The Eyes Have It

Post Four In A Six-Month Series On People Reading

I’ll save you the typical rundown of clichés about the meaning of the eyes, and instead jump into some simple, to-the-point tells that can be found in and around the eyes.

The Pupils

Dilated pupils mean one of two things: pleasure or stress.

Pleasure as in something the subject enjoys looking at (experiments have shown women’s pupils dilate the most when looking at pictures of a mother and child) such as someone they hold affection for, an object they admire such as a painting or something of value. Pretty much strong positive emotions = dilated pupils and an easily read facial expression. Your pupils will also dilate when you’re on drugs and experiencing a ‘good trip’.

Stress can mean hatred towards someone, or simply stress from a situation. It’s obviously very easy to distinguish why someone’s pupils are dilated. You’ll never find yourself looking at someone with dilated pupils and thinking, “Hm, I can’t tell if they like me or want to strangle me…”

Though someone may have a false smile and dilated pupils, in which case figuring out if the smile is fake will not be challenge, as I will show you below:

It’s All In The Orbits

In medicine and body language alike, the area around the eye is referred to as the orbit, or, if you’re referring to both eyes, the orbits. The muscle that controls facial expressions of emotion around the eye is called the orbicularis oculi (I’ve heard it pronounced every which way, but the most common is simply ‘or-bick-you-lare-is oke-you-lie’).

Orbicularis oculi seen around the eye. Directly above it you see the muscle that covers the forehead, known as the frontalis.

When a smile is genuine, the lower outer corners of the eyes raise, sometimes causing tiny lines around the eyes.

Genuine and false smile shown by the master himself: Paul Ekman.

In case you’re wondering – no, you cannot make the orbit muscles imitate a genuine smile, you’ll see too much action around the nose and it’ll be downright obvious to any observer who knows where to look.

Remember: some facial muscles cannot be sufficiently activated unless they are expressing genuine emotion.

Therefore, you can temporarily display ‘smiling eyes’ by thinking of something that makes you happy, but only momentarily, because you can only hold onto the happiness from a memory for so long before you must endure the present reality and the muscles have no choice but to tell the truth.

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)

Countless times I’ve seen on television shows, in blogs, in books and in magazines a common gargantuan lie. A lie about the eyes and how they reveal deceit. In a nutshell, the notion goes that if someone looks down and to the left while they’re speaking, they are fabricating their story and therefore lying.

Noooooooooooooooo!

But, there is a factor of truth in this – you can get an inkling of where someone’s thoughts are as they speak by noting eye movements, but it will never never never never be as simple as ‘Down + left = lie’. This inkling of truth comes from a concept known as neurolinguistic programming, or NLP. NLP is really much more than a guide to eye tells, but for this post, we’ll only be looking at NLP’s explanation for eye movements.

The basics of NLP go like this:

Someone remembers something they saw: eyes go up.

Someone remembers something they heard: eyes go to the side.

Someone remembers an emotion: eyes go down and to the right.

Someone is talking to themselves: down and to the left.

The problem: while we are speaking, our mind is bouncing all over the place, retrieving information, organizing thoughts, planning on what vocal inflections and volumes to use to get our point across. When we talk, our eyes will bounce around no matter what. So while NLP may be accurate and useful, remember that these signals come in clusters and happen in a fraction of a second. I can tell you from personal experience that after three years of attempting to master these signals, you just have to focus and eventually develop an intuition for it. You may not catch a lot of the signals (they are extremely difficult to catch as they’re happening, more difficult than micro-expressions), but eventually your subconscious will start looking out for them for you and you’ll find you get a lot more ‘gut feelings’ about people and what they say.

But! A note about lying and eye contact:

Despite popular belief, people who are lying will maintain eye contact longer than someone who is telling the truth. Like I said, someone who is talking will have a million things happening at once, one of these things is information retrieval, while a liar will be watching your reaction and will not require certain cognitive functions that a person telling the truth will be using.

Also, a fun trick that I use when I’m addressing a group of people or trying to hold someone’s attention while I explain something (and Heather, if you read this, I wasn’t manipulating you – just attempting to anchor your admirable, occasionally cocker-spaniel-esque attention span…you know I love you!), is using a pen, stick, pointer or any like object when explaining an idea (only when a visual aid of some sort is nearby, like a map, article, object ect.,). It goes simply like this – when explaining an idea, using the pointer to, well, point to the article, and when explaining an important part, bringing the pen up to near eye level, which automatically causes the other person to give you direct eye contact. It works every time, and no one can deny the first few times are extremely fun and amusing and sort of make you feel like the Mentalist. (I learned this trick from books by Bernard Asbell and Allan Pease.)

The Mentalist.
Must…steal…suit…and hair product…

Blinking

The average relaxed blinking rate is 6-8 blinks per minute. When we’re under pressure, feel stress and anger, or otherwise a sudden burst of emotion, our blink rate will increase dramatically.

Darting Eyes

As I mentioned in my post about Harold Camping’s body language during an interview directly after the passing of one of his latest dooms dates, eyes darting from side to side can indicate someone looking for an escape route. I’ve had this happen to me on several occasions, and understanding what the signal meant let me know it was time to wrap up the conversation, lest the image they have of me in their mind become slightly negative and unpleasant.

Gazing

Social Gazing:

Experiments have shown that this area is the area most commonly focused on for 90 percent of the time during social encounters. Some researchers believe this is because we feel that not looking directly into someone’s eyes will make us appear nonthreatening.

Power Gazing:

This gaze is often used in power plays among businessmen – sort of a tool of intimidation. The effect of this gaze, according to Allan Pease, “…has to be experienced to be believed.” It creates a serious atmosphere, and if used unwaveringly, can make the subject feel very uncomfortable.

_______________________________

Like anything in body language, in order to really be able to get accurate reads, you need to:

1. Not read too much into signals.

and 2. Practice, practice, practice. Eventually you’ll develop a reliable ‘spidey sense’.

And, apologies for not giving you much to think about for this one. As I said last time – I promise the next post will be better!

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Advertisements

The Power In Your Hands

Post Three In A Six-Month Series On People Reading

Before this post officially begins, let’s take a quick review of  important points from the previous post:

The most accurate reads are the most basic reads.

 “The big picture never lies unless that is the intent of the subject.”

You already know how to read people.

“We instinctively recognize facial expressions (happiness, sadness, anger ect.,)”

You automatically imitate whatever facial expression you are viewing.

“Some researchers believe that we have a ‘mirror neuron’ that causes us to imitate the facial expressions of the person we are looking at. “

Always consider the obvious!

“Someone may be crossing their arms because they are cold, not because they are comforting themselves or feel defensive.”

________

Pre-Post Ramble

 I love Glenn Beck. (This is relevent to the post, I promise!)

It was perhaps a year and a half ago when I was watching an episode of Beck’s show on Fox News that I noticed several signature body language signals that he would use during any given episode. One signal in particular he didn’t use often, but it conveyed a very interesting message.

During one of his monologues Beck was sitting on his desk, facing the camera.  Midway through a sentence he suddenly paused and made a joke about a politician. The audience laughed. But instead of showing a body language signal suggesting that he was proud of the response, his smile faded slightly and he sat on his hands before continuing the monologue.

Our hands represent power. Think about the power of a handshake, the honesty represented in an open palm, the negativity behind a hand raised to stop us, the meaning behind a clenched fist. Sitting on his hands after receiving a positive response to the joke seemed to be Beck’s way of shutting down any proud feelings from the response of the crowd.

Post-Ramble Post:

Let’s take a look at a few common signals represented by the hands in body language:

Hands And The Face

Steeple Hands

I used to be a skeptic of the supposed meaning behind steeple hands, and even though Allan Pease (who wrote my favorite book on body language of all time, The Definitive Book of Body Language) has said multiple times in interviews and in his books that steeple hands mean confidence and that the subject feels in control, I doubted it. I didn’t buy it until I was at Starbucks with Heather Madame a couple of years ago and I saw about a dozen men in business attire seated at a table and my ‘spidey sense’ made me feel like one of the men was the leader of the group. I eventually realized that it was because he was using steeple hands in combination with a stern, judgemental expression and the fact that those around him shifted their posture and expressions to match his.

Which just goes to show… never doubt Allan Pease. Ever.

The rest of the signals are a tad complicated, and it’s very important that they not be mixed up.

When it comes to the subject’s hand touching their face, the message changes depending on how much of the hand is placed exactly where, and in combination with general facial signals and body language signals (it may be complicated, but I can assure you it is easier than it sounds.)

Resting Head On Hand

Depending on the subject’s facial expression, this can mean one of two things (it’s always very obvious which one it is)

  1.  If the subject’s facial expression appears bored, the subject is bored.
  2.  If the subject is with someone they enjoy being in the company of (it’s a safe bet that the subject will have romantic feelings for the person they are looking at), they will use this signal as a way of putting their face on display for the other person. This is another signal that I highly doubted the meaning of until I ended up using it one night at work when I was talking to Josh.

Another version of this signal is the picture below:

As well as a another version, where the hands are open, palms facing down with the fingers interlaced.

As I was looking over our next picture, I saw a perfect example of a fake smile. So, while we’re learning about hand gestures, I thought I’d type a note or two onto the picture so you can find out the simple secret to discovering whether a smile is genuine or not:

You should be used to me jumping from one rabbit hole to the next by now, just be happy I haven’t gone on a thousand word rant on my love for Allan Pease.

Back to the hands – take a look at Ben Bernanke’s hand in the above picture. Whenever you see the fingertips touching the subject’s temples or near/on the forehead, this represents a negative emotion. Stress, anxiety, tension and often a negative emotion specifically about the person they are looking at, or the conversation itself.

Touching the forehead almost always signals a strong emotion, but it is not always negative. An open palm to the forehead can mean relief, but it can also represent punishing oneself for lack of foresight. Fingertips kept on the forehead always represent stress.

Hands On Their Own

Before this bit begins, I need to show you a picture of Allan Pease from his television special in the early 80’s:

Allan Pease with his eternally happy eyes, horrid suit and dreadful hair. *Swoon*

There’s no reason for this picture to be here. I just thought it was amusing.

Back to the post!

Folks in politics learn quickly to try to never use the classic finger point when giving a speech, because they will be seen as harsh, and be perceived more negatively by the crowd than they would have if they had used the ‘hand chop’ (hand sideways, fingers straight, lowered onto the podium in a ‘chopping’ motion) or the cupped hand (hand sideways, fingers slightly curved). Anything but pointing at the crowd directly.

Finger-pointing is always seen as a negative signal, and is often used when the subject is accusing someone of something, even if the intent of the subject was simply to drive home a point, the signal will always make the subject appear harsh and judgemental. And the audience will not only view the speaker in a negative light, but they will also retain less information from the speech.

You will appear more open and honest if you express an opinion with upturned palms.

Post-Post-Ramble:

You might have noticed that the hands are not my favorite part of reading people. Or really my favorite signals to study. But I know that anything you have learned here will benefit you, and I’m just relieved to have finally finished this post! Since I missed the original publish date last week, there will be a new PWRP post this Wednesday.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

P.S Please shoot me if I ever wait until the night before to write one of these posts! Goodness me I’m never drinking another cup of coffee as long as I live, eight hours and countless mugs filled with coffee and green tea doesn’t do very much to warm one to the act of writing about a topic that one doesn’t like very much to begin with.

P.P.S I just realized that tomorrow is Wednesday, so I will be working on Wednesday’s post tonight… please disregard the first sentence of the post script above…

Viewing People As Structures

Post Two In A Six-Month Series On People Reading

Pre-Post Ramble:

Sometimes when I’m in a public place, I stop seeing the people around me as human beings, and instead see them as a living pattern.

The image above is from one of my 'little black books' I've mentioned - small notebooks that I use to record random observations.

You may have already realized something similar to what I mentioned in my notebook. When Heather Madame and I took zumba classes last year, I noticed that when we started the class, we wanted to stay in the back and blend in. But the more comfortable we became, the more we wanted to be on the edges of the group and eventually ended up near the front-middle of the group. It was about this time that I was wrapping up my Rorschach inkblot experiment at The Center, so my mind was still spinning with random psychological information.

When you analyze the results of a Rorschach inkblot test, the one thing you look at first is certainly not what the subject saw, but where. Because the exact content of what the subject saw may be from a TV show they watched the night before, or from a song they heard on the radio that morning, an article from a magazine, ect., exactly what you see in an inkblot will change hour to hour, sometimes minute to minute, I’ve realized. Sometimes in phase two of the test (when I had the subjects look over the inkblots a second time and speak in about greater detail what they saw) when I would remind the subject of what they originally found in the blot, they would look at the paper, flip it this way and that, and say “I’m sorry…I just don’t see it anymore.” But what never changed was where their eyes darted when they looked at the inkblots. Take a look at the image below:

This is a rather basic inklot. The way Rorschach arranged his inkblots when he interviewed his schizophrenic and depressed patients, was the same arrangement that he used to test children and mentally healthy adults. The blots start out basic and colorless, and gradually become more intricate and more color is added until you are shown a blot entirely in chromatic tones. The same interpretations always apply for every blot:

If you look more in the middle/bottom of the blot, you are likely predominantly introverted depending on how many blots you view this way, but if you find yourself paying more attention to the outer edges/top of the blot, you are more likely to be extraverted. (Though it should be taken into account that the subject will probably pay more attention to the top of the blot due to the lack of ink at the bottom of the blot posted above.)

I saw the zumba group as a giant Rorschach inkblot. This idea cannot be used for every group of individuals, because, as Rorschach himself said in Psychodiagnostik (1921), the inkblot test, in purest terms, is truly only a test of how well a human being can respond to the tension of a completely unfamiliar  situation. At the zumba class, nearly every woman there was middle-aged and very insecure. No one knew what to expect to come up on the playlist or the dance routine. A perfect situation for a living, breathing Rorschach inkblot to form.

Post-Ramble Post:

Viewing human beings as structures can give us, incredibly enough, greater insight into human nature than viewing human beings as, well, human beings.

Think of a pointillist painting: thousands of tiny dots are used to form an image that can be seen clearly when you back away from the canvas and view the image as a whole. Too often people want to read people by first looking at the finer details and then building upward, when really the opposite method should be applied. In this way, learning to read people is the same as learning to analyze handwriting. You must start with the basics, the framework, the big picture before looking for signals that will give you more specific information. Why? Because it’s easier to interpret. The big picture never lies unless that is the intent of the subject (as for spotting lies, we’ll discuss that in a future post.)

Remember – you already know how to read people. I’ll prove it to you, take a wild gander at what facial expressions these are:

 

We know instinctively what facial expressions such as the ones featured above mean. While some facial signals vary from culture to culture (as in deliberate facial expressions or movements such as a wink or sticking out your tongue) all natural (involuntary) facial expressions are the same throughout the world, even blind people use the same facial expressions, so we know we are born with not the ability, but the involuntary feature of expressing our emotions as a way of protecting ourselves by showing we have good intentions (smiling is seen as an unthreatening expression, even in animals,) or intimidating an enemy (when we see the facial expression of intense anger, or ‘fury’, fight or flight kicks in and starts up our autonomic nervous system (think: automaticThe ANS controls all involuntary functions,) and prepares us first to leave, and if we cannot, for an altercation.)

The autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the sympathetic nervous system controls fight or flight and the parasympathetic helps us recover afterwards.

I tell you all of this because, while I do not encourage always reading someone by intuition alone (you will always be biased subconsciously when you try to read someone,) when you can’t read someone from clear signals, you should trust your instincts. You’ve been reading people since the day you opened your eyes and saw your mother smiling at you, causing you to imitate her facial expressions and associate her smiling with positive circumstances.

We Are All Empathetic

 Experiments have shown that we automatically imitate whatever facial expression we are viewing, even if we don’t completely mirror the other person, our brain responds to their expressions and subtly activates the muscles creating the expression. Some researchers believe that there is a ‘mirror neuron’ in the brain that causes this imitation. Psychopaths, who lack empathy completely, cannot understand facial expressions on an instinctive level like healthy individuals can. They instead have to teach themselves what facial expressions are acceptable, and consciously imitate them to manipulate those around them.

Just a side note: if you want a more positive mood or to feel more confident, then even if you don’t feel the emotion, imitate the signals! Paul Ekman (the man who is responsible for nearly all major breakthroughs in our understanding of facial expressions) found that we’re attracted to people who smile often because when we see them smile and our muscles imitate the expression, it causes a release of endorphins that we would have gotten if we had been the one smiling in the first place! In a nutshell, smiling, even if you don’t feel happy, causes the release of ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain and improves your mood. As for feeling confident, the same principle applies, if you stand with your shoulders back, chin level and walk with purpose, your brain is going to help you out and make you feel the emotion you portray, so within minutes you will actually be confident! I’ve tried this out myself on many occasions when I’ve felt uncomfortable in social situations or unsure of myself in the middle of a test even, and without fail this has improved my mood and self-esteem… ha, and that was supposed to be just a side note…

 Now, for the actual point of the post, viewing people as structures.

I’ve noticed four similarities to the method of analyzing handwriting and body language:

  1. The Lean
  2. Framework
  3. Amount of Expression
  4. The Use of Basic Intuition

For this section, we’ll be looking at the lean.

A lean in handwriting analysis refers to which way letters seem to ‘sway’ on the paper. According to Confucius, you should “Beware of the man whose handwriting is like reeds in the wind.” And, so it turns out, Master Kong was thinking up the right alley. Quack handwriting analysis books and sensible texts alike explain that handwriting with a frequently changing lean (on average, two times per paragraph) suggests an emotionally unstable individual. As for leans in body language (when the subject is sitting down), they tell us:

  • How the subject feels about who they are speaking with
  • How the subject feels about the current situation
  • & how the subject feels about the current conversation

I’ll try to keep the explanation brief, because it really is very simple.

Imagine you have just walked into a Starbucks and you see two people sitting down in those rather extremely comfy leather seats next to each other, and both people are leaning towards each other. (Assuming that it isn’t just loud inside of the Starbucks and they’re leaning forward simply because it’s difficult to hear each other,) from this single glance we know that both people are on some level emotionally invested in the conversation.

Remember, just because one signal can represent a specific message, does not mean that the opposite signal represents the opposite message.

On the other hand, if both people are leaning away from each other, this does not indicate resentment towards the other person or disinterest in the conversation. They may simply be comfortable with each other and are talking about nothing of emotional concern. (Just a note: you will mainly see negativity expressed by leaning away from each other only if the individuals are in business attire and not casual dress. Obviously, two casually dressed individuals willingly sitting next to each other in a Starbucks are probably on good terms, meanwhile, businessmen holding meetings/job interviews – my father, a small business owner, does this often – will not be in the brightest mood, and if a superior is having lunch with a subordinate, you can be sure to see a lot of judging and discomfort.) Interpreting signals can always be helped along by noting clothing and gender.

If one person is leaning towards someone who is leaning away, often the person leaning forward is trying to ‘reach out’ or persuade the person leaning away. It may be they are trying to win them over emotionally (they don’t feel that the person leaning away is really friends with them, or they are uncertain whose ‘team’ they are on and are trying to win them over in this way,) or romantically (I have yet to see a female try to ‘win over’ a guy, it’s always the fellow leaning forward,) in this case you’ll notice the person leaning forward is closely watching the facial expressions of the person leaning away (Bernard Asbell, author of a wonderful book called What They Know About You, explained that couples who are secure in their relationship will not watch their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend’s facial expressions often, while couples who are insecure will frequently note each other’s reactions.)

One mistake that even professionals make, is to forget the possibility of complete and total error. There is always the possibility that Person 1 is leaning forward because Person 2 is talking too quietly and Person 1 doesn’t want to be rude and say anything. Even Paul Ekman has said that real-life people reading is not as wonderfully accurate and quick as it seems to be on the show based on him, Lie to Me.

Always consider the obvious! Someone may be crossing their arms because they are cold, not because they are comforting themselves or feel defensive. Someone may be rubbing their nose because of a fiber or cat hair, not because blood has rushed to their nose out of the tension of the conversation and they are trying to come up with a lie. (In case you’re wondering, rubbing their nose while someone is lying does happen! When you lie, chemicals called catecholamines are released, causing the tissue inside of your nose to swell, and your nose actually expands with blood! Allan Pease, author of The Definitive Book of Body Language calls this ‘The Pinocchio Effect’.)

End-of-the-Post Rant:

There is no such thing as speed-reading. Not unless you’re one of Paul Ekman’s ‘wizards’ or ‘naturals’ (people who were born with the ability to instantly read and interpret microexpressions.) The reason a lot of us pick up books on handwriting analysis and body language, is because we like the notion that we can become super spies in our own homes. We can become the Mentalist, we can become Columbo, we can become James Bond. While basic signals can be easily read in an instant, the popular notion of actually ‘speed-reading’ someone so deeply that you might as well be reading their mind, is simply impossible, at least, if you’re one of the 99% of people who aren’t Paul Ekman wizards.

Allow me to sound like an arrogant bafoon for a moment and say that I am good at reading people. Very good. But here’s how I know that I am excellent at people reading: I came to the point in my studies where I stopped looking back at all that I had read and witnessed and how much I knew, and realized how much I had yet to read and witness and hear. I came to a place where I had to ask ‘Am I wrong?’ and stop justifying bogus interpretations. I won’t lie: it feels like a superpower when you learn enough to view people in an entirely new way, but after the high wears off, just remember that the best of the best truly are the greatest, because they know what it means to swallow their pride and throw away a perfectly lovely theory. A perfectly lovely read. A perfectly lovely explanation. You’ll know you’re good at something, very good, when you realize how horrible you have the ability to be.

–Hannah-Elizabeth

P.S. As soon I beat my scanner into submission, I will be opening a new page on my blog and uploading photos of my personal notes so you can perhaps get a better glimpse into my process. Also on this page I will list recommended articles and books.

P.P.S I’m sorry for waiting until nearly the end of the day to finally post this. Honestly I’ve been working on it for about twelve hours now and I’m not very pleased with it. But, I am learning to stay on track! I can assure you the next post will be better!

Harold Camping Body Language Analysis

Oy, oy, oy, oy, oy. Camping must be one of the more interesting human beings I’ve been able to analyze (at least one of the most interesting among the older folks I’ve read in my lifetime). And honestly, upon contemplation, I believe he has some deep psychological need for attention and recognition. Notice how at the beginning of this video he directs attention not to his error, but instead to the amount of listeners tuning in to hear him speak. “I am nothing” he says near the close of the video, but indeed, we find that during the entire clip, Harold Camping has constantly been trying to receive recognition, attention and respect. Something he used to have from his former loyal and dedicated followers before he caused them to humiliate themselves and lose everything because they believed his prediction about doomsday, May 21st 2011.

 It’s at 1:26 in part 3 of his interview with the International Business Times – the smile. You can see his mouth widen enough to show his teeth and his eyes ever so slightly ‘brighten’ in genuine delight at the interviewer’s comment. What’s attention-grabbing about this expression is the timing and his expression directly after. Right before Camping’s subtle smile the interviewer (a very stern, experienced woman by the sound of it) says this: “…but because they believed that the end of the world must’ve been-” Stop! 1:26, we see him smile for no more than a second. When suddenly his right hand (which, during the smile, tensed and lifted off the arm of the chair during the duration of the smile) loses tension entirely and goes limp as the smile vanishes:

Directly after he regains control of his expression his eyes flick to his right and back in a millisecond (so fast that initially, I didn’t see it); was he attempting to create a new explanation? Possibly for his smile? Maybe for the question? I’m up in the air about it, but he was fighting hard to remain composed despite his clear glee at the attention. His hand begins to tense again and at 1:31 he licks his lips as she begins asking about his new date for doomsday – licking the lips is a popular male pacifying behavior – (in combination with his hand tensing yet again at the exact same time) representing a sudden discomfort and uncertainty when he can tell where the line of questioning is going. After this, we suddenly see his face turn cheerful, along with leg shifting/bouncing and hand twitching (more energy redistribution) while he attempts to put the interviewer in her place.

~Note: Energy redistribution is when we try to contain a strong a emotion, but the ‘energy’ leaks into other areas. Such as twitching or tapping fingers and bouncing legs and feet.~

We see a ‘hand pump’ (shown in th photograph below; his right hand suddenly grips, then releases fabric of armrest) at 1:58  when the interviewer says “Yes, yes.” in agreement with Camping’s comment about many people being affected by the recession. He becomes a little more confident, until his pacifying behavior vanishes altogether. He gets a bit cocky with her at 2:26 when she begins to speak again, giving a degrading and authoritative finger point directly at her. For a while he goes into a condescending sermon. We see after a comment from the interviewer at around 4:00 that he becomes very pleased with himself for coming up with a biblical point. We can hear his voice go up in pitch and volume with zest and confidence at 4:03 as he explains his point using slightly repetitive phrasing, commonly used when someone is so proud of a point that they feel a need to repeat it to feel certain the response is heard. e.g., “Well, no that’s the point of prayer, you don’t rely on your own understanding, that’s the point of prayer…” (found at 4:01) “But [your followers] relied on your understanding-” The interviewer begins before being interrupted by Camping.

Switch over to 5:00, a question is asked by a female reporter, “It’s safe to say that the mainstream population that heard about May 21st didn’t believe it-” Stop! 5:06:

we see Camping’s middle and pointer finger on his right hand flex upward with tension from a presumably negative emotion judging from the no-longer-confident expression on his face.

I actually believe I see his wrinkles ever so slightly deepen in his nasolabial folds and the left corner of his mouth turn down a bit more, but I cannot be certain due to the camera moving and causing a blurry image at this point.

But what we can see for certain, is at 5:07-5:09 as the reporter continues “…it didn’t happen-” Camping’s hands going from a very comfortable fold to a defensive clutch as his arms and hands in a manner brace themselves against the sides of the chair, if he were standing he might have put a hand on one of his hips.

C

Continuing, “…now they say, ‘See? This was ridiculous. And, at best-” at 5:12, we see Camping’s eyes flick off to the left, possibly instinctively looking for an exit. He is obviously very uncomfortable. His eyes only glance for a moment before switching back over to look again at his attacker. At 5:15 ( the last photograph above) we can see Camping grabbing onto the arms of his chair in a sudden defensive position.

The reporter finishes her leading comment, “…this was some kind of scam'” at 5:18 his eyes again flick to a possible exit. His face may be intending to say ‘I have this under control’, but so far, his body says “I really don’t like this…” He clearly feels attacked. At 5:18 also we see his head slightly tilt to his left (pictured on the left), a signal that is meant to instinctively induce sympathy and discourage an attack, we do this when we feel either trusting and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, or, as in Camping’s case, this is done as a way to subconsciously and instinctively show that we are no threat, and that by exposing the soft skin of the neck, reveal our vulnerability in hopes of the attacker ceasing (in this case) verbal warfare.

She asks the question, “Does it worry you that you’ve hurt the credibility, or made a mockery of religion in some way?” Camping at this point appears to hide behind his biblical authority. I find it a bit odd – and perhaps telling, that when he seemingly makes a comment about ‘other pastors’ (“Most pastors would never admit they [made] a mistake because they’re trying to preserve their own credibility in the eyes of those who are listening…” 5:46 in the video) he points not outward, but inward, pressing his left pointer finger onto his chest as he speaks:

Camping denies responsiblity in the interview for the emotional distress of his followers who lost everything because they believed him in their heart of hearts. And he has turned his back on them. Could this possibly be a tell of what Camping knows to be the real truth of the matter? That he is denying responsiblity to save his own face? Honestly, I believe so. He speaks along yet another minisermon, giving the latest reporter his authoritative pointing finger at 7:03 while he quotes a Bible verse.

Here’s my opinion of  Harold Camping upon seeing his face, which is a nearly complete paradigm shift from what it was when I simply read the stories: Camping is a sick human being, and heaven knows I wish the man could be charged with a crime. The humiliation he has caused, and the refusal to help the people who so entirely trusted him, speaks to a selfish, attention-driven human being. My heart aches for this man’s victims (yes – his victims), he shouldn’t be left to lead this circus for another 5 months (the new doomsdate is October the 21st) he should be in prison.

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic