Today, I’d like to share with you four social blunders that I used to make with women all the time. I’ve had women not want to go on dates with me specifically because I was doing these.
The worst part about being socially awkward is that when you’re making a social blunder, people tend not to tell you. It’s considered rude or impolite to let someone know that their behavior is coming off as weird. Instead, people will do their best to act like nothing is out of the ordinary and secretly continue to let you come off as weird.
That’s why for a long time, I didn’t even know that I was being socially awkward or weird! Ah, well.
1) Using “umm”, “uh”, and “you know” too much
When I talked to women before, I used to add a lot of filler words to my speech. I would always insert “umm” and “uh” and “you know” too much. And it wasn’t until I recorded myself talking once that I realized how annoying it was to listen to myself speak.
A lot of this was unconscious. I wasn’t intentionally trying to say “umm” all the time. It just came out that way. This is a difficult habit to break, and it’s now going to stop happening or go away overnight. I still let an “um” or “you know” slip out from time to time.
My advice is to practice it. The next time you talk to someone, pay close attention to what you are saying and try to consciously catch yourself if you feel an “um” about to come out. It gets easier over time, and pretty soon you’ll be sounding a lot more confident!
2) Ending my sentences with an upturn
Previously, I used to end my sentences with an upturn whenever I talked to people. Naturally, you end a sentence this way when you’re asking a question. However, I would end my sentences like this all the time.
So, if I was ordering a coffee at Starbucks, I would want to say…
“I’d like a tall caramel latte”
…but it would come out sounding like…
“I’d, um, like a tall caramel lattee??”
And then the barista would look at me all puzzled because she didn’t know if I was asking a question or placing an order.
This was partly because of my highly sensitive nature. I didn’t want to come off as an arrogant or cocky person, so I thought that ending my sentences with an upturn would make me appear humble.
As it turns out, it’s ok to be assertive in your manner of speaking. It’s possible to be polite while still being firm in the way you interact with people Imagine a parent arguing with their rebellious teenage child who wants to stay out past their curfew. Would mom or day talk with an upturn? Of course not! They’d tell their teenager that the rules will not be changed and then they would say…
“End of discussion!”
…with an authoritative falling tone.
If you’re reading this, then you have a lot of strengths and experiences that are uniquely yours. And the world needs what you have to offer. There’s no need to hide any of that behind an unconfident upturn.
As before, if this is something that you currently do then the way to get over it is to practice. Pay attention to your tone of voice when you talk to people and consciously end your sentences with a confident downturn. Over time, this will start to become easier.
3) Not following up after answering questions about myself
This is something that I used to screw up all the time. And it wasn’t until I had a woman tell me that she didn’t want to go on a second date with me specifically because I wasn’t doing this that I realized how bad I was.
Whenever she would ask me a question, I would answer it in one word and then just shut up. For example, if she asked “What do you like to do for fun?”
I might just answer “reading” and then not say anything else.
Later, I learned that it was not just important to answer her questions but to also follow up on them. For example, instead of just “reading” I could answer,
“Reading. I love reading novels such as Harry Potter because when you’re the age that Harry is, you naturally want to believe that magic is real, and the Harry Potter series helps you experience that.”
Another example of a good response might be,
“I love reading. I just finished the book Sapiens by Yuval Harari and one idea that I found really interesting is that…”
Either of those responses adds much more value to the conversation than just saying “I like reading”.
4) Asking her to hang out “sometime”
When it came to interacting with women, I always told myself that I wasn’t going to act like a jerk in order to find love.
Turns out, I went too far in the opposite direction.
I used to think that being direct when talking to her would make me look like…a douchebag. If I was talking to a woman I was interested in, I would ask her if she wanted to “hang out” or if she wanted to “go out, sometime”. On occasion, I’d even get her email or Facebook in lieu of asking her for her phone number.
Don’t do what I did.
If you’re asking a woman out, you want to be direct and either ask her out to a specific time and place or ask for her number.
Being direct with her is a form of honesty. If you’re hoping to go on a date with her then the authentic thing to do is to let her know without pussyfooting around. See, if you just tell her that you want to “hang out sometime” when really you’re hoping to go out with her then you’re being inauthentic.
Finally, it took me years to overcome these social blunders. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself doing one or more of these. Just practice it a little at a time, and you’ll get there!