Social gatherings can be enough to inspire worry or self-consciousness for a lot of guys, even if the party is small or the company sophisticated. Parties are, for the most part, a blend of the familiar and the unknown.
They provide an excellent forum for you to practice casually engaging with the opposite sex in a relatively low-risk way, and offer less pressure than bars or clubs. Chances are, if you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve decided that the time has come to shed your shyness and step into the arena of life. In this article, I’ll offer a few basic rules of thumb and some advice on how you can more easily approach girls at parties.
1. How to Beat Approach Anxiety
First, stop looking for the world’s greatest opener, this isn’t an award show. Be in the moment, be present, be relevant and it will feel completely natural. All that anxiety and tense will fade away once you stop stressing over what to say.
Many shy men suffer from approach anxiety, in fact, this is where the problem stems from. You’ll be shocked once you put your foot forward and start taking risks. Remember gentlemen, it’s all a numbers game for the most part. You will get rejected by every woman you don’t go after. Right from the start you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
See, what men often don’t see is that this is a self-perpetuating cycle. Approach anxiety stems from a lack of contact or interaction with women. Guys who experience this often feel they can’t talk to girls because they don’t know what to say.
They seem to feel they need to follow some sort of “cool” script or pick up lines. The truth is, gentlemen, there is no script. More than that, a woman will always pick up on something that feels false or rehearsed, and she won’t respond positively to it.
Why? Because women are looking for REAL. Yes, real strong, confidence and powerful men who know what they want and don’t fake being something their not. It doesn’t matter if you’re overtly shy, nor does it matter if she’s not interested. Trust me, there are women out there who are into reserved men like this. Even then, there are still some things you can do to help yourself conquer uncertainty and shyness:
• Accept your nervousness: If you’re shy, there is no “magic pill” that will cause it to evaporate before you ever approach that girl standing over by the chips and dip. What you can do in this case is use your nervousness as a conversation piece.
It isn’t as if she won’t notice that you’re uneasy, so put it to work for you. Incorporate it into the conversation. Learn to make your shyness a joke you can both laugh at, rather than being the joke.
• Practice: So many men seem to think that people who are at ease in mixed social situations are born that way. The plain truth is that no one is born knowing how to talk to people, how to flirt effortlessly with women they meet at parties, or how to navigate social interactions with finesse. We all have to pick up these skills by practicing them.
If you haven’t had much opportunity to do this, it’s only natural that it’s not among your skills. But you’re never going to get any better at it unless you practice talking to girls. Don’t single any particular woman out as your heart’s desire. Talk to all of them, even if you have no interest in asking for their phone numbers. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
• Make your own rules: Just as there are no hard and fast scripted approaches that will win you the positive attention of the ladies, there are no laws of behavior or social dialogue written in stone. What your main job will be at first is to determine the approach that works best for you.
I’ll cover several key points that will help you devise your own way of breaking the ice without breaking a sweat.
2. Just People
Many men feel flustered about speaking with female party guests with whom they aren’t already acquainted. We’ve already covered one of the reasons—the assumption that there’s a fixed script to be followed. Another big cause of approach anxiety and shyness is that guys make too much of these women.
They aren’t better than you. They aren’t some sort of magical creatures or goddesses. They’re human beings, just like you, and they might just be shy or insecure, too. Once you think of it in this light, approaching a lady or group of ladies becomes far less intimidating.
3. Observe and Listen
“True wisdom listens more, talks less and can get along with all types of people.” – Kiana Tom
A large part of a guy’s lack of success with the opposite sex at a party can often be attributed to his inattention to what is happening around him. In fact, many guys who are painfully shy will often be so focused on themselves and what others are thinking about them, they forget to notice what other people are doing or saying.
A great way to start a conversation is to observe a detail about a woman’s behavior or something going on in the vicinity. Then comment upon it to her. The next step seems simple, but is all too often forgotten.
Listen to what she says in response. If she’s interested in engaging with you, her response will be more complex, and will give you the material you need to make your next comment. This is the most foundational concept in effective communication with anyone—men, women, or children. Shy guys often focus on a woman’s femaleness.
It’s a mental concept that has assumed some unnatural importance. Because they fixate on this aspect of the person they’re attempting to converse with, they forget all about actually communicating.
4. Personal Agency
“A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him.” – Brendan Francis
What guys often fear most about talking to strange girls at parties is the R word—rejection.
What each of us has to realize is that if someone doesn’t respond positively to our overtures, it’s actually not a statement of our intrinsic worth. It doesn’t harm us in any way. It doesn’t actually lessen our value. The best way to cope with a fear of rejection is to face it squarely. If a woman responds negatively or neutrally to you, don’t sweat it.
Let them feel the way they do, and move on to your next conversation partner. When you internalize a negative response, what you’re doing is giving that person control over you. You’re handing them your personal power, and that’s not okay. Keep it. When a woman doesn’t seem interested in talking to you, break off the conversation courteously and walk away. It’s not your loss. It’s hers.
As you become more fluent with social interaction at parties, you’ll find that invitations will increase in number. One of the most desirable kinds of party guests is someone who keeps it light, who has a good time and contributes to the positive energy of the gathering.
Just remember that women you talk to at parties will likely cross paths with you again, so keep your nose clean, remain respectful of yourself and your conversation partners, and set aside your intensity. If you further your acquaintance, there will be plenty of time to introduce a woman to the deeper or more serious aspects of your personality.