Why People Flirt A wink, a little shoulder gripping, a curious smile, Flirting is commonly considered a way for people to show an interest in each other without coming out and saying it. But modern research shows many things that aren’t usually thought about. The fact that married and single people flirt, that its said by scientist that our biology and culture push us to flirt, or even that people flirt not to show interest but for personal gain. Either way, flirting is a regular occurrence in our lives and the causes tend to depend on the person doing the flirting.
One of the reasons that researchers say we flirt is that we can’t help it. Humans are programmed to flirt, whether by biology or culture (Luscombe). It is widely believed that in certain situations, that flirting is sometimes unintentional and cued by the body and mind unconsciously. Researchers say that flirting is the way that we express our need to mate and create offspring, meaning that the act of flirting is unconscious. Researchers also say that from the dawn of time, humans have flirted which helped them swiftly and more successfully find a mate and reproduce and therefore the behavior became widespread in all humans.
I believe that sometimes this theory is true, I sometimes find myself batting my eyes a little more than usual, or laughing a little louder, or smiling harder when I find someone attractive. Flirting to me seems like it is sometimes second nature when I find someone attractive or someone is flirting with me. I do also flirt when I want someone to know that I am intested in them and I want to see if they will flirt back with me. On the other hand, flirting sometimes becomes a “social fallback position”.
We all learn rules for how to behave in certain situations and flirting makes it easier for people to know how to act, even when they are nervous. In other words, when in doubt, we flirt (Luscombe). I agree that flirting can help you feel more comfortable when in new social situations, that may make you feel awkward. I know that when I go to meet a group of new people and there are lots of guys I may automatically flirt so that I can feel confident and comfortable. In my opinion, flirting can also make people more receptive to you because you seem more approachable and forthcoming.
If I enter a social situation and flirt it makes it easier for me to talk to people and it makes me seem more like im willing to meet new people and talk. And then there are women or men who know the power of flirting, meaning trying to have a certain amount of personal gain from flirting. In other words, flirting can be used as emotional capital to be expended in return for something else. Not usually for money, but for intangibles- a better table, a juicier cut of meat, a cheaper ticket to a movie, thing like that.
It’s a handy social lubricant, reducing the friction of everyday transactions, and closer to a strategically timed tip than a romantic overture (Luscombe). I think I perform this act of flirting the most, I know that if I do just a little bit of flirting I can get a shirt I want at a cheaper price, a ride home instead of having to catch the bus or free food. This act also seems to have the most drawbacks, when you flirt with someone they may do something for you but they will often times expect things in return. They may expect a date, your phone number, or even a favor in return for what they did for you.
Flirting can be performed in many different ways for many different reasons. Sometimes unconsciously, to make ourselves more comfortable and approachable in new social situations, or even to get people to give us special treatment and discounts where they wouldn’t normally. Flirting is a universal act that will never loose its relevance in society.
- De La Vina, Mark. "A guide to flirting 4 u -- get the message? " The Daily Telegraph, August 22, 2007.
- "Floriography - the Language of Flowers. " BBC. September 22, 2005. ttp://www. bbc. co. uk/dna/h2g2/A5268035 * Gusmaroli, Danielle. "How to flirt with success. " The Daily Mail, February 23, 2006.
- Moore, Monica M. "Nonverbal Courtship Patterns in Women. " Ethology and Sociobiology, 6: 237-247 (1985)
- Robson, David. "It's great to tease at the office, but what's flirty and not dirty? " The Express, February 25, 2007.
- Rodgers, Joann Ellison. "Flirting Fascination. " Psychology Today Magazine, January 19, 2006. http://psychologytoday. com/articles/index. php? term=19990101-000033&page=1