Ladies, lead not your male colleagues astray

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And what I mean by this is: Don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, and for the love of Pete cut out the smiling.

This from LiveScience, via my (male) friend Gerry: “Clueless Guys Can’t Read Women.”

More often than not, guys interpret even friendly cues, such as a subtle smile from a gal, as a sexual come-on, and a new study discovers why: Guys are clueless.

Researcher Coreen Farris of Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences found that men, especially young men, have trouble distinguishing friendliness from come-hitherness. Interestingly, the study, to be published in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science, also found that

it goes both ways for guys – they mistake females’ sexual signals as friendly ones. The researchers suggest guys have trouble noticing and interpreting the subtleties of non-verbal cues, in either direction.

Farris conducted the study on college students, but no doubt this extends to the work world as well—particularly for Gen Y workers. I’d think such doltish inability to read nonverbal cues has real-life significance beyond the horror of mistaking your female boss’s kindly encouragement as an invitation to her bedroom, although surely that would torpedo your job. Interpreting colleagues’ and managers’ behavior is key to getting along and getting ahead in the workplace, is it not, friends?

Anyway, is this true? Any tales of young men mistaking female colleagues’ friendliness as something quite else?