One of the most common problems that men of all ages face when it comes to dating is confidence with women. Every time they attempt to use conversation starters with an attractive woman, their hands shake, their breathing gets shallow and their brains freeze, making their attempts clumsy and destined to fail, no matter how ingenious, smart and poetic they may be in their regular lives.
So, what makes these men (who by the way, are in the majority), lack confidence with women? And more importantly, how can they conquer this seemingly paralyzing fear?
Well … Some men will tell you that they usually don’t know what to say. And that when they rely on what spontaneously pops into their minds … all that come out, if anything seems silly and convoluted, or simply not powerful enough: “If I only knew some good conversation starters,” they’ll say, “I could focus on how to deliver those lines instead of on what to say.”
Maybe. Sometimes. But the truth is that most of the time, even when given good, smart conversation starters, men will find that this has only a slight positive impact on their confidence with women.
Why? Because …
When it comes to conversation starters, it is much more important how you say something than what you say.
You can recite the most beautiful line of a love poem, and do so in a way that betrays feelings of intimidation, fear or embarrassment. OR, you could say something absurd, but do so with confidence, looking at the girl in the eyes and projecting total command.
The key difference is confidence. Some men have it and some don’t. But not all who have it always did. Because the good news is, confidence can be acquired! One big difference between someone who has confidence with women and someone who doesn’t is not that they don’t get rejected, but that they’re not afraid of failing. All men get rejected; even those who are self-confident and good looking.
But those who don’t take rejection personally, those men keep trying. And trying again and again translates into…practice. If you’ve become good at anything in your life, chances are that practice played a crucial role.
Building confidence with women requires practice.
And failing. There’s no other way to learn. So:
Practice talking to women. Young, old, pretty, not-so-pretty. It doesn’t matter.
Set yourself a goal. For example, to speak to at least two women you don’t know every day. And don’t worry about any ulterior motive or agenda. If you want to try and get phone numbers, that’s up to you. But the main goal of this exercise is simply practicing talking to women and feeling increasingly more comfortable in doing so. The more comfortable you feel, the more you’ll be able to ‘be yourself’ in their presence. This will allow you to be more spontaneous and confident, the key to a real conversation.
As far as conversation starters, if you’re looking for pick-up lines, we don’t believe in them. There are a lot of ingenious things to say, but beyond having an initial and temporary impact, you need to know where to go from there. Did you ever learn to say something in another language, delivered the line perfectly, and the person you’re talking to assumes you speak fluently and responds as if you were a native?
There’s a difference between pick-up lines and conversation starters. Here are some pointers to get you started:
Ask questions instead of making statements.
Questions are real conversation starters, whereas ‘pick-up lines’ lead to monologues more than dialogues. When you ask a question, people usually feel like they have to respond. When they do now it’s your time to observe, listen and learn about the other person, which will, in turn, give you a clue of how to proceed next.
If instead … you are going to make a comment, make an open statement that will allow for a comment or question back from the girl.
Instead of saying: “That’s a great book!” you can say “That book made a tremendous impact on me…” Both statements are very similar in what they convey, and yet, with the second one she’s given a chance to ask for more: “Really? How so?” And there you have a conversation starter.
A variation to asking a question is asking for an opinion about something.
“I saw you buying sweet potatoes… I’m supposed to prepare dinner for my grandmother, and she loves them. But I don’t know the first thing about how to cook them…” or “Can I ask you a girl’s point of view about something?”
Any of the preceding techniques and conversation starters can work well, when approaching women who are by themselves, but they also work if there are two or three women together.
Girls feel more comfortable and less cornered when they are with friends. It’s important to know, however; if you’re approaching more than one girl, never just speak to one and isolate the other(s). Speak and include all of them, at least at first. Ask all of their opinions. You will have time later to favor the one you like, but always include and be gracious to all of them.
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