Maybe your confidence fritzes out at girl-mingling time, or maybe you just say boorish, untrue things. Either way, you’ll need to learn how to talk the talk. Here’s what to say.
Hey, you! Yeah, you. Solitary man in the corner. With nobody to talk to. That’s right, we’re talking to you, hermit boy! It’s time to get over yourself and start getting over with the ladies. All it takes is a little self-confidence … and maybe losing the pleated Dockers.
First off, to connect with a lady, you have to actually make a freakin’ attempt. That means you need to relax, suck it up and channel your inner winner. Vernacular: Let people (we’re talking girls here, Romeo) know who you really are. So if you’re dusting off some killer dialogue like, “Do you sleep on your stomach … ’cause I’d sure like to,” they’ll know who you really are: a loser. Which you’re not! So read on.
“The best opening line is a smile and a friendly hello,” says networking guru Susan Roane, whose books on the topic include How to Work a Room.
Interpretation: Guys often think they need to roll up to a lady like Jack Nicholson on Viagra. But unless you starred in Chinatown (or have Lakers courtside seats for that matter), lounge lizard lines sound pretty lame. And if your rap sounds like dialogue from A Night at the Roxbury, best to call it a night before leaving the house.
“Contrived opening lines come with inherent pitfalls,” says dating counselor Amy Owens, known as The Singles Coach on the Web and the author of The Itty Bitty Breakup Book. “If a man’s greeting appears contrived -- and most phony ones do -- the woman’s apt to think he’s trying way too hard. She may even wonder what he’s trying to prove.”
Owens advises guys to keep it simple and focused on the woman. “A good opening line is simply, ‘How’s your day going?’ Asked in a friendly manner, this question invites a woman to tell you what’s really going on with her. If she’s having a bad day, you’ll get an idea of her capacity and style for dealing with adversity. If she’s having a good day, you’ll know what makes her happy -- a question most men would love to have the answer for.”
Roane even suggests preparing a little five- to seven-second self-introduction script, custom-built for the event you’re attending. Example: “Hi, my name is Mike, and I’m a friend of the groom. How about you?”
Talk to Her
New York psychologist JoAnn Magdoff suggests tailoring your conversation to the woman. “Telling a girl she has beautiful eyes sounds a little bit too generic and a lot less believable than making a comment about a unique bracelet she’s wearing or the dress she picked out for the occasion,” she says. “This makes it sound like you’re actually interested in her … not just any woman.”
Engage Her (and You)
“If you’re at a ball game, ask her how long she’s been a fan,” Magdoff advises. “If you’re at a resort, ask her if the place has lived up to her expectations. Engage her in conversation that’s relevant to her -- and you. This way, you won’t have to search for crazy topics you have no expertise in.”
Hear that, all you “movie producers,” “billionaires” and “astronauts?” Stick to stuff you know. “If you’re being fake, chances are a woman will see right through it,” says Magdoff. And while you’re at it, actually listen to what she has to say. If she’s hot, even her summation of today’s The View will sound profound. Trust us.
“Be genuinely interested in who she is and how she presents herself,” Magdoff adds. “Pay attention and you’ll pick up cues from her about what she wants to talk about. When you do, she’ll be more interested in hearing about you and your interests.”
You can also connect with body language -- just make sure it ain’t foul language. “Don’t lean in too much,” Magdoff warns. “At least until her body language gives you the invitation.” Owens agrees, insisting you let the woman set the pace: “If she casually touches your arm after several comments back and forth, that signals that she trusts you and would be interested in getting to know you.”
So there they are, men, the keys to casual conversation with a woman. From the experts. Who all happen to be women. If these tips don’t work, well, maybe she’s just not that into you.