How To Talk To Strangers – Hooks Theory
I’ve been doing more and more coaching recently and how we speak to girls is a topic I’ve been working on a lot. When you approach a girl on the street or in a shop or on the bus stop or wherever you have to build a connection from scratch and you have to do it fast. Her first reaction can be defensive but a compliment and a smile help to overcome that. Then you have to start a fun and engaging conversation that will make her want to talk to you and later – go with you on a date. And you can’t do that with a single sentence (“the ultimate opener” fallacy).
If you pause after the opener (waiting for her reaction) don’t be surprised when she says “thank you” and walks away.
Yet, first instinct of most guys is to either ask her something or try to devise some magic line that will get her hooked right away. That’s not what is going to happen, at least not most of the time. You need comments, few observations, couple of sentences – essentially what is called the Stacking phase of the London Daygame Model. I’ve already suggested how to come up with assumptions and those are always better than asking questions. But there’s more. Those assumptions have to be about her.
“But I don’t know her!” Yet, you have eyes, you see her and there is at least one thing that you’ve noticed about her. Otherwise you wouldn’t risk your precious ego trying to pick her up. So use your observations to create your first batch of stacks. Tell her why she’s different than all the other girls you didn’t approach. In case anyone is wondering “you have nice boobs” is a really bad one. Stick to the things that anyone can tell about her yet no one does. Comment on what is she wearing, what is she doing right now, how is she behaving and/or who she is in general. If you only have vague suspicions – great! Assume, exaggerate, ridicule, make fun of, joke, be everything but boring.
Make it personal so she will really be moved by it. If you’re generally a funny guy – make an outrageous claim about her clothes or guess she’s going back from work at the zoo feeding lions. It won’t be something she hears every single day, yet it will be about her so she’ll either feel compelled to say that you’re right or she’ll defend herself and give you more material to work with. And if she’s a fun girl – and we love those – she will play along your joke thus going right into the Vibing phase.
Don’t be disconnected from reality, always ground your statements. “You look like you’re French” to bring back the old classic is stupid without an explanation WHY you thought that. It also gives the girl just one thing to relate to, one thing to comment on, one hook. I like statements that are more pointy. The more hooks you’ll provide with every sentence the bigger the chance that she’ll catch one and play along. The more concrete (not abstract!) things you say the better the message is. You just have higher chances that you’ll say something that make her more interested. “I’ve noticed you with your black clothes and head bobbing rhythmically and I was sure you’re listening to some heavy metal. But you don’t even have headphones! Either you’re a musician or you just the most happy goth in the whole city.” How many things she can pick up from that?
That all sounds good but sometimes girl will just say “yes” or “no” (that’s favorite game of Russians) and you’ll be right where you’ve started. Have you fucked something up? To be honest – in most cases yes. There are of course “no” girls that aren’t interested in you no matter what. But if the girl gives you a one word answer or a response that you cannot work with any further then you definitely haven’t caused any impact. Probably because you gave her only one hook and she didn’t bite it. When you’re using more words and pushing more ideas towards her then you also have more chances for a good reaction.
You have to practice to get better at this. You can either sit down in a high traffic area with a notebook and write down all assumptions that comes to your mind, do mindmapping exercises on various topics you struggle with or – my favorite way – go out and approach lot of girls. You have to think “what I could’ve done better” after each and every approach, maybe even write down assumptions and statements that you came up with after she was gone. Reflect, rethink, get better.
There is a nice trick that not only makes you better with your stacking but also helps to fight your approach anxiety. You can use the excuse to create a tailored opener. Just go to her to find out if your assumption that she’s bitchy/tired/late/very young/etc. is true. Give her a compliment and then a push “(…) but I thought you were very [something that scared you off]. Almost like you’re going to [some outrageous claim]”. If you can say that with confidence and a smirk and the claim you made is ridiculous enough usually you will diffuse the very thing you were afraid of. And you do it in a way that makes you score some additional points for being ballsy.
When you think in hyperbole about what attracted you to the girl as well as things that made you anxious you’ll always have something to open with.
Whatever you do or whatever you say – make sure that you somehow end up talking about her. It’s the only topic in the world that she’s interested in. And in that regard she’s not exception, it’s human. It’s easy to become too serious or forget that you should be talking about her. Remember that you don’t have too much time to catch her with one of your hooks and proceed to the Vibing stage (a.k.a. flirting). So stick to claims and exaggerations about her – her clothes, her behavior, her current activities and/or herself.
Next time you’re out there trying to spark a conversation try to notice how many topics and ideas you give her and which of those are being picked up by her. Maybe saying that she looks exactly like a character from some obscure comic book from the 80’s isn’t the most brilliant idea. Test your theories infield. Adapt. Get better.