Melania Trump Slaps President's Hand Away to Say "She Won't Be Treated as a Child," Says Body Language Expert, Patti Wood

Yesterday US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
As always, the eyes of the public were watching their every move, and much has been made of a particular public moment between the couple.
After disembarking from the plane, the President walks ahead of his wife and holds his hand back for her to take Melania, however, swats it away, in what appears to be a display of couple disunity. But what does this mean? 

We asked body language expert Patti Wood what her opinion is.
Wood believes the First Lady’s action was deliberate: “He was walking way in front to show his power and putting his hand back to lead her like a child, her hand went under his and up and out to say ‘No, you can’t lead me like a child.’” 

However it’s also possible Melania batted her husband away because she was cautious about showing public affection in Tel Aviv.

The incident could be a further sign of how the Trump’s relationship has changed since becoming the First Couple.

Wood points out that before the residency, she thinks their relationship was “high contact,” and “highly sexualised, with him touching intimate zones of her body in public freely and easily, typically as he smiled and even gloated.”

In the past few months, however, we’ve seen Trump often powering out in front of his wife and leaving her behind. “He wants to be seen as a president. Not as part of a presidential couple,” Wood explained to The Independent. 

But in February, we saw the opposite happen: when Melania went to take her husband’s hand, he simply patted and dropped it, suggesting he didn’t want to hold hands.

Wood believes, on the whole, that Trump is calling the shots when it comes to their public image: “He is determining how they will present themselves. 

“She tries to hold his hand at times in an affectionate way, which makes me think that was their normal way of walking. She is used to affection and often leans it to get it, but we see him turn away or smack her hand away in an admonishing way. 

“There are also several photos where her response to his behaviour is hurt or anger.” 

According to Wood, Melania’s body language around Trump has changed a lot in the past few months - she used to be “a model married to someone that desired her,” and her body language was “very loose, open and comfortable in her own skin.”

But now, Wood says Melania has become someone “whose shoulders go down, whose mouth turns down, who gives furtive, down-gazing looks, and who is tense, tight, small and unhappy.”

In fact, so much has been made of Melania’s facial expressions that ‘Sad Melania’ has become a meme, and many people believe she is unhappy in the marriage.

Melania looks like someone reluctantly serving out a community service sentencing for making a poor life choice #TrumpTrip

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

Everything You Can Learn About President Trump From His Weird Handshakes

Everything you can learn about President Trump
from his weird handshakes

Here is the link to the article I did

There are enough power plays in a President Trump handshake to make your head spin.
With Trump alternating between scripted speeches and private talks through most of his nine-day foreign trip, the world has been left looking for the real stories hidden in his body language — which has made his jarring handshakes famous again.
Trump’s powerful paw stole the show Thursday as he blitzed through meetings with foreign leaders in Brussels at the G7 summit.
There he was, holding the hand of French President Emmanuel Macron for so long that it made the world uncomfortable.
There he was later in public, yanking Macron’s arm around as if spasming.

What's in a shake?
Similar grab-and-pull gestures befell Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and (the clearly exasperated) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Each shake became a viral, and baffling, quirk of the commander-in-chief.
One body language expert, who has studied handshakes for years, says she’s never seen American Presidents doing anything like Trump’s seemingly awkward grabs and yanks.
It's very unusual,” Patti Wood told the Daily News.

It's e timing is not normal, the ritual of it is not normal.”
But experts argued that, strange as it is, it’s intentional — and it’s all about dominance.
On the surface, Trump’s apparently out-of-control shake seems like a warm gesture — an embrace so overwhelming he loses himself in the moment.

“He’s kind of like a clumsy big bear,” said Lillian Glass, a Florida body language consultant.
“He’s a guy that kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve, as we all know. So when he really likes you, he grabs you toward him, like you’re his buddy. It’s a very show business thing, very Hollywood.”
He usually completes the look with his immediate grin and unbroken eye contact.
But there’s something more subtle and sinister at hand.

Trump’s presidential handshakes have become notorious for their unnatural movements — he grabs the hand, hesitates, pulls the person toward him and holds the gesture just a few moments too long.
It’s unsettling — likely on purpose.

“It sends a very specific message of power,” Wood told The News.
“It puts (the other person) off center, off kilter. ‘Oh, you can trust me. Oh, no you can’t.’ It’s an alpha contest of who’s going to be in charge.”
Wood noted that the world has mostly seen the Trump shake during his meetings with either fellow world leaders, or with other Washington dignitaries from whom he will expect loyalty.

A clearly exasperated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after one of Trump's signature shakes.

Another reason she says the domineering shake is calculated: It’s a new thing for him.
Prior to his presidency, the famously germ phobic business mogul was ardently anti-handshake. He called it a “barbaric” gesture that put him at risk of catching “all sorts of things.”
Trump has been in the perpetual public eye for decades, but was rarely seen giving so many handshakes until he entered the White House.
That's when the Hollywood moves wouldn't cut it anymore. With every new encounter, he now had a lot more to prove.

Full Daily News article -

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at