Former FBI Agent Explains How to Read Body Language | Tradecraft | WIRED

Published 2019-05-21
Former FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro breaks down the various ways we communicate non-verbally. What does it mean when we fold our arms? Why do we interlace our fingers? Can a poker player actually hide their body language?

Check out Joe's book "The Dictionary of Body Language"
Books By Joe Navarro:
Joe Navarro Body Language Academy:

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Former FBI Agent Explains How to Read Body Language | Tradecraft | WIRED

All Comments (21)
  • FBI
    Dude, this is confidential.
  • sam'ool red
    Imagine being in highschool about to take a girl out for a first date , you get to the door and this is her dad waiting to see into your soul .
  • This guy devoted his whole life to be a pro at reading a body language. An average woman is born with this ability.
  • Tuw Sars
    He’s definitely someone who can make you admit everything just by his personality
  • Nanda Desu
    "Somewhere, they say you can have a poker face, but I don't think you can have a poker body"
    Best quote, gonna remember that
  • James Surprisal
    An important caveat is that when interviewing anyone, you need to establish a “baseline” for their individual body language. Maybe they are naturally more nervous or nervous because of the situation. So you first ask questions you already know answers to to see how they react. Watch how they move when they tell the truth. Figure out their “normal”. Then, you can ask calculated questions and see if there is deviation. You are looking for clusters of indicators - not isolated indicators.
  • ok and
    Imagine trying to lie to your dad who is in the FBI
  • rachael smith
    Lol. He said natural blink rate is 8 times a minute and then proceeds to blink 9 times in the following ten seconds. I’d say he’s keeping trade secrets
  • Eddie Cardwell
    Confidence and anxiety can greatly change all of these mannerisms. A confident person could be holding still and firm and they could be lying about everything they say. Someone with anxiety could be squirming and look guilty but they’re being honest.
  • Z3IRO
    I'm glad that those "signs" he laid out at the beginning were myths. I've put so much effort over the years into avoiding showing these signs by accident so I don't come across as untrustworthy, and when I do them by accident I always felt like I'm somehow maliciously deceiving people or myself without knowing about it. This puts my mind at ease - self-soothing, if you will
  • Ben Mason
    The flower segment was so badass. He had to feel good about catching that guy after an observation like that
  • In confusion
    „ that’s how they carry flowers in Eastern Europe” my grandparents in Poland always instructed me to carry the flowers facing down because they insisted that this way the bouquet would not lose its shape and would look fresh for longer… I never knew it was a cultural thing, I just thought that it makes sense to carry them this way, because otherwise gravity would make the bouquet lose its shape faster… and I think it’s true. If you are transporting flowers and you want to protect its looks in shape then it’s better to carry them this way…
  • m y
    god his children must’ve had such a hard time lying to him
  • Esteban Quinones
    A lot of people calling BS on this don't understand how much knowledge and experience you have to have in order to truly tell this stuff. Yes people can be nervous when being questioned and being interrogated but when you get asked a question that you really don't want anyone to know the answer to. You'll react in ways that even people who know you know that you don't do that. This type of study has to take every single detail into consideration. It's an art that takes years of experience to get right and when you get it right you'll know.
  • Sadboy_Sasuke
    Me: * putting my hands behind me because my back hurts*
    Fbi agent: yea he's the murder
  • Oda Kauffman
    Love that he first mentioned crossing arms and looking away. I cross my arms often to relieve anxiety and I usually tend to look away when being explained something because I'm visually processing information they tell me.
  • He uses a lot of hand gestures / ✋ hand motions and speaks in a scholarly manner so as to suggest an educated and professional background while attempting to engender our trust. Based on what he's transmitting and wanting us to believe and myself applying counterintelligence techniques analysis I would personally like to see what he's hiding on his encrypted hard drive
    This is the most interesting thing I've seen in a long time. I can feel this guy's passion and attention to detail. The way he described seeing pertinent nonverbals jumping out at you as if a caricature when played at double speed was INCREDIBLY perceptive. I'm so intensely interested in this individual and his affinity to human behavior.
  • ShinyEdits
    Wouldn't anyone be stressed and uncomfortable if they are talking with an FBI agent even if you have done nothing wrong?
  • QingZhuu
    I read his book about body language when I started learning about the other way to express yourself ( not just speech) It's amazing that what you say can not tell your true emotion but body language does