By Jane Hoskyn
Body language is worth a zillion chat-up lines. It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you waggle your hands when you say it. If you can learn to move your body in a way that attracts the opposite sex, you’ll soon be fighting them off with a big stick.
Psychologists say that around two-thirds our first impression of a person is down to the way they hold and move their body. So when you’re trying to impress, actions speak far louder than cheesy come-ons.
Most body language is unconscious, but a few tricks will soon put you in control of the messages you’re sending out. Here are 18 ways to pull without saying a word.
1. Look around
Your eyes are your most powerful pulling weapon. Look around when you walk into the room, and you look engaged, approachable and confident.
2. Look twice at the person you fancy
Meeting someone’s eye is the single most powerful way to forge an emotional connection. If you look away for a heartbeat, then look back at them, you’re sending a very strong message that translates roughly as: “hello, and who are you?”
3. Hold their gaze
Holding someone’s eyes while they speak suggests that you respect and value what they’re saying – and it’s very seductive. But don’t overdo it. If you actively stare into their eyes, they may stop thinking that you’re interested and start thinking that you’re borderline psychotic.
4. Do what they do
We’re all egomaniacs at heart, so we tend to find like-minded people attractive. Our minds read “like-acting” as “like-minded”, so you can forge a connection by mirroring the body language of someone you fancy. The mirroring needs to be subtle, or you’ll look as though you’re making fun of them. If they sip their drink and meet your eye, pause for a minute before doing the same.
5. Smile like you mean it
Smiling and laughing are powerful people-magnets, as long as they’re genuine. Smile with a relaxed face and plenty of eye contact, and it shows the other person that you’re happy in their company.
6. Throw them a suppressed grin
A suppressed grin is like your mouth blushing – it says “I like you, and I’m trying to hide it, but I’m deliberately not trying hard enough. What are you doing later?”
7. Flash your brow
When you first see someone you fancy, your eyebrows rise and fall. If the other person fancies you back, they’ll do the same. It’s very quick – a fraction of a second – but it’s pretty unmistakable. Don’t be too calculating about this one, though. If you lift your eyebrows for more than a second, you’ll look like The Joker.
8. Give them the gaze triangle
When talking to friends and family, your gaze tends to be restricted to their eyes, nose and mouth, and with strangers you tend to look from eye to eye. But when you’re flirting with someone, you’ll widen your gaze to take in their head-and-shoulders “triangle”. Chances are they’ll subconsciously pick up on your “come hither” signal.
9. Look them up and down
When your eyes go for a quick wander around someone’s body, you’re saying: “I like you”. This will intrigue them, and they may start to mirror the gesture. If you spot someone’s eyes wandering from your eyes to your mouth to other bits of your body – especially your hands and thighs – you’re in.
10. Get blinking
When we see something we like, whether it’s a cake, a beer or a gorgeous person across a crowded room, we instinctively blink more quickly. The other person may recognise it as a sign of attraction, though they won’t consciously know it. An increased blink rate is infectious, so they will probably start doing it too. Pretty soon you’ll be a pair of loved-up blinkers.
11. Lean in
Forget that stereotypical image of the handsome devil leaving back against the bar. Leaning back shows aloofness and a lack of interest. Instead, lean slightly towards the person you’re trying to pull. You’ll seem attentive and relaxed, and they will feel welcome and wanted.
12. Reach out and touch… but be subtle
Strangers don’t go around touching each other, because it’s an invasion of personal space. Think of your irritation when someone stands too close in the supermarket queue, or when you touch arms with a stranger on a tube train arm rest. But this so-called contact barrier dissolves when successful flirting is going on. If you break the barrier with the person you fancy, for example by allowing your knees to touch under the table, or by brushing your arm when they get up for another drink, you’re sending them a strong signal of attraction. If they don’t pull away, they’re sending the signal back.
13. Drop your barriers
Body barriers, such as folded arms or holding your drink close to your chin, tell people to leave you alone. So if you keep your arms relaxed and open, and you avoid scrunching up your shoulders, you’ll give an impression of being open, approachable and attractive.
14. Lick your lips
This is a very sexual signal, but it’s an easy one to drop into a lull in conversation. Don’t do it too much or you’ll look like you’ve got issues with chapped lips.
15. Relax your mouth
Even when not licking your lips, keep your mouth relaxed. Pursed lips are a strong sign of disapproval or anger, and they send a “back off” message to the other person. What’s more, relaxed lips look more full – and full lips are kissable lips.
16. Say it loud, say it proud
Confidence is an attractive and extremely powerful quality in the first-impressions world of dating, and mumbling is the enemy of a confident aura. If you mumble or speak too quietly, you’re telling people that you don’t think you’re worth being heard.
17. Calm yourself
Fidgeting is anti-seductive body language, so try to keep a lid on your tics and twitches if you’re trying to impress. If in doubt, sit on your hands.
18. Keep that foot still
A tapping foot suggests that you want to be somewhere else. So if you want to create a good impression, keep your tootsies under control.