On some levels, innocent flirting can be just that, innocent. Some flirting is non-destructive, a perfectly natural and healthy way for two people to interact. However, if emotions rise and the level of flirting increases, it might be a good idea to back down a bit. Friendly, sociable and playful flirting is okay as long as you are not leading the other person on.
Flirt Without Leading The Person On
Watch your eye contact. When conversing with a member of the opposite sex it is easy to give off the wrong impression if you are staring too much. It is definitely okay to look at someone you are talking to. In fact, it would be rude if you didn't, but there is a difference between kind consideration and a twinkle in your eye. If you are seriously trying not to lead a person on then try not to stare too much.
Check your intentions. Teasing and innocent physical contact is appropriate as long as your intentions are honest and straightforward. If you are poking, tickling, and continuously touching the other person you might be on your way to leading them on. Touching breaks the personal space barrier and can be taken as a sign of romantic intent.
Be sincere. Most people see flirting as a way of meeting someone of the opposite sex for a serious relationship. Maybe you tend to flirt with no such desire; but the one you are flirting with might be of the old school and see your behavior as a way of starting something. In order to avoid leading someone on, try to remember that all people are different. What might be perceived one way by you might not be at all the perception of others.
Watch your body language. It is easy to misread signals. There is a fine line between flirting and leading someone on and sometimes the line is so fine it is hard to know for sure. If you think your flirting partner might be getting the wrong message maybe it's in the way you are sitting, your mannerisms, or your facial expressions. You never know when you've crossed the line so be preventative. If you think your body language says too much, it probably is.
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- If you know you tend to flirt, why not tell the person up front? Giving a head's up to the one you are talking to will protect you if your flirting gets out of hand. Laying down the ground rules will prevent an innocent person from becoming a victim of your overly friendly personality.
- Be careful. Flirting can lead to trouble if you are not careful. Not everyone will get the wrong impression, but some will. And stick with people you know. Flirting with strangers is risky.