Jeffrey Platts offers advice on what to do when your conversations with the opposite sex leave something to be desired.
I used to be a horrible listener. I was so afraid of what a woman thought of me that I was always in my head trying to micromanage the entire conversation. I would stutter. I asked dumb things like “What is your favorite kind of horse?” Now, as a life and authentic relating coach, circling facilitator and writer, I get asked a lot by guys on how they can have better connections with women. These six simple tips are the most powerful I’ve experienced in the past few years.
1. Be fully present
I was that guy. I would be sitting with a beautiful woman in a café, but my eyes would dart around the room at all the other ladies passing by. One day a woman friend said to me “You know, it’s totally obvious you’re scoping out all those women. It really has me feeling ugly and not appreciated.” My heart sank. I had no idea that I was creating that effect on her. Like most guys, I thought I was being discreet with my Ray-Bans. Make sure your attention is on the woman in front of you. Not on trying to figure out what cool thing to say or what to do next. Do your best to be present to and aware of what’s going on in your body, her body and also the energetic connection between you and her. Create that magic bubble where it feels as if there is no one else but the two of you.
2. Actually give a sh*t about her
Whether you just met her two minutes or 12 years ago, actually care about her and genuinely want to get to know about her world. Yes, own your physical attraction to her, but also bring your heart to the interaction. Connect with your curiosity about who she is — her dreams, fears, insecurities, quirks and gifts. Be more concerned about the quality of the connection rather than faking interest as a way to get somewhere or to get something out of her. She is not a means to an end (sex, a number, a date). She is a world to explore. So is the connection.
3. Appreciate and celebrate who and where she is in the moment A woman crying used to scare me. I would get anxious and not know what to do. One day I bumped into my good female friend in the street. She started talking about her breakup. I just stood with her on the sidewalk and gently listened as she shared her story with teary eyes. After 20 minutes, she said “Wow, that was so healing for me. Thank you so much for listening.” I finally got it. Me simply being with her was more effective than me trying to fix or distract her. Whatever comes up for her in your interaction, celebrate it. Something fun and juicy comes up? Dive in and celebrate that. She mentions something emotional or uncomfortable from her past? Stay in the moment with her. Don’t try to change the subject to get to a “happier” topic. Never try to “fix it” for her. If anything, ask her to say more about it so you can explore it together. If you actually care about her, then you want to get to know all of her, not just the bubbly, sexy and socially presentable side.