Bull, The Hit Show On CBS – Every now and then a TV show dealing with human behavior is created and you love it.
Because when you watch it, you feel as though you’re learning some “inside information” that you’ve never had access to before.
It’s almost like the show is giving you tools to deal with human behavior in a way other people aren’t even aware of. One great example of a show like that was Lie To Me. If you haven’t seen it you can binge it on Netflix.
There were a few mistakes with some of the Body Language cues the characters would decode on that show. However, I’m sure those were chalked up to “Dramatic License”. After all, it’s TV right?
Now there’s a new show on CBS that focuses on human behavior called Bull. It’s a hit, but I discovered it has some of the same dramatic license issues that Lie To Me had.
That was a bit of a let down for me. Because my pet peeve is people using bad Body Language information when making important decisions about what other people are thinking and feeling.
It’s such a big pet peeve for me that I did a TEDx Talk about it. It’s called “How To Kill Your Body Language Frankenstein & Inspire The Villagers“.
It’s about what happens when people create their own personal Frankenstein’s Monster. They do it by accident when making decisions about people based on the incorrect Body Language information they’ve been exposed to their entire lives.
Where does all the bad information come from and who’s responsible for it? I cover all that in the TEDx Talk as well.
(A book written by former Army Interrogator, Greg Hartley called “I Can Read You Like A Book” sparked the idea. It’s one of my favorite books on Body Language and Nonverbal Communication. He’s written 9 books. Start with “How To Spot A Liar”).
Here’s what happened
Here’s where my pet peeve tried to grab the remote.
The first time Dr. Bull meets his newest client, the client asks “Can you help my son?”. Dr. Bull answers “Absolutely” while shaking his head “No”.
When this happened I pointed to the TV while I looked at my wife with my mouth gaping wide open. Ambre said “Relax your crack… It’s just starting. Give it a chance.” So I did… I let that one go.
– Watch Bull shake his head “No” in this video while he’s saying “Absolutely”. Then watch Lance Armstrong do the same thing 4 times in a row while bold face lying. The video goes on to show him giving the same answers again, but the second time the sound is down during his answers.
Dr. Bull was leaning back in a chair. He looked his client right in the eye and released “93% of all communication is Nonverbal” as though he were channeling the Body Language God “Nonverbacleez”.
As Ambre turned to look at me, I was already staring at her with a blank face while pointing the channel changer at the TV. Then I whispered “Buh” and we were on the Travel Channel.
Here’s why this one throws a flag on the Bull play:
The 7-38-55 Rule Of Communication is not valid. It is touted to be the outcome of research done by Albert Mehrabian. It isn’t. I called him. He told me himself. And that was over 20 years ago.
I refer to those who deliver that information as though it were real and valid as “BLIPs”. That stands for “Body Language Information Parrots”. Because like a parrot, anything they hear about Body Language they repeat, believe, and teach as fact. Without researching it at all.
BLIPs will say “Research tells us communication is 7% the words we use, 38% is the tone of our voice, and 55% is our Body Language. That means 93% of our communication is Nonverbal!” Take a minute and think about that. If that information was true the game Charades wouldn’t exist. And you’d never need to learn new languages when you went to foreign countries.
You could just grunt and flail your arms around and everyone in China, Mexico, Japan, Iceland, and any other countries you can think of would understand you with no problem at all.
Go here: The 7-38-55-Rule Is A Myth The video is cued to start as I begin explaining why the 7-38-55 Rule is invalid. (It’s less than 60 seconds long).
In full disclosure…
I’ve seen every episode of Bull up to this point. And you know what? I like it. I like the actors. I like the stories. I really like it.
I’m sure these growing pains in the “Nonverbal Facts Department” will fade not long from now. These things usually work themselves out one way or another.
So, I’ve decided to stuff my Nonverbal snobbery into a bag and put it under the couch when Bull comes on. Also, there’s gonna many more seasons. And I’m gonna watch. Every episode. And I’m gonna get up in it. And I’m gonna love it. (@MarkGoffman, email me or hit me on Twitter. I’ll come over there and point out the glitches for free. @ScottRouse3)