Our From the Vault series examines episodes from The Art of Charm’s past more deeply; we invite you to revisit them — or discover them for the first time — with us. Here, Kimberly Seltzer gives us a woman’s perspective on flirting.
Episode 497: Flirting for Women with Kimberly Seltzer was recorded in March 2015 and is part of AoC’s Toolbox for Women series. There are thousands of female AoC listeners who asked for more content for them. We were listening, and this episode with Kim, a long time collaborator with AoC, is part of our answer.
Tell Us What You Do in One Sentence
Kimberly Seltzer responded to Jordan’s classic question: “I’m a therapist that advocates an inside and out approach to help people look their best so they attract what it is they want.”
Women Stuck in the Middle
It seems that men are given both societal and actual freedom (in theory) to go for what they want, whereas women can sometimes be caught between being approached by guys they aren’t interested in and not wanting to be the “approacher” in an interaction.
To deal with this dilemma, Kim advocates a “drop the hanky” approach adapted for our modern age. This is an attitude that focuses less on flirting with this or that one individual but rather an idea of “flirting with life” and creating an energy that is attractive and infectious.
Top Five Excuses Kim Hears from Women
- I’m not attracted to anyone. This is too target specific. Kim tells a great story that reinforces her advice to talk to anybody and everybody. She was out with a client and in proximity to a gentleman who was married, overweight, and twice her client’s age.
But the attitude Kim advocated was to be flirtatious and fun and to talk to anyone without “prequalification,” so they struck up a conversation with this man.
When it eventually came up that Kim’s client was single, the man had a friend in mind who he thought might be a good match.As it turned out, an introduction between the two singles was made, and they hit it off.Jordan noted that this is the exact same attitude encouraged at the Art of Charm — especially in our online Challenge: truly get to know someone without having a transactional attitude or expectation of outcome.
- I don’t want to lead anyone on. “No man has ever been admitted to the hospital over being rejected by a woman,” Kim retorts. Indeed, she points out it would be a great problem for most women to have — having to say no to a lot of people. We all know how dating works and it’s better to let someone know sooner rather than later if there’s not a good fit.
- I want him to like me for my intelligence, not as a sexual object. Kim notes that this can take you straight to the friend zone, because instead of injecting a playful tone into the conversation, you can just be “one of the guys” discussing business or sports or ideas.
- I’m not comfortable being that way. Kim notes that women feel like they need to be the Samantha character from Sex and the City: a caricature of the come-hither woman. The reality is that different women use different angles. Some use their eyes, some use a sense of humor, and yes, some do use the come-hither thing. What’s important is for you to find your own way to let people know you’re available to talk to.
- I just don’t know how. Understandably, some people simply have never been in this situation before. Kim advises thinking about it as an experiment: just have fun without any pressure or expectations.
Going back to excuse number four, there are other ways to indicate you are available to chat or “leave the green cab light on:”
- Smiling and making eye contact (avoid the “resting bitch face” and soften your expression)
- Posture (we can be tense — relax)
- Body positioning (don’t fold your arms, don’t be in a closed off position with your squad)
- Touch (don’t be afraid to lightly touch and interact with someone in conversation)
- Teasing (no one minds a bit of light teasing)
Where Should I Stand at the Bar?
Kim advocates going right for the center of the action, where you have the ability to chat with any and everybody. Sometimes that might mean, as she talked about in one anecdote, asking a guy who had a seat on either side of him if he might move over one so she could sit together with her client. They ended up engaging with him, but also with many others because they picked that spot strategically instead of the two open seats all the way at the end of the bar.
Three Fs to Remember
- Fun: Take your armor off and let yourself be playful.
- Fashion: Find a style that suits you, and occasionally try a color or article of clothing that would be unusual for you.
- Flirt: Be okay with your femininity.
When you try these new techniques or strategies, take a few moments when you get home to note both internal and external responses. How do these make you feel before you go out? During? How are men responding? Are they asking for your number more? What kind of engagement are you seeing? Use these notes to tweak and improve.
It’s Not about Changing Who You Are
Finally, Kim notes that sometimes when women talk to her they angrily respond, “Well if they don’t like me for me, then forget them, etc.” But it’s not about changing who you are. Take emotion out of it.
If you see two presentations on your desk at the office with the exact same content — but one is in a plain manila folder and the other is carefully designed and laminated — you’re going to be predisposed to look at the latter first. It looks more professional. So too you should give others the opportunity to get to know you more not only by removing barriers but by presenting yourself in a thoughtful way.
Remember, these From the Vault articles are meant to highlight just a few of the things discussed and there’s lots more to hear in this episode, so take a full listen to it here.
Have you used some of these techniques and gotten better results? Let us know by writing to email@example.com.
This From the Vault post was handpicked from our Toolbox for Women Series, which you can find here. If this article or episode helped you, please consider writing a review for us on iTunes — because the greatest compliment you can give us is a referral to someone you think would appreciate this content. Now get out there and apply some of these networking skills and lessons, and leave everyone better than you found them!