Body Language and Flirting
Updated March 21st – 2012. New resources, information, books and links added.
Only 7% of communication is verbal communication. (see note) 38% of it depends on our intonation, or the sound of our voice. For instance: A shaky, uneven voice may suggest that a person is shy, intimidated, or dishonest. A clear, loud voice may indicate that a person is confident.
The largest chunk of communication is body language, which takes up the remaining 55%. These statistics show that a person who knows how to control their body and voice is considered more appealing than someone who knows only a mouthful of pick-up lines and crowd pleasers.
The impression we make on others starts not when we first open our mouth, but with our posture, breathing, appearance, and movement.
Art and Science of Flirting and Body Language
The art of flirting is expressed with gestures and subtle actions – also known as body language. Non-verbal communication is often more important than words.
This artful dance makes it possible for strangers to become comfortable with each other, even at their first exchange of words. People become at ease with others when they find the other person pleasant. People appear pleasant as a result of showing interest in others via their body language cues. (I like you, because you appear to like me.)
Some body language (physical actions expressing inner emotions or thoughts) is universal among us and other mammals. Also see: Micro Expressions article here on Blifaloo.com for more information on emotions, evolution and physical responses.
Eye and Triangulation
Body language reflects our emotional interest in various ways. In general, these actions manifest by instinct when we are facing people that we admire. For example, in intimate conversation, people usually look at each other’s eyes.
Sometimes we shift our vision from one eye to the other, and to the bridge of the nose. This is what is called the triangular formation of vision. As a person becomes more interested in another, this triangular formation extends downward. Some say that it’s rude to look at a stranger’s body, but when you really think about it, people really can’t help it when they feel attracted.
When people are talking to mere acquaintances, they simply look at their eyes, but when people are interested in someone, they tend to notice a lot more than just the eyes and the nose. Also… looking at the someone’s mouth can suggest interest in kissing.
Also see the BBC article on the science of body language for more info on eye contact research.
Mirroring – Gestures, Body Language
We can make others feel comfortable by mirroring or matching their mood and actions. When two people enjoy similar things, they tend to move in sync with each other. This does not mean that every single move they make is exactly the same, but rather that their moods are the same.
Flirting Body Language Overview (for our lazy readers)
Male Flirting Signals:- hands on belt or belt buckle – preening / grooming – stretching (and other actions that make him seem bigger)
Female Flirting Signals: – actions that make her appear smaller – playing with hair – exposure of neck or inner wrists
General Flirting Signals:
– eye contact – mirroring – triangulation – “accidental” touching
When a person finds something in common with another, an instinctive fondness develops between them. This same effect is replicated by mirroring.
(Editors note: I first read about “mirroring” when I was a teenager and into NLP work by Bandler and Grinder. Now it is a common tool taught by professional pick-up artists and salesman.
There is tons of info out there about mirroring, the author barely touches on it in the paragraph below. Google search for mirroring and body language for more info.
Also see: eye direction and lying for links to NLP related info and books.)
In mirroring, you need to tune in to the other person’s movements and imitate them, not mimic them. Also, these actions should not be done in the same pace as his/hers, otherwise, the person might take it instead as mockery.
Generally, the mirror actions should be done after 10-20 seconds, and must be done naturally. The other purpose of the mirror actions is to show the other person that you accept and respect their views without them noticing it. In effect, he/she will subconsciously see you as an open-minded person.
Next Page: More Flirting Body Language Signals – Including male and female specific flirting body language, plus related articles, links, and books.
Also on Blifaloo.com: Body Language Info & Resources – Need more info on nonverbal communication? Check out our guide.
Eye Movement and Lying How to tell if someone is lying based on the movements of their eyes.
Yes, we know… 78% of all statistics are made up. There are varied statistics about how much of communication is non-verbal. See WikiPedia’s article on body language and our resource guide to body language including more links plus videos and body language book recommendations.