John Travolta, Kanye West, Joe Biden and Other Guys Who Touch Women in Weird, Inappropriate Ways

I did an interview for Yahoo Style on the inappropriate ways that men are touching women.  You can read my insights below highlighted in yellow.  I have also put the link to the actual article below.

John Travolta, Kanye West, Joe Biden and Other Guys Who Touch Women in Weird, Inappropriate Ways
There were many touching moments at Sunday night’s Oscars: Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore’s admitting to trying to kill himself at 16 and telling all the other weird kids out there to “stay weird.” The teary hug and kiss between Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews after Gaga’s stunning Sound of Music medley. And of course Common and John Legend’s heartrending performance of “Glory” from Selma, with Legend telling the audience, “Selma is now.”

Joe Biden cameos in one of several memes inspired by John Travolta’s Oscar night antics.
But at least two “touching” moments were downright, well, icky—both of them involving John Travolta. First, on the red carpet, he kissed ScarJo and cupped her midriff in a way that might have been tender and sweet if the two were married— to each other. Then later, while charmingly being upbraided onstage by Idina Menzel for mangling her name at last year’s Oscars, he held her too close, cupped her cheek in his hand and close-talked her. Ew.
Alas, Travolta’s tactile malfunctions were just the latest in a seemingly undying string of high-profile men inappropriately touching women in public, televised settings. Last week, vice-president Joe Biden got dubbed once again “America’s Creepy Uncle” when, for a cringe-worthy 20 seconds during the swearing-in of new defense secretary Ash Carter, Biden kept his hands on the shoulders of Carter’s wife, Stephanie, then whispered in her ear. And who can forget the 2006 G8 conference at which then-president George Bush stepped behind the seated German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and shoulder-rubbed her? (Merkel raised her arms in horror.)
Looking back on past Oscars, was Adrien Brody’s understandable elation in 2003 for just having won Best Actor for “The Pianist” justification for his planting a long, powerful, passionate kiss on Halle Berry, who was presenting the award? (Watch the video; Berry looks stunned—and not happily. Creepily, Brody tops off his kiss by telling her, “I bet they didn’t tell you that was in the gift bag.”)
Of course, you might say, oh please, it’s Hollywood, it’s all entertainment and titillation. But according to some experts, male-on-female touching is still driven by male obliviousness toward personal-space boundaries and toward issues of power, even in a limelight-drenched setting. “I did years of sexual harrassment training,” says body-language expert Patti Wood. "The problem was that guys didn’t know they were doing something wrong and the only thing that worked was when women told them, ‘I don’t like that—stop.’ All the men who got word stopped immediately. Women thought the nonverbal messages they were giving, such as leaning away or tensing, was enough, but it wasn’t."
Of course, when you’re live on TV in front of an estimated 34.6 million viewers, saying “stop” can be hard to do. And that’s where issues of power, not just “silly fun,” come into the picture. Referring to Travolta’s cupping Menzel’s face in his hand, Wood says, “That gesture usually connotes to someone that they are really precious to you, but it’s also something a parent does to a child. It’s a way of saying ‘I’m more powerful than you.’” So for Travolta to do that to Menzel when she was sending him up for last year’s gaffe suggested it was “a bizarre, passive-aggressive way to quiet her,” says Wood.
So what are the do’s and don’ts of man-on-woman public touching? There are none, says etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore. “It all depends on your relationship with the person and on the situation,” she says. Biden’s touching the defense secretary’s wife as he did was out of bounds, says Whitmore, because the swearing-in was “a business, not a social, situation, with cameras running.”
But is an awards ceremony a business situation? “That’s a gray area,” she says. “They’re there to party, but then again, they’re viewed as role models and people are watching.”

And the message people may be taking away is, if men feel entitled to touch women in such a proprietary manner before the whole world, what must many men still feel entitled to do in an unobserved setting? It’s especially confusing now that millennials have brought hugging from high school into work settings, says Wood, who suggests that both men and women restrict touch in work settings to the classic handshake and, if they feel compelled to express warmth or bonding after having gotten to know someone, go no further than brief, light fingertips to the elbow or forearm. “That’s the safe zone,” she says.
John Travolta earned himself a spot in an already circulating Kanye West meme.
And Kanye West, who is famous for following his own code of conduct recently posed at the Grammys with both hands squarely on the notorious, Gaultier-clad booty of his wife, Kim Kardashian— much as he once publicly squeezed the butt of Amber Rose, now his ex. “There’s been way more men’s hands on women’s butts in photos the past ten years,” notes Wood. “A few years ago, you’d only do that to a prostitute, not your mate. There was a taboo, because that touch said that sex to the rear was probably going on in the relationship. But now people almost think it’s charming.”

Just one rule, there, says Wood: Make sure that woman whose butt your grabbing in that photo is your wife or girlfriend—and make sure she’s okay with it.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

People Watching a Couple in their 70’s Love at Any Age

People Watching a Couple in their 70’s
 Love at Any Age

My former fiancé and I used to people watch together and we'd watch couples and family members and make up stories about them.

One day we saw a couple in their 70s and they were so gentle and tentative with each other. The gentleman helped her to the table. He took out her chair for her and helped her sit down. They seemed so sweet and caring of one another. As they ate, they couldn't keep their eyes off each other.  They would reach across the table to touch as they talked. It was quite beautiful to watch.
We wondered how a couple that had been together so many years could be so sweet to each other.  Then, we couldn't help ourselves,and had to go over and introduce ourselves to the couple. We found out that they were actually on a first date. They had known each other peripherally for years and we're finally going out.

It reminds me that you could have love and tenderness at any age and you should never give up searching and trying for love.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Time and Touch are Strong Nonverbal Communicators

Time and Touch are Strong Nonverbal Communicators

I visit my mother in her assisted living facility. One day I saw an entire family get out of the van and help their mother/grandmother get out of the van. They all needed to help and they all needed to touch her and they all wanted to talk to her and hug her one last time.  They weren't in a hurry, they didn't just stay in the car and watch her get out.  They didn't rush off like so many families do. It reminded me to slow down when I'm with my mother to take care and linger in our love. 

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Hello Honey, I'm Home!

Hello Honey, I'm Home!

Every week when I fly home back to Atlanta I eavesdrop on people being greeted by their families and I listen to their voices and I watch them reach out their arms kiss, hug and show their love.  It's amazing and reminds me how sweet, fabulous and wonderful love is.

This has happened a lot but I'll tell you about one particular story.

I was watching a businessman come down the aisle of the plane looking like a weary soldier.
He  seemed really exhausted and overwhelmed as he sat down and as we flew the three hours from Albuquerque to Atlanta he worked on his computer,  getting out receipts and opening up excel spread sheets and going through tons of emails. He was working really hard, but it was clear from his slumped shoulders and turtle in his shell head he was beat. Then as soon as our plane landed he got out his cell phone and got on the phone with his little girl and was transformed. He talked in the most enthusiastic and loving voice and his shoulders came back and his head came up. He lit up with joy as he listened to his daughter and responded to her with such generosity of spirit. It was an amazing thing to witness.

Now here is something amazing. I have seen business men do this a least two dozen times on my weekly flights. As soon as they land after a long flight they get out their phone to call their loved ones.  It reminds me of the power of love to transform us and I hope it also reminds you that you communicate with your actions. If your first thought getting home is to call your family,
you are putting the most important part of your life first. 


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Why You Shouldn't Talk On Your Cell Phone on Airplanes

Why You Shouldn't Talk On Your Cell Phone on Airplanes
The Mr. Mustache Story


I was on a plane as it waited to take off from the Atlanta Airport.  There was a gentleman with a mustache in the row across from me in first class on his cell phone.  Mr. Mustache didn't seem to care we could hear every word he said on his cell phone as he loudly told the employee he was fired.
It was the most heart wrenching and disturbing eavesdropping situation I've ever encountered. His voice was cold, hurried and matter-of-fact. He said sales were down in his region and he felt Sam could do a better job. I could actually hear the pleading in the voice of the employee from his cell phone.
Mr. Mustache said that he hadn't said anything before hoping the sales would increase and that was that, and that he had to get off the phone as his plane was about to take off.  Yes, Mr. Mustache, totally ignored the pleading and quickly said he had to get off the phone because the plane was taking off.

I audibly groaned as he got off the phone and my seatmate who also heard the call said, "Can you believe him?" If I had been in the seat near mustache I would have told him he was rude and insensitive, but going across my seatmate to say that would have been rude of me! My seatmate and I talked about how horrible that was and how unprofessional and heartless this man was.

I want you to remember this story. Remember you do not fire people with a brief heartless phone call having obviously not given them any prior notice. You should not rush a phone call when someone is in obvious distress and let them know you are on a plane publically firing them. You do not have emotional phone calls in public spaces, especially in spaces like airplanes where no one can escape your rudeness.

If you are making any excuses for Mr. Mustaches behavior, DON"T. He may have been a rich guy in first class thinking he earned the right to be rude and heartless. He hadn't. If you are thinking you have never done anything remotely like this think again. Have you ever said something emotional or negative to someone on the phone when you were in a public space? Have you ever said something over the phone or text or email that you should have said in person, but you didn't want to deal with it?
Have you ever talked loudly on the phone when others could not step away from you to not hear you?


Be polite. Be a grownup. Honor and respect the souls around you. 

More cell phone use articles:



Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Should You Date a Coworker?

Should You Date a Coworker?

I'm a body language expert, speaker, author and coach. My first dissertation topic was dating in the workplace. I did research on the topic for two years.
If you know all of your policies and procedures in the workplace allow it, I think it's absolutely fine to date coworkers. I just recommend being very clear and specific about your expectations.

Before you go out on one single date:

·         Discuss how you will act and what you see your behavior and their behavior looking like.

·         What will you say and do what will they say and do? For example, Do you expect them to greet you or say goodbye differently?

·         Do you want to ask that they not visit you in your office space during the day?

·         What conversations, endearments and nonverbal behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable?

·         Are you comfortable with them sharing details about you and your dates?

Here is the most important thing to know and rule to follow when dating coworkers. Don't keep it a secret! It sounds counterintuitive but makes it known to your boss and your close coworkers that you are going out on a date. My feeling is, if you are too uncomfortable to make the date public you don't respect the person enough to date them.

In my research I found it was keeping any dating or relationships a secret from your team members that seem to cause the most problems both for the people dating and fellow coworkers.

Even seemingly innocent deceptions can pervert your actions and lead to miss perceptions and tension. Be up front and be a grown-up.



 Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Couples Who Sleep Less Than an Inch Apart Might Be Happiest Research Reveals What Your Sleeping Position Says About Your Relationship

Couples Who Sleep Less Than an Inch Apart
 Might Be Happiest Research Reveals 
What Your Sleeping Position Says About Your Relationship


If you get my newsletter you know that I have written and spoken about couples’ sleep positions for many years. I have even been in bed on a morning television show talking about. Patti on Regis & Kelly 

Here is some of the most current research on couples sleep positions.

From Science Daily News
April 15, 2014      University of Hertfordshire

Scientists have discovered what people’s preferred couple sleeping position reveals about their relationships and personality. The research revealed the most popular sleep positions for couples.
What Sleep Position is the Most Popular for Couples and what is the Least Popular.
42% sleeping back to back,
31% sleeping facing the same direction
4%  spending the night facing one another.
12% of couples spend the night less than an inch apart whilst
 2% sleep over 30 inches apart.
What do people’s preferred sleeping position reveal about their relationships and personality?
Credit: © Igor Mojzes / Fotolia
Research carried out at the Edinburgh International Science Festival has discovered what people’s preferred sleeping position reveals about their relationships and personality.



The work, carried out by University of Hertfordshire psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, involved asking over 1000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position and to rate their personality and quality of their relationship.
The research revealed the most popular sleep positions for couples, with 42% sleeping back to back, 31% sleeping facing the same direction and just 4% spending the night facing one another.  In addition, 12% of couples spend the night less than an inch apart whilst 2% sleep over 30 inches apart.
Professor Wiseman commented: “One of the most important differences involved touching, with 94% of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to just 68% of those that didn't touch.”
In addition, the further apart the couple spent the night, the worse their relationship, with 86% of those who slept less than an inch apart from their partner being happy with their relationship, compared to only 66% of those who slept more than 30 inches apart. 
The work also revealed that extroverts tended to spend the night close to their partners, and more creative types tended to sleep on their left hand side.
Professor Wiseman noted: "This is the first survey to examine couples' sleeping positions, and the results allow people to gain an insight into someone's personality and relationship by simply asking them about their favourite sleeping position."
Professor Richard Wiseman is the author of Night School, which examines the science of sleep and dreaming. 

He returns to the Edinburgh International Science Festival on Thursday 17 April, 2014 to talk about the power of the sleeping mind.

More sleep position articles:



Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by University of HertfordshireNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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University of Hertfordshire. "Research reveals what your sleeping position says about your relationship." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. .


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Research on Mate Selection Shows That Settling for 'Mr. Right Now' is better than waiting for 'Mr. Right.'

Research on Mate Selection Shows 
That Settling for 'Mr. Right Now' 
is better than waiting for 'Mr. Right.'

And that if we were raised in small communities we are more risk averse and more likely to settle and find a mate. This makes sense to me. It indicates that if there are more possible mates when we are growing up we think there are more fish in the sea and it's harder for us to find someone we want to mate with for life. Though it talks about how we grew up and I also think it explains why people searching for a mate on dating sites like Match.com have a hard time meeting someone they want to settle down with. The possibilities make them less risk adverse.

Here is the research from Science Daily News. I have yellow highlighted the interesting sections.

Date: February 6, 2015
Source: Michigan State University
Summary:
Evolutionary researchers have determined that settling for 'Mr. Okay' is a better evolutionary strategy than waiting for 'Mr. Perfect.' When studying the evolution of risk aversion using a computational model of digital organisms, researchers found that it is in our nature -- traced back to the earliest humans -- to take the safe bet when stakes are high, such as whether or not we will mate.
How risk averse we are correlates to the size of the group in which we were raised. If reared in a small group -- fewer than 150 people -- we tend to be much more risk averse than those who were part of a larger community.
It turns out that primitive humans lived in smaller groups, about 150 individuals. Because resources tend to be more scarce in smaller communities, this environment helps promote risk aversion.



When studying the evolution of risk aversion, Michigan State University researchers found that it is in our nature -- traced back to the earliest humans -- to take the safe bet when stakes are high, such as whether or not we will mate.
Credit: © michaeljung / Fotolia

When studying the evolution of risk aversion, Michigan State University researchers found that it is in our nature -- traced back to the earliest humans -- to take the safe bet when stakes are high, such as whether or not we will mate.
"Primitive humans were likely forced to bet on whether or not they could find a better mate," said Chris Adami, MSU professor of microbiology and molecular genetics and co-author of the paper.
"They could either choose to mate with the first, potentially inferior, companion and risk inferior offspring, or they could wait for Mr. or Ms. Perfect to come around," he said. "If they chose to wait, they risk never mating."
Adami and his co-author Arend Hintze, MSU research associate, used a computational model to trace risk-taking behaviors through thousands of generations of evolution with digital organisms. These organisms were programmed to make bets in high-payoff gambles, which reflect the life-altering decisions that natural organisms must make, as for example choosing a mate.
"An individual might hold out to find the perfect mate but run the risk of coming up empty and leaving no progeny," Adami said. "Settling early for the sure bet gives you an evolutionary advantage, if living in a small group."
Adami and his team tested many variables that influence risk-taking behavior and concluded that certain conditions influence our decision-making process. The decision must be a rare, once-in-a-lifetime event and also have a high payoff for the individual's future -- such as the odds of producing offspring.
How risk averse we are correlates to the size of the group in which we were raised. If reared in a small group -- fewer than 150 people -- we tend to be much more risk averse than those who were part of a larger community.
It turns out that primitive humans lived in smaller groups, about 150 individuals. Because resources tend to be more scarce in smaller communities, this environment helps promote risk aversion.
"We found that it is really the group size, not the total population size, which matters in the evolution of risk aversion," Hintze said.
However, not everyone develops the same level of aversion to risk. The study also found that evolution doesn't prefer one single, optimal way of dealing with risk, but instead allows for a range of less, and sometimes more-risky, behaviors to evolve.
"We do not all evolve to be the same," Adami said. "Evolution creates a diversity in our acceptance of risk, so you see some people who are more likely to take bigger risks than others. We see the same phenomenon in our simulations."


Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State UniversityNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:
1.     Arend Hintze, Randal S. Olson, Christoph Adami, Ralph Hertwig. Risk sensitivity as an evolutionary adaptationScientific Reports, 2015; 5: 8242 DOI:10.1038/srep08242


Cite This Page:
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·         APA
·         Chicago
Michigan State University. "Settling for 'Mr. Right Now' better than waiting for 'Mr. Right', shows model of digital organisms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2015. .



Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Tips for Reducing Your Social Anxiety and Improving Your First Impression at Parties and Networking Events

I do research, write and consult on body language and first impressions. It is very interesting to me that after many years as a speaker I now have clients that share with me that their employees and or professional association members are fearful of networking. They feel they don’t have the skills to introduce themselves or make small talk and some don’t even value networking.

If you are wondering how to make small talk and network you can hire me as your coach or bring me to your business or association. Our office number is 404-315-7397.

Here are a few tips from my book SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma on how to network.  

Tips for Reducing Your Social Anxiety and Improving Your First Impression at Parties and Networking Events
By Patti Wood MA, CSP and Body Language Expert

Some of you may think of social and networkingand mingling opportunities and jump for joy and some of you may think of punch and cookies and meeting strangers and feel your palms begin to sweat and your throat start to close. Here are fun and helpful tips for feeling more comfortable at your next party so you can change from a wallflower to a “social butterfly.”

1. Look for an Open Person. You have learned in an earlier chapter how to make yourself approachable by having open body language.  You can use that information to look for people who you can easily approach. Search for people who are intently speaking to someone already. Spy the people who have their feet slightly apart a few inches rather than crossed, pressed together, or cowboy show of defensive stance 14 inches apart. It is easier to approach someone who is showing his or her palms as they gesture and is smiling. If you are super shy, you can just go up and stand next to someone who looks open and slowly mirror his posture.  Research says he is likely to start a conversation with you.
2. Go first….you can also introduce yourself. I know I know, you’re thinking, "Patti you are insane.” I hate to talk to people and you want me to initiate a conversation!” “I’d rather stick a fork in my eye.” Put down the fork. Research shows that when you initiate you appear more confident to other people and they immediately feel more at ease. In addition, when they feel at ease, the comfort transfers to you. Remember, two awkward people equal three times the anxiety.
3.  Introduce people to each other. Again, you have something to do, and goodness it takes the pressure off you. You now say the younger person’s name first to introduce them to the older person, say the lower status person’s name first to introduce them to the higher status person. Think bigwig’s name is said last.
4. Ask a question and then relax and listen.  When I was in grad school and teaching at Florida State I tried out for and got a part in a community program.  I almost lost my voice and I learned a lot about listening.  So much anxiety comes from not knowing what to do or how to do it well. I can tell you that the smartest thing you can do at a party is ask a gentle question. It completely takes the talking pressure off you. You don’t have to be witty and urbane to be good listeners. And if “The Seven Habits of highly successful people” is right, everybody loves a good listener. If asking questions seems to be as difficult for you as defusing and atomic bomb, click to my book “Going UP!” The book gives pages of questions you can use to start a conversation.
5. Nod your head. I give simple listening body language cues in my linked article. Here is one of my favorites to teach men. Nod your head. Women love it. Men typically only nod their heads when they agree, woman nod to show they are listening. Guys, if you nod your head a lot she will love you. Beware of nodding your head at your female boss at the office.  Power people love it when you nod your head too, but your boss might think you love them so much you are willing for them to nominate you for the office, “recycling waste committee for 2009.”

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.