A common sticking point in talking to girls, especially when you’re new, is running out of things to say.
What the heck DO you talk about?
The weather? Sports? Politics?
It’s probably one of the most common questions I get as a dating coach.
The overall goal of this guide is to do three things:
- Teach you the attitude of charismatic communication
- Teach you the skills of attraction-building communication (including storytelling and humor)
- Make you appreciate the importance of verbal game a little bit more
THE FIRST MINUTE: ‘Assuming The Burden’
Firstly, a principle from a favorite communication book of mine called ‘Making People Talk’ is ‘assuming the burden’ of the conversation.
The meaning of ‘assuming the burden’ is essentially this: when you start a conversation with people, at least at first, you need to carry the burden of the conversation. You need to take responsibility for getting the communication going.
Because you decided to start the interaction, it’s up to you to make a conscious decision and effort for that conversation to start flowing.
There’s a rule I use called the 90/10 rule.
It goes like this: In the first couple minutes of the interaction, you are talking 90% of the time and she is talking 10% of the time.
The 90/10 rule is actually not the ideal scenario for the overall interaction, but you need to be willing to talk that 90% to begin with, if she’s not doing it herself.
THE CONVERSATIONAL LAWNMOWER
In the beginning, a lot of being good at conversation is just energy and will.
I have this metaphor for starting a conversation called ‘starting the lawnmower’. When I was a kid out in Colorado, we had a big lawn out in the back that my parents made me cut.
In order to get the lawnmower going, I used to have to pull the choke, and the engine would go ‘brrrrrrr’ and then would eventually die.
I’d pull the choke again, and it would get a little bit more momentum, and then ‘brrrr’ – the engine would die again.
And then finally, on the fourth or fifth pull of the choke, the engine would shake up and would then start working and boom, I’d be in business.
Guess what: Conversations work in kinda the same way!
No matter how well you start a conversation, it’s not always guaranteed that the first thing you do is going to get the interaction going.
You may go over and say, “Hey, what’s up” along with some funny little quip, and she responds a little bit, but then the conversation goes dead again.
But it’s at that very moment when the conversation goes silent when you have to make a choice.
With most guys talking to girls, their choice when the conversation dies is to give up and take it as a rejection.
The girls looks away and the guy takes it as some kind of failure or rejection and walks away.
Do not do that!
If I did that every time I experienced this, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have this job for very long.
You can check out my blog post on starting conversations and approach anxiety by clicking here.
THE SOLUTION TO SILENCE
It’s actually pretty simple:
You need to try again and be persistent off the opener. Try something a little different and shake things up. Just like it’s not the lawn mowers’ fault that it’s not warmed up yet, it’s not the girl’s fault that she’s not in a social mood.
Think of it this way, when you go up to a girl and you find that you ‘run out of things to say’, the girl is most likely thinking and feeling the exact same thing, except that for her, it’s probably even worse because she feels that she has to not be socially awkward and not be seen as a slut.
So a lot of being good at conversation is just deciding to make the conscious effort to make the conversation happen in the first place, and barrel through the initial awkwardness.
In the short-term, it’s all about energy and will to make the conversation happen.
In the long-term, you can also develop the skills, conversational techniques and finesse to make conversations more engaging and interesting for the girl, which I’m going to cover further on in this article.
PROACTIVITY OF FRAME
A concept that’s sometimes talked about in game is ‘outcome independence’.
I don’t like that concept.
Reason being is that I don’t think that’s really possible, to be completely honest.
If you’re truly independent of outcome, you wouldn’t approach a girl in the first place. You wouldn’t start a conversation with someone to begin with.
Without an outcome, you’d probably just sit on your couch and eat Cheetos
So, you need to have a desire for an outcome, because the outcome is what’s going to move the interaction is the direction you want it to.
A lot of guys have what I call the ‘halfway conversation to nowhere’. They talk to a girl for 30 minutes, and it fades out aimlessly. When they get back, I ask them “did she know that you have a penis?”
The clear answer is always “no”.
GET TO THE POINT
It’s important to get to the point, or what I call in 2018, ‘establishing a premise’. Because if you don’t get to the point, the girl feels like you’re wasting her time. She may ask herself “what does this guy want?”
Imagine you walked into a car dealership, and you spend 30 minutes talking to the car salesman. But in the first 30 minutes, he doesn’t even mention anything about cars. You’d be thinking ‘Why isn’t this guy getting to the point? He’s wasting my time.’
So, if you don’t get to the point in the conversation, then there is no point. And nobody wants to be in a pointless conversation.
That’s why it’s important to have an outcome, but it needs to be a win-win outcome.
If your outcome when talking to a girl is ‘I want to fuck you and not even get to know you and make it a terrible experience for you’, then that’s not a win-win and not an experience that the girl is going to get onboard with.
But if the outcome is, for example ‘I want to meet you and have a great time with you, for us to get to know each other, to teach you things, to travel and to have great sex that we both enjoy’, that’s a win-win outcome that she can get on board with.
It’s a win for her.
And for you.
So you need an outcome, but it needs to be the right outcome.
STORYTELLING AND ‘BEING INTERESTING’
There are few things you can do with girls (and with people in general) that are more useful than storytelling.
Reason being is that it’s one of the few things that build value and comfort at the same time.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of value and comfort, essentially it’s the idea that in order to sleep with a girl, you need to show her that you’re a high-value guy, so that she could gain value from being around you.
But you also need to create comfort, so she feels that she can trust you and that opening up to you won’t be a loss for her.
However, the problem with value and comfort is that most of the things that help you build value, destroy comfort.
And most of the things that build comfort, destroy value. So you’re at this paradox where you want both, but building one is at the detriment of the other.
The beautiful thing about storytelling though, is that it allows you to build value and comfort at the same time. At least good storytelling.
It builds value because you’re leading the conversation, you’re in control and you can also show fun things about your life.
It builds comfort because you’re letting the girl get to know you and you’re opening up about your life. Also, time passes when you’re telling stories and the more time you spend with her, the more comfort is built.
For that reason, storytelling is a really useful thing in game which isn’t used enough nowadays.
STRUCTURE OF A STORY
One of the reasons why guys don’t tell stories is because they don’t know how to tell good stories.
You know you’ve told a bad story if afterward someone says “what happened then?” or “what was the point?”
A good story has three elements:
– Something or someone has been changed by the interruption
The situation is the initial circumstance in which the story starts.
The interruption in the story is what creates tension and drama, which is what makes it exciting.
And the change at the end of the story is what completes the whole story. If you get a “so what?” at the end of the story, it’s because there was no change.
A brief example:
1) Me and a friend were pulling up at a traffic light in downtown LA. (Situation).
2) We saw two hot girls in the car next to us. We looked over, and there was this tension between us. I whistled over at them and then we drove off. (Interruption).
3) When we pull up to the next traffic light, the two girls pull up to us again. But as the girl in the driver’s seat looks over to us and whistles back, she drives into the back of an SUV. (Change).
THE SECRET IS IN THE DETAILS
Let’s say I tell you two different stories:
Story one: I ate a hamburger yesterday and it tasted nice.
Story two: I ate the greasiest, most insane, charbroiled, tenderized, almost like an orgasm in a bun hamburger yesterday – it was so fucking delicious. The juices were like dripping down my mouth and I didn’t even want to stop to wipe it because it was that fucking good.
Funny example, but regardless of whether that sounds like a pleasant hamburger experience to you or not, how much more compelling does the second story sound to you?
What did I do differently in story two? I added a lot more description in the specifics where you could almost imagine the experience as if you were eating the burger yourself.
As guys, we tend to just be very logical and straightforward. We just state the facts very simply. However, that’s not very emotionally compelling for a girl.
So, when telling stories, go into the detail, make it descriptive and compelling to listen to.
Imagine you were there and experiencing it first hand. Go into the specific details, of what you were feeling on a sensory, emotional and experiential level because that’s where your language will be more compelling, more engaging and more potent.
I say this a lot, but a good way to ingrain this into your game and get good at telling compelling stories is by doing improv and comedy classes, or studying stand up.
In many ways, my style of game is very inspired by improv.
SOCIAL PROOF STORIES
There are plenty of stories that are good stories in themselves, but don’t really get the girl attracted in any way. Platonic stories if you will.
So how do you use stories to convey your attractive traits and get her thinking of you as a guy she wants in her life?
Well, there’s a difference between showing yourself in a high-value way versus bragging in an obvious, crass way. The latter will actually get you into trouble and is inherently a low-value, self-qualifying behavior.
It’s important to mix in your social proof sparingly within the basis of a good story, as if it’s almost unnoticed. That’s what true mastery is with storytelling in a game context.
You can’t make it a big deal.
‘PENETRATE THE OSTENSIBLE’
Essentially, ‘penetrate the ostensible’ means go beyond the obvious.
Every time someone says a sentence, there is the obvious literal meaning of it. But there is also a deeper layer of communication that could mean something totally different.
For example, a girl could say, “I’m thirsty”. The literal meaning is “I’m thirsty”, in which case get her a drink.
But “I’m thirsty” may also mean “I want you in my bed” if said in a sexual tone.
I’m going to write the same phrase in a way which sub-communicates four different meanings: (harder to do in text) with the different use of italics implying where the intonation is.
I didn’t say YOU stole the cookie. (Implying that I meant someone else stole the cookie).
I didn’t say you STOLE the cookie. (Implying that I accused you of doing something different to stealing the cookie).
I didn’t say you stole the cookie. (Implying somebody else said you stole the cookie).
I didn’t say you stole the COOKIE. (Implying that I said you stole something else).
Notice how what words you put the intonation on in the sentence changes the implications and meaning of it?
That’s the power of intonation.
This a higher-level of communication, because it’s subtle. If you watch guys such as Brad Pitt or George Clooney in films like Oceans 11 and 12, or Daniel Craig in James Bond, they communicate the same message but with minimal output. Intonation is a way of doing that.
In game, it’s great to bring humor in your interactions, but on a more important level, it’s got to be in an attractive way, or else being funny may even work against you instead of for you.
A good example of high-value humor is Dane Cook. Check his stuff out, despite whatever criticism you might have of him, he’s very alpha, almost like a “fuck you, I’m doing my thing” kind of vibe.
In terms of humor, you don’t have to be technically hilarious.
In game, I’d much rather be kind of interesting, mysterious and a little unpredictable, than be hilarious and self-deprecating.
Don’t become the clown. Don’t become the dancing monkey. That’s not the way you want to go at all.
THE PURPOSE OF HUMOR
That major purpose is it helps diffuse tension. For example, it’s much easier to bring up sex in a joke, than explicitly saying “I think we should have sex”.
Look at guys like Russell Brand for example. That guy says some crazy stuff which most people would get crucified in the media if they said it. But his humorous, charismatic way of being allows him to pull it off.
You can get away with almost anything if it’s funny.
Humor, exaggeration and the reframe, are incredibly helpful way of getting over shit tests.
But make sure you avoid self-deprecating humor as a general rule of thumb.
Reason being, is imagine you watch a stand-up routine and the comedian is super self-deprecating.
It might be funny at first, but after a while, he’s playing the same card and it’s not funny anymore, it’s actually showing low self-esteem.
After a while, it’s straight up cringey and even uncomfortable to watch.
That’s the vibe that self-deprecation gives off if you use it a lot in your humor. Being all self-deprecating to a girl, she can see it’s probably a veneer to cover up a feeling of insecurity coming from a place of “I’m a loser” and putting her on a pedestal.
And that’s not really a win for her, is it? She’s not going to want to introduce this guy who thinks he’s a loser to all her friends, right?
And if you’re overly self-deprecating, by being with you, it’s almost lowering her value, not raising it.
Just like anything in dating and success with women, the principles I’ve shared with you here are not set in stone. They’re not black and white either. Remember, game is fluid, spontaneous and free-associative, so never get stuck in one specific way of doing things.
You also won’t be able to implement all these things at once, so just relax with it and focus on learning one or two things at a time. Over the long-term, these skills will become internalized and should feel fluent to you.
And most importantly, have fun with it!