body language expert

The Body Language Expert



scam support conclusion
FBI spot (2) mortgage
tilt gesture habitually
brain conman real time
delay intention sentiment
author look for absolutely
dilate pupil (2) for instance
cue constrict nonverbal
touch billboard deception
furrow sign (3) discomfort
squint show (2) forehead
lip knit (2) and so forth
display for sure be careful
avoid retired jump to conclusion
tip off proceed suspicion
claim caution look away
engage innocent deceptive
focus swindler eye contact
reveal convince overcompensate
hold concern foreclosure
trust predator step back
factor key (2) capitalize
compel sign on confident
crisis deal (4) wait a minute
tactic violate pressure (2)
undo in a way personal space
bully intently essentially
toxic behavior compensate
stare restrain keep an eye on






Hi. I’m Angie Moreschi. Learning how to read body language can be an important tool to avoid getting scammed.

I recently sat down with a retired FBI agent to find out what we all should be looking out for.

A touch of the neck . . . A tilted head . . . Toes pointed up: Body Language.

Are these just innocent gestures or do they mean more?

Joe Navarro, Retired FBI Agent: “Our brains reveal in real time — there is no delay — exactly how we feel about things, what our sentiments are, what we’re thinking often, and our intentions.”

Retired FBI Agent Joe Navarro the author of What Every Body is Saying. He says absolutely our movements are billboards to our true thoughts.

Journalist: “Do you have any control over what you’re doing?”

Joe Navarro: “Not really. For instance, when you like something, let’s say your children, your pupils will dilate; you have no control over that. You can’t tell your pupils “don’t dilate.”

But they’ll also constrict when you see something you don’t like.”

Understanding a few basic nonverbal cues can help you to spot when someone is happy to see you, confident about what they are telling you, or when they’re lying.

These are signs of deception.

Joe Navarro: “We show discomfort with the furrowing of our foreheads. We show it with the knitting of our eyebrows, squinting of the eyes, maybe any kind of lip biting and so forth.”

Navarro says you do have to be careful about jumping to conclusions. While science supports these displays of discomfort, you can’t tell for sure that someone is lying.

The question becomes, why are you so uncomfortable?

It’s a tip off that should raise your level of suspicion to proceed with caution.

So what about that old claim that when someone looks away, down to the left, they’re lying.

Joe Navarro: “For years we’ve been taught that if people look away, they tend to be deceptive. This is actually totally wrong. The research tells us that people who live by deception, people who continually or habitually lie, actually engage in greater eye behavior, in greater eye contact.”

Navarro says that focus on eye contact is essentially a liar overcompensating to hide the deception. He says it happens with body movement too.

Joe Navarro: “One of the things that we find is when people begin to deceive, they’ll go from using their hands a lot to restraining that behavior. They use their hands less; they tend to hold themselves more.”

When it comes to the foreclosure crisis, a good lesson in reading body language might have helped stop a lot of the problems we’re dealing with today.

Journalist: “We trust.”

Joe Navarro: “We trust, and the predators capitalize on that. Predators capitalize on the fact that about 95% of us, maybe a little higher, are really very trusting.”

Deception was a key factor in getting so many homeowners to sign on to predatory mortgages they didn’t understand.

Joe Navarro: “One of the things we look for is anytime someone I compelling you to move quickly to do something, this is a non-verbal display of concern, that you should take a step back and say, “Now wait a minute.”

Violating your personal space is another pressure tactic.

Joe Navarro: “They encroach on your physical space. One of the things that’s happening is it’s making you uncomfortable, and so in a way, one of the ways that we undo that is the quicker we sign, the more comfortable we feel.

Journalist: “It sounds like it’s bullying, almost.”

Joe Navarro: “It is bullying when somebody violates your space, it’s bullying. When somebody stares at you too intently, and they make you look away or look down, that’s bullying — and this is what predators do.”

Navarro calls this “toxic behavior”, where predators use their overconfidence to convince you.

Joe Navarro: “That’s why we call them conmen, because they capitalize on confidence: they’re confidence swindlers.”

So the next time a salesperson tries to pressure you or makes you feel uncomfortable, keep an eye on those nonverbal cues.

And remember, action speaks louder than words.

If you’d like to learn more about how to read body language, there’s more in Joe Navarro’s book, What Every Body is Saying.

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1. Very small, simple, body movements are insignificant. True or false?

2. Is Joe Navarro a psychology professor at a university?

3. Are the body’s responses automatic and involuntary; or voluntary, under conscious control?

4. What does Joe say about our eye pupils?

5. Joe Navarro can tell with 100% certainty when someone is lying or how they feel. Is this right or wrong?

6. People who look down or away are always lying. Is this correct, incorrect or it depends?

7. Can body language and behavior have large ramifications? How did the mortgage lenders behave?


A. Is most of what Joe Navarro described true in your culture?

B. Are there some people in your class or company who are honest and trustworthy, while others may be deceitful?

C. Do people in your community have very expressive body language and behavior?

D. Could you benefit from knowing body language very well?

E. What will happen in the future?

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