I used to be terrified of talking to pretty girls. I think that that is the case for many guys, including some of my late-20s, early 30s friends. Since graduating from the social support system that was college, I have been hard at work trying to get better at striking up fun and/or meaningful conversations with just about everyone I meet, and that has greatly improved my ability to get over my anxiety about talking to girls.
The key piece is let go or overcome fear of rejection. While you should be working on making your life awesome and pursuing meaningful things that make your life more resilient to rejection from pretty girls, there are still tools that can be useful in the moment:
- Be mindful of your feelings. If you recognize your feelings of fear as such, they have less power over you, so that you can take action despite feeling afraid. Also, if you recognize your feeling nervous, it may be helpful to say so: Gosh, you are really pretty, and I’m honestly a little nervous talking to you. Another option is hacking your internal dialogue by saying to yourself: I feel scared. I am not my scared feelings. I am doing a brave thing because even though I feel scared, I am going to talk to this girl. Breathing and speaking more slowly may also be helpful for keeping yourself cool, calm, and collected.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Observation is the first step of a very basic method of striking up conversation with anyone. (I first heard of this method from Marnie Kynris of Wing Girl Method.) Observe something that is less obvious–look for details that most might not notice. Share your connection to that thing you observed. Then ask an open-ended question to learn more about the girl’s perspective. I try to also use Marnie’s speaking ration cases of guys approaching girls: the guy speaks 25% of the time, and the girl speaks 75% of the time.
- If the conversation does not work out, pay attention to how you react. Do you beat yourself up? Replace the concept of “rejection” with the concept of “feedback”. Do you find yourself ruminating on something you said or did not say? Take note of your mistakes, then practice letting them go.
Bonus: Read the book Mate, co-written by Tucker Max (yes, that guy) and Dr. Geoffry Miller. One of the books that I can count on one hand that changed my life. Since reading it for the first time two years ago, I have reread it and see myself doing so every year or so going forward.