Flirting. It's not just an entry requirement for getting into the dating club, it's the very foundation on which attraction is built. When chatting with someone you like, playful chat and sparkling wit are what give someone the edge on the competition.
But here's the thing: not everyone is born with the skill. You have to learn it and hone it like a fine craft. Be a proper flirtsmith about it. Like so!
1. Be cool.
The key to flirting is chatting like friends, not like someone you want to makeout with (even though you do). Making it unclear whether you like them or not will psychologically make them like you three times as much.
2. Flirtify your body language.
Crossed arms make you look awkward, and everyone knows awkwardness is a major symptom of Shit Flirtiritis. Open those arms, relax and preferably look around for something to casually lean on for optimum flirt stance.
3. Tell a story.
We've all got those tried-and-tested funny stories our friends have heard a million times but don't get any less funny. Well, here's an entirely new audience for you to amuse. Don't just launch into it randomly, but if the moment is right, seize the mic and unleash your practiced-to-perfection tale.
4. Be a bit weird.
Think Zooey Deschanel weird. If you have a quirky streak, don't hide it. And if someone can't handle your crazy at this stage, you know they're not worth wasting your time on.
5. Act like you hate them.
The key to flirting is to act like you're barely into them at all. Disagree with them, tease them, insult them a bit. The goal is to be bickering like siblings by the end of the evening. (The Game of Thrones type of siblings, if you catch our drift).
6. Unleash your inner Chandler Bing (to an extent).
Using a bit of sarcasm in conversations keeps the flirting flowing.
7. Watch your flirting idols regularly.
Watching TV shows that regularly have flirtastic scripts will help you absorb better skills. Cam from Modern Family makes a great spirit animal. (Side note: Flirt Idol would make an amazing reality show, wouldn't it?)
8. Tell LIES.
Slip a pointless lie into conversation, such as you being the local Thumb War champion five years in a row when you were younger. Pointless lies are fun. When you finally reveal you were just kidding, he'll crack up. And it'll strike fear into his heart about you deceiving him. Thus making him want you more. OH, the mysteries of the human mind.
9. Don't act like you think you're funny.
Try and be more deadpan, acting like you don't care if they laugh or not. Then if they don't laugh, you can quietly die.
10. Tease him...gently.
"Are beards still a thing, then?" might be a good way to pretend you're not into his beard even though you secretly adore it and wish it was inflicting beard rash on your upper thigh region RIGHT NOW. The key to teasing is to appear smiley and playful, not just plain mean. Balding, bad breath, and weight remarks are strictly off-limits during flirty teasing.
11. Pretend to be offended.
Taking mock offense at a jokingly mean flirt is a good way to get a jokingly grovelling apology: one of the only times during a flirting session that either of you will actually be nice to each other. Even though it's just flirting, so it doesn't count. GOD, flirting is confusing sometimes.
12. Make a joke of your joke failing.
Oh, so he didn't get your joke? Panic not. The situation can still be saved. Saying something like "Wow. Tough crowd..." will turn your flirt-fail straight back into flirty moves again.
13. Do a 360.
Referring to a joke you both shared earlier in the convo will show you're a good listener AND will make it feel like you already have inside jokes together. Aw, you guys.
You have now completed your official Flirting training!
This article originally appreared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.