Working up the courage to talk to new people can be terrifying and a huge challenge. It’s even harder when the person you want to approach is a cute girl who you’re dying to spark up a conversation with, hoping to earn a date. Luckily, though, there are ways you can drastically increase your chances of making a great impression and reduce your fear of rejection.

Here are five simple steps to teach you how to approach girls (and wow them!).

#1 Look for Go Signals

Before you worry about what you are going to say or do to approach girls, you first need to understand when you should approach them. Oftentimes, timing can mean the difference between being ignored and winning a date.

Here are some examples of when you should and shouldn’t approach a girl:

  • Do approach a girl if she is sitting/standing and looks relaxed. People who are in a positive mood and show open body language tend to be more willing to have conversations.
  • Do if you’ve noticed her sending several glances and/or smiles your way. If this happens, she likely is interested in you and wants you to start a conversation.
  • Don’t approach a girl if she looks upset. Chances are if she is having a bad day, she’s not going to respond positively to getting hit on by a stranger.
  • Don’t approach a girl if she is deeply preoccupied with something. Interrupting her won’t make a good first impression.

#2 Create an Instant Connection with Your Eyes

As soon as you approach a girl the first thing you want to do is make eye contact. This is important for two reasons:

  1. It shows confidence.
  2. It creates a sense of closeness.

When you make eye contact with someone, it triggers the production of oxytocin, aka “the cuddle hormone.” While the amount generated from eye contact won’t create any strong feelings of closeness, it does establish a sense of trust with the girl you’re talking to, making her more willing to have a conversation.

#3 Approach from the Side

Women, more so than men, are typically on guard when surrounded by strangers. Approaching a woman from behind or the front can be intimidating because she fears being attacked. Instead, slowly approach girls from a side angle so they can see you coming and prepare for your presence, rather than be startled by it.

#4 Prove You’re Worth Talking To

Studies have found that people are incredibly judgmental and hesitant when they first meet people. Girls especially often are raised to be wary of guys they don’t know. They immediately look for answers to questions such as the following before deciding whether they should talk to someone:

  • What do they want from me?
  • Is this someone I can trust?
  • Are they worth my time?

The faster you can help girls answer those questions, the faster they’ll become comfortable with you and be willing to engage in a conversation. Here are some examples of conversation starters with easy to understand intentions:

  • Ask them for advice. “Where’s a good place to eat around here?” “Is it worth signing up at this gym? What’d you like about it?” This is a great way to determine if you share a mutual interest.
  • Be playful. “I have an emergency. [Dramatic pause.] I can’t decide whether to order the cafè Americano or the cafè latte. Which do you think I should get?” Bonus: If you’re both at a coffee shop, it’s reasonable to assume the other person is a coffee junkie too and is likely to discuss their favorite drinks with you.
  • Ask them for a favor. “Hey, can you hold my jacket for a sec while I grab these drinks?”
  • Make a stand (but don’t overdo it). Warning: For advanced students only. This isn’t about being a rude jerk. That said, you’re attractive when you’re passionate about something and have an opinion about it. Avoid religion and politics. Safe topics include movies, music, food and anything else you’d feel comfortable discussing with your grandma. “Texas BBQ is the best and no one can convince me otherwise.” Say it with a smile so people don’t take you too seriously.

#5 Show that You are Harmless

Women’s brains are programmed to read men’s body language. From the moment you approach them, their subconscious is analyzing the way you hold your body and your every move to decide how they feel about you.

The key is using body language that shows you are friendly.

Bottom Line: Use These Signals to Help Girls Feel at Ease

  • Open body language; open torso with nothing blocking you.
  • Direct eye contact upon approach.
  • Visible hands to reassure them you are not going to hurt them.

About Vanessa Van Edwards

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and behavioral investigator.

I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.

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