Barriers Within Yourself Quote

Yesterday I gave you some introvert dating advice on attraction.  Today, as promised, I’m offering some tips on  flirting for introverts.

The mere mention of the word “flirt” can make an introvert squirm. Our minds are flooded with horrifying thoughts of corny pick-up lines, forced giggling and mindless banter. We tense up at the idea of getting all touchy feely with someone we barely know. We wonder if flirting is really necessary. After all, we’re pretty good at flirting on Facebook. Doesn’t that count for something?

Well, I’m here to tell you that if you want to get a date, flirting is a necessary evil.  BUT not the kind of flirting you might have in mind.


The October-December 2010 issue of the Journal of Communication Quarterly identified five different types of flirting.


These men and women tend to use their bodies to make connections. People who scored high on this type often develop relationships quickly, have more sexual chemistry and have a greater emotional connection to their partners. The relationships tend to focus more on sexual interest.


These believe men should make the first move and women should not pursue men. Women are more likely to have trouble getting men’s attention or to flirt and men take a longer time to approach a woman. Both men and women with this style tend to be introverted.


The focus is on proper manners and nonsexual communication. People who favor this style are less likely to approach a potential partner and aren’t flattered by flirting, but they do tend to have meaningful relationships.  This style is also favored by introverts.


The style most often cited in the study. Relationships involve strong emotional connections and sexual chemistry and are typically meaningful; they are based on creating emotional connections.


People favoring the playful style often flirt with little interest in a long-term romance, but they find flirting fun and enhancing to their self-esteem. They are less likely to have important and meaningful relationships and this is the type that is most uncommon.

Most people define flirting in terms of the physical and playful styles.  Ironically, these are the least effective approaches for finding a long-term partner.  This isn’t high school anymore – hair flicking and leg stroking are unnecessary.

Introverted flirting

Not surprisingly, introverts favored the more formal traditional and polite styles of flirting.  Jeffrey Hall, Ph.D., the study’s author, described polite types in the following way:

 “These are cautious, thoughtful daters who plot their every move.  Not only do they find flirting and the dating process unappealing as a whole, but when they meet someone, they like to get to know that person slowly. These flirts are introverted, quiet-natured people who tend to be shy.”

Sound familiar?

Introverts who use the traditional and polite styles can find lasting love, but it usually takes a lot longer.  These flirts don’t feel comfortable opening up or showing affection early on.

This can lead to the introvert dating obstacle I noted in my first dating advice post; two introverts end up stuck in a stalemate because neither wants to make the first move.

The best way to flirt

The most cited and most effective form of flirting was the sincere style.  This style facilitates the deep emotional connection needed for long-term love. The great news is, it doesn’t involve mindless chit-chat.  Sincere flirts ask deep and meaningful questions that go beyond the surface – something introverts are naturally inclined to do.

Adopting a more sincere style of fliring starts with being interested and interesting.  The former is far more important than the latter.

Be attentive

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~ Ralph G. Nichols

In a society suffering from chronic ADHD, simply giving someone your full attention is both memorable and attractive.  As an introvert, you are probably already a good listener.  Take your listening skills to the next level by really focusing in on subtleties.

When you pay attention you will see that everything the other person says is sprouting with opportunities for further exploration.  You might notice that their eyes light up when they mention a certain hobby.  Find out why by asking meaningful questions.

Introverts tend to have keen observation skills. Don’t let nerves overpower one of your greatest assets. To really get under someone’s skin (and into their heart) zero in on subtle cues. Pay attention to body language, facial expression and tone.  Practice listening with your eyes, ears and mind.

Be interesting

Like I said before, being genuinely interested in someone is far more important than you being interesting.  At some point, however, you will have to offer some information about yourself.  This can be difficult for introverts.  When we are with new people, we often feel more comfortable letting them do all the talking.

Remember, flirtation is an exchange.  It cannot be one-sided.  You don’t have to say much.  In fact, you can express a lot more about who you truly are in two sentences than in one hundred.  Figure out a way to pack more meaning into what you do say, rather than saying more.  Applying this rare skill will make you more attractive to others.

Once you are feeling more comfortable with flirting (the introverted way), it’s time to pop the big question: will you go out with me?

Find out how to ask someone out on a date tomorrow.  Ladies, I will give you some advice on being receptive.  I will also share how to deal with shy or introverted men who won’t make the first move.