I saw a tweet the other day (that I failed to screencap) that said something to the effect of, “I’m not flirting with you. I’m just hot and talking.” And on a level I could relate to that tweet. Not the hot part, of course. The not flirting with you part.
Because I can assure you that I’m never flirting with anyone, ever. Even if I’m attracted to you, I’m not intentionally flirting with you.
I study many languages, but flirting is one I do not speak. I don’t know a single word. There are people who can weave that flattery and charm and innuendo and whatever else it is into conversations effortlessly. I can’t even attempt this. I’ve tried. I’ve also conveniently erased those times from my memory because they were so awkward and cringe-worthy. If you put me on a plank over a tank full of alligators and told me the only way I was getting out alive was if I successfully flirted my way out of that situation, I’d go ahead and jump. I have no game. None. Non-existent.
However, I am frequently assumed to be flirting with people even when I’m not. This is most notable with men who panic that a fat girl might be hitting on them. Meanwhile, I’m oblivious because I think we’re just having a conversation, maybe joking around. Under no circumstance am I actively flirting. As we’ve discussed, I have no skill there.
What I’m doing -and what I’m good at- is bantering. I’m quick with a joke or an insult, I know a lot of random stuff, and my mind is just dirty enough that I can come up with an appropriate innuendo or two. Every conversation with me has the potential to be a comedy routine if I’m feeling it. I’m a natural.
People mistake this for flirting. It’s wild. I know that there are some similarities. But I can assure that I’m not trying to seduce you.
I’m trying to entertain you. It’s my defense mechanism.
If I’m entertaining you, then you might not notice that my anxiety is raging and that I feel incredibly awkward, that I AM incredibly awkward, that I know I don’t quite fit in, that my introvert ass is plotting a socially acceptable exit. If you think I’m funny, you won’t notice I’m weird.
You gotta get to know me better before I ease you into my weird .
And by then my banter stops being a defense mechanism and becomes just my natural conversational skills. You’ll never notice the difference.
I’m told that what I really am is a natural flirt. That’s why I don’t notice what I’m doing. But I think it’s the other way around. I think everyone else doesn’t notice what I’m doing.
So, don’t panic. I’m not flirting with you.
*Obvious customer service related aside: I am definitely not flirting with you when I am at work. My job is to be professional and courteous. I am paid to indulge your presence to a certain extent. I do not want your body or your phone number.