Thu 9 Jul 2009
The internet disappoints me.
I did a google search for “how to flirt at work” and the most miserable results come up. If you believe the sources that Google says are the most relevant, all you need to do to make the ladies at your job swoon is to smile, give them compliments, and offer to do their work for them.
This stuff just doesn’t work. Sure, smiling and complimenting a woman may be a part of flirting, but it doesn’t really explain how to do it.
There is more to flirtation than that, including teasing, playfulness, and innuendo, but banter is a huge part of what flirting actually is.
What about flirting with the women at work?
This is a question that always gets asked at the Art of Attraction workshop. Men want to know how to hit on that hot chick at work.
The simple answer: carefully and delicately.
Sexual harassment laws in our country being what they are, know the policy. Unwanted sexual advance or comment can be prosecuted. I am in no ways an expert. If you are going to flirt with girls at work, know the regulations that apply to you and your work environment. This post is written as infotainment, and is not advice. Don’t do something stupid.
If you are looking for an article about how to date women you work with, this isn’t it. I don’t date the women I work with. I don’t hook up with them. I don’t mess around with them. It makes life easier, and I don’t care how hot she is, there are plenty more women in the world that don’t have that particular complication attached.
But I do flirt with them.
I work with many women that I flirt with all the time. It keeps things fun. There are also many women at my day job that I don’t really flirt with. Some of them are receptive, and some are not. Some are kinda receptive, and some I can be more liberal with the flirtation.
Test the water before you dive
High octane flirtation does not always go over well. Also, you do not want to be the guy at work that hits on everything that breaths. Neither of these are good for your career, and your career should come before flirtation.
The hail mary banter or flirtation that may work well in the bars or clubs isn’t gonna be appropriate in the office. Out of place it can be too aggressive, and inappropriate. I test the waters out slowly, with a little flirtatious comment here and there, and I pay attention to how they react.
Throwing some roles into your banter is a good way to do this. Start with something fairly tame. You don’t want to start off by setting up roles of you as the love pirate and her as your slave. That is way overboard.
You can accuse a woman of being the office trouble maker, or set yourself up in the role of the boss, with her being one of your minions. The important thing is to do something that can be fun, but without a lot of sexual overtones to it. Then see if she plays along. If she plays along, laughs, smiles, and banters back, then it is a good sign that you can flirt with her a little more.
Once you know she is gonna respond to being flirted with, then you can slowly add a little more. By “slowly add a little more”, I mean over days and weeks. Not right away. There is no hurry.
Don’t touch too much
I am usually a very touchy feely flirt. I will be all over girls when I meet them, I put my arm around them, hold their hand, and so on. Not at work though. This is again, one of those things that I test out over time. When I do touch one of my coworkers, it is very little, gentle, quick, and as non-obtrusive as possible. I might touch their arm or shoulder, but that is about it. Anything more than that has to be with someone that I have a longtime relationship with, and we have worked that into the boundaries of what is acceptable.
Another way to not make any touching as awkward is to touch everybody, man or woman. This is the behavior of high status people by the way, and is something that good bosses will do. If you show that you are just a person that is comfortable touching people, you won’t so much be the weird guy that touches all the women.
Ramp things up after work
You can bump up the flirtation after work. Go out to happy hour with some of your coworkers, and you can bump up the level of your flirtation a bit. It is more appropriate in social situations because, well, it’s more appropriate in social situations.
You do need to still keep things appropriate, just because you’re not at work does not mean it is time to go hog wild. Even though you may not be in the office, you, and she, are still around co-workers, and their impression of you will be made as much after work as during work.
Many women aren’t going to want to be known as the office flirt, and for good reason. Keep this in mind. If you are making her uncomfortable with how much you are flirting you are missing the point.
The most important point
The most important thing to do if you are going to flirt with your co-workers is to pay attention to how they respond. A good response is smiles and laughs, and her flirting back. If you don’t get this type of response, pull it back.
Also keep in mind that it is possible to be playful without being too flirtatious. This is usually a matter of cutting out any sexual overtones in your flirtation and banter. You never want to make a woman you work with feel uncomfortable.
Take it slow, and have some fun. The more you flirt with your co-workers, the more you will get a sense for what is OK, and what is not. Flirting with your co-workers is a good way to keep things fun for you and her.