Flirtation is not much more than a dumbed-down form of courtship,
a valiant attempt to elevate dime-store coquetry to a high art.
Flirtation: A set of ceremonial behaviors, relics of long-forgotten mating rituals, consisting of highly stylized mannerisms intended to attract attention or seduce. There is a strong implication of frivolity, teasing, and lack of serious intent.
As the dark, exotic "dragon lady" - in compellingly dreamlike waves of silence - slowly blinks her enormously cruel blacker-than-black eyes at you across the dimly illumined room, licking her lips with all the merciless languor of a Persian cat contemplating a delicacy she may, at her leisure, pounce on and devour...Aye, here is the dilemma of being entangled in a flirtation. What a bizarre compounding of the rapturously seductive and the treacly nightmarish, somewhat akin to being slowly drowned in deliciously sweet, sticky syrup. Being "vamped" by a desirable woman provides a dizzying ego boost, but with a cloying aftertaste. Are you being courted, or merely toyed with? Is the women set on you in particular, or would any other available male have done just as well? Is this "for real", or just a flirtation?
In times past, flirting skills passed down as part of the folklore, from mother to daughter, from sister to sister, and in the peer group. Nowadays, flirtation propagates by crude imitation, prepackaged in cellophane, its exaggerated theatrical gestures making up in clumsy aggressiveness what it lacks in subtlety... and the culprits are (what else?) television and what passes for modern cinema.
Flirting has become little more than a shopworn cliché. It serves
as a shoddy substitute for the graceful interplay between the sexes.
Where now is the sultry appeal of a Lauren Bacall teasing Bogart in "To
Have Or Have Not", the finely delineated presence, the deadly,
haunting beauty of a Jean Tierney in "Laura"? And where can be found a
man of a stature sufficient to evoke such smoldering passion?
Considering your particular circumstance, shyness, acting grossly out of character invariably results in awkward, stilted behavior. You risk making a fool of yourself, and for little gain. For your personality type, a more straightforward approach, an open and 'honest' courtship generally works out better.
As always, the key to controlling the situation is knowing your place in the
scheme of things.