What Do You Say After "Hi"?

by Eric Disco
Apr 23

One of the biggest barriers to guys going up and talking to a girl is what to say after ‘hi.’ They could possibly muster up the courage to walk up to her and say hi, but then what comes next?

Have you ever been with a really close friend or family member whom you felt TOTALLY comfortable with? Did you feel like you ran out of things to say?

Maybe. But probably not.

You’ve got something inside your head called INNER DIALOGUE. It’s that voice that keeps talking and talking.

And talking and talking.

And talking and talking.

Sometimes it’s a problem to make that voice JUST SHUT UP.

But all of a sudden, you get in front of a really attractive person, and you have nothing. Everything just LOCKS UP.

When you’re with your close friend, you don’t wonder what to say. You talk about WHATEVER YOU CARE ABOUT. Whatever you feel like talking about. Whatever’s on your mind.

You’re a real person with ambitions, and dreams and a life.

So why all of a sudden do you run out of things to say when you get in front of a perfect stranger?

And more importantly, how do you turn that faucet back on?

How do you get COMFORTABLE enough in front of perfect strangers to talk about what you want to talk about?

I’m going to answer the question “What do I say after Hi” in relation to approach anxiety. Here are two tips to help you have something to say.

1. Keep it simple and stupid.

If it’s difficult enough for you to walk up to her and say hi, why would you try to throw some complex rapport curve ball at the girl?

“Are you from around here” is WAY overused and trite. But if you are going up to a girl during the day, she’s probably not used to guys coming up to her anyway.

Start with something simple and work your way from there.

LISTEN to her answer and probe deeper.

But start with some basic questions that are EASY and make YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE.

“How is your day going?”
“How are you doing?”
“Are you just getting out of work?”
“Are you on your lunch break or are you skipping out of work?”
“I love the way you’re dressed. There’s something creative about you.”
“Are you from around here?”
“What do you do?”
“What do you spend most of your time doing?”
“How’s that book you’re reading?”
“Where do you like to go for fun?”

2. Have a story to tell.

In our last workshop, we had a guy that was totally tongue-tied. He was a great guy, but the words just would not come out. So we sat down and worked on a story.

I asked him what was the funnest, funniest, or most interesting thing that happened to him.

After talking for a while, we came up with something. He is a police officer and one time he had to arrest the Easter Bunny. It was a funny story. After that he had something to go in with.

He had “material” to work with, so to speak.

It made a huge difference for him because he had something to say.

For more information on how to tell a story, see Tell Better Stories and Get the Girl

If you have a lot of approach anxiety, start with something simple. Don’t expect the world. Give your courage a chance to cultivate. Allow yourself to get comfortable with this process.

You don’t need complex lines to start out. Just get out there and let your body do the talking.

Having something to say, like a story, can make the whole process easier.


posted in Rapport Skills

17 responses
Mike says:

What if you are very introverted, and don’t talk much even with close friends. I try to be social, but I can’t talk without a point, and rarely talk for the sake of talking. So where does that leave me?

What if you are very introverted, and don’t talk much even with close friends. I try to be social, but I can’t talk without a point, and rarely talk for the sake of talking. So where does that leave me?

Cool, man. I like to bring the example of having been comfortable around close friends or family, because a lot of guys can relate to that. But not everyone.

We had a guy this weekend in workshop who was 26 years old and had never had a girlfriend or friends. He said himself that he was “reclusive.”

That’s okay. The basic questions I’ve listed above are a good place to start if you are trying to make conversation. You need to start somewhere and they are as good a place as any.

I also like the concept of asking girls’ opinions. It’s a good way to get them talking and get into a conversation.

One I used to use was “Do women really like cologne on guys?” Girls like to talk about this stuff a lot.

Another is “How much is too much to pay for a pair of jeans?”

I would just caution to keep this stuff simple at the beginning. You want to get comfortable getting into conversations and still be genuine and natural.

The point is as much to find out about yourself as to find out things about the girl.


a (nice) guy says:

I really like this idea of telling stories – both as a means for pickup, and in general. It really seems like a lost art in our culture at times.

What got me started on this was watching the movie Big Fish a couple months ago. I’d seen it before, but this time I realized what an expert storyteller the lead character is, and how that surrounds his entire life (which he in turn tells more stories about). I decided that I want to be that way – using stories to describe who I am in a vivid and unique way. Family, friends, lovers, kids… you can tell stories to anyone, and if you’re a good storyteller, anyone will listen.

I’ve had some epic experiences in my life, but have yet to do them justice with the small yarns I infrequently spin about them…

lordt78 says:

What’s up Eric? I’ve been running into a lot of women I wanna approach in the city but they have earplugs on. It would be great to see a post on your blog about your experience with that and how to overcome it. :-)

Alexandra says:

I love it when a guy tells me a good story.. even a bad story will make me laugh. Stories get people’s minds thinking, it draws them closer to you and at least for me, when someone tells me a story about them self or something that happened to them, it draws me closer and it builds a sense of connection and and a feeling of knowing each other a little bit better.

Stories take me into another world for that brief moment that it is being told. They relax me and take my mind off of stressful things. By doing this, it creates emotion in someone, which in return will only draw them closer to you. I’m making this a very general comment, but with the right story, or string of stories.. it definitely makes a man (or anyone for that matter) more attractive.

girlfriend thinks i'm a PUA, doesnt know shes right says:

mike, a big goal in pickup is to help people get out of their heads and start talking more. how do you expect to lead groups and lead the conversation if you only talk with a purpose? it might seem cool in movies when the guy only says the right thing at the right perfect time and doesnt need to talk more than that, but in reality part of being a more confident person is being able to talk endlessly with someone without a purpose.

its like saying, i’m a quiet talker, how do i get around that and still pickup? you dont, you get over it lol

great advice eric. ive personally spent alot of time on this, i think its the bridge that takes to developing a more natural direct game. i’ve also come with up some techniques to help cultivate this ‘skill’.

I believe theres something called assuming rapport. instead of saying hi then building rapport, you assume rapport and skip past all the rapport style questions (what is your name, what do you do, where are you from) and talk to them as if you already know them, as if theyre a good friend. just think to yourself, ‘if this was my best friend standing here, what would i say”, then start talking and dont let yourself stop your thoughts from flowing out, no matter how retarded they sound.

a (nice) guy says:

I like the above advice, about skipping the rapport building… but I still think it’s necessary, at least to a certain extent.

While being as comfortable around a stranger as you would be around your best friend is definitely admirable, I think it takes time for most people to “warm up” to each other. Plus, the sorts of things I reserve for talking to my best friends about are usually very personal and sometimes very heavy. I think blurting out these sorts of things (unless done very tactfully) would be a put off to most people who you’ve newly met.

Mike says:

I’m not trying to be cool. It’s just how I have always been. I don’t think it’s being shy or anything like that. Although a third person point of view might be a better indicator. I might have to go to a workshop. My parents are extreme fundamentalist Christians, and it never really helped me with being social. BTW, I don’t follow their religious views. Anyway I appreciate the help you guys have given.

I’ve been running into a lot of women I wanna approach in the city but they have earplugs on. It would be great to see a post on your blog about your experience with that and how to overcome it.

Earplugs! Cool. Not as tricky to get past as when a girl is talking on the phone. Here’s the classic Lance Mason opener:

Signal for her to pull off her headphones.

Me: Do those work?
Her: Um… yeah…
Me: Because girls are ALWAYS hitting on me and I need something to keep them away. Would it work if I wore those?
Her: Giggle giggle.

Again, you need to make it obvious you’re kidding or she may not get it, as funny as it is.

Alternatively, you could just stop her and open direct with “I just had to tell you you are unbelievably cute!”

Or you could even ask her to pull out her headphones and give you directions. Then hire her as your personal tour guide or something.

Hope this helps,


girlfriend thinks i'm a PUA, doesnt know shes right says:

nice guy, i’m not talking about the deep heavy emotinal stuff you would share with a friend. i’m talking about the shoot-the-shit, banter, etc… actually i kinda just realized that in a way bantering is a form of assuming rapport. if done right, it seems to everyone else as if you already know the person.

Please email me,i need help.Thanks says:

Wat if you already know a bit about the girl. For example ,you have been chatting with her but suddenly stopped because you think you’ve been chatting with her so much, u stop just to not make her think that u like her.

emma says:

I hate it when peoplel talk incessantly just for the sake of talking…especially when they talk endlessly about something that can be summed up in just a few sentences. Just be yourself. There are always articles like this to tell people how they should act/behave. People are different, its supposed to be that way.. so leave it and do what you think is right for you.

Perfect Stranger says:

Could you help me with my shit situation right now? I like this a girl for a long time and luckily we got a mutual friend. Then I asked our mutual friend if she could get her contact for me, and the girl said ‘Yes’. Now my problem is that I can’t seem find the right words to say ‘Hi’ and introduce myself to her. Could you give me some tips after that first ‘Hi’ message please?

Bj says:

I work at a gas station. and normally end up talking with alot of girls. but that’s mostly opening general statements and sometimes they hang around a couple of extra mins to talk before they have to leave. and sometimes I just draw a blank and don’t say anything which creates awkwardness(unintentionally) basically ending the conversation. what are some questions that I should talk about? without getting too personal. but getting more involved than just hi hello how was your day..what’s planned for the weekend etc… how can i move forward to asking someone out on a date? and have a successful date without them feeling that its weird.

Ariel says:

My opinion: you write `without getting too personal’ -
but that’s exactly what you need to do! It is the natrual escalation that should happen after a few lines of small talk. I the girl is sticking around in silence it is a huge green light to do so.
The akwardness is because you both feel this is where this escalation – transition to personal conversaiton – should happen, and you don’t initiate it.
Eric’s book made this phase clear for me.
Go for the simple `what do you do? Where do you live?’
(Or to make it more interesting guessmake a statement about her)
We want to avoid this cause there is a chance of rejection – but that is exactly the game, and again sounds like you are getting huge green lights from the girl.
For me this is natural by now, after asking for directions and 1-2 lines about that, many times it gets into personal conversation of where do you go to school, where are you from

joe says:

if you have trouble talking to people without a point make a point ask questions ad your opinion and just continue it eventually it will be second nature to find out whats happening shareing an just being social i hope this is understandibale and helps good luck