We don’t blame you if the phrase “flirt your way to the top” doesn’t sound like the wisest career advice.
But, as it turns out, research has shown that certain types of flirting—that is, making an immediate connection with another person to create artificial closeness and comfort—can help you get more than a date.
In an interview with MarketWatch, Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communications at the University of Kansas and author of “The Five Flirting Styles: Using the Science of Flirting to Attract the Love You Really Want,” explained how we flirt with people every day. Hall says that flirting is simply a form of persuasion. “If someone is really good at faking what it’s like to be generally interested, they’re going to get a lot,” he told MarketWatch. “People are able to simulate flirting to close a deal, get a free drink or get out of a parking ticket.”
One effective type of flirting, according to Hall, is what he calls “physical flirting,” which uses eye contact and touch, and is most adeptly practiced by people in their 20s and 30s, and disproportionately mastered by women. He also profiles other types of flirts, including “playful” flirts who flirt for fun, “polite floaters” who get to know a person before turning on the charm and “sincere” flirts who connect through deep conversation.
No matter what your flirting type, it’s not exactly surprising that our manner and body language affects how others treat us, whether at happy hour or a morning meeting. If striking a two-minute pose can increase your confidence, why shouldn’t flashing a smile get you a deal?