Are you as bad at flirting as I am? The problem could be that you're too confident.
A new study from Queens College, in New York, has found that the best flirts are usually the people who most want your approval — also known as, the insecure types. As lead researcher Claudia Brumbaugh says in the study abstract, "Insecure people have [developed] numerous dating tactics … that they display to win over romantic partners." The insecure person, who is very sensitive to how a person might be responding to him, is careful not to go on and on about himself or his job, and he is more likely to be warm and engaging, to extend compliments, and to make jokes in order to entertain the person he's trying to impress. The insecure person is more self-conscious — but that means he's also more self-aware. So he'll pick up on it if he's led you down a lackluster conversation path and change topics. He'll also notice if you're not enjoying yourself and try to do something to make you more at ease.
A confident person, on the other hand, isn't as concerned with gaining your approval, because he thinks enough of himself that he doesn't need the thumbs-up from you — which means he can come off as arrogant. He might be so interested in his own career, or so convinced of the importance of the work he's doing, that he spends all night on a first date talking about himself — which is not exactly a turn-on.
(Did a certain someone I know spend our first three dates mostly talking about himself, his work, his opinions? He did. Did I find it kind of annoying and off-putting? I did. Did I find it strangely relaxing, as well as sort of interesting? I did. Was he clearly confident when it came to pursuing me, and not playing games? He was.)
The insecure types have an advantage, it seems, when it comes to courting — but they lose out in the long-term, because their insecurities eventually catch up with them. As Brumbaugh told New York mag, "Insecurity leads to problems like poor communications, and anxious people in particular are jealous." Similarly, they're also a lot more likely to cheat, as far as I can tell.
Folks, do you have stories about bad first dates with self-confident people who eventually showed themselves to be great partners? Or about a great early dalliance with an insecure flirt, who made you miserable in the end?