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This all may be eye-rolling advice but some of it is still worth jogging the subconscious about:

> When asked about flirting, most people – particularly men – focus on the verbal element: the ‘chatting-up’, the problems of knowing what to say, finding the right words, etc. In fact, the non- verbal element – body-language, tone of voice, etc. – is much more important, particularly in the initial stages of a flirtation. When you first meet new people, their initial impression of you will be based 55% on your appearance and body-language, 38% on your style of speaking and only 7% on what you actually say.

I can't be the only hacker in here who has wondered why a slickly produced shallow essay got more interest than the substantive essay printed on a static HTMl file set to 12 pt. Times New Roman/100% width. How Apple managed to succeed despite the respect of many an intelligent hardware enthusiast is a classic example.

This is partially related to attractiveness, yes, but all things being even, the presentation that is more thoughtfully welcome, accommodating, and empathetic...regardless of content...will have a surprisingly higher reach than we might expect

> their initial impression of you will be based 55% on your appearance and body-language, 38% on your style of speaking and only 7% on what you actually say.

AFAIK, the 7%-38%-55% rule has been debunked. See also:


It's not so much debunked but that it only applies to certain types of communication:

"Total Liking = 7% Verbal Liking + 38% Vocal Liking + 55% Facial Liking. Please note that this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e., like–dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable. Also see references 286 and 305 in Silent Messages – these are the original sources of my findings."

It is debunked. Wikipedia states that Mehrabian's experiment included only women, and that subsequent experiment found contradictory results on the relative importance of verbal and non verbal cues. What remains is a collection of factors letting one build a theory of mind of the other person, decide the other's attractiveness or lack thereof, etc..

And flirting is very much a like-dislike situation.

That was also my theory, but it results in a cruel zero or one binary world. Here is a more friendly one. Imagine a probability distribution (lets say a Gaussian :))over all possible partners. Now, there is a small number of people that really, really like you (they are at the right end of the Gaussian). Also there is a small number of people that you will never have, no matter how hard you try (left end). Now, for anyone in between the two opposites you will need to actually do some work :), and in the process you can make them shift to the left or right. By improving yourself, you can also improve the shape of you distribution :)

You can also do things to increase your variance (e.g. tattoos).

:) right back at you, big boy. ;)

> their initial impression of you will be based 55% on your appearance and body-language

My female friends tell me that if a guy comes up to talk to them - your body language gives away that you're interested whether you know it or not. You don't have to say it. In fact, it can be awkward if you do say it right away without justifying it (e.g. 'you are hot' v. 'i like your aloofness').

Even the nerdiest person has thousands of years of built-in intuition that trumps all conscious analysis.

The hardest step, for me, is just putting yourself out there.

The problem is that "putting yourself out there" goes against your intuition, and by priming your mind this way, you also turn off the useful parts of your intuition.

If you try to start a conversation in fight-or-flight mode, your body language will betray you, and it will either end quickly or carry on awkwardly.

That is why the number one lesson in being good with women is being comfortable in their presence. I don't really think that by "putting yourself out there" you are "priming your mind " to "turn off the useful parts of your intuition". Its just an irrational fear that you try to get rid of

What narcissistic "pickup artists" effectively say is that women also know if a guy is interested in a long-term relationship or a short term one, and will avoid guys who seem too clingy. Asking for a long term relationship is a bad idea, because it's asking for too much, too early.

(I also am encouraged that style of speaking is only 38% of the equation...it's a lot of energy to break away from monotone)

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