Step 3: Get a Life
Speaking of watching people, reality television provides an interesting barometer to indicate which behaviors humans find most fascinating. Some programs, like The Bachelor, have no real point except to show gorgeous individuals attracting or rejecting one another. Personally, I find them marginally less interesting than having my teeth cleaned. I favor reality shows in which people do things that require skill, talent, or daring: crab fishing, singing, clothing design, Latin dance. The popularity of these shows suggests I'm not the only person tuning in. Generally, the harder the participants have to work, the more interesting the process.
Even when cameras aren't rolling, people love to watch others work hard, learn skills, and take risks. Remember the old Peanuts cartoons in which Lucy mooned endlessly over Schroeder, whose only interest was the piano? That stereotype is based in truth: People who are mastering something that fascinates them become fascinating to others. If you want to capture people's attention, put your own attention on something that has nothing to do with them: oil painting, cooking, wildlife rescue. The more you get lost in what you're doing, the more interesting you'll become.
Best Practices: The one-two-three-punch combination
If you use the three steps above in quick succession, you'll become an attention magnet. It's like a trick move in martial arts: Target your person of interest, focus entirely on them, then abruptly divert your attention. Pow, pow, pow!
These steps allow any flirtatiously challenged person to bypass the whole complicated, alarming world of sexual tension and attraction among normal people. You can do the dance of seduction without even meaning to—simply by letting yourself be openly drawn to people, their stories, and your own deepest fascinations.
That's all you'll ever need to get what you desire. Unless what you desire is quick Mexican food. In that case, you might want to call Cathy.
This article is part of Oprah.com's 2011 Feel Good Challenge. Join now—and move closer to the life you want!
More Martha Beck
We Hear You!