Flirt Away...

Okay as silly as it may seem, I have recently realized I have no idea how to flirt?  Sure I have been out on dates, hell I was even married, but what is funny to me is that I always seem to miss cues of interest from the opposite sex.  Why is that?  How could that be?  Or is it that I’m flirting and didn’t even know I was flirting?  Sure we all know people who are unbelievable flirts and who get tons of attention from the opposite sex and whatever it is I do just is way, way more subtile than that.  So the question is - Is it better to be a full on flirt or is it okay to flirt just a little?  I have to say that it absolutely depends on the person.

I can tell you though that after spending a lifetime trying to be invisible and hiding even to myself the art of flirting somehow has escaped me or at least that is how I feel.   When someone pays attention to you and you have programed yourself to not be seen suddenly being noticed is scary, uncomfortable, feels downright ridiculous sometimes and okay a little flattering.

If the other person is looking at you, smiling at you and makes a cute comment to you  (it couldn’t possible mean he’s interested in you) so I respond without thinking and smile back ever so sweetly yup I’m flirting even if I didn’t know it.  What I have finally realized is the negative self talk and the bad body images that I have carried with me has led me to think that I actually have no clue how to flirt.  Truth is I flirt all the time and don’t even know it.  How about you?  Do you know how to flirt?  Do you know what kind of signals you are sending out and are they the right ones?  And when you get a signal back can you read them correctly?  

I think for me when you don’t see yourself as pretty or beautiful or like you have something incredible to offer and someone pays you a compliment or shows an interest in you - you don’t believe them.  You doubt yourself way too much to believe that you could be desirable to another.  Guess when you feel so bad about yourself, you put on your own protective armor when you go out and it takes someone pretty fantastic to put a dent in it.  But the question becomes how many dents before you start to believe in yourself that gee you might be attractive to the opposite sex and gee you actually might be worth making an effort for.  So for me flirting comes down to confidence in who you are and how you look and being able to portray that to the people outside your inner sanctuary.  Confidence is something that is hard to come by most days when you don’t like what you look like and when you hide from yourself and it absolutely makes sense that it would carry on into other things like finding a great man in your life.

But for me, I never realized just how much “pretending” that I had confidence and actually having confidence could make in your life and how it spills over into ever aspect of your life.  Which includes meeting new people and yes flirting and having fun with it.  So I have a new game plan and that is to pay more attention to how people respond to me and look for the verbal and non-verbal cues that someone else is sending me.  Want to play along too and just see how great of a flirt you can become?  Hee!Hee!

Till next time,

Lisa

Hating Yourself A Little Less

I happened to catch the last few minutes of an old program called Huge the other day.  Its was ABC Family show that is based on a group of kids attending fat camp and learning to make better choices and how to better understand why they overeat.  As a former fat kid I could certainly relate but I have to say the last few minutes of the show have stayed with me.  Wil is the lead girl, (played by Nikki Blonsky) and she asks  the Director, Dr. Rand (played by Gina Torres) who is now thin “So do you still  hate yourself?”  And the director replied “A little less now”  And Wil didn’t like her answer and was like “That’s it, that’s the big secret”.  It was such a great moment in the show and it parallels life so much.  Sometimes as the fat kid you long to be the skinny girl but you never realize that the skinny girl may be desperately afraid that she’s not enough either and she has her own issues too.  

As a big girl who is now a normal sized woman I can tell you I have the same insecurities that I did back then they are just a little less.  Some days you still hate yourself, some days you like yourself a little more - that never really goes away.  But the good days definitely outweigh the bad ones now.   Some days you do every thing you can to avoid a mirror or getting your picture taken I think more out of habit than necessity now.  And, I still have a tough time accepting compliments and have been known to look behind me because I think, “he’s not talking to me”.  It is the craziest thing going from trying to hide and not being noticed to people looking up and smiling when you walk into a room.  I have come to understand it requires a different kind of confidence in yourself that I certainly never had before.  

We are all just people, we all have the same basic needs to be loved and it is truly unbelievable at the lengths that people go through sometimes to get love.  And when you have been hurt in the past we have a tendency to put up walls and sometimes those walls become part of our appearance and our part of our identity.  

It’s moving past those wall, putting the insecurities down, believing in yourself and finding an inner confidence that you never knew you had that helps you “Hate yourself a little less today”  and one day you’ll be able to “Fully embrace the woman and the beauty that shines from within you”.

Till next time,

Lisa

At what age do we begin to dislike our bodies?

I use to think that there was something wrong with me.  That maybe I was genetically predisposed to being a “Big” girl but I know that is not true.  Sure genetics plays a part but when you have bad eating habits and never move - there is only so much you can blame on your parents as adults.  I am certainly not in a place where I am interested in placing blame, I am in a place where I need to take responsibility for my own actions finally, and I truly believe I have done that an accepted myself for the first time ever in my life.  

But the question that keeps running through my head is at what age do you first notice your body?  At what age do you realize that you are uncomfortable in your own skin?  And what could have been done or could be done right now to help our kids not go down some of the same slipper slopes that I know I  have.  Does the realization that you are “Big” or “Fat” first come when you are picked on in school, or when you recognize that you are not as cute and skinny as some of the other girls?  

I recently visited with one of my best friends and her daughter who is thirteen is making some of the very same discoveries.  As any young lady in her situation, she is having a bit of a hard time right now.  Her body is going through so many changes she’s not sure what to or how to make sense of some of it.  Thinking she was in need of some girlie time, I soon realized girlie time wasn’t something she enjoyed and she had no clue really what that even meant.  Sure she has spent time with her Mom running errands on the weekend even though this time it was specifically for her made no difference to her at all.  She hates shopping whether its for her little brother to get him a new suit or whether she is getting something new, she would sooooo much rather go to the movies and skip the rest.  So my thought was if this darling can’t even wrap her brain around what a treat girl time is - what else do we assume all teens know but we don’t really take the time to explain to them.  Stuff like the importance of washing your face & taking care of your skin, making sure to remember to put on deodorant & perfume, how to style your hair and some of the products that work best, tips on how to put on and experiment with a little makeup, making some time for herself, finding clothes that make her feel cute in and are right for her body type, making better food choices and exercising.  All these may seem obvious to us as adults but they are certainly not so obvious to a young teenager who is trying to find her own way.  The difference these little lessons or tips can and will have on her life could be tremendous if she learns early on that she is truly beautiful on the inside and all this stuff is just helping her outside match the beauty inside.  I know I wish someone would have taken me aside and explained this to me when I was her age.  Sure this is not a one time thing and this is truly an ongoing process that will take some time. 

Speaking of time, when I started sparklewithin.com I was mainly thinking my audience would be women but I decided that young ladies needed this information as much if not more than woman do so I am now working on creating a new website with the focus on some incredible young ladies that will be linked to each other, so wish me luck.  I just can’t sit by knowing I have the tools to make a difference in these young girls lives and not get involved so here goes.  :)  

Till next time,

Lisa