A guy winked at you. Did he just have something in his eye or was he flirting? Flirting is verbal and nonverbal cues that indicate your interest in another person. Although flirting is most often associated with romantic or sexual interest, a wink or smile can also be a platonic, playful way to demonstrate interest in a friend.
Verbal and Non-Verbal: Top 10 Ways to Flirt
Non-verbal communication is the process of sending and receiving messages through touch, gestures, facial expressions, body language and eye contact. A substantial portion of our interactions with others is done through the nonverbal cues we send and receive. Consider, for a moment, how you feel when someone you are talking to looks away regularly. Whether the person 'says' he/she is listening or not, his/her nonverbal cue is communicating discomfort and possible desire to be elsewhere. The key to flirting, even the top 10 ways to flirt is to do what comes naturally to you.
Facial Expressions: Top Five Ways to Flirt
You communicate a great deal with your face, how you smile and how you look at someone. Five of the top ways to flirt come from your facial expression and facial communication. These facial expressions are true for men as well as for women.
1. Eye Contact
Eye contact communicates your interest in a person whether he or she is across the room or across the table. You walk into a room, you are being introduced and across the way, you notice a good looking woman or man. You make eye contact with the person. This provides an opening for him/her to further the nonverbal communication or refuse gently, by simply looking away. Tip: Remember you should not stare. Staring is intrusive. If the person meets your eyes and hold, you can glance away, then back again. This flick of a look communicates your receptiveness.
The wink is a playful way to communicate good humor, a shared or private joke and to invite further contact. In a group of people, you can be chatting away and making eye contact with another. In telling a joke or even agreeing to another joke, a casual wink at the person you are interested offers a brief moment of shared intimacy. Tip: Winks are playful nonverbal cues, you can be saucy and forward with a wink, but one wink is sufficient, repeated winks look like an eye twitch.
Smiles are inviting. They say welcome, hello and yes, I would very much like to talk to you all at once. If you make eye contact and you wink, a smile says come over and talk to me some more or keep talking, I like what I'm hearing. Tip: Natural smiles are wider, more open and are often reflected in the twinkle of the person's eyes. A tight smile that doesn't reach the eyes is not the same thing.
4. Mouthing a Kiss
The blowing of a kiss or the mouthing of one is a provocative form of flirtation that can be considered teasing and fun. Tip: The blowing of a kiss is a latent flirt that you should hold until you have their interest and want to encourage them to pursue that interest further.
5. Approachable Expression
Even with all of the above, you can still seem unapproachable if your expression is guarded, tense or furrowed. A great deal of what people feel play out on their face so looking irritated or bored will not encourage flirtation, but the opposite. Tip: If you don't want to be somewhere, your facial expression can be the stop sign to further flirtation.
More Ways to Flirt
Beyond the non-verbal cues, you will find an equal number of verbal flirts that you can use to communicate your interest in another person.
6. Compliment him or her
A compliment is the easiest way to flirt and open a conversation at the same. Complimenting a woman on her shoes, her outfit or even her perfume says, I like this aspect of you and I'm interested in knowing more. Tip: Don't limit your compliments to what he or she is wearing; you can compliment talents, skills and even work.
7. Express your interest
Go beyond the simple compliment by showing him or her that you are interested in the same things. For example, if she is carrying a book by an author you like or he is wearing the t-shirt of a band you enjoy, these are great ways to continue the conversation. Tip: Don't manufacture an interest in something you don't have just to keep the conversation going.
Touches are an iffy area of flirtation. It is simple to be misinterpreted, so you should reserve touching until after you've made eye contact, laughed, shown interest and talked. Touching can be just as simple as putting your hand on his or her arm while you are sharing an interest or conversation. Tip: Keep the touch light and easily removed. You should never touch someone for longer than four seconds when flirting. This reduces the emotional pressure to respond if the other person is uncomfortable.
9. Joke, Have Fun
Keep your flirting light and airy. Invite smiles and make him or her laugh. Laughter releases endorphins and can help relax the person you are flirting with. Tip: Men and women alike enjoy someone who can make them laugh. However, keep the humor positive, more often than not when you make fun of others, the laughter can be tinged with negativity.
The Best Way to Flirt
Even with all of the above, the tenth and best way to flirt makes the other nine possible.
10. Be Yourself
Do not put on airs, don't pretend to be someone else, just be the best you can be. Not only will this help your flirting technique, but it means that when the person returns the interest, he or she is returning the interest in the person you are, not the person he or she thinks you might be.