Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3853: Tom Hiddleston, a School Play and Eddie Redmayne — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Although we often tend to think of them as ‘good liars’ — for we want them to suspend our disbelief — when they are not ‘in character’ (when they are ‘in their own skin’) actors are no better at fooling us than the average person.
In the first few seconds of the above video, Hiddleston develops anxiety when Graham Norton brings up the subject of the school play. Tom rapidly becomes embarrassed — evidenced by his blushing (easy to see despite the orange-red background) and a sincere smile — albeit a suppressed one.
In this image captured above Hiddleston displays relaxed forehead muscles, partially closed eyelids, lower eyelids with concave-up dynamic furrows, upward vectored and contracting cheek muscles. And yet none of his teeth are on display, for his lips are tighten while he tries not to laugh (or fully smile).
Hiddleston is also reaching for his nose.
The most common cause for touching of one’s face is anxiety (regardless of its degree or the specific cause) — and the vast majority of times (98+%), we are not even aware we’re doing so.
While the touching of the nose may be correlated with deception — this is not true for all hand-to-nose contact. When the nose is pulled or pinched between the thumb and forefinger (index finger) it too indicates anxiety — but more specifically it signals a ‘dialing up of alpha qualities’. The psyche recognizes the need for an up-regulation to stronger, more assertive qualities — and the action of this MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) helps us to do so. It’s analogous to a slap in the face or a splash of cold water causing one’s emotions to be ‘jump started’ and thus redirected.
The nose pinch/nose pull is but one many examples of alpha up-regulators. What others can you name?
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.