By: Sundaresh Shivaswami
Not only are there specific signs of flirtatious behavior in men and women, there are actually five stages of flirting.
The ten signs of flirting below are part of the nonverbal communication or body language that men and women often send each other.
Some experts say 90% of communication is nonverbal. We send nonverbal messages through body language and flirting to attract people of the opposite sex for a romantic dalliance…or to communicate that we’re not interested. Flirting isn’t all about sexual innuendo and attracting possible mates: babies flirt with their parents to ensure survival and people in the service industry flirt with their customers.
Reading body language is an important way to communicate with others and pick up on their unspoken signals. Whether you’ve spotted an attractive stranger across the room, are on a first date, or have been married for decades, these signs of flirting will help you decipher nonverbal body language and cues. These flirting signals are common, and often unconscious.
10 Signs of Flirting in Men and Women
Flirting is all about sending messages or nonverbal communication.
- Raised eyebrows. Research shows that when a potential mate appears, people raise their eyebrows slightly. This sign of flirting can be an unconscious sign of interest on the flirter’s part.
- Eye contact. You know she’s interested when she not only makes eye contact, but holds it for a significant amount of time. If you’re across the room from one another, regular brief instances of eye contact may be strong signs of flirting.
- Hair flick. Women will flick their hair – you see this in movies all the time. Even women with really short hair can flick their hair. Remember Cameron Diaz in the first Charlie’s Angels movie? Total hair flick after she met the bartender – and her hair was almost as short as his!
- Playing with accessories. This signal from the opposite sex involves playing with earrings, twirling hair, and fiddling with necklaces. Men may offer similar signs of flirting: playing with their neckties or jingling the change in their pocket.
- Leaning in. If he leans close to you, he’s giving you a nonverbal message that he wants to be closer (this may seem to be an obvious sign of flirting, but it’s often misread).
- Open body language. This is a significant sign of flirting for both men and women. The opposite of open body language (closed body language, which is easier to describe) is turning away, crossing arms or legs, or pulling back.
- Sideways glances. You’ve seen the demure sideways glances – and perhaps you’ve even thrown a few. When you’re attracted to someone, it can be difficult to meet their eyes. Sideways glances are a strong sign of flirting.
- Looking at lips or body parts. When you find yourself looking at his lips or jaw, you may be sending a flirting signal. This may be an unconscious sign of flirting – when you’re attracted to someone, you can’t help but to check out their assets!
- Laughter. You laugh at their jokes, no matter how silly or unfunny. This sign of flirting isn’t all about attracting mates. Laughter can endear you to your boss or babysitter, which may make them acquiesce to your requests.
- Light touches. This is a fairly obvious sign of flirting. Lightly touching someone’s arm, knee or shoulder shows interest. It’s a nonverbal signal that you’re open and friendly.
A lot of people feel flirting is part of the universal language of how we communicate, especially nonverbally,” says Dr Jeffry Simpson of the University of Minnesota. “With a lot of it, especially the nonverbal stuff, people may not be fully aware that they’re doing it. People may emit flirtatious cues and not be fully aware of how powerful they are.”