Whether you are looking to meet someone at a party or mingling in the office, you may find yourself exchanging glances, smiles and flirtatious jokes with someone else. While you may feel your pulse racing, these exchanges can also leave you feeling confused about the other person's actual intentions. Though only the other person can truly reveal those intentions, those lingering glances, constant smiles and frequent eyebrow raises could mean more than they appear.
Pay attention to body language, says Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, in the Psychology Today article "You Don't Say: Persuasive Body Language for Flirting and Dating." Someone who is hitting on you may speak in an excited manner and lean toward you while talking. Those sudden, unprompted smiles, quick glances in your direction or even lingering gazes can also be a signal that someone is hitting on you, according to Psychology Today writer Jen Kim in the article "How to Flirt Without It Seeming Like You're Flirting."
Examine his behavior to get a better prediction of his intentions. He may begin to fiddle with his clothing, like loosening his tie or unbuttoning his shirt, according to Cosmopolitan. He may also play with objects that he is holding, such as glasses. He is also more likely to be facing you, so if his feet, hands, and body are oriented in your direction, it may be a signal of his interest.
Look for signs of "mirroring," or mimicking behavior, in the other person, advises Nicholson. Whether you laugh, smile or touch the other person's arm, she may quickly repeat the same behavior. You can also gauge your own interest this way; you may find that you are copying her behavior.
Study his face during the interaction. Both women and men tend to raise their eyebrows momentarily during the flirting process, and may do it several times, according to the Social Issues Research Centre's "SIRC Guide to Flirting."
Think about what she says. A lingering conversation or a focus on more personal matters, such as whether you are seeing anyone, can be a sign of intent, according to the Social Issues Research Centre. She may also express admiration, compliment you, or give consistent positive feedback when you speak, such as saying that you are interesting. She may also frequently paraphrase what you have said, showing both her interest and attention to detail.
- Men may also engage in more protective behaviors when they are hitting on someone, such as offering a coat to you if you are cold, according to Van Rood.
- While women may be more likely to misinterpret flirtation as friendliness, men are more likely to view a friendly exchange as flirtation, according to the Social Issues Research Centre. Taking this bias into account can help you determine whether you are overstating or downplaying the interaction.