We see it in the movies all the time; that moment when the guy touches the girl on the shoulder and we can almost see the butterflies in her stomach. Well, it’s true even in real life. As well as being a good sign that someone is interested, Touch is also the perfect way to increase attraction.
Touch is essential to life: newborn babies die without it! The act of touching and being touched stimulates the reward centre in our brains. It creates more of the ‘feel good’ chemical, oxytocin. Oh yes, when done right, touch makes us feel good!
As a general rule, the top part of the arm and shoulder are ‘safe’ places to touch. They are personal without invading someone’s space. As we stroll down the length of the arm towards the hand, touch becomes more intimate. A slight tap of the hand, combined with a compliment and smile can go a long way towards charming your flirting companion.
Numerous studies have been done on the power of touch. Library goers rated the entire library more highly when the librarian slightly touched their hands as they returned their library cards. Waitresses got 15% higher tips when they lightly touched their customers arms whilst handing them the bill. Oh yes, this stuff works. And, according to my research into flirting behaviour, it is also a very good indicator to people that you are flirting with them. As long as you are aware of the impact you are having, i.e. you touch them and they shrivel away from you, touch is a great thing.
Have you heard of ‘The Phone Booth test’? Researchers at the University of Minnesota placed a coin on the ledge of a telephone booth, hid, and waited for an unsuspecting subject to walk in and find it. When this happened, a researcher would approach the subject and say, “did you happen to see my coin in that phone booth? I need it to make another call.” Only 23% of the subjects admitted they had found it and gave it back.
In the second part of the study, the coin was again placed in the phone booth but when the researchers approached the people who took it, they touched them lightly on the elbow for not longer than three seconds and then inquired about the coin. This time, 68% admitted to having the coin, looked embarrassed and said things like, “I was looking around to try to see who owned it…”
Why is touching someone’s elbow such a big deal? Well, there are three reasons this technique works:
- Firstly, the elbow is considered a safe zone because it is far away from intimate parts of the body
- Secondly, touching a stranger is not considered acceptable in most countries so it creates an impression
- Thirdly, a light, three-second elbow touch creates a momentary bond between two people.
Want to learn about the other signs? Just think HOT APE.
This is just the tip of the flirting iceberg, if you would like to learn how to be good at this, using scientific research on flirting, have a look at my new e-course, ‘How to Attract, Approach and Allure’.