Titans Try To Hide Emotions In Plain Sight

With Body Language, Things Aren't Always The Way They Seem

Titans Try To Hide Emotions In Plain Sight.  Hiding emotions is hard to do. It’s even harder if you’re in the public eye.  In this video, Titan football players Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter try to hide emotions in plain sight.

Their feelings about what happened seem obvious by the shaking of Kendall Wright’s head. Fans and foes alike have given opinions about what they’re seeing in this clip.  Now let’s talk about what you’re really seeing…

The players are at an event signing autographs and getting their pictures taken with fans.  They’re aware of video cameras and news people watching their every move.  As the news comes over the loud speaker making them aware their new quarterback will be Marcus Mariota, you see a cocktail of emotions on their faces and bodies.

The first thing you see are the smiles.  Kendall is leaning down to get his picture taken with a fan, and Justin stood up from a table where he’s signing autographs.  Kendall is in the hot-seat because he’s actually in the middle of getting his picture taken as he will hear the news for the first time. Justin reaches over and tags Kendall on the arm as if to say “Here it comes…”.

When Justin hears the news he instantly and completely loses his smile, looks down with a quick head shake, and smiles again as he looks back up and sits down. The smile returned quickly as he looked back up because he knows he’s being watched closely.

Justin’s brain needed him to look down and away to disconnect from the situation if only for a second, so it could express that irritated feeling and get it out of his system. Then he turns around and gets back to what he was doing before the interruption.

Kendall experiences something very similar. Remember, he’s in the hot-seat with no place to retreat. He has to finish getting his picture made with what looks to be the happiest little boy on the planet.

As he hears the news his smile instantly gets smaller for about a second as he shakes his head. Then he looks down and back up quickly. Kendall’s brain needed to let him disconnect briefly from the photo-op. Then he tries to regain a full smile for the little boy’s photo. His hands and arms stay low as well.

All of that information immediately tells us two things. 

#1- The obvious; Kendall and Justin aren’t pleased that Marcus Mariota will be quarterback.

#2- Their displeasure has nothing at all to do with Marcus Mariota personally.

In other words their body language tells us that Kendall and Justin are under the impression Mariota’s taking the position of quarterback is bringing to the table/game something that will effect them in some negative fashion. Their immediate recovery also tells us the news isn’t horrible and it isn’t a deal breaker, and it isn’t dramatically life changing.

Scott-Rouse-Body-Language-Contempt-Nashville-Titans-FootbalWe know it isn’t something about Mariota personally due to their facial expressions.  Those expressions showed frustration, not contempt or anger.  If they had shown contempt you could be certain they didn’t like Mariota as a person. But you didn’t. You didn’t see the right side of the top lip and mouth go up just enough to show asymmetry on the face of either one of them.

What you did see was a short, tight, fast, pursing of Justin’s lips as the smile instantly left his face.  When you see someone do that, it suggests the person doesn’t agree with what they are being presented with. For example; a question, a suggestion in a negotiation, or advice being given concerning the solution to a problem.  Even though Kendall’s face didn’t show lip pursing, it did show disappointment. Scott-Rouse-Body-Language-Anger

The smiles of course weren’t real or true “Duchenne smiles”. They were a combination of smiles. The main smile was part of what I call “Extra Face”. Extra Face is what you see on the faces of people in the background of TV shows and movies. The extras. They know there’s a camera on them, so they smile this very weird smile that most people never use. You saw that on the faces of Kendall and Justin. More Justin than Kimball.

The second type of smile you saw is known as the “Say Cheese” smile. We all know and use that one quite often. It’s the smile you smile when you have to smile. I don’t think I need to go any further in describing that one.

The third smile you saw was the “Dissolving Smile”. That’s the smile that dissolves slowly because there is no emotion to keep the smile on the person’s face. So it doesn’t “stick”.  That’s why the girl in the video below can’t make her angry face stay.  There’s no emotion to back it up.

If I was a betting man, I would bet Kendall and Justin have thought about the news they got concerning Mariota a few more times. By now, I’m sure they’re fine with it and will go forward with no more hoopla than you’ve seen already. I’ll also bet that the relationship they will form with their new quarterback will be a great one.

Did you see something I missed? What do you think is going on with Justin holding his arm the way he is the in the video?  Did you feel like they did when you heard the news?