• Keeping Friends

My Friend, The Flirt

Published: August 15, 2011 | Last Updated: August 23, 2022 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
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A woman describes her friend as a flirt. This behavior is causing her distress and she doesn’t know how to handle it.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I go to a spinning class on Wednesday nights with a really nice and fun friend. I get a little embarrassed because she flirts endlessly with the instructor.

Maybe it’s just not my business and I should let it go. Well, she flirts with all the men we know actually. Should I say something or let her be?

Signed, Marlee

ANSWER

Dear Marlee,

Every friend is a package. Perhaps one of the reasons why your friend is “fun” is because she is so friendly and outgoing. Her flirting with the spinning instructor may be innocent but you haven’t mentioned whether she’s married, whether he is, or whether her flirting is innocent.

If you think her ways are going to get her in trouble or are embarrassing her, you probably should say something. Another
reason to say something is if your embarrassment is getting in the way of your friendship.

If your spinning friend is consistently flirting with “all the men you know”, it suggests that she might be very insecure and as a result, needs continual affirmation of her attractiveness from men to prop herself up.

It could be that she has no insight into the way she is coming across and may benefit from some gentle feedback from a good friend. Depending on the nature of her flirtiness and your relationship — and whether it’s gotten her into trouble — you may want to encourage her to talk about this issue with a mental health professional.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene


Also on The Friendship Blog:

My Friend Dumped Me Because She Thinks I Made A Play For Her Husband


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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Spinning caught my eye because I’ve been bothered lately by friends who are so quick to agree with, flatter, or spin the truth, even about small things, that I tend to think of that as being like the woman who flirts too often or inappropriately. Let’s face it, a little bit of flirting is normal and fun and where would life be if no one flirted a little here and there. But it seems to me flirting and being overly eager to appease and agree and cajole is all part of the People Pleasers family. When you’re around friends who do this all the time, you doubt their sincerity about anything that comes out of their mouth. I’ve had a very hard time as of late coping with two friends who are like this. It has made me recoil from them. It seems to be damaging the friendships, for me. Maybe Irene could write about “friends who appease” or something like that. How do we handle friends like this? I know I have told one of my friends that I don’t want (or need) her to always tell me what she thinks I want to hear. Reason reason, of course. 🙂 Just kidding. I mean, if she wants to tell me my new haircut isn’t as flattering as the old style, that’s cool with me. But she will go out of her way to say the easy, “nice” thing, whether it’s about a haircut or a health issue (she once told me she had the same health problem I did, just to agree with me …. she confessed later she didn’t really have the same condition, she just wanted me to not feel alone). We all want our friends to be “nice” to us, but not so much so that the truth of what they say is always in question.

  2. Liz says:

    Depends on just how much the flirting really bothers you & whom (who?) she is doing it with!! If she flirts with your husband, not cool, your grandpa, very cute, your brother, no problem, her brother, very weird, etc.
    If this was my friend & she was flirting with ok people, not my husband, not my teenage sons, then I wouldn’t do a thing. Fun people are often very charismatic & it comes with the territory. If she flirts with your man, then I’d probably say something direct about it like, gee I wish you wouldn’t do that!
    Liz

  3. Anonymous says:

    While I appreciate your advise, maybe this person is just jealous. I would say she should explore that before she decides how this person should or should not be. Usually when something like this bothers me, it is because I am being judgy and there is something I feel is an issue for me. This is none of her business, and for some flirting is a way of life, and you know what, those people have a lot of fun! Flirting is not the same as action, and it does not mean anything, even if it feels that way!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can relate totally to having a friend like this not to the flirting!

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