flirtingDo you consider yourself a master flirter?  How about an OK flirter under the right circumstances? How about someone who has little clue of what flirting means? How long has it been since you last consciously flirted with someone?

Let’s break flirting down to its simplest definition. Flirting is any shared moment between two people.And when it’s done with an intention of relating rather than controlling, it can be fun and exhilarating both for the giver and receiver.

Anyone can be effective at flirting at anytime.  It doesn’t require learning a cool act or memorizing nifty pick up lines. That kind of forced flirting to control the outcome (get noticed, a date, etc.) can be horrible for everyone involved.

Why not make flirting a dance of grace and ease? Listen to your heart and approach another person honoring the difference you can make in the moment.

Flirting as a relating dance has only two requirements: Stay honest and in the present moment.

Today I flirted going into church. The elderly greeter and his wife were at the front door handing out programs. I caught his eye, smiled and said “Good morning, aren’t you looking bright and cheerful this morning?” He hugged me and his wife chimed in how great they were both feeling. I shared my appreciation for their bright welcome to the morning.

If you don’t think this was a flirting situation, it might be that you are buying into the notion that flirting is only done when there are romantic intentions. Go beyond the definition you learned as a teen, that dating is the precursor to hooking up.

Instead, think of flirting in the adult version: sharing a moment to relate. Don’t wait for Romance. Practice flirting as an artform and you will build your confidence and abilitiy to relate to anyone at anytime.

Flirting is a beginning. It’s one way to create the kind of relatedness you desire in your life. And you get to delight others with your honesty and openness along the way.

In her book, Truth in Dating: Finding Love by Getting Real, Susan Campbell, Ph.D. listed the seven steps to conscious flirting:

  1. What am I feeling right now?
  2. What do I want?
  3. What am I willing to risk?
  4. Can I now speak the truth?
  5. Can I now listen openly to the other’s response?
  6. What am I feeling and thinking now? Do I still want the same thing?
  7. Do I stay or move away? (Do I do this openly or not?)

How does conscious flirting look in action?

This story is from when I was still single and practiced flirting as an art form to attract “Mr. Right”. I happened to be shopping at Home Depot and started a conversation with a handsome man by asking his advice on the right tool.
Here’s how the process worked (correlates to the above 7 steps):

  1. I was feeling attracted to his easy-going confidence and generosity.
  2. I wanted to get to know him better.
  3. I was willing to risk looking like a fool and getting rejected.
  4. I asked him if he had time for a cup of coffee to continue our conversation.
  5. I listened openly to his response. (No, he had to get home as his wife was waiting of him.)
  6. I felt my disappointment and shared it. (I did not feel personally rejected, as it wasn’t about me, and I changed my mind about the coffee).
  7. I said that I hoped his wife appreciated him and thanked him again before I moved on.

And even though I didn’t get what I originally wanted in #2, I learned an important lesson. I got beyond my fears. I could approach someone and even if I got a “no”, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I enjoyed meeting a nice person who wasn’t available.

Do take the opportunity when it presents itself. Be in the present moment and say what you are feeling. Do face your fears so you won’t have regrets or “should haves” later.

Even though Mr. Right wasn’t shopping at Home Depot that day, I felt proud for taking the risk and another baby step to building more confidence. I think I made his day too as I am sure he went home to tell his wife that some beautiful babe hit on him at Home Depot.

Don’t wait until the perfect is just right, as you might get a bit rusty in the meantime. Shine now. If you are single, practice flirting everywhere, especially when relating to those that don’t fit your picture of “potential” mates.

If you are in a relationship, give the gift of flirt. It helps you both feel vital and sexy. Take my advice, practice now and often.  Build up your muscle in relating to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Do you have other flirting tips that have worked for you?

Jane Wolfe is an artist and an improviser guiding individuals and groups to find their own unique gifts and express their unique talents and wisdom. Life is not scripted. We live with the unplanned and unexpected. Jane discovered the art of improvisation as a metaphor for life. It teaches individuals how to react and respond to life’s opportunities and challenges in a way that invokes the best of their creativity, innovation, communication, teamwork and leadership.