Do you think pick up lines work? When I asked my Twitter followers this question, only 30% of people responded with the affirmative. While I wasn’t surprised by this response, I do think that the negative reputation that pick up lines have isn’t entirely earned.

Check out this video to find out why:

While people use plenty of pick up lines that are awkward, confusing, and/or just flat-out inappropriate, they’re not supposed to be that way. By definition, a pick up line is supposed to do two things:

  1. Intrigue someone enough that they begin to reciprocate your interest.
  2. Initiate a conversation.

In other words, a pick up line is supposed to intriguing and captivating, not weird and offensive. When doing research for my book Captivate, I sought out the most effective ways to spark conversations and make great first impressions. I found that the mistake people make with pick up lines and other ways of approaching people is that they forget to consider what the other person would be comfortable with.

Come Up with Pick Up Lines that Work

The secret to coming up with pick up lines that work is context. Usually when people think of pick up lines they look to other person’s appearance for inspiration. This is what leads to a lot of the bad pick-up lines that people are used to hearing and that often come across as offensive.

Instead of looking at the other person, look to your surroundings when thinking of a conversation starter. Here are some examples:captivate, captivate book, vanessa van edwards, pick-up lines

  • If you’re at a friend’s party, ask them how they know the host.
  • If you’re at a bar and they order an interesting drink, ask them what it is.
  • If you’re at an event, ask them what brought them there or how they’ve liked the activities so far.

Think of coming up with a pick up line like playing the game I Spy. Look around the room for something interesting and bring that up to someone around you.

If you struggle to approach new people because you have social anxiety and it makes you feel awkward, check out my book Captivate. In it, I provide step-by-step instructions on how to look and feel confident in social situations that trigger your nerves.

The Single Best Pick Up Line Ever

Do you know what the most effective pick up line is? Researchers at the University College London tested hundreds of pick up lines ranging from sweet and cheesy to flat out sleazy and they found that the single best pick up line for both men and women is:

Hello, how are you?

It’s really that simple! That question works because it’s easy for the other person to answer, it’s appropriate, it’s non-invasive and it shows you’re interested in hearing about them.

Once you’ve got the conversation started the other person is interested in engaging with you, you can move onto more personal topics. Here are a few of my favorite questions to ask when getting to know someone new:

  • What does a typical day look like for you? This is a great question to ask to learn about their lifestyle.
  • Have you watched any good movies/read any good books/listened to any good music lately? Learn their taste in entertainment and see if you have anything in common.
  • Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? You’ll get to hear about who they admire and what types of conversations they like to have.
  • What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend? Find out how they like to have fun and get potential date ideas.
  • Would you like to be famous? In what way? An easy question to ask to learn both their goals and what drives them.

Don't let the learning stop here. Captivate is available now!

Ever wonder what makes people tick? Want to know the hidden forces that drive our behavior? In Vanessa Van Edwards' new book Captivate, she explains a simple blueprint for hacking human behavior. In this science packed, anti-boring guide you will learn:

  • The formula for fascinating conversation
  • How to walk into a room full of strangers and make a killer first impression
  • What to do to increase your impact and income using people skills
  • Our strategy for hacking the people code–we call it the matrix (Keanu Reeves not included with each book sale)
  • The art and science of understanding people

Learn the new–science based way for winning friends and influencing people.

Ready to keep learning? Read on...