Is it flirting?

Is someone really flirting with you or are you reading the wrong signals? Lauren Scane goes in search of the answers


Is it flirting?

Ever find yourself needing help distinguishing between flirting and overfriendliness? The way in which we flirt depends on our own ‘flirting style’. From the traditional to the polite flirt, research from the University of Kansas reveals the five flirting types and how they are shown.  

It was found that the ‘sincere’ type of flirt communicates attraction through self-disclosure and focused attention, displaying clear signs of being attentive and less fidgety.  

The more ‘traditional’ type of flirt, however – meaning that they believe men should make the first move while women take the more passive role – show different signals. In this style, men tend to have an open body posture and women can display gentle teasing and, interestingly, often show their wrists and hands.

According to the researchers, the ‘polite’ flirts were among the hardest to read and tend to be very hands-off, often resulting in cases where signs are misread. This makes the person they are attracted to less aware of their thoughts and signs, as the flirting method is against the norm and subtle.  

The more obvious ‘physical’ flirts express interest through their forward body language but are surprisingly less likely to pay compliments. This type of flirting functions best in a busy area, such as a nightspot, where they can show confidence rather than in a one-on-one conversation.

Finally, the ‘playful’ flirt – it doesn’t mean much more than a form of entertainment and a self-esteem boost. These flirts are the least likely of all to seek long-term romance.

Do you identify yourself in the above flirting styles? Or have you misread someone’s flirting style? Let us know on Twitter @PsychologiesMag #Flirt

Photograph: iStock

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