Politics

Body Language Expert Breaks Down Trump At NATO (Video)

| by Jonathan Constante

A body language expert examined President Donald Trump's behavior at the NATO gathering in Brussels and provided some insight as to what it reveals about his character (video below).

Trump was seen shoving the prime minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic to the side for a photo-op and once again exchanging an awkward handshake with French President Emmanuel Macron, the Daily Mail reported.

Patti Wood, a body language expert, told the Daily Mail there is a reason behind Trump's bizarre behavior, calling it "primal, angry peacocking."

In one video clip, which went viral on social media, the president is seen shoving Markovic out of his way to get to the front of the pack of world leaders. The leaders were reportedly gathering for a group photo.

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Wood said Trump appeared angry when he found himself in the back of the group.

"His eyes are narrow and the teeth show slightly as [Markovic] is pushed," Wood told the Daily Mail. "It wasn't a mistake, it wasn't 'I didn't really mean to,' it was motivated by anger, and that propelled him to the front of the room.

"Contextually, it was anger at being at the back of the photo op, but I think underneath that is the desire to be alpha, to be first, to be at the front."

When Trump reaches the front of the group, he appears to straighten his back and button up his jacket.

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"When he brings his shoulders up and back, elongates his neck and brings his head and chin up -- this is something I have labeled 'peacocking,'" Wood explained. "At that moment he's not really aware of the [world leaders] around him; it's like he's only aware of how he looks to his public, to the camera."

Wood said the "switch from anger at being in back to pride at being in front" only takes "milliseconds." She said it comes from the president's limbic brain, the part which is known for hosting emotions.

"Underneath that, nonverbally, that tells you that's what he needs," Wood said. "It's primally wired, to go there."

Wood also noted that Trump, unlike other world leaders, was not making eye contact or connecting with others around him.

"He wants to be alpha, he wants to be first, he wants to be in charge," she explained. "Connection or equality is not what we're seeing, not verbally."

Wood added that other leaders appeared surprised by Trump's behavior, but not angry. She said world leaders generally control their emotions.

"What's always interesting about his behavior is that we typically see world leaders that control their anger or displeasure -- they have a facade or a sense of decorum, that's what we're used to seeing," Wood said. "This is not what we're seeing with him, which is why he continues to surprise."

Of Trump's "tug-of-war handshake" with Macron, Wood said it could be indicative of a power struggle.

"It's important to remember that Trump didn't used to shake hands," Wood said. "He said he is a germophobe, but also handshakes are designed to show that you're equal, that 'You're safe and I'm safe,' and sometimes people in power see that as giving away some of their power.

"I think it's less to do with germs and more about keeping people off kilter and unequal.

"And this tug-of-war handshake does that, because people have an expectation of what this should be, and they don't expect it."

Trump appears to be moving on to his next stop, the G7 Summit in Italy.

"Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful," the president tweeted. "We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

"Getting ready to engage G7 leaders on many issues including economic growth, terrorism, and security."

Sources: Daily Mail, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2) / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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