Clearly Akshay Kumar was not very relaxed in his appearance with his wife Twinkle Khanna on the sets of Koffee with Karan season 5 last week. We saw a lot of forced smiles, tensed lips, etc. But in this particular picture what we see is an interesting display of contradictory signals. Here are the list of each of these:
- He is smiling, which signals he is relaxed
- He is establishing direct eye contact towards her, which signals he is not shy or less confident
- He is holding her hand, where the touch is being used to signal trust in each other
- His torso is pointing away from her, which we do when we are not very comfortable in the company of someone and thus we display ventral blading or not showing our entire torso to them
- His legs are crossed away from her, which means he is not fully involved in the interaction
During times like these, when someone displays contradictory signals, which signals should you trust, the comfort ones or the discomfort ones?
We would want to go with the discomfort signals displayed by the body, because our limbic brain or the primitive brain is instinctively hardwired to react to situations which cause us any psychological discomfort. Simply put, when we face threat or uneasiness of any kind, we react to show our discomfort before even realising it. So reading the above picture in context, Akshay is trying, in the moment, to show his support for his spouse by holding her hand, and by eye contact showing that he does not feel under confident with what she just said. But his mind is still struggling to open up to the show, the host, or the question answer environment. Ideally, he would have uncrossed his legs, faced her, and then held her hand if the gesture was genuine.
It is never easy to guess why someone feels discomforted, but we do know from Akshay’s body language that he is not at ease.
Image courtesy: Mid-day