Using your facial expressions effectively
The ability to read and express emotions through facial expressions is paramount in the activity of flirting. Compare talking to someone on the phone versus talking to someone face-to-face. Which is easier? Clearly it’s much easier to pick up subtle signals when talking to someone in person. This is because you can pick up facial expressions in the lips, the eyes, and how the other person is holding his or her posture, and the way the hands move or don’t move. Even if you are not very aware of these signs, they can be learned and practiced by observation or by increasing your attention to them.
Types of facial expressions
Do you know how many facial expressions there are? Paul Ekman, a psychologist who has made a living studying and categorizing facial and emotional expressions, wrote in 1972 that there are six basic emotions. They are:
Ekman has pioneered a series of training exercises to help people recognize ‘microexpressions’. These are expressions so fleeting and subtle that they exist for only fractions of a second, yet can reveal emotions that are being covered up. You don’t need to become Ekman to understand people, but you should have an awareness of the different kinds of emotions shown on people’s faces.
Holding your gaze
One of the most important things to do in western culture is to meet the gaze of your counterpart in a coversation. Looking down or past someone is tantamount to being rude or appearing uninterested. But that gaze cannot be unflinching either, in which case it can be perceived as rude. Psychological testing of people engaged in conversation found that a mix of gazing at the person’s eyes about 70% of the time, and away from the person’s eyes the other 30%, engnendered the best response.
Tips for the ‘gaze’
Girls who flirting should meet the gaze of a man by keeping their eyes opened wide, paying attention to bat their eyelashes ever so often and tilt their gaze toward the man. If the man is taller, an upward tilt will make the girl seem more receptive to his attentions. If the man is shorter, perhaps a sideways tilt will suffice.
The steps of courtship
As far as facial expressions go, it is very important to maintain a smile to indicate interest. Smiling is one of the signals exhibited by all cultures to indicate pleasantness. Think of positive things inside when you are talking to a man. These thoughts will help stimulate a real smile, activating muscles not only around the lips but also around the eyes. The crinkling effect near the eyes is a crucial display of honest smiling that will subconsciously attract a man. The crinkling effect is one of Ekman’s famous microexpressions that separate true smiles from pretend, polite ones. If you find that you have trouble smiling, it may be that you are not psychologically prepared to let your guard down in front of strangers. Smiling is a sign of openess to the other person. Perhaps some thought into why you are closing yourself off to others can help release the smile.