- Gender and Relationships
Are You Shy? Learn to Flirt!
In today’s rough and tough, in-your-face world, shyness is a disadvantage -- especially for adults. It is important for you to know what you want and how to say it. While the action may seem easier said than done, there are ways to help overcome shyness. One way is to flirt. Yup, that's what I said.
Now, get your mind out of the gutter. I don’t mean flirting in any kind of sexual way, actually, just the opposite. First, let me tell you a story.
I was a very shy child-turned teenager. I rarely spoke to people and often hid myself from other kids. I never knew what to say or how to say it, and I always felt like I had to apologize for something. I never wanted to participate in things. For instance, I was, back then (and still today), a really good singer but when I was younger, I was reluctant to show the world. Learning to flirt with people was the best thing I ever did. It changed everything.
I spent many years in radio; as a reporter, anchor, producer and program host. Let me tell you, talking to people face-to-face is much harder than being a radio broadcaster. When broadcasting, I am usually the only one in the studio; all I have to do is turn on the microphone and talk. But when interviewing someone for a news story or talking to others face-to-face or leading a band and singing … entertaining an audience … that is hard work; you must keep their attention. If you are shy, it’s nearly impossible.
So, how do you learn to flirt?
The Positives About You
Start with a checklist of your best qualities. What do you like about you? It is pointless to be shy about the good things, so what are they? Never mind what you don’t like, that doesn’t matter. Accentuating the positive is the key to flirting. Showing confidence in who you are and looking people straight in the eye, this is the beginning. It may feel odd at first, but stick with the program for eventually, it will feel natural.
Next, define the word, "flirting." What does it mean to flirt with someone? Flirting is talking -- human interaction. Many sources define it as a type of “romance dance” and indeed it can be, however, flirting does not need to have sexual connotations. You can flirt with both genders regardless of anyone's sexual preference -- because -- flirting is about friendship. Whether opposite-gender or same-sex, flirting is great for starting conversations, interjecting opinions and for making other people feel comfortable. Flirting also involves asking and listening; ask people what they like, how they feel and most importantly, what they think. Listen to the answers and ask follow-up questions.
Sure, flirting can lead to romance and it often does. But it is also a way to learn more about yourself. If you can talk to anyone about anything at anytime, you can overcome shyness about doing things you have been afraid to do.
Overcome Shyness, Learn to Flirt!
Here are some basic tips ... but whatever you do is only as good as how well you make it work.
- Dress with a little more spark. What is better than a makeover or new haircut to help you fan the flame? A new wardrobe can help too. Whether the new outside-you is at work or at play, add a little color and flair to your appearance.
- Adjust your body language. Don’t hide in the background; if you are in a social scene or even at your job, be sure to stand in front. Open your eyes, look around, join in the conversation and make eye contact. Listen to what others are saying. Ask questions. Know when to start … and stop … talking. Pay attention to others’ reactions.
- Start up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Talk about the weather, music, sports, anything that is lighthearted and fun (but avoid politics and religion, you know how that goes). Make jokes, be witty and act silly. Smile, smile, smile!
- If you are flirting with someone of the opposite sex, or same sex for that matter, be sure not to offend his or her significant other. Let the wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends in on the joke and engage them to join in the conversation. Keep your hands to yourself and avoid misunderstandings by carefully judging the situation.
- Don’t be afraid to show people who you are and how you think. Some will love you, some won’t, but part of reducing shyness by flirting is being true to yourself. What they see is what they get. You are a shining star, let others see it!
Shyness is not a “disease” per se, but it can be very limiting to one’s ability to "carpe diem" or "seize the day." For younger children and teenagers, it can be a factor in how they perceive themselves and the world around them. The Shyness Institute is a gathering of resources that includes books, websites, radio show podcasts, treatments and other information. Teens Health offers a look at topics that affect teenagers today, including shyness.
Life can be rough and pretty tough if shyness keeps you from articulating the things that you want and need. Of course, not everything turns out the way we want it to, but step one is to “see” yourself in the new role you are creating. Flirt, smile, listen, react, and above all … do not be afraid. A little shyness is inside all of us; “little” is good, it keeps us humble, but don’t let shyness control the person you are. Only you can do that so carpe diem, Seize the Day!
© 2014 Teri Silver