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Let me tell you about a small moment out of my day. I’m friends with a fun girl at work, and we joke around now and again. The other day as I passed by her – I couldn’t think of a thing to say or do to get her attention so I gave her a mischievous smile.
At first glance, this moment seems beneath notice: but it shouldn’t be, because this single, ridiculously small event is one of the myriad opportunities you have each day to spice up your encounters in return.
Every person’s day is full of dull, repetitive patterns, but if you put your mind to it, you can come up with a pool of original routines to make even the smallest everyday moments memorable.
Take a couple days out of your own life and inspect them closely to find what the standard situations are: the girl in my office, for instance, will get tons of dumb smiles every day from people passing her by. If you are the one person that randomly shakes his head at her with a glance of disapproval, you will create a memorable moment – and a bit of mystery to boot. The idea is to be different than everyone else.
What happens if you apply the same concept to conversations at parties or on dates? You will recognize that a lot of standard questions, especially when you’re meeting someone new: “how are you?”, “where are you from?”, “how old are you?”, “where do you live?”, are boring. Raise your hand if you’ve been there:
Her: so, what do you do?
You: oh, me, I study engineering. Yeah… I’m writing my final thesis right now, and it’s about, uh, car phone systems.
*R.I.P. – Hither lies the conversation, slaughtered by boredom.*
Instead, next time you’re in a similar situation, try this: “I’m a secret agent. I’m investigating this city’s female demographic. I need you to tell me about your favourite café.” Or tell her about your recent mission to Prague. Within a frame you set up, like the “Secret Agent”, you can easily come up with even more stuff as your conversation develops. Ideally, you’ll do something with erotic or emotional connotations. Doing this will be more memorable, stir up emotion and overall more enjoyable when you first meet.
How about some of this:
When someone asks you: “What’s up?”
A great mystery.
When picking up the phone:
How old are you?”
“Where are you from?”
- [if you're clearly not Asian] I’m from Japan.
David DeAngelo puts it this way: “Never give a woman a clear answer, unless it’s ‘no’.”
A good generic answer is: “Well why don’t you guess”. Or: “I can’t tell you that, it’s a secret.” You can follow it up later with: “Hey, another secret! Are you collecting those?” Also, call a woman by her name when you’re talking to her: “I like your shirt, Sarah.” (Pause) “Can I have it?”. It adds a personal note, and if you just met somebody, it demonstrates that you cared to remember their name. People like hearing their name.
You can and should pause, listen and think before you speak. The first thing that comes to your mind often isn’t the best thing to say, so don’t rush a conversation. With a bit of attention, you can spot hints and ideas in what she says and play with them, and if you don’t, you can take a beat to pull out one of your routines. Take the time you need until you have it down. With enough practice, being clever, witty AND quick will come naturally.
Of course, you can go out right now and use these examples to spice up your encounters. Ideally, though, you’ll come up with your own material to draw from. These are inspirations: think about their implications and what kind of mindset they come from. Go find witty answers for common lines such as: How do you do? Where do you live? When you’re done with that, look for new situations in your day to prepare for. There are no limits to your creativity, and that’s what is going to set you apart!
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA