Flirting either be covet or overt depending upon the preferences of the parties involved. Flirting is a natural activity across the cultures although the style and nature may vary depending upon the acceptable norms.
According to the psychologists, flirting is inspired by the basic instincts of human. This is a way of communication through which people express their interests to the members of opposite sex. According to some psychologists, flirting in human society is same as the display of power or beauty in the animal world to attract mating partner. Flirting is often considered as the pre requisition before developing a more serious relation.
Where did flirting originated?
The etymology of the word flirting is obscured. There is no clear citation from where the word has been originated. According to some etymologists the word ‘flirt’ might have come from the English words flit and flick, which mean ‘not serious’. However, most of the experts give the credit for the word to french word ‘conter fleurette’, which means "to seduce".
In the modern literature flirt has become most accepted.
What governs flirting?
The purpose of flirting can be wide, from more overture meaning to simple fun but often the social and cultural norms set the rules for flirting. Often breaking those rules are regarded as aggressive and obscene behavior. In different cultures across the globe flirting rules may vary from making eye contacts, making suggestive comments and touching. Also there are various degrees of flirting involved at different stages of relationships.
In western culture making eye contact is regarded as the common way to flirt since it is believed that a look can divulge more meanings than words. However, dresses and body languages too play crucial role in the act of flirtation. When a man dresses in flashy clothes to attract attention of women it is called peacocking since it resembles the display of the ornate tail by the male peacock to attract mating partner.
In the Latin and Medittarenean countries, touching is often the accepted method of flirting, whereas the Britons and Europeans might be comfortable in maintaining respectable distance during flirting.
Again there are huge differences between the western and oriental flirting practices. Not understanding the social norms of flirting can lead to confusions and frustrations.
Importance of Body Language in flirting
Physical movements and gestures play a very important role in flirting. One can recognize whether or not one is flirting by his/her body language and gestures. Men and women have their different sets of body languages to send covert signals to the opposite sex partners. Making eye contact, flashing skin, playing with hair, leaning forward and touching are some of the common flirting strategies.
Eye contact: Holding the gaze of the other person, winking or batting eye lashes are common gestures made by women at the time of flirting.
Smiling: Smiling suggestively or coyly is another common way of flirting. Women most often will give shy smiles when they flirt. Also they have a tendency to hide their mouth while laughing during flirting. Giggling is often accompanied by friendly touches.
Proteans signals: Protean signals are often more covert and subtle; mostly made by women. The woman will touch her hair, curl them in her fingers or tuck them behind her ears as signs of flirting while meeting a man. The Proteans signs are often unpredictable and hard to decipher.
Body posture: If a woman is flirting she is likely to keep her body in profile. She may drop her guards and take more aggressive stance if she is flirting deliberately. She may even flash a bit of her skin too to grab the attention of the man.
Verbal gestures: Teasing, bantering, suggestive comments and often saying words that carry double meaning are common forms of verbal flirting. Also writing and reciting love or amorous poems can be regarded as ways of flirting.
How to Flirt: Learn the flirting Etiquettes
Flirting is said to be instinctive. We often don’t realize when we flirt. But even then a guidebook to flirting can be useful since flirting is often based on a complex set of rules set by the society. There are unwritten laws and etiquette, which one may need to follow while flirting. Breaking the norms and not realizing that you are doing so may lead to misunderstanding. Hence, even when you think you know the art of flirting you may find the following tips useful.
Choose your time and place right: There may be certain time and situations where flirting can be deemed inappropriate. It can incur social disapproval and may even cause anger or distress. Hence, you will need to choose your place and time carefully. Flirting may seem appropriate in drinking clubs, discos, pubs, restaurants and places like where people normally gather to enjoy and relax.
Remain approachable: For successful flirting you must look friendly and approachable. Give out positive signals through your body language. This will encourage the other person to approach you. Stay confident and comfortable. There is nothing to feel nervous about. Encourage appreciating glances.
Don’t expect too much: Technically anyone can flirt with anyone but at the same time you mustn’t keep very high expectations from the act. Flirting is fun and hence, you mustn’t take it too seriously. If you are at the beginning of a relationship keep flirting more impersonal. There are chances that you may not even meet or talk to that person you flirted with in the future and hence, don’t attach too much expectation with it.
Understand body language: The success of flirting will also depend upon deciphering the body language of the participating partner. Does he/she seem approachable? Is (s)he trying to make eye contact with you? While you are flirting understanding the body language remains the only way to understand if the other person is enjoying the act or not. Check out for the subtle indications which will tell if (s)he too is enjoying it or not.
Make eye contact: Making successful eye contact will determine the success of your flirting expedition. However, you may make sure not to stare or ogle at that person. Hold his/her gaze only for few moments. Look appreciatively and give an encouraging smile; then look away immediately.
Chat: As the next step of flirting you may try engaging the other person in conversation. Try to make small talks, make encouraging comments. Compliments and flattery are often regarded as great ways of flirting. Chatting with the other person becomes easy if you already know each other and are in talking terms. However, if you get encouraging signals from the other member don’t hesitate to initiate chatting.
Touches: Touches play a very crucial role in the act of flirting. Flirty touches can be regarded as the first step towards physical intimacy. However, you may remember not to be aggressive. Keep things subtle and low-key. You’ll need to determine the comfort level of the other person before touching since it can also send wrong signals. Also you need to be careful about not breaching the social norms of flirting.
More often than not flirting is harmless fun. Hence, one mustn’t attach too much hope with the act. You mustn’t consider getting engaged or marrying the person you are flirting with. However, if you both feel comfortable at each other’s company and want to see more of each other, you mustn’t hesitate to seal the deal either. If you both have enjoyed the act take the relation to the next level.
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