The pained silence. That yawning chasm of awkwardness. Each passing second drawing your focus and attention more keenly to the fact that you aren’t saying anything. The frenzied panic welling up inside you rendering your mind as blank as the proverbial slate.
I used to be utterly petrified of talking to girls. Of the perceived gigantic social cringe I’d be opening myself up to as I opened my mouth, and all that came out were boring interview questions. Of kicking myself afterwards for my failure.
I’d say now that my conversational abilities have become my main strength. Anyone, any place, any time – I guarantee I’ll have them laughing, and liking me within minutes, unless they happen to be the most curmudgeonly bastard the world has ever known.
Being an analytical sort of chap, I decided to try and break down what it is that I do so differently now into some sort of list, in no particular order, along with some brief expansion on each point. You may have heard some or all of this before, but hopefully there will be something in there that is different or new to you.
So without further ado…
1. Lower The Bar
Stop thinking that every remark out of your mouth has to be comedy gold, or scintillating witticisms. Literally anything will serve as an opener. The more you weigh up potential sentences, and throw them out for not being good enough, the more and more stifled you will become.
My current best opener? “Hey”, with strong eye contact and a smile.
2. “What I Am Saying Is Interesting, Because I Am Saying It” or Hold Your Frame
When you say something, own it. Don’t deliver it in a half-assed style, almost as if you are apologetic for wasting a girl’s time with it. You chose to say it, so stand by it. If it was a bit boring, or lame – it doesn’t matter. The girl may choose to try and call you out for it, or make an issue of it – it is your job when this happens to impose your frame on her, and imply that she is the one who is weird for not responding to a simple remark or question.
If you say something especially retarded, you can even turn it to your advantage. I was sat at the bus stop the other day, cute girl sat next to me, my mind completely blank, but I was determined to say something. I turned to her, and opened my mouth, hoping my brain would come up with something, and came up with “So….. I see you are also waiting for the bus.” Which actually turned out pretty well, since we both found it funny.
3. Remarks, Not Questions
Questions are easy to bat away. Questions can be answered with one or two words, and then it’s up to you to think of something else to say.
Use remarks or observations instead. “Where are you from?” becomes “You look like you’re Brazilian”. “What do you do for a living?” becomes “I see you’re on your way home from work.”
One of my favourite conversational devices is the inclusion of “eh?” at the end of a remark. Not in a confused sense, but in a questioning one. For example “Those shoes are a bit snazzy, eh?” – with one additional syllable, you’ve essentially added “What is your opinion of what I just said? Respond.” to the end of your comment. Stay silent after saying it, and look expectantly at your target, and you’re guaranteed a response of more than one word, unless the girl is particularly socially retarded or just a total bitch.
4. Strong Eye Contact
Always, always, always be looking your conversational partner directly in the eye. Don’t turn it into a weird staring match, and don’t look like you’re weighing up whether you’re going to kill her or not. Just strong, confident eye contact. Natural moments to look away are at times such as laughter, or when drawing her attention to something you want to talk about.
When you get more confident in yourself, make judicious use of “sexy eyes“. Without even saying more than 2 sentences, you can create an entire world of sexual tension simply by the way you look at a girl when you’re talking to her. I sometimes mentally undress my target as I talk to her, and this sub communicates across strongly. A girl told me last week that when I looked at her that way, she felt “embarrassed” – she was obviously picking up on what I was thinking about doing to her, and she liked it – she told me this when were in bed together after the date.
5. Pregnant Pauses
Silences are inevitable. You can’t think of something to say 100% of the time. Most of the time, if you have demonstrated enough value, the girl will re-engage, but sometimes she also won’t be able to think of anything to say either.
At such times, it is important to be 100% comfortable with being silent. Just chill, hold meaningful eye contact, and something will come to you sooner or later. Don’t get flustered, don’t fidget, don’t look at your watch, just keep relaxed, and show her that you’re the type of guy who doesn’t get put off at the first discouraging sign.
A silence can even be used to your advantage if you can lock in the “sexy eyes”, and convey a whole world of meaning just through your look.
6. Tonality And Speed
Talk slowly. Do not rush to reach the end of your sentences. Do not try to force the conversation to a given destination before it is ready to go there. Do not speak in a high pitched girly tone.
7. Body Language
If you are sitting, slouch just a little. Drape one arm over the back of the chair. Look almost slightly insolent – but do not try and force this if you are not confident pulling it off, or else you’re going to come across like a socially miscalibrated dick.
If you are standing, stand still. If you are standing close to one another, show that you are comfortable enough to be in someone’s personal space without it affecting you. Don’t fidget. Put one hand in your pocket if you need to. Hold your drink down by your side, as opposed to in a defensive barrier across your chest. Keep a slightly smirk on one side of your mouth (make sure it’s not too pronounced, or you may look like you’ve had a stroke). Again, don’t exaggerate any of this, or you’ll look try-hard.
Don’t forget – this is fun! Don’t worry too much about what is happening. It’s ultimately not important in the scheme of things. The more pressure you put on yourself, the more anxious you will become.
Don’t try and rehearse the entire conversation in your head before acting. I can guarantee that within 2 sentences it will have gone awry anyway. I used to be guilty of doing this all the time – I think it’s a borderline autistic thing, the need to be in control.
If you experience acute social anxiety, then study CBT techniques, such as presence and detached mindfulness. They worked wonders for me.
Actually listen to the words coming out of the other person’s mouth. They will provide you with all the material you need to keep the conversation going if you only let them. If the entire time they are speaking, you are frantically casting around your mind for the next thing to say, you are essentially just reducing their words to “Blah blah blah blah” and making your own job 10 times harder than it needs to be.
Associate things they are saying with your own experiences. Pick up on silly things they say – tease them, like they’re your little sister if they say something dumb. But don’t make a big deal of it either. Just one tease, with a smile on your face, and move on.
10. Don’t Milk Good Reactions
If you say something that gets a good response, simply smile or laugh back, and then move on. Do not attempt to milk the response by repeating it over and over again, like you’ve been bestowed the most wondrous gift you’ve ever received, and intend to clutch on to it for grim death.
Guess what you’re conveying if you make a big deal when someone laughs at your comments? That’s right – you’re telegraphing that it happens to you so infrequently, that you have to make an issue of it. Bzzzzt, you fail, you are a low value man,
Your environment is your friend. If you can look around a room full of people, and not think of a single interesting remark to make about anyone one of them, then congratulations – you are either massively unobservant, or an extremely boring individual.
Most people walk along in a world of their own, wrapped up in their thoughts, and fail to even notice what is going on around them. When you’re going about your day to day business, consciously bring yourself into the present moment, and try to observe at least one interesting or unique detail about every person you see. It’s a skill, and like every other skill, it has to be worked at in order for it to improve.
Be judgmental, have an opinion. Only bland, boring people are “nice” about everyone all the time.
As with other spheres of interaction, you want to be leading in a conversation. You set the frame, you set the pace, and you decide when it’s time to wrap things up, and take the number, or suggest the bounce.
If you sense that a conversation might be reaching it’s natural conclusion, then end if before she does, and end it on a high.
As a caveat though, do not bail from the conversation because you’re frightened that you’ll run out of things to say. Let it run its course, give the thing a chance, or you’ll just end up doing yourself out of numerous possible numbers and hookups.
13. Taking The Number
This is the easy part. All that is needed is something along the lines of “So anyway I’ve got to get going, but you seem cool – we should hang out some time. Put your number in my phone.” and hand her your phone. Done.
14. Advanced Techniques
If you’re in a conversation with more than one girl, play them off each other. Paint one as the bad girl, and the other one as the good girl. Then flip them over halfway through to keep them on their toes.
If you spot someone approaching the group who clearly already knows them, take control of the situation before they can derail it. “Hey, how’s it going, what’s your name? Ah cool, so then how do you know these guys?” Put them on the back foot before they can cock block you.
If you’re dealing with an AMOG, then let him AMOG himself out of the game. AMOG’ing is not cool, and is socially retarded when someone is just trying to have a conversation, so if he throws any shit at you, just look at him with no expression and say “Uhhh… yeah, nice one” before just turning back to your target and carrying on as if he hadn’t even spoken. The worst thing you can do is react, or engage him.
Right, this post has gotten long enough. I could probably keep going, but I’ve just written all this in one go without stopping or editing, and I’ve just about run out of concentration.