Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Flirting Book: Chapter 3

Hey hey. This is part of an ongoing review. See the other installments here

Alright so we left off at the end of Chapter 2. I thought some of the advice was solid, but I was starting to feel a bit on the fence about the book's tone. What about Chapter 3? 

Chapter 3 is titled Flirting 101 - The Basics. Ah, we're finally getting to the nitty gritty. 

It's starts off with a Shakespeare quote - cool. But then we get a quote from a 24 year old man, describing a woman he saw who had red hair and red lips and a body that says, "spend a day with me and you'll die happy." He goes on to say that everything about her screams "sex." The author says she loves this quote, because we've all noticed people like that, and we've all felt like that woman ourselves. This is another instance where I feel like the book is kind of playing with a line. There's a difference between thinking someone is sexy and thinking they are "sex." It's a subtle difference, but I think it's an important one. If the man had said he saw this woman's body and he himself thought, "I could spend a day with her and die happy," that'd be one thing. But suggesting that her body gives off that signal... problematic. 

My point: I don't like the tone of the book. 

Moving on! 

Rabin's going to tell us about the Big Three - the three fundamental things that can help us flirt confidently (and just interact with all people more confidently). The first of these Big Three are the eyes. 

There doesn't seem to be anything monumental here. The advice is to avoid aggressive gestures (staring, winking, raising eyebrows in a "woo woo" manner, etc), and to instead stay positive and inviting with the eye play. It's all good advice, but it isn't exactly new. I know this stuff already. Most people know this stuff. The one kind of interesting part is the idea of a "flirting triangle," when we look at other people's faces as upside down triangles, from the two sides of their forehead down to their chin. The metaphor goes that your eyes are like a paintbrush, the triangle is your canvas, and you want to move over the whole canvas gently rather than just focusing on the eyes. Or something. Basically, steal glances of people's chins, lips, nose, cheeks, etc. Don't just stare at them. Weird metaphor, but there it is. Again, not revolutionary. In my experience, it does improve interactions when you focus on someone, but occasionally glance at other areas of their face, not just the eyes. (That's true for interactions in general, not just flirting.)

The next of the big three is the smile. To be honest, I mostly skimmed this section because it got really annoying really quickly and started to feel like a glorified Cosmo article. It's also repetitive, which I find frustrating. Smiling is another flirting technique that I don't think requires a book to point out, but hey. Unfortunately, it's tedious and cumbersome. This part of the chapter is a lot like my physical therapy. In PT I'll be balancing on a wobbly piece of wood. I have to close my eyes and do squats on this piece of wood, while balancing (LOL YUP). While I'm doing it, I'm told, "Feel your ankles, pay attention to the small shifts in your ankles that occur when you re-balance, keep your shoulders back and low, don't lock your knees, lift your chin" and on and on and on. That's this chapter. Smile invitingly, make it happy but not too corny, don't let it be a cheshire smile, keep it charming. OKAY. So I'm not super wild about this advice. 

The third of the Big Three: Body language. After the annoying smiling advice I totally skimmed the rest of the chapter. It seems like more common sense stuff. Positive, inviting body language. 

My review for this chapter: boring, repetitive. Fine advice, but nothing I couldn't have learned from a million other sources. 

If you're reading this book, honestly just feel free to skip to the last page of the chapter, where there are handy dandy bullet points. 

And smile, dammit. 

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