Getting the conversation ball rolling with anyone can be tough if you’re shy or an introvert. It can be even more complicated when approaching the opposite sex. If you’re a male and you recognize yourself as either, initiating a dialogue with a female is probably pretty excruciating. It doesn’t have to be that way, because striking up a conversation with a woman isn’t really that different from talking to anyone new.
It may seem daunting, but if you really want to learn how to talk to women, the following advice can help.
Building Confidence: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Gaining confidence in yourself is one of the first places to start in your quest to chat up the ladies. If you don’t have a lot of practice at it, try working on your conversation skills with a female you know and trust. It should be someone you have no romantic inclinations toward whatsoever. Otherwise, you’re back where you started—nowhere. Once you’re comfortable with talking to women in general, you’ll be more at ease when speaking to ladies you’d like to meet. So, take stock of your situation and look around you.
There must be one of these women in your orbit to practice on.
1. Female family members
Women that are already in your life are a good place to start. Have you got sisters, cousins, or an aunt? As women, ask them what their interests are, then listen. That’s part of the art of conversation, listening.
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This can be tough for guys because they have a tendency to tune out when the topic doesn’t include stuff they’re interested in. Too bad. It’s part of the deal when it comes to personal relationships with anyone, so work on it.
Female coworkers can also help you ease your way into the world of female conversation. Spend a few minutes each day having a chat with some of them. And don’t make it about something as trivial as the weather, unless that’s the most significant step you can take initially.
If you’ve got a lot in common with Raj from “The Big Bang Theory,” then give yourself a pat on the back for opening the door a crack. Otherwise, ask them open-ended questions and try to draw them out. Again, listen—no, really listen so you can add something worthwhile in return.
3. Partners of Friends
Surely some of your friends have girlfriends or wives—or even sisters or cousins. Let them know your dilemma and enlist them in loosening your tongue. Again, females generally like to help and will likely be more than willing to aid you in your efforts. This is usually doubly true when they know the reason why.
Not many gals can resist helping love along, so give them a shot. You have nothing to lose.
4. Service Industry
Favorite bank tellers, store clerks, waitresses, etc., associated with businesses you frequent are perfect for brief exchanges. You can’t hold them up too long, because they’re trying to perform a job, but it can at least help you adjust to approaching women verbally.
5. Other People In Line
Waiting in lines can be boring or frustrating, but it’s an excellent opportunity to talk to someone new. If they avert eye contact when they recognize the hopeful look of a conversationalist, don’t take it personally. A lot of people are closed off to strangers in a situation like that. But not everybody is. Regardless, stores are a reliable source of new people to practice on. And, believe it or not, they’re also a place where romances often blossom—particularly grocery stores.
How to Start
Ask a woman for her opinion on a product or how to tell if fruit is ripe or what cut of meat is best for grilling. Ask for help locating product expiration dates or about certain ingredients contained in the food. It doesn’t really matter, because you’re just using it as an excuse to talk. If it’s a department store, ask for their opinion on a tie or cologne.
Women are pretty helpful by nature and will usually oblige unless pressed for time.
Gradually, over time, as you broaden your interactions with women, it will get easier with each attempt. The whole point of the exercise is to get used to talking to females you don’t know personally.
You’re not trying to romance them at this stage—unless one of these encounters shows promise. If they’re immediately responsive, and you catch a positive vibe signaling interest on her part, by all means, don’t end it there.
But it’s vital that you learn to read these signals through body language and other non-verbal cues.
You don’t want to come off as a creepy stalker type. This is especially true if you try to keep them too long. You’re trying to engage them, not frighten them. Look for signs of distress. If you see them, just stop there, smile, thank them for their time, and move off. And try not to act as if you’re fleeing the scene of a crime.
Acting casual before, during, and afterward helps. If you can’t muster that, try for slightly preoccupied. You’re sending the message that you’re not there solely for the purpose of drawing them in. You genuinely just needed some assistance (and, actually, you do). Once they get that, they’ll be more inclined to stick around and chat for a few minutes.
By regularly putting yourself outside of your comfort zone in this way, it will help you in the long-run to gain more confidence. Think of it as training for a marathon. You’re in it to win it!
Tips on How to Talk to Women
Once you feel you can approach a woman, one you’d genuinely like to have a conversation with, there are several things you can do to ensure it goes better. If you take the advice to heart, you’ll be able to have longer, and eventually meaningful, discussions.
Much of it has to do with listening, but it all pays off in the end.
Here are the basic Dos, Don’ts, and Things To Focus On when talking to women:
- First off, try your hardest to be yourself and act naturally. This will take a lot of stress off of both of you. So, don’t be someone you’re not, and try to resist the temptation to exaggerate in order to make yourself look better. It almost always backfires.
- Make it about her. Ask her about herself and let her run with it. This takes a lot of pressure off of you, and it allows you to learn some things about her that you can use to start further conversations. This is where those listening skills come into play.
- Look for something you have in common. Remember those listening skills we keep bringing up? Commonalities make for easy conversations.
- Maintain good eye contact. Don’t freak her out with a staredown, but good eye contact denotes a real interest, free from distractions. It lets her know she’s got your undivided attention and that you’re invested in the conversation. If she doesn’t think it’s going anywhere, she’ll lose interest quickly.
- Determine early on whether she’s interested in sports. Some women are, but many others are not. If she isn’t, but you are, avoid any further discussion of the subject. It could be a deal-breaker, but at least you know where you stand. If she enjoys them, all the better.
- Ask her thoughts on various subjects. Of course, you’ll want to keep them reasonably innocuous at first. But this will draw her out and help you to discover more about each other as you share your thoughts and ideas together. It will also signal to her that you’re genuinely interested in her input and respect her opinions.
- Tickle her funny bone and use humor to your advantage. It’s well documented that this is a trait that women look for in a man. In fact, it’s often cited as being more important than looks, money, or other characteristics and so-called advantages. If you have to, make yourself a cheat sheet of humorous comments and jokes to refer to. But tread carefully until you have a better feel for her taste in humor, or else they could backfire.
- Don’t give her any reasons to distrust you. This is also where being yourself and honest is the best strategy. You don’t have to worry about getting tripped up in lies or misrepresentations that way, no matter how minor they might be. Trust is a huge issue for men and women both. And if it’s not there, you won’t be there, either—not for long, anyway.
- Don’t be critical. It may be tempting to discount an idea you don’t agree with or shoot one down, but don’t do it in a way that suggests dismissal or, worse yet, aggression. Her opinions are as valid as yours, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Let it go.
- Whatever you do, don’t interrupt. Of course, it’s difficult sometimes to know if someone has finished a sentence or whether it’s just a long pause. But try not to jump the gun too often. Doing so will come off as rude and make you look like an oafish bore. It’s one thing to get excited and interject. It’s another to cut someone off repeatedly. This can make it appear as if you really don’t care about what she has to say, because it’s really all about you, so try and refrain.
- Under no circumstances should you ever use guilt or manipulation—even in a joking manner—to accomplish anything. It’s basically using pressure under the guise of some lame excuse, and it’s never appreciated. She may not say as much at the time, but it’s doubtful you’ll be seeing her again if you resort to this maneuver.
- Avoid digging too deep. This is where recognizing body language and nonverbal communication is also useful. If you sense you’ve struck a nerve or she starts to shy away from a subject, don’t press her for details. Making her feel pressured will only result in her shutting down—or shutting you out.
- Don’t be over-apologetic about every little thing. It’s distracting and makes you look less appealing, especially if the apologies are entirely unnecessary. She’ll wonder why you’re doing it, and it can end up making you both even more nervous than you probably already are. It’s hard to relax around a nervous Nellie.
What To Focus On
- Be positive. Projecting a positive attitude can go a long way toward overcoming other shortcomings. Nobody likes to surround themselves with negative people, and happy, successful persons are said to avoid it like the plague.
- Ask open-ended questions. Doing so will elicit more discussion than a dead-end inquiry which requires a simple yes or no answer. You want to find out the who, what, where, when, how, and why stuff, if at all possible. Some experts recommend assembling a list of five to 10 topics you can discuss, such as films, books, travel, architecture, etc. This way, you’ll have it if you need it. Incidentally, don’t whip it out or peek at it furtively—awkward!
- Work on building a solid rapport. Be honest and open but avoid any TMI (too much information) moments early on. There will be plenty of time for sharing as the relationship progresses. While you don’t necessarily want to end up in the “friend zone,” you do ultimately want to be friends. It’s the foundation of the best relationships.
- Be attentive to her needs, but not cloying. She’s likely a big girl figuratively and doesn’t want to be made to feel like a child. On the other hand, some women like to be fussed over. It’s a fine line, but if you’ve been paying attention, you should know how to proceed. Just don’t cut her steak or fawn all over her. It’s genuinely creepy.
- Go easy on the compliments. Yes, women like to hear kind words and a certain amount of flattery, just don’t lay it on too thick too soon. Otherwise, she’s liable to suspect insincerity and question your motives.
- Be open to new ideas and opinions, because that’s what you’re letting yourself in for when you develop any new relationship, regardless of type.
Navigating the Ropes of Talking to Women
Sure, there are a lot of dos and don’ts to talking to women, but most of them are common sense, and many would apply to talking to almost anyone new. If you really want to know how to talk to women, don’t get hung up on the fact that she is a woman.
She really isn’t from another planet, no matter what the books might say.
She’s also not going to slap you profusely if you don’t get it right. If she likes you and is interested, she’ll be exceedingly patient in an effort to get to know you better.
So, stop putting pressure on yourself. Relax, be yourself, and let the chips fall where they may. She’s either going to like you, or she’s not. After taking these tips to heart, putting your best foot forward is all you can do. And if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Don’t make yourself crazy in the meantime. It’s just not worth it.
Oh, and one last tip: corny or cheesy pickup lines won’t take you nearly as far as an intelligent conversation. If she’s just looking for a hookup, neither will be necessary.
But if she’s in search of something more substantial, charm, wit, and stellar dialogue are still your best bet when it comes to how to talk to women. Keep that in mind as you move forward, and you’ll improve your chances of success.
Do you have any additional questions about navigating talking to women? Do you have any tips that have worked for you personally? Let us know in the comments down below!