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The Power of Body Language

An Ex-FBI Agent's System for Speed-Reading People
Narrated by: Joe Navarro
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,542 ratings)

Regular price: $42.95

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Publisher's Summary

Instantly discover what's really going on around you!

Know the truth before you ever hear a word!

Approximately 80% of communication is expressed nonverbally. When you know how to unlock the secrets of people's nonverbal cues, you'll always have the upper hand in any situation.

In The Power of Body Language, former FBI counterintelligence officer and recognized global expert on nonverbal behavior Joe Navarro teaches you how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for revealing behaviors. You will discover:

  • How the subconscious limbic system drives all body language.
  • Why the face is the least likely place to gauge a person's true feelings.
  • What thumbs, feet, and a simple handshake reveal about moods and motives.
  • The most powerful behaviors that reveal our confidence and true sentiments.
  • Simple nonverbals that instantly establish trust and communicate authority.
  • Why things taught about nonverbals in the '70s and '80s are incorrect.
  • And more!

©2009 Joe Navarro (P)2009 Nightingale Conant

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(...) and in the end, they would confess.

In order to better remember and use as future reference, I've made a summary with all main contents. It doesn't by any mean replace the reading, but it helps remember future useful hints! Hope it's helpful!

ABOUT OUR BRAIN
*The hippocampus learns and expands, the amygdala senses danger and helps to keep us safe. The limbic system is designed to react, it's subconscious and non cognitive. Good emotions are dealt by the limbic system as well.
The neocortex is the cognitive part. It allows us to create things, think and lie. Boo!
*Whenever we feel a threat, we have freeze (predators sometimes don't chase things that don't move), flight (the modern equivalent is not running but distancing yourself) and fight reactions (nowadays usually manifests by arguing). 3 Fs. Not 2.

ANALYSING BEHAVIOR
*Behaviors can basically be categorized into comfort and discomfort demonstrations.
*Are behaviors limbic or cultural? Cultural= something that has been taught to us as a common reaction.
Limbic= it's easier to look for clusters to identify limbic reactions. Its reactions also happens very fast, immediately.
*Fragment information - in order to know what generates which feeling, fragment the information and discuss part by part. It will help you read the reactions way better.
*Pacifier reactions can either be used to add physical comfort to good situations or to ease stress. It can manifest through sucking your thumb, playing with your hair or touching your ears etc... Context matters.
*Happy couples have synchronized body patterns, they walk at the same pace and have similar body movements.

ANALYSING THE BODY
FEET 1)when couples get along their feet often touch.
2)When we are comfortable around people, our feet tends to go towards their direction.
3)When someone is empathetic towards someone else, the feet points to them. If they aren't keen to the person, it will point towards the exit.

LEGS 1)Crossing your legs is usually a demonstration of comfort and trust since it breaks your sense of balance.
2)When we cross our legs towards someone it is a sign we trust and like this person the best.
3)Usually depressed people won't bounce their legs or feet because they are so overwhelmed by their emotions they can't "defy gravity", like they are carrying all the weight of the world on their back.
4)Our legs are usually used to defend us. When we are relaxed we spread them a little wider but if we feel tense it closes shut.

HIPS 1) we may lean our hips towards someone to welcome them, but if our feet aren't pointed to their direction, it shows it was just out of politeness.
2) Hip contact is used to demonstrate affection.
3)Hips can also sign discomfort towards what someone is hearing - If the person is agitated it can be one major indicator that the situation is bothering them.
4)Hands on hips with elbows sticking out is one way to demonstrate we have an issue with someone or something. If the legs are also slightly spread apart it shows a very territorial pose. It universally transmits power issues. If the thumbs are pointed to the back it indicates there is an issue here. If the thumbs are pointed forward it changes the impression and makes you look inquisitive rather than intrusive.
5)Thucking the thumbs into the pants or belt in an equivalent distance is a way of framing the genitals and showing sexual interest.

TORSO 1)It transmits how we present our health to the world, as well as our youth.
2)The torso is also called the human billboard because we can "decorate" it in many ways. It can also be an indicative of social status (i.e. imagine a polo shirt with a fancy logo)
3) Looking at the torso also can indicate who this person is, what kind of position they have in society, how their self esteem is etc...
***4)The way we treat our torsos shows how we perceive ourselves
5)When people can see our torsos they perceive us as being more honest. Hiding our torsos is a way of showing we are not approachable, whether it may be because we feel superior or uncomfortable.
6)Positioning our torsos towards someone is called ventral fronting. The extreme opposite, turning our back to someone is ventral denial.
7)Visible tattoos, specially on the torso, nowadays, are perceived negatively in areas in which a high degree of trust is necessary

SHOULDERS 1)When asked a question and only one shoulder comes next to the ear, it's probably less likely that the answer will be truthful. When both shoulders come next to the ear, it's seen as more credible. One explanation is that their limbic system is coherent.
2)The turtle effect, in which the shoulders come next to the ear and the head comes down, indicates that what is being said isn't that strong.

NECK 1)Touching our necks is a kind of pacifying reaction. We often see this in relation to a stressful event.
2)Covering part of your neck shows something negative bothered you. Not covering it when talking about something negative can indicate lying.
3)When we're very comfortable we tend to tilt our heads.
4)The head going from tilt to straight tends to show something went wrong.
5)Tilting our heads to everyone makes people uncomfortable because that's a sign of affection.

HANDS 1)When we like someone we tend to touch them with our full hands. When we don't care, we use only or fingertips.
2)Putting the index and the thumb together indicates precision
3) When we are stippling (putting or fingertips together but not palms, hands spread out) indicates we're very sure about what we're talking about.
4)When we like something, our thumbs tend to appear.
5)One of the ways of showing lack of confidence is hiding our thumbs.
6)Preening behaviors are often associated with good health and with respect; since we usually try to look good when someone matters to us.
7)Preening however can also be bad; doing so while the person speaks without acknowledging them is a sign of disrespect
8)it's also possible to pacify others with our hands, which is a way of pacifying ourselves. We can also achieve the same results by pacifying animals.
9)Handshakes are reflections of the society we grew up in. In some cultures, a strong handshake is important, in some others, a weak one is the social norm. There are some cultures in which you don't even do handshakes at all.
10)One interesting thing to do, is to mimic their handshake in order to create empathy.
11)One rude handshake however, is to use both your hands to cover their hand during the handshake. It's perceived very negatively. This is called the politician handshake. If you feel like you need more touch, then touch the shoulder or the elbow, but don't cover their hands. Also, make eye contact.

PALMS 1)Palms up can send a subtle message of weaknesses, like you're asking for a favor or begging to be believed. Palms down can mean we are very secure of our message and that we are sure about it.

ARMS 1)Putting our arms behind our back and holding our fingers is called the regal position and the message is: don't come near me. It happens because it's the opposite of putting our arms up and forward, which can mean we're trying to reach for someone or something.
2)Hugging ourselves our constantly needing coats when it's not particularly cold is a sign we're trying to protect ourselves.

POSTURE (how we stand) 1) One way of showing respect is adjusting to the pace of walking of those who they perceive to be superior. (I.e. no one walks in front of the Queen on England)
2) The way you stand also is going to impact a lot the credibility of your message.
***3)Criminals target individuals based on how they stand. They go after people who look weak and unaware of their surroundings.
4)The more we spread our legs and body the more territorial we look.

ANALYSING THE FACE

FOREHEAD 1)When we look at the forehead we can have a very accurate notion whether stress or comfort is present.

EYES 1)Covering the eyes is a blocking mechanism. When we hear something we don't like, we close our eyes for at least longer than a blink.
2)When the eyelids come down and remain low for a long period of time it can indicate avoidance and discomfort.
3)When we see something we like our pupils dilate. When we see something we don't like, our pupils constrict.
3)Arching eyebrows (lasts 1/10 of a second) is called the eyebrow flash and it can speed how relationships are established and increase empathy.
4)Eye aversion has more to do with social constructs than whether we're telling the truth or not. Sometimes people avoid looking eye to eye because they understand that as a sign of respect.

NOSE 1)When we are stressed the nose tends to get very dry, therefore more sensitive which can induce the person to touch their nose.
2)When we get excited about something or when we're going to do something physical, the wings of the nose dilate. This can also be a sign the person is going to run or attack us.

MOUTH 1) Social smiles move the corner of the mouth towards the ear but the eyes don't present the crow effect, they don't change, the eyes remain still.
2)When people hive their lips it's an indicator of deep discomfort
4)When the lips are full, relaxed and warm is a sign that there is comfort.
5)When we purse our lips it's a sign of disagreement
6)Yawning excessively is a possible sign that the person is under stress.
7) To exhale with puff cheeks is a sign of relief
8)When we're strong and confident our jaws come out. When we are weak and insecure we put our chins in.

70 of 71 people found this review helpful

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Reread of What Everybody's Saying

Informative but needs a professional reader. Slowww and droll read. First book, What Everybody's Saying is much better.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Helped me with my disabled daughter!!!!

I decided to purchase this book to help me with my disabled daughter. My daughter is severely disabled and her ability to communicate when she is in distress is limited. She has lots of conditions including autism and OCD which give her much distress. I was looking for any tools to help me recognize when she is first experiencing stress so maybe I could intervene before she goes into full blown mania. I was not disappointed! Mr. Navarro gave me some valuable tools to use in observing my daughter's behavior. The suggestions in the book have already helped me recognize early stress behaviors in my daughter.

This book also gave me tools which I am excited to start practicing when observing other people's behavior. This could be fun! ;-)

The narration of the book is in a slow, methodical speech pattern which may annoy some people. However, I found that this type of delivery helped me better process the weighty information.

Thank you, Mr. Navarro, for writing this book!!! I am about to listen to the book again.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Same as his other book "What every body is saying"

Would you try another book from Joe Navarro and/or Joe Navarro?

This is my second book by Mr. Navarro because I enjoyed the first one I downloaded. There is no new information in this book. It is the exact same set of stories and examples in a format that is a bit more "raw" or unpolished than the other book. If he comes up with anything new I will check it out.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Huge disappointment it is the same as his other title just recorded by him.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read for Every Human

Terrific (& valuable) information!
The one (& only) problem I had with this audio book was the author's speed in narration...it was painfully slow (he should've used someone else). I adjusted the speed in my Audible app to 1.25 & it worked like a DREAM!
With the speed up to par I could actually concentrate on what the author was saying...& the information was AMAZING!
You will really come away from this with concrete knowledge on the "how's" & "why's" of all types of body language a person will use during a conversation!
I cannot believe I didn't know this stuff...& the meaning behind different gestures, twitches, motions, pauses (I could go on & on...there's SO much to learn) that people use EVERY DAY, ALL DAY!!!
What else can I say...? An amazing book!!!

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Worth it

It was good information, some of it a bit cliche, but overall worth listening to it you find this stuff interesting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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worth listening

Namaste ji
one should listen or read once the book.
it been a good general information and experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good story, terrible narrator

Any additional comments?

overall content was very interesting, but i found it VERY very hard to listen to the guy reading the book. He sounds very arrogant and uninterested, like reading this book is a very difficult effort.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Life-changing book

I have been practicing what I learned from this book and it is amazing. This has been by far the best book on body language that I have came across. It was a little slow during the first chapter, but trust me it does get better. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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good info bad narration

Any additional comments?

this is the second book I read form Joe N, obviously I though enough about the author to read more. Listening to him read was painful I found myself having to back it up a lot because I missed his words due to hard to pay attention.. But if you can get past that and the little interludes they have in there from the CD recording format, its a good book. The first 20 min are especially nauseating, but after that its good info if you can stomach the reading. 2 times through is about all I needed to get the info nailed down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 12-01-15

Insightful

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

There are a few friends that i think would find this interesting but i think the majority would find it tedious. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in body language.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Well I definitely wasn't surprised by the ending. It’s not like it turned out the author was lying the whole way through. Like all non-fiction books the endings are usually quite obvious.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrators voice started to grate on me after a while and i needed to take frequent breaks. His voice did make it difficult to listen to.

Could you see The Power of Body Language being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

Overall the content was very interesting and insightful. I have noticed i have started actively observing people a lot more and trying to spot the meanings behind their movements. It’s also interesting to spot my own pacifying behaviour and note when and why i am doing it. I enjoyed the author’s anecdotal explanations of his work with the FBI which helped to add credibility to what he is conveying. The only thing that let the audiobook down was the author’s narration. I understand why he has decided to narrate his own book but sadly his voice was not engaging and i found him very difficult to listen to. The content of the book however outweighed the narration so on the whole i enjoyed this audiobook.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr J Phan
  • 09-03-16

Powerfull, Thoughtfull and eye opening

Would you listen to The Power of Body Language again? Why?

Yes, there is to much in this book that can be easily forgotten.

His book is insightful, old movies like Ocean eleven would have you believe you can tell if someone is lying if the person looks up left or right. What you take from his book is you can't tell what they are thinking precisely, you can tell how people feel or what mood they are in. Which can give you que's to ask follow up questions to know why they feel the way they do.

IT helped open my eye's and made me monitor myself not so I could decisive, but to practice mindfullness. I am able to now think about some of the que's and know what I am feeling with more accuracy which helped me work through my emotions rather than be ruled by them.

If you’ve listened to books by Joe Navarro before, how does this one compare?

I have not read other books

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He was very methodical, however his tempo or reading speed made it difficult to stay interested during the technical dissection of his examples.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, there is to much to absorb in one go.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MarkPT
  • 06-07-17

Interesting stuff

Yeah, interesting topic and content, Joe seems a down to earth and reasonable fella, and thought the information was good if not life changing!

Just a very weird and non relevant advert at the end of the book?!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Equalizer UK
  • 05-18-17

Recommended

Easy to listen to. Extensive content. I will introduce some of the visual clues that I have learned from this book into my Self-Protection teaching.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Gupta
  • 12-12-16

Good starter

Interesting to provoke imagination and get the first taste of body language. Doesn't get into a lot of depth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gman
  • 09-15-16

Great book

Great insight into human behaviour, well worth the money. The narrator definitely knows his field.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcio Borlenghi Fasano
  • 01-12-15

Superb!

I have enjoyed this Audio book from the beginning to the end. It gave me a very good insight of everything i needed to learn.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andre
  • 01-18-15

Informative and eat to listen too

Well structured and helped me see things that I sort of knew in my subconscious but it validates what I thought was happening.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin B.
  • 02-18-19

Excellent

Great content and delivery.

Lose the ridiculous hard sell pitch at the end. I didn’t buy this book to hear hear such shite. It’s irritating.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Natasha
  • 02-13-19

This Audio Is Fantastic

I enjoyed every chapter of this book.
The narrator kept me engaged.
Very informative.
Definitely a keeper.
10 out of 10

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-28-19

Exactly what it sais on the tin.

it was pretty good, interesting and a great narrative. i could have done without the 70's porno music between chapters though....

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-19

good clothe amongst the fluff

useful information thinly spread amongst (relevant) stories and examples. to get the most out of this audio I'd recommend intentional review and note-taking of the relevant chapters. Already using some of his principles.

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  • Josip
  • 09-14-18

Invaluable information

Invaluable information from a extremely intelligent and experienced man. wish they taught this in schools.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-18

A fantastic insight!

Easy listening, great content & very engaging topics. A great listen for anyone interesting in understanding human nature and social interaction.
A light hearted way to understand what some may consider a difficult topic to grasp.
I really enjoyed listening to Joe & wish he had more content to listen to!

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  • Alexandra
  • 09-25-17

will read more from Joe's work

Clear and fresh approach to body language understanding; free of prejudice and black and white labels. I can now understand the physical reasons of some body language and learned not to assume what the motivations might be. I also found Joe's delivering very enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-23-17

educational

covered as much as it could in the time allowed,very enjoyable and nicely spoken.i will be looking for the authors other work.

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  • AYE!
  • 04-19-17

Body language 101

What did you like best about this story?

Easy to follow examples, very easy to relate to. Instantly made me conscious of my own signals. First basic thing I noticed and put into practice was it's very fun to observe people in public especially those on mobile phones; and the incredible amount of signals the Limbic System emits.

What does Joe Navarro bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Joe doesn't try to fancy this course up which is good because It doesn't need it. He keeps the content constant and steady enough for it to be interesting. I think another reviewer disapproved of the narration. Given Joe's voice is a bit mono, I disagree, It's narrated perfectly for the type of content it is.

Any additional comments?

Knock down the price of this audiobook, I think it's like 40+ dollars in Australia...Lots of parental examples I didn't relate to also, but still not enough to knock a star off.

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  • ben
  • 11-08-15

very good.easy to follow and understand.

wasnt quite what i expected only because he dispells a lot of myths that are out there but overall a very good book.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick Agoge
  • 09-30-17

Annoying narrator "and so forth"

Decent content, but has someone actually counted how often this guy says "so forth"?
I did - for 40 minutes. It was 28 times. After that I stopped listening as I could not stand him one more minute!

Really unfortunate, as a professional narrator would have probably transported the content way better.

Will give this book back and avoid him in the future.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • 10-10-16

a comprehensive look at non verbal comms.

I liked the presentation from a clinical perspective and the blue background for the title, nice touch.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful