Project Description

Subtitle: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading Peoplebook cover What every BODY tells us

By: Joe Navarro


  • Commandments:
    • Observe environment
      • Use all your senses to understand environment.
    • Examine what’s normal to understand what is abnormal.
    • Observe clusters of tells.
    • Observe others without making them aware of it. Be subtle.


  • When people compress their lips together, they feel troubled.
  • Aggressive behavior followed by passive behavior indicates weakness.
  • Humans freeze when they are faced with danger.
  • Feet locked behind a chair indicates stress.
  • Ppl hide themselves by raising shoulders or not making eye contact.
  • When someone touches their neck or lips, they are stressed or lying.
    • Men prefer to touch the face, women touch the neck, hair, jewelry, etc.
  • Micro guesser are very telling.



  • The feet are the easiest tell of a person.
    • B/c they were the primary means for people to survive.
    • Watch children to see their honesty.¬† Feet will go in the direction they want to go.
    • Less accurate as you move up the table.
    • Feet in an L shape means they want to leave.
  • Face is most often the area to bluff. We have the most control over it. Explains out feelings at the time, but the legs show this also.
  • Tend to turn toward something that’s agreeable. Including the feet and torso.
  • Knee clapse and lean forward means they want to leave.
  • When a person looks like they are evading gravity, they are generally happier.
  • Leg splaying out shows that ppl are trying to look bigger and is an aggressive move (aka, territorial move).
    • Can show aggression without saying it by getting bigger.
    • Crossing legs in front of others shows confidence, because they take off less room and are less fearful. Also tilts towards the one the favor.
  • Sometimes people match the display of someone else when they are comfortable.
  • To see what a person thinks about an introduction, do the following:
    • Shake hands, make eye contact, and step back and observe.
    • Step towards you is positive. A step away is a negative feeling.
  • Predators generally walk on the insider of sidewalks and they lurk around with no purpose.
  • During a conversation, any time a person’s foot goes from giggling to kicking, it’s a pretty good indication that they know something negative.
  • Foot freeze: if a person is moving a leg and suddenly freezes, they be concerned.
  • People interlock their feet and ankles when nervous.
  • Liers generally don’t move when they are lying. Freeze mode.
  • Feet moving from in front of a chair to under the chair is another concern.


Torso Tips:

  • Ppl lean away from things that they find unpleasant.
  • If they can’t lean away from each other, they will shield themselves with something: arms, clothing, etc.
    • Or lean over to fix their watch, shirt sleeve, or tie.
  • Ppl feel cold when under stress. The body is moving blood away from the torso and to the arms and legs in order to help with potential flight.
    • That’s why they look pale or in shock.
  • Torso bow or clicking heels is a show of respect.
  • What we wear will influence others.


  • Appearance:
    • Make sure to wear clothing that is congruent with what you are trying to explain.
    • Before ppl meet, the only thing that can go by is clothing and physical appearance.
  • Shoulders:
    • High Shoulder shrugs indicate that they have confidence in what they are saying.
    • Low shrugs indicate they are not confident.
    • Slowly rising shoulders shows a lack of confidence. Turtle look.
      • Like a football team that just lost a game.



  • When excited, we don’t restrict our arm movement.
  • Negative emotions make ppl droop.
  • Arms behind their back means they are supplier, and they don’t want to make contact with you.
  • Positive contact with humans and pets extends life and calms a person.
  • Arms akimbo, hands on hips w/ thumbs back is very territorial and strong.
  • Hands interlocked behind the head is a dominant poss… Like a cobra.
  • Arms are billboards for advertising themselves.
  • Tattoos single low status and lower rank. Conceal them to influence others.



  • When children are restricted around their parents and they have bruises on their arms, then alert authorities.



  • We have a natural bias to focus on the hands.
  • Use hands more often to be a greater communicator.
  • Ppl like to see ones hands.
  • Hand shake:
    • Don’t cover the top of hands with other hand when doing the hand shake.
  • Steepling¬† the hands shows confidence and conveys an important point.
    • Great for interviews.
  • Thumbs up / out of jacket or pants is a high confidence and high status display.
    • Fingers out and thumbs in is a low status display.
    • Will never see a leader with their thumbs in their pockets
  • Natural thumbs displays show happiness and confidence.
  • Hand ringing indicates doubt.
  • Neck touching is a universal indicator of stress.


Face / Neck:

  • Restricting the pupils will indicate stress.
    • Scwinting of dilating pupils sharpen vision and help them to focus on something.
  • Low eyebrows is a cowering behavior. Sign of weakness.
  • Wide eyes are a sign of good feelings. Opposite is also true.
  • Gazing off in the distance shows comfort.
    • It also clears your thoughts or helps to process a feeling.
    • Focusing on the interviewer shows interest in the position.
  • Eye blink rate increases with stress.
  • Lip pursing indicates stress.
  • Sneering indicates that a relationship is troubled or terminating.
    • Distinct sign of disrespect for the other person.
  • Licking lips is a sign of insecurity.


Detecting Lies is Difficult

  • We learn to lie so early, that we get better at it.
  • Be as comfortable as possible when asking questions of suspected lier. This will help to ease them vs. putting up barriers to defend themselves.
  • Ppl will mirror each other.
  • Ppl speaking the truth are generally more comfortable than ppl who are not.
  • Don’t put any objects between you and the other person so you can observe them.
  • Holding a smile too long or blinking too long is a mask of stress.
  • Liers sometimes increase eye contact.
  • Good interviewers take their time. They wait to observe all the reactions.