(Note: I wrote this from the viewpoint of how guys can talk to girls. If you're a girl who wants to talk to more guys, just switch things around, the concepts I talk about still apply)
Do you find it hard talking to women?
What if they laugh at you?
What if she ignores you?
What should I say?
Will she think I'm boring?
These kinds of questions use to go through my head on a regular basis. Women are alot of fun to talk to and get to know,....yet they are so different from guys.
So, how in the world do you talk to that cute girl you sit next to in English Composition or pass by on your way to lunch?
I use to think that women simply wouldn't be interested in what I had to say. I would think to myself,..."would she really like to talk to me?" "What if she's just pretending?" "What if she notices that I'm nervous?"
Now I can talk to any girl that I see, no matter how hot and attractive. There is no more nervousness. No more wondering what she thinks of me. No more worrying over whether I said the right thing or not. It's an awesome feeling to have.
So, now you're probably wondering....how did I do it.
Besides changing the beliefs I had about myself, I changed my focus before I was going to say anything. That was absolutely essential. Even now, if I concentrate too much on trying to impress someone or try too hard to say the right thing all the time, my brain locks up, and I don't communicate as well as I could. Or if I focused on all the times I screwed up talking to women, it would make me more hesitant to start a conversation. I use to feel like even before I said a word, I already lost!! I was focusing on way too many negative thoughts.
I learned the power of focus from Tony Robbins (through his books and a seminar I went to). There are alot of things that you can focus on before saying anything. What if you remembered other successful times that you've talked to women (either in person or on the net). Instead of focusing on,..."Oh wow, this is the girl of my dreams. I have to say some perfect line, I hope my nervousness doesn't show,...I hope....". That's just too much pressure for me. Instead, I focus on "having fun" or "learning something new" from someone. There is much less pressure that way.
I could probably build a whole site just on how important your focus is. Besides Tony Robbins, the power of focus is talked about in other personal growth oriented books/CD's etc.
You become whatever you focus on
For example, even if you are really really shy around women, what happens when you order something from a fast food place and the clerk happens to be female? Even when I could hardly say anything to a girl in class, if I ordered something at McDonalds and a cute clerk was there, it was like I was on automatic pilot. I'd tell her my order, give her the money, get change and off I go. Why could I talk to a clerk at McDonalds and tell her my order, yet if I saw the same girl in class, suddenly my mind would go blank and I'd get all nervous? What's going on here?
Part of it is your focus. You aren't thinking of all the things that could go wrong. You aren't focusing on "gosh, will she like me? Hmmm, will she find me interesting?" You just go through the motions and do what you've always done. And if you're like most people, you've had alot of practice ordering something from a fast food place. Talking to women in class, talking to women anywhere gets easier and easier with practice! The other part of it is what it means to you? When you order something at McDonalds you place virtually no meaning on it. You just walk up and tell them your order. If you attach too much meaning to any one conversation with a girl you like, yeah, you could feel very nervous.
After you are relaxed and at ease, what do you say?
Virtually all conversations revolve around 5 different topics or themes. That's it! Here's the acronym I use: SAMLOWP
Situation Around you
Ask her questions
World at large
No matter who you talk to, conversations revolve around these 5. Commenting on the situation around you is a universal ice breaker. Whether you are in line at the Post office and comment "is it always so busy here" or if you're in school and ask "so what do you think of this class?",....the beauty about commenting on the situation around is that no one will think it is strange. It's perfectly normal and acceptable. I've done it countless times and I've yet to see the reaction,.."gosh, why did you ask me such a normal question? You're really weird", lol.....I seriously doubt if that would ever happen.
Asking open ended questions is always a good way to get to know someone. Instead of asking "Did you like that movie last night?", ask "What did you like about XYZ,..." or "How did you do XYZ so well,.." etc. It keeps the conversation going. If you're in college and you ask someone what their major is, ask,..."so, is that what you've always wanted to do?" These kinds of questions get the conversation away from just facts and opinions to something more personal and more meaningful.
My Life and Opinions are the most important of these 5. It doesn't mean you should monopolize the conversation talking about yourself nonstop, but you must let others get to know you better. This comes back to believing in what you have to say and thinking it is important. That is at the core of over coming shyness. I use to think telling stories was very difficult. For example, saying to someone, "oh, yeah when I was a kid I use to do that. I use to......". I guess I didn't think many people would be interested in that. I've shifted my thinking 180 degrees.
The World at large consists of the obvious: sports, movies, computers, politics, etc.
Personal deals with the one on one aspect of whoever you are talking to. Giving sincere compliments to someone is an example.
When I'm talking to someone new, I always try to see if we have something in common. It's a cliche I know, but people like other people who are like themselves. It could be anything, your favorite music, the subjects you're studying in school, the area of the country you were born in, etc. Well rounded conversations (on a date for example) almost always have the 5 topics I mentioned.
A great way to practice talking to women is to use the instant messaging services on AOL, Yahoo, etc. I did this, and it definitely boosted my confidence. Women liked me! The great thing about this is that you can think in advance about what you're going to say. Your words and only your words come out.
Over the months that I use to talk to women around my age, I got 5 or 6 phone numbers from ones in my area that they gave me without me asking! There's a success!
After a certain amount of success online, it's natural to concentrate more on real life situations. In fact, I don't even chat online anymore. I haven't done so in probably 6-8 months. It was a great stepping stone for me.
After that, I made a habit of starting more small talk with those around me. Whether at school, or in talking to a waitress in a restaurant or anywhere really. The key is just getting out there and practicing. Women are people too. I didn't set any super high expectations. Just to have fun and meet new people.
Special Bonus Section!
Since I originally wrote this article, I've gotten much better with women. It's a different mindset. These are two awesome websites that I learned alot from:
So Suave Their message board and Don Juan Bible is great. It's everything you ever wanted to learn about why women gravitate towards the "jerk" instead of the "nice guy".
Why women choose nice guys over jerks A brilliant article that sums up why women go for jerks. You don't have to be a true jerk to get girls.
These websites started to change what I thought was possible. Getting out of the "friends" category and being seen as sexually attractive by attractive women.
The single biggest problem for me was knowing, ok, women want confidence in a guy. So how do I get confident when I have very little experience. It happened in a few different ways:
Finding a look that I was comfortable with. Clothes, grooming, personal style.
Creating some new experiences. I did it online. I wrote about this in my article "the ultimate answer" but I think it's worth repeating. Creating a daily habit of who you want to be. I would instant message tons and tons of women and not care about the results. This is alot better than sitting at home and never talking to girls in real life. It's a step in the right direction. Chat with girls online and don't agree with everything they say. Tease them, say some things you may not say in real life. It's an easy way to expand your comfort zone. You don't have to be some crazy jerk. But see what works. Get some phone numbers online. Get a whole drawer full of them. Become a prize that women think about.