Flirting may or may not come naturally for some. So, here’s how to overcome your nerves and learn how to be confident when flirting.
People talk about flirting as if it just happens naturally. But if you’ve ever wanted to know how to be confident when flirting with a stranger, you know that organic is not how it would be described. Flirting can be awkward, and it usually is. You want to seem confident and clever but things come off as nervous and confusing.
Whether you struggle with confidence or not regularly, there is something about flirting that makes all those nerves rise to the surface. You may have thought about flirting with your cute coworker and had the best opening line but when you actually head over to try it out, you can barely tie two words together.
Although this is totally normal, you want to be confident when flirting. You want to make the other person comfortable with you, and in order to do that you need to be comfortable with yourself.
You might get frustrated with yourself when flirting because you are normally confident, but these moments bring out your most self-conscious thoughts. Why? Well, flirting isn’t the same as just talking. Flirting comes with a bit of vulnerability. Flirting is about letting someone know you’re interested subtly.
You are making yourself available in a way, and there are a lot of reasons why that would make you lose confidence.
You may be afraid of rejection, you may be nervous about actually dating, or you don’t think you’re great at small talk which is usually involved in flirting. These fears and hangups can make you flustered, so when you approach someone you find attractive, you are sweaty and nervous rather than confident and classy.
But, you don’t have to let fear or nerves take control in these moments. You can learn to be confident when flirting with some practice and perspective.
Confidence is not something you can purchase. No matter how great your outfit is or how nice your car is, confidence comes from within. Even if multiple people hit on you over the course of an evening, approaching the person you’re interested in can still be extremely nerve-racking.
Going into flirting with a different mindset can give you all the confidence in the world.
#1 Give yourself a pep talk. I know this seems cheesy, but our minds tend to remind us of our biggest insecurities when we’re nervous. When you are about to go introduce yourself to someone, you are thinking about your breath, your snorting laugh, and other things you’re self-conscious about. [Read: How to flirt with a friend and tease them without being weird]
Instead, remind yourself of what you have to offer. You are funny and smart and attractive. This person will be happy to get attention from you. This person is not aware of your nerves. Looking at yourself through your best qualities and what you’re proud of is key. You don’t want to go up to someone to flirt while thinking about something negative. Think about how you felt when you got that promotion or signed your first lease. Use those moments to enter into flirting.
You should feel the absolute best about yourself. You don’t want to approach someone by apologizing for bothering them. Approach them knowing that you are a catch and they are lucky to be talking to you. This confidence will rub off on them and help the entire flirtation feel more natural. [Read: Is your negative thinking ruining your life and chances of finding love?]
#2 Be unavailable in your mind. I know this sounds like a game, but hear me out. When you’re in a relationship, you are hit on more than ever before. This is because you aren’t available. You aren’t looking for anyone to flirt with. You are happy and happiness increases confidence.
When you’re happy, people want to be around you. They want your happiness and confidence to rub off on them. They aren’t seeing someone who is second-guessing themselves, but rather not even thinking about what others see in them.
It seems like it would be difficult to do this while looking for someone and actively dating, but it is possible. The reason we are less confident when single is because we believe a relationship will bring us happiness. Instead, be happy on your own. This will give off the vibe that you don’t need someone but want someone. Flirt as if you are taken. It will help ease your nerves and the fear of rejection because it is justa simple conversation rather than an introduction into possible dating. [Read: 20 life-hacks that can make you super confident]
#3 Remember this is just a moment. Flirting is not a relationship. It will not define you. It will pass. Whatever fears you have, this person is unaware of them. You are thinking more about this more than they are.
Remind yourself that flirting can be a few minutes long. Whether you’re flirting with a stranger, a friend, or anyone else, it is temporary. If it is awkward or they’re in a relationship that will pass.
Maybe you approach someone and they say they aren’t interested right off the bat. It will sting for a minute but it will not affect your life. It is a simple moment. Go into it as you would any other moment. Try not to overthink it. Don’t think about where you might go on a date if you have a connection. Don’t worry about how to give them your number or what you’ll talk about. Overthinking is a surefire way to ruin your confidence.
#4 Be yourself. This is probably the piece of advice that is most important when it comes to knowing how to be confident when flirting. Oftentimes we flirt with our best foot forward. That is fine, but also unnecessary. We might act like we’re more into sports than we really are or that we have traveled more than we have. It makes sense you’d want to impress the person you’re flirting with, but the best way to do that isn’t by fibbing but by owning who you are.
There is nothing more confident than being honest. When someone is talking about a band or movie you haven’t seen, don’t just say you’ve heard of it, be honest. Own those awkward moments.
#5 Let it flow. This is the hardest part, but it is also important. Whether you’re flirting for some fun or with the hope of getting a date, the flow is important. But, flow and chemistry are different.
You can have an easy conversation with someone about art or science but not feel chemistry right away. But flirting is about the back and forth. It is about interacting with each other and playing off each other. All you need is an opening line and from there, things should progress on their own. If they don’t that is when you start getting nervous. Don’t try to steer the conversation, let it find its own direction.
Flirting is the most enjoyable and successful when it feels right.