Psychological Interpretations of Flirt Signals in the Show Big Brother

Flirt Signals

Most people make their mind up about others when they first meet. They may not be aware of exactly what opinion they have made about a person (like the Chantelle and Preston relationship in UK Celebrity Big Brother 2006). Often people that are attracted to each other are likely to know at an unconscious level on first meeting. It could be a sexual attraction or it could be a love for another. It could also be a beginning to a long-term friendship.

One of the earliest signs to look out for is subtle glances and subtle touching. Also people that appear to be avoiding talking to each other but that seem to at the same time ‘play-fight’ or jokingly wind each other up. In most cases people initially are unsure about whether their feelings will be reciprocated. They will try to find out normally by testing the waters and hoping the other person will be the one that approaches them.

In the Big Brother house it is normally easier to tell that two people like each other because they have cameras all around them so if one of them appears to drift off into their own little world gazing over at the other one normally a camera somewhere will notice. This gazing at another person is a common sign of attraction.

Often people will do this subtly by perhaps sitting some distance away, or glancing over a book or a cup of tea, etc. Normally when this happens what is going on for that person is that they will be talking to themselves about that person, perhaps about how they can approach the person, whether they should approach the person, will they be rejected (especially on live TV!)?

There are many flirt signals to look out for, more than I will mention here. One of the reasons for this is because they may be too subtle to  notice easily on TV.

Flirt signals the women are likely to give off:

Touching, and playing with their hair.
Turning their head slightly away from the person they are attracted to.
Giving secret glances, often just to see if the person is looking at them.
Licking lips or subtly biting the bottom lip.
Doing more for that person than for others (normally trying to do this in a subtle, non-obvious way, like offering to make that person a cup of tea (when they are the only one around) and using the excuse that they were making one anyway)
Sitting at a 45 – 90 degree angle (approx, or off to the side) to the person they like (not opposite them and not beside them, until confidence builds up that any advances may be reciprocated. Sitting next to the person or directly in their line of sight can cause the person to feel too exposed. It’s like if you meet someone you are a really big fan of and you don’t want to look stupid or give away how nervous you feel so it is harder to just walk up and sit next to them or opposite them. It is easier to sit off to the side to pluck up the courage to approach them.)
Touching their own lips with their finger.
Leaning towards the person when they are talking rather than just sitting back.
They may play-fight or be cheeky towards the person they feel attracted to.
And much more I’m not going to cover right now.

Flirt signals men are likely to give off:

Men are likely to give off some of the signals above.
They are also likely to appear to flirt with people they don’t feel so attracted to (sort of ‘safe flirting’), like flirting in a fun sort of way with someone much older or someone that just looks so unlikely for them. They won’t do more than flirt with this person. They are not likely to snuggle up with the person (although they may turn to that person if they are upset because they will feel comfortable with them).
They are more likely to speak out in defence of someone they feel attracted to and take their side more often (yet often claim they are not attracted to the person, the person just had a point or was right)
In men and women the pupils will dilate (although this is harder to see on camera), the face may flush slightly, lips will become fuller (as more blood rushes to them), more ‘grooming’ (hair combing, straightening clothes etc) will go on just before knowingly going into view of the person they are attracted to.
Likely to check themselves in a mirror before going into a room with the person they are attracted to.
Generally more tolerant around that person, letting them get away with more and doing more to help them.
And much more

With men and women what they will both be looking for is whether the other person is showing them signs like they are also interested. If they think the other person is interested, then they are likely to flirt more and see if the other person flirts back more. They are also likely to want to make a move at a time when they have an ‘excuse’ like at a party when they have been drinking and if it doesn’t go to plan they can apologise and blame the drink.

More on day-dreaming

This internal thinking effectively puts the person into a trance. Whenever you see anyone on Big Brother suddenly gaze off into space, they will be imagining something (often situations that are yet to happen), or talking to themselves in their mind. Often when they are talking to themselves their eyes will be staring downwards more, and when they are imagining something their eyes will be straight forwards or looking slightly up.

If they are staring into space looking slightly left (to their right) then they are likely to be imagining something that hasn’t happened, if they are staring into space looking slightly right (in both cases their whole head maybe turned or it could be just their eyes) then they are likely to be imagining something remembered (it could be missing a loved one, or thinking about something else they miss on the outside, etc).

The good thing about looking out for these signals is that you can notice if what you suspect is correct, and continue to improve your skills at reading people because you can continue to watch and listen and notice if they have a chat with anyone about what you suspect.

For example: if you suspect that someone was missing their partner on the outside and that they had been sitting thinking about that person, then you can look out for them talking to someone about how they are missing that person.

As you continue to watch the housemates you will begin to almost feel like you know what they are thinking just based on the 97% of their communication most people ignore consciously (the verbal and non-verbal body language)