Trump's Body Language, Hugging and Hugs Denied and the Meaning of the Man Hug

When does a hug become performative, or a power play? (i.e. the Comey handshake) There is a man hug ( see excerpt from my book SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma below. That is a sign of affection. This is not a man hug. Trump patted him ever so briefly broke the handshake (the man hug extends it and the hand on the back or shoulder brings the person in close and it lingers) and whispered to him so Comey had to bend down to Trump. Trump broke the handshake with the pat making the he pat was an power play, a top down admonishment.

- Why would Trump go in for an unwanted hug even when the spotlight's not on him? Some huggers where raised to be huggers based on their culture and or their family. Some huggers are expression their personality by always hugging.  Some  people who are huggers don’t feel connected or that they have fully expressed themselves  until they hug. Their hug is part of their identity, and may even create for them a unique moment or marker in their interactions.  I study and teach body language and personality assessment. The extroverted huggers in my audiences over the years say, “I am a hugger!” “If someone doesn’t want to hug, I make them!” I think it may feel like a win to some huggers, while others feel like they are able to give their affection in hug and set the tone. Some report, she didn’t want that hug, but then she gave in!” It’s a very interesting mixture of power and warmth. Remember Trump refused to shake hands for years. Look at the old news stories on his anti handshake days. Back then he gained power by not shaking hands as a handshake is an agreement to start the interaction unarmed.

What's the meaning of a hug denied, from the rejected hugger's point of view? Thinking of the instance at NATO when Macron seems to deny Trump's open arms. This instance is interesting for several reasons. As you watch Macron is seen walking on the far left towards Trump, then he veers over to shake hands with her. Some have shared that it was women first etiquette, but he veered so far left it looks like purposeful game of “fake you out!”, meant to unsettle Trump the way he tried to unsettle Macron with that, “I am not letting go” handshake on Macron’s visit to the us.  It’s a snub and we see a mircrofacial cue of anger by Trump in response, his lips press together and his eyes narrow tightly and his check and chin muscles tighten

- In your opinion, do you think these hugs are purely about power, or might he genuinely crave physical connection.   It varies, from person to person and it can also serve both functions for some people. 

.” I first noticed the man hug being exchanged by the male athletes in my communication classes at Auburn University. The young men would see a fellow athlete in the hallway or on the campus green and want to give a hug of warmth and friendship, but they were out in public view. People were watching. So they would give a combination handshake-hug. In the handshake-hug, the men first stick out one hand for a handshake and then, with their right hands locked in the handshake (to keep the two participants from getting too close), each wraps his left arm around the other’s shoulder and hugs. The two men hug with only their upper bodies touching and their lower torsos held out and away. Finally, to insure that no one can misconstrue this partial hug as a sissy move, each takes the hand that he briefly held against the other’s back and pounds hard three or four times.
In fact, you could tell if the men were close buddies. They would strike each other harder, just to show how much they cared! Men showing affection through hitting says, “I love you, guy, but not that way.” Unlike the traditional hug, which symbolically and effectively brings people into the intimate zone of space, removes barriers, and unites the two persons embracing, this pounding hug brings only the upper torso into intimate proximity of less than 14 inches. The two extended right arms block any symbolic joining of the two bodies. The aggressive act of striking the back insures that each man knows the other is still a testosterone-rich, card-carrying member of the “man club.”
The man hug, or pound hug, is exclusively performed between two males. It also goes by other names, including pound shake, dude hug, shug, or the bro hug. It’s a greeting or parting ritual that demonstrates a certain level of intimacy typically reserved for close friends and family.
While the different names for the man hug have entered the lexicon, the meaning of the hug has expanded to cover other things as well. Men can now “hug it out” in other circumstances. First heard by the masses in an episode of Friends on TV, the phrase hug it out means that one person gives another (usually a male) a pound hug to help the man get through a difficult or sad situation. Instead of being a spontaneous show of affection, this hug is preceded by a request for permission before it is given. So the exchange sounds something like this:
Person 1: “Man, my girlfriend just dumped me.”
Person 2: “Do you wanna hug it out?”
In an episode of Entourage, two of the guys were in a screaming argument on an elevator. Once the doors opened and they were in public view, one guy turned to the other and said, “Wanna hug it out?” In this use, the pound hug, preceded by the phrase “Wanna hug it out” means: “Hey, we were arguing, but now that we are in public, let’s show we are friends for now. Then we can continue this later in private.” The phrase “Lets hug it out, @#$#,” means “Let’s be friends again” after an argument, or when one man feels he has insulted another.

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

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

Photo Read of Kisses for BBC

There are several striking things about this photo. Notice first how far he is leaning towards her from where he is standing. See the huge weight shift that puts him off balance and leaning down and onto her cues that show how far he will go to get to her and what risk he will take to be with her. Notice the secure comfortable wrap of his fingers around her. I love that though her face is scrunched up and her lips aren’t soft and merged into his in romantic kiss, she is laughing and playful, combined with her hand up about to touch him intimately on the side of the face. She shows with these cues her playfulness and tenderness and because, it’s often the man who cradles and or touches the side of their partners face, her power.

Very passionate kiss, especially for a public kiss, all their lower body windows appear to be touching, (black on black is hard to read) but looks like heart window, ventral front window and pelvic window are touching, I like how her right hand is sunk into his back forcefully pulling him towards her with strength and passion and they have their mouths not just outer lips connected and kissing. For decorum’s sake she has her left hand straight down, which gives him more power in this photo. I also like how his face has the hint of playfulness on it.

Tender cheek kiss, love how she hold her head high up and towards him with a smile that goes all the way up to her eyes showing true joy.

Above she shows some awkwardness and reluctance in letting the front of her body connect, Note how she arches out at the pelvis so there is not a sexual connection in this formal photo. But he is showing such tenderness, holding his head tilted close to her and his hand up and around her shoulders. I love that you can see, even with just a view of the side of her face that she is smiling. They are tender and happy with each other.

Above, love the sweet loving kiss he gives to the side of her head. The way he does that makes me read that he does that tender enduring kiss often. She is leaning sideways to bask in his tender kiss, and look at her full open mouth smile. The other rather remarkable set of cues is their matching hand raise that shows they are in synch with one another, and that he feels comfortable and connected to her power.

Above her in teal dress. She really wants to have a good smooch. She is tilting her head to the side and forward to get a passionate kiss. He is more reticent, pursing his lips, but smiling with his eyes and with his fingers pushing her slightly away to formalize the kiss. Note how her visible hand is down at the side almost frozen in place, letting him run the power connection. 

Note above that she is opening her torso, heart and mouth window towards him and he is choosing to keep his lower windows behind the podium and turned toward the camera, and his mouth window, the obviously most important window to open for a kiss is closed and the lips are closed and mouth is turned down and the muscles pulled back slightly and chin wrinkled and tucked back, and eyes partially closed, all cues of disgust, (though lacking the single most important cue of disgust a wrinkled nose. Just his head goes forward slightly. Note how both have their arms and hands down. The arms and hands touching a partner often signal tenderness and connection. Lacking totally from this photo. May be situationally determined as he is behind the podium and he likes to maintain presidential power body language in public photos 

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

Allergan's Eyepowerment™ Campaign Releases Survey Revealing the Importance of Eye Language and the Crucial Role it Plays in Our Communications

05.16.2017 | Investors

Allergan's Eyepowerment™ Campaign Releases Survey Revealing the Importance of Eye Language and the Crucial Role it Plays in Our Communications

-- Approximately Half of Americans Surveyed Notice the Eyes First, Supporting the Mission of the Campaign to Empower Chronic Dry Eye Sufferers to Take Action --
DUBLIN, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) today announced the results of a new online eye language survey of 1,019 adult Americans that found approximately half of respondents (53 percent) say the eyes are the first facial feature they notice about another person. Research shows the eyes provide a powerful form of nonverbal communication about who we are and what we feel.1 To help interpret our eye language, Allergan has partnered with Patti Wood, a body language expert with more than 25 years of experience.
Allergan plc logo
The "A Look at Eye Language" online survey was conducted by Kelton Global on behalf of Allergan in support of the brand's Eyepowerment campaign to raise awareness for Chronic Dry Eye disease.
"Eye language is a powerful form of communication that can reveal a lot about us, but Chronic Dry Eye symptoms like red or itchy eyes may unintentionally interfere with the message you want to send," said Wood. "My passion for interpreting our eye language aligns perfectly with Allergan's Eyepowerment campaign, which aims to empower people who might be experiencing symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye to learn more about Chronic Dry Eye and talk to their doctor about treatment options."
Additional results of the survey revealed:
  • Approximately 97 percent of America surveyed say that they are comfortable making eye contact with those that they know
  • Those who see the value in maintaining eye contact say holding a direct gaze makes them feel respected (53 percent), understood (45 percent) or appreciated (44 percent)
  • Many feel eye behavior creates a shared connection (36 percent), leaves a positive impression (35 percent) and increases one's likeability (29 percent)
  • Women are more likely than men to feel eye behavior shows sincerity (53 percent vs. 41 percent) and creates a shared connection (42 percent vs. 30 percent)
  • Approximately half of Americans (57 percent) can tell if someone is listening by looking into their eyes
  • Approximately a quarter (28 percent) of respondents believe others know how truthful they are by looking into their eyes
Recognizing the importance of eye language and the messages our eyes can send, Allergan's Eyepowerment campaign urges the up to 33 million Americans suffering from symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye to take action to learn about Chronic Dry Eye and talk to their doctor. Join the conversation by following @Eyepowerment on Twitter and using the hashtag #Eyepowerment.
Talk to your doctor or visit to learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for Chronic Dry Eye.
Survey Methodology:
"A Look at Eye Language" survey was conducted between April 20 and April 25, 2017 among 1,019 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey.  Quotas are set to ensure a reliable representation of the U.S. population 18 and over. In this survey, Millennials were defined as those ages 18-36. 
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. 
In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percent, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all personas in the universe represented by the sample.  The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.
About Kelton
Kelton Global is a leading global insights firm serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations.  For more information about Kelton Global please call 1.888.8.KELTON or visit
About Dry Eye
One type of chronic dry eye is caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation. Dry eye is often a chronic disease that can be caused by advanced age, contact lens wear, certain medications, eye diseases, other medical conditions or environmental factors. Without enough tears, the film protecting the eye can break down, creating dry spots on the cornea.
About Allergan plc Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world.
Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics and dermatology, gastroenterology, women's health, urology and anti-infective therapeutic categories.
Allergan is an industry leader in Open Science, a model of research and development, which defines our approach to identifying and developing game-changing ideas and innovation for better patient care. With this approach, Allergan has built one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry with 70+ mid-to-late stage pipeline programs currently in development.
Allergan's success is powered by our more than 18,000 global colleagues' commitment to being Bold for Life. Together, we build bridges, power ideas, act fast and drive results for our customers and patients around the world by always doing what is right.
With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.
For more information, visit Allergan's website at
Forward-Looking Statement  Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan's current perspective on existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan's business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan's products; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and Allergan's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2017. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
References: 1 Lee DH, Anderson AK. "Reading what the mind thinks from how the eye sees ", Psychol. Sci. 2017; 28(4): 494-503.

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

Eyepowerment Is On Set With Patti Wood to Talk About Eye Language

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

The Role Body Language Plays in Business

Patti shared her expertise on the role body language plays in business at the 
2016 SEMA Trade Show.
Check the links below to discover two SEMA Biz Tips from the expert!

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

Eye Contact at Work

    There are a number of messages your eyes can send at work

Colleagues who seek eye contact when speaking are seen by us as being more confident, believable and earnest

People that make eye contact as they make a request, such as,"Can you get this to me by Friday?" are more likely to have their request fulfilled.
In greeting with a handshake the average eye contact time should last no more than 3.2 seconds.  If you look longer you can be seen as powerful and if you narrow your eyes and glare you can be seen as aggressive or angry. 

You want to be careful not to roll your eyes in frustration or contempt, or rubbing your eyes that can show a lack of comfort, stress or even be an indication you are lying and you want to symbolically rub away the stress.

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

How Many Different Expressions Can The Human Face Give?

We communicate non verbally with every movement we make, every posture we hold and every expression we give with our eyes. Dr, Paul Ekman in his book "Emotions Revealed" says it's estimated that the human face can give up to 10,000 different expressions. Our eye language and other nonverbal cues because they are often not under our conscious control our eye language and other body language can reveal the most revealing information about our emotions, our confidence level and even at times whether or not we are telling the truth.

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

Is There a Science to the Perfect Ugly-Cry Face?

Here is a piece I did for on what indicates sincere crying, and why we cry when other people cry, even when we are watching an actor cry on screen!.

Crying is often cathartic. It's an emotional release triggered by a range of feelings — sadness, love, anger, and grief, to name a few. So when you're watching a scene from a television show or movie that makes you feel things, it's a totally normal response. So normal, in fact, that there's an entire MTV Movie & TV Awards category dedicated to things that make us cry.

But not all cries are created equal.

Why is it that when MTV Best Actor nominee Mandy Moore sheds a tear on This Is Us, audiences feel empathy, while Kim Kardashian's tears are meme-ified for the internet's entertainment? Even Claire Danes and her Emmy-winning cry faces have been the butt of internet jokes.

It's not that Danes is exaggerating her sobs for the camera; in fact, it's more likely that she is just extremely good at her job, specifically the crying part of it.
"She gets that sad face, and it kind of lingers and then it fades out, but it's very slow," body-language expert and speaker Patti Wood told MTV News. "That's one of the reasons we're affected by it so profoundly, because most of the time real crying doesn't disappear. True crying lingers and comes and goes in waves."

When we see someone cry onscreen, the mirror neurons in our brains fire, which elicits a very primal response from us — one that mimics what we're seeing. Isopraxism, or the pull to the same energy, is also in effect. "Isopraxism in nature explains why birds fly together and deer run together and why people applaud," Wood said. "That's another thing that's part of what's going on when people see and hear people crying on the screen."

Of course seeing someone cry doesn't always elicit the same response. As Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy, Tearjerker nominee Ellen Pompeo is one of television's most seasoned criers — and also one of the most effective. According to Ad Vingerhoets, the world's foremost expert on crying, how the person cries is an important determinant of how audiences will respond to a character's tears.

Wood says: "In sadness, the inner corners of the eyebrows go up, the eyelids droop, the corners of your mouth go down, and sometimes there's this weird change in the cheeks, like the cheek muscles go toward the nose. In agony, you're pulling your facial muscles in a lot toward the center and downward. That combination is exactly the opposite of what you might find attractive.

"Typically, the facial muscles are balanced and … lifted up, so the eyebrows go up all the way and the eyelids don't droop, they stand up straight; the corners of the mouth go up and the cheeks go up, so you get this upward balanced expression," she added. "In crying, specifically in agony, you get this mixture of up and down, but a lot of down."

To audiences, that downward movement might not be the most aesthetically pleasing. "To us, it might look ugly, and ugly is unpleasant," Wood said.

And when viewers feel unpleasant or uncomfortable, laughing is often a go-to stress response. "We're fighting against the emotion — in this case, sadness — to laugh," she explained.

The relationship the audience has with the crier is also important. For a public persona like Kardashian, some people might feel apathetic toward her emotions, and for an actress like Danes, it might be that her portrayal of pure, unfiltered agony is just too real for some audiences to feel any empathy. Hence her heavily memed facial contortions.

Link to actual 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

Why Do We Avoid Eye Contact In Elevators?

Why do we avoid eye contact in elevators?  We are often in an intimate space less that 16 inches from strangers, and that zone is typically reserved for people we are very close to or are kissing, eye contact can also be a signal of intimacy. So, when we are in an intimate space with strangers we can't control we create equilibrium by avoiding eye contact. This is part of what is called Equilibrium Theory. 

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