Real-Life Flirting Skills
You Charmer, You
We're not afraid to say it: You're never too old, too married, too anything to flirt. It just never goes out of style. For heaven's sake, what is the definition of flirting, anyway? It's just another term for turning on the charm. "It's the chemistry that exists between people," says Leil Lowndes, author of How to Be a People Magnet (Contemporary Books, 2002). "Between men and women we call it flirtation, but do the same thing at work and it's called charisma, or with a girlfriend and we call it friendliness. It all comes down to adding a pleasant layer of connection, lightness, and fun to your interactions."
In other words, flirting may be a great way to get the attention of the opposite sex -- just like a peacock's tail, a firefly's glow, or a baboon's red behind -- but even when you're attached or just not looking, flirting can be a playful, harmless pastime. What's more, a well-placed wink at the right time can actually help you ease your way out of an uncomfortable confrontation, or help you get what you want.
We're obviously not talking about flashing cleavage, Samantha Jones-style. There are lots of nonsexual flirting techniques: standing close, holding eye contact, touching on the arm or shoulder, keeping your body language open. But the most alluring skill you can learn is just to hush up and listen. "Paying deep attention to someone -- making that person feel like the center of the universe -- makes him or her feel fantastic," says Lowndes. "You validate them, make them feel good, and that makes them like you and want to be around you more." Just being quiet and behaving like your mother-in-law's monologues are fascinating can net you a reputation as a sparkling conversationalist.
So how do you use those tried-and-true flirting skills in fresh and new ways? Read on for some real-life scenarios you might find yourself in, and a little advice to help you implement your newly-rediscovered charisma.