Eye Contact Flirting: by Jackie Burns

Former Wallflower Lissa P. – It’s All in the Eyes

Lissa had been incredibly shy and quiet for years – since she was a small child in fact. Her shy nature made her a favorite among her friends’ parents and sometimes even her friends. She would always go along with everyone else's plans. She never challenged the leaders. She blended in, and that suited her just fine. For a while. As she got older, Lissa was more and more alone. As other girls developed dynamic relationships, Lissa couldn’t. Middle school was painful. She wanted to join in, but her personality just wasn’t suited for it. Classmates misread her quiet nature for aloof egotism and stayed away. In high school, Lissa had her first crush. Here’s how she described it.

“Evan was no the star athlete. He was not the class clown or the really smart kid. He wasn’t even the weird kid. He didn’t stand out at all – just like me. But he was so gorgeous. I guess, looking back, he wasn’t that good-looking, but at the time, he was perfect. I think what I liked best was that he was just like me. Trust, I didn’t like me that much at the time – he just was quiet and not threatened. He didn’t demand attention. But I wanted more than anything for him to give me attention, and the truth was, I didn’t know how. In study halls, I saw him looking at me all the time. He would linger at my locker until I got too close. He smiled at me. He tried to connect. But I couldn’t.Catch Him & Keep Him I couldn’t even look at him. Who knows what could have happened, but I do know that high school was very lonely for me. I never even went to my prom.”

Lissa’s story is about the most common I have heard. She is not painfully uncomfortable or fearful. She just didn’t know how to connect with boys. And, since she was so quiet, there was no chance for her to learn – speaking up was too hard.

But Lissa, according to her got really lucky when she got to college in the form of her freshman year roommate – Ginnie. Ginnie was actually a lot like Lissa. She was bright, attractive, motivated, and fun. But where they differed was that Ginnie had what Lissa called “an unbelievable gift to look people straight in the eyes when she spoke to them – it made people feel like she thought they were the most important person in the world.” What Lissa saw with her eyes was Ginnie looking into others, and that is the first tip you must know if you are a shy girl. That is why eye contact flirting is so important!

Tip #1: Learn to Make Eye Contact.

When you’re shy, speaking can be really awkward and hard. This is not because you have nothing to say; you just do not want to say it. This happens for a number of reasons. For Lissa, it just wasn’t her personality to be the really vocal one. And she didn’t want to be. Which is, of course, why she never asked Ginnie how she did it. But she learned her first lesson,eye contact flirting as she watched Ginnie. This is what she learned.

“Ginnie never had to start a conversation. She would just catch someone’s eye – boys and girls – and they looked back. Ginnie never had to share too much if she didn’t want to. As long as she was able to maintain eye contact – people would pour their hearts out because they felt connected. And there was no doubt that Ginnie felt connected. Never a party girl, she had tons of friends – real friends who cared and talked and laughed. And she always had a boyfriend – a real one who fell deeply into her eyes and deeply in love with her.”

When Lissa graduated from college, she had been in three serious relationships (two of which she ended herself). The third, she didn’t end. Instead, they got married after four years of sharing a deeply loving quiet space with one another. What changed? Lissa listed for me the exact steps she created for herself to become more like Ginnie.

1. Learn to love the mirror. If I couldn’t look myself in the eyes, I knew I could never do it with others.

2. Practice eye contact flirting with girls. The best thing I did for practice was force myself to say hi to three different girls in a week and look them in the eye. They must have thought I was really weird, but it was way easier than starting with guys. And I actually made some friends.

3. Darker social places were easier for me in the beginning – the college’s bar, evening events like plays and readings. The eye contact felt far less intense.

4. Start small. I didn’t go to the big parties – I’d be invisible there. But the snack bar after hours only ever had about 8 people in it studying in it – jackpot!

5. Follow through. I’ll never forget the first guy, Jamie, whose eyes I looked into in the cafeteria. It wasn’t that I liked him (which made it easier); it was that I said nothing. When I caught him looking at me, I just didn’t turn away. He walked up, simply as that.”

Lissa practiced eye contact flirting a lot, but it didn’t take much once she got the hang of it. And learned the most important lesson a shy girl needs to know – make eye contact.

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