She’s your ideal girl and you feel nervous… you stutter on your words and you finally screw it up big time. Talking to an attractive girl can be intimidating. Yet, it can be learned. This is true be if you’re chatting up a stranger at the shopping or out on a date. This means being able to generate conversations out of mid air with a girl that doesn’t involve you looking like you’re an interviewing her.
Some times I get questions on 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 her body language. If a woman 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.
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 connecting with women isn’t that difficult after all. The majority of girls aren’t going to slap you in the face.
One core principle of talking to girls is the ability to lead in conversation.
Fear of 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 talking to a girl after approaching her, 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. This requires free association and conversational improvisation skills. This requires practice. You can’t script or prepare humour. Here’s a mental shortcut: I find useful to stick to general principles such as teasing her about her stereotype that she fits into. 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.
Can you come off as charismatic when talking to anyone? Starting conversations is an important skill. However, learning how to continue them in a dynamic manner is also equally important.
Ever know someone who went on and on and on… you can’t help but quietly look away hoping he gets the signal that he’s being too too long-winded? Or maybe you know someone who awkwardly attempts to fit in a joke in his conversations?
Human beings, by nature, are enrapt by stories. People in power, businessmen, priests (erhem), comedians, and politicians all use the art of storytelling to explain, persuade and influence others to their way of thinking.
In the dating advice for men community, memorising stories and routines are popular methods. Whilst this might work in the short run, there’s going to come a point of time where you’re going to run out of words. Hence, I advocate understanding the principles of what makes a dynamic conversation and apply them using your own life stories and experiences.
Learning how to tell a story in a structured, and interesting manner will make you a good conversationalist and every great story has a rough three-step process.
The set up gives context to the conflict of the story. It’s the general setting, such as the location and brief details of the story. The set up should be as short as possible. But it’s necessary to give the initial context and foundation for the follow-up of the complete story.
If you don’t set up your stories, you’ll come off to others as random in your conversations.
One simple one lined example of the “set up” would be this:
“I was attending my school orientation the other day. Whilst watching the orientation games, there was this girl that tripped and fell. I was an asshole about it and laughed a little.”
It’s descriptive and gives background to the story.
The conflict is the part where you introduce the majority of the story. This should be the part that causes tension and expectancy. The content of the story needs to be captivating and hook others into wanting to know what will happen next. If there isn’t much conflict in the content of your stories, you will get the feeling that you ramble on a lot and others are not paying attention to you.
To continue to story from the set up:
“One of the most attractive girls in the whole of the camp took me by surprise and gave me a smack on my arm. I actually froze up! I froze up and walked away like an idiot! I should have just said something out of my mouth or smacked her back. But I didn’t. I retardedly froze up and walked away.”
“However, I never really felt right, that’s because I didn’t want myself worth to be judged on how many girls date, or anything like that. I also felt I wasn’t experienced enough to coach guys that might be twice my age.”
The resolution and the punchline are where you insert ‘the moral of the story’, the ‘punchline’ and the ‘joke’ to end of the story, or just closure for a generic story. People who don’t conclude their stories properly will often get blank stares when they’re finished speaking, or people will ask them “Yeah, and…?”
To end off the story with a punchline:
“Lesson learned! Never ever stand beside an attractive woman during orientation games.” (Joke)
“Nonetheless, I’ve decided to give it a shot, as long as I do my research, and stick to my values, and business values, I’m sure it’ll turn out alright.”
These are all true stories by the way.
Learning how to tell stories in a dynamic and interesting manner is a conversational habit has helped me over the years with strangers, sales and persuading others in my business and dating life. Learning how to structure your conversations is going to be helpful for everything from sales presentations, networking events, casual conversations and other forms of social interactions. It can also make or break a romantic interaction when you’re expected to lead in conversation.
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.
You and I 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 connect on a deeper level with a woman 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 her, then you don’t really know her at all.
Men tend to converse through information, fact and theories. On the other hand women connect 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 with her on 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 through 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 that person is saying, as opposed to the superficial layers. Emotional connection is built upon empathising 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 in a deeper 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 can relate to an entrepreneurship 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 others to share theirs. This requires a 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 her to share. 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 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.
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.
Confrontation from a dating and relationships standpoint can be as simple as calling a girl out for being half an hour late into a date. These conversations are almost often downright uncomfortable, but necessary. However, it is only through confrontation that an authentic and deeper relationship is formed.
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.
Some times I get the question if you should memorize lines for conversations with girls. 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 started conversations with girls 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 underyling principles of how to converse with a girl by using your own unique life stories and motivations. This will serve you much better in the long run. 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, I guess you can memorize one line jokes or some of your own life stories as training wheels.
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.
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.