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Guy Talk: Ace your pick-ups

Biko Kennedy, Youthlink Writer

As a boy grows into a man, the odds of him getting an earful of advice about how to be less timid and start engaging women in witty dialogue is more likely to happen than a girl paying for dinner and a movie on the first date. Sure, those advice-giving 'players' mean well, or so they say, but they seem to always assume that a guy has to change who he is. Guys, there's one secret that everyone tends to overlook ... you ready? Everything works! Sounds odd but it's quite true. Think of it like this; whatever you think your weak points are, will possibly be the thing a girl will find most attractive about you. Here's what you do.

Say you're the jokester ...

Girls like guys with a sense of humou,r but it's up to you to turn your subtle jokes into indirect flirting. Instead of aiming for the perfect pick-up line, try being less formulaic about your approach and have a genuine conversation.

The scenario - You're in a bus and you decide to sit beside a random girl whom you think is attractive.

Possible opener - Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt your current state of daydreaming, but could I borrow 30 seconds?

Possible answer - Sure.
Humour her - I wanted to share a thought. We never really know when something amazing is about to happen, like you could find yourself thinking about how sluggish the driver is crawling with the bus then suddenly an attractive stranger has you clinging to his every word. Even though you've never seen him before, you do find him to be weirdly interesting. Besides, aren't we all uniquely amazing?

Possible reaction - She smiles and agrees.

The important thing while she is humouring you is to see if any of her responses are purely positive. Why? It gives a sense of you both having a few things in common from the get-go. Even though it might seem a long shot, using your humor is a great way to break the ice.

Say you're lost for words easily ...

The worst thing that could possibly happen while you're there trying to charm her is your mind going blank. If your confidence suddenly drops, she'll notice, then the conversation will go downhill from there. Here's a trick you could try; just sprinkle a few question marks after she's made her points. All you're doing is repeating the last notable phrase she said then adding a question mark to it. "Oh, you're obsessed with Jacob from the Twilight films; why?"
Instead of focusing on what you're going to say next, just pay attention to what she's saying. When she mentions her name, repeat it a few times during the conversation. Not only is that music to her ears, but it does show that you're focused on her and helps you to actually remember her name at the end of the conversation.

Say you fear rejection ...

Don't just view it as her rejection but as a lesson to be learnt. It's obvious that you did something wrong, so find out what it was and work to correct that. Think of it this way: the more rejection you get, the more you'll get used to being rejected and the less it will daunt your self-confidence.

Say you're utterly shy ...

How do you just go up and talk to a person you've never met before? Just be honest with the fact that you're shy. You could say something like, "Hey, I'm a bit nervous in approaching you because I am kind of shy, but I'm trying to overcome my shyness by meeting friendly people, and you seem as friendly as they come." How can that possibly go wrong? The chance of her responding negatively is very slim. Not only are you confronting the fact that you're shy, but you'll also realise that most women are friendly and quite approachable.
Smile, be positive, compliment her but try to aim beyond the typical compliments. Making yours unique and sincere is key, perhaps by complimenting her based on who she is and what she's saying, rather than what is directly on the surface.