Tongue-tied at the prospect of talking to a beautiful stranger? Here are five tips to help you get a conversation going.
Most of the guys I know have never made a cold call-- talked to a woman they didn't know, not for any other reason, but just because. I'm sure all guys have at some point wanted to approach a woman they’ve noticed from across the room, but have opted not to for, most probably, fear of rejection.
That's such a waste. I am always excited with the prospect of an interesting conversation between random people.
You see a woman reading an interesting novel, or drinking a power smoothie, or sitting at a restaurant. You find her attractive enough to want to get to know the person hiding behind the book or the glass or the table, but aren’t sure how to approach her. This list will help you with that. Read it, then go over and talk to her. Who knows? It could be the start of more than a beautiful friendship.
1. Check your hygiene
Make sure you are clean and you smell nice, even if you're in the gym. Especially if you're in the gym. You know how some guys get so much hotter when they're sweaty and how some guys just get more gross? You don't want to be the latter.
Women place a premium on guys who are clean and smell nice. You don’t have to be dressed like you’re about to go on a mission for an international spy agency, nor do you have to douse yourself in cologne (in fact, I don’t recommend it). Just wear what you usually wear, be it slacks and a button-down polo or a t-shirt and jeans, but make sure that they fit well and have no holes. Remember to bathe every day, brush your teeth (plaque and bad breath are turn-offs), and invest in a simple skin care regimen to keep your skin clear. Don’t forget to shave, or if you have a beard, keep it neatly trimmed. Looking neat ups the chance of her taking you seriously. That’s one foot in the door.
2. Timing, timing, timing
Do not talk to her while she's on the phone (annoying), chewing on a tough piece of pork chop (awkward), or doing splits at the gym (creepy).
No one wants to be caught unawares, even if it’s by someone who wants to be your friend. Before you say hello, take time out to read her mood. Is she stressed? Relaxed? Is she in the middle of something that needs her utmost concentration, like say, operating heavy machinery? Before you say hello, make sure she’s in a good mood and isn’t doing anything that might make your introduction seem like an interruption.
3. Smile, and say hello, while keeping the appropriate stranger-to-stranger distance.
A sincere, genuine smile is always a good thing. A nice smile shows people that you are open and puts them at ease. And when you have her attention, remember, no pickup lines please. Stick to hello. Women appreciate a simple, straightforward approach. While you’re chatting her up, remember not to step into her personal space. Nobody likes being crowded into a corner. Besides, standing too close to someone you’re trying to get to know is just creepy. Stay a comfortable four feet away, which is the generally accepted social space.
4.a Ask her about something that's happening right at that moment. Something that merits more than a yes or no answer.
You’ve smiled at her. She’s smiled back. The next thing to do is start a conversation, and the best way to do that is to pick up on what she’s already doing. In a bookstore? Ask about the book she's holding. At the gym? Ask her about her workout. At an art exhibit? Ask what she thinks of the work. Unless you are in some weird freak thunderstorm, do not talk about the weather.
Also, do not ask about her shoes. Well, you can, but just know that that’s going to send you straight into the friend zone.
4.b Ask her about herself. And listen. And be aware of cues.
Now that you’ve gotten her talking, keep the conversation going by asking relevant questions based on the answers she gives you. Use them as a springboard to find out what she does, what she likes, and what the both of you have in common.
However, sometimes it just won't work out. Sometimes it's not about your grooming or conversational skills. If she gives you a curt answer and leans back and doesn't smile--she's not interested. Trust me. Just gracefully walk away and remember, it’s most probably her, and not you. She could be going through something, waiting for someone, or is simply not in the mood to make friends. In any case, don’t let one lackluster experience make you think you lack conversational skills.
Note: Sometimes, it is about your conversational skills. If she's a pole dancer, for example, do not make stupid remarks about wanting to be the pole.
5. If she's interested, she will ask about you in return, so make sure you have something interesting to say.
And here is where your daily life, the life that you're living, right now, will come in handy.
If all you do is eat chips while surfing the net all day, I'm not so sure that will make for great conversation.
If she asks you, what do you do, you’d better have an answer. And the answer better not be, “Oh nothing really, but I'm a nice guy and I'm nice to my mother.” At this point, I'm not sure if boring is worse than creepy. And whatever you do, don’t embellish or lie about your life just to impress her. You don’t have to be climbing icebergs or saving babies to be interesting, you just have to be yourself. Tell her what you do and why you like it. Passion is important, be it for work, a hobby, or a cause. Just remember not to talk too much about yourself. You want to leave enough for the next conversation.
So my best advice is go out and do something. Make music or write poetry. Surf, volunteer, do something, anything, as long as you enjoy it. Who knows, you just might look interesting enough that she’ll be the one to come up to you instead.
Sometimes, it is about your conversational skills. If she's a pole dancer, for example, do not make stupid remarks about wanting to be the pole.