Exercises for Flirting
Photo Exercise: Recognizing Body Language
Based on body language alone, can you tell whether any flirting is going on, and if so, how it is being received?
Audio Exercise: Recognizing Flirtatious Tone of Voice
Listen to the four audio clips and determine for each, whether any flirting is going on, and if so, how it is being received. Note that the dialogue is identical in all four clips, so you don’t need to pay attention to what is being said, only to the tone of voice.
Video Exercise: Recognizing Flirting, Interpreting Reactions
Three young women and a man are having a conversation. Is there any flirting going on, and how can you tell? If there is, how is the flirting received?
Our discussion of the video
Role Play/Audio Modeling Exercise:
With a confederate of the appropriate gender and orientation for you (not a family member, because that would be kinda weird), perform the same dialogue several different ways, focusing on the vocal cues alone. It’s as if you’re acting for the radio — you don’t need to face each other or look at each other or worry about anything but what’s coming out of your mouth. Make sure you perform it all different ways, sometimes playing the role of A and sometimes playing the role of B, sometimes flirting and sometimes not, sometimes discouraging the other person from flirting, and sometimes not. Can you switch from flirty-voice to non-flirty-voice fairly easily? Can you switch from encouraging to discouraging fairly easy? What needs more practice? You can use the same dialogue from our earlier exercises (reproduced here for you) or, if you prefer, write a different one in conjunction with your confederate.
Speaker A: So what do you think of this music?
Speaker B: I really like it, this song is by my favorite band.
Speaker A: Oh really? I love these guys too.
Have you ever seen them in concert?
Speaker B: No, but I’d really like to.
Speaker A: You should if you get the chance.
I saw them last summer and it was a great show.
What other kinds of music do you like?
Speaker B: I listen to a little bit of everything. I play in a band too.
Speaker A: That’s so great! What instrument do you play?
Speaker B: I play guitar and I sing a little, too.
Speaker A: I think that’s really cool, I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar.
Do you guys have any shows coming up?
Speaker B: Yeah, we have one in a couple of weeks.
Speaker A: Awesome! I’d love to go.
Role Play / Video Modeling Exercise
Repeat the role plays from the previous exercise, but this time film the interactions, adding in posture, distance, facial expressions, gaze and eye contact cues in addition to the verbal and vocal cues practiced previously.
Together, watch the recordings in which the other person was flirting with you, but you were trying to discourage them. What clear signals did you send that you wanted the flirting to stop? Were you too forceful in your discouraging signs (resulting in unnecessary offense)? Were you consistent in the signals you were sending, or did you end up being somewhat ambiguous in your response, sending mixed signals? How could you have made the performance clearer? Discuss, and then try again!
If you’re also interested in working on your active flirting skills, watch the recordings together and discuss whether you successfully come across as flirty when you intend to, or whether there are some behaviors that work against this performance (especially any that might indicate lack of interest or hostility).
Once you feel that you have successfully mastered this script, try the exercise again, but this time don’t follow any script! That is, act out an approach and an ensuing conversation, but it can be about anything. Can you send the appropriate signals of flirtation, encouragement and/or discouragement despite the demands of real-time, unscripted conversation?