How to Read Body Language

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WHAT EVERY

BODY
IS SAYI N G
An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

JOE NAVARRO
FBI Special Agent (Ret.)

with Marvin Karlins, Ph.D.

To my grandmother, Adelina, whose withered hands lovingly molded a child into a man. —J O E N AVA R R O

To my wife, Edyth, who has blessed me with her love and taught me what it means to be a caring human being. —MARVIN KARLINS

CONTENTS

Foreword: I See What You’re Thinking Acknowledgments ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX Mastering the Secrets of Nonverbal Communication Living Our Limbic Legacy Getting a Leg Up on Body Language: Nonverbals of the Feet and Legs Torso Tips: Nonverbals of the Torso, Hips, Chest, and Shoulders Knowledge Within Reach: Nonverbals of the Arms Getting a Grip: Nonverbals of the Hands and Fingers

vi x

1 21 53 85 109 133

v

CONTENTS

SEVEN EIGHT NINE

The Mind’s Canvas: Nonverbals of the Face Detecting Deception: Proceed with Caution! Some Final Thoughts Bibliography Index

165 205 233 235 239

About the Authors Other Books by Joe Navarro with Marvin Karlins Credits Cover Copyright About the Publisher

FOREWORD

I See What You’re Thinking
Marvin Karlins, Ph.D.

T

he man sat stoically at one end of the table, carefully crafting his replies to the FBI agent’s inquiries. He wasn’t considered a major suspect in the murder case. His alibi was believable and he sounded sincere, but the agent pressed on nevertheless. With the suspect’s consent, he was asked a series of questions about the murder weapon: “If you had committed this crime, would you have used a gun?” “If you had committed this crime, would you have used a knife?” “If you had committed this crime, would you have used an ice pick?” “If you had committed this crime, would you have used a hammer?” One of the weapons, the ice pick, had actually been used in the commission of the crime, but that information had been kept from the public. Thus, only the killer would know which object was the real murder weapon. As the FBI agent went down the list of weapons, he

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FOREWORD

observed the suspect carefully. When the ice pick was mentioned, the man’s eyelids came down hard and stayed down until the next weapon was named. The agent instantly understood the significance of the eyelid behavior he had witnessed, and from that moment forward the “minor” suspect became the primary person of interest in the investigation. He later confessed to the crime. Chalk one up for Joe Navarro, a remarkable human being who, in addition to unmasking the ice-pick killer, is credited with catching scores of criminals, including “master spies,” in a distinguished twenty-fiveyear career with the FBI. How was he able to do this? If you asked him, he quietly would say, “I owe it to being able to read people.” Joe, it turns out, has spent his entire professional life studying, refining, and applying the science of nonverbal communications—facial expressions, gestures, physical movements (kinesics), body distance (proxemics), touching (haptics), posture, even clothing—to decipher what people are thinking, how they intend to act, and whether their pronouncements are true or false. This is not good news for criminals, terrorists, and spies, who, under his careful scrutiny, usually give off more than enough nonverbal body signals (“tells”) to make their thoughts and intentions transparent and detectable. It is, however, very good news for you, the reader, because the very same nonverbal knowledge Joe relied on to become a master “Spycatcher,” “human lie detector,” and instructor at the FBI is what he will be sharing with you so you can better understand the feelings, thoughts, and intentions of those around you. As a renowned author and educator, Joe will teach you how to observe like an expert, detecting and deciphering the nonverbal behaviors of others so you can interact with them more successfully. For business or for pleasure, this knowledge will enrich and magnify your life....
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