How you doin’?
In a world where men are asked to be robust and forthcoming, it is a struggle to be an introvert. How does a shy guy make it work in a ‘man’s’ world without becoming typecast? How, if at all, can he battle the need to be the masculine Prince Charming in the space of romance? Well, what you might think is against the call of your gender role might actually work in your favour. And by working, I do not just mean life in general, but with the emphasis on your romantic life. It is natural that you as a shy man find it hard to flirt, because the dictionary of flirtation has the language of extroversion. The power of subtlety can be measured only in the battlefield, as the less celebrated silence can take over silly banter. Let us find out how a shy person, who happens to identify himself as a man, can flirt with the person he is attracted to, successfully:
1. Do not mimic
No need to try and become what you are not. Don’t try to ape your extroverted friends who seem to be sweeping men and women with their charming vocabulary fireworks, because you will only be half as good at it. Nothing is worse than a flirt who is trying to follow a path halfway. In all probability, you will memorise another line that a ‘ten ways to flirt’ article will dish out for you and forget half of it by the time you approach the person. This is not an exam where you will be granted half marks. So, the first and foremost guideline for an instinctively introverted or shy person is to not try and pose as the extroverted flirt. You must accept that you are not capable of all that skill and recognise your own power as an introvert and stay honest to your character.
2. Keep it real
Be honest about your personality. Approach your interest without the cumbersome techniques of a pickup line and the perfect smoulder; just keep it a simple opening confessing your interest in him or her. (Yes, I am not assuming your sexuality, please concentrate on the greater problem of you getting some rather than worrying about who you are getting the sugar from.) Let your interest know the essence of your personality, but do remember to keep the gates of communication open for this one time. Your interest will understand and might just find it extremely adorable that you are shy, but if you start proving your point thereon, your little attempt at flirting will fall flat on its face.
3. Eye to eye
It helps to keep looking into the window to the soul. Sorry for reminding you of the trauma that Taher Shah was, but this is a tip applicable to anyone flirting, written in bold for you, my dear shy men. Why? Well, the word weaver can distract with words and shenanigans, but as you have spent too much time with yourself, you are more confident in boredom than in company. So keeping steady eye contact is going to send the signals loud and clear. If your interest is perceptible in the least, he or she will know the importance of a shy person willing to keep the communication windows open to the point that he voluntarily keeps steady eye contact. And let me tell you, my men, shy or not, your words do not do as much magic as the confidence and honesty of firm eye contact.
4. Humour me
Just try to keep the laughs coming. Nothing competes better than a sense of humour. Make sure that you keep it simple and not push the envelope to the point of you trying your best to be a stand-up comedian (unless you are, and still shy in the matter of hearts; even then pay heed to my words), and keep the humour light and relevant. There is no point in cracking a Santa Banta joke in the middle of a quiet café where you started discussing the Naom Chomsky book you were reading and in the pursuit of flirtation you feel the need to be funny. Samjho raita phael gaya! Just keep your natural funny bone alive. If you are not a person who would normally find spots of joy in the mundane, the best you can do is try nevertheless. Nothing pleases a person than to laugh, or at least smile ear to ear. (Disclaimer: It is okay to keep it silly.)