President Barack Obama and President elect Donald Trump attempted to put on a united front as they met yesterday for the first time since the latter won the election. Commentators and members of the public alike remarked upon how awkward the meeting seemed. But is that really the case? Well, body language expert Patti Wood gives the low down on what the pair’s behaviour tells us about the liaison.
‘If you look at the seating position – their lower legs,’ Wood told the Daily Mail, ‘they are both in the male, alpha position saying “I am a man”.’ However, Wood explains that Obama’s legs are sat further apart, which demonstrates that he is subconsciously telling Trump ‘I am still in charge.’
She further remarks:
‘The thing that is very significant is Trump’s hand position. My read is that he has learned something he didn’t know before. It’s a tentative hand position.’
Such a ‘downward prayer’ position is uncommon for someone who wields so much power.
‘Trump holds his own hands as he begins speaking which is an indication he needs to comfort himself,’ Wood adds. She also points out that as Obama gestures, he rests his arms on his legs. ‘That’s not typical Obama which tells me he is weary.’
Obama claimed that the meeting was highly successful, commenting:
‘I have been very encouraged by the interest in President-elect Trump to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces and I believe that it is important for all regardless of party and regardless of political preferences to now come together, work together to deal with the many challenges we face.’
However, Wood disputes this:
‘There is a part where he says he has been encouraged,’ she said. ‘As he says it he closes his eyes. I call that an eye block. That tells me he doesn’t feel totally encouraged.’