Attention without Intention

 That title is a quote I found online that summed up pretty much everything I am trying to say.  It was the title of my presentation to the girls, and it is completely accurate.  Flirtation is giving and taking attention without any serious motivation behind it. 

“Yo!  Phylicia!  You are AWESOME!” It was my sixteenth summer, and I was working as a retail clerk in a greenhouse/gift store.  Being a greenhouse, the landscaping staff were also present — and Billy happened to be one of them.  “Why, exactly, am I ‘awesome’, Billy?” I asked absently, attempting to continue my work.  He considered a moment, and coming up with nothing, he shrugged and said, “You have an AWESOME purse.”  The theme of my summer were Billy’s attempts to gain my attention.  “Yo!  Phylicia!  Gimme a hug!”  “Yo!  Phylicia!  Check this out –” He would tote bags and boxes conventiently past the retail desk, groaning with the strain.  While some of this can be attributed to the typical male ego, most was due to Billy’s desire for momentary attention.  Would he have dated me?  Maybe.  But he never would have meant anything by it.  It was all in ‘fun’. 

What do you do when a guy starts flirting with you?  And what does it look like?  For many girls it can be hard to define what is flirting and what is friendly.  Some girls want to think a guy is flirting with them, when really he is just being polite and pleasant.  Others assume a flirtatious guy is ‘just friendly’ and go along with his overly-pleasant tactics. 

Guys who flirt generally are first, not Christians, and second, not close friends with you.  By close I mean family friends, or church aquaintances.  In my own experience, the men who flirted with me were almost always co-workers, customers, or employees at various stores I would stop in.  Want to know why?  Because these men have no relationship with you, aren’t looking for a relationship with you, and are only hoping for a momentary thrill.  The reason any decent guy friends you may have don’t flirt with you is because if they did, it would be taken as with serious intent.  They have a friendship with you — so if he says, “Wow, I like you hair!”  You’re thinking, “Whoa, where did that come from?  I thought we were just friends!”  Guys in the world flirt because they want female attention without the commitment of a relationship.

Guys flirt in many ways, and almost any situation can be manipulated to fit the bill they want.  Your responsibility is to determine your reaction to these situations.  The key is to keep yourself collected and pleasant.  There are three common reactions girls have when a guy flirts with them:  

1)  A girl will return the favor, flattering the guy or laughing at his attempt to gain her attention (he succeeded, as you can see).

2)  The girl will cower, unduly embarrassed by the attention, and her over-sensitivity will encourage him to tease her even more.   This girl needs to learn to collect her emotions and respond with pleasant coolness.  She has no need to be embarrassed by what the other person said, unless it is very crude (this will be addressed in later posts).

3)  The girl will respond haughtily.  This is a defense mechanism some girls form to quell their embarrassment or surprise, but it is often only effective in making the young man angry unnecessarily and sullying her own witness.

There is one response that can be taken with almost every flirtatious situation instigated by the guy.  What he wants is attention, so instead of giving it to him wholeheartedly, smile and walk away.  In some instances, this can’t be done, so what then?  I call it ‘maintaining the air of the absent’. Look like you are busy, in thought, or on your way to doing something.  Do NOT be unpleasant, but don’t be overly friendly. 

This post, as you can see, covers our responses to guy-instigated flirtation.  In my next posts I will be covering methods of female flirtation and the Great Question:  can I have guys as friends? 

God Bless!

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5 Responses

  1. This was another great post, Phylicia. We, as young ladies, need to have complete control over our emotions when with someone of the opposite sex, and need to know how to respond to a man’s comments that are meant as flattery to be flirtatious. I know that whenever I am asked something by someone I don’t know, (male or female) that I just try to smile it off. It’s because I am shy.

    There have been a few times, looking back, that I realize that I should have acted a different way around one of my boy-friends. A lot of times, girls don’t realize they are getting a little too friendly and giddy. They think it’s only a friendship. We really need to watch out for that.

    I agree that most guys who flirt are looking for a momentary thrill. It’s not love they are looking for; or it’s only for a little while. That is why we don’t date either. When someone dates, and then they break up, it’s like you’ve left a piece of you with them, you know, your heart. Dating is dangerous. (I am also saving my first kiss for my husband on my wedding day.)

    I am afraid I would probably fit into the 2nd category of flirting – 2) The girl will cower, unduly embarrassed by the attention, and her over-sensitivity will encourage him to tease her even more. This girl needs to learn to collect her emotions and respond with pleasant coolness. She has no need to be embarrassed by what the other person said, unless it is very crude

    But my reason is different – I am shy, and have not really had any practice with having a friendship with a boy. But I am learning how to answer politely, but not too rudely you know? I hate going to the store because of talking to the clerks… 😦

    I agree that we should “NOT be unpleasant, but don’t be overly friendly.” A lot of girls feel uncomfortable at first, but as time wears on, they think it is ok to get a little closer. Soon you have a mess. But I have never been in a relationship like that (thank the Lord!) and hope I never will be.

    Well, thank you for the great post to think about! I await your next one. I admit, I really wondered if I should have boy-friends, or if that would put me in a position I would not know what to do. But we have the Bible, which tells what things are lawful for us. 🙂

    Great post again, Phylicia. 🙂
    love and blessings!
    Love,
    Rachel
    http://dixonhomestead.com/rachel

  2. Oops, that was not meant to all be bolded. Only your quote! LOL oh well!
    🙂 love and blessings!
    Love,
    Rachel
    http://dixonhomestead.com/rachel

  3. Dear Phylicia,
    I must admit that what you discribed in this entry gives me great anticipation for your next one on how girls strive for the attention of the guys in their lives. I don’t have too much to say on the guys end of business except for us ladies to be careful not to lead the poor things on. They are visual and will take “signs” that we may not intend to send out. Having friends of both genders is good, but be thee careful of how you conduct yourself. Keeping above reproach at all times. Would you behave in such a manner if you could SEE Jesus walking beside you? If you answer is no, then change your behavior. If the answer is yes, then you have nothing to wory about, you are considering God FIRST and that is what we need to do at ALL times. *smile*

    Remember to pray always. -me- (Mommy of two little blessings)

  4. Very good article. I’m not sure which category I fit into. I’m shy, but I don’t encourage them by my shyness… However, I haven’t really spent time with boys like that. Maybe a few years ago when we went to a Wednesday church thing, but the boys only tried to talk to me because I wouldn’t partake in their idle talk with the rest of the teens. I don’t respond to dumb (attention-getting) questions as they think I will, though I’m not haughty (at least I don’t think I am LOL).

    I’m thankful that I’ve been placed in a position where I don’t have to deal with flirting on any kind of regular basis…. though there have been times. ; )

  5. Hi Phy!

    I haven’t been on here in a while, so I just now read through everything. The “Can I have guys as friends” one is really good. Some people I know should read that. 🙂

    Love,
    Your sis

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