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

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

#FBI #Agent #Explains #Read #Body #Language #Tradecraft #WIRED

Nonverbals are anything that communicates but is not a word the public knows them as body language how we dress how we walk have meaning and we use that to interpret what’s in the mind of the person My name is joe navarro and for 25 years i was a special agent with the fbi my job was to catch spies most of my career i spent within the national security division a lot of it had to do with looking at specific targets and then it was about well how

Do we get in their heads and how do we neutralize them our security is based on nonverbals we look at the person through the peephole we look at who’s behind us at the atm machine we know from the research that most of us select our mates based on

Non-verbal so we may think we’re very sophisticated but in fact we are never in a state where we’re not transmitting information there’s a lot of myths out there the ones that stand out is if you cross your arms that it’s a blocking behavior that’s just nonsense even when you don’t like

The person that is in front of you this isn’t to block them out it’s actually to self-suit because in essence it’s a self-hug when you’re sitting at a movie and you’re watching you’re gonna cross your arms you’re waiting for somebody you tend to do this what’s interesting

Is we do this behavior more in public than in private the other one that really stands out is as we think about something we may look in a certain way as we process the information we may look in another way it’s certainly not indicative of of deception and it really

Shouldn’t be used that way all we can say is the person is processing the information the other misconceptions are that if the person clears their throat touches their nose or covers their mouth they’re lying we do these behaviors as self-soothers their their pacifying behaviors scientifically and empirically there’s just no

Pinocchio effect and people who prattle that and say well we can detect deception because the person touches their nose or covers their mouth that’s just sheer nonsense we humans are lousy at detecting deception espionage work is often nowhere near what we see in movies and in one of the

Cases we had information from another country saying you have an american we think is actually a mole who somehow entered the united states is able to pass as an american but he’s here working for a hostile intelligence service and just fortuitously he was videographed coming out of a flower shop we’re looking at

The video and everybody in the in our small unit we were saying well there’s not much there you know he’s coming out of the shop getting in his car and i said stop the film right there just as he came out of the shop he took the flowers and most americans tend to

Hold the flowers by the stock so the flowers are up this individual took them and grabbed the stock and then held the flowers so that they were facing down and i said that’s how they carry flowers in eastern europe rather than confront him about are you a spy

I decided to do what’s called a presumptive so as i sat there with him i said would you like to know how we know and he had this look on his face and and i said it was the flowers and then he confessed when i came into law enforcement i

Thought it was all about the confession it’s really about face time in my 25 years in the fbi it was a rarity that a person didn’t eventually reveal what i needed to know because we would sit down and have these very lengthy conversations i look at behaviors to do an assessment

What is this person transmitting in relations to any stimuli my further questioning comes from my observing these behaviors the first thing i look at is i look at the hair does it look healthy does it look well groomed the forehead is very interesting because a lot of times we reveal stress

A lot of the things that we have gone through life are often etched in the forehead i look at the eyes to see if they’re red or not enough sleep the small area here between the eyes called the glabella it’s one of the first areas that reveals information to us most

Often when we don’t like something we do that bunny nose of i don’t like we don’t really know what our lips look like and we tend to compress them when something bothers us when something really bothers us we tend to suck them in the mandibular and look at the cheeks we

May do something like this we’ll we’ll rub our tongue against the inside of the cheek but when we try to hide it then it tells me that this person is trying to do some perception management and if they are i want to know why

At the neck i want to see if there’s any head tilt because head tilt the person is more relaxed the minute the head tilt goes away there’s usually some issue i’m looking at the shoulders you ask somebody a question they don’t know both shoulders shoot up very

Quickly and then i look at the hands when something’s troubling us we tend to stiffen our fingers interlace them and almost like a teepee we move our hands back and forth very slowly this is to be differentiated from when we do the steeple which we do in this position when something’s at issue

We tend to put our hands on our hips and we become very territorial this is called arms of kimbo but look how it changes when we put our thumbs forward and then it becomes one of more of i’m inquisitive but i also look for any behaviors of ventilating because men

Tend to ventilate at the neck and we do at the very instant something bothers us and then i look at the legs to see if there’s any brushing of the legs with the hands which is again to pacify and then the feet do i see any behavior such as wiggling

Of the feet kicking of the feet if i ask a question and all of a sudden the feet withdraw and are crossed perhaps the person feels a little threatened by that question so when we study nonverbals it’s not about making judgments it’s about assessing what is this person transmitting in that moment

It really is looking at an individual and saying what are they transmitting we’re all transmitting at all times we choose the clothes that we wear how we groom ourselves how we dress but also how do we carry ourselves are we coming to the office on this particular day

With a lot of energy or are we coming in with a different sort of pace and what we look for are differences in behavior down to the the minutia of what is this individual’s posture as they’re walking down the street are they on the inside of the sidewalk on the

Outside can we see his blink rate can we see how often he’s looking at his watch i know your blink rate is around eight eight times a minute but you don’t know that you’re not sitting there counting all these things factor in because they’re transmitting information now it’s up to us to then

Use that information to say okay we need to marshal resources to be on that individual right now so in most western cultures the first time people touch is when they shake hands touching becomes that important because we can always remember a time when we shook hands with someone and we didn’t like that

It’s also the first time when our bodies release these bonding chemicals that say i like this person or i don’t like this person so handshaking is both necessary and essential in most cultures pigeons are supposed to be like dirty birds ladies hi i’m joe navarro i’m laura

Laura how are you and you are cathedra how are you okay let me ask you this let’s back up a little bit is this comfortable for you yes yeah it’s a little bit more comfortable but it’s not for you is it all right thank you all right so keep talking

What we’ve done here is we’ve talked about the importance of space and comfort they don’t realize is how much further apart they are now standing and it’s because we have brought this subject up to make them comfortable about saying hey it’s okay to be comfortable at your perfect distance

And so now we see when they rock they rock away from each other and they create this space if you notice their feet tend to move around more there’s a dynamic going on here where they’re kind of trying to find what what is the perfect space what is

The perfect distance and we know that they’re unsettled because of the high degree of movement that’s that’s going on poker is an interesting game the similitudes of sitting across from a spy or sitting across from players it’s their reactions to a stimulus we have behaviors indicative of psychological

Discomfort that we use at home at work or at the poker table so we’re going to take a look at poker players and some of the body language that you’ll find at a typical poker game so we’ll pause it right there so one of the things that you first

Notice is that when a table is called this is the first time many of them see each other this is a great opportunity to be looking for behaviors indicative of discomfort we’re going to see the individual shifting in his chair we’re going to see one individual reaching

Over and grabbing his shoulder the woman in this case her shoulders are rather high this is a great opportunity even before the game starts to collect poker intelligence all right guys button is good clinton is good so we’ll stop right there look where their hands are at

Here we’re looking at player number two and number three and we notice right away that their hands are on top of the cards some players will cage their cards some players will put their hands directly on top and press them down and they may do that because the cards have

Now increased in value player number one tends to keep his hands very close to his body player number four she’s actually withdrawn her hands from the table because when we like things we tend to move our hands forward when we don’t like things we tend to move the hands away

So as we look at player number three i’m often asked about players who shuffle their chips what you’re really doing is self-soothing and this just helps you to make it through the game and that’s really all we’re looking for oh come on okay so we’ll stop right there

Player number five is sitting there arms crossed you don’t see a lot of activity that doesn’t mean he’s not transmitting a lot of information on down the line i want to see where those thumbs of his are because he holds them very close when nothing’s going on but does that change

As the game evolves if you’re looking at nonverbals it’s often useful to look at them at double the speed because all the nonverbals that are critical jump out at you as though it were a caricature all right so stop right there the woman in position number four you

See her head moving around quite a bit player number three you see a lot of activity with his hands when we look at player number five now his hands are fully out this is as far as we’ve seen them before at this point we know that he’s engaged and that he’s interested

Now the game is out in the open 75 to 80 of the information we need is sitting out there what you often see is everybody’s looking at their own cards or looking at the community cards rather than looking around you should be looking around to see what was the

Reaction because you’re going to see that reaction again you know in poker we used to say that you can have a poker face but i encountered you can’t have a poker body somewhere it’s going to be revealed when i was in college in the early 70s there were really no courses on

Nonverbal communications you quickly realized that to a great extent it’s really about what you can interpret from behavior and so we talk about non-verbals because it matters because it has gravitas because it affects how we communicate with each other when it comes to nonverbals this is no small matter we primarily communicate

Nonverbally and we always will

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