Flirting is one of those things I don’t get. That said I still do have situations where I can recognise it may be considered flirting, usually after I’m well into a conversation or will have it pointed out afterwards to me. However I still don’t consider it it flirting. However to explain this I need to define what flirting is:
According to the OED flirting is:
to behave in a frivolously amorous or sexually enticing manner
That is in a non-serious sexually suggestive manner, though I believe it should also be expanded to include romantically suggestive.
Wikipedia has an entire page on flirting which states that people flirt to bond and express sexual interest. However it goes on to describe two types of flirting: for fun and with intent. Most of the focus is on flirting with intent to form either a sexual or deeper personal relationship though it may also be for amusement without intent to form any further relationship.
The reason I say I don’t “flirt” is that I do not believe I am being sexually or romantically suggestive, at least not by intent and thus the reason I don’t tend to realise that I may be in a situation that may be considered “flirting” to well after it has begun and the other persons actions and statements make it clear. To me a conversation that could be considered flirting is one in which myself and the other person are both energetic in the conversation and getting to know each other better without worrying about what else is going on around us. To use Wikipedia, this would be defined as flirting for fun in order to bond. For this to be considered flirting though it would have to be suggestive and that is not something I even consider in these conversations, rather I just think its a good, open and friendly conversation.
This is the reason I don’t believe I flirt, rather people misinterpret my actions as flirting. For this reason I’m also conscious that I must pay attention and pick up on the clues from the other person to consider when it may be that I am “flirting” to ensure that it doesn’t result in a more complicated situation later. (Thankfully obliviousness usually helps to get out of these too)