Flirting is as much a way of being as it is a way of doing. Three parts mindset; one part action. What’s lessons can we learn from a grade-A flirt? He or she is open and receptive, generous and giving, and a little vulnerable. And remember, it takes confidence to be vulnerable…. Flirting is all about the part of you that wants to have fun, and is ready to say: “Wanna come out and play?”
Let’s do some visualization to get you in the right frame to mind. Think of someone you know—someone who may be interested in you already. Close your eyes. Imagine that person standing beside you now, looking at you with interest. Be open to it. Envision a lively conversation filled with a strong emotional connection. This person clearly gets you and likes what he—or she—is hearing. Next add subtle yet stimulating body language and you have a recipe for successful flirting.
The great thing about flirting is that it can happen anywhere, any time. You don’t need to put it in your calendar or set aside time for it. Nor do you ever cross it off your list. It can be part of your day, spontaneously, and happen over and over with anyone. Someone you have met for the first time, a new romantic interest you have just started dating – and even folks who have been married for years. Anyone can flirt! And what, you may ask, is the point of flirting? Well, it’s fun, for one thing. But it has an important role to play in relationships. Flirting shows that you like someone and that you find him or her interesting and attractive. Today, tomorrow, or in fifty years.
Flirting is a spirited game between two people and you don’t want to miss out on the fun just because you are not sure how to play. First of all, make sure you can read the signals. If you are not sure you can, practice. Look around you at other people to see if you can tell when active flirting is going on. If you know but are not sure why, analyze what small gestures, actions or words clue you in that they are being flirtatious.
Then you can take note of your own interactions with others. Do you flirt without realizing it? Are you shy or do you feel awkward? There are some tips below that can help you get in the swing of it. But remember, if you are having fun flirting but realize you are not really that into each other, exit graciously and immediately. Remember, if your best flirt doesn’t seem to land well for someone, you are not being rejected, it’s simply that what you are offering doesn’t fit what they are looking for at the moment. A person can easily decline a great flirt or romantic advances for logical reasons (geography or schedules), or illogical reasons (hair color or the Zodiac) or for no reason at all. Do not take it personally. You have nicer people to meet.
Now…let the games begin
For the purposes of this blog, let’s assume we’re talking about flirting with someone you don’t know and have just met. Before we get started on the “tips,” check out this clip from an episode of Friends called, “The One Where Ross Can’t Flirt,” just to get things rolling.
And don’t worry. The actor had to work hard to make flirting look that terrible.
Read the tips below and you’ll never “pull a Ross.” Here goes:
- Smile. It gets them every time. It may seem obvious to you now, but you would be surprised at how many people, in the moment, forget the value of a smile that goes all the way to the eyes. Even if you are nervous, bring on the smile, make eye contact, say hello and introduce yourself.
- Body language. Use it. You may not be multi-lingual, but your body language is. It conveys more volumes of information than any words ever could in a short period of time. In fact it is believed that only 19% of what you communicate to others is done through the spoken word; the rest is expressed by the body’s language and by tone of voice. Open body language says you are interested and interesting. Stand tall with head high, comfortable posture, arms relaxed and lean into the other person.
- Physical contact. Now I don’t mean you have to side-tackle the person from across the room so you can help him or her up off the floor and thus start a conversation…. Though that would be very innovative, I’m really talking about the perceptive and sensitive use of touch. Physical contact is simply the most powerful flirting tool. A hand placed briefly on a man’s arm, for example, or at the small of a woman’s back as you move to take a seat. By observing and mirroring someone’s body language you will be able to determine what kind of touch is appropriate.
- Talk. Obvious, right? But very hard for some. You are not reciting your résumé or giving your life story, chapter and verse. This is just flirting, remember. So start an easy conversation. It’s fine to talk about yourself –maybe tell a funny anecdote, something that happened at work or on line at CVS. Or you can talk about what is going on around you at the time. Ask open ended questions; “What do you think of the band? What’s your favorite music?” Listen to what they say and adjust the conversation accordingly.
- Give a sincere compliment. Emphasis on sincere. Try to find an attribute that the person you are talking with seems most proud of and mention that. It could be looks (“You have the cutest smile”), clothes (“Your shirt brings out the blue in your eyes”), or hair (“Your hair style is very becoming”).
- Part gracefully. And that means getting what you want from the moment aka not wasting a good flirt. If you would like to see this person again, say so! Try this: “Would you like to meet for a drink sometime next week?” Nice and straightforward. That’s the key: be clear that you are interested. If you say, “Nice talking to you,” you seem headed for the friend zone and all your great flirting just went down the toilet.
When you are flirting, show your confidence and you will be enticing and sexy.