Today’s article is by Sarah Jones. She helps introverted men bring out their best to attract women.
Sarah is also a master at recognizing the best opportunities to approach someone. She introduced herself to me years ago and I knew she’d be an established name in no time. I’ve since watched her build deep connections with countless people I respect.
A few months ago, I told her in passing that I was going to Italy for vacation. Right before my trip, she reaches out unexpectedly and offers to take the stress off posting for me. It was the perfect mix of timing and delivering value — everything you want from an approach.
She suggested she would share her female perspective on when a guy should or shouldn’t cold approach a woman. She’s always been fair so I thought this would be a great, unbiased take on a concern I’m sure many of you have.
I could feel his eyes on me, and it made me nervous and excited.
We were at a coffee shop, and I had been feeling his attention on me. I liked the way he had about him.
He seemed honest and gentle. (It’s a whole look I find sexy.)
I was hoping he’d say something.
He turned to me and said a bit nervously, “Hey, I like your laptop cover.”
It was of a silver tree with Apple’s logo as a glowing apple falling from the tree. I thanked him, and we were off to the races.
This guy — he wasn’t Hollywood-perfect. He wasn’t Rico Suave.
He was simply sincere, pleasant, and endearing.
I liked him.
In today’s world, it might not feel so simple.
Consent is a hot topic, and awesomely so. PLEASE let’s have 100% respect for women and for men, too. For humans.
At the same time, in all the ruckus, many men are shying away from showing interest with women simply because they don’t want to be or come across as insensitive / sexist / etc.
Does that sound familiar?
The truth is there’s a fine line between approaching a woman in a way that is welcome versus a way that is not.
I’ll show you the difference.
You’ll learn the signs to look for that tell you if a woman wants to be approached. And if she seems open to it, how to approach in a way that feels really good for both of you (in other words, no more cringe-worthy approaches!).
Let’s start with how to know whether she’s open to being approached. There are two main facets to the signs you’ll be attuned to:
- The environment
As for (1) the environment, there’s a time and a place:
The Environment: Threatening or Safe, Social, and Pleasant
Threatening environments includes…
- dark alleyways (obviously).
- walking home alone at night.
- very crowded buses or trains.
- anywhere “sketchy” or where women could feel especially unsafe.
Safe, social, and pleasant environments include places like…
- Out and about during the day in a safe, pleasant neighborhood with people around.
- Any public, populated place like a grocery store or a busy sidewalk.
- A cocktail party, house party, or any party out with friends.
- Dance venue like a salsa club or swing dancing social.
- DAY OR NIGHT:
- Anything hobbies-based, like a cooking workshop, a language class, or a group tour of your own city.
- Anything group-physical-activity-based, like flag football or social dancing.
As long as it’s a “good” environment, it’s a viable place to approach. Now let’s move to (2) her, to see whether she’s more closed or open.
Her Availability: Closed or Open
A woman’s body language will tell you everything you need to know.
No matter what though, you’re not going to get a “Come On In!” sign from a woman 9 times out of 10… or more likely, 99 times out of 100.
So it’s important to discern whether she’s wearing a “Do Not Disturb” or a “Please Knock First” on her facial expression.
Here are facial expressions to look for…
- Rigid or open facial muscles?
- Tense or relaxed
- Unhappy or happy mouth?
- Frowning or smiling
- Penetrative or receptive eyes?
- Here is body language to look for…
- Shallow or relaxed breathing?
- Hiked up or smoothed down shoulders?
- Fidgety or loosely held hands?
The latter is what you want to look for in a welcoming approach. These are your most solid indicators and starting points for making a warm connection.
Just keep in mind that even if a woman doesn’t necessarily have warm and open body language, she still might be receptive once you actually approach her (for example, if she’s in a bad mood but an interaction with you makes her day brighter).
How to approach well
This will be easy because we’re back to the two things we’ve already been talking about — the only two things that matter in terms of reading the situation and a woman:
- The environment
What you say will follow exactly along those lines:
Either comment on the environment (1), or give her a sincere compliment (2).
There are nuances of how to do this in specific venues (what to say at a cooking class versus a ballroom dancing lesson versus a house party), but in general in shared activities it is pretty intuitive to comment on the environment.
Here, I’d like to give you a general framework for how to approach a woman you see out and about since that’s what I get asked about most.
While out and about, start with…
- “I noticed you and I had to come say ‘hi’”…
Then, depending on how open she seems, continue.
If she’s NOT very open, tell her,
- “You’re beautiful, and I thought you should be reminded of that. Have a lovely day!” rThen go on your merry way, knowing you brightened her afternoon (you gentleman, you!).
OR if she IS seeming open, continue with a compliment that comes straight from your heart:
- Anything about what she’s wearing, how she comes across, anything at all that you notice about her (except for, obviously, intimate comments on her body).
- Either comment on the environment (the beautiful day outside, what she has in her grocery basket, etc… whatever is immediate and relevant as a conversation starter),
- OR ask her a question related to the environment or your compliment, but ONLY if it is 100% sincere.
For example, a client of mine was at a talk and noticed an attractive woman returning to the dessert table after the talk ended. He made his way over to her and said, “Looks like they still have some of the same desserts they had before the talk.”
This is what naturally occurred to him to say. She was looking at the desserts, and he did too, aligning himself with her through a shared experience that was already her focus.
She warmly and easily responded, “Yeah, I was thinking of going for that last chocolate-covered strawberry, but I don’t want to take the last one.”
They laughed, and he said, “Go for it!” and they were off to a great conversation. From there, he transitioned into the topic of the talk / why they were each there, and they had a lively conversation that ended with plans to see each other again (they’re going on a date this week).
This kind of genuine, flowing approach is in STARK CONTRAST to the bullshit approach, aka saying or asking something you don’t mean.
For example, NEVER “ask for directions” when you don’t give a flying shit about the directions. That’s deceptive and weak, and a woman with self-respect can smell that a mile away. So just don’t do it.
Everything you say should be SINCERE, something you actually thought of in your own head about her or about the environment. That’s it.
So… does she want to be approached?
That’s now within your ability to discern.
You now know key signs to look for in an environment and in a woman’s body language and facial expressions.
You also know what to do when she does seem open and how to roll into the conversation authentically.
You even have an exit plan if things don’t go as well as you’d hoped (you get to leave as a bold gentleman).
And if you’d like to get environment-specific conversation starters for the best approach venues for introverted guys, then check out my guide here.
Sarah Jones is the founder of Introverted Alpha, the premier dating coaching company for introverted men. Introverted Alpha has been featured in Forbes, Cosmo, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and more. To get free training on attracting women naturally without being someone you’re not, made specially for Nick Notas readers, go here.