In our neverending quest to find true love, we have to learn the art of flirting. Nicholas Boothman says some people are born to flirt, others have natural flirting skills and some just need a little practice. Boothman, offers up some handy advice on successful flirting strategies.
There are three types of flirting, Boothman says: Public, private and social.
• Public flirting
"Public flirting is what you might do with the guy at the deli, where you just joke around – no threat at all," Boothman explained. Public flirting is not about intimacy, but rather about friendship or making someone's day, he explained. Typically, this isn't something that can be misinterpreted, unless someone adds sexual undertones to the flirting.
• Private flirting
This is what you do on a date, Boothman said. It's used to intensify and accelerate intimacy and closeness.
• Social flirting
"Social flirting is based on something called the ‘promise-withdraw,' where you give a look that perhaps promises something, take it away, then look back. It's called giving someone a second glance. That's an unmistakable sign of showing interest."
He insisted that social flirting is not something that should be sexual because that gives all the wrong impressions. It should just be a signal of interest where you put something out there. If you get a response, you get on with it, he said.
"Social flirting is what you do to get a date and that's letting someone know that you're interested in them and that you'd like to get to know them better with your body language and stuff like that."
The importance of personal space
A person's space is a key element that impacts on flirting, Boothman explained. We all have public, social and private space.
For some people, personal space is a much more sensitive issue. Walking directly into someone's personal space can be threatening to the recipient, while walking sideways into the same space can be perceived as less so. You can gauge the individual's response by reading their body language as you enter their space.
If you do enter someone's personal space, a good idea is to offer your hand for a handshake because it's a patterned behaviour that helps introduce yourself.
"The whole idea is to make them feel good about you," Boothman said. "We're assuming you've adjusted your attitude beforehand to an attitude that says 'Hi, I'm charming.'"
It's important to approach in a warm, soft way, and have the right things to say, he added.
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