1. Lip compression
“The instant our lips compress there is usually something negative going on. We often see this with people testifying – Jack Abramoff is a good example,” he offers. View the image example here. * Images open in a new window.
2. Ventilating behaviors
“You ask a question and the person ventilates as they hear the question or as they answer the question. It’s a good indicator of psychological discomfort.” This is an example of Lance Armstrong doing it.
3. Neck touching
“Touching of the neck especially the supra sternal notch (neck dimple) – something we do when we are anxious or nervous or scared. Men mask this by touching their tie.”
4. Turning their body away
“Ventral denial – a term I coined,” explains Navarro, “is often used when a topic becomes difficult to talk about or is contentious. It is a distancing behavior. People will do this subtly, looking like they are merely shifting in their seat but what they end up doing is turning so their bellies are away, even crossing a leg over so it acts like a barrier, while still making eye contact. It is very accurate of issues when the person does the behavior immediately after being asked a difficult question.”
In this image, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne (on the right) is doing it.
5. Eye touching
“Often times we touch the eyes when something asked of us bothers us. It is very accurate in communicating there are issues here – again the problem is why is there an issue – but you often see it in board rooms where someone disagrees with something that is said or when they say something that is intentionally inaccurate. As I said earlier, there is no Pinocchio effect but this is a behavior often seen when we are bothered by something. Incidentally it is so accurate – when I studied children born blind, and who have never seen, they cover their eyes when they hear things they don’t like.” This is an image example here.
6. Lowering or hiding the thumbs
“One that people never look for, but very accurate, is when someone empathically says something is true or accurate or is very detailed but we don’t see the thumbs. Lowering the thumbs or even hiding the thumbs communicates insecurities or lack of commitment – again it tells us there is an issue because on the one hand we are verbally emphatic but on the other hand our body is saying not so much.” This is what it looks like.