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Confessions: I get tongue-tied when a man approaches me

 What should I say when a nice guy comes over to speak to me? (Photo: Courtesy)

Hi Chris,

Help! I meet a lot of really nice guys, but the moment one of them tries to talk to me I get completely tongue-tied and run away, or else I start gabbling a whole load of rubbish.

Sometimes I do manage to get past the first few minutes, but then the conversation soon falls flat. And so, not surprisingly all these nice guys soon lose interest.

But deep down I really do want to get to know them. So what should I be saying when a nice guy comes over and speaks to me?

Tongue Tied

Chris says,

Hi Tongue Tied!

Fortunately, your first words hardly matter at all! What is more important is how you say them.

So if you want a guy to like you, there is one simple rule. Just match the warmth of his greeting. Not too enthusiastic, or he will think you are completely nuts. Not too subdued or he will think you are saying no, even if you actually like him.

So think music, not words. It is not what you say, it is your energy and enthusiasm that counts. He will forgive you if you do not make much sense - most of us do not. But you must match his warmth or he will give up.

So if he is over-familiar and you do not like that? A cool response and he will go. But if he is super polite and you are impressed, then your reply should be equally gracious: “Do you mind if I sit here?’ ‘Please do!”

And after the first words? Well, the trick is to keep building up the connection all the time. Because once things start marking time, everything stops. Sometimes something you say will fall flat. That is OK, just push forward again in your next sentence. There has to be positive progress all the time.

So do not say anything too revealing about yourself, to begin with, but whenever he discloses something, however innocent, you should straightway reveal something similar about yourself. Maybe up the ante a little by describing something slightly more personal.

If he likes you, he will raise the stakes a bit more in return. The trick is to avoid getting too far ahead or lagging behind by revealing too little. Gradually getting close to someone is the best way to develop a relationship.

And you want him to ask you out again? Then your first goodbye has to be just right! You have to be straight about your feelings without seeming desperate.

So say something like “Maybe we could have a drink sometime? Here is my number.” Then he knows you are interested, but he still has to take the initiative before he gets another date.

It is as easy as it sounds, but it takes practice to get it all together. So get out there, and have lots of fun!

All the best,


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