Baseline Behavior – Why It Matters
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.
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