If I were a single, shy guy, this is what I’d want to hear

Today I read the following advice column in the Miami Herald by Dr. Andrea Corn called 30-something guy chases women – away:

Q: I don’t have a problem interacting with the opposite sex where I work. However, in social settings my friends tell me women think I’m unapproachable. What advice can you offer this 30-something male?

A: Smiling, making eye contact and sounding warm and engaging all demonstrate interest and enthusiasm that is attractive and appealing to women. Studies have shown initial impressions can be formed automatically, long before one’s core personality traits are actually known. Women may be misinterpreting your signals as disinterest.

Besides becoming more aware of how you present yourself, what is likely to have a bigger impact is minimizing your negative thinking. Being introverted doesn’t have to be a social liability, but self-doubts could be holding you back more than you realize. You could be pre-empting interactions by unintentionally appearing unapproachable.

Try turning your focus to what is in your control, which would be to develop your communication skills and bring out your strengths and personal interests. By trusting yourself you can alleviate your inhibitions and make a constructive change in your social life for 2006.

* * * *

OK. Her response was extremely intelligent, well thought out and, since she is a licensed psychologist, quite scientific and deep. However, it lacked specific, simple techniques that this shy guy needs to use immediately (tomorrow at happy hour, for example) to increase approachability with women. As a guy myself, here’s what I would have liked to hear:

  • As soon as you walk into the door of restaurant, bar, gym, etc., smile for the first 10 seconds. Most people (women AND men) check out each person as they walk in. This immediately says to them, “He looks fun, approachable and cool.” They’ll remember this when you walk past them later.
  • Be super friendly, funny and talkative to servers, bartenders and especially other men. The most effective way to qualify your approachability with women is to let them see you engaging with other people first. Remember, a person who is not nice to a waitress is not a nice person.
  • Ask engaging questions that start with, “What was the best…” and “What’s your favorite…” so you can discover the CPI, or “Common Point of Interest” as soon as possible.
  • Just have fun. Don’t be so goal oriented. Be playful. Acting laid-back and cavalier = increased confidence = increased approachability = increased attractiveness.


    What advice would you offer to this shy guy?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

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