You know the basics. A little lingering eye contact here, a little smile there... but once you've graduated from Flirting 101, where do you go next? Why, here, of course! Check out my five tried-and-true tips for mastering the flirt. ;)
1. Be fearless.
The first step is always confidence. Believe that you are desirable, awesome, and attractive – because you are! It’s like a job interview; you can’t be desperate. You have to go into it thinking, “They’d be lucky to have me, because I’m the best!” And yeah, it can be really tough to think you’re great sometimes. So fake it ‘til you make it! Or better yet, get a pep talk from your best friend. Those are the best.
When I’m hanging out at bars, I always stand up straight and walk with purpose. Owning it (it being everything) attracts people! From there, all it takes is a little flirty eye contact, and voilà – a conversation is sparked. When you look like you’re having a great time and comfortable in your own skin, it’s magnetic. People can’t help but want to be closer to you.
2. Practice your moves.
When it comes to flirting, there’s nothing like practice to help build your confidence. Waiters? They’re practically paid to flirt with you! Baristas and bartenders? A very flirty breed! These people are looking for tips, so they want you to like them (and hence, often flirt up a STORM). True story: I learned everything I know by hanging out in coffee shops and flirting with baristas. Check out their moves, and give it right back to them. After all, I always find that it’s easiest to be flirty and charming when there’s nothing riding on the outcome. That just goes to show that it’s totally a mental game – when the moment comes, don’t psych yourself out! Practice flirting in low-pressure situations, and pretty soon you’ll be a pro.
3. Make ‘em laugh.
If you can joke with someone, you can flirt with them. It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a comedian! Just be playful and silly and yourself. Poking fun at somebody is one of my favorite ways to get flirty – it makes me feel in control of the situation, because it places all the attention on the other person. It’s great for those who are a tad shy. A little bit of sass shows that you’re a fun person to be around, and you don’t take life too seriously. And plus, playful teasing can quickly turn into a longer conversation (as in, you’ve got an in!).
4. Get creative about contact.
A little touch on the arm, a play-slap, a lingering hug hello… getting physical can go a long way. But depending on your current level of familiarity with the object of your affection, sometimes you have to get creative about how to make contact. I’m probably starting to sound a little creepy here… but honestly, as long as it’s consensual (<== THIS PART IS V V IMPORTANT), it’s a fast way to heat things up and let the other person know you’re interested. If touching is still a bit of a reach for you, try just standing the tiniest bit closer to them than normal.
This might just be me being weird, but honestly, sometimes I like to tell people about my body-building parents, and then flex my tiny bicep for them. I’m the weakest person in my family, for realsies, so letting them feel how ridiculously small my muscle is establishes contact AND demonstrates my feminine vulnerability (JK, heteronormativity is WACK. Girls can be strong too!)
5. Get caught red-handed.
I tell this one to my gal pals all the time: Don’t be afraid that he’ll figure out that you’re flirting with him! THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF FLIRTING. They’re supposed to know you’re interested in them! Because when you break it down, flirting is simply hinting at the fact that you’re interested in somebody. Whether you’re interested in something casual or serious, whether they’re a crush or the love of your life, whether the hinting is subtle or in-your-face – it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Liking somebody is the most natural thing in the world, and it’s something that happens to everybody! So never be ashamed about making your feelings known.
(Disclaimer: Flirting is one thing, and inappropriate advances are another. If someone comes right out and tells you to stop what you’re doing, listen.)
And of course, remember to smile, be friendly, don’t be shy, etc. You know the basics. These are the next level tips! And I’m confident that you’re ready to put them into action. ;)