Posture

Another positive sign is what psychologists call 'postural congruence' or 'postural echo': when your partner unconsciously adopts a posture similar to yours. Mirror-image postural echoes -where one person's left side 'matches' the other person's right side - are the strongest indication of harmony and rapport between the pair. If the position of your partner's body and limbs appear to 'echo' or 'mimic' your own, particularly if his/her posture is a mirror image of yours, the chances are that he/she feels an affinity with you.

When flirting, you can also use postural echo to create a feeling of togetherness and harmony. Experiments have shown that although people are not consciously aware of someone deliberately 'echoing' their postures, they will evaluate a person who does this more favourably. If you 'echo' your partner's postures, he/she will not only feel more at ease in your company, but will perceive you as more li

This technique obviously has its limits. We would not suggest, for example, that a woman in a mini-skirt should 'echo' the open-legged sitting posture of her male companion. But if he is leaning forward with his left forearm resting on the table, she could create a sense of common identity by 'mirroring' this aspect of his posture - leaning forward with her right forearm on the table.

In addition to these 'generic' signals of interest, there are specifically male and female posture signals which are often seen in flirtatious encounters. These tend to be postures which enhance the masculine or dominant appearance of the male, and the femininity of the female. Males may adopt postures which make them appear taller, larger and more impressive, such as placing hands in pockets with elbows out to enlarge the chest, or leaning one hand at above shoulder height on a wall to appear taller and more imposing. Females either adopt postures which make them look smaller, such as drawing the knees towards the body when seated, or postures which draw attention to physical attributes attractive to males, such as arching the back to display the breasts, or crossing and re-crossing the legs to draw attention to them.

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