Most of us have someone we feel completely comfortable talking to. That might be a best friend, a sibling, or even a parent.
With them we can easily joke and maintain a smooth, engrossing conversation. Sometimes hours pass by in minutes.
But when we talk to a new person, something changes — especially if they’re a potential romantic interest.
All of a sudden, we’re cavemen who can barely form sentences and struggle to come up with conversation topics. Worse yet, we’re met with blank looks and mono-syllabic answers from the other party. Getting a smile is like pulling teeth.
There’s nothing wrong with you, but your mindset may need some adjusting.
Why does this happen with new people?
It all comes down to being too self-interested during interactions. Self-interest is defined as:
“One’s personal interest or advantage, especially when pursued without regard for others.”
Subconsciously, you’re focused on yourself and seeking an outcome from the other person — whether that’s their approval, a phone number, or the prospect of getting laid.
Some indicators that you have too much self-interest in conversations are:
- Feeling the need to “win” them over.
- Constantly worrying about whether or not you’re being judged.
- Changing your opinions or personality because you want them to like you.
- Being overly concerned with sounding stupid or saying the “wrong” thing.
- Staying stuck in your head, searching for words or stories to impress the other person.
Essentially, you’re making everything about you. In that moment you don’t truly care about getting to know the other person.
Why doesn’t it happen with people you’re close to?
When you’re with the people you’re closest to, the opposite occurs. You listen. You’re excited to hear what they have to say. You’re not worried about pushing toward a specific goal. Your only objective is to have a great experience and catch up with them.
I spoke with a guy over the weekend who has no trouble speaking to friends and didn’t use to get nervous talking to girls. However, since he stumbled upon “seduction” and “pickup” material online, he can’t get through more than 3 minutes of conversation with any woman. When I asked him why, he answered:
“I guess I used to just go out to have fun. Now, I’m always thinking about the next step. Every time I’m in front of a girl I’m focused on getting her number, getting a kiss, and getting her in bed.”
And that’s exactly the problem!
How do you fix it?
Whether you’re trying to make new friends, have casual hookups, or date an amazing woman…
You have to be genuinely interested in them.
Humans are reciprocative beings. When you give interest, you get interest.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
Yes, even women looking for one night stands want to know that you find them (specifically) interesting. It doesn’t mean you have to be soul mates. They just want to know that they are more than an interchangeable human fleshlight. That there’s SOMETHING other than their vagina that attracted you.
Everyone wants to feel special. And if you’re the person to make them feel that way, they’ll want to do the same for you.
Putting the solution into action
You need to reset your measure of success from obtaining an outcome to simply being curious about people.
Have a curiosity night (or two).
Next time you’re out socializing, your only goal is to answer this question about other people:
“Who are they?”
Start by getting in the right mindset. Brainstorm what you want to know about these people. They have to be things you actually care about. If it’s bullshit that doesn’t intrigue you, you won’t be engaged and end up right back in your head.
Write down 5-10 questions you could ask. You’re trying to get a better understanding of their personality, interests, and overall character. Think:
- What are their favorite books, movies, tv shows, comedians, or musicians?
- What’s the best place they’ve traveled to? Or, where are they most excited to visit?
- Would they rather live in the country or the city?
- What did they think of the Patriots putting up 55 points against the Steelers?
- What do they love or hate about their current job? What’s their dream job instead?
- Do they believe in ghosts or the supernatural?
- What’s their favorite way to exercise?
- What did they want to be when they were a kid?
- Who is their best friend?
- What scares them?
- What’s the biggest change they made in the last year?
- What drugs have they experimented with — if any?
- Are they close with their family?
- How often do they cry?
- What’s something most people don’t know about them?
- If they were to die tomorrow, how would they spend their last day?
- What turns them on (or off) in a potential partner?
- What’s the craziest place they’ve had sex?
- What have they always wanted to try (sexually) with someone?
Some additional tips to help with your curiosity night:
- If you draw a blank about what to ask, remember FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams). These four topics are proven ways to get people to open up.
- Start with lighter questions but don’t be afraid to get more personal (and sexual) as time progresses. People make the mistake of staying with safe, surface level topics which lead to weak connections. The more personal your conversation becomes, the more they will invest and feel closer to you.
- Ask open-ended questions. They require people to think and share more details. Try to reframe yes or no questions — “Do you like to travel?” becomes “What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to?”
- Think about the why behind the questions. You don’t just want to know cold, hard facts; you want to discover their emotions and motivations. For example, don’t just ask what they do for a living. Ask what they love about it, what drives them to go every morning, what has been their biggest hurdle, and where they’d like to go from there.
- Practice holding intimate eye contact. What do they look like? Notice the color of their eyes. This is how Bill Clinton creates a “reality distortion field” that attracts everyone.
- Give them a real compliment. Listen for something that truly impresses you and express it to them.
- Remember their name. This is a great litmus test. If you find yourself forgetting names quickly, you’re not listening.
Shifting the focus from “How can I be good enough for this person? to “Is this someone I want in my life based on what I’m learning about them?” cultivates a mindset of abundance.
It takes people off that pedestal and forces you to honestly evaluate them. You lose the desperation to fit their mold and gain the courage to walk away from those who aren’t a good fit for you.
That builds true confidence in yourself. In turn, that confidence attracts not only more people, but the right people.
You already know how to get people interested in you. You just need to treat them the same way you treat those closest to you.
Ready to make more friends and date beautiful women? Let’s talk for a free strategy session.