The definitive guide to talking to women and not weirding them out.
Have you ever really wanted to talk to a girl but you were worried about being “creepy?’ Maybe she was walking down the street, or standing in line at the coffee shop, but you stood there just staring at her. You probably felt like you couldn’t come up with something “not weird” to say, right?
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If so, keep reading. I’m going to break down the reasons guys feel creepy, and how you can start feeling like a boss instead.
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If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How do I flirt without being creepy?” or “How do I approach girls without being creepy?” then you’ve already put the brakes on your own progress. This is called self-sabotage.
Because this question is part of the problem. It’s a projection of how a guy feels about himself. It also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reason is that if you’re focusing on not being “creepy,” then you can’t be confident.
This Redditor got it right:
Too many of you guys are obsessed with possibly being seen as creepy (which make you seem creepy, ironically enough). […] If someone likes you they are not going to think you’re creepy, but if they don’t like you even giving them a compliment can be “creepy”(source: experience). You people obsessed with being seen as creepy are fu**ing with your own heads.
Nailed it, especially in the last line. Worrying about being creepy is going to mess with your own head. That in itself will lead to all sorts of weird behavior. You can’t have a great conversation if you’re thinking negatively about yourself.
Another part of the equation is that you’re never going to be able to please everyone. No matter what you do some women will find it creepy. If she likes you it will be harder to creep her out.
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1. What Is Creepiness?
This is important to understand so you can learn what triggers it.
Causing an unpleasant feeling or fear or unease.
It’s that simple. Nothing mystical or vague, just discomfort.
The easiest way to make her feel “unpleasant,” “fearful” or “uneasy” is by altering your behavior trying to be normal or cool. This will make you look fake. Being fake will make her think you’re hiding something. That tells her that you’re not to be trusted.
This will make anyone uneasy. No one wants to turn their back on someone who may have ulterior motives.
By worrying about it you’re going to make her uncomfortable because she’s reading your discomfort. This is also called “being awkward.” By being comfortable you won’t come across as awkward or fake.
Don’t worry though, I’m not going to tell you to “be yourself.” Some practical advice is coming up.
First, some behaviors which will make you look creepy and what to do instead.
2. Creepy Behavior
- Leaning forward – Stand straight up or lean back.
- Invading her space – Stay 4-8 feet until she comes into your space. Be a force of gravity and not a satellite.
- Avoiding eye contact or looking at the ground – Keep your eyes on hers with natural breaks.
- Psycho eye contact – Smile a bit and soften your facial expressions to avoid a psycho stare.
- Unwelcome touching – There’s too much to explain about how to get physical properly in this post. As a rule of thumb, when you’re starting out just avoid physical contact except for a handshake.
- Speaking too quietly – Guys will lower their voices when speaking to women who intimidate them. That’s a submissive gesture and a turnoff for women, and can also look weird. Keep the volume of your voice strong, like a man.
- Nervous smiles – A lot of guys will smile too much by forcing it. It looks insincere and insecure. Instead, smile when there is a reason to, not just because you’re looking at her.
Out of conversation:
- Hovering around a girl without saying anything – She’s going to figure out why you keep ending up where she is. She’ll probably notice the fact you’re glancing at her too. Talk to her right away instead.
- Staring without saying anything – Same as above. If she’s worth staring at then maybe you should say something.
- Following a girl on the street – Again, same as above. Don’t walk down the street tailing her thinking about talking to her. Either talk to her or move on.
3. The Fear of Being Creepy Is Insecurity
I’ve never worried about weirding women out because I’ve always felt secure about myself. I know I bring value to the table when I talk to them. I also know that my social skills are solid and I can communicate my intentions clearly. Even when I started to learn how to approach women the thought just never came up. Even though I was very nervous it was the last thing on my mind.
The fear of being a creep is insecurity. It’s expressed as concern for her feelings but that concern is misplaced. It’s really about you. A confident man with social skills has nothing to worry about.
That insecurity takes attention away from where it should be, the woman you want to talk to. That will put you in a bad headspace and you won’t open a conversation with her. Even if you manage to get into a conversation with her it’s going to be awkward because you’re not paying attention to what she’s saying. You’re thinking about yourself and wondering what she thinks about you.
If you can’t redirect your attention she’s not going to think anything good. It’s not possible to have a good conversation while focusing on yourself.
It’s the same as riding a motorcycle. When going around a corner or turn you have to look at the direction you’re going, not straight ahead. If you look straight ahead, something called “target fixation” can happen. That could be a disaster.
Motorcyclists who experience target fixation are in danger of crashing. The reason is that the bike will go in the direction you’re looking at. It’s exactly the same as when you’re focused on “not being creepy.” Ironically, you’ll act creepy because it’s where you’re putting your attention.
Here are two big ways you can change your focus:
How to Change Your Focus
1. Focus on Conversation
Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the girl you’re talking to (or want to talk to). This will get you out of the headspace where everything is about you. Then you’ll be learning about her and who she is. What makes her tick, her interests, and whether or not you’re even interested in her in the first place.
She may not be that great so don’t build her up in your head before getting to know her. Looks are deceiving and superficial. Yes, they’re still important but they say nothing about a woman as a person.
Learn conversational skills through practice and especially by becoming a good listener. This way you can repeat back to her what she said in your own words. This lets her know you were listening and that you understand what she’s saying. It also allows you to build on the conversation. I wrote about how to keep a conversation going here.
Also check out Vanessa Van Edwards’ slideshare about conversing at events.
2. Get Confident
It’s one thing to focus your attention where it should be, thereby diverting your attention from where it shouldn’t be. But it’s even better when your attention is diverted from you insecurities because they’re not an issue. Not even a thought.
To do that, get confident.
- Start talking to women
- Learn public speaking
- Take acting or improv classes so you can learn how to communicate (and perform with others watching)
- Do something that makes you uncomfortable… then do something else that makes you comfortable
Train yourself by talking to women, and by taking skills training, you’ll start building experience. Experience will develop competence, and competence will build confidence.
Since you want to meet women, that’s going to be number one. Secondary is anything that will train your social skills and ability to handle social pressure, like public speaking.
By facing your fears they will diminish. In psychology this is known as exposure therapy. Through repeated exposures to awkwardness, you’ll soon become comfortable. In the dating world this translates into you not being creepy.
This is the biggest anti-creep pill you could take. Worrying about making women uncomfortable is mostly fear about not being good enough. Could you imagine ‘The Rock,” who was just named “Sexiest Man of the Year,” talking to women and getting rejected for being creepy? I couldn’t.
Confidence-building is a long term project, so commit to the big picture. However, there are a few things you can do to get a burst of courage when you need it.
4. How to Calm Nervousness and Get a Burst of Courage
Nervousness can make a fool out of anyone. That’s why it’s important to have emotional control and relieve anxiety when you need to perform.
Here’s what to do when you need the balls to perform:
- Be present – It’s not just for people who’ve smoked too much weed. Being present means you bring your attention to yourself. What is your body feeling? How does the sun feel on your face? How about the wind on your skin? What sounds do you hear? Instead of focusing on your fear, bring your attention to your senses instead. This technique can be used anytime you feel stressed, too.
- Breath – Also a great way to be present. Deep breaths have an immediate effect on our physiology. It will slow your heart rate and calm your autonomous nervous system. Shallow breathing has the opposite effect, and that’s what happens when we get nervous. Reverse the negative effects of shallow breathing with slow, deliberate breaths that fill your lungs.
- Focus on the prize and feel your desires – Instead of thinking about the possible downsides, focus on your desires. Think about how great it would be to make a connection with the hot woman who just walked by. Feel it and don’t just think about it. Our emotions are much more powerful than rational thought alone. Next time you see someone you want to talk to, feel what it would be like to see her face smiling back at you.
- Be a confident man through body language – It’s very hard to feel confident with your hands in your pockets, walking around looking at the ground. The reason being that you’re telling your mind you’re not confident in a sort of reverse feedback loop. By changing your body language you can have direct control over your insecurity. Through regular practice you’ll take on a better state of mind. Stand tall with your shoulders back, never walk around looking at the ground, and take your hands out of your pockets. Also, keep your chin slightly up and look straight ahead when walking. By adopting a confident man’s body language you’ll start feeling like one.
Check out Wikipedia’s post for more about calming yourself during an anxiety attack. There are some good breathing exercises in there plus a few more on how to take control of your nerves.
5. Final Note, A Word on Reading People
Another way to come across as creepy is by being unable to read others. Pay attention to body language. If she’s moving away don’t move closer. If she leans away, she’s not comfortable. When you learn to read the signs it’s easier to make women comfortable and create a connection. They’ll feel at ease when you introduce yourself.
Body language can be confusing so mostly pay attention to proximity. Discomfort isn’t necessarily bad though. She may be intimidated, the same way we get intimidated by hot women. Just proceed accordingly and let her warm up to you (or walk away).
If you replace your fears with confidence you’ll never have to worry about being “creepy” when you approach women again.
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