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The Dictionary of Body Language

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  736 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 9th 2018 by Harper Thorsons
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May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
My boyfriend got me this book as a present and I feel a little bad for not liking this more. The topic, decoding body language, is really interesting to me, especially as someone who writes a lot of fiction and keeps using the same actions (everyone's always scratching their necks, shaking their heads and huffing, as one does). As a very broad overview of possible ticks and movements, this book is fine, but the commentary for 80% of these can be summed up as "People do X when they're nervous or ...more
Aditi Subba
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book has well explained the meaning of body language, however, it is a slow read as it lacks images and as a reader, one has to imagine and decode body language together while reading it.
Peter P.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved Navarro's "What Everybody Is Saying" and I was eagerly anticipating The Dictionary of Body Language. The good and bad news is that it delivers as promised. It is bite-sized and still comprehensive in documenting the myriad aspects of body language and their possible interpretations. The disappointment, for me at least, is that there was no story-telling. The book is as dry as a standard reference manual, useful without being particularly interesting. I highlighted some pieces that I can ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-the-hero
After reading the author's "What every body is saying" I really started taking notice in body language, and that book was a very good introduction to the field for me.

This one is not good as an introduction: it lacks illustrations and describes body language literally from head to toes, rather than from basics to subtleties.

It's main purpose, I believe, is to refresh your memory. If you are not sure what a particular gesture or pose means, you can just look it up here. It's much easier to do it
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
(2.5 ) Was a very quick read but seemed very basic ... like .... well, duh yeah doesn't everyone know that?.... or maybe I am in the wrong career and I should be an FBI agent? 😋 ...more
Cathy Sites
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Fine points-much of a bulleted summary of What Every Body is Saying. Good refresher if you need one.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed learning about body language. There was so much I didn't know and now I feel like I pay more attention to how people's bodies react and not just focus on their words. Highly educational. Would reccomend if you're interested in reading people. ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I appreciated the brevity of this book - it will make it easier to go back and look for information when I want to. I also enjoyed how the author organized the behaviors he discussed by body part. There were some behaviors he wrote about that I wish he went into more detail on why humans do these certain actions, not just what the actions are.
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: research
As a writer I'm finding this book helpful in the art of showing vs. telling when it comes to the wide array of emotions of "body language".

I would recommend it for any writer to have on their shelf as a quick reference.

I most particularly like topic #111 (Tongue in Cheek). So many double meanings.
Thrillers R Us
Feb 17, 2021 rated it liked it
The Dictionary of Body Language by Joe Navarro

Succinctly describing the motivating force behind the men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as fidelity, bravery, and integrity suggests that the FBI is an action packed place to work. Author Joe Navarro spent 25 years in what John Grisham calls the 'Fibbies' and opines in THE DICTIONARY OF BODY LANGUAGE that FBI work is, for the most part, about making observations. This is not good news for the bad guys, as our bodies reveal very accurately, in real time [via comfort markers
One-word summary: Disappointing.

While this dictionary delivers on explaining many non-verbals, most of them are very obvious to anyone with even an intermediate level of knowledge of human nature. It is nice to have them all in one place and reading them might make you pay more attention to them.. but that doesn't change the fact that at least 70% of this book were extremely obvious to me. A foot suddenly pointing towards the door might mean that the person is ready to leave? Avoiding eye contac
Oct 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book piqued my interest after I watched an episode of Wired on YouTube, featuring the writer, Joe Navarro's. He's a retired FBI agent, and his explanation about body language makes it seem really intriguing.
After reading the book, I realized that some of the facts mentioned I have already known but always taken for granted; Such as "positive emotions drive gravity-defying gestures", some repetitive and stroking motions have soothing effect that help a person deal with stress, etc. There ar
Patrick Nolet
Mar 01, 2021 rated it did not like it
Absolutely dreadful. This book is only useful to someone who has no ability to recognize social cues whatsoever. Most of the information provided is simply common sense. To top that off, when talking about certain actions, the author tries to explain them in detail but fails miserably. Surely there must have been someone in the editorial process that suggested adding a few images to help make it clearer.

The only good parts of this book are the introductory paragraphs at the start of every chapt
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had a specialized interest in this, which was fidelity in the rendition of characters in various media. And its format was okay, as it's a familiar topic.

As such, it served its purpose.

But, in general, some gestures or expressions might not be clear to people purely by textual description.

Also, given it was a dictionary of this form, while it does touch on a few cross-cultural variations, there are pretty major ones that go unmentioned. The Indian head bob, for example, is pretty ubiquitous,
Annett Jummrich
Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Interesting read on nonverbal communication, although not sure I always agree with Mr Navarro. Nonverbals he describes as being indicative of being deceptive or trying to hide something, I do when sitting on the couch reading a romance novel. But then again, who am I to argue with a former FBI agent with decades of experience in deciphering the body language of thousands of people.

Some of the nonverbal communication he describes is pretty much common sense or things that everyone is aware of an
Ankit Shukla
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a crisp guide to non verbal communication of human behaviour. The behavioural patterns observed and highlighted in book helps to gain insight on people and their gestures. Although the book is little boring as there are a fewer examples explaining the behaviours enlisted, the observation of author is exhaustive. I personally felt that if there were small pictures on top of each behavioural pattern enlisted, it would have been much easier for a reader to carve a picture of respective behavio ...more
Weronika Dolna
Nov 21, 2020 rated it liked it
extremely interesting topic. execution... not so great.

overall, this was an enjoyable read, although greatly obvious at times. if you are already familiar with the work of paul ekmann, don't bother.

i'm surprised i haven't seen anyone else mention it in the reviews (apologies if i'm wrong), but the book sometimes have hints of sexism, even though it was published fairly recently - in 2018. e.g. 'manspreading' or stating that most women will sit with their knees together because it's the conventi
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
I am very grateful for books that provide context to natural associations that allow for language to be further understood and expressed, like... books about body language, and specific social experiences.

This book's context is very defaulted in the everyday social demographic tools of social body language. The gestures. The inflections (tone). The frequencies of those social responses (gestures, inflections... made).

I wish the book's context was, and also... I wish the industry of "social bod
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think I like Navarro's "What Every Body is Saying" when it comes to social interaction, since the format is a bit more coherent. This is one is basically a list of body parts and how to read a person's state of mind based on what they're doing with that body part. Since it doesn't have any reference images, sometimes it's a bit difficult to understand what the pose supposedly looks like. Still it's a great book for those who are not very savvy when it comes to social interactions. ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my first book on non-verbals ...

This isn’t my first book on non-verbals and isn’t my first Book by this author. That said still learnt som ends things but feel though at times it was difficult to get a sense of what the non-verbal would look like due to poor description and a picture would have helped in my understanding.
I think I would recommend this book for someone that wants an easy reference guide and has a grasp of non-verbals already.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
[Audiobook] I would not recommend this book in audiobook format. The descriptions of each piece of body language are super short, and it would be much more helpful to stop and think about each one - maybe demonstrate it to yourself - before moving on to the next. It would also be beneficial to have this book on hand as a reference to look something up rather than read it in one go as an audiobook.
Miguel Pinto
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
is it a bad book! NO
its easy to read, clearly written but work more as a cheat sheet and even doing that it fails a bit,
this is an area that requires practice to identify the signs.
in this book if you need a refresher or a go to list if work perfectly.
If you are novice on the field the lack of images does not help on guetting, for that i recomend the other book from the same author.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. Very intuitive . Definately gonna get you to look like the guy with an enormous ego. But worth it. Only problem is that its a handbook
(I know theres the OG book out there) with this one you gotta keep reading it. But honestly , its fun to just open up a ramdom page and read now and then.
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like the book. I hadn't realized that I, too, did a lot of these things and would catch myself doing them. I think it's a great book to read if you're preparing for an interview, are socially awkward, or may need a little help talking to new people. It obviously won't teach you everything about non-verbals, but it is a great source to look back.

Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Dictionary of Body Language: A Field Guide to Human Behavior Book By Joe Navarro The ultimate reference in body language. I will refer to and recommend this book daily for many years.
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Format was great I just was not in a good mood to read it and properly digest the information. I feel this is a book to buy so I can really take my time with it instead of rush through. Loved learning about Joe Navarro and his experiences as an FBI agent. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to read this book as I would have liked but I will be reading it again thoroughly.
Jovan Josifoski
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
From the head to the toes, explains our body movements and its meanings, remember at least half of these signs and people will think you are a mindreader. The only reason this dictionary doesn't have 5 stars is because of lack of pictures. ...more
Dinesh Palli
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Helps you understand and appreciate others through this unspoken language we call nonverbals. Decode why we do the things we do.

Could definitely be used as a dating guide. Fits into one of the good dating guides too.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
There is not much new here if you have read Joe Navarro's "What Every Body is Saying". It is a disappointment because it is a bit of a missed opportunity. There could have been pictures or diagrams or more references to mainstream scenes. ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
A reference manual to deciphering nonverbal cues. Lack of pictures and broad definitions made this book less useful.
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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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