Have you ever fancied the pants of someone, but just not been sure how they felt for you? It's a common dilemma: read the signs wrong and you risk either missing out on the opportunity for happiness and romance or else making a complete fool of yourself.
Here are a few vital tips from body language experts:
When we look at people we're not familiar with, our eyes make a zig-zag motion: we look from eye to eye and across the bridge of the nose. With friends, the look drops below eye level and moves into a triangle shape: we look from eye to eye but also look down to include the nose and mouth. Once we start flirting, the triangle gets even bigger - it widens at the bottom to include the person's body. The more intense the flirting, the more intensely we'll look from eye to eye - and the more time we'll spend looking at their mouth. If someone is watching your mouth while you're talking to them, it could be that they're imagining what it would be like to kiss you.
A great way of bonding with someone is to mirror their behaviour. This simply means you do whatever it is they do. If they lean forward to tell you something intimate, you lean in to meet them. If they sit back to take a sip of their drink and look you in the eye, you pause then follow suit. The theory here is that we like people who are like us. If someone is doing what we're doing, we feel they're on the same level as us and in the same mood as we are.
If you are going to try mirroring, firstly only mirror positive body language. Secondly, capture the spirit of their behaviour rather than mimicking them. As a general rule, wait around 50 seconds before following their gestures.
When we first see someone we're attracted to, our eyebrows rise and fall. If they are similarly attracted, they raise their eyebrows in return. Never noticed? It's not surprising since the whole thing lasts only about a fifth of a second! We're not consciously aware of doing it, but it's a fundamental human behaviour. Watch for it when you meet someone you fancy. Better still, tell them you're interested on a subconscious level by prolonging your eyebrow flash for up to one second - deliberately raise them while catching their eye for full impact.
If someone likes what they see, their pupil size increases and so does their blink rate. If you want to up the odds in your favour, try increasing the blink rate of the person you're talking to, by blinking more yourself. If the person likes you, they'll unconsciously try to match your blink rate to keep in sync with you, which in turn, makes you both feel more attracted to each other!
Pay attention to what the other person's feet and hands are doing - we tend to point toward the person we're interested in. If we find someone attractive, we'll often point at them subconsciously with our hands arms, feet, legs, toes. This unconscious indicator of our feelings is often picked up by the other person, without them really knowing why. So if you've got your eye on someone in the corner, point your body in their direction. Even if you don't make eye contact, they may take the hint.
Remember: don't judge on one thing alone. Sitting with your arms crossed is often perceived as a defensive, stand-off posture. But it might also mean you're freezing cold, you're having a fat day or just spilt coffee all over your top! Don't jump to conclusions, but instead take a holistic look at the person's behaviour. If someone has their arms crossed and their lips are pursed disapprovingly, it's a fairly safe bet they are on the defensive.