Meghan Markle ‘doesn’t like being told she’s not the only powerful woman’
Meghan Markle used her passionate speech at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit to silence critics who have take offence at her speaking out.
The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry made a powerful speech last week calling for people to vote in next month’s US election.
They urged American voters to “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity” in “the most important election of our life.”
And Meghan, speaking from the £11million home on Los Angeles she shares with Harry and their young son, Archie, defended the couple’s actions.
She insisted the couple are throwing themselves into tackling hate speech and toxic behaviour online.
Meghan also said that allowing bullying and misinformation on social media is “not sustainable” and must be dealt with.
The Duke and Duchess have called on advertisers to boycott networks, including Facebook, which allow hate speech.
During the Fortune summit Meghan said: “If you look back at anything I’ve said, what ends up being inflammatory is people’s interpretation of it.
“But if you listen to what I actually say, it’s not controversial, and some of it is reactive to things that just haven’t happened.”
Meghan also told interviewer, Fortune senior editor Ellen McGirt, that it was “all about being authentic”.
She added: “I think that is the takeaway, that I have found, is if you don’t listen to all the noise out there, and just focus on living a purpose driven life and knowing what your own moral compass is.
“There are always going to be nay-sayers.
“But at the end of the day, I used to have a quote up in my room, many many moons ago and it resonates now, perhaps more than ever, when you see the vitriol and noise that can be out in the world.
“It’s by George O’Keeffe, and it’s ‘I’ve already settled it for myself, so the flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free’.
“And the moment you are able to be liberated from all of these other opinions of what you know to be true, then I think its very easy to live with truth and authenticity and that’s how I choose to move through the world.”
However, psychologist and body language expert Bruce Durham, believes that while some of what the duchess was saying was authentic, there were times during her interview where “she was inauthentic”.
And he says the first indication that she feels uncomfortable is when Ellen tells her that she’s “not the only powerful women involved in this equation”.
Bruce explains: “She doesn’t receive it like that, she receives it as a threat. Up until then the interviewer is still heaping praise on Meghan.
“She does three things to let you know her ego is raging. She brushes her hair, she’s reframing herself. She wants to be seen as the powerful woman. Her ego springs into life.
“Lots of eye blocks, she wants to be the person in the room. Watch her throat, tightening of the throat, it’s an animalistic reaction. She does not like hearing she’s not the only powerful equation.”
Bruce also notices says Meghan is trying to push her authenticity – and says the word ‘authentic’ numerous times during the interview.
He explains how her body language starts to show negativity around some of the things she’s saying.
Bruce says: “There’s the shrug of the lips, that doesn’t indicate positive. The eye blocks kick in. Then a third thingis that she looks down. Down is not a good place, it’s negative, afraid.
“Then she introduces her own critique. She says she’s received criticism for being controversial in the past. She’s trying to get across that she isn’t controversial.
“Then she goes on to say what she’s said that’s been labelled as controversial. She says if you look at what I’ve said – and looks left so is recollecting – but then there’s a series of eye blocks and a lip shrug.
“This means there is not full positivity – she isn’t happy at all.
“The really interesting bit is when she says it’s not controversial. She has what’s called a ‘switch of the head pattern’, a shake of the head goes with no.
“She shakes her head as she’s trying to stay positive – it just naturally doesn’t go. I want to know what’s going on in her head as she says ‘it’s not controversial’.”
The setting for Meghan’s interview also comes under scrutiny by the body language expert.
Bruce explains: “This whole thing is set up to appear relaxed. She’s selected some very specific books to be behind her, he sleeves are rolled up but context is key, her button is down, arm up on the sofa – it’s a very ‘hey, come and talk to me’.
“There is some authentic stuff but to be fair and balanced we must also raise awareness to some inauthentic stuff going on.”
Meghan’s flick of the her hair during several points during the Fortune interview also show she’s feeling uncomfortable, according to Bruce.
He says: “It’s another repetition. You can understand that she’s uncomfortable or keeps something back.
“When she talks about the high school graduation speech, which some people loved and others didn’t, she’s clearly uncomfortable because she flicks her hair, this is one of her behaviours.
“She talks about going back to Los Angeles and then she specifically mentions the Rodney King beatings and does the hair flick again. This is the third example of re-framing. She was clearly emotional about what she was talking about
“When she’s uncomfortable, she reframes her hair. It’s a self-soothe mechanism.”
And at the very end of the video, Bruce explains how Meghan’s body language shows how she’s trying to convince herself that she’s come across as authentic.
He says: “If you’re positive that something is true, you’re energised and you smile. People engage, if it’s negative people shut their eyes and look away.
“Right at the end she’s either not telling the truth, or holding something back, or not being authentic.
“When she says the word ‘truth’ she has an eyeblock, not an eyes wide open when you rally believe something, but the opposite – as if she’s trying to block out the image.
“At the end she nods as if she’s trying to convince herself that she sounded OK. But if she needs to convince herself, and all those eye blocks are there then that tells you that she isn’t being truthful or believing in the words she’s saying.
“Her narrative isn’t matching up with her body language.
“At some point she is being authentic and telling the truth but we must also acknowledge that she’s not being authentic at certain times or telling us the full story.”
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