Why People You Meet Aren’t Interested in You

November 7th, 2013 by Nick Notas 19 Comments

Question Mark Guy

Most of us have someone we feel completely comfortable talking to. That might be a best friend, a sibling, or even a parent.

With them we can easily joke and maintain a smooth, engrossing conversation. Sometimes hours pass by in minutes.

But when we talk to a new person, something changes — especially if they’re a potential romantic interest.

All of a sudden, we’re cavemen who can barely form sentences and struggle to come up with conversation topics. Worse yet, we’re met with blank looks and mono-syllabic answers from the other party. Getting a smile is like pulling teeth.

There’s nothing wrong with you, but your mindset may need some adjusting.

Why does this happen with new people?

It all comes down to being too self-interested during interactions. Self-interest is defined as:

“One’s personal interest or advantage, especially when pursued without regard for others.”

Subconsciously, you’re focused on yourself and seeking an outcome from the other person — whether that’s their approval, a phone number, or the prospect of getting laid.

Some indicators that you have too much self-interest in conversations are:

  • Feeling the need to “win” them over.
  • Constantly worrying about whether or not you’re being judged.
  • Changing your opinions or personality because you want them to like you.
  • Being overly concerned with sounding stupid or saying the “wrong” thing.
  • Staying stuck in your head, searching for words or stories to impress the other person.

Essentially, you’re making everything about you. In that moment you don’t truly care about getting to know the other person.

Why doesn’t it happen with people you’re close to?

When you’re with the people you’re closest to, the opposite occurs. You listen. You’re excited to hear what they have to say. You’re not worried about pushing toward a specific goal. Your only objective is to have a great experience and catch up with them.

I spoke with a guy over the weekend who has no trouble speaking to friends and didn’t use to get nervous talking to girls.  However, since he stumbled upon “seduction” and “pickup” material online, he can’t get through more than 3 minutes of conversation with any woman. When I asked him why, he answered:

“I guess I used to just go out to have fun. Now, I’m always thinking about the next step. Every time I’m in front of a girl I’m focused on getting her number, getting a kiss, and getting her in bed.”

And that’s exactly the problem!

How do you fix it?

Whether you’re trying to make new friends, have casual hookups, or date an amazing woman…

You have to be genuinely interested in them.

Humans are reciprocative beings. When you give interest, you get interest.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Yes, even women looking for one night stands want to know that you find them (specifically) interesting. It doesn’t mean you have to be soul mates. They just want to know that they are more than an interchangeable human fleshlight. That there’s SOMETHING other than their vagina that attracted you.

Everyone wants to feel special. And if you’re the person to make them feel that way, they’ll want to do the same for you.

Putting the solution into action

You need to reset your measure of success from obtaining an outcome to simply being curious about people.

Have a curiosity night (or two).

Next time you’re out socializing, your only goal is to answer this question about other people:

“Who are they?”

Start by getting in the right mindset. Brainstorm what you want to know about these people. They have to be things you actually care about. If it’s bullshit that doesn’t intrigue you, you won’t be engaged and end up right back in your head.

Write down 5-10 questions you could ask. You’re trying to get a better understanding of their personality, interests, and overall character. Think:

  • What are their favorite books, movies, tv shows, comedians, or musicians?
  • What’s the best place they’ve traveled to? Or, where are they most excited to visit?
  • Would they rather live in the country or the city?
  • What did they think of the Patriots putting up 55 points against the Steelers?
  • What do they love or hate about their current job? What’s their dream job instead?
  • Do they believe in ghosts or the supernatural?
  • What’s their favorite way to exercise?
  • What did they want to be when they were a kid?
  • Who is their best friend?
  • What scares them?
  • What’s the biggest change they made in the last year?
  • What drugs have they experimented with — if any?
  • Are they close with their family?
  • How often do they cry?
  • What’s something most people don’t know about them?
  • If they were to die tomorrow, how would they spend their last day?
  • What turns them on (or off) in a potential partner?
  • What’s the craziest place they’ve had sex?
  • What have they always wanted to try (sexually) with someone?

Some additional tips to help with your curiosity night:

  1. If you draw a blank about what to ask, remember FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams). These four topics are proven ways to get people to open up.
  2. Start with lighter questions but don’t be afraid to get more personal (and sexual) as time progresses. People make the mistake of staying with safe, surface level topics which lead to weak connections. The more personal your conversation becomes, the more they will invest and feel closer to you.
  3. Ask open-ended questions. They require people to think and share more details. Try to reframe yes or no questions — “Do you like to travel?” becomes “What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to?”
  4. Think about the why behind the questions. You don’t just want to know cold, hard facts; you want to discover their emotions and motivations. For example, don’t just ask what they do for a living. Ask what they love about it, what drives them to go every morning, what has been their biggest hurdle, and where they’d like to go from there.
  5. Practice holding intimate eye contact. What do they look like? Notice the color of their eyes. This is how Bill Clinton creates a “reality distortion field” that attracts everyone.
  6. Give them a real compliment. Listen for something that truly impresses you and express it to them.
  7. Remember their name. This is a great litmus test. If you find yourself forgetting names quickly, you’re not listening.

Shifting the focus from “How can I be good enough for this person? to “Is this someone I want in my life based on what I’m learning about them?” cultivates a mindset of abundance.

It takes people off that pedestal and forces you to honestly evaluate them. You lose the desperation to fit their mold and gain the courage to walk away from those who aren’t a good fit for you.

That builds true confidence in yourself. In turn, that confidence attracts not only more people, but the right people.

You already know how to get people interested in you. You just need to treat them the same way you treat those closest to you.

Ready to make more friends and date beautiful women? Let’s talk for a free strategy session.

  1. Steve on November 7, 2013

    I feel like in general I’ve gotten worse at holding conversations. I remember how in high school I used to talk on the phone for hours with girlfriends, and now something like that seems impossible. You’re right about being “stuck in your head” it’s just a hard habit to break.

    • Tom on November 7, 2013

      Old habits die hard. I have the same trouble now because many girls and people see me as a creeper. Im trying to learn how to be not socially awkward in conversations. Its insanely hard when Im trying and my thoughts go the opposite way than the way I want to go.

  2. Adam on November 7, 2013

    Wow, when it came to the part about self-interest I never thought it would basically describe me. It really catches me off-guard when I read something so personal and relevant to me!

    • Nick Notas on November 7, 2013

      That’s awesome! And now you know what to do :)

  3. Tim on November 8, 2013

    Ask open-ended questions. They require people to think and share more details. Try to reframe yes or no questions — “Do you like to travel?” becomes “What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to?”

    “Berlin”.

    Nice article Nick, thanks.

    • Nick Notas on November 9, 2013

      You’re welcome Tim! I should’ve also added, “and why?” to the end of that question for clarity.

      • John on March 27, 2014

        Not trying to be a troll but ypusually when I add the “and why” to the end of questions I get answers like:

        “Berlin”

        “Ok why Berlin?”

        “I don’t know”

        I find that this happens a lot. Maybe it’s just the people I’m talking to.

        • ryn on July 16, 2014

          At this point I would go for a light negativity questioning phrase. Unless that person absolutely detests you, they would reply positively instead, and speak their mind as to why they were so stingy with their replies.

  4. Tenchi Masaki on November 8, 2013

    Hey Nick,

    I’m a big fan of your blog. I’ve read almost every article on it and I thought I’d make a random question.

    Suppose you, hypothetically speaking, meet a girl and become attracted to her but find out she’s taken and, though she seems interested in you, you decide not to act because she’s taken and you don’t think it would be right and over time you guys end up becoming friends with her, even after she breaks up with her bf not too long before finding out he’s gay. you think it’s too late, you’re friendzoned but you guys grow apart over the course of a year but you’re still interested in her, so you decide to facebook her and say you want to meet up but she calls you stuff like “my little friend” and when you mention going out she wants to invite other people. how can a guy turn this hypothetical situation around? how can he be sure she gets the message without creeping her out as they hadn’t seen each other in a while?

    Thanks.

    • Nick Notas on November 9, 2013

      Hi Techni,

      The short answer is you should be treating her like a romantic interest from the start. Flirting, being playful, being physical, and telling her that you’d rather catch up 1-on-1.

      It may be tough now because you already have a long history. But, I’d still do it and see if she’s responding in the same way. If not, you know where she stands.

      And stop worrying about being “creepy”. Showing your intentions is healthy. Playing it safe and pretending to only be friends is clearly not what you want.

      So take the chance, see how she feels, and then take it from there. You can decide if you can truly be friends without still hoping she comes around or if it’s better to move on.

      • Tenchi Masaki on November 13, 2013

        Thanks a lot, Nick! I really appreciate your answer.

        You’re right. I should have made clear that I have romantic interest in her. I talked to her once again and we agree to go out in a little more than a week. I think I still have a chance with her.

        Anyway, I’ll try and use all the knowledge your blog has provided me with to win her heart. If I succeed, I’ll let you know!

  5. Dan on November 9, 2013

    Great article! This really seems like a symptom of information overload and not keeping things simple. You spend a lot of time trying to be able to communicate with others, not only women, and you end up over complicating things. Conversation becomes a chore and you’re running through the checklist in your head instead of simply listening and responding.

  6. Phumzile on December 9, 2013

    This is a nice helpful blog.
    I have this problem i recently became friends with this guy and have been having great intimate conversations and grew fond of each other ,now the problem is i learned he has a girlfriend n he says to me i am his ideal partner.
    I just want to know am just one of his rebound girls ?
    Wish i knew how guys think…

  7. Sandy on December 18, 2013

    This is the question that I always asked myself “why all the people that i meet aren’t interested with me”. I guess I finally found the answer. Thank you for this great insight. Keep posting for more.

  8. Mark on January 27, 2014

    I learned a trick a few years ago that makes women really interesting. It all started when I realized that 75% of being great in the bedroom was how connected, safe and attractive I managed to make a woman feel before I ever get her into the bedroom. Once I really adopted that attitude I realized I really am having sex with a woman from the minute I say “hello.” I am touching them with my eyes, and my words before I touch them with my hands. I know this may sound foolishly romantic, but I regularly have women tell me things like “you are the first guy who I feel sees me, not just my looks” or ” most guys try to get me into bed so fast, your are so different”. The interesting thing is they often say these things within the first hour of knowing them. I think that even though most guys probably haven’t actually tried to get them into bed inside the first hour, they can see that I am actually really enjoying them as a person, and enjoying getting to know them. I don’t get stuck in the friend zone because I maintain lots of eye contact, and I give them genuine compliments on sexual aspects. But because women can see I’m already having fun and not putting any pressure on them to move forward, they relax and enjoy the compliment. Women love sex and intimacy just as much, if not more than men. Men often just approach women in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. Pressure isn’t sexy. So now you know my secret, I have sex with every woman I meet.

    • David on February 5, 2014

      Wow, I wish you a good day. Your post really made my mind do a 360 with joy from your view on this.

      Thanks

  9. Ronald Messier on August 12, 2014

    It seems that you have me to a t in your description of thinking of yourself first. I wonder if I could take the list of things you have and print them out. Then take that list w/me. If I get caught looking at it maybe I can play it off and get a laugh.

  10. Joe Mazzola on November 8, 2014

    How do you do this without getting stuck into the friendzone?

    • Mark on November 11, 2014

      Hi Joe,

      To avoid the friend zone be open and honest about your desires and intentions, in a confident and relaxed way. A guy who is confident doesn’t use a cheesy pickup line, he just says what he wants in a respectful way. Remember you may still be turned down, but that’s a good thing because you know where you stand. Also I reccomend stating your wishes rather this asking and putting her on the spot. Pressure isn’t sexy. I know this is all vague so here are three examples.
      First, what not to do…”hey you know what would look good on you? … Me!”

      The right way to move a relationship, casual or committed forward is to just say something like …. “I’m really enjoying spending time with you and I would like to go back to my place where we have more privacy”. Then don’t be awkward and demand a response. If she ignores the statement and changes the subject give her some space and be talkative and friendly. After a while you can be more direct. “So what do you think of my suggestion to get a bit more privacy?” If she says no or brushes you off, you have your answer. Respect her wishes. If you got rejected move on and remember you are better off that every other guy who didn’t even have the courage to take a chance. You are strong because you gave it a shot. There is no courage without fear. And you will be amazed at how often women respect and say yes to a guy who is open and honest because its so rare. Good luck and please post again and let us know how it goes.