Flirting With Colleagues Relieves Stress & Improves Self-Image, Says Study

Have you ever found yourself being attracted to a fellow colleague and wanting to engage in some harmless flirting? With many companies having a strict ‘no-flirting’ policy, it might get hard to make a move on a co-worker you romantically like.

However, a recent study claims that flirting with colleagues reduces stress. According to a report by Mail Online, harmless flirting, a few compliments, and stolen glances between colleagues improves a person’s self-image and relieves them from various ‘stressors’ in their lives.

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The study has been conducted by Washington State University assistant professor Leah Sheppard. Leah along with a team of researchers from the US, Canada, and the Netherlands focused on “non-harassing social sexual behavior”. They call this “sexual storytelling” which includes jokes, innuendoes, “very tame” flirtatious behaviour, such as “exchanging coy glances” or complimenting one another’s looks or clothes.

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More than 100 people were subjects in this research and found that they enjoyed flirtatious behaviour, but from peers only. The study also found that the same behaviour from a superior made people uncomfortable and resistant.

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The researchers felt that with many companies having restrictive behavioural policies, it might bring awkwardness among colleagues. Professor Leah said:


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“Zero-tolerance rules can add awkwardness into what are pretty naturally occurring behaviours within established friendships. At the same time, we’re not encouraging managers to facilitate this behaviour. This is just something that probably organically happens. Managers also should be careful in engaging in flirtation themselves, especially with anyone at a lower level. As soon as there’s a power imbalance, you risk entering the domain of what might be perceived as sexual harassment.”

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Now you know why you instantly feel happy when someone you like at work just smiles at you!

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