Patti on HLN Monday, Oct.1st - Weighing in on Arnold Schwarzenegger's Body Language

 Patti analyzes the body language of Arnold Schwarzenegger as he is being interviewed on 60 Minutes.  Patti shares her insights with Kyra Phillips on HLN - Evening Express. 


Stalh: I've spent time with you, and you are so much fun and you have enormous charm. And I have to keep reminding myself about this chapter of your life. I do, I have to keep saying, "Wow, he did something that speaks to character." (Arnold just stares at her and doesn’t answer the question.)

He is very conflicted. He actually has his eyes tight and focused in an attack glare and has his mouth in what he thinks is a neutral smile, but is actually an asymmetrical sneer. This means he would like to attack her for saying he has done something that mars his character, “I am mad but I am trying to keep that in and smile.”  But after the long frozen expression and silence he finally nods his head yes and agrees with the statement.

She follows by asking, “Do you have to remind yourself or is it always there.”

We see his most difficult coming to grips with the question. He does a tongue flick, his mouth is dry with stress and he has to moisten it. His head comes back slightly. His eyes don’t just shutter close with the bad feelings he pulls his eyes shut so there are visible wrinkles at the corners and his mouth tightens back and you can see on freeze frame his suppressed cry of anguish. As he comes out of it he tries to pull himself together and he says, ““It’s always there.”

Only affair 11:14 or so

You write that Maria did ask you before the confrontation with the marriage counselor “Is that your child?" He is nodding his head yes.  So you lied to her. >>Schwarzenegger: “you can say that.” He has the composed smile that he holds as if for a photograph. Then he uses a tongue eraser to erase what he just said, He feels he shouldn’t have made that admission.

 Stahl: was that the only affair? >> Schwarzenegger: “no, I had others. But, I mean... But, you know, it's something that's obviously between Maria and me.” >> Stahl: she knew? >> Schwarzenegger: “yea.” >> Stahl: so it's a recurring issue with you. >> Schwarzenegger:”I’m not perfect.”

To the questions, “So, It is a recurring issue with you?”  His eyes narrow down into attack focus and he gives that tight lipped smirk his mouth pulling up on his left and he says, “I am not perfect. “ In a very soft voice as his chin comes down.  I have analyzed his body language for many years. His chin usually comes up defiantly in his answers to the media so here we see his version of an admission that he was bad.


8:32 How does money start showing up? >> Schwarzenegger: “I gave it to her and she knew what it was about.” >> Stahl: did you think that, if you gave her money, that she wouldn't talk, like hush money? >> Schwarzenegger: “I don't think that Mildred was at all into talking. He is honest here. He didn’t think Mildred would talk.

19:52:54 you write... Is my child 19:53:17

You write, "I wanted Mildred to continue working in our home because I thought I could control the situation better that way." and I read that to mean that, if she was in the house, you could make sure she wouldn't tell anybody. >> Schwarzenegger: “no” He does an eye shutter here. . It was more that it would be the wrong thing to do to let them go and not make her feel like she's being punished when I find out that this is my child.

What is very interesting is his response to her asking him she remained the house keeper was that strange.  He does a lip suppression cue again focusing to control himself here.  Interesting that then he changes using a light almost playful voice and partial smile as he talks about the bizarreness of the situation. It reads to me as if he enjoyed the bizarreness of the situation.  He at some level is enjoying being “cornered by her in the interview into revealing the bizarreness of it.


You had no idea that this was something she would not want to get back into? >> Schwarzenegger: “no”. As a matter of fact, I was thinking that she would say, "Wow that is amazing. Welcome to the club. We finally convinced you to be a public servant, just like my entire family." none of that. He seems inauthentic. His answer seems pat.  He does something I call edit emotional event.  This is something self-focused people do when their behavior is not met with the reaction they want.  Here I would expect him to describe her emotion. Instead he pauses to edit out her reaction and instead says, none of that.  So, all of a sudden, it came to a grinding halt and I had to now deal with the drama.

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