30 Juli 2009

Flirting Dos

* Although sometimes it seems that there are very few similarities between genders, some basic guidelines apply to anyone who is about to flirt it up with the opposite sex. The main goal of flirtation is to convey that you are interested in the other person without coming out and saying it (which can invite rejection and embarrassment). But it's worth restating that flirting doesn't have to be romantic at all. In fact, you may be better off just thinking of it as a good general social skill. These dos and don'ts will help you accomplish more with your flirting.

Flirting Dos

1. Do be prepared.
* This especially applies if you are going somewhere like a party where you know you'll likely be seriously exercising your flirting muscles.
* Make sure you're showered and smelling nice. This seems obvious, but an offensive odor or bad breath really tends to hamper your flirting abilities.
* Wear clothing that reflects your style and fits your body type. Dress yourself so you'll be feeling comfortable and confident.
2. Do make eye contact.
* This is one of the simplest and best ways to determine whether or not you should initially approach someone.
* You can tell a lot by that first moment of eye contact. Hold the contact with them for a few moments, then slowly look away. Be careful not to stare and look creepy... A smile or friendly expression can help avoid this.
* If they smile back at you, the flirting has officially begun.
* If you catch them constantly looking at you, that's a good sign you should talk to them.
* Retaining good eye contact while talking to them shows that you're interested.
3. Do control your body language.
* Body language is everything. The fact is, what you say is not nearly as important as what you do.
* Confident body language is the key ingredient to flirtation. You do not want to look insecure or afraid of talking to someone new.
* Standing up straight and keeping your head up are two basic elements of good body language. Be sure you look approachable. Don't cross your arms in front of you, and keep your hands from covering your face. Be careful not to keep your hands in your pockets all the time, and never put them all the way in.
* Mirroring is an effective flirting technique which involves making similar movements and assuming the same positive body language as the person you're flirting with.
* Be very aware of how your gestures and movements reflect your confidence level. Too much hand fidgeting can make you look nervous, for example. Just remember that you want to relax, and look cool and comfortable.
4. Do initiate converstation.

4. Do initiate converstation.
* When flirting, it really doesn't matter what you say so much as how you say it. Consequently, having an arsenal of witty pickup lines isn't really necessary or recommended.
* Often, just saying "Hi" is all it takes to start up a conversation.
* Making an observation (about something they're wearing, about the crazy party you're at) is a great way to begin. Try to think of something they haven't already heard 10 times that day.
* The more unique your conversation starter, the more you will stand out. The more you stand out, the more interesting you seem. Just remember that if you do decide to use a pickup line to begin the conversation, try to pick one that is appropriate, funny, and innocuous.
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Use observations about your surroundings as conversation starters. (Creative Commons photo by Ingrid)
Use observations about your surroundings as conversation starters. (Creative Commons photo by Ingrid)
5. Do engage them with how unbelievably interesting you are.
* Once you've begun talking, your next challenge is to not bore them to death.
* Funny jokes are always good, but you can really be impressive if you show off your listening skills.
* Ask questions and bring up things they said earlier in the conversation. This shows them you've been paying attention.
* Don't treat it like a job interview; you don't need to dive in and start asking them for their name, birthday, hometown, favorite color, and number of siblings. Mix personal questions about them with funny observations about that guy doing a keg stand in the corner.
* Slowly reveal interesting and relevant information about yourself as the conversation goes on. Highlight things the other person mentions that you have in common, as this can be a great way to keep their interest and perpetuate the conversation.
6. Do use humor.
* One of the best things two people can share while getting comfortable with each other is a good laugh. Make them laugh, and make them laugh often!
* Be careful not to get too comfortable when joking around... Cross the line with a joke and you may never be able to recover.
7. Do smile.

7. Do smile.
* Keep the conversation light and positive and don't forget to smile.
* Showing that you're enjoying yourself will help both sides stay in the moment and know that nobody's getting bored.
* You don't have to look like it's the single greatest moment of your life. A friendly smile will do just fine.
8. Do look out for signs and signals.
* Keep an eye out for warning signs. If you come across signals that this person is not interested in flirting (or even talking) with you, make a swift and immediate exit. There will always be someone else to talk to instead of wasting your time and effort on someone who isn't interested.
* Some bad signals include looking around the room for what else is going on, turning their back to you, grabbing the nearest person in a desperate attempt to stop talking to you, and throwing a drink in your face.
* Also be aware of positive signals like open body language. Some of these are detailed in the gender-specific sections below.
* It takes some practice to learn to recognize all of the signals. The more you flirt, the more you'll understand what their responses mean.
9. Do seal the deal.
* So your flirtatious encounter has been going well... Great! Now would be a great time to ask for a phone number or email address (which can seem more non-confrontational). Otherwise you may miss a golden opportunity to see this person again.
* You could also give them your contact info, but doing so puts the ball in their court and you risk them not calling you.
* Once you have successfully done this and maybe even made arrangements to see each other again, make your exit. The longer you stick around, the more chances you'll have of blowing it.
10. Do practice.
* After all, practice makes perfect. The more people you flirt with, the better you'll get at knowing what you should be doing and what to look out for. Plus it's easy... You can practice flirting with people every day!

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