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What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People Paperback – April 15, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—This book illustrates which nonverbal clues telegraph untrustworthiness and deception and which radiate sincerity and compassion. In this fascinating take on body language and the ability to decipher it for use in everyday life, Navarro emphasizes that while knowing the reasons for certain behaviors—like touching one's neck—can be useful in "reading" people, they are not foolproof barometers of deception. A former FBI agent who commonly used these techniques to help crack cases, the author cautions about jumping to conclusions and encourages using clusters of nonverbal patterns to help discover whether a person is lying or just under stress. One chapter is devoted to the brain and its limbic system, which controls those involuntary quirks of behavior. Black-and-white photos illustrate different points throughout. This book is a worthy research tool, and a good addition to larger collections.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“A masterful work on nonverbal body language by an exceptional observer. Joe Navarro’s work has been field-tested in the crucible of law enforcement at the highest levels within the FBI. I cannot praise the book enough.” (--David Givens, Ph.D., author of Crime Signals and Love Signals)
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Top customer reviews
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Goes bottom-to-top across the human body to describe (and show, with good photography) what behaviors indicate confidence and openness, and which others indicate discomfort or avoidance.
Useful. Pay attention.
I'm giving this to my teen son to read next.
If you are a people watcher, this book will provide insight light years beyond what you think you understand.
It also can help people who are a bit socially ackward with feeling comfortable around people they do not know.
While I do understand body language, It doesn't always come naturally to me - I might miss seemingly obvious things like someone doing the "Come here" motion with their hand, Someone needing me to get something for them that's behind me and pointing at it (but without verbally saying it), etc. A book like this is incredibly valuable to me, since it shows me what the body language looks like and what it means or may mean. Since I don't always recognize these things, even moreso than most people - This book is worth it's weight in gold to me.
A phenomenal book! I will now look at everybody in a different way, and try not to be creepy when I pay attention to their body language, haha.
Seriously, though, this was fascinating. I originally read this book partly because I wanted more insight into writing the bodily gestures of my characters during dialogues, but of course, these tips are useful for my daily interactions with others too.
One thing I realized for writing body language in fiction, is that even though we can see gestures in detail in real life, we may not necessarily describe these gestures with so much precision in our books: one, because readers might not understand what it means or they might even misunderstand; two, when we interpret someone’s facial expression, we may jump to the emotion without consciously processing what physical gestures expressed that emotion. So we’ d think: “her gaze turned wistful” rather than a detailed portrayal of her eyebrow, pupil, mouth, etc. movements.
I really liked the general principle of spotting comfort versus discomfort behaviors, as this heuristic makes everything easier to understand. And I appreciate how honest Joe is in telling us that there is no sure-fire way to know if someone is lying or not. Real life is never that simple to figure out.
The only reason why I took off 0.1 stars, was because I was led to believe by a certain paragraph in the book that we would see a chapter on people’s idiosyncratic, personal bodily gestures. So I was disappointed to find that I was mistaken.
Still, this was a fabulous book! Highly recommended!
The book is very straight forward, making it an easy read. The author doesn't waste any words and gives straight content without any fluff throughout. There are many black and white photos to supplement each section of the book's content. This would make a good read for anybody with an entry level curiosity for this subject matter.