How To Start Conversations: Be Social, Not Anxious
Let’s face it, most men still struggle with crippling ‘approach anxiety’ or just can’t seem to motivate themselves to start conversations with women. In this article I’ll go over anxiety. I’ll soon have another piece around motivation for you.
I’m going to assume for the sake of this article that your goal is to meet fun and amazing women and become friends or lovers. If you don’t have enough women in your life this is also the best mindset to come from and the best way to build up your social circle and lifestyle.
Why are you anxious?
Most men are anxious because of two reasons. First of all, they lack experience in whatever they’re anxious about. If you do something for the first time, you’ll be a bit scared. This is completely normal and exposure therapy is the best solution. In a dating and social context this means talking to as many people as possible and getting in experience. This means talking to cute girls, guys and old people. This way you’ll get comfortable with social interactions.
- Secondly, most men approach these anxiety provoking situations with a wrong frame of mind. What do I mean with this in a dating context? First of all they try to ‘get’ something from the girl in an outcome dependant way. Second of all they don’t feel good enough about themselves to assume that people would react in a fun and sociable way to them.
How can we fix this?
I can give you a complete analytical breakdown of what you should think, feel like and do so you can solve this problem but sadly this will only get you more in your head. To build up experience I want you to start focussing on starting conversations in a social and friendly way. Once you’ve done this often enough, you’ll have made a ton of new friends, and you’ll have the experience to experiment with other ways to approach or seduce women.
So after you follow the advice in this article and you get accustomed to starting social conversations with girls, you can take it to the next level and try to seduce them or just tell them that you like them and take it from there.
The fastest way to get out of your head when wanting to talk to people is to just do it. People are a lot more forgiving than you think if you’re just being friendly and authentic. And even if people don’t react nicely to you if you approach them in a friendly and social way, it’s because they have a problem, not you. So don’t be scared to be judged.
Whenever you’re trying to be social, use curiosity and friendliness to guide you. Ask how people's days are going with a smile. If they don’t talk a lot, share how your day has been. The goal is to get a conversation flowing, that’s all. Once you start talking there will be an endless amount of subjects to continue the conversation from.
Example: You ask a girl where she’s from. She answers: ‘I was raised in Paris but I live in Amsterdam now.’ From that one sentence you have a whole range of topics to talk about. Just those two cities give you endless possibilities. Everything related to France, Paris, The Netherlands, Amsterdam, the culture there, buildings there, art there, special food or whatever those places remind you. You can talk about travelling, moving, her favourite city of the two and why and so on… The possibilities are really endless. So let’s say you start talking about Amsterdam and the canals there. You could tell her about a boat trip you took in Amsterdam and ask her if she has taken one. Then depending on her response you can keep the subject the same or jump of something else she said there…
So as you can see in this example after you get the conversation going you can keep talking. To get someone comfortable to start a conversation with you know that you have to feel comfortable yourself. You have to be relaxed and open up so the other person can do this as well.
The more you go out and talk to people and build up experience the faster you’ll get comfortable with it. So depending on your ambitions you can choose how much time you want to put into this. But I recommend for whatever purpose to start 1 small conversation with a person you haven’t met each and every day. Be it on the metro, on a bench, in a coffee shop or wherever people are standing still. It can be a short 3-5 minute conversation by the way, that’s more than enough.
Starting off by talking to old people is usually the easiest way to start too. And you can be reassured that you’ll probably make their day (or week!) just by starting a conversation with them.
Examples of things you can say to start a conversation are ‘how’s your day going’, ‘how are you today’ or even ‘nice weather today’. As long as you throw out a thought and look at them so they know you’re talking to them you’re good. Then just hold eye contact and continue the conversation.
If you’re afraid that you’re bothering people you can just ask them after the first couple of sentences. You can playfully say something like: ‘You can let me know if I’m interrupting something or bothering you by the way, then I’ll just find someone else to talk to (disarming smile). Again endless possibilities.
The benefits of being social
There’s a lot of content out there telling you how to seduce women and what to tell them, but if you’re still not comfortable just talking to them it’s way too much. By being sociable and friendly you allow yourself to make friends and not creep people out before you’re socially calibrated. Now don’t get me wrong, you’ll have to show your interest in her if you want to take it to a next level, but it’ll have to go one step at a time. By being able to make friends you can expose yourself to more social situations and get accustomed on different kinds of situations too.
Practical steps please
Every day go out and have at least 1 short conversation.
- Realise that it’s perfectly normal to just start a friendly conversation with people.
- Whenever you meet fun people this way, add them on Facebook and suggest to maybe hang out sometime. More specific is better. If he or she likes hiking suggest a hike!
- Relax and if necessary just embrace awkwardness at the start of conversations. Get comfortable with discomfort
- If people are a bit shy in the beginning or don’t speak a lot, talk more, if they love talking listen more.
- Expose yourself to different situations and environments to talk to people. The more variation the better.
- Start with the lowest hanging fruit and work your way up. Start by talking to random old people, then to younger people until you get to pretty girls.
- When you’re comfortable talking to girls and approaching them in friendly ways, start showing interest in them sooner.
Now go forth and be social my friend!