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Why are some so against learning how to read people in flirting?

  1. Dec 8, 2009 #1
    Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    It seems like it would be useful to read people rather than be blind? Am I misunderstanding here, or do many not think it necessary to even try to read others?

    I have trouble in reading if a woman is interested or just trying to be friendly. Earlier in college, there was a woman in one of my classes who would always smile and sit next to me in class. Then after class she would walk with me and talk until she went past her next class. This would happen like every day we had class together. There was this one guy in class who'd act very friendly toward her. One day she walked in class, paused, looked at him, then me, then him, then me, smiled, and came over and sat next to me. So after two months of this, I decided to ask her on date. When I finally did, she told me that she would have to see because she thought she was doing something with her roommates and would let me know the next day we had class. Then that next class time she didn't sit next to me, although she always did. After class she got up and walked out of class quickly. I then tried to catch up because I had to find out. She then finally said she was dating a guy. Then another time, some guy I knew said that some woman (different woman) told him that she didn't know what my problem was, because I wouldn't ask her on a date and she thought it was supposed to be obvious that I should. I asked the guy who the woman was, and he said he didn't know but that she referred to me. I was confused because I had no clue whatsoever who it could be. Then later on at work there was a woman who would often smile and give me girly waves. One time she was doing something with her teeth. I said, "You shouldn't do that, it could hurt your teeth." Then all of a sudden she smiled, leaned forward and said, "So... Why are you interested in my teeth! :smile:" with a big grin. I didn't do anything because I thought it might have been possible she was flirting, but you never know.

    So you see why it may be helpful to be able to read people/situations? So I went to Yahoo!Answers asking about this, and some woman said you can find out by testing the waters by lightly flirting and see how a woman responds back, to get a rough idea of whether she's receptive. She said you can try lightly touching the woman on the arm to get her attention when talking, or when joking with her. If she acts uncomfortable, then that's a lot less of a rejection than asking straight out for a date and she rejects. If she smiles, giggles, or does something to flirt back, then that's a good sign. Later on, I also came across some peer-review journal articles where they had hidden cameras at public social gatherings, etc, where researchers found most of the time when a man asks a woman on a date or some similar thing, the woman sent out a pattern of a type of body language, and most of the time when women don't send out this body language they don't get asked out (they kept number counts for all of it and used the Scientific Method). There are also follow up studies where they would test some of these body language patterns and found they correlated with how women would rate how attracted they were to a man (both personality and looks wise).
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2009 #2
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    None is against the fact it's useful to read ppl. The fact is that you are on a misguided path. Behavior equations wont help you read a women. Wont help you get laid.

    And besides, you are not supposed to read women and go after the ones who want you. You are supposed to get the women which you want.

    In your example you should have saved yourself 2 months by simply asking the women out in the first day if you liked her. Would have left you 59 days for other things.

    Why are you reactive ?

    Who cares if she was flirting or not. If you like her, than do something about it. Your life is about *YOU*. YOU are the guest star. It's about what you want, and about the women you want to have, much more than being about the women who might be flirting and want to have you. They are just an added bonus, to which you may say yes or no. Many women will like you. Though luck. Many wont be interesting, plain and simple. Go after what you want, not after what is being offered. Sometimes
    the two can coincide. Sometimes not.

    It's not the ability to read ppl which you lack, you lack the ability to take action IMO. Learn this before learning to "read" others.

    Leave yahoo and peer review , go out , get some action, and be the star. 5 days in the field will give you more experience than 5 years of research :P
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  4. Dec 8, 2009 #3
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    What about being "creative"? There's not only entertainment creativity, but also scientific creativity, where you come up with new scientific ideas. Isn't flirting without being aware of equations the usual way? Do we even have any equations invented and on paper for this yet?

    To show where I'm coming from, if a woman makes a wedding cake out of baby diapers, everyone's like "That's so original!" So I went to Google and looked up "diaper wedding cake" in quotes, and thousand of results came up. Most women who make diaper wedding cakes didn't think of the idea themselves, but rather saw someone else do it and thought it would be cute to "copy". I emailed some various professors across the nation who have published in peer-review journals for flirting, and asked them if they knew of any mathematical equations on how to know if a woman is interested. They said they hadn't heard of any equations like that. So if I can do that, and then use it to successfully read women, then that means there's an accomplishment and creativity (even if it's scientific creativity rather than entertainment creativity, Isaac Newton was that way).
  5. Dec 8, 2009 #4
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Do you want to get laid or be 'creative' ? This is a very serious question.
  6. Dec 8, 2009 #5
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Here's something maybe worth considering, earlier I was with a guy. He drove up to a random women stranger in the parking lot who was sitting down. He rolled down his car window and said, "You're beautiful! Do a lot of men ask for your number?" She folded her arms, and looked up and away. Later he told me that he wanted to tell her that she was stuck up. He wasn't too good at reading women, and he does things like that with random strangers all the time, and they look like they want to get away (although I'm bad with body language, I'm good enough to read the BL when random strangers act that way around him). He works as a bagger in a grocery store and will often tell random customers that they're beautiful. Another guy told me that his friend said it was creepy how this guy asked her on a date while waiting in the checkout line right in front of her mom. Then this guy from the store also told me how he got written up for sexual harassment because he just walked up to a co-worker and kissed her on the cheek. This guy is almost 30 and I've heard from some people that he's tried asking random stranger 13 year olds on dates right in front of their mothers. My sister knows him and told me that a lot of women think he's creepy, that they don't think that way about me, and that I should avoid him so it doesn't rub off.

    So that's a big reason why I think it may possibly be a good idea to learn how to read people and social situations. I mean, if you make a wrong move?
  7. Dec 8, 2009 #6
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    I do not think you can find equations for this 27k. There may be behavioral patterns which you can pick up on but they are not necessarily sure fire indications. I have known multiple females who tended to be very nice and affectionate towards people in general and left many people believing that these women were interested in them romantically when they only wanted to be friends. I have also known several women who thought that they were giving rather clear signals to someone that they were interested but they were far more subtle than they realized.

    Through research you may be able to come up with the statistical probability that a woman may be interested based on certain signals and combinations of signals. It would only be probability though. About as firm a basis for a strategy as it is in poker.

    Lol... Very serious indeed! :-p
  8. Dec 8, 2009 #7
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    This man you describe is just a creep. He probably does not care about their body language and is only interested in what he wants and not how they will react to him.

    While it may be unavoidable that some women some of the time may think you are creepy when you approach them it is not hard to not be a creep. It definitely does not require an equation.
  9. Dec 8, 2009 #8
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Hello ? 30 asking out 13 ? Call the police. You dont need an equation to tell you is wrong dating thirteen when you are 30, I hope.
  10. Dec 8, 2009 #9
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Indeed. So instead of living social situations and meeting ppl and actually interacting socially, you are on a quest pf finding equations on behavior, isolating yourself. Mailing to researchers Vs talking to a girl. Internet research instead of real social interaction. Thinking vs acting. Can you see a pattern ? The idea that you can learn to be more social savvy is a good one. Your approach, on the other hand, doomed.

    So what if you make a wrong move ? Life is wonderful even when you are wrong. Its wonderful even when one of the hot babes you wanna do tells you to "**** off". I know no one who didn't made a wrong move in his life. I know I did a lot of them. This is how we learn. Dont be so scared of being wrong, and interacting socially.
  11. Dec 8, 2009 #10


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    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Both, in this particular order. Being creative alone is much less fun.
  12. Dec 8, 2009 #11
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Ok, then I suggest getting laid , then getting creative in bed:devil:
  13. Dec 8, 2009 #12


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    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    I have already told you that there are people who are professionally trained in social communications and who have specialized in flirting behavior. Just doing random statistical tests is not going to impress anyone in the scientific world.
  14. Dec 8, 2009 #13
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    27Thousand, I think you should take a completely different tack. It's clear from things you've said about yourself that you are an AS person. That being the case, there's some chance, depending on how you do it, that you'll have success now and then with a shockingly direct, frank tactic.

    There is a guy I know here who's pickup strategy is unique to the best of my knowledge, but he actually succeeds with it. He is rather fat and unattractive, wears thick glasses, but he behaves calmly and solidly, and always seems self-possessed. His strategy is to approach a woman and strike up a neutral conversation, which can meander to any subject - the weather, music, recent news, whatever. Eventually, if the conversation is going smoothly, he'll gently say something along these lines: "You know, I'm not very attractive, and I haven't gotten laid in a long time. I'm not looking for a girlfriend or wife, I really just want to have sex sometimes. I think, right now, I'd really enjoy having sex with you. Just sex, no attachments. I hope you don't mind me being so frank, but I always find it cheesy when guys pretend they want to get permanently involved with a chick when they really are only looking for some good sex. So, there it is, what's running through my mind: I am sitting here pondering if you'd be interested in having casual sex with me."

    This all is delivered very casually and gently, as if he is merely describing what's going on in his mind, ruminating out loud, so that there is no sense of desperation whatever in it, and no pressure on the woman. According to him, and other people who know him, one time out of ten, the woman says yes.

    So, 27Thousand, I think what may work for you is a variation on this tactic, an approach rewritten to encompass your Asperger's or HFA. It's a numbers game, so the first step is to meet and become friends with as many different girls as you possibly can. Don't ask any of them on a date, just become friends with them. Never remotely suggest you have any romantic interest in them.

    As you become friends you can tell them about having Asperger's (or HFA) and make sure they understand as much about it as possible, especially about how hard it is for you to read body language and unspoken signals, how you're always afraid you're saying and doing the wrong thing, how frustrating it is to not just have a sense of social interaction like everyone else does. Let them ask you questions about it.

    Then, at some point down the road, you can try out the shockingly direct approach described above, but rewritten to reflect your own situation: "You know, I'm very afraid because of my AS that I'll never be able to understand how to get a girlfriend. I'm not sure I even want a girlfriend. But I think about sex a lot, and I think I'd really enjoy just having sex. I actually think it would be cool to have sex with you, in fact, just to see what it's like, just for the fun of it. I'm really curious what it's like. I'm not sure it's allowed to say you want to have sex with a girl if you don't want her as a girlfriend, but I guess i say a lot of inappropriate things. Can't help it. I bought some condoms yesterday. "

    Now I think this is really worth a try. Ignore it if women here post saying they would turn you down: they're of the nine who say "No". You are looking for that tenth girl who will say yes, even if it's only out of pity or curiosity.
  15. Dec 8, 2009 #14
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    In my opinion, OP is hiding behind the possibility of there being a a"god equation" for social interaction.

    Much safer to talk about it, than do it. Much lonelier as well.
  16. Dec 8, 2009 #15
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    OP, for the statistical, 1 out of X (where X >>>> 1) you don't need all the AS and self pity part. Save a little dignity and just tell them "I want to have sex with you". It's kinda unpractical to hammer your self esteem more saying "Im sick, I have have Asperger, I think about sex a lot and never get it" Pity sex does work sometimes, but you are better without it :P

    One thing you may want to consider in the statistical approach is to consistently hit on women with low self esteem and pretty ugly compared to you. They are usually more than happy to oblige. Your chances will grow.

    Legend has it "El Che" was a first class womanizer and he used a lot to sleep with ugly women, to increase his numbers. Not that the bastard didnt had his share of hot babes...
  17. Dec 8, 2009 #16
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Something to maybe consider, you have a degree in biology. Outside of the field of biology, many may not be interested if someone in the field has a flash of insight on a hypothesis to test and an experiment to test it. Those outside the field may not care about mitochondria or genetics (except people like me because I'm typically interested in most Sciences). Likewise, the same may be for research on flirting psychology.

    Check this out, I emailed one of the psychology professors from my university and his response:

    "I'm not certain if you can reduce relationships to linear statistics, but if you could, it would insure your professional future. Most authors are happy to share their data, if they can find the files. Often there is an address listed to contact one of the lead authors at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the journal article. If not, google search will identify current contact info for most psychologists. Good luck in your data collection AND in your statistical attempt. Most of us go about relationships in a haphazard way, collecting data on "what works" and "what doesn't work" so we can replicate success and avoid failure. It would be fascinating to document how to predict those encounters. Keep me posted."

    I'm actually not planning on reducing it to "linear" statistics, but rather using some other curve fitting techniques as a starting place, and then maybe even combine techniques into unique/useful ways. I'm not planning on making an equation for just one study, that wouldn't be too original since the author could have already done that, but rather I want to find some patterns across studies and then go to a place and make my new found equations falsifiable! If I do happen to be successful with equations for reading women, as far as it being unique, I emailed a professor who's considered to have done some of the biggest studies in non-verbal flirting in women. This is what she said about finding equations to predict whether women are flirting/interested:

    "I don't know of any study that has done what you described below. And, I just completed a review article for The Journal of Sex Research.
    It will be out in the spring and I think I got most of the studies dealing with nonverbal courtship behavior."

    If I came up with something, I'm sure she'd be interested. Given the tables I've seen in some of her peer-review journal articles and other researchers, it looks like there are some areas which have a big enough correlation/effect size to create some sort of equation (even if not exact). Then an equation may be good at saying what situations the exceptions to the rules (as far as numbers in the table) are. I know there's the null hypothesis and various exceptions to the rules could have been due to chance, but that's why we have statistical significance testing, and that's why I'm teaching myself the R Statistical Computing programming language so that I can eventually be quite good at looking at it from all sorts of angles, running tests, and coming up with innovative equations for women!
  18. Dec 8, 2009 #17


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    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Surely you must be joking. It is your time and your life, you can do with it what you want.

    If I want to know what gene causes a disease I just look what the experts have to say about it, I don't go and do the statistical analysis from scratch.
  19. Dec 8, 2009 #18
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Keep in mind I think you have plenty of valid points. As far as observing and working with a mentor that you talked about earlier (which I've heard works), probably my biggest concern leading to me wanting mathematical equations is I posted on PhysicsForums about reading flirting traffic signals. Some said that they thought body language was too vague, but at the same time I know it has impacted me, so it was like I was between two difficult places. Also, some said since you can't measure it as easily, it wasn't Science even if they use the Scientific Method and hypothesis testing. Given that many historians say coming up with mathematical equations is what set Galileo/Newton apart from others, that got my attention as far as making knowledge about flirting useful knowledge, plus more Karl Popper falsifiable. In the Hard Sciences, they don't always come up with exact equations, but also come up with equations that for example predict "when you have these variables, 80% of the time it'll be between this and this range." They can make those equations falsifiable.

    As some insight into why I may think this way, in another study that I looked at they had 45 pairs of women and men wait in a room when the researcher was supposedly taking a phone call. They didn't tell the pairs beforehand that they were secretly videotaping them from behind a one-way mirror during the wait. Afterward, they gave both sexes in each pair a survey on how attracted they felt to the other (both personality and physically wise and on a scale how likely they would go on a date). They found there were some correlations between certain body language and the rating women had for the man (although women rating personality attractiveness was much higher than for the man's physical attractiveness), and had a table of correlations in the authors' peer-review study. For example, a woman primping her clothes without a visible necessity had a positive 0.35 correlation with interest. For others reading this post who may not know as much about Statistics, that means the R^2 was 0.1225 or that 12.25% of the differences was related to primping. However, if the woman showed the primping (plus there was frequency of primping involved), it doesn't specify what the percentage of those who rated the man as attractiveness (direction). Also, although just looking at one body language behavior alone may not possibly be so predictive, it could be insightful to see how all of them add up on that list and if there's a combination/interaction effect where the probability goes up if any two/three of them are combined at once. It could be interesting to see if looking at the whole of all the body language a woman has says anything. Then as far as coming up with something that one researcher doesn't have available to himself, look across studies to see if any patterns occur, and how the context of the study may be a variable.

    I don't know if that makes any sense where I'm coming from, or if you still don't think it'd be useful?
  20. Dec 8, 2009 #19


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    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    In the game of sexual selection, women could very easily have "cheater-detectors" to detect men that aren't fit but pretend to be using all that pseudoscientific crap theory that's erupted on the intranets lately.
  21. Dec 8, 2009 #20
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Coming up with mathematical equations for reading flirting would be like "candy" to me, and I have a sweet tooth. Yes I know I got that from Flo Rida's Sugar song, but it describes the situation.

    This candy got me sprung, this candy got me sprung,
    So it'll help me find my sugar, the coefficient of determination in Statistics will help me find my sugar,

    It's sweet like,
    Da, double dee, double di,
    Double dee, double da, double di,
    It's sweet like....
  22. Dec 8, 2009 #21
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Right. Drive an Maserati. See what it can fish for you.
  23. Dec 8, 2009 #22
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    What happens if you discover the "attraction equations" and when you use them, you learn with a mathematical precision no women is interested in you ?
  24. Dec 8, 2009 #23


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    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    I'm right at that age where it might not even be interpreted as a midlife crisis.
  25. Dec 8, 2009 #24
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    If you can afford a sport Maserati would you really give a damn about some looser with a fat wife and working graveyard shifts at the local water company labeling you as entering "midlife crisis" ?
  26. Dec 8, 2009 #25
    Re: Why are some so against learning "how to read people" in flirting?

    Pseudoscience, if you don't mind me asking do have some references? Something you may want to consider, Science means that it follows the Scientific Method and is verifiable by the public and can be replicated. If it's in peer-review journals which can be reviewed by other experts and it's required to use the Scientific Method and use hypothesis testing, how is that not in the field of Science (even if it's not as hard science as Physics or Biology)?

    Don't you think this is another benefit of predictive mathematical models for women, to make it more measurable across studies? They use quantitative methods within studies (null hypothesis testing, effect size, etc) which consistently say something's going on (even if some criticize that it's small effect size), but coming up with mathematical models across studies would be great.

    Keep in mind: In Physics Newton said gravitation is a force, then Einstein said it's curvatures in spacetime and NASA says Einstein's idea predicts the evidence better, and that the reason Newton is taught more isn't because of truth but because his equations work in most situations and are less complex. They have quantum mechanics, which Einstein said doesn't fit reality but rather only describes. Instrumentalists criticize Physics as only being instruments in making predictions and equations, but not necessarily objective reality. So why isn't the Theory of Gravitation and Quantum Mechanics considered pseudo-science when many believe they're almost guaranteed to change in the future? It's because they follow the Scientific Method and are the best explanation for the available evidence. Why wouldn't the definition of Science mean it follows the Scientific Method and is peer-reviewed?
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