5 Tips for Flirting, Onscreen and Off
My vlog question this month was what makes someone a “Smooth Talker.” After many interviews, I’ve concluded that a big part of it is showing romantic interest in someone in a way that gets them interested too. Otherwise known as flirting—something I am constantly being accused of, even when my interest is 100% non-romantic. However, when I am looking to get the attention of someone I find attractive, there are at least 5 things I know I do. And they work in TV and movies too!
Check them out:
1. Make your presence known. When you’re interested in someone, make sure they know you exist. This can be accomplished simply by smiling, maintaining eye contact, and initiating conversation. May seem obvious, but even I have been guilty of depending on mutual friends to introduce me to someone I find cute. But a casual introduction by a third party does not say, “I think you’re hot!” And the key is to make a lasting impression. Anyone who’s watched the movie Hitch’s Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens (Will Smith) has witnessed this being accomplished against all odds:
2. Give compliments. And not just obvious ones. Instead, be in the moment and look for actions or traits that genuinely impress you to comment on. If the person you’re interested in says something to make you laugh, don’t be afraid to mention how funny you think he or she is. And if all else fails, you can always dedicate a poem to your love interest, like Darius (Larenz Tate) did to Nina (Nia Long) after they first met in Love Jones.
3. Find a reason to make contact. Innocent, unnecessary touching is a guaranteed way to show interest! And an easy way to start is with a handshake. Not one with a power grip, but one that lingers and is accompanied with eye contact and a smile. Another way to “connect” is a subtle forearm grab upon excusing yourself to go to the bathroom or leaning in to talk in a loud room. In most cases this only works for women, but men can sometimes pull it off too. On Sex and the City, for example, Robert (Blair Underwood) went beyond the call of duty to make contact with Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) around minute 2:15 of this clip:
4. Names matter. Never underestimate the power of remembering and using someone’s name. And saying someone’s name suggests you’re interested in getting to know them better. Check out Whitley (Jasmine Guy) from A Different World—after making her presence known (tip #1!)—strategically slipping in the name of the guy she’s crushing on (min 1:34):
5. Be engaged! Be inquisitive! This is where my work as a journalist comes in handy;) You’ll never guess how many times I’ve been introduced to someone for the first time and learned something about them that our mutual friend knew nothing about. Listening, asking follow-up questions, and getting to those “I can’t believe I’m telling you this” moments will definitely leave a lasting impression.
And always: Be Yourself. When flirting, ultimately you should only say and do things that come naturally. Nothing is worse than looking like you’re trying too hard!
Have you used any of these tips while flirting? Tips of your own to share?
Veralyn Williams is a Multimedia Freelance Journalist currently working in New York City. She has spent 4 years at WNYC Radio working with various departments including: Radio Rookies, Culture, News, and Freakonomincs. Also freelancing for Black Enterprise, BronxNet Television,Bedsider, and The Museum for African Art. Her independent work is featured on her website VeralynMedia.com. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten in the media.