How To Successfully Flirt, According To Science
Some people have no issues when it comes to flirting... others do spectacular faceplants just looking at their crushes. Fortunately, science does more than just send us to the Moon and help cure our diseases; science has also given us pointers on how to successfully flirt. From an evolutionary perspective, our biology is hardwired to find potential mates, and there are certain things we all find attractive on a fundamentally organic level.
So, while we can all agree that guy at the bar with the gold chains, shirt unbuttoned to the navel, and ridiculous pickup lines will probably have a hard time finding a bedmate for the night, there are some scientifically proven ways to flirt that even he could implement with relative ease. Though we may say otherwise, humans have a natural need for love and sex, and we can all benefit from knowing how to draw more of these things into our lives.
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Have A Sense Of Humor
Yes, we have a biological need for sex. But we also have a biological need to laugh, and these days, it can be tough to say which is more important or central to the survival of our species. Injecting a bit of humor into your flirtations makes you instantly more likeable, plus a good laugh can diffuse awkwardness and ratchet down any tension that might be in the air. Be careful, though, when using humor in your flirting. The wrong joke - or a joke that hurts more than it amuses, regardless of who it's about - could send the exact opposite message you were hoping to impart.
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Focus On Positives In Your Conversation
At the end of the day, kindness really does make you more appealing. This may seem elementary, but it's important to note that flirting should focus on the positives and kind interactions. Hearing someone's sad story right out of the gate is not a way to invite interest from other people, even if you're goal is to land a pity date or make someone feel sorry for you. Genuine attraction and interest tend to stem from initial conversations that revolve around happier, or at least less loaded, topics. So, when flirting, go for the feel-good story rather than the Debbie Downer monologue or coworker teardown spiel that's going to bring the whole room down.
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Even if apathetic is your type, consider giving out a few compliments while flirting. No one is immune to a genuine, thoughtful compliment. In fact, we have a biochemical reaction when people say nice things about us. When someone gives us a flattering remark, the reward center of our brain lights up. Paying a potential mate a compliment is an ideal way to flirt and get your message across. Just avoid the cheesy, lame, and overused compliments out there. Say something genuine - and in an appropriate moment - and you will make a lasting and positive impression.
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Women: Be Direct; Men: Ask Questions
Men respond when their partners or potential partners are direct and to the point. They like to hear what a partner's intentions are up front, leaving little room for ambiguity or guesswork. Alternately, women respond more to innocent questions and general conversation-starters. Oh, and those trite pickup lines? No one responds to those.
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Maintain Eye ContactPhoto: Pixabay / Creative Commons By CC0
We are visual creatures turned on by visual stimuli. Studies have shown that locking eyes with someone for more than just a quick glance can enhance that person's appeal. When we maintain prolonged eye contact with another person, there is a level of intimacy generated that can feel remarkably familiar, comfortable, and even sensual. There are different types of eye contact, but any kind of lengthy gazing into one another's eyes can be extremely intense. It's best to employ longer periods of eye contact when you know the other person well, or you know you both have the same intentions.
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Read The SignalsPhoto: Wyatt Fisher / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
You will only be successful at flirting if you can read the signals of the other person. If someone is being unresponsive or giving half-there replies to your attempts to start a conversation, take the clue, be respectful, and move on. If someone is maintaining eye contact, asking questions, and leaning in, continue flirting, you flirt master! Also, if you're encountering a lot of disinterest, ask yourself if you're sending the right signals. Many times, we think we're being clear and flirty and compelling when our signals are really muddy and vague. A good flirter knows how to read the room... and themselves.