Boehner, Reid and Pelosi, What Their Body Language Says About Government Shutdowns

Glasses and purple blue tie -
Look at his hand, he is covering his Ventral Front, that is his vulnerable belly and look how he is symbolically reaching in to rip his heart out showing how he feels he is being dealt with. Also watch how he says, “we are not there yet” and does a tongue thrust showing his dislike of the deal and the deal makers. Reid ends the evening interview with a telling “MISSpeak” His body language and voice go down and flat and he says of the outlook for resolution, ”Hope lies Eternal” indicating the outlook is lifeless and not moving rather than his head body and gestures coming up and his voice filled up with energy with the accurate quote, “ hope springs eternal.”

The segment with Reid and Boehner that night with Boehner in lime green tie -
First thing Boehner says, “We did have a productive conversation this evening,” But just as he finished the sentence he sucks in his lips - the translation, the vocal emphasis on the word did, indicated he felt that they started to be productive and then it wasn’t productive. The sucking in of the lips say he felt badly enough about the rest of the meeting to want to hold his negativity in. Later Boehner says, “We do have some honest differences” then he immediately presses his lips tightly together then flicks out his tongue showing he is really angry – Not a good sign for resolution.

Also listen to his voice paralanguage, “we are going to continue to work tonight and tomorrow” his voice fades out and he turns away on tomorrow, not an indication of him feeling confident that things will go well. Boehner also does a tongue flick after the word resolve, “work together to resolve this“shows more anger.

Pelosi, Former Speaker of the House footage – No sound….. I would love to know what she was asked or what she said before each of those comfort cues to her face. I can give names to each of the cues and say how they show she is highly stressed and the one where she touches her tongue picking something off the tip of it and flicking it is really interesting it shows she wants to get the taste of what she said out of her mouth, could be she is lying, or that she does not like the person she is talking about or the words she is saying.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at