After our recent event I got a couple of mails and text messages from male attendees asking for tips on how to answer uncomfortable questions from girls at the event. Men want to know how to best respond without appearing too compliant or evasive.
A gentleman wrote…
“For most girls at the event, the first question was ‘So what do you do?’ Some of them were a little aggressive… this girl I spoke to asked me my Age, when I was planning to get married, etc… I’m not sure if she was serious or just having fun being aggressive… but I have to say every minute that I spent with these girls was filled with action!”
Here’s my response.
Women are naturally curious to know if a man is doing well financially. This is because, from an evolutionary viewpoint, it was the males who went out into the jungle to hunt for food while the women took care of the babies and gathered wild fruits and vegetables near the cave.
Today women earn as much as men. But remember, her instincts are millions of years old. At a deep level, she is still wired by evolution to check if a man is capable of providing for her and her baby before she considers mating with him.
Btw, when a girl asks “What do you do?” it’s a positive sign. It means she is interested enough to want to know more about you. Women don’t usually ask that to a random guy they have no interest in. Now you don’t have to vomit out your resumé as if you’re at an interview. Give her a gist of what you do. If she is interested to know more, tell her more.
Of course, women will sometimes ask a man uncomfortable questions just to test him, to see if he will stand solid or crumble under pressure. When she asked about your marriage plans within minutes of meeting you, she was testing you.
This is not the time for a logical response like, “In a couple of years”.
This is an opportunity to display your personality.
Here are some ideas for how you could have answered…
She : “So when are you planning to get married?”
You : “Hello, we’ve barely met and you want to marry me already?
Sloooooow down lady. I think you’re too fast for me.
You : “Could we just chill and connect as friends before you start
making honeymoon plans already?! Jeeeez!” (and roll your eyes dramatically)
You get the idea.
Important : You have to do this with a smile, in a light, playful, manner,
not from a place of resentment. She should have no doubt that you’re being playful.
Eventually do give her the information she seeks, but not like an employee instantly answering his boss. Be a challenge, make her work for it a little with some lighthearted banter.
Other questions I get from guys is about how to naturally open conversations
with woman at the event without appearing repetitive. Here are some ways to do that.
The art of the compliment
One gentleman asked if complimenting a girl is a good idea. Yes, it’s a good way to open a conversation, but there is an effective and ineffective way to compliment. Complimenting her physical beauty (“you have beautiful eyes”) is not a great idea because she gets it all the time and also because women (especially quality women) don’t usually feel proud about something they’re genetically blessed with. A better idea is to compliment something she has put an effort into achieving. “I like the way you co-ordinated your colours” or “That’s a really cool hair style” will be appreciated more than lazy compliments about her body parts.
Find something to tease her about
If she has a large bag you could ask, “That’s a big bag, what do you have in there…a GUN?! Oh my God, you plan to shoot all the guys you marked NO ?!” (with a shocked look on your face)
And you’re in conversation!
Teasing is a good idea because it’s easy to remind her about the interaction later. For instance, when you email her you can start with, “Hey gun toting lady with the monster bag…” and she instantly remembers the good vibes you created during the interaction.
Another quick example of teasing: As you approach a girl and she’s still scoring the previous guy on her card, you can pretend to peek and say, “Aaaah, I saw what you marked for him! Hmmm…I didn’t realize you’d mark THAT for him. Interesting! He didn’t seem the type you would feel THAT about.” And she’ll wonder whether you really peeked or not, and that sometimes spins her through a tizzy of emotions, which is not
a bad place to have a girl in.
Important : Don’t forget to alternate these lighthearted moments with deeper interactions when you exchange REAL information about your professional and
personal life, because ultimately you are both there to get to know each other
enough to decide if you want to meet again.
Observe and improvise
Instead of starting with the usual “Hi, I’m [name]” observe something about her, especially if it’s prominent. Then, improvise. For instance, if she’s wearing shoes that stand out, say “Those are really cool shoes!”. Then, improvise. “You know what, I am sure EVERY guy here has marked you YES just because of those shoes. And with so much competition I don’t stand a chance, so I will just leave. Goodbye, nice meeting you.” Pretend to get up and walk away. Take a step away, come back, sit down and say with a smile, “on second thoughts what’s the harm in trying.” She is amused. The ice is broken.
Here’s another example of observe and improvise. If she has a cool hairstyle, say
“That’s a cool hairstyle. I am curious, tell me, was that your own idea or did your hairstylist suggest it?” …and you’re talking.
Relaxed and confident people observe stuff. Nervous people are too self conscious and inwardly focussed to observe stuff outside. So when you observe things, people think you are relaxed and confident. Simple.
Do a fun cold read
If she’s wearing an exotic multicoloured dress, jewelry or accessories and is clearly standing out because of it, you could say, “There’s something sooo…. artistic about you…let me quickly see what it is. Hmmm…no, you’re not a fashion designer, hmmm, you’re not an art director, hmmm, (then suddenly excited) I know, I know what it is! You’re a gypsy woman who has gate crashed into this event and you shouldn’t even be here! But Shhhhhhh (and looking around conspiratorially) don’t worry, I won’t blow your cover.”
Women love anticipation, they love to wonder about what’s coming next. As you cold read her, and eliminate the various options, she will be hanging on to your every word.
Disturb the universe
The difference between boring and interesting people is that the former try to maintain the status quo and the latter are always upsetting it. Example : As the gong rings and you approach the next single female, you can suddenly stretch out your arms toward her and say “BOOO!” As she’s startled, you can say “Oh my God, you are so easily scared. Sorry, this relationship is not going to work out, I am looking for somebody more ballsy. But since we have to talk for 6 minutes, lets chat. So, are you always such a darpok?” And you’re in a fun conversation.
Never put the burden of conversation on her
I often see guys who can’t hold a conversation put the burden on the woman. He’ll say, “So tell me something about yourself” and while she speaks, he takes the time to collect his nerves. But you know what, most women *know* that you asked her to talk because you are too nervous. She may talk to avoid the awkward silence, but chances are it’s game over for you.
Remember, you’re the MAN. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s the man who takes charge, it’s the man who goes out into the jungle, fights wild animals and brings in the hunt, it’s the man who leads from the front to protect his family from bad things in the jungle. And he cannot even hold a conversation?! That’s not attractive to women.
Even if you’re nervous and unable to think of anything, it’s better to say something like
“Oh my God, I can’t think of anything to say, I’ve just completely blanked out!” Women appreciate a man who is secure enough to admit his vulnerability. In fact, women find such honesty charming, often more charming than when a man talks glibly about his multiple Ph.D’s.
There are many more ways to be a fun conversationalist. But if there’s just one tip I could give, it is this : don’t be outcome dependent. Guys who are the best at conversation are not attached to the outcome. They don’t care whether the other person thinks of them favourably or not. They just live in the moment and express themselves spontaneously.
Don’t worry about what topics will interest her, or whether she’s liking you. Just chill, enjoy the interaction and talk about whatever interests you passionately. If you passionately love the topic you’re discussing (even if it’s the new Intel processor) she’ll love it. If you don’t love it, she won’t love it.
The best way to approach a SpeedCoffee event is to use it as practice for your social skills.
If you get a mutual match, that’s great. If you don’t, no problem, at least you spent an evening mingling with top quality men and women. Btw, at the last SpeedCoffee, the match rate was 96% !
Talk to you again soon.
Program Director, SpeedCoffee