If your default flirting technique is mumbling incoherently into a pint of Heineken, sweating and then shuffling off to a dark corner, you may need some help.

Luckily, flirting expert Jean Smith is on hand to guide you through the tricky world of chatting someone up.

Here are her top tips on flawless flirtation:

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover
Wait until you ask – or are asked - one question before making a judgement about someone. The minute you see someone across a room, you’ve chosen them on a superficial basis. You may label someone, thinking ‘I like them’, and immediately feel pressure. If you start a conversation, and think “Oh, actually I don’t like them”, you’ve put pressure on them.

2. You only have a certain amount of energy in a situation, don’t use it on being self-conscious
Put your energy on the other person and you won’t feel awkward – also, people like it when you pay attention to them. Instead of thinking “Oh I wonder what he’s thinking,” actually listen and pay attention to the other person.

3. Stay present
Don’t go five steps ahead of the situation and try to figure out what’s going to happen – you’ll never know.

4. Eye contact
The more eye contact someone gives you – the more they like you. Of course, in general conversation people will make eye contact with you, so use this easy acronym to figure out whether it’s flirty or friendly:
Frequency – how often do they look at you?
Length of time – how long do they look at you for?
Intensity – how intense is the eye contact?
Gesture – is there an additional gesture,do they touch their hair/face or lick their lips?

5. Don’t put yourself on a platform to be judged by others
If you’re going into flirting to get a confidence boost from the other person, you’ll end up disappointed. It’s your job to make you feel good about yourself.

6. Don’t try and be someone you’re not
You want them to like the real ‘you’, not the ‘you’ you’re pretending to be.

7. You’re not going to match with everyone...
...and that’s fine. It’s actually a good thing. If you’re trying to flirt with someone and it’s not working out, that’s for the best, move on to the next person.

8. You will be rejected. Accept it/
While researching flirting in London, Jean met one participant who said: “English flirting is based around not being rejected.” You will get rejected, you will reject others. But if you go into flirting fearful, you’re bound to come across awkward.  

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