Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3875: Children Interrupt Dad During BBC News interview — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Professor Robert Kelly was in the midst of an interview with the BBC regarding the court-ordered removal of the South Korean President (Park Geun-hye) on Friday, when his small child waltzed into the room. Kelly appeared to have detected this ‘unauthorized entrance’ via the reflection off of his screen — then the BBC anchor removed any doubt.
As Professor Kelly was trying to shoo one child away (0:08), a baby then rolled into the room. Kelly’s horizontal tightening and thinning of his lips along with tension in his “mustache area” and nostril flaring are all highly consistent with anger (His right eyebrow was elevated [a common signal of incredulity and critical evaluation] prior to the child entering).
A few seconds later he morphs into, what is nearly a fully sincere smile (Duchenne Smile) — but not quite (0:13).
After the second child followed by a frantic woman entering the room (0:20), Mr. Kelly slips back into anger — again with mid-facial tension, horizontal thinning of lips and flaring of his nostrils. In this context, his prolonged eyelid closure is a signal of emotional processing (his intellect knows what is happening, but his emotions are trying to catch up). Notice his right eyelid is almost now equal in height to his left.
During 0:24, he momentarily breaks into a sincere smile-laughter. This is not the most optimal teaching image — for his head is tilting downward (an angle we’re not accustomed to viewing). We can see Kelly’s relaxed forehead, partially closed eyelids, momentary concave-up furrows in his lower eyelids and upward vectored cheek muscles. In addition, a bit of his lower teeth are visible due to his head tilt in — but also because of some intermixed laughter (sincere laughter exposes the lower teeth, whereas sincere smiling [with the exception of more obtuse angles of viewing] do not).
From a body language perspective, this last image (captured during 0:34) is the most interesting — for there are elements of both anger — as well as that of a suppressed, sincere smile (joy-happiness). Often we do feel two (or more) emotions at once — and this is one of the more entertaining examples of that phenomenon.
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.