How to Talk to Females: The 3 Essential Skills

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Models" by Mark Manson . Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you have trouble approaching and talking to women? How do you strike up a conversation with a woman you like? What should you talk about?

No matter your intentions for dating, knowing how to talk to females is essential to secure success. According to Mark Manson, talking to women entails three sub-skills: sharing information about yourself, getting her to talk about herself, and showcasing your sense of humor.

Keep reading for Manson’s tips on how to talk to females.

Talking to Ladies

In his book Models: Attract Women Through Honesty, Mark Manson gives some tips on how to talk to females. To converse well with a woman, Manson suggests that you master three main skills. The first skill is sharing information about yourself. To grow comfortable with sharing information about yourself, practice talking for a minute about several topics on which you two are likely to connect—such as your background or your future goals.

The second skill is getting her to share information about herself. Manson suggests that you learn to make declarations instead of asking questions. For example, don’t ask where she’s from; guess where she’s from based on an observation. By doing so, you practically guarantee that the conversation continues. If you’re wrong, she’ll correct you or ask why you guessed that; if you’re right, she’ll be impressed and want to know how you got it right. Making declarations also allows you to direct the conversation with potentially off-topic statements, which helps ensure that the conversation doesn’t stop because you can’t think of a new question. 

The first and second skills help you because they provide you with more opportunities to find something in common and increase the intimacy between you. 

More Ways to Foster an Emotional Connection

In How to Talk to Anyone, Leil Lowndes provides further tips for fostering an emotional connection with someone so that you can reveal more about yourselves to each other and thus find greater commonality and intimacy. When preparing answers to common questions, like those that ask about your background or goals, include not just the answer but also an interesting fact or observation that fosters conversation: For example, you might say, “I’m from X, where they make the best goat cheese in the world.”
Instead of recommending that you make declarations about someone, as Manson does, Lowndes recommends that you ask questions to continue the conversation. If you’re worried that you’ll run out of things to talk about, Lowndes suggests that you prepare in advance by listening to the news (so that you have common topics to discuss) and that you continually try new activities (which will improve your ability to communicate with different kinds of people). 

During the conversation, Lowndes recommends that you ask questions about how they spend their time, listen to their answer, then express how much you enjoyed listening to them and relate your interest to theirs. By doing so, you’ll signal that you’re interested in who they are and what they like—so they’ll like you more.

The third skill is showcasing your sense of humor. This conveys that you’re confident enough to laugh without obsessing over others’ opinions. People enjoy different types of humor, so just try to be funny in the way that you think is funny—for example, some people enjoy sarcastic comments, while others enjoy puns. Focus on finding a woman whose sense of humor complements yours rather than trying to convince someone else that you’re funny. If you’re not funny, study famous comics to improve your ability to make women laugh.

Why and How to Be Funny

Like Manson, other experts agree that humor is essential to the relationship but for different reasons. In How to Not Die Alone, Ury recommends that you make your partner laugh not because it shows confidence but because laughter creates oxytocin, a hormone that encourages connection. And while experts agree that you should focus on finding a woman whose sense of humor complements yours, they clarify that doing so bodes well for your long-term romantic future: The happiest couples share a sense of humor and are able to laugh at the same things

This is true even if neither partner is a huge jokester—but if you do want to be funnier, try studying not just famous comics but also how humor works: Psychologists have found that people who can explain why something is humorous tend to be funnier.
How to Talk to Females: The 3 Essential Skills

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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