“We Humans Are Lousy At Detecting Deception”

Crossing arms means you’re defensive about something; glancing up to the left while talking means your telling the truth; if you’re looking at the left or touching your nose, it’s a sign of deceit. These are common body language readings that we know. This former FBI says we’re wrong about all of that.

Joe Navarro is a real-life Sherlock Holmes. Not in a sense that he can figure out everything that happened just by looking briefly at an object but in a way that he can read the unspoken clues about a person just by observing their behavior and body language. He worked as an FBI special agent and supervisor in the counterintelligence and counterterrorism in the National Security Division for 25 years. “My job was to catch spies,” isn’t that the coolest line ever?!

“We may think we’re very sophisticated, but in fact, we are never in a state where we’re not transmitting information.”

Common Myths

Crossing Arms Equals Blocking Behavior

Crossed arms. ©Joe lope/Wikimedia Commons

“That’s just nonsense,” he straight up said. Saying that we make the gesture even when we like the person we’re talking to. Pausing and reflecting for a bit, he’s right. He revealed that the gesture is to self-soothe since it’s like hugging yourself, and we tend to do this more in public than in private.