By Menna Taher
“How many of you flirted to get your way?” Anne Justus, an AUC psychology professor, asked a room-full of students. Hesitant looks exchanged about the room. “C’mon, I’m sure you flirted to get a better price or avoid standing in a cue before,” she pressed. Slowly hands were raised.
According to Justus, different cultures have different ways of flirting. Tossing the hair is a classic way of flirting and since in Egypt, many women are veiled, constant fiddling with the veil indicates flirtation.
“Flirting is harmless fun,” Justus said, during a lecture held by the Psychology Club on the art of flirting.
Justus is an assistant professor of psychology at AUC, and has introduced several hit classes, including the Psychology of Love.
Justus explained the purpose of flirtation varies. One wouldn’t approach a summer fling the way they would a potential partner, she said.
She introduced seven steps to the art of flirting. “Meet my boyfriend Bill,” Justus joked as former US President Bill Clinton appeared on her slide show. “Bill Clinton is one of the best flirts.”
The first rule of flirting is confidence; the way someone walks indicates their level of confidence. “By walking confidently you will actually feel confident,” she said.
Another important technique is zooming in, which involves concentrating on one person through a crowd. “Clinton was very good at that,” Justus commented.
Different smiles also give away signals; a pleasant smile makes you more attractive. “But don’t give out a creepy smile,” Justus said, explaining what a creepy smile is by baring her teeth.
Telling jokes, asking for favors, and giving compliments were all listed as ways of making the target of your flirtation feel good about themselves. “But they have to be true,” Justus said. “You can’t tell a short person that he’s the manliest and tallest guy you’ve ever met.”
Justus also pointed out ways of knowing if someone is flirting with you; a man lending a woman his jacket is a sure sign whilst women will show their wrists to increase the attention and show they’re interested back.
“That’s why when you see a couple holding hands in a restaurant the girl’s hand would be facing upward,” Justus said. The cowpoke stance is one to show that a man is interested. A man stands with his thumbs in his pockets and his fingers pointing at his genitals. “It’s subconscious of course.”
Students laughed and related the techniques to their own flirting ways.
“Flirting makes you feel better,” said Nada El Araby, a psychology major. “The lecture was a lot of fun.”