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Stepwise Success

Flirty Somethings

Published February 11, 2013 6:30 AM by Scott Warner

Not to nerd out on you or anything, but Captain Kirk has this great line in The Wrath of Khan where he tells Bones McCoy, “Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young, Doctor.” Even though Valentine’s Day is upon us and Spring around the corner, I feel much the same about flirting. Now fifty-something with families, most of my colleagues and I are focused on patient care, quality, and getting home in time for dinner. How soon we forget being a flirty-something.

But as Psychology Today reports -- not to go all Mr. Spock / Sheldon on you -- there are reasons to flirt other than mating:

  • Fun - we sometimes flirt just because it’s playful or fun.
  • Instrumental - we can flirt to achieve a goal e.g. getting someone to cover your shift.
  • Esteem - often, flirting (and being flirted with) is flattering and make us feel good about ourselves.

If all behavior is goal-oriented, then logically flirting would be a behavior used to achieve goals other than romance. According to the above, the most frequent motive is relational -- a desire to alter the closeness of a dating or romantic relationship -- but flirting also happens without physical or sexual attraction.

In other words, we’re all capable of flirting with the boss or a coworker to get what we want. We all have a sense of when flirting crosses the line, becomes distracting, or is unethically used to achieve a goal. At my age, I don’t really see or notice it, and I suspect the same is true of most colleagues.

Although... Not too long ago I visited a bakery to order a dozen of something, and the clerk, a pleasant woman with salt and pepper hair, followed me for a minute. She kept blinking, staring and smiling. I left the bakery, wondering if she had something in her eye or had just had some kind of medical procedure, and laughed aloud when I realized, “Ohhh... she was flirting.”

We should all be prepared for the flirty-somethings graduating and working in our laboratories. Tis the season.

NEXT: Project or Just More Work?

posted by Scott Warner
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About this Blog


    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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