One day earlier this spring, a dog walker I passed (a tall, but average looking dude who I wasn’t terribly interested in), commented on my sunglasses. I wasn’t sure if he was flirting or not. I already knew that I wasn’t interested, but afraid to engage or lead him on, I didn’t flirt back. But why didn’t I? Flirting is harmless, especially in open spaces and either during the day or in the company of others. It makes you feel good, it makes them feel good… so why is it underrated, complicated, and only allowed if you’re romantically interested in the person you’re flirting with? Why has it become a taboo or just a subject that isn’t discussed?
Well, this will be no more. All right, y’all, lets dissect flirting. EVERYONE loves to be flirted with, no matter what. Even if you’re not interested, you can admit that having someone throw out a flirtation in your general direction is always a wonderful feeling. Why? Because everyone loves to be acknowledged that they’re sexy.
Why am I going on about this? Because, generally women don’t take compliments or flirting well—because we’re afraid that we’ll have to put up with whatever comes after, and you’re just not what we’re looking for. Men sometimes don’t quite get how to flirt without being so aggressive. Everyone should be aware of the fact that sometimes whomever is sending forth the flirt isn’t always looking for more. In fact, the best flirts, are flirting ONLY FOR THE MOMENT with no goal other than to flirt. I have friends call me out all the time for flirting with the waiter or waitress… I’m a heterosexual woman, but I’m not above or below flirting with anyone. In fact, I flirt with babies like crazy!
In the 80’s there was a movie called My Blue Heaven, in which the character played by Steve Martin has a philosophy of: I tip everybody, and its not tipping I believe in, its over tipping. Basically, the character is not afraid to palm anyone a bill to get what he wants. I have the generally same feeling about flirting. Why not just do it with everyone?! You never know the benefits you’ll reap!
What if you don’t know how to flirt, if you think you’re bad at flirting, if you enjoy being flirted with, if you enjoy flirting. My answer to all of these is: why not do it? In a way flirting is kind of a “pay it forward” action. What? Yup. Think about it: I flirt with you. You feel good, sexy, handsome, and have a high feeling about yourself, you’re going to flirt with someone else to see how far you can stretch that feeling, and without knowing it you’re giving someone else the happy, high on life feeling, too.
When it comes to flirting, there are some easy guidelines to follow. Seriously, try this out first on people that you don’t really care about an outcome with, or people you won’t see again—that way if you crash and burn, you will feel embarrassment for a moment and then can move on.
Seeking women—shoes, earrings, hair, face, and the hand/wrist area are always good safe places to flirt about. Aka—that bracelet makes your eyes sparkle. Your earrings give you a statuesque look. Those shoes make you a perfect height. And yes, they can be that silly.
Seeking men—compliments and flirting about a man’s height and strength are always appreciated. Again, stay away initially from sexual body parts. This isn’t to say you can’t add a sexy tone to anything you say, just overt sexual flirts will return you with overt sexual overtures or the person running away. So, stay neutral in your flirts—at least for now.
When receiving flirtation, stop yourself if your sizing up the person. Seriously, stop. Pretend the flirt is a compliment and only a compliment. How would you take it or feel if I just said—hey, you look great in that color! Think about it. Now how would you respond to me? Most likely, it’s a genuine and simple, “thank you” with a smile attached. A flirt is really just a compliment of you being alive and in this spot at this moment. Really. Take it as just that. Smile. Be happy to be appreciated. If you feel like reciprocating, do.
Flirting is simple and fun. Keep it easy. Keep it light. Keep doing it daily! You’ll feel more confident and people around you will to. Just remember to keep it appropriate in places you frequent, and pay attention to social cues—if its unwanted, stop with that person and move on. Don’t take it personally. Flirting is fun. It should be easy, and if you’re not good at it, practice for a while. Hey, you could even do a Joey/Rachel situation and sit around with a group of friends and flirt with each other to see what works and what doesn’t. (“How you doin’?) And if all else fails, say something and smile and wink. (Go ahead, practice in the mirror first… I won’t tell.)
If you’re looking for more on this subject, check out our book out this fall! Stay tuned for more details!