If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you weren’t nominated for the “Biggest Flirt” superlative in high school. Have no fear—you’re not alone. While some people can flirt naturally, others feel like their best attempt is still a clunky mess.
The most important flirty tip is to remember that the best flirtations are genuine. Anything forced can look like you’re trying too hard. “The key is to flirt with your own natural personality in mind,” said Laura Kray, author of the study, said to Everyday Health. “Be authentic. Have fun. That will translate into confidence.”
Here are seven creative flirting tips and techniques you’ve likely never tried before:
1. Be positive.
The world is filled with such negative news that people seek out someone who still has an optimistic outlook on things. If you see someone you’re interested in, or simply want to strike up an award-winning conversation, think about something positive. Even if it’s something like the weather. “It’s so beautiful outside that I wish I was laying outside with the sprinkler on,” is something that’ll make them smile. By simply stating a favorable thought, you come across as being confident in your communication skills. That in itself can be very alluring.
2. Send an accidental text.
If you happen to know their number, try sending an accidental text by mistake. Make sure it’s something you wouldn’t mind their grandmother seeing, especially since opening up with a nude might make him or her a little uncomfortable. Try something like, “Ugh, I really want to check out that new coffee shop.” Wait a minute or two before staging a second text of, “Oh, sorry! I meant to send that to my BFF. But hey, if you want to check out the coffee shop, let me know! :)” It’s innocent, it plots out future plans, and it lets them know you might have been subconsciously thinking about them.
3. Go natural.
Seriously. You might think you need a ton of makeup and something low cut in order to impress, but showcasing your natural attributes is so much more impressive. Strike up a conversation with them when your hair isn’t straightened, and you’ve got no makeup on. It’s summer, so you should let your adorable freckles be free. By being comfortable in your own body, you’re setting off the vibe that you’re not trying to impress your crush, you’re just naturally incredible.
4. Make a mixed CD.
Yeah, mixed CDs may have been more of a thing 20 years ago, but if they still have a CD player in their car, you can guarantee your mix will be listened to. By creating such a thoughtful gift, you’re sharing a big part of yourself. You’re also opening up a way to chat with them more in the future, since, “What did you think of that Lumineers song?” is guaranteed to get them talking.
5. Buy them a soda.
It sounds simple, but it’s a sweet gesture—especially during a hot day. Buying someone a soda during the day is just as thoughtful as buying someone a tequila shot at night. The difference? With the soda, you’re just coming off as a thoughtful person who figured their crush would enjoy a beverage, instead of someone who believes buying someone a drink is just step one to a possible hookup.
6. Compliment them in a unique way.
Good compliments are a rarity. It’s easy to flirt by telling someone that they have nice eyes or good hair, but what about qualities like their laugh? Try to find something genuine about the person you’re flirting with that you admire. That shows you’re paying close attention, and aren’t simply using a stereotypical pick-up line. Attention to detail is everything.
7. Draw them a picture.
Fancy yourself an artist? Then maybe you can flirt by showcasing your best drawing skills. Just as a note, try not to sketch them—if it’s someone you don’t really know all that well, that may come across as being a little, well, sketchy. Pun intended. Art is such an important way to communicate, and it’s a wonderful tool for people who may be afraid to flirt with words. If the person you like is also creative, you can show off your incredible talents while giving them a memento they can hang onto for awhile.
First and foremost, the key to flirting successfully is confidence. Even if you’re nervous about chatting up someone you like, just remember that the best thing you can do is go out there and be yourself. Play up your best qualities and remember that every time you flirt, you’ll get a little better at it.