I’ve been to a number of parties in the past several months where I feel like I’ve turned the clock and went back to my middle school dance days: guys on one side and girls on the other. Sure, as a married guy, I think it’s appropriate to stick with the other dudes at a party. But in a room full of single people, I can’t help but notice that many guys don’t seem to know how to talk to women. So they don’t.
There’s a lack of confidence, a fear of rejection, and it’s not good for men or the women who wish someone would talk to them. Guys like directions, and although there isn’t a fool-proof manual on how to treat women, I believe the following steps are a good rule of thumb for any guy to follow—especially the shy guy who wants to talk to women but doesn’t know how.
Step 1. Prep with some confidence building:
Ask any girl, one of the main things that attracts her to a guy is his sense of confidence and purpose. There are three good ways to boost your confidence, they take a little effort, but the result will be worth it.
1. Workout. The trick here, is that when you start to see yourself making small accomplishments like building muscle or losing weight, you will start to build confidence momentum. Plus you’ll look and feel better, and who doesn’t want that? Look up regimens online for good workouts that meet you where you are—you don’t have to be a gym rat. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Buy a pull-up bar that hangs over your door. Anyone has time for three sets of five pushups, five squats, and five pull-ups a day.
2. Center yourself. Listen, you don’t have to be Yoda to get this done and it’s actually an important part of being a confident man. Women want men who are secure and comfortable in their own skin. If silent time with yourself makes you uncomfortable or makes you deal with things you don’t want to deal with, it might be a sign that you need to deal with those skeletons in the closet. Take anywhere from one to ideally 15 minutes of silence in your day doing nothing. Some guys pray, some guys meditate, some guys just reflect on how yesterday went well and how they want to improve for today.
3. Ease off the porn and video games. We can pretend this habit has no impact on our lives, but the fact is, the more hours we spend in a virtual world, the more we feed our warped view of the real world with real people and yes, real women. Although women on the Internet may look real, let’s not forget that they are being paid, which means they are acting. Real women and real relationships shouldn’t have to compete with the pseudo-Goddesses of Google we see online. Real relationships are not like a porno, so let’s not set ourselves up for unrealistic expectations. What to do instead? Find a hobby like music playing or building something with your hands. In the end you would have done something productive which again increases the confidence.
Step 2. Make it happen.
Okay, so you’ve taken the time to prep and you’re ready to say hello to the ladies. I’ll admit the hardest part of this is the initial conversation and words. What do you say exactly?
1. Don’t assume someone is out of your league. Watch the movie Hitch for some truths in that. It’s a sad fact that most women don’t have men “standing in line” to date them or even have the balls to talk to them for that matter. Most women will be flattered and friendly to a guy who approaches her respectfully.
2. Spark a conversation. This is not as hard as it seems. Use location as a good starting point—you both already have that in common! For instance, if you’re outside, “Great weather we’re having, right?” If you’re at a party, you can say, “So how did you hear about this place?” If it’s a party for someone like a birthday or wedding you can say, “So how do you know [someone’s name]?” Next step, is actually introducing yourself…although this can also be the first thing you do as well (you can always pull out the location conversation starters afterwards). Introduce yourself, while holding out your hand for a handshake. In any occasion with women, I like to give both my hands out, holding her right hand with my right while cupping it with my left. I like doing that for two reasons: it’s different than the firm handshake I would give guys; and two, it’s my small way of treating a lady like a lady—this isn’t a business deal but a gentle meeting of two people. Remember to look at her eyes. Remember to smile.
3. Be Engaged in conversation. This means ask questions, repeat what she says, and be genuinely interested. Ask her about her family, interests, or what she likes to do on the weekends. Ask her how she got interested in whatever that is. Ask her if she enjoys it. Ask her why. Ask her questions about something she says that interests you. She’ll probably ask you reciprocal questions so respond. Most importantly, be genuinely interested in what she says. Every conversation, man or woman, is an opportunity to find out something you didn’t know before. Treat the conversation like that.
4. Ask her out. Within 5 to 10 minutes of talking to a woman she will mention her boyfriend or husband if she has one. If she hasn’t, she is probably single. If you enjoyed the conversation, say something like “Hey, want to get coffee (or a drink or lunch) sometime?” Or if you know of another party or event coming up, mention it and invite her to it. Ask for her number. Either way, close and leave with a “Nice to meet you.” Walk away feeling like a boss.
Lastly, fear of rejection is really just fear of the unknown. We can miss a lot of shots, but we will miss all the ones we don’t take.
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