Tonya Reiman





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Body Language Expert

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Speaker, Author, Consultant, 

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Hypnotherapist, Spokesperson & Media Personality 

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​Body language tip:

The reptilian system, which is the oldest part of your brain in an evolutionary sense, is located at the base of your brain stem.  It controls all of your bodily functions and regulates your survival needs: heart rate, blood pressure, circulation, respiration, digestion and reproduction. This is the part that drives you to establish and defend your territory and compete for dominance. It’s the part that instinctively makes you jump when a car backfires. The purpose? Survival, maintenance and reproduction.  Can it be “reprogrammed”?  Yes, that’s another discussion :) 

While working on one of my books, I caught a nasty flu bug that really did me in. I felt terrible and for several days I could barely get out of bed. As i began to recover, my literary agent called to check in.  "How are you feeling?" she asked.  I spared her as I will you the details of that week and instead said "Well, I lost five pounds".   I could have complained, moaned but reframing did two things - I construed the situation as positive by reframing it from negative (tossing cookies) to positive (I've been trying to drop 5 lbs forever) and I left her feeling the positive side of me and not the negative side. 

Signals of sarcasm, skepticism and contempt
Leaning back with a cocked or tilted head, one eye half closed one eye open but tense as in a raised brow, combined with a one-sided slight smile. Stephanie Ruhle does not have much respect for Sam Nunberg. 


a (BODY LANGUAGE) picture says 1000 words!

White House
 Body language of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Director Clancy and Director Comey.

The body language of the surrounding individuals appears normal for the situation.

Note how as the Secret Service Director, Joseph Clancy, walks towards Trump, he continuously wipes his right hand on his jacket (in order to get rid of excess sweat). It makes sense that in the presence of the president, most individuals would be anxious or excited enough to have their palms sweat.

 As President Trump shakes hands with Director Clancy, note how the president pulls him in, forcing him to lose his footing, (typical Trump pump) and brings his hand to his heart.  The president has to maneuver his body to the left in order to be able tug Director Clancy’s hand hard enough to pull him in this tightly.

 .29 seconds After a beat or so, Vice President Pence reaches over and wraps his hand around the director’s upper arm to gently pull him away from the president.

 .34  The president starts in an almost prayer position and than opens his arms wide with upward palms in what could be ininterpreted as  feigned deference and pride – think Pauly greeting Henry Hill in Goodefellas after Henry’s first arrest (as if he is grateful to the heavens) for Director Comey.  

 .36 Note how director Comey looks downward (slightly bowing) and keeps his hands folded when he firsts walks towards trump, he changes from fig position to covering his belly button height, wringing his hands and twirling his fingers.

President Trump attempts the same pull in handshake with director Comey but not a tug (it might be difficult because Comey is roughly 6 inches taller than President Trump) and the goal isn’t to give a warm handshake, it’s a maneuver done to purposefully whisper something into Comey’s ear.  It doesn’t appear to be congenial as both men pull back to make eye contact and the president does the opposite of what he would normally do.  He steps back and extends his arm so he isn’t close to Comey’s body (this could be a result of the president not wanting to appear as if he is looking “UP” at director Comey. The shorter of two men interacting is usually seen as inferior (which seems ridiculous when we are looking at two men over 6 feet tall, yet optics are significant with height).  Look at the facial expressions - Comey’s eye contact breaks before the president (which in this context indicates his desire to move away from all 3 men) and moves on to shake Vice President Pence’s hand. He quickly breaks eye contact again and moves onto Director Clancy’s eyes with a brief head nod of acknowledgement. Director Comey walks back instead of turning immediately which seems to indicate his intense desire to leave, the ability to keep face while backing up. He once again folds his hands back over his belly, ducks his hea

Here is an example of a rapid blink rate. The usual blink rate is roughly 20 blinks per minute and 50 bpm with the stress of television. Here we see Heather Nauert blinking 30 times in about 20 seconds. This is a blink rate of approximately 90 blinks per minute. Rapid blink rate is typically associated with psychological arousal - Heather's face is showing excitement and her blink rate backs up her expression.

Body Language Tip:

Men's and women's sense of personal space is quite different. Space between women is smallest - Men, largest. Between men and women is in the middle. Women tend to keep less space between themselves yet are more likely to withdraw when their space is invaded.

This is what surprise (as well as a few other expressions in the mix) looks like.  Even ACTORS can't mask their tells initially. The most obvious signs here - hands to or slightly covering the mouth and the jaw drop.  At this point, we would have missed the eye widening as it comes and goes quite fleetingly.  

Body language tip:
Jaw clench – the muscle in the jaw that prepares for biting contracts and you clench your jaw in anger or pain. A clenched jaw is a limbic response that is consistent with anger, stress, and agitation (based on nonverbal clusters). If you are offering a clenched jaw, you are inviting either fear and opposition or anger and aggression in your audience.


When a person pulls his palms toward his chest, it means he's either drawing attention to himself or taking responsibility.

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