British men poor at flirting: study

British men are particularly bad at flirting and most are unable to tell when a woman is being flirtatious, a new study has found.

According to statistics gathered by social anthropologist Jean Smith, flirting is all too rare in Britain and when it does take place, it's likely to fail.

Smith spent more than a decade looking at how men and women interact and recently completed a four-country comparison, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

She found that flirting was rare in Britain and people just give up easily and went home; New Yorkers get right down to business; Parisians take refuge in ornate but time-proven ritual.

She said that Britain's problems start with men. Protocol dictates that men should approach women. Men know this, yet they're horrified at the idea of rejection.

"Perhaps I am intruding upon her and her friends," they think. "She might not welcome the interruption!"

New York men can cope with rejection by laughing about it with their pals and move on, however, British men seem swallowed up in despair.

British women agree that the man should approach first. But they are at fault too, as they give no clear signs of encouragement to the few men who dare, she claimed.

Smith said that what British women counted as obvious eye contact is, to men, no more than a blink.

When the British women were asked how they let a man know they are interested, they said "I look at them; I don't need to do anything physical. The fact I'm listening makes them feel important," or "I do obvious body language, like pointing my knee in his direction while we chat."

Smith said that only 35 per cent of British men could tell if a woman was flirting with them.

"It's best when women do something deliberate," one man said.

British women are slightly better placed than men as 57 per cent think they are good at spotting flirtation. Yet, it is the smallest percentage in the poll.

In Paris, 53 per cent of men and 95 per cent of women think they know what's happening.

Men are expected to make the first move, although, a full 30 per cent said that they would never approach anyone in a flirtatious way.

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