Body language expert analyses world leaders’ behaviour at the G7
A body language expert has said Boris Johnson attempted to exert his authority with a ‘bizarre John Wayne pose’ at today’s G7 summit and lacks a rapport with Emmanuel Macron – while Joe Biden has perfected a ‘presidential pose’.
The heads of the world’s seven leading liberal democracies gathered on the beach at Carbis Bay in Cornwall for a socially distanced photo this afternoon, and in so doing gave off some fascinating clues about their state of mind, according to Darren Stanton, TV’s Human Lie Detector.
Mr Stanton noted Carrie Johnson’s relaxed persona, suggesting that the 33-year-old mother of one appeared more at ease on her first major diplomatic function than world leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, 49. He also noted that the newly married Johnsons appeared to mirror each other’s behaviour, indicating a ‘deep rapport’.
Meanwhile, the body language expert contrasted President Biden’s body language indicating ‘openness and truthfulness’ with Mr Johnson’s ‘primeval’ displays of power to prove he was the ‘Alpha male in the pack’.
‘ALPHA MALE’ BORIS: ‘We continue to see President Biden with his open palms, however Boris has his arms above his head. This again is a territorial power gesture to signify ”this is my turf and I’m the most powerful here”. Mr Macron looks on with an amused expression on his face,’ Mr Stanton says
BIDEN ‘PRESIDENTIAL’: ‘Mr Trudeau has hit legs aside, which is a power gesture typically used by Putin and Trump. Biden has a very presidential pose. He is standing with his arms extended and hands open. We call this ”open palm gesture” it’s a gesture that goes back centuries and was principally used in the military to show others ‘I have no weapons”
BORIS AND MACRON’S LACK OF RAPPORT: ‘Boris is looking like he’s going in for hug. The feeling is not shared by Mr Macron as his body posture still turning forward indicates a lack of rapport. The direction a person’s feet are pointing is significant. When we are in rapport talking to someone else or a group, our feet point towards each other’
There has been tension between the pair over Northern Ireland, with President Biden warning Mr Johnson not to let the row over post-Brexit trading in Northern Ireland affect the peace process, but in recent days they have been speaking warmly about each other and the relationship between their two countries.
Describing the socially distanced photos featuring all the leaders, he told MailOnline: ‘President Biden has a very presidential pose.
‘He is standing with his arms extended and hands open. We call this the ”open palm gesture”, which goes back centuries and was principally used in the military to show others ”I have no weapons”. It’s a gesture of openness and truthfulness.
‘You also see that his posture is open and facing the front as if to include everyone.’
In one of the group photos Mr Johnson can be seen holding his hands over his head.
‘A BIT OF FUN’: This staged elbow between Macron and Carrie is staged and a bit of fun. I think Carrie seems the most naturally at ease and comfortable of the pair’
MACRON ‘DISAGREEING’ WITH BIDEN: ‘Biden has his body close to him as he is a very tactile man. His posture is tilted towards Macron while Macron’s is not. He is faxing forward, head down and his hands in his pockets. I’m not sure Macron is in total agreement our what is being presented to him by Biden’
MERKEL ‘EXERTING’ AUTHORITY: ‘It’s interesting to see that Angela Merkel has her hand splayed open. This is a subtle version of the wide leg stance when someone is trying to exert their authority. Boris has adopted a very bizarre robotic movement’
Commenting on the posture, Mr Stanton said: ‘Boris has adopted this very bizarre ‘’John Wayne Gunslinger” posture with his shoulders hunched up. Notice his palms are reversed and he is showing his knuckles.
‘This is a primeval gesture to show power. By showing someone your knuckles, you are conveying the meaning that you are the Alpha male in the pack and the most powerful. However in my opinion his posture is not convicting and seems forced.
‘You can see Mr Trudeau has his legs astride. This is a power gesture typically used by Putin and Trump. The theory is the wider the stance the more space we use and the more space we use the more powerful we feel and appear.
‘The other politicians seems to be adopting rather neutral stance. We can see Angela Merkel holding her hands in front of her as if to keep warm.’
In another image, the Prime Minister, 56, can be seen greeting French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, 68.
‘Boris looking like he’s going in for hug,’ says Mr Stanton. ‘The feeling is not shared by Mr Macron as his body posture still turning forward indicates a lack of rapport. The direction a person’s feet are pointing is significant.
‘When we are in rapport talking to someone else or a group, our feet will point towards each other. Here we can see Mr Macron’s do not.
‘Next time you are speaking to someone and want to know if you are really getting on well, look at their feet to see which direction they are pointing in.’
POWER PLAY: ‘This is a fantastic picture of Mr Macron and President Biden. This could on the surface appear to be quite an innocuous picture where two men have mutual respect for each other and have become friends. Indeed that may be true however this also is what we call a power pat or power gesture we are both men are exerting authority. With both men adopting the same hand over the back posture they are demonstrating equal amounts of power’
BORIS AND CARRIE’S RAPPORT: ‘I think all the way through the conference, Carrie has had the giggles as this is the first formal engagement she has attended on the world stage as Mrs Johnson. At times she has appeared to be the more the positive one out of the couple. In this pose they are looking almost like bookends. One thing is for sure they are both in deep rapport as they are matching and mirroring each other’s body language’
Mr Stanton also detects some tension in two photos of Mr Macron speaking with Mr Biden, where they are both seen with one arm around each other.
‘Biden has his body close to Mr Macron as he is a very tactile man,’ he says. His posture is tilted towards Macron while Mr Macron’s is not. He is faxing forward, head down with his hands in his pockets.
‘I’m not sure Macron is in total agreement about what is being presented to him by President Biden.’
Mr Johnson is also seen walking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 66. There has previously been tension between the PM and EU leaders over a sausage trade war with the bloc.
Mr Stanton says: ‘It’s interesting to see that Angela Merkel has her hand splayed open, this is a subtle version of the wide leg stance with someone is trying to exert their authority.
‘Boris has adopted a very bizarre robotic movement. This gesture looks quite odd and for me the whole summit has been centred around Boris trying to look and feel powerful or at least create in the impression that he is a very confident man.’