Take comfort in that fact that no one can teach you how to flirt – flirting is an individual style and individuals will react to it differently. However, you can be aware of your own flirting ability and your flirting style to ensure you portray yourself in the right light, leaving the opportunity to create that unspoken sexual tension that we are all searching for.
Often, we see individuals become fixated on ‘how to get the girl/guy’ that they forget meeting someone new should be fun and spontaneous. With this in mind, If you are out of practice or nervous, remember it doesn’t have to go anywhere. Flirting is harmless, and you can have a nice evening ‘practicing’ on new people around you. Pick a flirting style (http://www.seventy-thirty.com/blog/2015/2/flirting-series-flirting-communication-styles) to try… find what works for you…. Equally, use this time to explore the effects of different body languages – for us ladies, this may be a flirting look, touch of your cheek, open body language with wrists and palms exposed, your body faced towards your match, gentle touches… for men this may be broad stance, open arms, broad shoulders…with every person you flirt with. This will help you develop your skills, build your confidence and find what naturally suits you. Suddenly, something, which was unknown, has become something that feels very comfortable, like slipping on your favourite pair of shoes.
There are four main stages of flirting, the approach, the conversation, the body language and synchronisation.
We often hear stories and answer questions on ‘how to approach someone in a social environment?’… These top tips will help you;
Do not sit down – this makes you unobtainable. When walking around – do not look straight ahead at your end goal, look around, be open, smile, make eye contact – when with friends stand facing an open space instead of with your back to the room. With open body language and a wandering eye around the room, you are showing are available, obtainable and easy to speak to.
If your wandering eye happens to meet that of another - keep eye contact for 4 seconds. It is human nature to shy away from eye contact, making most people feel uncomfortable that someone is looking at them. However, if you notice (or feel!) someone looking at you, look at them and smile. If you feel the need to look away… make it a glace away for less than a second, returning your eyes to them quickly and smiling again. This takes practice… practice, and more practice, allowing you to become more confident. When you are transitioning from eye contact to real contact, do not make a bee-line for them, but happen to brush past them on the way to the cloakroom or bar. A gentle touch of the shoulder and asking to squeeze past may be enough for a conversation cue – if they catch sight of you approaching them, make sure you retain the eye contact and smiles.
TOP TIP: If you feel uncomfortable by eye contact, look at the bridge of their nose. This will look like you are giving them direct eye contact without having done so.
Take a conversation starter…. An accessory such as an unusual tie, belt or braces… maybe a novel necklace, hat or shawl … or a blow up parrot! This allows a way in for people to create conversation with you, beginning to build rapport and allowing them a ‘reason’ to have approached you. Remember though – it will not be all their doing, you will have to do the legwork too.
Flirting is all about showing the natural you. When you have the attention of the person you like, you enter the conversational stage. The conversation is usually lead by the male, and is key for sustaining interest, at this point… take a few seductive glances to their lips, whilst you think about LIPS;
L is for Listening – Listen to the person your speaking to, allowing you to bounce off the conversation and build rapport
I is for Interaction – create moments for physical interaction, a gentle touch, a shoulder graze. Keep eye contact.
P is for Personality – Show them who you are & your personality. Humour is key whilst flirting, keep it light and fresh.
S is for speaking – do not feel shy, this is the moment to shine
If you’re nervous or stuck for conversation topic, use your surroundings as conversational prompts – seen an interesting cocktail? Hen/stag party getting up to no good? Tried their amazing calamari? Chat about it! This gives you time to use natural flirtatious body language;
Body language for men and women is key during flirting… My blog on the Body Language of Love (http://www.seventy-thirty.com/blog/2014/11/the-psychology-of-flirting-the-body-language-of-love) explains the signs of flirting (and why we do them!) – from women nibbling their lips or drawing her matches attention to her erogenous zones, to men framing their pelvic area by placing their hands upon hips – listening to the Body Language of the person will provide you with an insight into their subconscious psychological thought and will help you respond in a similar fashion.
If you think someone is flirting with you, stop for a moment and see if they are copying your movements. You may touch your face, with your match touching their face a few moments later, you may both reach for drinks at a similar time or mimic a body stance – the copying of movements isn’t an intentional action, but instead is a natural response to becoming attuned to a potential partner and shows a connection between two people. It is the final stage of Flirting, and can be an indicator that you should both explore a possible relationship.
But what if something goes wrong?
By asking that question, you are allowing fear to hinder your thought process. Remember, flirting is meant to be fun and fancy free. However, if you are worried about flirting, below are the top three hurdles that people face;
You may want someone to approach you and you are being open-minded to the possibility of finding someone new and feel let down and unattractive when you are not approached. Stop for a moment and question if you are in fact being physically closed to potential matches. Look at Tips 1 and 2, and then ask yourself how you present yourself in a social setting.
It is not rocket science – Confidence is key! Be aware of how your own body and self-confidence affects your ability to flirt and interact with others. If you believe that you are not attractive in a sexual way, this will come across and equally will prevent you from feeling able to create sexual tension with the other person. Take time to love yourself – go to exercise classes, attend burlesque dancing class which may help you feel at ease with your body… if you feel your emotions run deeper, speak with a professional such as a life coach on how to rectify these issues.
Fear or Shame
You may be scared of making yourself vulnerable – opening yourself to rejection, you may fear that flirting will make you seem creepy or desperate, you may see sexual interest as something which is shameful or maybe that flirting will mean you have to commit to going home with the person – eliminate the fear by making flirting more familiar to you. Often fear of the unknown or the unspoken about can be the most crippling thing.
TOP TIP: Step out of negative mind-sets and ensure that you feel positive about yourself and your environment. Begin to use the flirtatious signals in environments you feel comfortable in – the supermarket for instance.
Remember, no one can teach you to flirt – but you can look at your own body language to create a move open, positive you. This in turn opens opportunities to meet new people and introduce yourself to new experiences.