herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Photos reveal Enda feels under attack by Sarko -- body language gurus

HE'S been called everything from an eejit to the President's Poodle in another embarrassing week for Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

But according to experts the real truth behind those embarrassing shots of Enda Kenny weren't of a puppy being stroked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but a man under attack, from one of the most adept posturers in the business.

According to body language gurus who have studied the bizarre shots from the European Council meeting in Brussels for the Herald, there's no doubt who's in control.

Behavioural guru Judi James told the Herald that Sarkozy was letting Enda Kenny know just who is boss with his head pats. While it appeared friendly, she said that the message signalled who was in control.

And far from enjoying the moment, the Taoiseach felt under attack, and knew he was sucker-punched by the ultimate "power posturer".

"Sarkozy never knowingly undersells himself in the power-posturing department, although his normal form of attack-greeting involves a finger prodded into the chest," noted Ms James, author of The Body Language Bible.

Robert Phipps, author of Body Language -- It's What You Don't Say That Matters, said the Taoiseach is bringing his right hand up to remove Sarkozy's hand.

The French leader cleverly combines what looks like a friendly, almost affectionate form of touch with a "huge whiff of higher status signalling by using the pat of power", Ms James added.

She said: "A politician who pats is usually letting everyone know they are the prime alpha in the meeting."

comurphy@herald.ie

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