A woman applying lipstick and thinking about flirting tips.

Flirting is an attitude. It’s all about exuding self-confidence and not being afraid to take a risk and put yourself out there. So even if you’re not feeling it, fake it until you make it! As your self-confidence increases so will the number of people that are drawn to you. (And self-confidence is quite sexy.) Have you ever noticed that it’s not the most attractive person in the room that gets the attention, but the most approachable? That’s what these flirting tips can do for you.

First off, always remember that the goal of flirting is to make the other person feel like they’re the most important person on the face of the planet. Shine the spotlight on who you’re flirting with not yourself. Flirting is the best icebreaker and tension reducer. It allows you to be playful, lighthearted, and a bit mischievous without coming on too strong.

It’s also a great way to let someone know that you think they’re interesting, fun, or appealing without directly telling them. Your flirtatious encounter can lead to a friendship, date, romance, marriage, or a fabulous one-time meeting that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Practice the following flirting tips and turn any ordinary encounter into an extraordinary experience. You’ll make your flirtee’s day and be so glad you did!

1. Make the first move.
Move towards the person you want to meet (an arm’s length away is a perfect distance) and say something like, “Hi, I’m (insert your name).” Saying hello with energy and enthusiasm is the best opening line. Life is not a dress rehearsal, and you never want to have any regrets or a missed opportunity.

2. Have fun with it.
Flirt for fun, not to get a date or a phone number. I know this sounds contradictory—but trust me it’s not. The moment you focus on the future (like getting a phone number, date, etc.) your anxiety increases, you talk more and listen less, and your flirtatiousness diminishes, therefore lowering your chances to get a date. Stay in the moment and enjoy the playfulness and the banter you’re having. Laughing with someone makes for an instantaneous connection.

3. Make eye contact.
Eye contact is the soul of flirtation. It establishes trust and intimacy. Your eyes flirt independently and your pupils dilate when you come into contact with someone you like. Eye contact should last no more than two to four seconds. Making eye contact is a sign of self-confidence which will increase your attractiveness to others.

4. Listen.
It’s no biological accident that you have two ears and one mouth—it’s because you should listen twice as much as you talk! The person you’re interested in will be drawn to you because everyone loves to be listened to. It makes someone feel accepted, valued, and special. And make sure that while you’re listening you’re nodding and saying things like uh huh to demonstrate that you’re taking in everything they’re saying.

5. Compliment.
This is my all-time favorite way to start a conversation. (But shhh it’s a secret!) The best compliments are the ones that are unique, different, and have the element of surprise. Just make sure that your compliments are honest, sincere, and genuine. And the more specific your compliment, the greater the wow-factor. For example, if you see a woman who has beautiful long hair, give her a compliment that’s more unanticipated such as, “I was so impressed with how kind you were to the frazzled bartender,” or, “I overheard you talking about scuba diving, you sound like an expert.” That way you aren’t giving her the same old compliment she probably hears all the time.

6. Use props.
Never leave home without a prop. Because props are natural conversation starters. A prop is an accessory that makes a personal statement about you. They work so well because they give others the opportunity to talk to you about something tangible, rather than a random topic. Have you ever started a conversation with someone wearing a baseball cap or t-shirt with the name of a school you attended or place you visited? It instantly gives you common ground, no opening line needed. I love when someone approaches me. All I have to do is return the flirt with humor and spontaneity. Some examples of the best props are dogs, kids, unusual jewelry, cool ties or socks, your scent, a sweat shirt from your favorite travel destination, a t-shirt from your home town, a tote bag from a charity or local business you support, or reading material. Whatever it is, find something that works for you.

7. Make flirting your new hobby.
Even if you’re super busy and have plenty of hobbies, make flirting your daily hobby. You can even flirt while you do your normal activities and do double-duty. While you’re shopping, walking your dog, going on your morning jog, commuting, or grabbing lunch make eye contact, smile, and start talking to strangers. It makes the mundane moments of your day like waiting in line so much more fun. Most importantly, don’t worry about being the perfect flirt. Showing your vulnerability and your ability to laugh at yourself is very engaging too.

8. Start a conversation.
We all get tongue-tied when we want to talk to someone we are attracted to. It happens to all of us. Go figure! Instead of worrying about your nervousness, have a few handy conversation starters that will get the ball rolling. The best ways to start a conversation is to talk about your surroundings, anything and everything—the décor, the people, the aroma of the food, the parking, the wait time to get in, the weather, or the traffic. Just tune into all of your senses and you’ll have so much to say. Other easy conversation starters are asking a question, asking for help, or giving an opinion. I promise if you try any of these, or a combination of them, your jitters will dissipate instantly.

9. Be the host.
Change your behavior from the role of guest at a party to the host. “Playing” host takes the pressure off of you and actually gives you something to do. A great tip is to arrive early at the party or event. As the guests arrive you can be the welcome committee and introduce yourself to them, show them around, and offer food or drink suggestions (because you’re the expert because you arrived a little early). When you shift your attitude from being a passive to an active participant it demonstrates that you’re interested and care about other people. A win win for all!

10. It’s okay to end a flirt.
If you’re feeling uneasy or if the person you’re flirting with isn’t reciprocating, a perceptive flirt knows when to call it quits. Simply say something like, “It was nice meeting you. I have to meet up with a friend,” or, “Well, I’ve got to get going.” Cut your losses and move on. Consider it your lucky day that the person you’re flirting with let you know quickly that they aren’t into you. Smile, and take your flirting somewhere else—there’s always a next opportunity waiting for someone like you!