She’s sitting across the table of Starbucks and you want to start a conversation with her and potentially get her number. However, you freeze and you don’t know what to say. Much less how to say it.
Starting a conversation with a girl, or any stranger is a skillset that can be learnt. Before I go into the nitty gritty into how to start a conversation, you got to understand that there are good conversational mindsets that make or break a conversation.
How to Start a Conversation with a Girl
Mindset 1: Lower The Bar For a Conversation
The first step to starting a conversation with a stranger and never running out of words is to lower the bar for conversation. Many of us, including myself, often think that we have to say something amazing along the lines go Gandhi or Jesus to be able to converse and connect with people.
I’m notorious getting too witty and lost in abstract arguments in my head. It has single handedly submarined a lot of social, romantic and business opportunities, as a budding pick up artist. Ever since then, I’ve made a point to tone down the wit and intellect and go with the simpler concepts. In addition to that, I would put forth just relying on pure wit and intellect is actually a horrible way to communicate to the world.
It’s a form of social conditioning from movies we watch growing up where the actors and actresses often come up with witty lines and the ‘perfect moment’. In reality, is far from the truth. When getting to know someone new, it is going to be a little awkward at first. However, it gradually gets better.
Mindset 2: Statements Versus Questions
Have you ever had someone who you just got to know ask you repetitive questions? I bet you have. It also felt irritating. Girls feel the same way as well. You’re making the conversational flow really one sided.
Instead of going down the route of interviewing her and asking questions. When making statements, you’re giving your own input and giving her a window to respond to that statement.
The trick here isn’t to just stick to statements. It’s to mix in statements and questions. In Asian culture, if you were just to stick to statements, most girls will not know how to respond. From my experience, they’re just too used to guys asking questions all the fucking time, and haven’t built any social skills to share themselves.
It’s a much better conversational habit as compared to asking questions and waiting for her reply. Of course, if you were to make statements, mixed with questions and she doesn’t respond with negative body language. She’s just not receptive and it means that she’s not ready to talk to just don’t want to.
Don’t take it personally and move on.
Mindset 3: Listening Actively
One of the common pitfalls of learning social skills is to only talk about yourself, and only showing interest in the topics that you yourself are interested in.
Just recently, I went out with one of my girl friends. She had relationship woes. For three hours straight, she went on was how shit of their ex-boyfriend treated her. This spanned the whole of three fucking hours. Whilst I’m perfectly cool with lending her a listening ear, it just got depressing and irritating after awhile.
Throughout the two hours, she never bothered to ask me about my relationship troubles. It was really one-sided. Hey, if you want to feel better about yourself, then maybe it’s better to step outside of yourself and empathize with someone else’s problems. Instead of having a self-defeating loop in your mind, merely focused on your own problems, your own trouble, your own pain. It helps, try it.
At the end of the hang out session, I didn’t exactly feel appreciated for lending a listening ear.
If you’re genuinely interested in the world of others. It will lead you to a lot more opportunities than just sticking to your own topics of conversation.
Take a good listen to people around you. Everyone’s attempting to jam their point of view down everyone else’s throat. No one’s truly listening. Communication at the end of the day is a two-way thing. Yes, you get to share your story, once they are done listening to yours, do make a point to listen to their story. Part of being interesting is being genuinely interested remember?
Remember, You Don’t Have to Say anything
When there’s nothing to say, don’t feel like a need that you have to say something. That’s part of being grounded in your social interactions. There’s no need to fill every silent gap with something to say. People who can’t help but ramble on to ‘keep the peace’ is displaying a form of anxious attachment.
When in doubt, ask yourself, ask yourself, are you saying something because you’re afraid of the silence or the slight confrontation? If the answer is Yes, then it’s OKAY to keep to yourself. Remember, you don’t need permission to speak to anyone. Nor you need to be jabbing away like a speeding bullet train at all times. Silence sometimes, is golden.
Skillset 1: Asking Innocuous Questions
I used to think that simple questions sounded stupid and it’s ‘impractical’ to ask someone on such questions. However, I realized innocuous questions are a mere social tool and conversational starter to get some social juices going when talking to strangers.
No one goes deep into their life story in the first few minutes of getting someone new. And no one expects a life story within the first few minutes either.
Some example of innocuous questions:
- “What are you up to here?”
- “How’s your day?”
You’ll be surprised how far these innocuous questions can help is starting a conversation with a beautiful stranger.
Skillset 2: Making Simple Observations
Secondly, you can also start a conversation with a stranger by making simple observations. You can get creative with this. It can be something in the current environment you’re in, it can be the cute dress that she’s wearing, or the cute blue toenails she has spent hours on. It can be the weather. It can be the fake tan she has on. (I’m kidding)
- “Wow, the weather’s pretty hot today.”
- ‘Those are nice blue toenails you have on, they are really cute.’
Just like asking innocuous questions, think of it as a conversational starter. Once you get small talks like that going, you can follow these observations up with a question, or a cold read.
Skillset 3: The Art of Cold Reading
Cold reading is the art of making an intelligent guess about something about someone. It doesn’t matter if you’re wrong or right. The point of it is to get the conversation going and flowing by making a guess about something, about someone.
It’s one of the most effective and if not the bread and butter of conversational tools that you should include in your daily life if you’re looking to improve your social and communication skills. I highly recommend it to all my readers/ clients as a dating coach.
Generating conversations out of thin air can be done through cold reading and make harmless neutral assumptions with the people you are talking with.
Examples of Cold Reading:
- “I did arts back in Junior college, I never did well with it, my art’s teacher hated me, I can’t draw to save to save the world.”
- “Hi, you seem to be a really artsy person. Did you take an arts subject in school?”
- “You look like you’re a school teacher, you must be a pretty bad one, all the kids must hate you”
One statement that can be followed up by the first one.
The thing about cold reading and guessing is that you never go wrong with it. If you’re spot on, she’ll likely to think that you’re quite perceptive and have a positive reaction towards you.
Just last week I got most of my cold reads right by chance by guessing a girl was half Japanese and was studying at the University of London. She reacted positively and was curious how did I know so much. I followed up by teasing that I stalk her daily on Facebook and Instagram.
With cold reading, you can keep conversational threads flowing and then relate this threads back to your own life with your own experiences and statements.
Even if you get it wrong, he or she will correct you, and perhaps add onto it. I’ve personally used this conversational tool thousands of times to spark new conversations or in the middle of dying conversations threads. It works brilliantly.
Lastly, Should You Memorize Lines?
If you haven’t noticed by now. I prefer writing about habits and principles, instead of one off tactics or lines. I never felt right memorizing lines or ‘openers’. It has never worked well for me.
You don’t want to be some robotic guy repeating what somebody wrote on the internet. You want to understand the principles, and use your own unique life stories and motivations. This will serve you much better in the long run than using pick up lines and routines.
There might be resources out there that pledge some opener or line that’ll work so well and has been ‘field tested’ countless times. It’s all a marketing gimmick. Human interaction has many variables that are out of your control, and can never be boxed and quantified like a formula.
Just so you know, I’ve sparked conversations with girls in a clubs all over the world with this simple line: “Hi I’m Marcus, I just wanted to say Hi, you look like…”.
I haven’t had a drink splashed on me yet.