By July 13, 2016

Baseline behavior – why it matters

What does the body language of the two leaders say to you in the following picture?

clinton sanders together compressed lips

Just yesterday, Bernie Sanders publicly announced his full support for Hillary Clinton in the run up to the presidential elections in the U.S. The above picture seems to suggest that the two leaders are mirroring each other’s hand gestures, standing close enough to each other to suggest they share comfort with each other, but what about facial expressions? Hillary looks elated, as she should be. But Sanders seems to be a bit reserved. Compressed lips generally suggest that the individual showing this is displaying distancing behavior, wanting to distance himself from the moment. So is that what this picture suggests, that Sanders does not have his heart into what he says?

Here, it is important to go back to his baseline behavior and study it before coming to any conclusions. Here he is, in a similar public facing scenario, that day also alongside Hillary, but the context was slightly different. The two were debating against each other, rather than supporting each other.

sanders compressed lips baseline behavior

In fact, compressed lips is a part of Sanders’ baseline behavior. He displays this expression habitually whenever he speaks. So then, we would want to assume that his picture above with Hillary cannot be used to conclude anything at all.

Not so. If you pay attention to the frequency of this lips compressing behavior, it speaks volumes to us. Sanders displays it with less frequency when he is against Hillary, than when he is standing next to her. That says a lot to a body language observant. If in the footage of yesterday’s speech, he has increased the frequency of his expression, it tells me he is indeed nervous and is indeed trying to comfort himself.

Observing body language is not as simple as looking at a photograph and drawing conclusions. Paying attention to details matters. Have you had your body language analyzed by us? Call us today!

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Photos courtsey: Youtube

Posted in: How To's

About the Author:

Khyati Bhatt has trained for mastery in Nonverbal Communication with retired FBI special agent Joe Navarro. She founded Simply Body Talk in 2013 to help individuals and corporates fine tune their nonverbal behavior and nonverbal communication. Khyati believes in taking a scientific approach to body language. Her experience as a wealth manager, currency trader, and family entrepreneur has helped sharpen her nonverbal instincts. She is a fervent reader and has explored the work of many psychologists and anthropologists in her field of work.

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