The Dating Blog
An Ethical Guide to Approaching Attractive Strangers
How do you approach and talk to an attractive stranger without sounding sleazy or manipulative? In this guide, I'll teach you how to avoid the common traps of using pick-up techniques. I'll teach you how to be authentic and how to communicate your intentions clearly. Remember, the key here is to be respectful—not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because women have much a better radar than men do when it comes to picking up on insincere or superficial people.
Approach with respect
For those familiar with the sentiments expressed by practitioners of pick-up, approaching women with canned openers and violating a woman's personal space (with a shoulder tap or by blocking their path, for example) is commonplace. Don't ever come across as forceful or aggressive. Don't let yourself enter their personal space before you've been invited in or some rapport has been developed, and don't approach them in a traditional pick-up kind of way. People are more likely to be receptive when approached with respect than they are when they think they're being hassled by a pick-up artist or salesperson.
If she acts disturbed, disinterested, or tries to brush you off, don't force yourself upon her. Respect her boundaries! Especially, if she's made it clear she's not interested or is already seeing someone. Set the tone of your approaches right by starting respectfully.
Approach with honesty
We've seen or heard of guys who try to approach women with pick-up lines, sleazy techniques, or other manipulation tactics. These techniques may work—but they aren't honest or ethical means of dating; instead, they are methods of getting into a woman's pants through deception. When talking to an attractive stranger, it's okay to pretend you have confidence and charisma as these facets slowly become authentic parts of who you are with practice—but don't lie about your hobbies, career choices, interests in art or music, family life, or income level.
If someone lies their way into a woman's pants, not only does that taint the nature of their sexual and emotional experiences, but it reflects poorly on the character of the person lying. In some cases, this kind of deception can even be illegal. Be honest in your intentions. Never try to play or game anyone by manipulation or by pretending you are something you are not—and always tell her your true intentions when you first speak to her, so she doesn't misunderstand what kind of interaction she is having with you: are you interested in her? Are you looking for friends?
Approach in a non-threatening manner
Smiling as you approach will help keep things friendly. Having open body language (no crossed arms, no fists) will show that there are no hidden intentions behind your approach—it will also suggest confidence. And it goes without saying: don't invade someone's personal space just because you think it will make them listen to you—that can come off quite intimidating.
Speak with a grounded but assertive tone to get their attention. Something as simple as "excuse me!" followed by your opener/conversation starter. There's no need to shout, whisper, or blurt a question out to them without first getting their attention. Continue to speak naturally; if they're not interested in having a conversation with you, they'll let you know bluntly or with their body language.
The key to striking up a conversation with a woman where a connection is formed is in showing some care about what they have to say. We know it sounds like common sense, but a lot of guys get caught up in talking about themselves. They don't really listen to what she has to say or attempt to find commonalities between her interests and theirs. Don't be that guy. Take time to find out where they're from, and what you two have in common; enjoy the process and banter in the conversation before telling them all the impressive things about you.
Leave them better than you found them
One of my favourite things about striving to be an ethical man is that it forces me to think critically about how I am interacting with others. Instead of using pick-up techniques, becoming a gentleman means approaching every situation with respect, authenticity, and enthusiasm. Whether it's a stranger on the street, the barista serving my coffee, or striking up a conversation on an aeroplane, my intention is always to leave people better than I found them—so they'll want more of me in their lives. After all, what could be more rewarding than leaving someone happier, more confident, inspired, or more knowledgeable about the world?
So, you want to learn how to talk to people without being sleazy. That's a great thing. While "be yourself" can be a cliché, it really is a good rule of thumb. Being honest about your intentions shows people you are self-aware and confident. No one likes deception—it's a big turn off and extremely unethical. Be honest with who you are and what you want from someone else, and chances are they will respond in kind.
You don't need old school pick-up techniques to attract women. In the years since the book "The Game" was published, we've learnt a lot. It turns out, for people who lack social skills completely, these manipulative social hacks have been a shortcut to short-term attraction. I'd take learning real social skills and practising an ethical approach to attraction over deception any day of the week. And that's precisely what Core Confidence Coaching is all about.
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