How to Decode a Woman's Body Language

Written by sally nash
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How to Decode a Woman's Body Language
When a woman is flirting, she sometimes plays with her hair. (playing with hair image by Alexandra Gnatush-Kostenko from

Men often misinterpret women's body language, equating friendliness with sexual interest, according to "The Definitive Book of Body Language." Many women are not overt with their signals, preferring instead to send out subtle messages that are sometimes ambiguous. Sometimes the signals are just too subtle, such as giving a man a fleeting smile. However, one signal alone is not enough to "translate" a woman's body language. If a woman emits a cluster of signals, a man should feel more confident about the woman's feelings and intentions.

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  1. 1

    Observe what a woman does with her hair. Caressing, twisting and flicking the hair all indicate that a woman feels attracted to a man. The act of preening indicates that a woman is concerned about the way she looks to a man. A lot of women will twist a strand of hair round and round a finger, almost unconsciously.

  2. 2

    Look at a woman's lips to see if she is pouting. Licking the lips or even chewing them, particularly the lower lip, suggest sexual attraction.

  3. 3

    Watch to see if a woman touches her neck, throat or even thigh. This usually means that the woman is "suggesting," at an unconscious level, that a man might be able to touch her in the same spot later. "The Definitive Book of Body Language" also states that the self-touch allows the woman to imagine what the man's touch might be like.

  4. 4

    Take note of the position of a woman's knees and legs. If a woman is sitting with one leg tucked under the other, pointing her knee in the direction of an individual, it is likely that she is interested in that person. Positioning one leg tightly over the other or crossing and uncrossing the legs slowly also indicate courting signals.

  5. 5

    Monitor what a woman does with her shoes and her handbag. Dangling a shoe on the end of her foot indicates a woman in a relaxed and playful mood. If the woman places her handbag near a man then, it indicates she is interested and "accepts" the man.

Tips and warnings

  • if a woman repeatedly smiles at a man and holds his gaze it is a good indication that the woman fancies the man. She typically needs to hold the man's gaze for around five seconds and then twice more before the man begins to understand the situation.
  • Beware of cultural differences. A woman from Japan, for example, will not exhibit the same body language as a woman from the United States.

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