Most people think that you can flirt or you can’t. You are born into the ‘good flirt’ or ‘bad flirt’ camp and that is it, your fate is sealed for all eternity. So, all those people who consider themselves a ‘bad flirt’ think they just have to accept it.
And everyone has their own valid reason, right? You went to an all girls school? Your father left when you were young? You were a shy kid and preferred reading to play dates? You moved around lots when you were growing up?
Well, let me let you in on a little secret. Flirting is a skill and like any other skills it requires practice. There is no such thing as a ‘born’ flirt. There are only people who are more inclined to practice. Perhaps they’re more outgoing or are less scared of rejection. Even the shy girl can make eye contact from across the room. Sure, meeting new people, quickly building rapport with strangers, and immunity to rejection comes naturally to a few people, but they really are in the minority. The rest of the population has to practice!
The fact is, everyone thinks that they are a worse flirt that those around them. Everyone thinks that everyone else is having a much easier time than they are. In my line of work, I’ve heard it said time and time again. These kinds of ‘reasons’ or better yet excuses provide people with a reason not to make a change. They accept that they aren’t natural flirts and close that door on themselves.
Think back to school. How did you learn a new skill? Did you pick up a recorder and start rolling
out great tunes? Did you learn multiplication tables through osmosis? When we were younger, we accepted that learning new skills was a process; it was something we had to put effort into. We weren’t good at things to begin with, but with time and patience we improved.
So why don’t we approach life like this now? Why can’t we accept that we need to learn to flirt?
Of course you feel awkward smiling and asking that cutie at the gallery a question. You’re not used to it! I bet you felt awkward first asking your French teacher a question in French! Malcolm Gladwell posits anyone can become an expert in anything after putting in 10,000 hours of practice. Wanna be an expert flirt? Better get cracking then!