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Depending on who you are, flirting can either make you feel really excited or really uncomfortable. For those in the latter group, you may feel awkward striking up conversation with someone you are interested in or keeping those “I like you vibes” flowing during a date.

But it’s an important skill to develop if you want to cultivate relationships.

“Flirting is supposed to be a way of connecting and engaging with people you find attractive,” relationship expert April Masini told Elite Daily. “If they don’t connect and they don’t engage, and in fact, they disengage and distance themselves from you, you’re bad at flirting.”

The base of flirting is being secure in your own sexual energy. If the idea of seduction makes you feel uneasy even when no one is around, you’re probably going to have a hard time flirting.

“If you’re paralyzed by the sexual, romantic attention that flirting bestows, you’re going to fail at flirting,” Masini said.

“If someone flirts with you, you have to respond positively for them to respond positively, in turn.”

To amp yourself up to flirt with someone who catches your eyes, you must release your fear of rejection. Not getting a date or a number isn’t the worst thing in the world…there are billions of people on the planet–don’t let one person debilitate you.

“Consider that you’re afraid of failure,” Masini explained. “Once you recognize this, ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen. If you break down this fear, and look at the worst-case scenario, you’re much more likely to overcome it.”

Once that is out of the way, start your interaction with potential boo with a simple smile.

“A great smile is the first sign that someone is interested,” Masini said.

After a smile, strike up conversation. Don’t try a corny pick up line–they are generally considered corny for a reason.

“Don’t walk up to someone and open the conversation with a pickup line,” Masini advises. “Instead, start a conversation.”

Within the conversation think of flirting as play–you are literally bouncing an energetic tennis ball between the both of you.

“The best flirtation comes from within an organic conversation,” Masini said.

“So when you’re flirting with someone, structure the flirtation within a natural conversation.”

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