than most.
Harvey was, to a degree, emotionally re-living the Miss Universe Oops moment as he told his story. This phenomenon is amplified for some people after they’ve experienced much more difficult life event(s) resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — which in part manifests in an unfortunate re-living and thus emotionally re-experiencing of the inciting event(s) in type of repeating loop.
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.