Have you ever been called a flirt?
Good for you!
You see, flirting is an excellent indication that you are Paying Attention.
In fact, it is impossible to flirt without being mindful. You can’t be all wrapped up in your thoughts, or distracted by worries about tomorrow. You are Right There, in the moment, picking up on subtle signals and dealing out your own.
Mindfulness requires these four steps:
Noticing something new (“HmmmтАжhe’s attractive.”)
Making distinctions (“I like his eyes when he smiles.”)
Shifting perspectives (“He dresses like a jock but he’s a music teacher.”)
Staying fully present (“He’s flirting with me!”)
Flirting requires “people” smartsтАФinterpersonal intelligenceтАФbut it’s also a great opportunity to flex your spatial intelligence (seeing visual cues) and bodily/kinesthetic intelligence (picking up on body language and using appropriate touch to make a connection). A good flirt can scan a room and see all kinds of options for relationships!
And it doesn’t have to be about finding your life-longтАФor even all-night-longтАФromantic partner. You can use mindfulness and flirting to help you create more meaningful connections in a playful way with your neighbor, your grocery clerk, your barista, even someone waiting next to you in line.
Don’t think of flirting as something only desperately single people do. No, no, no. Consider it a tremendous exercise in interpersonal mindfulness.
The first step in flirting is noticing something.
The blue of your waiter’s eyes? The necklace your dry-cleaning lady is wearing? Your child’s teacher’s smile?
Next step: Mentioning it. A quick and sincere comment like “Nice shirt!” is enough to create a connection and open up a conversationтАФand really, that’s the general goal of flirting.
Mindfulness of others is a powerful skill that can help you build relationships in all settings. Flirting is nothing more than being aware of others and taking advantage of what you notice in order to connect.
Who said mindfulness has to be quiet, solitary and inner-directed? It can be spirited, social, and downright sexy.
Notice. Smile. Connect. Repeat.
Get out there and seize the moment!