-Body language expert analyses politicians-
Introducing Darren Stanton:
Darren Stanton is a former police officer in England with a degree in psychology, who used his expertise to uncover the truth when interviewing hundreds of suspects.
He later moved into media and TV as a consultant, being dubbed the “Human Lie Detector” appearing on the likes of BBC and ITV to analyse the body language of the biggest names. He has also analysed heightened political situations including UK General Election and US election debates.
Joe Biden likes people to know he’s more powerful than them
He is a very tactile man, he touches all the politicians on the arm and the hand on the shoulder quite a lot this is to build rapport and it also demonstrates lots of power gestures which signify ‘I am more powerful than you’ by placing his hand on the back of all the politicians or on their shoulder. We have seen him do with Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson in the past, it also makes sure they receive his attendance to be the most important.
One of the immediate things that are visible and has been noted by the media, is President Biden appears to be falling asleep during some of the speeches. After analysing the footage, it is clear he seems to be having some microsleeps, you may have had them when you have been in a long seminar and when you are struggling to maintain your attention and feel sleepy.
Whether he is not getting sufficient sleep at night or whether he’s just a man who needs a power nap, his microsleeps did not go unnoticed as one of his aids comes over and appears to brief him but from a non-verbal perspective, it just appeared as though he let the President know he was falling asleep.
He adopted a strange posture which is usually reserved for people who are being dismissive or defensive by crossing his arms tightly. I think this was more to do with looking like he was fully attentive listening to the screeches but still allowed him to close his eyes.
One of his aids comes over and appears to be briefing President Biden on something but it is clear from the body language that he has seen the president close eyes and just come over to alert him
I think generally President Biden is a man that needs a lot of propping up by aids and he appears to lack the gravitas of knowing his material verbatim to the extent where he can speak without the support of continually looking at his notes, I think this can come over with a lack of sincerity.
Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson
Angela Merkel shows little respect for Boris Johnson
Angela Merkel touches elbows with Boris then as he goes on for the fist bump, she laughably leaves him in mid air. Though seemingly a joke, what the German Chancellor is really saying here is, ‘I have little or no respect for you’.
She makes a steeple gesture with her hands almost immediately afterwards. Another power move to assert her dominance in the relationship and in this case, politically.
This reinforces the fact that Merkel, like Macron, thinks very little of the UK Prime Minister. For Merkel, this is almost saying, ‘I accept I am leaving office shortly and I don’t really care what you think. I’m going to be authentic now’.
We used to see President Trump do something similar during his tenure, in his case a reverse steeple gesture – which is when the hands make the steeple and then are placed in an upside down position. Another example of how politicians display power and dominance visually.
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Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron
Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron’s body language suggest they don’t like each other
From the outset, it’s very clear to me that Macron is not a fan of Boris Johnson and does not have much of a rapport for his counterpart based on his body language.
As he approaches the Prime Minister, look at his face. His smile is not genuine, his whole face is not engaged and we do not see crows feet – the three lines at the side of the eyes you have when you display genuine happiness. This smile was just for show.
The feeling is reciprocated by Boris too though, who turns his body away from Macron to face the front and then holds his posture to the side towards the Secretary General. This is a classic defensive sign.
The hesitant fist bump was also something for the cameras and neither appeared to want to fully engage in welcoming one another. Notice also how Boris waits for him, a sign of power and status, rather than moving towards Macron. This is a signal that Boris may think he is better or in a stronger position than the French President.
You can see Macron has much more respect for the Secretary General than Boris Johnson. He raises his eyebrows and his eyes are fully engaged for the duration of their exchange, much longer than with Boris. Macron then equally turns his body away from Boris showing his back to him – something quite representative of possibly the way he feels about the Prime Minister. This can sometimes be taken even as a sign of hatred – not even wanting to make eye contact with someone or acknowledge them in the surroundings.
Photos of the two of them in the exchange reveal more about their rapport. Neither appear to be mirroring one another, a sign that two people get along well. Macron’s arms are tucked at one point, creating an unconscious force field. His eyes are facing down, a strong sign of anger and irritability. Whatever the two are exchanging in words, Macron does not agree.