Welcome back to Tuff Love, with Rob Kandell. This show is on one of Rob’s favorite topics: how to flirt! This show is about being truthful and real, and if something happens that affects the show, Rob will talk about it. So a small caveat to this episode is that he is feeling a little down today due to a conversation about this very topic with Morgan.
Rob has found that there are Perils of Flirting. One of which is that other people will be affected. Rob has an open, honest relationship with Morgan. The concept that Rob has talked about many times on the show is that withholding is lying. When you withhold information, you lie. So Rob has an agreement with Morgan to discuss the people he flirts with. Recently he started flirting with somebody and Morgan got triggered. Then her trigger hit Rob’s trigger.
So Rob realized that he wanted to stop flirting to maintain the sanctity of the relationship and ensure that Morgan’s feelings are well handled. There is a feeling of wanting to shut down for Rob. Meanwhile, Morgan wants him to have the ability to feel the sensation of flirting. So how do you authentically be yourself and be in relationship, let them have their feelings and your feelings connected to their feelings, and maintain your sanity? It’s not an easy yoga pose.
Rob’s takeaway is that flirting is just part of who he is. It’s an inherent part of who he is, and if he shuts that part of him down then it stops him from fully being authentic in the world. Flirting may or not be part of your DNA, but there’s different parts of yourself that come out or are seeking to come out. What’s your relationship to flirting?
Rob’s research and reflections on the topics of flirting:
- The first step of how to flirt well is to be authentically honest of what kind of flirt you are—overt, sly, afraid to flirt, equal-opportunity flirter—and your motivations behind it. What’s the inner game for you?
- The second step is to figure out the consequences of your flirting. Before yesterday, Rob thought his flirting was adding more energy to his life, but now he’s finding that there’s a limit, a fine line he needs to be aware of.
- Thirdly, flirt without any attachment to a result. People are very sensitive and aware. If you’re flirting to be friendly, connected and have fun compared with if you want something—they’ll know. When you have an end result or goal, people can feel that.
- Be willing to truly look at the aspects of you around your flirting and notice if you have a goal in mind.
- Nowadays there are two forms: the art of flirting in person and the more prevalent electronic flirting. We have migrated a lot of our flirting to the power of the smart phone.
- We used to have to pick up the phone and call but now everyone has their own personal devices so we can flirt in our own secluded world.
- Rob recommends a Wiki.How article with pictures that he found doing research for this episode, check it out here [insert link]
Rob’s tips on how to flirt in person:
- Eye contact. Nothing expresses interest more than maintaining eye contact. There’s a fine line between ‘how you doing?’ eye contact and ‘I’m a stalker’ staring. If you get caught looking at someone, do not look away. Maintain eye contact for another few seconds and then smile.
- Smile! For men who were taught that the stoic, emotionless facial expressions of John Wayne is sexy, that’s only true for handsome men in magazine articles. If you’re staring and you don’t smile, you communicate lack of warmth and availability.
- Move your body towards that person. It’s likely the longest 10 yards of your life but just keep moving.
- Introduce yourself! Don’t use a pick up line. Simply walk up and say, ‘Hi, my name is ____’. Being willing to be vulnerable enough to introduce yourself is crucial.
- Talk, show interest, ask questions, go slow, pay attention. You’ll know in the first minute if they want you to be there or not. Don’t make them feel like their boundaries are being crossed.
- Hold your body solid and be physically available. Don’t cross your arms or legs. Use things like leaning in a little closer and then out again, pregnant pauses to communicate your interest.
- Answer questions. Yes, you should also put the attention on them, but be vulnerable by revealing some personal details about yourself.
- There’s a conspiracy of cool where we all try to be cool. Don’t try be cool. Be willing to authentically be who you are.
- Don’t over-talk. Practice brevity. Speak in small, powerful, deliberate communications.
- Don’t get ahead of yourself. Keep noticing the flow, where the conversation is in the moment.
- Be willing to quit the conversation early, especially if it’s going well. Close the deal. Be willing to be vulnerable enough to ask for the next step.
Rob’s tips on how to flirt electronically:
- It is similar in some ways, but there is a different vibe. There is less pressure and you have the ability to take time in thinking about responses. Tips for flirting electronically:
- Keep it casual at first, and as they provide more information, ask more intricate questions. Show interest.
- Be patient. You have no idea how the person on the other end of the line is responding so show patience, take your time and don’t overwhelm them.
- Be mindful of esoteric statements or references. Just be mindful, don’t be too obscure and keep things in present time.
- It’s okay to leave them wanting more. You don’t have to play out the whole relationship electronically.
Remember, flirting is fun. Just do it! People are lonely and the worst thing that can happen is you give them a story to tell their friends. Give the gift of yourself. Be connected. Be vulnerable. Be bold.
Rob coaches Chris on the transition from party to post-party flirting:
- When meeting new people in person, and they exchange numbers, Chris gets flustered when it transitions into texting. He hates texting because of his experiences being ghosted.
- He gets good feedback when he prefaces the transition (e.g. exchange of numbers) with his preference for talking on the phone. He likes to hear tone and it’s built on a fear of doing something wrong and being alienated.
- The skill of text-flirting is required in the modern day and age. For Chris, if that’s the preferred mode of communication, that’s a red flag for him, because he feels they won’t be a good fit.
- If you want to be a master flirt, you have to master the skill of flirting in all situations. You actually can hear intonation in text. It’s possible if you pay attention.
- Chris has been ghosted multiple times and it has left him perplexed when everything seemed to be going fine in person. Ghosting is when you just bail. Everything is going fine, you’re having a great conversation and all of a sudden you stop texting/communicating back. It’s one of the biggest crimes in today’s ubiquitous electronic society.
- Rob is against ghosting and recommends closing the circle and being honest about not wanting to continue the conversation.
- Chris thinks he’s getting ghosted because his form of communication post-party is a-typical. He prefers to call and leave voice mail and he thinks that’s coming across as weird.
- Part of the problem might be that many people won’t answer a call from a number they don’t recognize these days, and are also very slow at checking their voicemail. Ask what’s convenient for them in terms of a phone call, via the bridge text. That might be the key.
- In person and on the phone, Chris feels fluid. In texts, he gets stuck in his head, overthinks and over-interprets. Rob recommends a text-practice buddy, and being vulnerable and real in the text and actually admit to being nervous about texting.
- For somebody that enjoys flirting but is in a monogamous relationship, there is a danger of your partner and the person you’re flirting with both thinking ‘wtf are you doing?’ It’s best to on some level express that you’re in a relationship before you start flirting. It safeguards them so they don’t feel betrayed or trespassed upon.
The lesson from this experience for Rob is to slow down, check in more and pay more attention to the affect of his flirting. Flirting is not a win/lose proposition. It’s just a way of expressing a part of you that wants to come out.
If you want to improve your mood, the best way is to give back! So make a donation to Rob’s friend Ben who is raising donations for BlindConnect, to help blind people in Nevada. If you’re interested in making a deductible donation, go to BenMo.com/LB159
Or to donate money to this show you can go to patreon.com/TuffLove