The Rule of Four
Martin Lloyd-Elliott, author of 'Secrets of Sexual Body Language,' says you need to observe four separate sexual body language cues to be sure someone is interested in you. Keep your eyes on everything, including hair, face muscles, skin, eyes, mouth, legs and even toes for potential signals. You may see many of these cues when you're with friends, which is natural, but just because you've seen the right kind of smile doesn't mean that he or she is hoping to hook up.
Men and women unconsciously shrug or "flash" their shoulders when they find another person attractive. Women use the shoulders as a tease: "It can be subtle or obvious and can include the hand touching or moving over the skin of the shoulder.*" Men, on the other hand, will often use their shoulders to set territory and block other potential suitors.
When we see someone we're attracted to, we respond automatically with an eyebrow flash that lasts about a fifth of a second. Yet eyebrows come into play for more than attraction. A flash may be created just to start a friendly exchange. Combine an eyebrow flash with a roll of the eyes and it's a show of exasperation -- so be mindful of context. A natural, friendly flash comes and goes quickly.
Study the Pupils
Why is the woman on the right sexier than the one on the left? Because dilated pupils are a sure sign of interest and make a person more attractive. One of the reasons candlelit dinners set a romantic mood is they force pupils to open and help each person appear more attractive. But don't fool yourself that the person across the table from you in a dimly-lit room is attracted to you. That might just be some pupils opening automatically.
You may think he's into you, but how do you know? When he smiles you can check the asymmetry of his mouth, which is often a tip-off for a forced grin. In this example, his intense eyes and clenched jaw suggest a tension that doesn't match an upbeat mood. A natural smile is usually broad and symmetrical.
A Little Attitude
Does male posturing work? Sometimes. "Such postures indicate dominance, and for many women, despite what modern feminists would prefer us to believe, it is still instinctively sexy and arousing to be in the company of a strong, confident and dominating man," says psychologist Lloyd-Elliott.
Women tend to be less territorial than men, who can regard every potential invasion of their territory, however friendly, as a threat. If you want to be invited into someone's space, lower or raise your eye level to meet his or hers. In this setting, the man is lower than the woman he's approaching, reducing the threat.
To increase their synchronicity, he adopts exactly the same body posture as her. His right shoulder angles his torso around to face her. He tilts his head slightly to one side to indicate that he's carefully listening. Although her torso still faces the pool, she smiles at him over her shoulder, which is extremely flirtatious.
Entering someone's personal space can be tricky. Lowering someone's barriers may be as simple as handing someone who has crossed arms a drink or offering someone the physical comfort or the reassurance of an arm or shoulder to cry on. But don't take for granted your invitation will be accepted.
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