My quick review of Joe Navarro’s “What Every BODY is Saying”.

What Every BODY is Saying — Joe Navarro What Every BODY is Saying — Joe Navarro

Have you ever tried to read someone’s body-language, trying to understand what they might think during a conversation? Or maybe you’ve been accross someone and felt the conversation was not going well but couldn’t quite see why?

In this book, ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro starts by presenting the limbic part of the brain – the section that dictates much of how we act and react without thinking about it. You’ll then see, with several short stories and many pictures, what your feet and legs, your torso/hips/chest/shoulders, your hands and fingers and finally your face reveal about what you may feel – often without even realizing it. The book ends with a chapter about detecting deception (which is not that easy and is error-prone).

I bought this book purely out of curiosity, of course not expecting to become any kind of expert at reading people – it would require a lot of practice. Still, on several occasions, I identified some of my own body’s behaviors. For example, these few sentences (on page 182) reflect exactly something I sometimes do – and I remember asking myself how it was perceived, when I noticed it myself:

When we gaze away during a conversation, we tend to do so to engage a thought more clearly without the distraction of looking at the person with whom we are talking. This behavior is often mistaken as rudeness or as personal rejection, which it is not. Nor is it a sign of deception or disinterest; in fact, it is actually a comfort display. […] Clarity of thought is often enhanced by looking away, and that is the reason we do it.

55 This book, though about an unusual topic for me, is short and easy to read, the pictures illustrate very well what the text describes, and I liked reading it.

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