Joe Navarro answers your questions: Sept. 2009

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If someone is trying really hard to hide their body language, is there a way to get them to loosen up without being obvious? — JASON VIA ANTE UP FORUM

Jason, that’s the first time anyone has asked me that. In the FBI we use to call that elicitation techniques. There are some things you can do.

One of them is nonverbal, and that is don’t stare too intently and look away more often than not so you can see the person sideways. That way they don’t perceive you as a threat.
The second option is to talk to them about things that matter little (not the game) and get them to open up.

Maybe they are wearing a watch you like, compliments always work. The brain can only handle one thing at a time, so try to distract them.

Let me know your results here or on the Ante Up forum.

— Ex-FBI counterintelligence officer Joe Navarro of Tampa specialized in behavioral analysis for 25 years. He’s a star lecturer with the WSOP Academy and has penned Read ’Em and Reap, which you can find on Amazon.com. Email Joe at
editor@anteupmagazine.com and he’ll answer your questions.