“Hi, my name is ____, and I’m a huge flirt. This is working against me. It makes men feel small, teased, and insignificant. It makes women dislike me and think I’m a ‘slut’ (which, I’m actually very much the opposite of), or else ‘boyfriend stealing,’ as I sometimes flirt with those that are…err…‘taken’. The problem is, I don’t always realize that I’m flirting. It’s kind of as natural as breathing, which sounds stupid. I do not know how to talk to men without being flirtatious. It’s the only comfortable way I know how. No one knows if I’m really interested or just being, you know, me. Men think I’m uninterested because I show general interest in everyone. Sometimes they need assurance and I don’t know how to show them that. My body language does a lot of the talking. It won’t shut up. It’s embarrassing for me. I don’t like it.”
Believe it or not, this is progress.
This is the conversation I had with myself in my room last night before I fell asleep. A fairly revealing talk with my best friend left me thinking. She told me, which she has multiple times, that I’m a giant flirt and tease. I used to be offended, and so I ignored it like we all ignore what we wish to avoid and forget and pretend never, ever existed, ever. But I’m starting to realize, that was silly.
Not all of us can be Ryan Gosling. We have qualities that need fine-tuning or adjusting. To ignore them is to do ourselves a disservice.
To do this, and make it less painful for yourself, I suggest finding a quiet place to think. Think about your daily actions, the things that didn’t feel right or upset you. Try to look at those a little more carefully and figure out where they are coming from. Once this is done, you should try getting it out. That means, not letting it stew in your brain and turn into a freaky-looking monster thing that you’d be likely to run away from. Maybe write it down. I like to say it out loud. Once it’s out there, it’s manageable. It’s more concrete. It’s a real thing. Then try to think up solutions, or talk to someone about it. Whatever you do, just getting it out there and acknowledging it is beneficial in the first place.
This is only half of self-analysis though. Just like you were once required to do when editing someone’s rough draft in high school English class, it is pertinent that you point out some flaws you may want to address (or keep as part of your quirky bits of flair), but ALSO, and very importantly, make note of the things you really like.
When you analyze yourself, you need to also praise yourself for and reflect upon your positives. The things you love about yourself and that others love about you. This creates level-headedness, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Things that suffer when we have a tunnel-vision-focus on our personal flaws.
Like most things in this world, it comes back to balance. Treat yourself with care. Do not beat yourself to a pulp with your flaws, and do not raise yourself up to the highest peak with compliments. Do not be afraid to make adjustments you really think will better you as an individual, but do not be too hasty to alter all the little things within you that make you, well… you. This process takes practice, but that practice will lead you to a comfortable place which no amount of avoidance could ever buy you.