128. Sex & Love: Interpreting Body Language & Non-Verbal Flirting Cues

10 important lessons from this video:

00:00:23 Everybody has that 6th sense, but some humans are masters of it while others have no idea it exists. You’d be amazed at what you can understand about other people by simply observing their actions. Poker players call these subtle non-verbal cues tells – unintentional changes in a poker player’s behavior which provides clues as to the true value of the player’s poker hand, contrary to what the player is attempting to communicate.

Without these ‘tells,’ flirting – as well as sex as we know it – would cease to exist.

Hone your 6th sense, and then go to any bar, any club, or any party and you’ll be able to see the following non-verbal flirtatious behavior in action.

During four hours 30 singles (50% men & 50% women, all apparently heterosexual and British) were invited to a make-shift bar and cameras were set up to record every person’s movement.

The following observations were gleaned from this social experiment:

00:02:47 Upon the entering of a male into a woman’s vicinity, women begin flicking their hair, a sort of preening which allows the woman to:

  • Flaunt her soft, bouncy, youthful cranial features
  • Communicate to the man she has noticed his presence
  • Capture the man’s attention among all the other shiny objects in the room

Once one woman has begun flicking her hair, other women will also begin competitively flicking their respective hair, ensuring that they are looking their best.

00:04:25 Men typically believe that it is them who initiate conversations, however it is in fact the woman who has – using a barrage of non-verbal cues such as smiling, staring, subtle glances and the above hair-flicking

– shown interest in the man and given the man permission to approach her.

It is these ‘less-than-a-second’ behaviors given by the woman that decide the fate of men, thus making courtship almost always a female choice.

The typical man, however, is ridiculously poor at reading women’s behavior and usually doesn’t register a woman’s subtle non-verbal cues, and so approach a woman convinced that it is in fact him taking the lead.

Awkward and socally-inept men either lacking the ability to correctly identify and then react to an ‘approach tell,’ or completely misunderstanding a woman’s behavior as an ‘approach tell’ are destined to find themselves akwardly rejected to no avail.

00:06:44 In situations where multiple female friends may be competing for the attentions of the same man, they will flirtatiously use their repective hair, mouths, eyes, neck, shoulders, increased body animation and physical contact in an attempt to attract and keep his attention.

Respectfully, while one woman employs her cues, her friends may politely look away, withdrawing to give her the temporary spotlight.

Men, once aroused by a particular woman, will keep an eye out for her, keeping her has the center of his attention and exchanging glances with her often to demonstrate that he is still interested in her and that she is still interested in him.

If a woman feels she has begun losing the attention of a man she is flirting with, often times she will revert once again to preening herself in an attempt to recapture his attention.

00:08:23 People who are interested in a person specifically will orient themselves toward that person with their legs crossed and their faces, torso and feet directly facing each other. They may even lean themselves against a nearby object, visibly demonstrating that everything and everyone else is less important.

As the mood changes and one or more of the people involved in a conversation wish the encounter to end, their body language will shift, facial expressions will become more controlled and their feet will begin pointing away from the person they were originally oriented towards.

00:09:31 Performed prominently by women, ‘eye popping’ is the act of closing one’s eyes and then suddenly opening them and gazing directly at their target with a loving stare.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In their book The Definitive Book of Body Language, Allan & Barbara Pease explain that the ‘eye pop’ is effective because closing the eyes dilates the pupils. Dilated pupils are synomomous with attraction and protection. Babies’ pupils are typically dilated in an evolutionary attempt to demonstrate to its caregivers that it should be protected and cared for.

In advertising, female and baby model’s eyes are almost always photoshopped so that they are dilated. Doing this naturally draws the potential consumer’s attention to the model, and then to the product being sold. For more on advertising tricks, browse through my interviews with advertising professionals.

Conversely, Allan & Barbara Pease explain, the opposite of dilated eyes are ‘beady, snake-like eyes’ which give the impression that you are shady, untrustworthy, and dangerous.]

00:11:49 When third parties approach a group, the physical arrangement of the group members demonstrates alliances, and sides are drawn as the people in the group subconsciously gravitate towards the person/people they feel most comfortable with.

00:12:25 Men who view the presence of another man in the vicinity as a threat tend to react by giving off distress signals such as a more controlled and expression-less face, attempting to appear relaxed and in control, cleaning his teeth (his primitive animalistic weapons) with his tongue, and tucking his chin in in an attempt to protect himself.

00:13:41 Women flirt with men even when they are not sexually interested in him, partly because women consider flirting as good manners.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Personally, I consider the above argument moot, as my experience and critical thinking skills research has taught me that men are typically prone to associate ANY attention given to them by a woman as flirting.]

00:13:46 Often times, the parties involved in the flirting process will not be aware that they were involved in a flirting process. Men, being naturally poor female behavior decoders and convinced they are making the first move, approach women and are rejected, confused as to why the woman rejected him.

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