If you’re planning to go to happy hour tonight on the slim chance you might meet Mr. Potential, you probably already know that you can’t be hiding behind your Merlot with Resting Bitchy Face on. Yes you should smile–not like drooling idiot (that may come later) but strategically. Smiling says you’re, well, not a bitch. It also conveys that you’re open to getting to know the recipient of that smile. But once you’ve become an expert smiler, what’s next?
This can be especially hard for some black women, because in some circles, looking someone in the eye for a beat too long could be inviting conflict. Asian men often have trouble too, because locking eyes can be interpreted as rude. But culture aside, good (and not creepy) eye contact is the American way.
The Formula: Look at that guy you’re into for about two to four seconds, then look away. Rinse and repeat. If you’re really feeling that merlot, Fran Greene, author of The Flirting Bible suggests that you give a wink. (whaaat??) “Winking at someone establishes in a nonverbal way, a special bond between you. Women can affect any man by winking in a warm, gentle way. A woman who winks at a guy will make a lasting impression. A wink coupled with a winning smile is even better.”
Are you ready when that guy comes over to talk to you after you’ve smiled and gave him a wink? The keyword here is WHEN. You’ve cracked open the door, but trust me, let the guy fully open it. If you don’t let him make the first move you’re like the fish jumping into the bear’s mouth–you’re too easy to catch and he’ll worry something’s wrong with you. So WHEN he comes, give him that the best damn handshake he’s ever had.
The Formula: Smile and look him in the eye, then reach out your right hand to shake his, then lightly touch and gently graze his upper arm. You might need to practice this one if you’re shy, or else get another drink but NEVER get toasted…you’ll immediately be put into that guy’s “party girl” compartment and from that moment forward he will never take you serious girlfriend material.
Most of the communication humans do is nonverbal, despite all the other kabillion ways we’ve devised. So even if you’re smiling and winking and sexy hand shaking, if your body language is yelling something completely opposite from what comes out of your mouth thereafter then it will be all for not. Be sure to lean into the person you speaking to, being careful to not violate their personal space, Greene recommends. Keep your hands and arms relaxed and try not to cross them–you could inadvertently be giving off the vibe that you might be defensive or closed off. Instead of turning away from your guy because you might be at the bar, turn toward him. And for the love of all the gods in Greece lay off the cellphone! If you’re checking your texts, emails and calls every five seconds then you’re communicated that everyone in your Contacts list is more important that him.