Taking Acceptable Risks

to lose, you're taking an acceptable risk, which is so much easier. Different levels of risk are incurred at each stage of the flirting process:

✓ Stage 1: Deciding who to flirt with is the least risky in terms of rejection.

✓ Stage 2: Deciding who to strike up a conversation with is slightly more risky.

✓ Stage 3: Making a pass at someone is the most risky, but compared to other personal risks you take, such as driving or flying, is very small.

Who to flirt with

The more experience you have at flirting, the more likely you are to be prepared to take risks to initiate a flirtation. The first part of the flirting process is non-verbal, so you're risking virtually nothing by having a go.

How big a risk you're taking depends on whom you're initiating a flirtation with:

✓ Virtually rejection risk free: Friends and family.

✓ Slight risk: Colleagues and strangers.

✓ Slightly more risky: People you're strongly attracted to.

Even the riskiest category - people you're strongly attracted to -doesn't pose much of a risk. The worst that can happen is that someone doesn't return your glance, eyebrow flash, or smile. This scenario isn't the end of the world; you haven't suffered any huge personal rejection. You have nothing to lose.

Build up your comfort zone by non-verbally flirting your way through the different levels of risk.

Striking up a conversation

Having conquered your fear of rejection for the first stages of nonverbal flirting (see the preceding section) and realised that nothing terrible happened as a result, you're ready to overcome the fear of rejection whilst starting up a conversation. Chapter 16 provides a list of safe opening lines, so you have nothing to stop you from making the first move to chat.

Life just passing her by

Julie had never had much confidence; she always assumed that people would rather not talk to her, even on mundane subjects. The thought of speaking to a stranger, never mind flirting with one, filled her with horror. She knew they wouldn't like her and would definitely not want to talk to her, so why set herself up for rejection? Julie had thought negatively for so long that her thinking was completely twisted. She kept her head down and avoided even making eye contact as she got on with life.

Julie was persuaded that judging which people wanted to talk to her was possible. She gradually learned to make eye contact, and from that vantage point she could look for the other signs. Life didn't seem quite so daunting now she had a plan to follow. She worked on her interactions with the people she saw on a regular basis and then with the odd dog-walking stranger. Eventually, she had the confidence to pick a man to flirt with. To her amazement, her approach worked a treat. She limited her initial flirting to eye contact and smiling when she saw him in the queue in the sandwich shop; the following day she asked about his choice of filling; and finally, a few weeks later, she asked him to join her for lunch in the park.

Julie's confidence has grown exponentially and her constant fear of rejection is a distant memory. As long as she can weigh up the risk beforehand, she's happy to flirt with everyone, from colleagues to potential dates, at her own pace.

The only valid reasons why someone wouldn't respond to you after your successful non-verbal flirt are that they either didn't hear you or don't speak your language. Any other reason that pops into your head is of your own making and isn't a valid excuse to avoid talking to them. If they turn out to be spoken for or are in a hurry to get back to the office because their boss has just texted them, they'll still respond to you, even if just to say hello and to make their excuses, but they won't ignore you.

Making a pass at someone

Risking a non-verbal flirt and having a chat are easy once you've overcome your initial fear. Some people, however, feel that making a pass is declaring their hand.

Fear is only present when you allow your mind to think negative thoughts. Focusing on positive thoughts about the feeling of success that follows successfully pulling a date instills a sense of confidence and gives you a positive outlook.

If you're receiving the signals that the other person is game (refer to Chapter 12) and they've been present or increasing since you started talking, strike while the iron's hot.

Action defeats fear. Taking action means you don't have time to ponder on your fear of rejection, which, ultimately, paralyses you into doing nothing and makes your fear a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, whether you want their telephone number, a date, or a kiss, trust your instincts and make your move.

Write yourself a pulling mantra and repeat it to yourself several times a day. Say it like you mean it and crack your fear of rejection.

Continue reading here: Getting Things Back on Track

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