Only 18% of women are successfully able to recognise when a man is flirting with them.
It seems the vast majority of women are terrible at flirting.
New research conducted by Professor Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas has found that flirting is not an easy behaviour to detect. Whether it’s expressing interest or reading a man’s signs, Hall describes how women are failing miserably in the flirting domain.
The research involved 52 pairs of single university students; each student was placed in a room with a member of the opposite sex and asked to chat for between 10 and 12 minutes.
They believed the study was investigating first impressions.
After each pairing the participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire noting whether they had flirted and whether or not they believed their counterpart had flirted.
The results showed that whilst 80% of the time we are able to successfully recognise when people aren’t flirting with us, recognising flirtatious behaviour proved far more difficult and in fact only 18% of women were aware when their partner had flirted with them.
This study also found that men were far better at detecting when their counterpart was flirting.
Could it be that women’s lack of intuition is leading to missed opportunities in every direction? Hall claims it isn’t the case that men have greater intuition, but rather that women are clearer about their intentions.
He goes on to explain, “If you think someone is not interested in you, you are probably right, they are not interested. But if someone is, you probably missed it,”
So why are women so terrible at recognising men’s advances?
Professor Hall believes women are more likely to believe a man is just being friendly, when in fact he is actually flirting. He also suggests women are more transparent when it comes to flirting and that men tend to be less obvious because they fear being embarrassed.
Halls advice is to be open to the possibility that people are flirting.
Context is an important cue when it comes to flirting and if you find yourself in a setting such as a bar or party then you must be open to the idea that flirting is likely to occur. “If you are missing out that people are flirting with you at a place where people go to flirt, then that’s on you,” says Hall.
It seems modesty will get you nowhere in the flirting game, it’s time to be more open to the idea that people may be flirting with you and not be afraid to put yourself out there.
“Flirting hard to detect” Jeffery Hall, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas
By BB Psychologist Sophie Hughes
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