Gavin Newsom’s Smile and Ron DeSantis’ Chin Tell You Everything You Need to Know newsbhunt


It All Started With a Smile

I’ve written in the past that DeSantis is known for an awkward smile that makes him appear uncomfortable — which makes viewers uncomfortable as well. That trend continued at the opening of the debate tonight. He seems incapable of what is called a Duchenne smile, where the corners of the mouth, or commissures, pull toward the eyes, creating crows’ feet. The visual has primacy over the vocal when it comes to trustworthiness, and DeSantis’ stiff smile undermines his authenticity.

Newsom’s pearly whites were the perfect contrast. Throughout the night, when DeSantis went on the attack, Newsom blunted his blows with that charming smile. He has a broad, genuine smile — a true Duchenne smile, which involves the zygomaticus major muscle pulling toward the orbicularis oculi. That smile is perceived as more genuine, authentic and therefore trustworthy at a subconscious level.

DeSantis Had a Noticeable Tell: His Chin

When DeSantis disagreed with a point, he shifted his lower mandible side to side. His chin acted as a barometer of what bothered him. You could see this when Newsom challenged him on the murder rate in Florida, calling him a “hypocrite.” When he shifts his jaw like that, it’s clear that he’s feeling stressed. The repetitive shifting of the chin indirectly stimulates the masseteric nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerve that innervates the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw, which in turn sends signals to the brain that ameliorate stress. It’s one reason people chew gum more quickly when they are stressed. That repetitive stimulation of the TMJ helps people calm down.

Newsom’s Eyes Gave Him Away

When something DeSantis or Hannity said troubled Newsom, his eyelids fluttered. This behavior is commonly seen when someone is struggling with something they’ve heard, or when they are having difficulty responding to something. This was apparent when Hannity pressed Newsom about what ages certain explicit books were appropriate for. Newsom countered that books with sexual content weren’t part of curriculum for early grades, but his fluttering eyelids showed that the line of questioning shook him.

DeSantis Gestured Like a Fighter

Compared to previous debates, DeSantis looked more comfortable, even if at times some of his gestures (like his chin or his smile) betrayed him. He went on the offensive with assertive hand and arm gestures, using his hands like exclamation points or batons, castigating Newsom and pointing directly at him. These more confident, forceful gestures made him appear much more like a leader and contender than his previous debate style with his fellow conservatives.

Newsom Faced His Foe — Directly

I watched with the sound off to focus in on the nonverbal communication, and over the course of the night, a notable trend emerged: Both governors addressed the camera, but when Newsom criticized DeSantis, he turned toward him — a more intense, confident, authoritative attack posture. DeSantis, on the other hand, tended to more often face the moderator. Over time, it gave the impression that Newsom was a more direct and aggressive debater. The human brain at a subconscious level keeps a tally as to who looks more like a leader; therefore, repetitive engagements where DeSantis failed to stare directly at his adversary worked against him.

DeSantis Can Play Nice — But He Wrung His Hands

Toward the end of the debate, Hannity asked DeSantis about his favorite part of the state of California. DeSantis called its coastline “tremendous,” but as he said nice things about the state — which he spent the whole debate criticizing — his hands gave away his discomfort. Rather than the wide hand gestures he made earlier in the debate, he wrung his hands repeatedly in a very tight clasp; his words were nice, but physically, he was struggling.

And that is the beauty of body language: It reveals what the lips conceal. When the nonverbals don’t agree with the verbals, the message loses heft.


#Gavin #Newsoms #Smile #Ron #DeSantis #Chin

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours