U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shared yet another awkward and unbearably long handshake recently, prompting a body language expert to analyze the meaning behind it.
On Friday, the two foreign leaders attended the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees, where people witnessed another awkward, “hard-to-watch 25-second-long handshake,” Mic reports.
According to a body language expert, Patti Wood, Trump and Macron’s prolonged handshake is a sign of “power struggle between the two alpha males.” She explained that during the initial moments of the now infamous handshake, Macron was able to establish power by putting his hand on top of Trump’s while turning his body away. Apparently, this has given him the upper hand.
Wood, who is also the author of SNAP: Making The Most Of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, revealed that during the handshake, Trump was more “exposed” than the French president, adding that the latter is more “protected.”
The body language expert noted that Trump was “glaring down at the hands and has a seed of grimace on his face,” suggesting that he was not happy to be dominated during the handshake.
Wood also pointed out that Trump patted Macron’s hand “to admonish him for doing a top-down handshake and gain power again.”
“Here you see a response and a struggle for power.”
While both Trump and Macron continued to struggle, neither letting go, Wood reiterated that the U.S. president appeared to exert more effort to gain control — a far cry from the French president’s more comfortable approach.
Shortly after the handshake, Macron’s wife Brigitte Trogneux joined the interaction and also had her fair share of the awkward moment. According to reports, the trio was engaged in a “bizarre battle.” This is after Trump embraced Trogneux while continuing his handshake with Macron.
Wood bluntly described the gesture as “creepy.”
“Notice how [Trump’s] left hand and arm go up over her shoulder and grip on tightly, and it’s an awkward grip. I can’t describe it any other way than slightly creepy.”
Wood also shared her observation about how Trump appeared to take over the woman when he cannot get out of the struggle with a guy, adding that such gesture is “very primitive.”
She claimed that Trump’s behavior during the handshake was “highly unusual, in terms of etiquette.” Wood explained that traditionally, a person would finish the handshake and moves on to the next person — not prolonging it just to assert power.
With Trump’s infamous handshake, reports revealed that world leaders are now coming prepared for the moment. Apparently, people are now more aware of Trump’s alpha-male approach during handshakes.
“People are now aware of his desire to dominate the handshake and they’re prepared. And they’re not letting it go.”
[Featured Image by Christophe Archambault/AP Images]