20 Mistakes You Make at the Bar
In my five years of going to the bar, I’ve had my share of screw-ups. Mistakes that are seemingly harmless but dictate how women react to you. Unfortunately, it’s easy to recognize them in someone else but much harder to analyze yourself in the moment.
Now that I’m coaching, I have to be constantly observant. I get to see how interactions unfold from the outside and watch the dynamic between people. Patterns become obvious.
Here are 20 mistakes I notice all the time:
- You hesitate too much. I know how it feels to have so much anxiety you’re ready to puke. The only way I got over it was by making that first approach. In all my years of doing this, I assure you that you won’t overcome your fears by thinking about them. Bite your lip and move your legs before your brain has a chance to feed you bullshit.
- You think you need a great line. You get yourself worked up trying to come up with the perfect “opener”. Instead, just be honest – it works incredibly well. “Hey you guys looked fun, I had to come say hi.” “You guys seem friendly, can we join you?” “Hey what’s up? I’m Nick *clink glasses*”
- You still hold your drink high. I say this a ton yet I see so many guys clenching a drink to their chest defensively. I know you might be nervous but keep it down by your side unless taking a sip.
- You get too drunk. Excessive alcohol makes you sloppy. You forget what you’re talking about, have a hard time listening, and don’t recognize what you’re doing right or wrong. Also, the liquid courage rarely carries over to when you’re sober.
- You arrive too late. Especially in cities where last call is by 1-2 AM, you want to get to the venue early. As the night goes on, a lot of great girls go home or meet guys they’re interested in. They also get progressively more intoxicated which makes for difficult conversation – unless you’re into that. Finally, you have less time to create a real connection.
- You don’t smile. It’s arguably the largest determining factor in how women will respond. She won’t feel comfortable smiling back if you don’t give her anything to work with. Smiles are friendly and inviting.
- You bring excess shit. Leave anything unnecessary at home. I’ve had guys carry backpacks, duffel bags, and even sunglasses that they don’t need for the night. It’s distracting to other people, adds no value, and easy to lose your stuff when drinking.
- You focus on the wrong girl. You spend more than five minutes talking to girls who are unreceptive, have boyfriends, or aren’t that into you. I used to waste countless nights like that. Once I stopped spinning my wheels and sought out girls who were initially attracted, I began making powerful connections
- You don’t focus on the right girl. When you do find a group that is receptive, you don’t start a personal conversation with the girl you’re interested in (after a few minutes, of course.) You keep engaging the whole group and can’t make up your mind. They can’t figure out who you’re going for and you fail to make a meaningful connection with anyone.
- You can’t hear them. Bars are loud, I get it. But complaining about it, constantly leaning in, or saying “HUH?” is not the answer. It only breaks the flow of conversation and aggravates the other person. If you can’t hear them it’s because…
- You don’t position yourself appropriately. You continue to stand face-to-face, straining to hear her replies. Early in the interaction, switch to standing next to her side. This will let you to touch her more easily since…
- You don’t break the physical contact barrier early on. Within that first minute or two, a casual touch is critical. It sets a personal dynamic and gets her acquainted that you’re a physical person. The longer you wait, the trickier it gets.
- You don’t pull the trigger in time. I watch girls paw at guys while gazing into their eyes and the dudes do nothing in return. If she’s letting you stand against her and touch her lower back, she’s probably ready to be kissed. If you hesitate, she’s going to get frustrated or think you’re not interested. Go for the kiss already!
- You believe you always need a wingman. Yes, going out with a friend or professional coach can improve the overall experience. But some of the most fun and successful nights I’ve had were when I went out solo. Approaching groups of three or more (so the other girls can entertain themselves) works well. Don’t worry about being called out, it’s not weird. Just be upfront, “My friends weren’t in the mood, so I decided to meet some new people myself!”
- You don’t ask questions you care about. Write down a list of 5-10 (minimum) qualities you look for in a woman. I like laid back, family-oriented, techie, creative, openly sexual women. Start asking questions that get her to convey or talk about those qualities. Examples: “What’s your nerdiest hobby?” “Are you close with your family?” “Where’s the wildest place you’ve had sex?”
- You don’t look your best. Dressing well and smelling fresh is one of the easiest ways to stand out against competition. I cringe when I see guys walk in with wrinkled shirts and BO. Take an hour to trim your facial hair, shower, and iron your clothes.
- Your voice is too quiet. Let me repeat, YOU’RE NOT LOUD ENOUGH! In my experience there have only been a handful of guys who spoke with enough force. Your voice is a vital tool to radiate confidence, sound attractive, and ensure she hears you clearly.
- You’re too vulgar. Combine alcohol, trying to look cool, and a nightlife setting and men tend to sound like immature high schoolers. It’s okay to swear but do it tastefully and for emphasis.
- You’re too sarcastic. You’ve read too much pickup advice and everything is a joke to you. You think it’s funny but you just sound like an arrogant douche. In reality, you’re just insecure and not letting her in. A little sarcasm is great and goes a long way but mix it up with genuine conversation.
- You don’t enjoy the journey. You go out with the primary objective of picking up girls rather than having fun. Therefore, everything becomes win or lose and your emotions are dependent on the outcome. Go out with the intention of being curious and actually getting to know people, you’ll have a better time.
I’ve committed all the above on more than one occasion. And it’s only with consistent effort that I was able to break my bad habits. So don’t just read the list and say “this is awesome!” That’s not the point.
Go through it, write down a few that may apply to you, and work on them next time you’re out. Accepting your flaws and being proactive will turn those mistakes into strengths.
Have trouble at the bar or even approaching women? Talk to me for a free strategy session.