Trump's One-Sided Apology

This weekend Trump apologised for his comments from the recently uncovered 2005 video, in which he brags to Billy Bush about his advances on, and treatment of, women:

"You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful [women] I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything."

During his apology, we see a one-sided shoulder shrug. This is a nonverbal cue, usually associated with lying, due to it's meaning. It signals that the speaker has no confidence in the words they speak. A full shoulder shrug (both shoulders) signals the opposite; confidence in spoken words.

Trump shrugs his left shoulder right at the end of his statement:

 "Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am." 

His words say one thing and his involuntary nonverbal behaviour says another. His nonverbal behaviour speaks the truth. Though it doesn't take a genius to realise that 'these words' do 'reflect who' Trump is (otherwise he wouldn't have spoken them), this shrug is a good example of how our nonverbal behaviour speaks louder than words. When you know how to read it, you're in a better position to understand what is really being communicated. This is because:

  • All of us have the ability to filter and adapt our words to conceal our true emotions, or convey the message we want the receiver to hear.
  • Some of us, those that understand nonverbal communication cues, have the ability to filter and adapt our body language, expressions and vocal delivery to convey the message we want to convey.
  • None of us have the ability to conceal involuntary nonverbal cues that signal how we really feel.

Look out for the one-sided shoulder shrug at 16 seconds into the video clip below. Get used to seeing this as you interact with people. It's very common to see and will improve your understanding of the true feelings of others. 

Sophie ZadehComment