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Ever wonder why some people get promoted even though they don’t deserve it? Success doesn’t just depend on how well you do your job, it depends on how people feel about you. And plenty of people know how to flirt their way to the top. I’m not talking about sexual flirting – that is disrespectful and only leads to trouble. I’m talking about playful harmless “public flirting”, the sort that lifts another person’s spirit – and makes you visible.

We can break flirting down into three main types: public, social, and private. Public flirting is usually a spontaneous, amusing, and harmless way to brighten someone’s day. Social flirting adds a sexual element to the mix, signaling interest. Private flirting is one-on-one, radiates sex appeal, and enhances physical attraction.

We all flirt in one way or another from time to time. There are many situations where you probably don’t even realize you’re flirting. You banter with the woman at the pharmacy or joke with the man at the dry cleaner. The guy at the deli counter smiles and addresses you by name every time he sees you. You coo and gaa and make big eyes at a cute baby. These are the kinds of interactions humans are designed to enjoy and respond to. Public flirtation is innocent, makes us feel good (it is, after all, a form of flattery), and keeps us in touch with other people: but don’t overdo it or you’ll turn into a clown.

Flirting Is Fun

Some people are born to flirt, others have natural flirting skills that seem to come and go depending on the circumstance, and some of us just have no clue and need to be taught—but we all have the potential. Flirting is really a question of attitude—you don’t have to be intense about it.

Every day you come in contact with people left, right, and center, whether you’re at a bar, on the bus, or at a pottery class. Try a little public flirting. Make eye contact, smile, and say something light-hearted about the occasion, the location, the weather or pass on a sincere compliment. Show your playful side just for a moment. Learn to flirt with style, respect and subtlety and you’ll make yourself irresistible, visible and good to be around.