Some say that you should only flirt if you’re interested in a relationship, while others maintain that a little harmless flirting can go a long way in any situation. Of course, the key word there is ‘harmless’. If you feel weird or the other person is clearly uncomfortable, it’s time to back off.
So why is flirting a useful skill to learn?
When you flirt, your aim is to make someone feel good about themself – that they are interesting and desirable. Who wouldn’t want to make people feel better?
As an added bonus, when people feel good around you, they are more likely to go out of their way to help you (be careful not to abuse this though).
It’s a good way to get to know someone you might be more seriously interested in. The way they respond will tell you something about them, as well as whether they might be interested in you in return.
How can I ramp up my flirting skills?
Make eye contact
Don’t stare (which might be creepy) but do throw a few glances their way. When they catch you at it, hold their gaze for a moment, smile then look away.
Find something to genuinely compliment your flirtee on
Perhaps you admire something they’re doing or wearing. Stick to safe compliments though – nothing too sexual, especially if you’ve just met them.
Show interest in your flirtee
Ask them a question that allows them to share something about themselves and then listen to their answer. Without getting too personal, especially at first, finding an area of common ground is first prize.
Use body language to your advantage
Turn towards your flirtee and keep your posture open – don’t cross your arms or legs.
Keep it casual rather than intense
Don’t take it too seriously and don’t overdo it. That way you can gauge your flirtee’s response without scaring them or getting too attached to the outcome yourself.
Know when to call it quits.Flirting is a bit of a numbers game – some will respond positively while others may not. Move on if the person is clearly not interested or if you realise you aren’t really interested yourself.
Image credit: Aimée Wheaton via Flickr