Understanding The Fine Line Between Flirting, Friendliness In The Office

By Jessi Roti
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Flirtatious behavior is common at the workplace (no matter how many policies are emphasized in employee handbooks). Between 40 and 47 percent of employees surveyed in a 2013 Psychology Today report said they had been involved in a workplace romance, and 20 percent said they were receptive to an office romance, which implies some flirting might be going on.

Chicago Tribune

A compliment on your outfit, tousle of the hair, smile from across the room or playful nudge as you pass each other, all signs of flirting, right?

If you’re on the receiving end, you might be asking yourself, “Is she flirting with me?” “Is he just being friendly?”

There’s a fine line between being flirty and overly friendly, and the question of intent can weigh heavily on one’s mind, whether these niceties are warranted and reciprocated, or not.

Flirtatious behavior is common at the workplace (no matter how many policies are emphasized in employee handbooks). Between 40 and 47 percent of employees surveyed in a 2013 Psychology Today report said they had been involved in a workplace romance, and 20 percent said they were receptive to an office romance, which implies some flirting might be going on.

Flirting may lead to a workplace romance, but does it require intention?

“Flirting doesn’t have to be intentional,” says Heather Noman of Three Day Rule, a matchmaking site. “You don’t have to have a major crush before you start flirting, especially in public. We really suggest being open to the people around you, whether you’re waiting in a line or wherever, having your head up from the phone and taking advantage of that. Just keep it natural.”

“That natural banter may not be there if you’re focused on one person,” says fellow Three Day Rule matchmaker Casey McDonald. “When you have (natural banter) with someone, it’s the piece you would’ve never known if you were always flirting with intention.

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