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Joe Navarro discusses his 25 years with FBI

Joe Navarro discusses his 25 years with FBI

25-year FBI veteran Joe Navarro shares his experiences and knowledge on body language on Nov. 4. Haley Yates| Staff Photographer

Joe Navarro discusses his 25 years with FBI
November 04
19:42 2015

Julia Falcon | Staff Writer


As a part of UNT’s Distinguished Lecture Series, former FBI agent, body language expert, and spy catcher Joe Navarro shared his experiences working alongside the FBI for 25 years with the Denton community Tuesday night.

Navarro is one of the youngest agents to have joined the FBI, being just 23 years old when he started.

“At first I thought my interview was a prank,” Navarro said. “It started with this very serious phone call and followed up by this interview with two FBI agents. It was very humbling being one of the youngest FBI agents, because most other agents are 26 years or older.”

Navarro used his skills and knowledge of body language to distinguish between the spies and non-spies while he was working with national security as a spy catcher.

“You can’t go up to a diplomat whose conducting espionage and go, ‘Hey, excuse me, are you a spy?’” Navarro said. “It’s all based on behavior, here’s something where you had to apply the non-verbal’s because they had diplomatic immunity. So we watched their behavior.”

A theory Navarro explained was how one’s hand motions, lip movements, and position of their arms to even the tapping their feet can display their emotions.

“Your brain is communicating with your feet at all times,” Navarro said. “When it’s time to go, your feet go. We do all sorts of things, because the brain tells us to. All of these nervous habits show signs of stress, and although they are soothing, it is usually a sign of something pathological.”

As humans, we tend to attract ourselves to people who are very calm, cool, and collected, Navarro said. And if someone is really trying to influence someone, they should do something as simple as to arch their eyebrows.

Navarro explained how a simple pointing of the index finger could mean something completely different than an extended hand.

A bad handshake could make or break an introduction, and Navarro emphasized how important the “first handshake” is, and even how posture effects the opinions of others.

The main focus of the lecture was to pay attention to facial expressions, because if you can’t see it, you’ll miss it, Navarro said. While pictures of people with pursed lips and others with pinched corners of their mouths were being shown, multiple different messages were being expressed.

“Smiles are powerful, but even more powerful is the head tilt,” Navarro said. “If you want more people to listen to you, learn to relax. Engage people and use the head tilt. They will want to listen to you more.”

Featured Image: 25-year FBI veteran Joe Navarro shares his experiences and knowledge on body language on Wednesday. Haley Yates| Staff Photographer

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