How to Talk to Men

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Not only is it okay to talk about yourself to men, but it is 100% essential to getting first dates and future dates. When I tell women that it’s GOOD to talk about themselves, it’s generally met with complete shock. But don’t guys love it when we let them do all the talking?

Well, yes. Who doesn’t like talking about themselves? But unless “good listener” is on the top of his must-have list for potential mates – and I’ve never met a man who places it there – he’s not going to pick you. Imagine him driving home and saying to himself, “That Susie was such a good listener. I can’t wait to see her again!” The only guy who does that is the me-me-me-me guy. And who wants him, anyway?

When you meet a man you like, I want him driving home saying to himself, “That Susie is so interesting/fun to be with/positive/thoughtful/clever…and we both like (fill-in-the-blank). I can’t wait to see her again!” He can not do this unless you give him the information to form the opinion, right?

If you’re one of the many women for whom this does not come naturally, I have three things you can do to start developing the skill of creating conversation that gets you dates.

1. Know yourself.

Here’s a pop-quiz: name five things about yourself that you think men would think are impressive, interesting or just plain lovely.

Go on…I’ll wait.

You see, most women can’t do this. In fact most women are convinced they don’t have five special things about them. That’s just nonsense. You needn’t have cured a disease or saved someone’s life to have bragging rights. I guarantee you that 99% of the men you meet haven’t scaled Mt. Rushmore and don’t speak seven languages. Just like them, there is a multitude of things that make you unique and attractive…to the right guy. So get to work on figuring out what they are so you can talk about it!

2. Speak in headlines; not stories.

Your story will attract the right guy; you just have to know how to tell it. Among the top complaints men have about us gorgeous beings is that we talk too much. Can you believe it?

Men’s brains are wired differently than ours. Information comes in and is processed in a straight line, and they stay focused on the end of that line. What is the result or, in the case of conversation with us, the point?

When men are out scouting prey (Yeah, that’s us!) here’s what they do: is it there? No. Is it there? No. Is it there? No. And they repeat this until they find it and conquer it. Here is what a man DOES NOT do: is it there? No…but, oh look…there is a really pretty tree!

This is why our yappity-yap can absolutely drive them insane and, out of self-preservation, they turn off. So when you’re sharing about yourself – especially when you first meet – short, simple accounts do the trick. I’m learning how to swing dance. I love the music and it’s great exercise. I volunteer at the local animal shelter walking dogs, but cats are really my favorite. Last year I went to Italy, drank wine and ate like a fiend. I’m dying to go back. Start off like that and save the details for the girls. (Or for when he’s a lifetime captive audience and he has no choice!)

3. Manage the conversation.

That brain difference thing gives us a definite leg up when it comes to conversation. When conversation lags or it goes in a whacky direction, it’s our job to keep it going. Don’t complain, sister; just do it. Why? Because we’re better at it!

I’ve seen more dates go awry simply because the conversation went off on some negative tangent, some question was asked that was out of place (the typical “why haven’t you been married yet” comes to mind), or someone simply hogs it. When this happens, you may both end up with the idea that it wasn’t a match.

In fact, a little conversation management can completely change the course of a date, not to mention a relationship. With some practice you can learn to move a conversation along and keep it positive and balanced.

If he is talking too much, it’s okay to interrupt with a smooth transition to a headline of your own. He’ll likely appreciate it and listen. (You may have saved him from himself.) If the conversation goes negative (as it often will if you talk divorce, illness, bad dates, or bad jobs), you can politely acknowledge it and segue to another, more positive, direction.

So often we only have a short time to learn about one another, and when this doesn’t happen it results in a lot of dates that go nowhere. When you master conversation with men, you have the power to make every meeting or date the best it can possibly be. So start practicing and have fun!

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  1. John says

    These are interesting and common topics that a woman can tell about herself: Places she has lived, what she liked most about each place, why she moved. Vehicles she has owned. What was her favorite and why? Do you have a pet? What was the funniest thing it ever did? Favortite TV shows. What makes them so good? What hobbies do you have and why do you enjoy them? Your favorite author. What classes have you taken? What classes do you want to take? Why? Of course you are going to talk about job and family too.

    Seriously, I DO like hearing about that kind of “stuff”. There is nothing particulary “impressive” about all that stuff, but all of it is different from my “stuff”. That’s what makes it interesting. And all that “stuff” helps me put together a whole person.

    Excellent article, Bobbi, as usual. ;-) You are a doll!

    • marian reidelbach says

      I love these conversation tips, as I always feel shy about talking about myself–almost like it isn’t interesting to a man, also our lives or stories are interesting, but to talk in headlines, and not detailed packets. Love learning as my confidence in these things has been lacking. Marian

  2. Trent says

    If you actually have scaled Mt. Rushmore, learned 7 languages and cured diseases, I wouldn’t so much want to hear about all that on a first date anyway. It would likely come across as boasting or you may just seem out of my league. I’d rather save those big achievements for when we know each other better.

    And it seems to me that when someone is trying to make an impression, they come across as…trying to make an impression. Which for me has never made a good first impression. And I know now that I’ve turned a lot of women off the same way.

    When my wife and I were on our very first date, she was new to our country and learning to speak English, and I spoke practically no Japanese. The language barrier made it impossible for us to even make any attempt to impress each other. All we could do was ask simple questions about what we really wanted to know about each other, and give simple answers.

    The date went very well. We’ve been happily married for many years now.

    • says

      Hi Trent! When I talk about “it how you feeeel” when you’re with someone you and Sonomi are a great example. Couldn’t say much at first but there was clearly a connection and it was far deeper than chemistry alone. I guess your many years of marriage and two kids are proof! (I miss you, btw.)

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