Hey hey, it’s the continuation of my “Tell Me Something Good” series, aimed at providing tips and techniques to help improve your communication skills. (And it only took about 5 months in between lessons! Yikes.)
Lesson One was to Speak with a Smile in Your Voice; a small change which yields great results… and something everyone is capable of. Lesson Two focused on one of the most frequent exchanges in communication – Asking.
Today I’ll like to teach you a thing or two about flirting. That’s right; good old fashioned eyelash-batting, sidelong glancing, giggling-like-a-schoolgirl flirting. What does flirting have to do with communication? Everything.
Now before you go all shy on me and say, “I can’t flirt!”… of course you can. Are you married? Have a boyfriend? Ever been on a date? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, YOU CAN FLIRT. I know so because it takes flirting to put a ring on it, put a bed under it, etc. etc.
But why should you incorporate flirting into your daily communication? Technically, it’s not really flirting you’re after, but rather the little tricks and techniques that come together to successfully “reel in your catch”. And for the purpose of this article, your “catch” can be anyone from the UPS dude to a potential employer; a little g-rated flattery can (and should) be applied generously and often, to both women and men alike.
(Flirt with a woman? An employer? YES! Flirting doesn’t always have a sexual or provocative undertone… a large component of being a flirt is simply engaging people in a charismatic way.)
Whenever I meet someone new, I like to flirt my way through my 5(+) C’s:
1. Confidence. Your level of self-esteem and confidence are highly in your control. I’ve never liked hearing the phrase “he/she shattered my confidence” because truly, you – and you alone – have the power to make or break your stride. Confidence is an attractive trait that people are inherently drawn to; in terms of communication (or “flirting”) it shows that you are proud of who you are and what you have to offer. Stand up straight, look people in the eye and have the courage to tell yourself that you’re a Pretty Big Deal (PBD). Just don’t confuse confidence with arrogance – it is possible to love yourself without being overly proud or insincere (see: Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino).
2. Charm. Paging Captain Obvious; you can’t be a good flirt if you’re not charming. And why not charm people? It takes so little effort to smile, pay attention and show that you’re interested. Charismatic, captivating people have open and inviting body language – they make eye contact; lightly touch people’s hand or arm when telling a story; toss their heads back when laughing. In short, charming people are both desired and desirable.
3. Courtesy. Or complimentary. Or conscientious. Or Christ-like. In other words, be nice. I should probably direct y’all back to Lesson One – Speak with a Smile in Your Voice – because this one line pretty much sums it up: “people REMEMBER nice folks just as much, or more, than they remember nasty peeps.” When I was young, magazines instructed girls to be aloof; to act disinterested and often rude to suitors in an effort to play hard to get. I never quite understood this reasoning and rebelled against it, going out of my way to be sweet and smiley to everyone I met. Turns out I’ve always been “in demand”, both on a platonic and hey-baby-can-I-have-your-number? level.
4. Conversation. To be a good communicator, one must be comfortable starting – and leading – conversations. Brilliant conversationalists are not born everyday, but there are a few easy steps to honing your own skills: make eye contact, speak clearly and coherently, use language familiar to the listener, stick to the topic, know when to speak and when to listen, express an interest in what’s being said, and know when to excuse yourself and move on. Of course, if you can do all this while incorporating 1. confidence, 2. courtesy and 3. charm, my work here is done!
5. Class. Whether flirting for kisses or flirting for a new mortgage rate, keep your words, actions and demeanor classy. Remember, interjecting a little fun and coyness can do wonders to improve your rapport with others, but only if you keep it light and cheerful.
There you have it! A few solid examples of how you can incorporate the principles of flirting into your everyday life to make you a better communicator.
Tell me – are you a flirt?