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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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- ASIN : 0061438294
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st edition (April 15, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 250 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780061438295
- Item Weight : 10.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.68 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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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.
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.
For example, he has said that a man standing straight and tall and puffing up is taking on an aggressive posture. However, there is no mention that if he is doing that in front of a woman (or same gender if gay) that it is an ATTRACTION posture and an attempt to present his body in the best and most attractive light so he will look tall, fit, and strong. The author also lists many gestures as pacifying gestures without further analysis or explanation of why. Biting the lip? Pacifying. Touching your neck? Pacifying. However, other books go into more detail. For example, when a woman bites her lip when she is talking to a man it's likely because she is ATTRACTED to him and trying to call attention to her lips/mouth. It is NOT only a pacifying behavior--and even if it is, it's due to attraction.
The examples I have given are well known and the only reason I can think that he left these things out of the book is that he views body language only from the perspective of an FBI agent and not in the context of random human interactions. But I would hazard a guess that most people who study body language are not interviewing potential criminals but instead want to know if their boss likes them or if they have a shot with that man/woman they met on a night on the town!
That being said, learning about body language is an ongoing, life-long process, and even with these criticisms I think there are still things to be learned from this book. However, for the average person the analyses this book contains will be lacking, in my humble opinion.
By Julie Olson on October 28, 2016
Top reviews from other countries
This is a beginners' book. So if you are already a whiz at reading body language, or you are a psychology graduate, this is not the book for you. It's the pop-science/pop-psychology version, aimed at the ordinary man-in-the-street who wants to know about more about the subject, to be better able to read friends, family, colleagues, and so on. If you want something more complex than that - if you want a high-level textbook or an academic thesis - this is not the book for you.
On the other hand, if you are an ordinary person wanting to know a bit more about body language, this is a good place to start.
Equally, I think this would be a good book for writers who want to write realistic body language - there's a difference between being able to read body language instinctively, and having it laid out exactly what you're looking at, and the types of things people do when they're comfortable/not comfortable, so that you can then reproduce it.
Navarro might have interesting information to impart, but his delivery tends to be a little flat. This is not the kind of narrative non-fiction pop-science book that pulls you along with the sheer sparkiness of the prose. Get used to that, suck it up, and read the information. This is the boiled cauliflower of prose: good for you, but bland.
Unlike some reviewers, I am not naturally gifted with a brilliant ability to interpret other people's body language. Nor am I a psychology graduate. However, the content seemed to me to be accurate. When I replay what I've seen in my head, it matches up with what Navarro is saying. Furthermore, Navarro is very clear that body language tends to indicate comfort/discomfort - what that means is something you have to interpret in context. There is no 'tell' that will infallibly indicate when someone is lying.
Four stars for content, provided you're in the right target audience. Delivery could have been better, but not everything in life is fun and exciting. A useful book for those who want to know a little more on the subject for general-purpose use.
He told me he felt I did not like him along with other things and I was amazed how he could know these things about me just by meeting me. So I asked him how he knew and he recommended this book, and I bought it as soon as I got home from the date. I never saw him again but i read the book and it is definitely worth reading if you want to learn how to speed read people.
The product also seems to be reasonably price and the writing style of the author makes the book both enjoyable and easy to read.
I recommend this great book to anyone looking to gain that extra confidence and gift you the knowledge to be a step ahead in many day to day situations.
If you've ever read books about body language before, you probably know what's in this book already. Nothing unusual or surprising is revealed by this FBI guy.