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The Science Of Flirting

What is flirting?

Flirting is a social and sexual behaviour involving verbal communication, as well as body language, by one person to another, it is often done playfully for amusement, yet it can also be done to show a serious interest.
We came across a more interesting definition of flirting quoted by Cate Mackenzie who is a psychotherapist, psycho-sexual therapist, couples counsellor and artist
‘When you are turned on by you, you light up everyone around you.’
Our take away from her interpretation is being confident and comfortable with your inner sensuality spreads a natural flirtatious behaviour.
A study has shown that 93% of communication is body language, pace and tone of voice. And what you actually say is only 7%.

Why do we flirt?

Northern Illinois University professor David Dryden Henningsen pointed six different interesting motivations behind the flirtatious behaviour:

– Sex: Trying to sexually interact

– Fun: treating it like an amusement

– Exploring: trying to see what it would be like to be in a relationship

– Relational: trying to increase the intimacy of a relationship

– Esteem: increasing one’s own self-esteem

– Instrumental: Using it strategically to get something from the other person

What are the different ways of flirting?

Flirting has been broken down into a series of verbal and non-verbal behaviours.

Jeffrey A. Hall and Chong Xing published research that suggests there are five different styles of flirting.

We found some interesting key behaviours of each type, as described by Susan Krauss Whitbourne on Psychology Today:

– Physical flirts tend to subtly touch the person they’re interested in.

– Traditional flirts believe men should make the first move.

– Sincere flirts get other people to open up to them.

– Playful flirts see the interaction as a game and may be using the flirtation as a means to another end.

Article inspired by Psychologies, Business Insider and Psychology Today.