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It's perfectly normal to feel anxious about engaging in conversation with a girl you have just met. Your anxiety may come from shyness, low self-esteem, a lack of dating experience or a fear of rejection, says psychologist Jeremy Nicholson in the article "Break the Ice: How to Talk to Girls and Guys," for "Psychology Today." Don't let these worries stop you from getting to know a girl you like. A few simple techniques will help -- and the key is to practice them often.
Break the Ice
When you first meet a girl, you may both be feeling nervous. The first step toward an enjoyable conversation is to break the ice. Don't obsess over trying to impress her, advises Nicholson. Focus more on getting to know her. Be curious. Ask her a question, and try to keep it lighthearted and fun. For example, if she is wearing a purple top, ask her if it's her favorite color, and why. You could quiz her on her choice of beverage or ask something completely random, to grab her attention and make her smile, such as "What was the name of your first childhood pet?" or "What do you want to be when you grow up?" (regardless of her age.) This type of exchange will kick start the process of getting to know each other.
Ask the Right Questions
To keep conversation flowing, you need to ask open-ended questions, i.e. questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. Start your questions with "what," "when," "where," "how" and "why," suggests relationship coach Lyndsay Katauskas in the article "How to Talk to Women -- 5 Tips," for "YourTango." If you're worried you'll become tongue-tied, prepare some questions or topics in advance. Having a list in your mind of things you can talk about, such as topical events, sports teams or summer vacations, will take the pressure off.
While it's great to ask a girl questions to show you are interested in her, don't make her feel that you are interrogating her. Let her get to know you, too. Keep the focus on her, but show your personality and respond to what she says with information about yourself. Don't forget your body language, says body language expert Judi James, author of "The Body Language Bible." Maintain good eye contact, listen actively, smile regularly and keep your body open (no crossed arms.) James recommends a technique called "mirroring," which involves imitating -- without being too obvious -- the pace and style of her body movements. For example, lean on the bar or cross one leg in front of the other when she does. This sends her a subtle signal that you're interested in her.
Stay in the Present
Worrying about whether a girl is going to reject you, how long she will talk to you for or how she will respond if you ask for her number is pointless. Embrace your fear, take a deep breath and get on with it, advises health coach Catherine Chen in the article "Operation Charisma -- How to Talk to That Cute Guy or Girl With Total Confidence," for "Huffington Post." Enjoy getting to know the girl without letting your mind race ahead to start planning your future. She may not end up being your girlfriend, but you can still have an enjoyable conversation and make a new friend.
- Psychology Today: Break the Ice -- How to Talk to Girls and Guys
- YourTango: How to Talk to Women -- 5 Tips
- The Body Language Bible: The Hidden Meaning Behind People's Gestures and Expressions; Judi James
- Hill Street Studios/Gary Kious/Blend Images/Getty Images