Home » The Science of Flirting: Being a H.O.T. A.P.E. by Jean Smith at TEDxLSHTM (Transcript)

The Science of Flirting: Being a H.O.T. A.P.E. by Jean Smith at TEDxLSHTM (Transcript)

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Jean Smith at TEDxLSHTM


Watch and read the full transcript of flirt interpreter Jean Smith’s TEDx Talk: The Science of Flirting: Being a H.O.T. A.P.E. at TEDxLSHTM conference. This event occurred on September 15, 2015.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: The Science of Flirting: Being a H.O.T. A.P.E. | Jean Smith | TEDxLSHTM


Let me ask you something. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve asked yourself the following question: is this person — is this person flirting with me?

Picture the scene. You’re at a friend’s party. You sashay into the kitchen, because well, we all know that’s where the fun is. And you see an attractive stranger, getting a drink refill from a box of wine. Your friend’s a student. And so you get a drink refill and you say something hilarious to the attractive stranger. Attractive stranger laughs. Good for you. And then for the next few minutes there’s some eye contact, more talking. But then after a few minutes you start thinking is this person flirting with me? Sound familiar, anyone?

See the person sitting next to you, it’s happened to them. The person in front of you, it’s happened to them. You see this is a universal conundrum. But no more! Because in the next 10 minutes I’m going to tell you the signs of flirting and never again will you wonder: is this person flirting with me?

I’m Jean Smith. I’m a social anthropologist who studies flirting, a flirtologist, if you will. Now as a flirtologist, I do research, I write books, I give talks. And I work with clients, both private and corporate, all with the goal of helping people to become better flirts.

So I can see some of you sitting there, you’re thinking: really? Is this necessary? I mean teaching people how to flirt? Yes. Yes, it is. I’ve been doing this for over a decade. And if the question: is this person flirting with me was popular then. It’s now everyone wants to take it to prom popular, because over the last decade the way that we flirt has changed dramatically. People are relying more and more on digital ways of communicating. But let’s face it, an emoji with its tongue sticking out, it’s only going to get you so far. At some point you’re going to have to meet in person. Unless of course you’re Japanese male, and in that case you could go on to marry your video game girlfriend Rinko.

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So it’s part of my quest to help people become better flirts. I did research. I went to the cities of London, New York, Paris and Stockholm and I researched the flirting behavior of its inhabitants. And I found there were six things that they all had in common. Six ways that they could signal they were flirting and understood when someone was flirting with them. And I teach this as H.O.T. A.P.E. It’s the six signs — it’s an acronym for the six signs of flirting.

So what if I were to say to you: you must be a parking ticket, because you’ve got fine written all over you. Would you laugh? Well, ‘H’ is for humor. Raise your hand if you thought my joke was funny. Go ahead, don’t be shy. OK, everyone with their hands up, I would totally date you. Well, if my husband weren’t such a control freak. But anyway if you didn’t raise your hands, it’s not a good match. It’s just not going to work between us. But it’s me, not you. But this is a good thing because HOTAPE-ing people it takes time.

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