The Hook Up: How to talk to pretty girls and what to do if a partner refuses to change

 
 
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Most people who meet me find me outgoing and confident, but put me in front of a pretty girl and I just don’t know how to act. There’s this girl I see all the time, and I know she’s friends with my friends but as soon as I see her I get nervous and try to find other people to talk to and pretend I’m being all aloof and mysterious. Really I know I have loads to talk about, but I don’t know what to say. How do I go from being a random girl to cool and savvy? All my friends know I’m totally weird but they say they love my confidence. I just don’t want her first impression of me to be, “So she finally said hello and now she’s looking at me funny.” A little advice?—Drum Roll Please

Anna says: Seeming confident is 90 percent of the battle, DRP. Actually feeling confident is a relatively moot point if those around you perceive you to be cool and savvy, which they apparently do already, so congrats, you win!

Watch this TED talk and learn about power poses and “faking it until you become it.”

Pretty girls are only scary if you allow them to be. Remember that they possess just as much fear, regret, and crippling insecurity as the rest of us—they just happen to do so while also looking hot in skinny jeans. If anything, hot girls are probably even more insecure than you because of the cultural pressure to be hot all the time, and from, you know, relentless objectification. Does that make you feel better? No? Alright fine, it’s time to delve into Pulley’s Pile of Pick-Ups and Persuasion (or PPPUP).

The trick to convincing yourself that you’re confident is largely mental. Tell yourself how awesome you are every day and eventually you’ll start to believe it. Start that now. Make a list with positive traits you’d like to embody, such as, “I am confident. I am smart. I am desirable and interesting to talk to” etc. Abolish whatever negative self-talk is lurking and replace it with a compliment, even if it feels a little silly or strange. Do it every day.

While you’re working on building up your confidence, start talking to the pretty girl you have your eye on (start talking to anyone, really. Practice makes perfect). But don’t talk to her with the intention of seducing her, that’ll just make you anxious. Start simply by saying hi the next time you see her and follow it up with a short conversation starter. Some examples:

Hi, you’re friends with my friends but I don’t really know you. What’s your name?

Hi, do you like tattoos/piercings/dyed hair? My ex-girlfriend wanted me to get one, but I wasn’t sure it’d look good on me. Do you think I could pull it off? (This one’s nice because it also tells her you like girls, in case she was unsure.)

Hi, can I get your opinion on something? My friend says these pants make me look straight. Is she right? (Feel free to use any of the advicey questions I mentioned in last week’s column on winning over mom.)

Hi, I see you all the time. How come we don’t know each other? Are you avoiding me? (Make sure you say it in jokey way.)

Hi, I really like your [interesting accessory/piece of clothing]. Where’d you get it?

The more you talk to girls, the less scary it should feel, and you can eventually move on to exciting topics like flirting and asking her out (Maybe we’ll dive more into this next week.) But first, go on and get the ball rolling. Find out her name and what she does when she’s not in school/work. You can do it because you’re cool and savvy, right?

Right.

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