Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3850: Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and Michael Flynn — Press Conference — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
On Wednesday President Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. The two heads-of-state also held a press conference, from which an entire semester’s worth of nonverbal behavior could be cited and studied. The following includes but one example (yet an intriguing one).
David Brody: Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister. Ah, Both of you have cra- criticized [stutters] the Iran nuclear deal and at times even called for its repeal. I’m wondering if you’re concerned at all, a, a, as it relates to not just the um, national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who is recently [stutters] no longer here, but also some of those events that have going on with communication of Russia — if that is gonna hamper this deal at all and whether or not it would keep Iran from becoming a nuclear state?…
During 10:56, as Mr. Brody says, “… here, but also …”, President Trump displays a facial expression that is brief — yet not quite as short as a microexpression.
Specifically, the left side of his mouth pulls up and laterally. This is a combined emotional expression of Contempt (approximately 60%) — amalgamated with some Regret (about 40%).
Contempt can be best described colloquially as a unilateral “snarl” with the corner of the mouth pulling primarily upward — along with a unilateral, mid-facial tension (e.g. the region between his left upper lip and his nose) as well as a component of unilateral (his left again) nostril flaring (dilation).
Regret can at first glance look similar to contempt — however in the case of regret, the corner of the mouth and mid-face vector primarily laterally (as opposed to mostly upward with contempt).
Summary: It’s not possible here to determine whether Donald Trump’s contempt is directed at the journalist (David Brody), Michael Flynn (somewhat doubtful, since he’s also feeling regret) or other personnel (or issues, such as communications with Russia) involved with Flynn’s situation.
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.