Some women’s habit of flirting at workplace holds the possibility of them being viewed as more likeable among men. But, at the same time, it can make them appear more manipulative and less trustworthy, says a lifestyle study.
Set out to discover if flirting could be an asset in business negotiations, researchers were surprised to find that it came at the bottom of a list of 10 characteristics including attractiveness, honesty and friendliness. In a follow-up study, however, the same did not apply to men. The two studies in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin were carried out by the University of California, Berkeley.
The researchers started by exploring the lay belief that women can use flirtation to their advantage in professional contexts and contrast it with trained negotiators’ negative views on flirtation. “We discovered both an upside and a downside to flirting at the bargaining table,” said researcher Laura Kray, adding, “Although flirtation appears to be positively related to women’s likability, negotiators who flirted were judged to be less authentic than those who refrained from exercising their sexual power.”
Experts back home however feel that it’s a culture specific phenomenon that cannot be generalised incase of India, though it could be true in certain cases.
Explaining the possible connotations behind the phenomenon, psychologist Dr Poojashivam Jaitley of Moolchand Medcity says, “Women are not as extrovert and as outgoing as men in general. They are usually not casual about such things in life. They are cautious about relationships and always maintain a certain boundary around them. So, any woman who behaves otherwise, such as flirt with men in the workplace, might be popular among men for their approachable and friendly character, but since they don’t fit the stereotypical image of women, they might not be seem like a trustworthy person to many.”
(with input from IANS)