So, you’ve encountered an issue which requires the ear of a good friend, who you can normally rely upon to be the voice of reason. Somehow, he or she always knows just what to say to cheer you up, bringing a smile to your face. After all, that’s what friends are for, right?
What happens when a friend or acquaintance misreads the situation, assuming you are opening a door for them to walk through? It surely paves the way to a difficult and undoubtedly uncomfortable conversation. In your mind, you are trusting this person to help you, clearly understanding your interaction is purely platonic.
How is it a friend misinterprets the friendship, assuming intimacy and romance are lurking below the surface or your conversation? Sometimes innocent gestures, or discussions held in confidence are read as flirtatious invites to alter your relationship. After all, touching someone while talking to them is a non-verbal queue, signaling you are comfortable with them, sometimes indicating you are interested in more than a friendship.
Keeping in mind how anyone can be mislead from personal gestures, or contact from an attractive member of the opposite sex might help you avoid future situations. While you might be the kind of person who likes to express your point with contact, be conscious of the persons’ reaction when you touch them. If you observe a response which appears to arouse curiosity, address the issue as it happens. It may feel odd to apologize for making contact, but at the same time, you are providing another non-verbal queue stating you’re not interested.
Test this theory out. You will understand how body language can alter the interaction with acquaintances you want to remain simply that. Unwarranted, or unwelcomed physical contact will have an unconscious affect on the other person. Touching their arm, they make slightly pull away, indicating they are not looking for contact, or intimately interested in you. However, if someone doesn’t move, and allows your contact, they are interested in you and will surely misinterpret your actions.
Is it possible to go out for lunch or dinner as friends? Absolutely. Is it important the other person understands this? Definitely. You may have to clear the air, stating you are going out as “friends”. Setting the boundary should help eliminate confusion, letting your friend know there won’t be a long kiss goodnight, or nightcap. You owe it to yourself, and your close friend, keeping you both close without the risk of losing a bond or a confidant.