She’s your dream girl and you feel nervous… you stutter on your words and you finally screw it up big time. Talking to attractive women can be intimidating. Yet, it can be learned. This is true be if you’re chatting up a stranger at the shopping, out on a date or at the club. This means being able to generate conversations out of mid air with a girl. That doesn’t make you look like you’re an interviewing her and simultaneously encourage her to open up and talk about herself.
I grew up in a conservative culture and the majority of women aren’t equipped with social skills to deal with a conversation with a stranger. I figured this the hard way when a good percentage of women I approached can be pretty shell shocked. They end up freezing up.
This means looking like a friendly individual is going to make all your conversations and interactions with women a hundred times easier. Whilst most pick up artists obsess over arbitrary lines or techniques when talking to girls, you should focus on making her feel comfortable initially.
This is non negotiable.
You don’t have to go overboard and go walking in suits. However, you got have a minimal sense of fashion. This means clean shirts, jeans and shoes that fit.
Imagine this, she’s going about her day, rushing off to meet her friends, or some meeting, and you, an unknown stranger, rolls up to her, stops her, and tells her in her face that she’s cute. At this point, you’ve implicitly or explicitly signalled that you are invested in the prospect of dating her within a couple of seconds.
That’s a lot for a girl who barely knows you. This is especially so if you’re doing it in a public setting, or when she has her friends/ her parents around. You got to be empathetic in such situations and put yourself in her shoes.
So, before you actually tell her the actual reason why you’re approaching her, you should say:
These are statements of empathy.
In general, it can be more socially comfortable by being indirect when starting a conversation by asking random questions or talking about the weather.
However, I am pretty impatient by nature and I rather get my message across. So, being more direct is more congruent to my personality. It also depends on situation to situation. Sometimes, I go indirect. It can be making an observation or making a cold read: an observation about something or someone in the environment that you’re in.
If you wish to start a conversation with a girl who is a complete stranger, you can use this line: “I know is this kind of random, but I thought you’re really cute and I just had to say Hi.”
Notice the extra sentence to give her time to calibrate: “I know this is kind of random.”
I always use this exact line when talking to someone new.
Note: don’t go up to her abruptly, don’t approach her from behind. If you are a beginner, it’s best not to touch her at all. Just stand walk up beside her and plant yourself in front of her. This isn’t a hard or fast rule, as you get better you’ll be able to socially calibrate according to the social situation.
When most people ask me how do I go about talking to women that are complete strangers. I simply say it’s ’empathy’. They often give me confused look. Empathy? What’s that? How does it even look like?
Fundamentally, empathy means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagining how he or she feels in that particularly situation.
Empathy also means should also be aware of body language. If she looks shocked and slightly taken a back, you can take tiny step back and give her more personal space. Here’s a tip: a light smile helps a lot. Such subtleties are different for every woman. It’s also different for different girls you talk to. Girls who are more shy are going to be a lot more taken a back from girls who gets talked to regularly.
When starting out, you’re going to be really worried about lines, techniques, your body language, tonality, eye contact and etc. That’s normal.
However, as you progress. You’ll also find that talking to women and getting rejected isn’t that bad after all. The majority of girls aren’t going to slap you in the face.
From personal experience, the more physically attractive a woman is the more she is able to take social pressure. That’s because attractive women have been hit on a million times since puberty. Note, I’m not making a sexist judgment. It’s merely a personal observation. Well, it’s a win-win. I assume you’re going to talk to women that are attractive right?
One core principle of talking to girls is the ability to lead in conversation.
Fear running out or words? Fear not.
This can be accomplished by learning the skillset of cold reading. Cold read is the art of generating statements out of cold air. Cold reading can also help you avoid looking like an interviewer. Over the years, I realised questions are inevitable in certain cultures. Just making statements isn’t going to help. The general rule of thumb is to make a statement before asking her a question.
Cold reading isn’t just enough to form a deep conversation with a stranger, you’ll need to know how to:
“You look like you’re on the way to school. Nice shoes by the way. Let me guess, you must be a business student.”
She’s going to either correct you or agree with you at this point of time. It doesn’t matter. It gives you conversational material to work with.
“I study accounting, I don’t really enjoy it, but the practical side of me says that I got to do it, what about you, you’re passionate about business or you’re just following the path of a Singaporean girl?”
You should also attempt to tease her early on in the interaction to lighten your interaction up.
‘You’re probably going to lose money for your company. You totally don’t look like a business student.’
Note: do it with a smile of course.
This is an example of a direct approach, coupled with the cold reading skillset, sprinkled with a light compliment. Light compliments and teasing help ease the interaction.
Following up on her response, you can continue asking her questions or statements to relate to her. Free association and conversational improvisation skills are required to generate a continuous conversation. This requires practice. You can’t script or prepare humour. It’s practiced by free association and improvisation. Here’s a mental shortcut: I find useful to stick to general principles such as teasing her about her stereotype that she fits into.
I recommending practicing and learning these conversational skillsets before going up to a random stranger. I do cover these skillsets in my courses and programs. However, for brevity’s sake, I’m not going to include all of this for this article. If you’re still confused, I created courses as a dating coach that has helped people all over the world succeed in their dating life.
Some times I get the question if one should memorize lines for conversations. Personally, I never felt right memorising lines. It has never turned out well for me. Furthermore, you don’t want to be some robotic person repeating what somebody wrote on the internet.
There’s no need to memorize anything, I’ve sparked conversations with people all over the world with this simple line: “Hi I’m Marcus, I just wanted to say Hi, you look like…”.
I haven’t had a drink splashed on me yet.
I recommend understanding the principles of conversations, using your own unique life stories and motivations. This will serve you much better in the long run. Not to mention social interactions has many variables that are out of your control and cannot be completely boxed and quantified like a formula.
However, if you’re starting out you can memorize one line jokes or some of your own life stories as training wheels. They should come naturally out of you after some practice.
Mark Twain was quoted saying: “really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
When was the last time someone took notice of something about you and appreciated that aspect of you? You see, appreciation is as aspect that’s left out in our culture and conversations. That’s because it genuine appreciation requires vulnerability.
The secret desire is that everyone desires to be appreciated and to be admired. The art of qualification is the art of appreciating someone for their values or personality. The way to get good at this is to step outside one’s initial judgments and ask yourself why someone behaves the way they do.
I also don’t mean complimenting someone for the sake of complimenting them. You got to convey your compliments in an authentic manner.
For example: the guy who seems fearless in his entrepreneurial pursuits, selfish with his time, demand and uptight about his schedule isn’t actually being an asshole. He could be working on a huge project that may help his family financially.
Someone who is extremely financially motivated might not be money minded. He might be doing it because he had a negative experience financially when he was young.
I choose to write about social skills, dating and relationships because I essentially care about this area of my life. Writers make choices. It must certainly mean something to me. So does everyone, with whatever they choose to pursue.
The world is mired in advertising, societal narratives, family, friends telling you and everyone else that they aren’t good enough. If you’re able to dig beneath the surface, figure out why people do what they do and appreciate them for that, you’ll stand out from the norm in their lives. It’s only when you find that gold in someone, appreciate them for that, and watch them lit up like a Christmas tree.
As humans being, we all have an inherent emotional need for connection and significance in our relationships. Modern society often shames us for expressing what you really feel or think. Hence all of us grow up to hold back our thoughts, desires, and feelings, whether be it consciously or subconsciously.
If you’re going to meet someone and merely talk about the weather, gossip on your mutual friends or nerd out about politics, then you aren’t being truly vulnerable. If all you know about someone is merely the superficial facts about someone, then you don’t really know someone at all.
Men tend to converse through information, fact and theories and women through relationships and emotions. The majority of men pay attention to the “WHATs” of life: their job, their cat’s name and where they live. They rarely peer into the WHYs. Note that facts are mere superficial details of the emotions experienced. You want to relate to the underlying emotions behind the facts.
Conversing through stories and emotions will not only help you connect to someone in a deeper manner, but it’ll also help you connect on a more meaningful level. Deeper friendships and romantic relationships aren’t merely built by the number of experiences two people share together, it’s also built upon share values. If you haven’t figure out by now. Values are why we do and act on our life choices.
No matter how unique you may think you are, every individual in the world has gone through some form of success, failure, hurt, disappointment, anger and lost. If you wish to connect with her emotionally, you got to open yourself up and relate to her on these universal emotions and experiences.
I often tell people that I’m quite a good judge of character and their motivation. That’s because I pay attention to the undercurrent of what she is saying, as opposed to the superficial layers of what she is saying. Powerful emotional connection is built upon understanding and relating to each other’s WHYs in life.
You need to pay attention to the motivations behind pursuits and behaviours.
Here’s an example of going into the WHYs:
Her: Wow, what inspired you to be an entrepreneur at such a young age?
Me: I pursue business I want to be financially free because I felt financially suffocated during my teenage years as my family went bankrupt for a period of time.
That is a ‘why’.
Here’s another way to relate to her in a dynamic way:
I was once a competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and currently I’m an entrepreneur. The feeling before a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is the same pressure before a giving a business pitch.
They are both some sort of competition in some way. One of them is trying to overcome a physical challenge whilst the other a financial one. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor is risking failure, success, and embarrassment just like how the entrepreneur is.
Never thought how a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion can relate to an entrepreneur uh?
Like I mentioned, everyone on this planet shares a handful of universal emotional realities: ambition, shame, alienation, loneliness, achievement, regret, hardship, friendship, love, heartbreak. You and I have all experienced it. The facts change, but the feelings stay the same.
It’s merely how well and willing you are able to express yours. This will in turn inspire them to share theirs. This requires some degree of vulnerability. It’s true that many carry themselves in a superficial manner in order to fit in with society. However, everybody has it somewhere in them. It’s your job to dig it out and connect with that part of them. That’s where the real magic happens.
To do this you need to be self aware of your own life stories and motivations.
The rule of thumb here is to always go first. If you share a vulnerable part of yourself, it’ll inspire them to share about theirs.
However, to do that, you first have to be firstly aware of your own emotions, motivations and life story.
You can initiate these conversations by a simple cold read: you look like someone that is close to your family.
This is where majority of people (especially men) fail at this. Men tend to discuss technical know-hows and superficial details rather than be introspective about their own emotions. Here’s a reframe: by being alright with sharing any part of yourself, you can become truly confident. The majority of guys suck at talking about themselves. They think talking about themselves is ‘weird’ in some ways. Women, on the other hand are super engaged when they are talking about themselves (or each other). This is why women enjoy gossiping, creating drama or people watching.
Here is an example:
I always wanted to be a psychologist growing up because I had a lot of problems growing up as a rebellious teenager. I was always angry, apathetic and under performing. I ended up being hooked onto self development due to a horrible break up with my ex-girlfriend. I was addicted to the fact that I could have a control over my dating life and social interactions.
Through years of failure, today, I feel much more in control of my dating life. I took an interest in psychology that partially inspired my entrepreneurial projects.
However, if you talk about how you FEEL about your experiences, then you can relate to how she FEELS about her experiences. It’s never the experiences themselves that make the difference, it’s the similar underlying emotions of those experiences that you relate to someone that makes a difference.
Here are some examples:
She studies really hard to get into law school because she was brought up by a single Mum and she wants to be self-reliant and independent. That’s driving her. You can relate to her by saying that you had a distant upbringing with your family and you always had to rely on yourself emotionally to get by.
When you open up about yourself and can relate to each other’s emotions and experience, you’ll elicit them to to open up about themselves. The more this goes on, the more personal stories become and the deeper the emotions you connect with. The harder it is to talk about it as a subject, the more genuine and attractive it potentially can be. For example, topics such as childhood, upbringing and family life are often hard for someone to express, especially so in Asian culture.
Emotional connection occurs only through exposing yourself to a certain degree. It cannot be faked.
Lastly, confrontation is necessary to build a deeper emotional connection. Think of it as a parent who sits you down, says something that you don’t want to hear, but know that you should hear. You hate it at first, however, you appreciate that after awhile because deep down you know they are saying so because they care for you.
Confrontation can be painful and vulnerable. The majority of people avoid confrontation in the fear of rocking the boats in a relationship. However, it is necessary. Confrontation was something I started to get more comfortable with as I grew older. This is especially so with close relationships.
Recently, I confronted two good friends. I was feeling really upset on their unreliability and a host of other issues. I kept it in for months. However, it finally felt inauthentic to be around them without expressing those issues. It didn’t feel like a genuine friendship anymore. It felt like I was holding back my thoughts and desires in fear of losing the relationship.
Confrontation from a dating and relationships aspect can be as simple as calling a girl out for being half an hour late into a date to confronting your boyfriend about those weird late night calls to his ex. These conversations are almost often downright uncomfortable, but necessary. However, it is only through confrontation that an authentic and deeper relationship is formed.
If you strike up a conversation with her as a stranger… to measure if it is a solid interaction… you’re going to require minimally 5 minutes with her. I generally find interactions that last lesser than 5 minutes don’t go anywhere. However here’s the thing. If she likes you and assuming you’re generally a friendly looking individual. Your conversation is going to naturally last more than 5 minutes.
There’s there’s the age-old question of how to get a girl’s number?
Once you feel like you’ve gone from stranger to acquaintances, you should ask her out for a coffee right there and then. I always do that. You can also frame the way you ask her out.
“You’re nice to talk to, you seem like an interesting person, let’s grab coffee some day.”
Only when she agrees, then ask for her number. There’s no perfect line to ask for her number. Just say:
“Let’s keep in touch and let’s exchange contacts.”
I say this all the time, the words are superficial, it’s the intention underneath it that counts. If she says no, then it’s alright as well. Just wish her well and move on. Rejection is part of the game.
When you combine multiple conversational skillsets of cold reading, making statements over questions, humour, storytelling, improvisation and deep emotional connection, you’ll eventually find yourself in being able to direct and control the flow of any conversation. This is actually easier than it sounds. You are probably already using different parts of these skillsets in your daily conversations.
When I was seventeen years of age, I was the biggest countercultural hippie. I listened to John Lennon, dropped out of Junior College and proclaimed that all you need is love. I declared that life was all too short to be worried about the practical things in life.
I was with my ex girlfriend and we sat at the playground near my house. I went off about how societal expectations were ridiculous and gave a mini-lecture quarter baked lecture on the universe and the impermanence of reality. I told her how amazing it was to exist as a tiny speck of the universe. I ranted passionately for a good hour. She listened. And she listened well.
I then caught myself rambling and stared into her eyes.
I said: “Were you even listening, did you understand what I just said?”
She said: “No, I don’t. But I just love the way you say it.”
I got annoyed because I wanted her to understand my quarter baked theoretical lecture. She didn’t. However, years later, looking back, she probably loved how I expressed it. It was my passion, my values and storytelling at it’s finest. That was because those stories demonstrated my vulnerability. My authenticity.
Fast forward years later and I found myself dating another girl at this bar near my home. I had gotten into competitive martial arts and was preparing for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. I ranted off on about how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is similar to the game of human chess. I told her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was akin to facing death.
I explained to her that by being submitted in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match, it is the equivalent of dying. You’re either choked out, or risk suffering a major limb broken which will lead you to a huge disability continuing the fight. I then went on about how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches everyone to be humble because getting into a physical altercation in reality always pans out differently from the movies.
Guess what? She loved it. She just stared at me like my ex girlfriend did, mesmerised at how I went on passionately about something I cared about.
Complete different people, and completely different stories. Nonetheless, the same universal emotions.
The facts often get shifted around, however, the feelings are always same.