Do I stand there in silence or open my mouth and talk to somebody?
I could be in the elevator.
In line at the cafe.
Getting into a cab.
It’s a rainy morning. 10 am on my way to work. The cafe in my building is filled with people.
I get in line.
There’s a girl standing in front of me. Do I open my mouth and say something, or do I stand there in silence?
“Wow, there’s a lot of people in here when it’s raining,” I say to her.
Wow. That was really dumb. I’m quite the pickup artist, aren’t I?
Well you know what? IT DOESN’T MATTER. All that matters is that I open my mouth.
And keep opening it.
“Nah, it’s usually this crowded in here,” she turns to me and says.
“When it’s this crowded, do you normally cut to the front of the line, push people out of the way?” I banter with her.
She doesn’t really get that I’m joking. I must have forgot to turn on my banter switch this morning.
“Sometimes if I know how much it costs I just drop of the money and leave,” she says, sorta smiling.
She turns back toward the line.
“It’s supposed to be really cold this weekend.”
Wow. Did I just talk about the weather? That’s lame. But who cares. IT DOESN’T MATTER.
I’m not trying to pick this girl up. I’m doing it just to do it.
She turns again and gives me a smile showing her disgust with the weather. “Yeah, I know, that sucks, right?”
“I was in Miami last weekend and it was so nice,” I say.
We talk a bit more before she pays. She gives me a big smile and “Bye” when she leaves.
Every day I am faced with that choice. Do I talk to people or do I keep my mouth shut?
I talk about the weather a lot.
I talk about how slow the elevator is.
The FIRST STEP is opening my mouth in EVERY POSSIBLE situation. As much as I can.
There’s no way I’m going to get into an elevator with one other person and not talk to them, no matter who it is.
If it’s a rich-looking banker dude.
If it’s a delivery boy.
If it’s an old lady with a scowl on her face.
I love to talk to people with scowls on their faces. It’s amazing how many times it turns right into a smile when you talk to them. They probably don’t even realize they have a scowl.
The more I practice opening my mouth in every possible situation, the easier it gets to be more confident around people I’ve just met.
After that, I can start working on other aspects of becoming a more confident guy around women.
I can start to BANTER with everybody.
I can work on voice projection and SPEAKING LOUDLY with everybody.
By doing this stuff every day, I’ve started to get really comfortable around people I don’t even know. I find myself being more outgoing, funny, and friendly all the time.
And it feels great.
Some of My Favorite Banter
If I’m in line somewhere, I like to joke with the girl about cutting in line somehow. Is she tough? Will she beat me up if I cut in front of her? I could hire her as my body guard, ask her to make a muscle, ask her if she punches like a girl, etc.
I could talk about the weather. Hire or fire her as my meteorologist.
A simple “How are you doing?” She responds “Good, thanks, how are you?” I banter “Oh my god, I thought you’d NEVER ask!” (credit Glenn Jason)
In my elevator in my building I like to joke about how dangerous the elevator is. How people are always getting their limbs chopped off in the doors. How they sharpen the doors every morning and clean the blood off at night.
If the elevator is crowded with people I say that we once managed to get 40 people into that elevator. “It’s amazing how many people you can fit into a tiny space when they’re all dressed like clowns.”
At a counter in any store I can say “Do I have to buy something or can I come here and just flirt with you?”
If I order some food I ask them to make mine extra special and put a little extra love in it.
I don’t always come up with brilliant things to say or keep people laughing. The point is to open my mouth every day, all the time, and keep doing it, no matter how awesome or boring the words might happen to be.