Body language experts reveal exactly what Gladys Berejiklian’s bizarre ‘puffing’ means

Gladys Berejiklian has been actively ‘trying not to cry’ in the press conferences she has conducted since her secret relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire was revealed on Monday, body language experts claim.

The New South Wales premier, 50, has been using a bizarre ‘cheek puffing’ manoeuvre while fronting the Australian press that body language specialist Sophie Halliday Zadeh said shows she’s ‘suppressing emotion-specific sadness’.

‘She’s holding back on going to pieces,’ Ms Zadeh told FEMAIL. 

‘She says ‘I serve the people with every ounce of my body, with every ounce of my being’ immediately after [the cheek puffing] about 14 minutes into her address on Monday. Look at her bottom lip, it pulls inwards. This is where she starts to contain her crying. 

‘The bottom lip often quivers, then the tears start. Here, she’s controlling that quiver.’

The New South Wales premier, 50, has been exhibiting a bizarre 'cheek puffing' manoeuvre while fronting the Australian press (pictured here on Monday)

The New South Wales premier, 50, has been exhibiting a bizarre ‘cheek puffing’ manoeuvre while fronting the Australian press (pictured here on Monday)

Ms Zadeh commented that Ms Berejiklian was ‘right on the edge of breaking down’ by actively tending her facial muscles to control her emotional expression. 

‘We can control our internal experience of emotion by containing our facial expression,’ she said.

‘This is due to facial feedback, the body brain feedback loop. When we feel emotion our facial expression reflects it, but in addition to that, if we control our facial expression, we can suppress the emotion experienced.’ 

Ms Zadeh also noticed that the premier had the ‘universal expression of sadness’ on her face with her brow lowered, inner brow raised and lip corners depressed.  

‘She’s showing and feeling genuine sadness in most of the snaps, some more than others. Only one in ten people can do the inner corner of the eyebrow raise, unless they are feeling genuinely sad,’ she said. 

Ms Zadeh also noticed that the premier had the 'universal expression of sadness' on her face with her brow lowered, inner brow raised and lip corners depressed

Ms Zadeh also noticed that the premier had the ‘universal expression of sadness’ on her face with her brow lowered, inner brow raised and lip corners depressed

'She's showing and feeling genuine sadness in most of the snaps, some more than others. Only one in ten people can do the inner corner of the eyebrow raise, unless they are feeling genuinely sad,' she said

‘She’s showing and feeling genuine sadness in most of the snaps, some more than others. Only one in ten people can do the inner corner of the eyebrow raise, unless they are feeling genuinely sad,’ she said

Director of InsideOut Public Relations and media commentator Nicole Reaney said Ms Berejiklian’s cheek movements could also be a way of thinking over her responses before answering, to control an aspect of the situation. 

‘There is a sense of tension, particularly when we compare her usual fun, kind and confident demeanour. Gladys is acknowledging the importance of fronting up rather than avoiding the media,’ she told FEMAIL.

Body language expert Katia Loisel from Love Destination agreed with the other experts’ sentiments, saying that her pursed lips also indicated suppressed agitation – likely at being asked similar questions over and over.

‘Depending on the cluster of non-verbal signals, pursed lips can indicate both disapproval and suppressed agitation, your bodies subconscious way of holding back and saying “no”, and can also be a sign that someone is evaluating their options or weighing up what to do or say next,’ Ms Loisel told FEMAIL.

Ms Berejiklian also sucked in her cheeks during Tuesday's press conference to journalists

Ms Berejiklian also sucked in her cheeks during Tuesday’s press conference to journalists

Body language expert Katia Loisel agreed with the other experts' sentiments, saying that her pursed lips also indicated suppressed agitation - likely at being asked similar questions over and over (pictured on Monday)

She also sucked in her cheeks and pursed her lips during Tuesday's conference (pictured)

Body language expert Katia Loisel agreed with the other experts’ sentiments, saying that her pursed lips also indicated suppressed agitation – likely at being asked similar questions over and over (pictured on Monday)

What does the ‘cheek puffing and sucking in’ mean? 

The cheek suck, in which cheeks are essentially sucked in can indicate disapproval, depending on the position of lips and chin and the degree to which the cheeks are sucked in. 

In general, the more pronounced the cheek suck, the more intense the emotion. 

While a cheek suck that is accompanied by lips that purse indicates disapproval, a cheek suck followed by cheeks that blow out or blowing out from the mouth tends to indicate uncertainty and underlying anxiety. 

The position of the lower lip and chin can also provide important information when evaluating facial expressions with sadness linked to a more downturned mouth and crinkling of the chin.

There’s no doubt that intense public scrutiny and humiliation have taken their toll on Gladys Berejiklian, and the stress that she is under is written all over her face. 

While at times fleeting, Gladys Berejiklian’s facial expressions also reveal an underlying sadness; her downturned mouth, eyebrows that are drawn up and together triangulating the upper eyelids, and slight wrinkling and pushing up of the chin known as the chin boss a sign that she is perhaps only just holding it together.

Source: Katia Loisel 

 

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On Monday the New South Wales premier said she had a ‘close personal relationship’ with former Wagga Wagga MP and father-of-two Daryl Maguire, 61, from 2015 to August 2020.

She managed to keep it secret from her family, friends and the public until a corruption inquiry yesterday heard phone calls in which he called her ‘babe’ and she called him her ‘numero uno’ – Spanish for number one.

Mr Maguire, who resigned from parliament in 2018 and recently divorced his ex-wife Maureen, is accused of trying to use his position as an MP to gain money by brokering property deals.

Labor has accused Ms Berejiklian of turning a blind eye to corruption but the premier has insisted that she was not aware of any wrongdoing and has refused to resign.  

On Monday the New South Wales premier said she had a 'close personal relationship' with former Wagga Wagga MP and father-of-two Daryl Maguire, 61, from 2015 to August 2020 (pictured together)

On Monday the New South Wales premier said she had a ‘close personal relationship’ with former Wagga Wagga MP and father-of-two Daryl Maguire, 61, from 2015 to August 2020 (pictured together)

She managed to keep it secret from her family, friends and the public until a corruption inquiry yesterday heard phone calls in which he called her 'babe' and she called him her 'numero uno'

She managed to keep it secret from her family, friends and the public until a corruption inquiry yesterday heard phone calls in which he called her ‘babe’ and she called him her ‘numero uno’

On Monday night Ms Berejiklian insisted she has ‘done nothing wrong’ and has not been compromised by the relationship at a formal press conference, where she puffed her cheeks in and out.

Ms Berejiklian said she was not aware of Mr Maguire’s alleged misconduct when they were dating.

‘I assumed he was doing the right thing. I had my trust in him, and obviously I know now that that trust was misplaced, and I accept that human failing on my part, and I accept it wholeheartedly,’ she said.

‘I had no reason at the time to imagine that he was doing anything wrong, because I trusted him, and I assumed that, if there was any interests to be declared, that he did that.’

The premier said she effectively ended the romance when she sacked Mr Maguire from the Liberal Party before he resigned from parliament.

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