Talking to boys can be one of the most difficult things to do, particularly if you actually like the boy you want to talk to. There will most likely be thoughts that cross your mind like “I don’t know what to say to him”, “what if he thinks I’m stupid”, and so on.
Here are some tips to help you understand what boys like to talk about and how they react to various topics.
Get him to talk about himself – Ask questions that will get him to talk about the things he likes, what his thoughts are. For example, ask which team his cap or jacket is from and how long he’s been following them for, ask what he thought of an earlier class, ask what he likes to watch on TV, what sort of movies he likes to watch, and so on. You will be able to learn quite a bit about him from these types of questions. I would recommend staying away from questions that have a simple yes/no answer such as “did you like that class” or “did you watch [a particular TV show] last night”. Open-ended questions will help the conversation flow more naturally and for longer.
Give him time to talk – When we are nervous, we tend to fill the silence with words. It removes any awkward silences, but at the same time, it doesn’t allow the other person to have an input into the conversation. If you tend to talk a lot when you’re nervous, focus on asking a question and then stopping. Also, take two deep breaths before beginning to speak. This will give him enough chance to say something if he wants to, and it will prevent him from feeling smothered in a one-way conversation.
Use laughter to ease the tension – If you can find something to laugh about – a joke you have heard or something funny that happened, that’s a great way to ease the tension and make the conversation fun for the both of you.
Stick to the truth – We often feel that our true selves isn’t worth the attention we want. To compensate for this, we are prone to stretching the truth to make ourselves look more impressive. This is a mistake. It might seem to work in the short term, but it will definitely be harmful in the long term. Boys actually want to know that you are a real person with real positives, negatives, successes, and failures. Don’t hide them. Being truthful will allow for a stronger friendship to form between you.
Make eye contact – We don’t just communicate through our words. We also communicate through our body language and our eyes. Making eye contact shows that you respect him and are interested in what he has to say.
Make the first move – Just as you are nervous about going up and talking to him first, boys are also very nervous about approaching girls. They have the same fears of “looking stupid” and no knowing what to say. Unfortunately one of you will have to make the first move and it might as well be you. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you will know whether he has an interest in you, and the sooner the anxiety of not knowing will be resolved.
If you aren’t sure about how to approach a boy for the first time, first make a connection by smiling as you walk past each other. He will notice you and return the smile. Say “hi” as well. Although this seems like a very small thing, it will make the first time you have a conversation more natural and more comfortable.
When you approach him for the first time to start a conversation, try to do it when he’s alone somewhere. This will allow him to be himself. Ask one or two open-ended questions like those suggested at the beginning of this article. All you want from this conversation is to get him talking to you, and only for a very short time. Don’t expect a lengthy conversation. Just one or two exchanges. End the conversation by saying that you have to head off to class or meet with some friends.
Once you have done it the first time, it will be easier to repeat having a short conversation with him. Do this two to three times and your conversations will naturally increase in length and deepen in content. From here you will be able to direct your conversations to where you want them to go. Do what feels natural. You will be able to have longer and deeper conversations, and you will be able to organise doing some things together like getting a bite to eat or going to see a movie.
Talking to boys is very different to talking to your best friends. The first exchange is the hardest. But keep this to a very short conversation just to break the ice, and let your conversations become longer naturally. Don’t be too critical of yourself. Give it time. Each time you do it your anxiety will reduce and you will become more comfortable with it.