Monday, May 7, 2012

#McCann : Former #FBI - Secrets Of the Neck.

Joe Navarro

Those of you familiar with “What Every Body Is Saying,” or my previous Psychology Today posts, know that when we are under stress, our brain requires a certain amount of hand to body touching (hand wringing, forehead rubbing, temple massaging, lip touching, etc.). These pacifiers serve to soothe the individual when there is negative limbic arousal. Pacifiers are with us all day long, and they increase or are magnified when we are very stressed. However, when circumstances are not only stressful but they threaten us, the brain prompts certain behaviors involving the neck which are protective, pacifying, and as you will read, totally unique.

I first observed the significance of neck behaviors early in my life. Most noticeably, when my grandmother was almost hit by a car in Miami Beach. At that instant she immediately covered her neck with her hand. I was surprised that her hand went to her neck and not towards the car. Later that night, as she retold to my mother what had happened, once more she protectively covered her neck. Here was a behavior I would see time and time again in others.

At the university, I saw this same behavior in anatomy class as we examined eviscerated animals. Both men and women would cover their necks as they peered down at the smelly animals for the first time. But I also noticed that men and women did it differently. Men tended to grab their necks more robustly, or even massage their necks. Women conversely would do it more delicately, using their fingers to cover a very specific area, the neck dimple just at the front of the neck where it meets the upper chest, more precisely termed the “suprasternal notch.”

Aware that when people are insecure, troubled, scared, concerned, worried, or nervous, they covered or touched their neck, I never appreciated the potential use of this very telling behavior until I joined the FBI as a Special more

Women pacify differently.  For example, when women pacify using the neck, they will sometimes touch, twist, or otherwise manipulate a necklace, if they are wearing one.

I will locate this interview and we can observe together what made Healy so nervous when under normal circumstances she is so arrogant.

Final point The look on McCann's face when he was finally caught. I know most of us hope to see that look again one day.