Flirtation Body Language
"We signal our interest in the opposite sex as instinctively as peacocks flare their tails or fish their fins."
Flirtation behaviors used by women.
- gazing (short and sustained),
- primping, preening, smiling,
- lip licking, pouting,
- giggling, laughing and nodding,
- eyebrow flash (an exaggerated rising of the eyebrows of both eyes, followed by a rapid lowering),
- the coy smile (a tilting of the head downward, with partial averting of the eyes and, at the end, covering of the mouth,
- and the exposed neck (turning the head so that the side of the neck is bared), swayed their backs, forcing the buttocks to tilt out and up and their chests to thrust forward.
Women often begin with a room-encompassing glance, in actuality a casing-the-joint scan to seek out prospects.
When she'd zeroed in on a target she'd exhibit the short darting glance - looking at a man, quickly looking away, looking back and then away again. There was something shy and indirect in this initial eye contact.
Research shows 52 different nonverbal courtship behaviors used by women.
By swaying her hips, or emphasizing them in a form-fitting dress, a flirtatious woman is riveting attention on her pelvis, suggesting its ample capacity for bearing a child. By arching her brows and exaggerating her gaze, her eyes appear large in her face, the way a child's eyes do, advertising, along with giggles, her youth and "submissiveness." by coyly averting her gaze and playing "hard to get," she communicates her unwillingness to give sex to just anyone or to someone who will love her and leave her.
When a woman was interested she showed this with her giggles and soft laughs which were followed by hair twirling and head-tossing.
Flirtation behaviors used by men.
- Body arching, stretched, swiveled
- Grand gestures with their arms
- They often point their chin in the air
- Bursts of laughter
- Body arching,
- Leaning back in the chair and placing his arms behind head and grandiose gestures were a pantomime of the prancing and preening indulged in by male baboons and gorillas in the wild.
The signals all said, "Look at me, trust me, I'm powerful, but I won't hurt you." And "I don't want anything much...yet."
All the silent swaying, leaning, smiling, bobbing and gazing eventually brought a pair into full frontal alignment. Face to face, they indulged in simultaneous touching of everything from eyeglasses to fingertips to crossed legs. "This kind of sequence - attention, recognition, dancing, synchronization - is fundamental to courtship. The sequence is look, talk, touch, kiss, do the deed."
For his part, by extending a strong chin and jaw, expanding and showing off pectoral muscles and a hairy chest, flashing money, laughing loudly or resonantly smiling, and doing all these things without accosting a woman, a man signals hi ability to protect offspring, his resources and the testosterone-driven vitality of his sperm as well as the tamer side of him that is willing to stick around, after the sex, for fatherhood. It's the behavioral equivalent of "I'll respect you in the morning."
Body language that stops the flirtation. A woman can slow down a flirtation, by orienting her body away slightly or cross her arms across her chest, or avoid meeting the man's eyes. to stop the dance in its tracks, she can yawn, frown, sneer, shake her head from side to side as if to say "No," pocket her hands, hold her trunk rigidly, avoid the man's gaze, stare over his head, or resume flirting with other men. If a man is really dense he might hold a strand of hair up to her eyes as if to examine her split ends or even pick her teeth.
In "Psychology Today" January/February 1999 issue it was stated that each of us "turns on" not to mankind or womankind but to a particular member of the opposite sex. Certain stances, personal styles, gestures, intimations of emotional compatibility, perhaps even odors, automatically arouse our interest because they are not only instantly advertise genetic fitness but they match the template of desired mate we all carry in our mind's eye.
The rational thinking part of our brains gets people to the place where girl meets boy; but in the first meeting, their capacity to react with their instinct and hearts, not their heads, overrode their cognitive brains. Otherwise, they might not have had the nerve to look at each other. The rational brain is always on the lookout for dangers, form complexities, for reasons to act or not act. If every time man and woman met they immediately considered all the possible risks and vulnerabilities they might face if the mated or had children, they'd run screaming from the room.
The flirtational operating system appears to kick in without conscious consent. The moment of attraction, in fact, mimics a kind of brain damage. Professor Damasio, M. D. has found that people with damage to the connection between their limbic structures and the higher brain are smart and rational - but unable to made decisions. They bring commitment phobia to a whole new level. In attraction, we don't stop and think, we react, operating on a "gut" feeling, with butterflies, giddiness, sweaty palms and flushed faces brought on by the reactivity of the emotional brain. We suspend intellect as least long enough to propel us to the next step in the mating game - flirtation.
Somewhere beyond flirtation, as a relationship progresses, courtship gets under way, and with it, intellectual processes resume. Two adults can then evaluate potential mates more rationally, think things over and decide whether to love, hone and cherish. But at the moment of attraction and flirtation, bodies, minds and sense are temporarily hostage to the more ancient parts of the brain, the impulsive parts that humans share with animals.
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