Reading my Body’s Lips
Yes, you pervs, this is a metaphor for how women’s bodies communicate vital information to you all the time through her body language. Many researchers contend that as much as 80% of our communication is non-verbal. Having some fundamental knowledge of what she’s communicating through her eye contact, gestures and posture will give you more information than what comes out of those luscious lips of hers. Accurate perception is an art and one that many spend their lifetimes studying. I’ve gathered a few of the top things to look for in a woman and what it may mean to you. There are cultural, ethnic and generational differences to be taken into consideration as well, but for simplicity’s sake, here’s some general info that pertains to most women, most of the time. Yes, these are generalities, but they tend to indicate a sense of invitation, trust and safety.
Some General Indicators of Interest
- A sincere smile
- Holding a gaze for a longer period of time than normal; looking at you, then away, then at you again…it’s a way of playing “hard to get” with her glance.
- Preening/primping; making herself look good for you…things like flipping her hair, putting on lip gloss, brushing off/straightening her clothes.
- Enactment; enactment of sexually stimulating activities such as licking lips, pursing lips (like ready for a kiss) or leaving the lips open (like she’s inviting a kiss), caressing herself (like on the arms, leg or face).
- Leaning in, which gestures that she wants to be closer to you
- Copying; imitating your body language, gestures and language as to infer “I am like you.”
- Giggling, laughing, nodding
- Leg crossing or pointing of the knee
- Bowing the forehead
- Head tilting to expose the neck or touching her own neck
- Arching of the back, pushing the chest and the buttocks out
- Touching in safe places like on the hands or arms; can start as an “accidental” touch.
Many non-verbal communication experts explain that at multiple cues of this kind indicate interest. Just because she smiles at you doesn’t mean you have the green light. Looking for multiple indicators is crucial before you progress toward approaching her further. More than anything, women need to feel safe before they will invite you into their personal space. Take into consideration that the average height of a woman is 5’5”. Men are not only significantly taller, but much larger in stature. This differential automatically puts women in a position to scan their environment and those in it to ensure safety. This is something that most men cannot relate to nor do they know what it is like to be concerned with physical safety at all times. From walking to her car alone to being in a house by herself, women are ever aware of potential danger and take extra measures to protect themselves from harm. You add the media influence that puts the fear of God into us and it’s no wonder women carry pepper spray, mace and tazer guns to fend off potential attackers.
Here are some implications to you:
- Don’t take it upon yourself to “invade” her space before getting her permission (perhaps through one of the indicators mentioned above). You will likely get shot down, as she will feel unsafe and retreat. Instead, always approach with a smile and stay arm’s length from her as you approach.
- Don’t rush to “lean into” her too early in your approach. Most tense up and will put up barriers if this comes too fast in a conversation. Once some comfort and safety is established, this becomes more appropriate and can be a sign of interest.
- Find a way to get at her eye level. Again, you’re likely to be taller and larger in stature, which already feels a bit intimidating. Sit down or lower yourself so that she feels less threatened.
- When you have eye contact and go to break it, looking down instead of up or far off is seen as safer and receives a more positive response. If you’re looking up to the right or to the left, she may sense that something of danger (or your interest) is behind her.
- Be aware for cues that she does not have interest and respect her space if so. Some cues may include crossing of the arms, holding of the torso, tensely wrapped legs, blank stares, furrowed brow, turning the body away or tucking of the chin. Just because you may get one of these indicators doesn’t mean you have to run away, but know that it is a sign that she may not feel safe, may be attempting to leave your presence or that she’s not interested. We’ll talk more about how to recover from one of these indicators, but be aware that pushing or invading her space after one of these will usually close you out more.
I thought I would add a bit on indicators of interest when it comes to verbal (my favorite) communication…
Verbal Indicators of Interest:
- Sincere laughter
- Natural, easy flow of conversation
- Uninterrupted, focused attention, indicating the desire to devote undivided attention to your conversation
- She asks follow up questions, indicating that she is genuinely listening and interested in what you have to say
- Telling stories about her family and friends, indicating a level of comfort and safety
- Noticing similarities between the two of you, indicating possible compatibility
Not everyone is a wordsmith and comfortable with verbal communication. Honing this ability will serve you well, as the female species is very skilled at articulation and will want to share this method of communication with you. If this isn’t your forte, think about enrolling in a community adult course in public speaking, joining a local Toastmasters group or simply practicing with those you encounter on a daily basis to overcome your tied tongue. You will enjoy conversations much more when you are able to relax and keep the flow going.
Here are some implications to you:
- Ask lots of questions to show that you’re listening and interested in knowing more about her (review the previous track for tips on listening). Oh, and please don’t interrupt.
- Relax and don’t over think or strategize the conversation. If you don’t have anything to add, it’s ok to ask her questions and keep her talking…we all love to talk about ourselves.
- Not that I want to cramp your style, but think a bit before dropping some highly provocative or edgy jokes and comments right out the gate. This may be an interesting way to test the waters with her and get her sense of humor, but could also be too much too quickly and push her away. You can always interject this later on once you have established some comfort and safety and earned the right to be a bit risqué.
- Be willing to share some stories of your own that relate to what she’s sharing, but first allow her to complete her thought and don’t steal the thunder of the conversation and simply insert your own thoughts. In the beginning, you may want to be thoughtful about how much you share about deeply painful or unresolved matters that you’re working through. This isn’t to say that honesty and truthfulness about your past and your struggles isn’t a good idea, but this is something that you work into and come to express in time once some rapport and comfort has been established.
- Keep it balanced between serious talk and lighter topics. It’s easy to get super deep and lose the fun of more lighthearted conversation. Conversely, you may be more comfortable with more surface topics and avoid the spiritual, philosophical or intellectual talk. Keeping a balance between the two will allow you to know one another on different levels.
- Offer her your undivided attention and turn off the TV and other distractions to show her that you’re willing to remove other stimuli in order to give her your attention.
- We all can get wrapped up in long and interesting talks on the phone and when it’s good, there’s no reason to quit the conversation. In the beginning, however, you want to use phone time as the lead-in to your face-to-face time. It should serve as a carrot that you dangle in front of her, giving her just enough of a taste of who and what you’re about to make her want to know you more and spend time with you.
It’s now time to cover some basics about how to be direct, respectful and honest in your mode of communication – also known as assertiveness.