To some people flirting or talking to members of the opposite sex comes naturally - to others, especially introverts, it can seem impossible.
With the Christmas season upon us you'll probably find lots of opportunities to chat to new people and the prospect of flirting a little might be daunting.
Whether you're at a singles event, a Christmas party or just a Church service - there's often an opportunity to make a connection. Some of the tips below might seem obvious to you but I've lost count of the number of times I've seen something simple ruin potential romantic vibes. Don't miss your chance to connect with someone this festive season!
1. Preparation and presentation
Taking care of yourself and your appearance is about more than just attracting other people of course - but most people will notice little details like nails and shoes when you're chatting up close.
Before you're in a potential flirtatious situation - make sure you're well presented and put some thought into what you wear. Clean your teeth, put on some aftershave. It will show that you are thoughtful and careful as well as making you more attractive.
2. Make a move
It's no good standing on the sidelines waiting to be noticed. Even if you're a shy person you're going to have to buckle up and go and speak to someone. Striking up a conversation shows confidence and initiative - both attractive qualities.
Think of something interesting to say or a question to ask - you will probably find it easier than you think once you take the first step
Being chatted up by someone who looks like they are waiting on death row is no fun. Smiling shows you are warm, friendly and relaxed - not as though you are forcing yourself to make an effort (even though that might be closer to the truth!)
4. Ask questions
Asking questions is such an easy way to make conversation and it takes the pressure off you. Why don't you think of a few in advance - before you're standing there with sweaty palms trying to decide what to do with your hands and hoping there's nothing stuck in your teeth.
Questions like -
'Have you had a good week?'
'How's work going?'
'Are you having a good evening?'
Asking questions shows you are interested in the other person and that you'd like to find out more about them and their life.
5. Know when to end the conversation
We've all been in that situation where the conversation peters out and you're both left standing in an silence.
If you are an introvert this is a pitfall you need to watch out for.
You need to be as assertive about ending the conversation as you were about beginning it. Think of a line to round it up
'Right - great chatting to you. I think I'd better go and find my friend.' *Perfect
- You've shown an interest but left them wanting more, you're being assertive and you obviously have other things to do and people to talk to.
6. Follow up - appropriately!
Right - this is where you have to make a judgement call - might be worth checking with a friend at this point if you're not sure - you could either go for a facebook friend request or instagram follow or just try and catch the person the next time you're at the same event.
Or if you're really bold you could message the person and ask if they're like to go for a drink - I've said yes to dates a few times just because I was impressed with the guy's assertiveness in asking.
7. Practise makes perfect
Flirting is not easy and, as with everything else in life, you get better at it the more you practise. There will probably be disasters and failures along the way (I once panicked when I was chatting to a guy and started telling him about putting my bins out in my pyjamas) but this is not a reason to give up. Take every opportunity to talk to someone new - whoever they are. This will build your confidence and let you practise keeping a conversation going when you're not under pressure.
So this festive season - whether you feel confident or terrified - just go for it - nothing ventured, nothing gained!