Social Question

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

How does one gain the confidence of talking to guys?

Asked by nailpolishfanatic (6607points) June 18th, 2011

I think I have a huge problem. I am a 17 year old girl who is afraid to talk to guys because I always run out of what to talk about. Most of my friends are girls and I really appreciate them. I also have a little bit of boy friends in school who I am very comfortable talking to and all that. But when it comes to festivals and hanging around down-town and meeting new people that´s where I always seem to shutdown and lock myself in my shell. I start sweating and I fell like I have BO and it just drives me nuts. Sometimes I say ‘hi’ to strangers and that´s pretty much it… we never seem to say anything else but I really wish I did.
What can I do?

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13 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Basically, you fake it till you make it. It might help to come up with an alternate persona until you start to gain the actual confidence to do it, sorta like training wheels. Not a totally different person, just the person you wish you were, that totally confident and wonderful person you hope everyone sees you as. If there’s a specific boy you have in mind, you can create some talking points beforehand to help you get a conversation started – ie “So, you’re in the Science Club?” “Yeah…” “Cool, what’re you guys working on right now?” “Making a lemon clock” “Really? So how do those things work, anyway?”. Pretty much anything you guys have in common – a class with a really hard teacher you can kinda bash a bit, how crappy it is that the school’s AC is broken, whatever – is a good conversation starter. So is asking him about pretty much anything in his life, save for really personal stuff (so if you know his parents are getting divorced, don’t ask about that). As a general rule of thumb, guys are just as terrified as you are of making the initial contact, and will be relieved that someone else took the initiative.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Thanks. I will definitely keep that in mind.

tom_g's avatar

17-year-old “guys” are idiots. You have nothing to worry about. If they act strange when you go up to talk to them, it’s because they are probably still in shock that a girl is even aware that they exist.
(Walks away from computer, realizing how pathetic I was at 17.)

poisonedantidote's avatar

@tom_g Gave you some very good ammo. 17 year old guys are easy to wrap round your little finger, they are low on confidence, inexperienced, and struggling with new thoughts about sexuality.

Just walk up to them, and say hi, they will respond by saying hi because they have had a few years to practice that one, then just throw them a curve ball by asking them an unexpected and seeminly random question. “where did you buy those shoes/glasses/pants?” or “do you know where I can buy some skittles round here?” By the time he has figured out how his tongue works again, you will have had plenty of time to think of something else to say.

If the conversation is going well, and you want to know if he is interestd in you, just ask him if the friend he is with is gay. If he trys to insinuate in any way that he thinks his friend is maybe gay, he is 100% interested in you. Good luck.

rebbel's avatar

Think back to the period that you met the boys in school for the first time(s), the boys that you do feel comfortable with
You probably had the same feeling of uncomfortableness then, but somehow you managed to over come that.
Try to analyze how that process worked?!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Skittles. The icebreaker of the 21st century.

No, seriously, @nailpolishfanatic, remember one thing: these boys are only human beings, just like you. They get nervous too. What I’ve learned in my short time on this rock is, well, you know how there are always those people everyone likes to be around because they put us at our ease? How do they do that? Ironically, by not thinking of themselves when they talk to someone else.

When we do focus too much on our flaws and shortcomings and inadvertently put the other person on a pedestal, we’re separating ourselves from the other person. Even if we can’t articulate it, people can sense when an interaction isn’t about talking to them but trying to impress them, in other words, satisfying our own egos. It’s really off-putting to others. Do you see what I mean?

Worrying about your (imagined) BO or how you look or any of that is our ego getting in the way. You want to ignore that ego and focus on the person you’re talking to. That goes for anybody. Really, it works! Focus on what it is that’s drawing you to that person. Don’t worry so much about yourself.

Good luck! :D

zenvelo's avatar

I remember when I was 17 a girl I thought was so cool walked up to me at a shopping center to say hello. For the next five minutes I was so overwhelmed I kept dropping what I had in my hand. I must have been a dark crimson I was so embarrassed.

The bet way to talk when you don’t know what to say is to ask questions about them. “Hey, what have you liked here?” “What’s the best food here?”. People love to talk about themselves, and it means they don’t have to struggle for something to talk about either. They can talk and talk and find you a brilliant conversationalist.

dabbler's avatar

@zenvelo perfect answer : ask questions about them, which was pretty much The them of @MyNewtBoobs answer too.
@tom_g great observation “17-year-old “guys” are idiots” or they will become so when a young lady is in their presence. Hormones and everything.

TexasDude's avatar

Throw caution to the wind, dive in, and just do it. Boys and men, contrary to popular belief, are people too, with likely the same fears and concerns that you have we dudes should likewise learn this about girls.

Think about it. If you approach a hundred different dudes, you are bound to have at least some success. You can’t win them all, so chalk up what you get as a win and forget your failings.

Oh, and also contrary to popular belief, guys do like being approached, so you have that going for you as well.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tom_g ;)
@poisonedantidote I will definitely try that as well ;)
@rebbel That is so true! I will take that into consideration.
@aprilsimnel Actually that is pretty true as well. But the thing is you go up to people while you smell like I don’t even know what; I don’t think they would be interested in anything to do with you…
@zenvelo LOL. I wish I were there to see you drop things on the floor ;)
@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard True. I have absolutely nothing to loose.

Thank you all, I will be trying some of these tricks in the coming weeks.

WasCy's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs indirectly gave some fantastic advice, but didn’t do it explicitly. Here it is, distilled and explicit:

Ask questions.

That’s it. It’s not a trick, it’s not difficult to do or to think of “what to ask?” Just be interested and curious and ask a guy to talk about himself. (The shy ones have the same problem you do, by the way. They’re afraid to talk to you.) But if you smile, are genuinely interested and ask open-ended questions, that is, questions that require more than a yes-or-no answer, maybe a little thought and consideration for a response… then before you know it you’ll have a great conversation.

And if you get a guy talking about himself and listen and ask questions about what he says (and laugh at the appropriate places) then he will think that you’re the greatest conversationalist in the world, and smart as a whip. And when he thinks that, then he’ll think that you’re pretty good-looking, too.

I see now that @dabbler already beat me to this response, so GA there.

and @zenvelo

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@WasCy Oh I am so excited to try them tricks! :)

QueenOfNowhere's avatar

I’m more comfortable around boys than girls… girls tend to scare me. I just feel like they can backstab me anytime, plus, theres always some games between girls. A little competition that I dont like…
With guys, I am myself. No worry of being left out, no worry of silly games… I love guys! I just can act silly around them and they will be very tolerant.
I think you should just don’t push yourself on talking. Don’t think like you need to find something to talk about. Just talk random… Ask about their childhood for instance. Or their music taste and go from there… It can go on for hours if you talk about something you both like… a sport for instance.

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