I suspect many will dismiss this as silly, pseudo-science, but what the hell? I think Paul Ryan has a really interesting face, and not in that Eddie Munster way, although I do see the resemblance.
Once upon a time, when I was in massage therapy school, I had a class in face-reading. It's based on the theory that our features reflect our genetic makeup.
I think, too, that our faces, our expression, our appearance all reflect who we are inside, too. So, here we go. What can we see in Paul Ryan's face about his personality and communication style that we can use against him?
Official Photo Here, if you'd like to open it in another window and refer to it as you scroll through this.
High Eyebrows -- He wants respect, needs lots of information before making a decision, is uncomfortable when feeling crowded and with uninvited familiarities.
To make him uncomfortable, call him Paul, not Congressman, and act like you're better than him, more important than him. Maybe bring up him driving the Weinermobile No, I'm not kidding. He did. In college..
Square Face -- Naturally confident, feels equal to most anyone or in any new situation. Thrives on being involved. Resents weaknesses. Often perceived as taking over, assuming authority, but sees this as merely getting the job done. Mitt will not like this at all, if Ryan tries the equality thing or taking over.
To make him uncomfortable, challenge him. Correct him. Debate prep, anyone?
Thin Lips -- In establishing a rapport, appreciates conciseness. Trusts actions more than words. Ouch. We all know Mitt's a rambler. These two might irritate each other more than McCain/Palin by Election Day.
To make him uncomfortable, act completely uninterested in what he says. Does Mitt listen to anyone? I don't think so. We already have stories today saying Mitt's own advisers told him to pick Ryan, and Mitt didn't listen. He won't listen to Ryan, either, I bet. And as an added perk, Ryan is now working with people who didn't want Mitt to pick him, so he's got to feel really special right now, 24-hours into the campaign. Also, we need to bring up that bit about Ryan, in thirteen years in Congress, managing to pass only two bills -- one naming a post office and one about taxes on arrows. Actions speak louder than Words, Mr. Ryan.
Straight Eyebrows -- Control is a priority. Appreciates harmony, reserved by nature, will often not give voice to hidden objections. I'd say Ryan has very little, if any, control as the VP candidate. He'll go where he's told, when he's told and say what he's told. Will he hate that as much as Sarah Palin? And I get the impression Mitt doesn't really respect anyone. That's got to come through in their personal relationship.
To make him uncomfortable -- Get emotional. Make it clear he is not in control. Mitt can probably pitch a really good fit when he wants to. I don't see much self-control there. Don't think either one of them will handle it well if Obama stays ahead and their message isn't appreciated by voters.
Slanted Forehead -- Result oriented. Makes decisions quickly based on bottom line. Often jumps to conclusions before fully understanding. Wants results now. Hmm. I bet he thinks he can fix Mitt's incredibly muddled campaign, and I don't think anyone can. Even if Ryan had the ideas to fix it, I don't think Mitt would listen.
To make him uncomfortable, do not let him set the pace. Well, that's a given. Mr. Ryan, here is your schedule for the day.
Wide-Set Eyes -- A big-picture person. May over look details, like deadlines, appointments, commitments. Okay, but he's going to have someone taking him here and there, so that's taken care of. But details? There are no details in his budget, I hear. People are going to want details, and Ryan doesn't have them.
To make him uncomfortable, schedule events tightly. Present information with lots of details. Be inflexible. Done. He's campaigning with Mitt the Rambler, who listens to no one.
Hawk Nose -- Always thinking "What's in it for me?" Highly values his own time, energy and money. Likes to feel appreciated for what he does. Often misinterpreted as materialistic or selfish, but really only wants to know he's getting something of value for his efforts. I swear, it says that right in my face-reading book. I did not make any of this up.
To make him uncomfortable -- waste his time, seem unappreciative of his time or position. Is there any more unappreciated position than VP? Except maybe VP candidate?
Eyelids covered by Epicanthic Folds -- Shows how they like their questions answered. Likes answers in very analytical ways. Struggles to be right. Good at planning and organizing. May appear stubborn, argumentative or indecisive, but really concerned with not repeating past embarrassments or hasty decisions. I suspect the decision to run with Romney might prove hasty and an embarrassment of epic proportions. After all, Mitt interrupted Ryan's first speech as VP candidate to correct the intro where Mitt called Ryan the next president of the united states, then put his arm around Ryan and said, smiling like a doofus, "Sometimes I make a mistake...." What an epic beginning to a nightmare.
To make him uncomfortable, rush him. Ignore his objections. Mitt's good at ignoring everyone's opinion.
Squint lines in forehead -- highly values being right. Will double-check compulsively. Often seen as picky, compulsive, impossible to please. Wants to know things are being done right. Be clear, specific and accurate. Mitt, so far, has failed on all the last three. Also, it's a little thing, but I noticed that in acceptance speech, Ryan turned around to introduce his wife and kids, who were behind him on the stage, and Mitt's event staff hadn't even managed to put Ryan's family in a place where they could be seen. Cameras had no angle. Had to come back later in the speech, once they'd gotten a camera on the family, to show them. They can't even manage to stage their VP announcement right.
To make him uncomfortable, put him in a position to have to trust someone else do do things right. Be ambiguous. And there he is, a VP candidate, with Mitt the Rambler.
There you you have it, my pop-psychology, 20-minute analysis of Paul Ryan's face.
Pure observations on my part. I found the energy he was projecting during his acceptance speech really strange. (Did anyone else?) Video is here. Although, you miss the triumphant entrance where he runs down the stairs of the battleship, like he's already won something just by being picked by Mitt.
He seemed like he had a lot of energy zinging through his body, but at the same time, looked really tired. Like he'd stayed up all night for a few nights, and maybe he had.
Maybe I'm projecting what I want to see onto him, but I thought I was seeing a guy who is aggressively mean and enjoys it. And like someone had just validated that aggressive meanness by picking him as running mate. I can imagine him thinking, "They get me now. They know I've been right about this budget all along, and they're ready to listen. This is great."
He has a very hard time smiling. In most photos, even still shots from the announcement, the corners of his mouth are curving down. I looked at tons of shots. That's his default expression. This is not a happy guy.
Even when he really tries -- like the official photo on his Congressional website -- the best he can do is lips in a straight line. It's either a sign of long-term stress or unhappiness. He's had 13 years in Congress and passed two bills, one about renaming a library and one about taxing arrows (as in bows and arrows.) I can see where he'd feel misunderstood and unappreciated.
Those puffy, droopy eyelids, to me, give the impression of someone who's working very hard, but not getting anywhere. Someone who's tired and frustrated, maybe mad. This is a guy who drove a Weinermobile and was voted Biggest Brown-Noser by his high school class.
Big ears. He listens a lot. I'm not saying he takes it all in or it changes his mind, but he does listen.
(Background data: The seminar I had was called The Missing Link in Communication, workbook by Ross Riddell, based on a five-year study by Robert and Elizabeth Whiteside and later their son Daniel Whiteside, who with Gordon Stokes and Candace Callaway developed Three-In-One Concepts.
It seems like the techniques are used mostly to train people on how to sell things by understanding their customers better. Although, over the years, I've been surprised at how often I'll think back to the class and feel like something I learned there is proving true in someone I'm talking to at that moment.)