Some of us are just born with it!

“It” being our natural ability to flirt—whether we mean to or not. Sometimes it’s our overly giggly reaction to everything, or our touchy-feely mannerisms. Being a natural flirt is a struggle, okay? I mean, it’s not something we can just turn off.

Seriously, while having the ability to flirt in our sleep definitely has its perks, it’s also tough when people oftentimes confuse our inherent friendliness as a sign that we want to date them.

Keep reading for seven ways to avoid giving someone the wrong idea if you’re a natural flirt:

1. Don’t Go Out of Your Way to Text Them (Unless You Need a Favor)

Knowing someone likes you (even if you don’t like them back) does have its perks—one of them being that you can get them to help you with schoolwork or other various favors. In these instances, feel free to text away. As long as you stay on topic about the matter at hand, you’re not doing anything to reinforce their misinterpretation about your feelings. But, unless it’s something like school (or of other related importance), don’t go out of your way to text them just because you’re “bored.” If they’re an actual friend of yours, well yeah, that’s fine, but if it’s just an acquaintance who thinks you want to date them, steer clear from any unnecessary communication.

Zoey with a towel turban on her head sitting on her bed and looking at her phone in Grown-ish

(Grown-ish via Freeform)


2. If They Text You, Never Reply Right Away (Unless It’s Urgent)

If you don’t actually like someone that way, you obviously don’t want to waste your time (or heck, theirs) getting wrapped up in a constant back and forth text exchange. Put some distance between your communication by taking a long time to reply. Sure, we sometimes do that when we’re writing to our crushes, but eventually we get into a texting flow with them. If you never allow this person to get into that kind of groove, it’s clearly saying you’re not that interested.


3. Keep Text Exchanges Short and Unemotive

You don’t need to be outright rude to someone you’re not interested in, but by keeping exchanges very brief, not following up with questions and avoiding emojis and exclamation marks, you’re definitely making a statement. Considering how lively you are in person, to somewhat shut down via text (when it’s actually easier to communicate that way) shows that you really aren’t interested in prolonging this conversation, despite given the opportunity.

Zoey looking creeped out at a phone on Grown-ish

(Grown-ish via The CW)


4. Casually Name Drop Your Crushes in Front of Them

Get into the friend zone immediately with someone you’re not interested in by casually addressing someone you do like! Whether it’s asking for their dating advice or blatantly mentioning you straight-up like that person, by referencing someone else or insinuating you’re interested in someone (who isn’t them), that should make it clear that your seemingly flirtatious behavior is purely innocent.


5. If They Make a Flirty Comment, Veer the Convo in a Different Direction

Compliments are always nice to hear, but it’s one thing to tell someone “good job on your test,” and another to say, “that top looks cute on you.” If someone you’re not into compliments you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or just plain uninterested, steer it in a different direction. It could be a response totally unrelated like, “Thanks, I’m so tired today,” or a reaction that takes a negative spin like, “Ugh, I hate this top. I wore it because all my clothes are dirty.” Whatever you do, avoid your natural instinct to giggle and do not accidentally compliment them back!

GROWN-ISH - "Starboy" - Zoey makes a deal with Dean Parker to tutor the star basketball player in order to get a letter of recommendation, but her friends seem to think the relationship is something more. This episode of "grown-ish" airs Wednesday, Jan. 17 (8:00 - 8:31 p.m. EST) on Freeform. (Freeform/Tyler Golden)

(Grown-ish via Freeform)


6. Only Hang Out With Them in Groups

Unless you’re tight with this person, there’s no need to hang out one-on-one if you’re not interested. Heck, even if it’s for the sake of studying, bring along another pal or classmate. If you only hang out with someone in groups, not only are you not allowing them to get to get to know you on a deeper level, but you’re also making your boundaries clear.


7. Always Make a Point to Refer to Them As a ‘Buddy’

Nothing says “friend zone” quite like “bud,” and there’s really no reading around it. Even in your naturally flirtatious moments of elbowing them in the stomach with a giggle, refer to them as some sort of pet name that can’t be construed as flirtatious. Or if they do something nice and you want to express gratitude, say something like “Aww, thanks bud. You’re such a great pal.” Trust us, the words “pal” and “attraction” do not go hand-in-hand.


Worried that you may not be flirting enough? HERE are five ways to flirt if you’re shy!