I’m guessing it’s something like: “Nice guys are afraid of rejection, don’t want to bother you when you’re out, and are generally more concerned with the consequences of being embarrassed than with actually meeting you.” It may be true, but, as truth goes, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs. What’s easy to forget is that most women want to be approached by you. By not approaching them, you’re letting them down and allowing the creeps to take their shot. Follow these lessons and the next time you’re out, maybe you’ll prove that nice guys don’t finish last.
Lesson #1: Assume the answer is yes
Have you ever been sold a product before? Hair tonic, a car, bathroom tile? I can guarantee you that the salesperson didn’t pitch you by saying, “Um, excuse me… I hate to bother you… would you be interested in… I mean, probably not, but—” No! Any salesman worth his commission is not just selling confidence in his product, but confidence in himself. “Confidence says I’m bright, I’m likeable, women have liked me in the past, I’m comfortable in my own skin,” says Victor, 38, a real estate broker. “Since she has to make a decision on the spot, confidence through nonverbal communication makes the best impression.” You can even “fake it ’til you make it” through these two very simple means: Smile and maintain eye contact. And remember: If you don’t know that you’re worth talking to, how would she know?
Lesson #2: It’s not about you
I’m out at a big Hollywood scene with beautiful people. It’s getting late, towards the end of the night, and I ask my buddy Terrance which woman he’s got his eye on. He points to an attractive brunette talking to a cute blonde across the courtyard. Slightly bemused, I tell him that I will make the introduction. As I stride over, I rationalize that if my approach doesn’t go well, she’s not really rejecting me, but rather, Terrance. I know this isn’t true, but it gets me going.
I arrive while the women are in mid-conversation. I say nothing for a few seconds and when they both look at me, I chime in: “You guys just keep talking. I’ll interrupt when I’ve got something interesting to contribute.” And that was it. It wasn’t a line. It wasn’t planned. It just happened. After three minutes, Terrance came over, I made the introductions, and we both got phone numbers. The moral of the story? Playing my little conversational trick in all pick-up situations can be really helpful. Just ask any married friend how easy it is to talk with women when you know that there are no stakes involved. If it’s not about you, you can’t possibly fail.
Lesson #3: There’s power in numbers
Believe it or not, three is better than one. When you approach a woman who is by herself, she knows that you’re hitting on her based solely on your attraction to her. This increases the pressure in a way that doesn’t always make for a comfortable situation. That’s why the safest way to meet a woman is to approach her in a crowd of her friends. Now there’s no pressure, because nobody knows who you’re hitting on, and you can just be the friendly guy who’s chatting with everybody. “If you’re charming, funny or bright,” says Charles, 36, “she might find herself interested in you before you’ve expressed interest in her.” This tilts things in your favor, even to the point where you might be in control. “By charming her friends and getting their approval, the one you like will be that much more open when you ask her out,” adds Charles.
Lesson #4: It’s just that easy
If you ever doubt how simple it can be to meet a woman, this story should inspire you: I was at a party with some close friends and saw an acquaintance across the room. Late 30s, attractive, friendly, likeable. We’d met probably four times before through a mutual friend who was also at the party. When our eyes met, I smiled at her. She smiled back. Because it was a large and crowded room, I put out my index finger and beckoned her to come over to me. She sort of did a double take, smiled even more broadly and came right over.
“Hi,” I said, warmly.
“Hi,” she said, blankly. Then it hit me.
“You have no idea who I am,” I said.
“None whatsoever,” she replied.
“It’s Evan. Evan Katz.”
“Oh, yes — we’ve met! You cut your hair. I didn’t even recognize you.” She gave me a hug. But I had one more important question to ask her before we continued talking.
“Is it really that easy to get a woman to talk to you… just by calling her over with your finger?”
She took a second to consider the evidence and replied, “Apparently, it is.”
So there you have it. We men have more power than we even realized.
Lesson #5: The outcome doesn’t matter
Maybe you’re not her type. Maybe she’s just out of a relationship. Maybe she’s having troubles at work. Maybe she’s not perceptive enough to recognize your worth. You never know why someone may not be interested in you. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter. It’s more diminishing to your self-esteem to let fear run your life than it is to get rejected. Here’s one story below that showcases this in a big way.
So I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, and I was waiting for a woman with 400 coupons. In the meantime, I was talking to the tall, raven-haired cutie behind me. We were making jokes, laughing, passing the time. All in all, a very pleasant five minutes of my life. The coupon lady finished up. I paid for my stuff, said goodbye to my new friend and rolled my cart out the door.
The second I hit the fresh air, I was kicking myself: Dummy! Why didn’t you ask for her phone number? Because I got all embarrassed what with the other people in line and the woman swiping my bar codes. Because of all the other reasons that nice guys wimp out. I decided that this would not do. I was going to wait until she came out of the supermarket and ask her out. And that’s what I did.
“Hey, it was a lot of fun meeting you in there,” I said to her as she emerged with her bags. “I was wondering if you’d like to grab lunch sometime.”
A big smile came across her face. “You are so cute and I couldn’t be more flattered, but I have a serious, live-in boyfriend. But I really want to thank you for asking. You totally made my day.” After she said goodbye, I went home, walking on air, so happy that I did it, instead of wishing I did it, like so many times before. It didn’t matter if she had a boyfriend or if she was lying or being polite or whatever — all that mattered was that I took a big swing at the plate and even didn’t hurt myself in the process.