I read this article ages ago. It listed some signs that people might miss as signs that someone is into you pass off as just being friendly or polite.
As someone who is always overthinking and reading too much into things, I can relate to this! I would try to counter overthinking and deny these signs or assume these things are all in my head and that they’re just being friendly instead, waiting for a more overt sign. Unfortunately, more shy and respectful people are probably more likely to use “micro-flirting” techniques and get passed over for others who are more confident or explicit with their intentions.
Things like the time a person messages you (midday vs booty-call time), how they start the message conversation (“wyd” vs “hey, what’s up”), and remembering little details about past conversations and all the times you’ve spent together (paying attention vs nothing is memorable) can easily and understandably passed off as being friendly and polite, even on a platonic level and not as romantic interest. Personally, I rate all of these as “signs” but I would not assume or act on these.
And it works the other way as well. I would think that my small gestures are so obvious as indicators and be confused if they aren’t acknowledged. My friends would say “people aren’t mind readers, you have to say more and do more to let them know how you feel”. Being a shy and respectful person myself, you would think that I would be able to recognise micro-flirting.
But I think that’s the point of the article though. Sometimes we don’t need to wait for the large gestures like a formal invitation to dinner picking up a tab, or looking for any excuse to touch or prolong a hug to know if someone might be interested in you. Sometimes, the smaller actions deserve to be acknowledged.
OR can micro-flirting be considered a way to not commit to feelings and avoid rejection?
I think this last thought depends on the situation and how long micro-flirting persists for. Micro-flirting, to me, should be used to test the waters and gradually build up courage to be more overt with your intentions once there seems to be a bit of reciprocation of interest. Too long, and micro-flirting can be seen as stringing someone along. Barely doing enough to seem interested but not make it obvious enough to commit. This confuses people while giving the micro-flirter an out if they needed to back out of any commitment. If you think this is happening to you, I think you have to ask a question outright to get some clarity.