Finally! Here is a woman to set us straight on what we're doing wrong when we talk to them. A guest post from communication coach Katrina Razavi.
You’re talking to a woman and the conversation is flowing. There are laughs, cute glances, and major chemistry.
And then it happens.
She pauses. She gives you a weird look and the conversation totally shifts.
The chemistry dies. It suddenly gets a bit awkward.
But what did you say? What did you do?
You have no clue. You thought everything was going well!
Was it your body language? Was it something you said? You may have made a mistake, but you honestly didn’t realize it.
As a woman, I’m here to help you. Today I’m going to cover five mistakes that men make when interacting with women. More importantly, I’m going to give you eight action items and word-for-word scripts that you can use to show off the confident, cool man that you are.
Stick with me if you want to learn:
- How to beat that inner voice that tells you you’re not “good enough” to approach that woman
- A Jedi mind trick to get over the fear of rejection
- Research-backed body language tips to make you come off as confident and attractive
- How to make a woman feel as good as they do while having sex (for real)
- Word-for-word scripts to get women to like you right off the bat
- Word-for-word scripts to ask women on dates (and get them to say yes)
Mistake #1: Psyching Yourself Out Before the Conversation
I want to start with what’s going on in your head first. You know, that little voice that tells you:
- She’s way out of my league, there’s no point in trying.
- My hair doesn’t look good today, I’m not going to approach her.
- What if she thinks I’m (ugly, stupid, etc.)?
It goes like this. You see a cute girl, you want to say something, but then the annoying inner voice gets in the way, telling you that you’re not good enough or that the conversation is going to flop.
Well, you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.
Letting that inner voice get the best of you is a guaranteed failure. So how can you combat that inner voice that’s bogging you down?
Action Item #1: Develop a Replacement Mantra
Come up with a phrase or statement that you can use to replace that negative inner voice. Make it personal, meaningful and easy to remember.
Here are some examples:
- My goal is to meet new people, regardless of the outcome
- I’m in control of my actions, not other people’s reactions
- I will never meet anyone if I don’t ever meet anyone.
Action Item #2: Set Micro-Goals
It’s easy to get intimidated when it comes to approaching or talking with a woman you’re attracted to. Often times it’s because you’re playing out these ridiculous scenarios about how you’re going to fall in love at first sight and go horseback riding on the beach as your first date (which is kind of cool, now that I think about it).
Rather than coming up with all these weird expectations, set achievable goals.
Here are some examples:
- My goal is to simply say hello to that woman, even if the conversation goes no further.
- My goal is to introduce myself to one woman tonight.
When you set goals that are specific, achievable and time bound, you’re much more likely to follow through.
Action Item #3: Let Go of Outcomes
Similar to what I mentioned above, you’re often disappointed or scared of approaching people when you are attached to outcomes. You’re not a failure if a woman doesn’t want to go on a date with you or you stumble on a few words while chatting.
When you release your emotional attachment to outcomes that you’re expecting, it takes pressure off of the situation. When you’re consumed with grandiose expectations you’ll get nervous and this will be subconsciously displayed through your body language, making the interaction even more awkward. So go into conversations with no expectations.
Mistake #2: Ignoring your Body Language
I’ve heard so many men obsesses over that “magical first line.”
If you’re one of those guys, let me give you a hint. Approaching a woman and commenting that she must be tired because she’s been running through your mind all day isn’t going to seal the deal. Actually, sometimes all you need to break the ice is a simple “hello.”
What people overlook is that your nonverbal communication is a stronger first impression than your verbal communication. A study from the University of Glasgow discovered that it takes the brain 200 milliseconds to gather most of the information it needs from a facial expression to determine a person’s emotional state. 200 milliseconds!
That’s why your inner psychology and body language matter way more than that perfect pickup line. What’s going on in your mind projects through your facial and body language and that’s what a woman (or anyone) picks up on when they first meet you. Starting off a conversation with a warm, slow smile and then going into the verbal aspect of communication is stronger than some cheesy pickup line.
So how can you use body language to your advantage? Here are some tips:
Action Item #4: Smile…Naturally
Smiling is the most underrated strategy when it comes to social skills. For one, when you smile you spread positive emotions to those around you thanks to mirror neurons. You can literally trigger feelings of happiness by simply smiling at people.
Smiling may seem like an obvious recommendation, but maintaining a happy face can actually be quite tough when nervous or intimidated. In fact, most of us have some version of a “fake smile” which we flash awkwardly at people we don't know.
Selfishly, smiling also makes you feel good. In an interesting study by Martin and Stepper, subjects were asked to place a pencil on their lips (to simulate a smile) while reading cartoons. Subjects who had the pencil above their lips rated the comics funnier compared to their peers who were not instructed to place a pencil above their lips. This helps you defuse some of your nerves while making the other person feel comfortable. Other studies have shown that smiling makes people feel more positive and optimistic by simply forcing a quick smile. How’s that for the body-mind connection?
Action Item #5: Make Eye Contact
Eyes are windows to people’s souls. By starting off a conversation with a lock of the eyes for a few seconds, you exude confidence and show interest. If you can manage to hold eye contact for a mere 30% of your conversation, you and the conversation will be more likely to be remembered.
If you find your eyes darting away during conversations with strangers, play a game with yourself: During the first portion of eye contact promise yourself that you'll let the other person look away first. This simple strategy can costively influence your confidence for the rest of the conversation.
Action Item #6: Combine Movement with Eye Contact
If you can manage to combine eye contact with a sudden movement, like a hand gesture or shift of your body position, you can come off as more memorable and noticeable. This study discovered that this unique combination of both eye contact and a sudden movement are processed in different channels of the brain and can be a powerful combination for information retention.
Pair eye contact with hand gestures or a sudden shift in your stance and you’ve got a lethal combination that will make your interaction memorable.
Mistake #3: Rambling About Yourself
Okay, I get it: you want to show off how great you are. But the truth is if you want to be seen as charismatic, you’re going to have to get over yourself.
People don’t remember the exact words or a few stumbles during a conversation. What they remember is how they felt after a conversation. In fact, studies have shown that people typically don’t notice as much as you think they do.
That being said, when you’re busy talking about yourself there’s one person you’re not talking about…that woman standing in front of you!
By putting the spotlight on the other person first, you’ll make them feel special. Not only will they feel special, but the pleasure centers of their brain will activate. They’re the same parts of the brain that get activated during “pleasurable” experiences like when drinking alcohol or having sex. This Harvard study showed that people love talking about themselves so much, they’re even willing to forgo money to do so!
Action Item #7: Ask About Her and Make It Feel as Good as Sex!
Here are some word-for-word scripts that you can use to let your conversation partner have the spotlight.
- I noticed your [necklace, purse, shoes] which look really unique. What’s the story behind them?
- So what do you like to do with your free time?
- What or when do you most feel like yourself?
- What’s on your bucket list?
- What do you think about [xyz current event]?
If you need more tips on conversations starters, check out my last post, Don’t Know Anyone At The Party? 5 Simple Steps to Make Friends And Be Magnetic At Any Social Event
Mistake #4: Not Finding Common Ground
Have you ever met someone new at a party, introduced yourself, then forgotten their name and never paid them any mind? But then something strange happens. You end up realizing you went to the same college…and all of a sudden you’re best buddies.
You go from “Hi, how are you?” to “Did you see the Buckeyes play this past weekend?! What an amazing game! What dorm did you live in when you went there?”
This is because people tend to like people like themselves. This Harvard experiment found that when subjects were told that a person has the same interests that they do in one domain (say politics), they assume that they share other unrelated commonalities like food preferences.
Here’s what researcher Adrianna Jenkins says about her team’s research:
“What's perhaps most interesting about the research,” she explains, “is that it suggests that we may automatically think about the minds of other people in the way in which we think about ourselves, but that this courtesy may be automatically restricted to those we perceive at first glance to be similar.”
So what’s the takeaway here?
Action Item #7: Find Common Ground
Whether it’s a hobby, something career-related, or a common place you’ve both traveled to, make sure that you highlight it. The best way to begin uncovering some of these tidbits is by asking interesting questions.
Here are some open-ended questions that you can use to get to know her better while identifying things that you both have in common.
- Where are you from or where did you grow up?
- Where have you traveled in the world?
- What's your last favorite show you watched?
- What do you do in your spare time?
Once you identify what those commonalities are, jump on them! You can use those conversational cues to either share something about yourself or get to know them better (or do both). Let’s suppose you and your conversation partner have both traveled to Barcelona; you may say something like:
- My favorite landmark in Barcelona was Park Guell; I just found it so magical. Did you go there?
- What was your favorite district of the city?
- I also took a day trip along the Spanish Coast, did you also visit any of the beach cities?
- What was the best thing that you ate while you were there?
Mistake #5: Not Asking for a Date
Let’s get to the bottom line. The reason why you want to talk to a woman in most cases is because you want to go on a date with them. That being said, it’s important that you end the conversation on a strong note. Thanks to the recency effect, the end of the interaction will be the most memorable part of the interaction.
So how you close the conversation is key. The mistake I hear all the time is a guy asking a woman for her number. What happens next? Texting back and forth until two could-be lovers become pen pals who never meet up in real life.
Women hate this. Trust me, I’ve had many a single girlfriend complain to me. Get to the point, be assertive, friendly and direct.
Action Item #8: Ask for a Date + Word-for-Word Scripts
If you do everything I’ve suggested thus far, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what interests the woman you’re talking to. You’ll have a leg up because you can now ask them to do something they enjoy.
Rather than simply asking for their contact information, propose something. Proposing an idea shows that you’re making an effort, putting some thought into getting to know the other person and it makes it harder for them to say “no.”
Here are some word-for-word examples:
- You mentioned that you enjoyed Mexican food. What are you up to Thursday night? Why don’t we meet at the new Mexican spot [xyz]?
- I’m going to the music festival we were talking about earlier with some friends this weekend, would you like to join?
- You said you’re into whiskey. Have you been to the whiskey bar called XYZ? I’d love to grab a drink with you there this Saturday. Does that sound good?
Let’s examine why these are effective:
- You’ve proposed something. When you propose days/times and places it reduces the cognitive load from the woman, making it easier to just say “yes.” It also shows that you’re decisive.
- You know what she likes. By proposing ideas based on what you learned about her, you’re building trust by showing you were actively engaged and listening. This will go a long way. Men often don’t realize how much being listened to is appreciated by a woman
- You’re busy too. In the second example, you’re telling her that you already have plans (heck, you’re a busy man!) and you’re simply offering her to join in on them. This shows that you have stuff going on in your life and lowers the pressure from a 1-on-1 date.
Conclusion & Free Video Course
You now know five common mistakes men make when talking to women and you have eight actionable strategies and word-for-word scripts that you can use to talk to women confidently and ask them out. So what are you waiting for!? Get out there, start conversations, get dates and have a good time! Oh and if you’d like to step up your social skills, check out my free mini-course!
This is a guest post by Katrina Razavi, communication coach and founder of CommunicationforNerds.com . If you liked this article, visit her site to sign up for a free three-video mini course called: How to Shut Up that Inner Voice & Beat Awkward Conversations. It covers six secrets to social confidence, the #1 strategy to improve your life and how to have natural conversations…even if you’re super awkward.