I hear this one from guys all the time. Whether it be from guys I’m working with directly, or scattered in 1000’s of posts from men in every forum dedicated to figuring out how to talk to girls: “I didn’t know what to say”.
First and foremost, there are occasions when someone will say something and you’ll literally be held speechless, unable to think of a response. That’s not what I’m talking about today.
I’m talking about the two most common places I hear this, and why it’s actually another excuse guys are using to hold themselves back.
The reason why I sit down to write today, the first time in awhile, is because I’ve heard this enough to want to put down something definitive on this all too common question, to explain why this is actually another case of us defeating ourselves and not just the case where we need another line, and more importantly, how to make this problem disappear from your reality.
Let’s start with the first of the most common situations in which a guy will voice this concern:
When he’s looking to start a conversation with an unknown woman.
“Well, I would have said something to her, but I didn’t know what to say.”
Let’s reflect for a moment on why one may have this thought. First of all I’ll make an assumption. I’ll assume that a man wouldn’t worry about what to say if he didn’t worry about the consequences of saying the “wrong” thing.
There are a number of social errors that one could commit that would warrant a negative response. Generally, speaking about any sort of disease or illness upon starting a conversation will be frowned upon, and there are other examples that one could think of that would be deemed “inappropriate”.
As a side note, as I talked about in this post: http://sparksofattraction.com/?p=26 – when alcohol is involved, the reality of what is considered an “acceptable” means of starting a conversation is greatly affected.
Anyway, when you’re worried about potential negative outcomes from approaching, the possibility of saying something grossly offensive and deserving of a negative response probably isn’t even crossing your mind. This means that there’s another reason that one is fearful of the approach.
There’s a popular notion out there that a woman, because she “decides among men who she selects”, is more valuable in relation to a man. It’s easy to see why, under this perception of things, that a man would be fearful of an approach.
If a woman is looked at as this cold being of absolute judgement from which a man will derive his place in relation to other men, then, under this interpretation, I’d be pretty afraid of saying the “wrong” thing to a strange woman myself.
The thing is though this interpretation of women, while doing a great job of relating to men’s insecurities, is ignoring some very real facts about the way our world works.
As is usually the best policy, let’s start with women.
Take a walk through a bookstore, and start with the ‘Dating’ section, usually located near ‘Psychology’. What you’ll see is about 4 or 5 books written for men on how to meet more women. Immediately next to that, you have about 100 books, written for women, on how to find a freaking man. From following arcane ‘Rules’ to trying to become ‘Bitches’ for us, there’s a multi-billion dollar book industry because women are desperate for advice on meeting a guy. The field trip doesn’t even end there. Take a stroll over to the periodical section, and you’ll see another billion dollar magazine industry dedicated to the exact same thing.
Just about every night I’ve ever gone out I’ve seen droves of women, dressed to the T’s after spending hours to look that way, just trying to meet men. I’ve watched men attempt to have conversations with these women, half the time not even listening to them, many times just running through a set list of things to see, and still getting these girls to light up and be happy talking to them. And I’ve seen guys stand around and not talking to these same girls because they can’t think of anything to say.
The fact is that the barriers between the sexes are self created. Of course, sometimes, she’s the one creating those barriers; I’d highly recommend her this book: http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Your-Cablight-Dream-Months/dp/1592401783
Sometimes those barriers are situationally created. If it’s a cockfest, the high levels of testosterone stemming from frustrated male competition will probably make most of the women in there uncomfortable.
Most of the time though, especially when you hear a “I don’t know what to say”, those barriers are self inflicted.
As mentioned, we’re discounting all grossly offensive things from what you may say. You now, being a human being of some level of life experience, have a million things you can possibly say that fall in the “acceptable” category. (Especially when alcohol’s involved)
At the end of the day, we’re all just human beings. There’s probably not a thought you have had that she hasn’t thought or a feeling you’ve had – including nervousness, loneliness, awkwardness, attraction toward another human being – that she hasn’t had. All you have to do is relate on any one of those things, including, “hi, I wanted to come say hi and get to know you”. It’s probably why she came out in the first place, you just had to be the guy and say hi.
The other most common place you see this same problem popping up is when a guy does get into a great conversation with a woman, she’ll start to turn toward him with a smile and her eyes bright, he’ll find himself attracted to her, and then he’ll “just run out of things to say”.
This one has some different circumstances tied to it which make it appear different than the approach, however upon closer inspection we’ll see that it’s actually the exact same issue.
In both circumstances, you’ll receive varying degrees of signals from a woman that she’d want this type of action from you. Sometimes girls will look at you and smile, and thus strongly invite you to approach. Other times the signals won’t be as strong. Sometimes a woman will strongly indicate that she wants your interaction to be taken somewhere, other times the signal won’t be as strong.
The one characteristic of both situations is the feeling that accompanies them – it’s that same nervousness, that same anxiety. We have that feeling before we approach, and that same anxiety when we have a woman that we’re interested in looking at us and saying she wants the interaction to go somewhere. It’s in both of those situations that men reach for the same excuse : “Well, if I knew what to say, I would have done something”.
I recently gave a presentation that details how to “take the interaction somewhere” when she wants you to, and also how to recognize this so instead of spelling all out again you can watch that here: http://www.thesocialman.com/what-is-up-yo
The very important point I want to make through all of this is that the fact that these fears and barriers are a product of our mind does not make them any less real. Quite the contrary in fact, as all of our fears are a product of the mind, with some being more helpful given our current reality than others.
That nervousness, that anxiety is quite real, and it is because of it’s legitimacy it provides the ideal signal that we must take action – or reasonably decide not to.
There are good reasons to listen to fears sometimes. If I’m standing on a ledge, I’ll be afraid of the outcome of jumping off of it, and I’ll reflect on how much I like my life, and make the wise decision not to do so.
Other times, such as when we’re thinking of talking to a stranger or taking the interaction with a woman who is interested in us somewhere, or in any other part of our life, that anxiety is the signal that we now have the opportunity to break through some of those more irrational fears that are holding us back.
In fact, if a guy on a bootcamp tells me on the first night that he doesn’t have any nervousness before we hit our first bar, I’m sometimes more nervous about the progress we’ll make that night because of that.
In both of those oh so common situations where guys find themselves blaming a lack of words for why something didn’t happen, you don’t need some new knowledge to face that nervousness, you just need to face it, head on.
Whether it be approaching, escalating, or anything else in life, it’s all dealt with in the exact same way: through identifying your fears, and then looking them right in the eye and tackling them head on. The longer you wait and the more excuses you make to not do it, the harder it will be, and it still won’t ever be easy. It’s through this process, however, that we find our ultimate source of strength, our ultimate source of fulfillment.
It’s through the process of discovering that we can do anything – not a line, not a script, but just us – that will snowball into every aspect of our lives, and give us what we were really looking for in the first place.
I could have just told you never to do anything that’s motivated by fear, but sometimes it’s helpful to explain why.