Imagine that you are meeting with friends, and one of them starts paying you more attention than others in your group. Moreover, he tells you jokes and asks a lot of questions about your childhood, places you visited, dreams you have and your musical preferences. His voice is soft and pleasant; you find him a very friendly and reliable person with a great sense of humour. When the meeting is over and it’s time to say goodbye, he looks in your eyes and thanks you for a pleasant conversation. Is he just being friendly or is he flirting with you?
It is a hard question that guys and girls ask frequently. Because flirting does not assume a direct disclosure of one’s plans and intentions, we often cannot really tell whether a person is acting in a friendly manner or really trying to seduce us.
So, was the guy in the example flirting? Certainly, he was paying more attention to a girl than to the rest of her friends. Asking personal questions was another evidence of his interest in her. However, friends are supposed to know a lot about each other, aren’t they? Another cue might be him demonstrating his sense of humour and trying to be nice to a girl, so that she will like him. He was very comfortable to be around and acted like a really attentive young man, which is always appealing. Probably, he was flirting with her.
A very important component of one’s behaviour is non-verbal signals that the other person receives. Is he looking directly into her eyes, signalling his obvious interest? Is he leaning closer, so that the distance between you and him decreases? Is he touching you, even if he seems to do this accidentally? Is he complimenting you, your jokes or how you look? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then he is flirting with you.
The most obvious signs of flirtation are the guy’s sexualisation of everything or most of what is being said. You can feel this when he uses words that seem neutral, but that may have another meaning as well. So, if you notice this kind of things, you should know that he is not just being friendly with you.
If you pay attention to the guy’s gestures, mimics, the distance between you both and the content of his speech, then you may decide for yourself whether he is flirting with you or not. After you come up with a conclusion, you can decide whether you will answer his flirtation attempts and join his game, or if you will let him know that you are not interested in this sort of communication.