The Social Issues Research Center has a detailed article to guide us on how flirting works. It shows what social science can tell you about flirting and how it is done. The webpage is divided into several different topics. We shall look at them one by one.
Why do we flirt?
Here's where the research says that flirting is a part of culture and society in some form all around the world. It is supposed to be instinctive and our brains are actually courtship devices evolved to attract and retain sexual partners
Where to flirt?
Flirting usually takes place at parties, celebrations and social functions.
- Drinking Places
- Learning Places
- Participant Sports / Hobbies
- Spectator Events
In pubs, there are certain rules and restrictions to it. For example, the area around the bar counter is know to be the "public zone" universally. The area where it is acceptable for strangers to initiate conversation. The tables usually indicate a higher desire for privacy. Learning places like university are conducive for flirting as it's easy because of the shared lifestyle and concern of students. The informal atmosphere around is a plus point. In certain companies, flirting around the dispenser/coffee area may be acceptable but others may not like the idea at all.
Who to flirt with?
2 types of flirting. Flirt for fun or flirt with intent.
You can flirt with more or less anyone. It can actually brighten your day, raise self esteem or even strengthen social bonds. Though it may be harmless fun to some, do take extra care when dealing with married or attached people. Couples differ in tolerance towards flirtatious behavior, so it's important to look out for signs of discomfort.
Here's where we gotta be choosy. Here are 2 rules that will increase success rate and reduce embarrassment of rejection.
- Initiate flirtation with people of roughly the same level of attractiveness as yourself
- Don't flirt with people who are unlikely to return your interest.
How to flirt?
The first step of successful flirting is to convey the message that you like someone. To judge whether the attraction is mutual, a combination of verbal and non-verbal skills are required.
Here are 7 non-verbal flirting techniques.
- Eye Contact
- Interpersonal Distance
- Facial Expression
- Vocal Signals
Our eyes are the most important flirting tool. How we look at another person can make all the difference between a successfu, enjoyable flirtation and an embarrassing encounter. Even from across a crowded room, you can signal interest by holding your gaze for more than a second. If he/she looks back to meet your gaze, you're on. If it triggers a smile, you're on. Distance is important in telling the reaction of the other person towards you. While the other person may be smiling and nodding, his/her real feelings will usually 'leak out' in posture. The same goes to gestures. Women tend to smile more often than men and emotions are shown more clearly in facial expressions.
- Opening Lines
- Turn Taking
- Reciprocal Disclosure
The best opening lines are always the simple ones like "nice weather today, isn't it?". Awkward ones like "I have only three months to live…" won't really work. Simple ones that nudge gently for a response works much better as it is lighter and not desperate sounding. Try to start a conversation not start a flirtation. Of course for a conversation to work, we need to take turns talking. Look out for signals like when the person starts using meaningless expressions like 'you know'. Certain topics to avoid talking are negativity topics like complaining, or talking bout the bad side of things, over-seriousness, passivity, over-excitement. Compliments are good. Feedback signals like 'hmm', 'aah', 'yeah' are as important too. Humor is a powerful flirting tool. It is almost impossible to flirt successfully or enjoyably without it, and yet it can easily backfire if abused or misused.
The SIRC Guide To Flirting
All of the above are summarised from the link