Thursday, July 26, 2012

Flirtation or flirting refers to the act of engaging in verbal, written or even non-verbal communication such as body language, gestures or minute expressions by one person to another which suggests an interest in a deeper or more intimate bond, connection or relationship with the other person. It varies across diverse cultures because of the different rules on social etiquette such as how much touching is proper, how to make eye contact, how close or proximate should people stand or sit together etc. Flirting takes place in parties, social occasions, drinking places, schools, and of course, at the workplace where the cafeteria, pantry or coffee station may sometimes be the unofficial flirting zone during office hours. Flirting may consist of the following: eye contact; winking; staring; exchange of glances; giggling; smiling suggestively; casual touches such as a woman briefly touching a man’s hand, arm, shoulder or thigh area; casual embraces; giving small gifts; flattery; affectionate small talks; singing love songs in the presence of the other; proximity or maintaining very short distance while casually talking; touching one’s hair; staging of chance encounters etc. According to social anthropologist and author Kate Fox, flirting may be for fun or with intent. It may, at times, be construed as cheating if either party is committed to someone else. A certain degree of caution should therefore be exercised in order to avoid misunderstanding. Actions or words may have double meanings which can only be discerned by a pair of perceptive eyes, a cultured mind, as well as an experienced heart.

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