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What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People

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He says that's his best offer. Is it?

She says she agrees. Does she?

The interview went great - or did it?

He said he'd never do it again. But he did.

Read this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors. You'll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you. You will discover:

The ancient survival instincts that drive body language
Why the face is the least likely place to gauge a person's true feelings
What thumbs, feet, and eyelids reveal about moods and motives
The most powerful behaviors that reveal our confidence and true sentiments
Simple nonverbals that instantly establish trust
Simple nonverbals that instantly communicate authority
Filled with examples from Navarro's professional experience, this definitive book offers a powerful new way to navigate your world.

250 pages, Paperback

First published April 15, 2008

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About the author

Joe Navarro

56 books733 followers
Joe Navarro is an author, public speaker and ex-FBI agent. Navarro specializes in the area of nonverbal communication or body language and has authored numerous books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,820 reviews
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,780 reviews1,458 followers
January 24, 2014
OK, I have finished it, and I am glad, although I feel bad because I cannot point out WHY it was not fun to read. It is detailed and absolutely correct, but it lacks spark. It reads like a text book. There is nothing at all wrong with this book, except that it is not fun to read. The author is clearly capable, and a kind and thoughtful person, but his writing skills are too didactic for my taste.

I easily read body language. All that is pointed out seems very obvious to me. That which is pointed out are things you will recognize and do not dispute but perhaps you would not think of them until you see then listed there on the pages. And listed they are. Every detail of body language from your hands and arms and feet and torso and eyes and facial expressions and ......in fact every part of the body is covered. No much is surprising. The author is careful to warn against rapid assessments; he carefully stresses one must not jump to conclusions. He is so careful it gets kind of boring. But how can I criticize careful accurate text?! It IS repetitive.

Here is a question. Aren't some people just plain better at reading body language than others? If you are not adept at it will you become proficient by reading this book? Better perhaps, but you have to have the feeling in your bones. That is what I think. To put together all the elements and weigh them against each other you have to have a knack for it, and no book can give you that. OK, you can perhaps start with this book..... if it doesn't put you to sleep.

The narration by Paul Costanzo is equally accurate and clear as the text. But neither does it excite.

If you want to know all the details of what every body part is saying when you move this way or that, read this book, but I suggest you read it slowly, chapter by chapter with perhaps another book in between. I feel like a creep giving it only two stars but for me the book just felt OK. Fun, it wasn't.

(The audiobook has accompanying PDF files that provide illustrations which clarify the text.)
Profile Image for La-Lionne.
482 reviews787 followers
June 27, 2015
***2 grade school level stars***

I'm not giving this book two stars because it was bad. The book has a lot of interesting tuff about body language... For a grade schooler!

J. Navarro's observations are good and on point, but they are basic. This book should've been called "Body Language For Dummies"

I've always been fascinated by body language, being able to see what people aren't telling. Words may lie, but body cannot. It's like a reflex that you cannot control. I'm sure there are people that are able to lie through their teeth, make all the right gestures, hold their arms just right, or cross their legs in a matter that doesn't show that they are uncomfortable, unsure, threatened or insecure, while talking to someone. But these sort of people are few and far in-between.

When I saw that on the book cover it said "An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People", I thought the author is going to give us examples from his days in FBI. Unfortunately, most of the situations he used were from his encounters with his family, from his seminars and just general descriptions of a body language. That was quite disappointing. Also, the fact that he used his own (and his friends/colleague's?) acted out pictures to highlight his points, made this book that less interesting. The pictures seemed fake and quite cartoonish. Do I really need to see a picture of a woman finger-pointing, to understand that it's an offensive gesture? For exampe:
Or to see a picture of a person squinting, to understand that a person you are talking to/with thinks that you are full off it. That's what I mean by "grade school knowledge of body language".

On the book cover it says that this book is an "international bestseller", I don't get why.

I would've preferred if he, the author, had invited a couple of volunteers for an interview, with a purpose of reading and capturing their body responses to his questions, since he can't use the material from his days in FBI. That would've been the next best thing :).

I also didn't appreciate his advice on how to dress to impress. He might be an expert (how big of an expert he is on that is yet to be determined) on reading people, but fashion guru he is not. A person might not be able to control their body language, but choosing clothes depends on few different factors, such as money, mood and/or taste (which is constantly changing). Author trying to give an advice on how to dress to appeal (or not) too certain groups of people is quite funny and useless. Clothing has nothing to do with a body language. I'm sure clothing tells a lot about a person. But in this book, it was irrelevant. It was clear, when he started to talk about how to dress, that he was diving into a territory he wasn't familiar with and ended up sounding silly.
"When choosing your wardrobe and accessories, always remain cognizant of the message others may perceive from your dress. Also consider that although you may deliberately want to use your attire to send a signal to one person or a group of people at a specific time and place, you may have to pass a lot of other people who are not as receptive to your message along the way!"

So basically what he's saying is that there is no way to pleasing everybody (DUH!), that he has no answer to how dress to "correctly" appeal to people in certain situations. Why talk about it in the book at all? It felt like the author was simply trying to fill up the book space.

Funny thing: as I was writing this review, I had the book beside my Mac, for quotes, and noticed one funny thing about the book cover. In the book the author says that crossing the legs indicates that person is comfortable with the one s/he talking with (spread legs indicates dominance, who wants that?), that crossing legs in a relaxed manner indicates comfort. But, if you put your ankle on your knee, it says that you are trying to create a barrier between you and a person you're talking to/with.
Although on the cover the author's arms are wide open, shoulders down, head to the side, feet are directed at the one looking at the cover, and it gives you the vibe that you are welcome to have a friendly chat with him, his ankle is on his knee. This made me think that although he wants to look like he is confidant, relaxed and open, the ankle on the knee indicates that he is creating a protective barrier between him and a reader. Why? He is an Ex-FBI. He should be confidant with what he's putting out to the world. I can't help but think that after all the "secrets" he revealed, tips that he gave on how to read people, he himself, subconsciously chose a picture to be used on the book cover, which revealed him being insecure about his own work? It gave me "I really hope you like it" sort of vibe. That made me wonder how good of FBI agent he was. If his book cover is anything to go by...
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews558 followers
November 8, 2020
"Observation is like a muscle. It grows stronger with use and atrophies without use."

When I first saw the title of this book, I thought it to be some sort of a psychology or medical book. But the short description in the cover quickly piqued my interest for it was kind of an odd subject, not to mention it been written by a law enforcement officer. Well, it's literally about what every 'BODY' is saying, for this is an analytical explanation of how our body communicate its true feelings.

"When it comes to honesty, truthfulness decreases as we move from the feet to the head."

The author point of view - supported by experience from his career as well as research findings - is kind of an eye-opener, for decrypting body language isn't exactly a science and there aren't that many books on the subject, which are tried and tested.

I found most of the information to be concise and to the point, with little to no repetition. That being said, compared to the latter half, first part of the book was more interesting to me, for most of the matters in first part were quite new to me, specially how reliable the lower limbs are.

Certainly an interesting book, and hoping to get some practice using some of the pointers here to see if they are usable by all.. :)

"the feet are the most honest part of the body."
Profile Image for Joe Valdez.
499 reviews852 followers
December 5, 2020
The amateur detective in the novel I'm writing is a keen observer, particularly of body language, so I was excited when my new Goodreads friend Tharindu Dissanayake reviewed What Every Body Is Saying: An FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People. Published in 2008, the book is both wet and dry, with photos of author Joe Navarro and/or his administrative assistant Ashlee Castle demonstrating gestures or expressions and plenty of anecdotes from Navarro's career as a T-Man, but also lots of references which made the book an academic read. It's not as absorbing as Mary Roach but fans of her books might enjoy this.

Here are a few of the facts I stole:

-- Nonverbal behaviors comprise approximately 60 to 65 percent of all interpersonal communication and, during lovemaking, can constitute 100 percent of communication between partners.

-- When women pacify using the neck, they often do so by covering or touching their suprasternal notch with their hand. The suprasternal notch is the hollow area between the Adam's apple and the breastbone that is sometimes referred to as the neck dimple. When a woman touches this part of her neck and/or covers it with her hand, it is typically because she feels distressed, threatened, uncomfortable, insecure or fearful. This is a relatively significant behavioral clue that can be used to detect, among other things, the discomfort experienced when a person is lying or concealing important information.

-- When reading body language, most individuals start their observation at the top of a person (the face) and work their way down, despite the fact that the face is the one part of the body that is most often used to bluff and conceal true sentiments. My approach is the exact opposite. Having conducted thousands of interviews for the FBI, I learned to concentrate on the suspect's feet and legs first, moving upward in observations until I read the face last. When it comes to honesty, truthfulness decreases as we move from the feet to the head.

-- Did you ever wonder why you get an upset stomach if there is an argument at the dinner table? When you are upset, your digestive system no longer has as much blood as it needs for proper digestion. Just as your limbic system's freeze, flight or fight response shunts blood away from the skin, it likewise diverts blood from your digestive system, sending blood to your heart and limb muscles (especially the legs) to prepare for your escape. The upset stomach you feel is a symptom of limbic arousal. The next time an argument ensues during a meal, you will recognize the limbic response of distress. Along these lines, it is interesting to note how many people vomit after experiencing a traumatic event. In essence, during emergencies the body is saying that there is no time for digestion; the reaction is to lighten the load and prepare for escape or physical conflict.

-- When we are truly relaxed and comfortable, facial muscles relax and the head will tilt to the side, exposing our most vulnerable area, the neck. This is a high-comfort display--often seen during courtship--that is nearly impossible to mimic when we are uncomfortable, tense, suspicious, or threatened.

-- As a law enforcement officer, if I encounter a person on the street looking down, his feet in the ready or "pugilistic position," with his nose flaring, I suspect that he is probably preparing to do one of three things: argue, run or fight. Nasal wing dilation is something you should always be watching for if you are around someone who might have reason either to attack or run away from you. It is just one of many suspicious behaviors we should teach our children to watch for. That way they will be more aware when people are becoming dangerous, especially at school or on playgrounds.

-- The truth is that identifying deceit is so difficult that repeated studies begun in the 1980s show that most of us--including judges, attorneys, clinicians, police officers, FBI agents, politicians, teachers, mothers, fathers and spouses--are not better than chance (fifty-fifty) when it comes to detecting deception. Even those who are truly gifted at detecting deception (probably less than 1 percent of the general population) seldom are right more than 60 percent of the time. Consider the countless jurors who must determine honesty or dishonesty, guilt or innocence, based on what they think are deceptive behaviors. Unfortunately, those behaviors most often mistaken for dishonesty are primarily manifestations of stress, not deception. That's why I live by the motto taught to me by those who know that there is no single behavior that is indicative of deception--not one.

Navarro frequently reminds the reader that there is no short cut (or what's come to be referred to as a "hack") to detecting a lie and stress can often produce these various tells rather than deception. It makes for an engaging read, though. Like most great writers, Quentin Tarantino knew the significance of body language in the first script he wrote, True Romance, which was directed by Tony Scott and features a classic scene between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper. I was 20 years old when I saw this scene in a theater and without any hype around Tarantino at that time, was completely blown away by it.

True Romance - The Sicilian Scene
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,048 reviews1,380 followers
March 10, 2021
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People is a book recommendation from Dr.Mike’s youtube channel. I am a huge fan of Dr.Mike and I always wanted to read a book about body language because communication is a big part of my job. So when one of my favorite youtubers recommended a book that I was interested in. There was no way I was going to skip it.

Not surprisingly, the book talks about body language and it has pictures and goes on to explain the physiology and psychology behind some of the movements and positions that we do on a daily basis. The book is easily read and available to all readers, you don’t have to be a doctor to read it. It is written by an FBI agent anyway.

The author sometimes depend on his personal experiment and sometimes I couldn’t help the feeling that he was exaggerating. I am pretty sure he is good but it is one of this circumstances when people are so good in their field that they see the whole world through their own glasses. I expected it to be more complex to be honest and many of the movements that were explained seemed very logical and known to me. But on the other hand, I noticed how much we miss this kind of communication although it is there in front of our own eyes. I went through the book slowly and just tried to notice the things I was reading about and to my surprise some of the things I read did happen exactly the same way they were written. We were doing a round on the patients and then I noticed how I was standing, how the department manager was posing and how the residents were. It is like we automatically took positions according to how comfortable we were and according to the authority we have. That was when I knew the book is a good one and that I should keep an eye on these things more often.


Summary: I think the book is a good for anyone interested in reading about body language. It can be too personal sometimes (Depends on experience rather than science) and it can be too obvious other times but it is helpful nonetheless. I think I will be applying things I learned from this book more often in real life!
Profile Image for Amir Tesla.
161 reviews682 followers
June 22, 2017
دو کلام حرف حساب:
جای تامل و شاید ناراحتی داره که از لیست سیصد و پنجاه نفره دوستانم تنها سه نفر کتاب های زبان بدن و مطالعه کردن.
قانون نانوشته ای هست که می گه موفقیت، بیش از هشتاد درصد وابسته به مهارت های اجتماعی و تنها بیست درصد به مهارت های تخصصی و فنی ارتباط داره و از بین مهارت های اجتماعی زبان بدن قطعا یکی از مهمترین و اثر گذارترین هاست.

حتما براتون بارها پیش اومده بدون هیچ دلیلی حس بدی نسبت به شخصی که بار اول هست می بینیدش داشته باشید. اما این حس بد همچین بی دلیل هم نیست، در واقع نوع رفتار و زبان بدن شخص این احساسات رو در شما بر انگیخته می کنه. اینجا شاید اهمیت موضوع بیشتر براتون مشخص بشه، به خصوص اگر نمی خواید ناخواسته روی اطرافیانتون از رئیس کمپانیتون گرفته تا دوستان و آشنایانتون تاثیر منفی بگذارید.

این یه بعد قضیه هست، اینکه دیگران چه برداشتی از زبان ما داشته باشن. بعد دیگر قضیه رسیدن به نتایج و اهدافمون در برخورد با افراد هست. اینکه بدونیم شخصی که مخاطبمون هست آیا واقعا پذیرای حرف های ما هست یا صرفا وانمود می کنه. آیا مخاطبمون داره راست می گه یا ما رو فریب می ده...

دونستن زبان بدن نه تنها باعث می شه بتونیم اثرگذارتر ظاهر می شیم بلکه دریچه ای جدید بر روی رفتارهای و محتویات فکری و احساسی کسانی که باهاشون تعامل داریم باز می کنه که از این فرصت می شه برای بهبود ارتباطاتمون استفاده کنیم و همچنین اجتناب کنیم از ضررهای احتمالی حاصل از عدم صداقت مخاطبانمون.

این کتاب که نوشته یکی از مامورین با تجربه اف بی آی هست دید بسیار بسیار خوبی به شما می ده که تئوریش کلا بر دو پایه استوار هست:
راحتی و ناراحتی.
جو ناوارو رویکرد متفاوت و جالبی در خصوص زبان بدن داره. طبق تئوریش که حاصل تجربه او هست می گه در ارتباطات دقت کنید به مخاطبتون و حالاتی که بدن شخص در زمانی که آرامش خاطر داره رو به خاطر بسپارید. از حرکت دست ها گرفته تا میزان پلک زدنشون در واحد ثانیه و طرز نشستن و تن صدا. در ادامه می گه وقتی بحثی رو مطرح می کنید باید منتظر تغییرات توی این حالات عادی که بهش "حالت پایه" هم گفته می شه داشته باشید. مثلا اگر طرف با شنیدن حرفتون به موضع دفاعی بره( مثلا دست به سینه نشستن) باید در خصوص ادامه صحبت هاتون دقت بیشتری کنید.

کتاب ازین نظر که یک فریم ورک متفاوتی رو ارائه می کنه بسیار جالب بود. به علاوه اینکه حرکات بدن رو به طور جدا و مفصل بررسی می کنه. مثلا در هر بخش وضعیت های مختلف یکی از اندام های بدن مثلا دست ها یا پاها را به همراه معنیشون بررسی می کنه.

دونستن زبان بدن، تمرین کردن و مسلط شدن به خوندنشون قدرت، و بینش بسیار عمیقی در مورد روابط بین انسانی به شما می ده و طبق تجربه من، آدم های جاه طلب و خواهان قدرت و موفقیت بیش از هرکسی از اهمیت این موضوع باخبرند و قطعا این کتاب رو نه تنها به این دسته از افراد، که همه دوستانم پیشنهاد می کنم.
Profile Image for zainab .
121 reviews42 followers
May 10, 2020
What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro is a fantastic book to decipher the body language of people. He talks about some things that I didn't know and that are very helpful. From now on, I will take a much closer look at body language.
82 reviews9 followers
December 15, 2011
It would be really, really hard to get me to give a book like this more than three stars, because what I want from it isn't what most readers want. I want not just the tricks, the ideas, the things to watch for, but also the *proof*. It's got more citations than I'd have expected, so that's good. But very rarely does the author say "...and we know this because of this particular experiment" or "...because of this anthropological study."

I don't know if the interpretations the book gives of different things are accurate or not - but by and large I don't care; the real value for me was not in knowing *what* things mean, but in developing a vocabulary with which to *think* about how people place themselves. In that regard, I've enjoyed the book a great deal.
Profile Image for Narges Salmanizadeh.
70 reviews57 followers
August 11, 2017
Let me tell you something, even though this book is such a great eye opening book for having more successful conversations with ppl whom you don't know, it can take away your peace. The way this book push you to concentrate more on the body language of people than their speech is somehow fluster.
But its great it's worth it and im gonna use it a lot in my life
Profile Image for Saddam Bouchaib.
93 reviews80 followers
August 23, 2022
كتاب جيد يعاب عليه التطويل المبالغ فيه من الكاتب فى سرد المعلومات .. أيضاً لم يستخدم الكاتب عدد كافى من الصور لتوضيح فكرته و التى تغنى بالتأكيد عن الوصف الطويل النظرى الذى لجأ إليه المؤلف كثيراً

Profile Image for Lolly K Dandeneau.
1,866 reviews238 followers
March 23, 2009
This was informative, much like other 'non-verbal intelligence books are. What I particularly enjoyed about Joe Navarro's teaching is that the body language itself is not enough to assume a particular emotion. A lot of other books will say, for example, that if you shake your foot a lot you're nervous. But some people are foot shakers or just nervous by nature. With such people they are likely to either shake more violently or simply stop when nervous. So you see, while body language is telling you must also add other important clues up to come to a conclusion. You can't say all people who have a stern look are stern. Some people get nervous anyway when being accused of lying and may exhibit nervous actions.
His book is one of the best when it comes to this subject. Sure, not everyone would be easy to read but since reading this book I have been noticing more what certain body language is saying, and honestly it tends to run on the side of true. It's almost laughable how easy the majority of us are to read.
Very informative.
Profile Image for Elena Mayr.
121 reviews321 followers
January 17, 2022

Auf jeden Fall ein sehr interessantes Buch, allerdings muss ich sagen, dass die wenigsten Informationen wirklich neu für mich waren.
Die meisten nonverbalen Zeichen kann man alleine mit dem gesunden Menschenverstand deuten.
Aber ein paar wertvolle Erklärungen konnte ich für mich mitnehmen.
Kann man lesen, muss man aber nicht.
Profile Image for Robyn Blaber.
460 reviews13 followers
August 15, 2012
When I picked up this book I was quite full of scepticism. I know how hard it is to detect deception and I expected that this book was going to tell me 50 ways to spot a liar from various tells. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author had a good grounding of the science behind body language and tons of field work (unlike the TSA, who with 15 minutes of training, can spot a terrorist just by looking at them).

What the book does do is give you dozens and dozens of clues as to how a person is feeling at any given time. If what they are saying does not match their body language, this can be a tip that the person is being deceptive. Usually, all we can discover from these clues is that the person being observed is enduring stress, or happiness, fear, or some other emotion that might be missing from verbal communication.

What the book doesn't tell you is that to really make use of the information, one would have to read, re-read, study and practice with the book for a very long time to make the best use of this information. Since reading it, I've watched for some clues mentioned in the book in my personal relationships and found that... 1) they are really hard to observe without being noticed as looking for them... and 2) once observed, you need a lookup table to remember what they mean.

Overall, I give the book high marks due to the professional nature of the writing and the admission that lie detection is in fact nearly impossible despite non-verbal clues and that might indicate the possibility of deception. For my own purposes, I think I'll re-read this book in a few months to bolster what I have learned. I imagine that understanding these non-verbal gestures could go a long way to aiding my personal communications for the rest of my life.
118 reviews10 followers
March 7, 2016
If she keeps playing with her hair it means she fancies you. If they cross their arms it means they don't. Everyone is familiar with the concept of body language as expressed by simplistic, quasi-scientific rules such as these. One of the things I liked most about Navarro's book is that it eschews basic X means Y type formulations and attempts to locate the art of reading body language in a broader, richer context that any matter relating to the highly complex matter of human psychology clearly deserves.
Navarro himself was an FBI expert on reading body language, using his skills in the field and latterly to teach agents and law enforcement officers about the subject. Interestingly, he links the early development of his skills to his experience as a child; he was the son of an immigrant family who spoke no English. In this environment, he says, you quickly learn a lot about body language! Navarro appears decidedly well versed in the academic literature of his field, the text is well referenced and the list of further reading is extensive. Throughout one has a sense of a man immersed in his chosen profession.
Before we move through a survey of the different types of 'language' each part the body may be 'speaking' it is worthwhile to highlight a few general points Navarro is a pains to make plain. He counsels a cautious, reasoned approach. First, scientific research in the field is conclusive: There is no 'Pinocchio Effect' akin to the statements made in the first two sentences. Even the most skilled professional can only hope for a success rate of c.60% and will make lots of mistakes. Indeed, even the famous polygraph is only 60-80% accurate depending on the operator. Inevitably, this will cause some people to cry foul. Here I see considerable similarities to the fund management industry; is it all just luck? I suppose know one truly knows but I am prepared to accept there is skill in both. One thing is certain, neither are sciences! Given this background, Navarro suggests we must begin by observing what a persons normal, comfortable behaviour looks like; establishing a control. A large part of this is asking neutral questions, in a neutral tone whilst using neutral body language yourself. Also, sufficient time must be left between questions to allow for full observation. This is probably a lot harder than it might initially seem. One of the things that made me feel that there might be some truth to the claims made in this book was the fact that I began to notice that I was exhibiting some of the traits identified in exactly the kind of situations described without realising it! Once a 'control' of normal behaviour has been established we might move on to ask harder questions or broach more uncomfortable topics thus contrasting comfortable body behaviour with uncomfortable body behaviour. Alongside this, one should try to notice if there is synchrony between verbal and non-verbal behaviour. For example, if a person is saying they really like someone but all their body language is saying the polar opposite. One should also pay close attention to the grouping of signs given the inherent uncertainty in interpretation. Lastly, one must pay close attention to emphasis. When someone is making a strongly declarative statement to which they should be passionately committed, like "you have to believe me I didn't do it", you should look for a similarly emphatic display from the body. The main point here though, to me, is "there is no single behaviour that is indicative of deception"!
Now, what sort of things can we look for:

Isopraxism, or mirroring behaviour, is a very strong sign of comfort as is leaning in or angling of the torso towards your conversational partner.

Eyes and eyebrows may slightly open or raise on the appearance of someone we like whereas they may slightly narrow for someone we dislike

Pursed lips are almost always a sign of stress

Nasal dilation or flaring of the nostrils is a preparation for action as it allows more oxygen to be taken into the muscles - this can mean persons limbic brain (animal part of the brain associated with non-verbal, unconscious movements as opposed to the neo-cortex which is associated with speech &c.) is readying itself for a fight or defence

Fight or flight is actually FREEZE-FIGHT-FLIGHT: in the first instance of danger humans, like many other animals, freeze to limit danger. This can be displayed as a lack of movement, direction of eyes downward, shoulders hunched up, head down like the person is trying to hide. Flight is rarely physical with humans today and is usually expressed as blocking like putting one's hands over one's face, closing eyes, rubbing eyes, placing something in one's lap or in front of themselves, leaning away, turning feet to the exit or placing one's heel down with the toes up like they're about to start a race. Fight, again, is rarely physical, but is the process of turning fear to rage and limits the ability to think clearly. Associated physical behaviour may be puffing out one's chest, making oneself bigger, invading other's space and using verbal abuse

When feeling uncomfortable, stressed or insecure about a question or topic of discussion people will often use pacifying movements to offset these feelings. Examples include touching, especially the neck but can be face and legs too, or stroking, rubbing cheeks and lips from the inside with the tongue, exhaling slowly with puffed out cheeks, chewing gum faster, smoking more. Men prefer to touch the face or neck, which contains a nerve for slowing the heart rate, whereas women prefer to play with jewellery, clothing, arms, hair. Other signs associated with this type of behaviour are massaging earlobes, licking lips, stroking thighs with palms down, ventilating neck by moving collar or tossing hair

Feet and legs tell us the most from a body language perspective and this may be because of their importance in hunting behaviour

Jiggly, bouncing or swinging feet can be associated with elation but can also be impatience or restlessness so it is important to look for groupings, synchrony and emphasis alongside this

Ordinarily people talk toe to toe so if one person has L-shaped feet or their feet point away from the person towards the door this can mean they want to leave

When you interrupt a conversation between others and their feet don't turn towards you with their torso to greet you then they may not want you to join them

Both hands on knees, usually with a move forward or a lean, means that the person wants to leave

Bouncing on balls of feet, standing on tip toes and pointing one foot to the ceiling when sitting are associated with happiness or receiving good news

Increasingly wide splaying of legs can indicate an increasing level of unhappiness and is an attempt to claim more territory

Crossed legs is a sign of comfort and confidence and may point in the direction of the person most favoured. Crossing away, forming a barrier with the upper leg, is a negative behaviour whereas crossing towards, pointing to the other person with the upper knee, is a positive sign

Women dangling shoes of their toes is a sign of relaxation

After you meet someone if you take a step backwards they will usually - 1) step towards you - +ive 2) stay put - neutral 3) step back themselves -ive

Jiggling feet is quite a neutral behaviour but can turn to kicking or freezing when questions / topics become unpleasant or stressful

Attempts to lock ankles, especially for men as many women wearing skirts do it anyway, or hide feet behind chair legs or under the chair are defensive posture

Lot of chattering doesn't mean innocence and silence doesn't imply guilt; these are both neutral when take in isolation

Hands up when making statements mean, 'please, I beg you to believe me' whereas hands down is a much more assertive behaviour. People telling the truth have no need to beg.


Will lean away from what it finds unpleasant as torso contains lots of vital organs
People who dislike each other will only turn towards each other with their heads when seated in the back seat of a car

Buttoning ones jacket, folding arms or blocking with other objects are signs of discomfort and defence

Men fiddling with watches, cufflinks and tie are all associated with blocking

Coldness and hugging of pillows when others feel normal temperature can be a sign of stress or discomfort

Torso splaying is a territorial display of disrespect - like a slouching, lounging teenager being bollocked

Puffing out of the chest, heavier inhalations and disrobing are all signs of fight / flight mechanisms
Partial shoulder shrugs, where one shoulder goes higher than the other or shoulders don't fully go up, indicate lack of commitment to what is being said by the shrugger. Full shrugs are a sign of confidence and are a 'gravity defying behaviour' (arms up, jumping, bouncing feet) which are almost always positive / comfortable / happy

Rising shoulder and lowering of neck are an attempt to hide and are associated with negative thoughts and moods


Arm waving is a sign of elation whereas sinking arms are a sign that things are going against us - this is very visible in sport

Crossed arms, especially restrained arms where the hand grips the bicep, and freezing of arm movement can be a sign of anxiety and attempts not to be noticed. Abused children often freeze in an attempt of go unnoticed and avoid abuse. When people are doing something they shouldn't like stealing they also tend to restrict arm movement and look around a lot more than usual.

Arms behind one's back is a sign that you perceive yourself to be higher status than those around you. It is saying, don't touch me or come near me!

Reaching for physical contact, like a handshake or a hug, which is not reciprocated is highly unpleasant for humans

In meetings when people spread out their arms and papers it is a show of power and confidence whereas people wishing to go unnoticed or with low confidence will often keep their hands in their laps and their elbows below their waist

Arms akimbo is a territorial display of dominance and an authoritative pose indicating standing one's ground, a position of authority but less so if the thumbs point forward - which makes it more inquisitive and concerned rather than dominant

Hands interlaced behind the head means I'm in charge and is also indicative of confidence or dominance

Closeness of hands and arms when sitting face to face with someone indicates comfort and confidence and vice-versa

Touching between the elbow and the shoulder is a way of establishing rapport and saying, "We're OK"

Hugging is a great way of displaying care and affection


People like to be able to see hands when you are talking as it engenders trust, use them to express what you're talking about

However, pointing and snapping fingers are aggressive, domineering behaviours and it's better to gesticulate using an open palm

Sweaty palms don't indicate anything

Shaking hands can indicate both joy and stress and can also result from Parkinson's, injuries and alcoholism so this sign needs to be understood in context

Steepling is a high confidence indicator whereas interlocking and wringing is associated with stress or concern. Cupping is a higher confidence hand position.

Pointing of the thumbs upwards, when grabbing lapels or collars, is a high confidence sign as is sticking hands in pockets with thumbs sticking out. Equally disappearance of thumbs and hiding them is a low confidence behaviour

Interlacing of fingers tends to be a low confidence behaviour unless the thumbs point upwards
Thumbs in belt loops with fingers pointing down is called genital framing and is a high confidence display of sexual virility

Interlocking fingers accompanied by rubbing or wringing is a high stress indicator


Unpleasant or negative emotions cause tension and result in clenched jaw, flared nostrils, fixed eyes, rigid, un-tilting head position, pursed lips and disappearing or squinting eyes, quivering lips, furrow lines on the forehead. Positive emotions tend to elicit the opposite

Dilated pupils are associated with positive emotions and surprise whereas constricted pupils are usually associated with negative emotions as the eyes are trying to bring things into sharper focus because of a perceived danger or unpleasantness

Raised eyebrows are a gravity defying behaviour associated with confidence and happiness whereas lowered brows are associated with negative thoughts

Hands in front of the eyes, touching the eyes or delayed opening and tight clenching shut are all associated with blocking negative or unwelcome thoughts

People look away to clarify thoughts without the distraction of a person's face so this is neutral

An increase in the rate at which we blink is associated with stress

Looking askance conveys scepticism about the topic under discussion or the veracity of what is being said

Fake smiling doesn't involve the eyes and usually the mouth moves sideways rather than upwards. A real smile usually involves upward movement of the mouth as well as broadening and involves the eyes

Increasingly disappearing lips indicate stress or disagreement especially so when the corners point downwards

Puckered lips show disagreement and consideration of alternatives

Sneers indicate an attitude of, 'I know more than you do' and a disrespect for the knowledge or assessment of the other person

Lip licking is a pacifying behaviour. Sticking one's tongue out between the teeth with no contact with the lips can mean a variety of things like, 'I got caught', 'I screwed up', 'I'm naughty' and 'I got away with something'. It is usually displayed briefly.

Nail biting is an insecure pacifying behaviour

Faces associated with bad tastes or unpleasant food like mini snarls and nose crinkles indicate displeasure and can be very fleetingly displayed

Holding one's chin and nose high shows positivity and vice versa

Having completed this brief survey of some of the main points, Navarro also suggests that if the signs are mixed then one should always side with the negative indicator as negative feelings are expressed more strongly than positive. He also suggests that if one has trouble interpreting a certain behaviour then a useful approach is to do it oneself and see how it makes you feel.
Overall, I found this a useful and considered introduction to the subject. In places the style is quite overbearingly that of a person who idealises law enforcement, "that'll be the last time he tries something like that" etc., but this is to be expect from a career law man. One less forgivable aspect of the text, to my mind, is the infuriating habit of placing exemplary stories in shaded boxes and separating them from the text. If the example is illuminating then it deserves to be in the text proper, if not it deserves to be omitted. It's unclear when the reader should interrupt a sentence to read them, as they sometimes appear, or whether we should wait until the end of the book to review them as a distinct collection of narratives! To me, it represents wrongheaded editing and confronts the reader with a jarring reading experience. Otherwise, it was an interesting read with a couple of stylistic shortcomings.
Profile Image for Monzer ۞ مُنذِر.
160 reviews220 followers
January 28, 2018
بعد قراءة هذا الكتاب, أصبحت قادرا على الطيران
إستحوذت على قدرة قراءة أفكار الآخرين ورؤيتها بكل وضوح
على الاختفاء في أي لحظة من اللحظات.
أن اوقف الزمن
أن احل اًصعب المسائل الرياضية وأعصاها فهماً على العلماء
أن انتقل من أي مكان لآخر
أن أحرك الاشياء باستخدام التفكير فقط,
أن أسلق البطاطا دون ماء
أن أقلي البيض من دون زيت (أو سمن)
أن أعيش بدون أوكسجين
وبضعا من الهِـبات الخارقة التي لا تستحق الذكـر حاليّـاً !!
بكل بساطة

ملاحظة: ليس كل ما ذكرته صحيح, للأسف 😂
ولكن من المؤسف أي��ا أن يُضحك على القراء بهذه السذاجة, الكتاب لا بأس به, ولكن التهويل لكتب التنمية وال"هيبربولية" الزائدة تعطي أكثر من سبب مقنع لترك هذه الكتب وشأنها على رفوف المكاتب ...!
Profile Image for Irena Pasvinter.
299 reviews59 followers
August 30, 2023
I bought this audiobook years ago. I won't deny I happily swallowed the "an ex-FBI agent" bait, grabbing the book when it was on discount. Now I finally got to it, not without some trepidation (what if it would end up being too sensational and simplistic?).

As everyone, I've heard bits and pieces about body language and its importance, especially when you are trying to impress, convince, get a job and what not. But this is the first book I ever read on the topic, and I'm glad I happened on Joe Navarro's "What Every Body is Saying" to introduce me to the fascinating world of body language.

As somebody who devoted his life to parsing our non-verbal cues, Joe Navarro does know what he is talking about. There is nothing simplistic about his approach. I loved how he repeatedly warned that what can be gleaned from non-verbal cues with great degree of certainty and precision is the level of a person's stress and discomfort, or happiness and comfort, as well as the changes in these conditions -- not the level of truthfulness, which no expert can ascertain with more than fifty percent certainty based solely on body language. The non-verbal cues are important hints that should be analyzed in wider context. They could turn out to be very valuable, but should not be perceived as magic or as a perfect polygraph.

There is so much more in this book than the obvious elements of body language we all know (and think we can interpret correctly, which is not necessarily true). The material is presented in straightforward and engaging manner. All the body language elements are illustrated by images in an accompanying pdf. Sometimes the book is a bit repetitive, but usually there is a logical reason for this (for example, many of the non-verbal cues discussed in previous chapters are mentioned again in the last chapter in the context of how indicative they are when we try to judge if a person is telling the truth).

Along the way we hear a lot of episodes from the author's carrier and personal life when his ability to read non-verbal cues had made a huge difference. I loved that although the author is proud of his level of expertise, he doesn't attempt to come out of these stories as a know-it-all expert who is always right, able to solve any problem and never makes mistakes.

I can't wait to put some of what I learned in this book into practice. ;)
Profile Image for Ali Di.
104 reviews10 followers
June 26, 2017
برخلاف عنوان جذابش، کتاب معمولی ای بود و بیشتر حرف اضافی بود تا اطلاعات
تکرار مکررات و خسته کننده
اینجور کتابها به شدت وابسطه به تصاویر اند (برای توضیح و تکمیل مطالب) که متاسفانه از این جهت هم از عکسهایِ راهنمای خیلی کمی استفاده شده بود

Profile Image for Cori.
851 reviews147 followers
February 24, 2019
Snatched this one up during an Audible sale hopeful that it would be beneficial for work. I think it was worth the few dollars I spent during the sale, but I'm also glad I didn't spend a full credit on it. I found it more of a reminder to slow down and read body language as opposed to being a treasure trove of new insights. Still, some things were helpful, particularly the chapter on foot language.

I would rate this book a PG for some reference to violent crime.
Profile Image for Kris.
1,371 reviews179 followers
January 18, 2019
Women will touch their neck when nervous. Men will spread their legs when feeling territorial. People will cross their legs when they’re comfortable. Standing arms akimbo shows dominance. Sweaty palms indicate stress. Be careful not to read someone’s body language as lying, when really they’re just nervous. There. Now I’ve saved you the trouble of reading this book.
Profile Image for Sebah Al-Ali.
477 reviews940 followers
May 19, 2010
مفيد و ممتع. يكشف عن الكثير من الإشارات اللاكلامية التي نقوم بها لا شعوريا و تحكي الكثير عن وضعنا النفسي أو عن الخطرات التي تدور في خلدنا. تناوله للموضوع كان مفصلا بما فيه الكفاية و واضحا دون غموض المصطلحات أو تعقيد الأفكار.

ثقة الكاتب في معلوماته واضحة و زادت من راحتي أثناء قراءة الكتاب.



* limbic brain
هو جزء من الدماغ الذي يتولى مسؤولية مهارات العيش، و هو مركز العاطفة. و لذا يعد المسؤول عن الإشارات اللاكلامية الصادقة التي نؤديها و التي نحتاج أن نتلمسها لقراءة الشخص.

* في مواجهة الخطر، يحدد لنا ذلك الجزء من الدماغ 3 أنواع من ردات الفعل:
freeze, flight, and fight. (الجمود عند الشعور بالخطر أو جمود تصرفاتهم و عكس تصرفات غيرهم لتنجب الخطر؛ الطيران أو الهروب يخدم هدف الابتعاد عن الخطر بالركض أو بمجرد محاولة إقصاء النفس عن الخطر كإغلاق العينين أو تغطية الوجه؛ و آخرها المواهجة بمختلف

*إغلاق العين -باختلاف الدرجات- مؤشر لعدم رغبة الشخص بالخوض في الموضوع المتطرق إليه أو برؤيته.

* محاولة تغطية العينين باليدين مؤشر لمحاولة التركيز أو عدم التصديق أو عدم الموافقة.

* ضم الشفتين على بعضهما مؤشر لعدم الرضا.

* مثل مص الإبهام لدى الأطفال من أجل تهدئة النفس، حين نكبر نطور عادات أخرى تساعدنا على التهدئة حين نشعر بالخطر أو بالتوتر، كعض الأظافر أو الأقلام أو اللعب بقلادة أو تحريك اليد على الجبهة أو على الرقبة أو اللعب بالشعر. حين يبدأ شخص ما بممارسة هذه التصرفات، فإن هذا يدل على أن الشخص يواجه صعوبة أو لا يشعر بارتياح. يذكر الكاتب أن أي لمس للوجه أو الرأس أو الرقبة أو الكتف أو الذراع أو اليد أو الساق حين يواجه الشخص موقف سلبي هو محاولة لتهدئة النفس.

* من إشارات محاولة التهدئة أو التخفيف من الضغط، وضع اليدين على الفخذين و تحريكها من و إلى الركبة (مرة أو عدة مرات)

* "the higher the stress, the greater the amount of facial or neck stroking is involved."

* أصدق الأعضاء في أجسادنا التي تخبر بحقيقة مشاعرنا و خطراتنا هي الأقدام و السيقان!
"Thus, our feet and legs transmit information about what we are sensing, thinking, and feeling."

* يذكر الكاتب أنه في محاولته لتحليل شخص، يبدأ بأقدامه بدلا من رأسه. الوجوه هي أكثر الأعضاء التي اعتدنا على إخفائها بأقنعة مزيفة، نتعلم من الصغر كيف نتحكم فيها لنرضي الأطراف الأخرى.

* الأقدام السعيدة هي التي تتحرك ذهابا و إيابا أو تقفز فرحا. مع الوضع في عين الاعتبار أن تحريك الأقدام قد يعني أحيانا التوتر أو عدم الصبر؛ لذا هناك حاجة لوضع الحركة في سياقها لفهم الإشارة الصحيحة.

* الحركات المعاكسة للجاذبية هي غالبا مؤشرات على الوضع الإيجابي للنفس.

* تحريك الأقدام باتجاه شخص إشارة للترحيب به. أعطى مثالا: حين تمر بمجموعة أشخاص و تسلم و لا تدري هل تنضم إليهم أم لا، لاحظ حركة أقدامهم. إن اكتفوا بتحريك الجزء الأعلى من الجسم اتجاهك دون الأقدام، فهذا يعني أنهم لا يتوقعون منك الانضمام. لكن إن حركوا أقدامهم مع جسدهم بشكل عام باتجاهك، فهم يرحبون بك.

* حين يوجه الشخص قدميه باتجاه المخرج أو بعيدا عمن يحدثه، فهي مؤشر على عدم الرغبة بالانضمام أو الرغبة بالانصراف؛ خاصة إن كانت إحدى القدمين موجهة بعكس الطرف المواجه، فإن هذا يعني رغبة الشخص الانصراف بالاتجاه الذي يوجه له قدمه.

* وضع اليدين على الركب مع الميل للأمام، يعني رغبة الشخص بإنهاء المحادثة.

* رفع القدم أو الساق بعكس اتجاه الجاذبية مؤشر إيجابي عن الشخص.

* إن كان الشخص معتادا على تحريك قدمه أو ساقه ثم توقف فجأة، فهذا مؤشر على شعوره بالضغط أو الخطر أو تغير عاطفي. (حالة الجمود). و كذلك الحال لوضع القدمين فوق بعضهما باتجاه الوراء،و لربط القدمين بالكرسي.

* إبعاد الجزء الأعلى من الجسم عن الشخص يعني عدم رغبته بالوجود معه أو شعوره بالخطر منه. و هذا الفعل استجابة لأمر الدماغ، لذا صدقه شبه مؤكد.

* حين يكون الشخص مرتاحا تزداد حركة ذراعيه بعكس اتجاه الجاذبية. و العكس بالعكس.

* وضع الذراعين خلف الظهر غالبا ما يكون مؤشرا على شعور الشخص بأنه في رتبة أعلى و لا يود أحد أن يقترب منه. (في بعض الحالات يكون مؤشر على حالة من التفكير، لكن في سياقات محدودة).

* وضع اليدين على الخصر له عدة مؤشرات حسب اتجاه الأصابع. حين تكون الأصابع باتجاه الأرض فهو مؤشر على السلطة و السيطرة، لكن حين تكون الأصابع باتجاه الظهر (إلى الخلف) فهي كثيرا ما تكون مؤشرا على تساءل يدور في خلد الشخص و اهتمامه كالرغبة بالتفقد أو التقييم.

* إبعاد الذارعين عن بعضهما و الارتكاء على الطاولة مع جعل الأصابع تشكّل مثلثا إشارة للسيطرة و التسلط.

* إخفاء اليدين يعتبر مؤشرا سلبيا على عدم الراحة.

* وضع الكفين مع بعضهما على شكل مثلث باتجاه الأعلى مع فتح الأصابع يدل على الثقة العالية بالنفس، لكن وضع الكفين معا و إغلاق الأصابع على بعضها لتشكل مثل القبضة مؤشر على عدم الثقة أو التوتر.

* وضع اليد في الجيب مع إبقاء الإبهام في الخارج مؤشر على الثقة العالية في النفس. و كذلك رفع الإبهام بشكل عام باتجاه الأعلى مؤشر على الأفكار الإيجايبية و الثقة في النفس.

* إغلاق الشفتين و ضمهما نحو الداخل إشارة للتوتر، و حين نضيف إلى ذلك انحناءة اتجاه الأسفل (لتشكيل قوس محدب نحو الأسفل) فهو مؤشر على ضعف الثقة و علو التوتر و القلق.

* كلما ارتفع الذقن إلى الأعلى، كلما زاد مؤشر الثقة و الراحة. و العكس بالعكس.

* النقاط التي نحتاج وضعها في عين الاعتبار لفهم هذه الإشارات بشكل صحيح:

1.Be a competent observer of your environment.

2. "When trying to understand nonverbal behavior in real-life situations, the more you understand the context in which it takes place, the better you will be at understanding what it means."

3. identify universal nonverbal ques.

4. "Learn to recognize and decode idiosyncratic nonverbal behaviors." i.e., behaviors that are unique to each person. "you’ll want to be on the lookout for behavioral patterns in people you interact with on a regular basis."

5. "When you interact with others, try to establish their baseline behaviors... you need to note how they look normally, how they typically sit,... "
i.e., know the difference between what is "normal" and "not normal"

6. "observe multiple tells, or clusters of behavior body signals on which to rely."



"It is critical to understand that the brain controls all behaviors, whether conscious or subconscious. ... By this logic, we can use these behaviors to interpret what the brain is choosing to communicate externally."

Profile Image for Benni.
18 reviews
April 29, 2022
Die “Basics” der Körpersprache verstehen wir alle. Doch was hat es mit den ganzen, unscheinbaren Bewegungen auf sich, die wir tagtäglich ausführen?
Der größte Teil unsere Kommunikation läuft nonverbal über unsere Körpersprache ab. Diese wird meist von unbewussten Prozessen gesteuert, die sich kaum bzw. nur sehr schwer kontrollieren lassen. Allerdings muss man auch wissen was die Verhaltensmuster bedeuten, um aus ihnen einen Vorteil zu ziehen.

Joe Navarro, der 25 Jahre für das FBI gearbeitet hat, geht in seinem Buch “Menschen lesen” auf die Bedeutung der Körpersprache ein und folgt dabei einer klaren Struktur.
In den ersten beiden Kapiteln werden die “Geheimnisse der nonverbalen Kommunikation” und die Bedeutung des limbische Gehirns dargestellt. Anschließend werden in den folgenden Kapiteln die Bedeutung der Körpersprache, beginnend von den Füßen, dem “ehrlichsten Körperteil”, bis hin zum Kopf, dem “unehrlichsten Körperteil”, erläutert.
Abschließend erklärt Joe Navarro die Problematiken, die sich ergeben, wenn man “Menschen lesen” will, und was dabei zu beachten sei.
Besonders gut finde ich hier, dass er immer wieder betont, dass man immer das große Ganze betrachten muss und keine voreiligen Schlüsse ziehen sollte, da nicht immer der derzeitige Zustand oder die momentane Bewegung darüber Aufschluss gibt, was die Intention der Person ist, sondern die Unterscheidung/ Abweichung vom Normalzustand.
Die Schilderungen der einzelnen Verhaltensweisen werden in dem Buch nicht nur “stumpf” heruntergeschrieben, sondern anschaulich erklärt; Mimik und Gestik werden durch kleine Bilder verdeutlicht. Auch bringt Joe Navarro Berufserfahrungen und Beobachtungen aus dem Alltag in Form von kleinen Geschichten mit ein, in denen er die zuvor beschriebene Verhaltensweise in einer realen Situation schildert. Teilweise sind diese aber etwas unschön platziert, wodurch der Lesefluss unterbrochen wird; insgesamt sind sie aber eine Bereicherung für das Buch.
Aufschlussreich war auch die persönliche Geschichte hinter dem Autor selbst. Dadurch wurde ersichtlich warum er sich so intensiv mit dieser Thematik beschäftigt hat.

Insgesamt hat das Buch einen sehr guten Überblick über die grundlegende Bedeutung von verschiedenen Verhaltensmustern vermittelt und ich kann es auf jeden Fall empfehlen. Es ist ein interessanter Mix aus wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen und Geschichten aus seinem Berufsleben & Alltag, wodurch man sich nicht nur theoretisches Wissen aneignet, sondern auch die beschriebenen Phänomene in der Realität “beobachten” kann; aus diesem Grund würde ich es auch nicht als typisches Sachbuch bezeichnen.
Persönlich würde ich das Buch als ein sehr gutes Einsteigerbuch für den Bereich der Körpersprache bezeichnen, welches gut geschrieben und anschaulich hinterlegt ist. Für weitere und ausführlichere Einblicke in diesen Bereich sind wahrscheinlich Fachbücher besser geeignet (habe bis jetzt aber noch keins in diesem Bereich gelesen).
Wer von den eingebrachten Geschichten und den Erklärungen bezüglich der Verhaltensweisen nicht viel hält, kann auch zum Handbuch “Der kleine Lügendetektor” von Joe Navarro greifen, in dem die Verhaltensweisen lediglich in kleinen Absätzen erklärt werden (würde es aber trotzdem eher als Ergänzung und nicht als Ersatz betrachten).
Profile Image for Eliza.
596 reviews1,378 followers
September 16, 2017
3/5 Stars

Hmm. Not much to say about this one.

This was about as average as a book can get. I mean, I thought the contents were interesting (even if everything I read wasn't new to me), however, the writing itself was mediocre and kind of boring. I felt like Navarro did a decent job explaining everything - though I believe he could have done much better.
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 35 books26 followers
June 25, 2012
To explain why this book wasn't really what I was hoping for, it would help to explain what I was hoping for: I am mildly autistic, and I have difficulty picking up on nonverbal social cues, particularly in informal environments like casual conversation, friendship, and dating. So I've been looking for resources on identifying nonverbal behaviors in these sorts of circumstances: Is he interested in what I'm saying, or bored and faking a smile? Is she attracted to me, or just being polite? Do they want to be my friends, or would they rather be somewhere else right now?
Navarro's book is not that, unfortunately. He is a former FBI interrogator, and so his perspective on nonverbal behavior is focused around issues of dominance and submission, territory, anxiety, deception. And I have no doubt that the information is accurate and tremendously useful in interrogations. It would also be useful in other conflict scenarios, like court cases and Congressional hearings. It has certain applications in job interviews and business meetings.
But when it comes to dating, which is really what I was looking for, there's virtually nothing. Just a few tidbits here and there about what confidence looks like, how to tell a genuine smile from a fake one. These tidbits aren't useless, but nor are they what I really need—which is to understand what exactly I've been missing and misunderstanding in one-on-one contact for years.
It would also have been helpful to learn how to control these signals better, because I know that one of the symptoms of depression is that you tend to send out subconscious rejection signals to everyone around you. I'm sure I am doing this without being aware of it, and I would like to stop—but while Navarro talks about recognizing the signals, he doesn't talk about controlling them, and for the most part seems to think that control is difficult or impossible. (This leaves me feeling, well, a little sad.)
Profile Image for Nikki Sex.
Author 54 books1,684 followers
February 10, 2014
This is an excellent must read if you're an author. I recommend the hard copy vs ereader however, because you get pictures in the actual book. This book illustrates what people do with their body when they are afraid, nervous, happy...whatever. Insightful read if that kind of thing interests you, but particularly useful as an author to describe a scene.
Profile Image for Rimy.
144 reviews72 followers
October 1, 2016
تعلمت أشياء أكثر ذكرت هنا ولم تذكرفي الكتاب السابق الذي سبق وقرأته في نفس الموضوع
لكن لم أعرف لماذا كان المؤلف يصر على مخاطبتنا وكإننا نعمل في التحقيقات الفيدرالية مثله أو سنفعل ذلك يوماً ما …!
Profile Image for Rolando Gill.
250 reviews9 followers
December 31, 2014
December 2013 Pacifying behaviors are not indicators of lying. Mouth movements and hand movements. Great book.
July 2013 - Reread the book, so much information. My take away this time is that I will start focusing on one body part at a time. I am also more aware of self soothing behavior in myself and others.
March 2012 - Awesome, so interesting. I am going to have to review this over and over again. This book should easily help me get all of my poker losses back!
Profile Image for Haktan.
217 reviews7 followers
June 11, 2017
Hep ilgimi çeken beden dili konusuyla ilgili nihayet bir kitap okudum. Daha önce benzer bir kitap okumadığım için değerlendirmem yanıltıcı olabilir ama yine de kitabı çok beğendiğimi açıkça belirtmeliyim. Sözel olmayan işaretlerin bizlere nasıl yerleştiği mantıklı şekilde açıklanmış, resimlerle gösterilmiş ve FBI ajanının anılarıyla desteklenmiş. Hal böyle olunca, kitap keyifle ve kolayca okunuyor.

Farkında olmadan kullandığımız ve gözlemlemeyi de zaman içinde az çok öğrenmiş olduğumuz beden dili konusunda temellendirilmiş ve organize sunulmuş bilgiler edinmek isterseniz bu kitabı tavsiye ederim.
Profile Image for Benoit Lelièvre.
Author 8 books137 followers
March 30, 2016
The genius of this book doesn't lie in its pages, but in how it modifies your behavior in every day life. I mean, the information is laid out in a pretty basic fashion and it can get a little wordy sometimes (it's written like a conference speech) but it goes to work on your lymbic system (joke you'll get if you read the book :P) You'll start noticing which ways torsos bend and who is steepling his hands in meetings at work. It raises awareness and makes everyday life more interesting and it actually is. Not the best presented book, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.
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