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Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication

Most of our communication is nonverbal through gestures and facial expressions. Understanding nonverbal behaviour comes with lots of benefits:

  • Understanding emotions and feelings of other people. Hence, you can improve your relationships.
  • Detecting lies and understanding someone's true intentions. With that, you can protect yourself better from harmful situations.
  • Using body language for your own advantage so that you can appear a certain way and come off as more confident etc.


1.31K reads

Rules For Analysing Behaviour

Rules For Analysing Behaviour

  1. Make sure to observe someone closely.
  2. Consider the context of your observation. For instance, someone might sweat because they just ran to the bus stop and not because they are lying.
  3. Watch out for universal nonverbal behaviour such as stepping away.
  4. Watch out for idiosyngratic behaviour that is typical for that person.
  5. Consider multiple tells. Watch out for more than one behaviour.
  6. Find out someone's normal behaviour.
  7. Watch out for sudden changes in their behaviour.
  8. Know when behaviour is authentic or acted.
  9. Notice the difference between being comfortable and being uncomfortable.
  10. Observe discreetly.


1.15K reads

The Lymbic System

The Lymbic System

Our lymbic system controls our emotional responses and impulsive actions and hence, most of our nonverbal behaviour. We have no control over them, which is why they are so reliable.

We are born with three instinctive behaviours that we use when being confronted with dangerous situations or problems:

  1. Our first reaction is to freeze. We stop all of our movements, try to hide ourselves and consider our actions.
  2. We go into flight mode. We run away, turn away or try to get out of the situation.
  3. If this doesn't help, we go into fight mode. We fight, argue or try to prove our point.


953 reads

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • We tend to control our face the most which is why it is the least reliable. However, our feet are often forgotten, which is why they are most reliable. The deeper the body part, the more reliable it is.
  • Body language is dependent on culture. Consider the context.
  • Keep in mind the rules mentioned above. Sudden changes in behaviour as a reaction to a question or situation are very reliable. Find out why they occured.
  • The first reaction is usually the most authentic and reliable. When behaviour appears both positive and negative, the negative one is often more reliable.


928 reads

A Few Behaviours Explained

A Few Behaviours Explained

In the book, Navarro goes in-depth on all and more of these behaviours. This is a very brief summary, which is why I highly recommend reading the entire book.

  • Behaviour that displays discomfort or stress: Hiding yourself, creating distance, turning away, closing your eyes. This includes self-soothing behaviour such as fixing your appearance or touching your neck or any other body part.
  • Behaviour that displays happiness or comfort: Any behaviour that goes against gravity such as lifting your feet up, wide arm movements, raising eyebrows, a smile with the eyes involved.


879 reads

Detecting Lies

Detecting Lies

Detecting lies is very hard as there is no specific behaviour to it. Be very careful with who and why you judge.

Sudden changes in behaviour that display discomfort or stress followed by self-soothing behaviour or fewer movement because of freeze mode might be good indicators.

Watch out whether or not someone's behaviour matches their words and their emotions, for instance:

  • Saying they went in the right direction put pointing with their hand to the left.
  • Saying they are very sad but lifting their toes up like a happy child.
  • Saying "no" but nodding with the head or shaking their head afterwards.


889 reads



Psychology student with a passion for learning and developing as a person.


Former FBI agent Joe Navarro explains various nonverbal behaviours as well as why and how to analyse them. I highly recommend reading the entire book.

Curious about different takes? Check out our What Every BODY is Saying Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

Different Perspectives Curated by Others from What Every BODY is Saying

Curious about different takes? Check out our book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash curators:

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