Flirting tips can be frustrating if you’re an awkward person. This is because most of them involve being ~cool~ and effortless, which, uh, doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us. They usually go something like this: do some well-calculated eye contact, touch them in a casual but also not-casual way, tell a story that will make them laugh while also wondering why you’re so mysterious… you get it. For someone who is awkward AF, these supposedly easy tips can seem impossible. Touch them in a casual but not casual way? WTF does that mean? Make eye contact at all the right times? How are you supposed to do that when you’re too busy trying to pretend you haven’t stalked their entire life on Instagram? How on earth do you flirt if you can’t keep it together enough to form a complete sentence around this person?
Well, even awkward people can eventually learn how to flirt. We have to figure it out eventually! But what is a dry-mouthed, nervous, sweating mess to do? Adapt flirting tips that fit your awkward personality! Yes, flirting might come more naturally to a confident person who is comfortable engaging in this type of way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work if you have no idea what you’re doing. Not all flirting has to follow the script of what talking to your crush seems like it should be from movies and TV shows. Take a deep breath and shake that fear off. Flirting is going to be just fine, fellow weirdo. These are nine ways to flirt if you’re awkward af. You know who you are.
Talk About Anything But YourselfTalking about yourself seems like a good tip - after all, you know the most about you, and it's good to discuss things you're knowledgable about. But in this instance, it could get awkward fast. Instead, ask open-ended questions about themselves, a show you both like, a book you're both reading for class, etc. Taking the focus away from yourself and steering the conversation to more neutral ground will lessen the pressure you'll feel. Source: iStock
Stay Away From Self Deprecating HumorI've heard a lot of flirting advice telling girls to joke about themselves and be a little self-deprecating to get a laugh out of their crush. I'd have to advise against this. Self-deprecating humor has a time and a place, and sometimes it can be funny. But if you're trying to show someone you like them and you hope they feel the same way, that means faking confidence, not dragging yourself down. Source: iStock
Give A Real, Genuine ComplimentFlirting is basically a deliberate way of making someone feel special. But, when it feels like a skill or a game that you need to learn how to play, it can become overwhelming. Just cut out the middle man and make this person feel special by giving a direct, genuine compliment. Who doesn't like compliments? Let them know that you notice something special about them or that they look really cute today. Congratulate them on something they did well - the sky's the limit! That way, you get the job done quickly without having to worry about whether or not you're flirting properly. Bae will figure it out eventually.Source: iStock
Make Eye Contact... In GeneralOne of the most widely used flirting tips is that you should make eye contact, look away, then look back. Which is fine and totally works, if you're confident. But if you're awkward as hell and stare at the floor or the ceiling when you talk to someone, eye choreography is overwhelming. Instead, just make eye contact when you're talking to this person. That's it. No need to bite off more than you can chew, don't touch them if you don't want to, and you don't have to stare. Eye contact on it's own can be more than enough. Give them an opportunity to really see you without you shying away or looking down.Source: iStock
Break The Ice Online Or Via Text FirstIf making first contact with them feels terrifying, you can absolutely make the first connection with this person over text message or the internet. That way, it's like you've already established a sense of relationship (not that kind of relationship, slow down) without the pressure of speaking in person. If you're too awkward to function, this is sometimes how you have to roll. Start a conversation via text, send them funny videos on social media, tag them in a meme, write a funny comment, like their posts, and engage them that way so that talking in person feels less pressured.Source: iStock
Help Them OutDon't be a doormat and do everything for them, but if you see that they need help with something, feel free to step in. Maybe they're struggling with shading in art and you're an expert or you can try to group up with them for a class project. That way, you already have a context for showing up in their life, some ready-made conversation starters, and you're giving them something of value only you can provide. You're basically a goddess. Okay, so it might not be dramatic, but if flirting is the worst for you, being of service to someone is key to relationship building.Source: iStock
Pretend It's A Regular ConversationCalling something flirting automatically makes it A Thing. Some people are cool with that and others, like us, struggle to make coherent sentences anyway, so let's not add in romantic pressure, shall we? Just pretend talking to this person is an ordinary conversation not unlike a conversation you'd have with a friend you DON'T want to make out with. Don't pressure yourself into flirting at all, which sounds like an antithetical tip, but just think of it as an opportunity to get to know each other and try as best as you can to not think about flirting with this person. Source: iStock
Be Okay With ClosenessLet's pretend this is going really well, bae takes the hint and - gasp - makes physical contact with you or moves their body closer to you. If you're awkward, you know your immediate response is to back away, recoil, or go stiff and not reciprocate. Kind of against the point, right? Don't freak out, fellow weirdos. Breathe through it, and be okay with the closeness. You don't have to make a move, too, just don't back away or tense up. That way, they'll know that you're into whatever they just did and would probably be okay with more of it. You just got what you wanted! Don't blow it!Source: iStock
Don't Hide From Your AwkwardnessYour awkwardness can be cute if you use it for good! Lean right into that. Don't try to hide it or pretend to be "cool." Being really okay with who you are and how strange that is exactly comes across as confidence which is - wait for it - totally sexy! Once you make peace with your own awkwardness, all you have to do is kick back and be yourself and let that weirdness that makes you you attract people who love confident girls who are unafraid of being completely themselves. I know it's easier said than done, but trust that you don't want to be with anyone who likes you better when you're being fake. Let your freak flag fly, dude.Source: iStock
How do you seduce people with your awkwardness? Or do you hide in a corner and wait for your heart to stop skipping out of control? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.