What they don’t teach you in management school.

She’s a Salma Hayek look-alike, she’s making eyes at you and you’d like to go over. First check your alcohol barometer – after a few large ones you would like to believe that every woman from Julia Roberts (yeah, on screen), to the doorman at the pub, is giving you the come on. Two, if you can stand. Three, if the guy by her side is her boyfriend.

Misinterpreting a woman’s signals could be potentially dangerous. Research (mine) shows there’s two kinds of guys. Those who can recognise the signals and those who go home with a black eye. You don’t want to be the latter.

Which is why you should learn some life-saving facts (that you can impress her with later.) 55% of the message we get from someone comes through our body language. 38% from the tone, speed and inflection of our voice. And a pathetic 7% is from what we’re actually saying.

Old Jungle Saying : Actions Speak Louder.

Though we send out conscious signals, the unconscious ones tell the secret truth. Before we even speak, the way we walk and stand is more than 80% of someone’s first impression of us.

But confusion is easy. Body language depends much on the mindset: upbringing, the culture you originate from, and of course, the situation. What is seen as a simple hug in high-society could be misconstrued as a more intimate gesture by a person of conventional upbringing.

So here’s how to recognize the vibe.

– She looks at you from the corner of her eye, more than once – and if it’s not the Tequila that’s catalyzing your imagination – she is checking you out. She’ll most likely get off the stool and stand, or head for the loo if it means walking past you – letting you check her out properly. On the way back she might give you the ‘Full’ look: the way we look at people once we start flirting with them – eyes making a triangle that widens at the bottom to include the body.

Add preening gestures like touching her hair, subtle swing of the hips and the verdict: Interested.

– She’s staring. Either she’s Bold, or the vodkas she slurped has turned you into Pearce Brosnan. And at that critical juncture, it’s important to remember even the waiter could get a hug.

– She sits with one leg tucked under her or delicately balances her shoe on the toe of one foot : She’s comfortable with you. A first date signal.

– She’s listening to you talk. Slowly her breasts jut out a bit, she slants her head.

If she leans forward when you do, she does like you. It’s called Mirroring and the theory behind it is that we like people who are like us. (Only mirror positive body language and do it naturally.)

– She’s watching your mouth intently while you talk to her: She’s probably wondering what it would be like to kiss you. But it would be wise to make sure you don’t have salad dressing your chin.

Dying to know if she fancies you? Peek if her feet or hands point in your direction. If we find someone attractive, we’ll often point at them subconsciously with our hands, arms, legs. An unconscious indicator often picked up by the other, without them really knowing why.

Then again watch the blinking. If someone likes what they see, their pupil size increases, followed by blink rate. Conversely she could’ve forgotten her glasses. Now, that would make you an interesting blur.

But you can’t mistake the eyebrow lift. Some experts claim it’s the most instantly recognised non-verbal sign of friendly greeting in the world. When we first see someone we’re attracted to, our eyebrows rise and fall. If they fancy us back, they raise their eyebrows in return. Go try.

Sexier signals include caressing the inside of the calf, knee or thigh. But then it could be a case of itchy infection and you don’t want to go there.

Then of course, there’s the seminal scene from Basic Instinct: the slow crossing and uncrossing of legs. But a woman could be just making herself comfortable. Without direct eye contact this gesture won’t stand up in court.

There, you have it. But before you race to the nearest pub to practice, a word of warning. Don’t ever judge on one thing alone – if she’s licking or chewing her lip it could just mean her lips have gone dry from seeing her ex hulking towards your table, or she’s nervous about her interview tomorrow.

Look for clusters of behaviour – at least four signals saying the same thing before totally believing it. And always, always keep in mind: tone of voice, pauses in conversation, content of conversation, and the culture. Together, they’ll provide better clues to what the person’s thinking.

Rely on your instinct. Of course, after several beers, it will be as questionable as UFO’s.

Finally some useful advice if you do misinterpret the signs: 1) Wish you were Houdini. 2) Down two quick tequilas to forget.

Published in Guy Thing (Times Group)
Feel free to quote from this site without permission, staying within the normal fair-use conventions, as long as you do me the courtesy of linking back to the relevant permalink and also letting me know. (You can get the permanent link to a particular post by clicking the time stamp below the headline.)
If you’d like reprint rights, please mail me at huanita@yahoo.com

One response to “What they don’t teach you in management school.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s