9/7/2012 1:20 PM
Sometimes guys seem pretty much cursed. You’re expected to be the one to approach women. But, approach wrong, and you can wind up being called creepy. It can seem like a no-win situation. But, there are right ways and wrong ways to interact. Detecting and paying attention to social cues and handling situations in a friendly and respectful manner go a long way. A few tips:
- Remember that you are not entitled to anyone’s attention. If she is not interested in chatting, do not respond with, “I just want to talk to you.” If she doesn’t want a date, do not ask, “why not?” Those questions imply that her attention is something that you deserve, regardless of what she wants.
- Pay attention to where you are approaching a woman. Make sure that you haven’t inadvertently trapped her. Don’t chat her up in an elevator, or block her into a corner. Always make sure that someone has an easy way out of the conversation.
- “Let’s just be friends,” is code for “I’m not interested.” Now, if you are genuinely interested in just being this person’s friend, then, by all means, become friends. But, if you are going to hang around hoping that she’ll change her mind at some point in the future, you are not doing anyone any favors. If someone has had the “let’s be friends” talk with you, that means that they are not interested.
- If someone says that she’s not interested, or doesn’t respond to a voicemail, text or dating site message, “What’s wrong with me?” is the wrong next question. Jena tackled the reasons why on her excellent post from the other day.
- Don’t use the words “alpha” or “beta” to describe yourself, any other guy, or any behavior. It’s a one-way express ticket to Creepy Town.
- On sites like reddit, the ongoing joke is that the rules are “Be attractive./Don’t be unattractive.” It’s not that simple. No one can change their height or the shape of their jawline. But, there’s plenty that is under your control. Buy clothes that are flattering, and maintain them. Tend to the basics of hygiene and grooming. “Presentable,” when paired with a pleasant personality, is often good enough.
- Respect personal space. Don’t stand too close. If someone takes a step back when talking to you, that’s a pretty surefire clue that you are standing too close to them. Also, be respectful about touch. Touching someone’s arm, lightly and briefly, is okay. Stroking a stranger’s hair, putting your arm around someone you don’t know… these are both creepy.
- Be aware of social boundaries. Don’t ask overly personal questions when you have just met someone.
- Don’t make assumptions. Just because she’s talked for you for a bit does not mean that she’s obligated to take it any further than that.
- Don’t memorize tiny details about someone who you do not know well.
- Check your motivations. If you are looking to get laid, or looking to get a girlfriend, any girlfriend, that is going to shine straight through. People can tell when you are genuinely interested in them as a person, and not as a potential acquisition.
- Make eye contact, but don’t stare. It can be uncomfortable when you are talking to someone and their eyes reach your face but never quite make it to your eyes. And, noticing that someone who you are not talking to is continually looking at you can be a bit nerve-wracking, as well.
- Show genuine interest by asking questions and volunteering anecdotes of your own. Carefully listen to the things that she says to you. When you show interest in a woman as another human being, she’s much more likely to reciprocate an interest in you.