Subtle Flirting Techniques

A genuine smile that shows squinting is impossible to fake.
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Although the brazen flirts might seem to get the most attention, subtle flirting makes you seem less predatory and more interested, suggests the Social Issues Research Centre in the article, "The New Rules of Flirting" for Cosmopolitan UK. Rather than throwing yourself at the person who catches your eye, try a toned-down approach to give yourself an air of mystery.

1 Using Your Eyes

Eye contact stimulates the reward centers in the brain, creating a stronger bond between people, notes relationship writer Judy Dutton in “Four Flirting Fun Facts” for MarieClaire. Make a triangle with your glance, moving your eyes from the person’s eyes to his mouth and back, but not to do it too often, as there is a fine line between subtle glances and creepy staring.

2 Body Language

A simple smile speaks volumes, Dutton notes. She claims that humans actually have 18 different types of smiles. A genuine smile that shows crow’s feet or squinting is impossible to fake, because those muscles are not under conscious control. Other forms of subtle body language include pointing your feet toward the person you like and mimicking her movements. Turning your palms up and shrugging your shoulders makes you appear cute and nonthreatening, Dutton notes in Marie Claire's, “3 Ways to Use Your Body to Flirt.” Avoid the urge to go overboard. Small movements are more genuine and more effective than large, sweeping actions.

3 Personal Space

Invading someone’s personal bubble is a time-honored flirtation technique, but Cosmopolitan UK suggests using a more refined approach. Rather than rushing straight in for a touch, test the waters. Find a reason to briefly enter the person’s space and quickly step out again. Pay attention to what she does next. If the flirtation is mutual, she will move back into your personal space. At this point, move to seemingly accidental touches such as brushing against her leg as you walk by, suggests psychologist Dennis Sugrue in Cosmopolitan UK. Sugrue notes that unexpected touching is a powerful tool of attraction.

4 Verbal Cues

Rather than asking questions designed to put you in the spotlight, such as what you should do with your hair, ask questions that keep the focus firmly on the person you like. Solicit his opinion on music, movies or another topic that interests him. This allows you to begin a conversation without coming across like just another flirt.

Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer specializing in disabled adventure travel. She spent 15 years working for Central Florida theme parks and frequently travels with her disabled father. Fritscher's work can be found in both print and online mediums, including She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida.