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Hopefully this is okay to post here because I'm newish to this community and don't know any better.
TL; DR near bottom.
So I'm 28 years old, muscular, 5' 8,'' bald and beautifully tan. I look young in the face, like age 20 perhaps. My looks aren't an issue, but my personality/vibe sure is.
You see, I've lived most of my life socially isolated. I have the social awareness of a toddler.
When I found this website, it changed my life. In just 2 days, I went from being a suicidally depressed hermit to an enthusiastic chatter box.....that still desperately wants to lose his virginity of course.
But my main problem is speech in general. First and foremost, I have to be incredibly careful what I say because I have an unusual voice. If I speak too quickly, (which I do all the time) then people don't know what I'm saying. I've been working on breathing through my diaphragm whilst speaking to folks, which seems to help a good deal. I'm still self conscious about every word though.
The second problem is my lack of experience and understanding of social dynamics. I want to start living my life finally after 28 years, but without social awareness I find conversation clunky and forced.
My speaking skills have improved considerably since finding GLL, but I still find myself at a loss for words some times.
I finally developed a personal mantra to help me talk a little easier. I just remember 3 things.
1. Breathe/talk through diaphragm.
2. Talk about them.
3. Avoid polarizing topics. (My brain thinks of messed up stuff during normal convos).
By following the above mantra, it has helped me converse a lot easier....but I still need help.
I just need a way to always have a relevant topic at the forefront of my mind.
Is there some easy question/phrase someone could tell me that I could use to begin 90% of conversations with? Initiating is hard for me because I don't know what people my age talk about.
When I'm out in public, I consider my interactions with people as practice. I'm just "practicing" social skills so that some day I can appear normal when I go on dates via POF/Tinder.
Help a guy elevate his social practice?
TL;DR: I'm a socially awkward virgin that needs help with basic everyday activities....such as communication. How can I turn my mouth into a fountain of interesting topics and witty humor?
Chief hear me. The ONLY way you can advance is by trying. You can only get better by talking to more girls, failing is what happens the majority of the time. Take it from me who has a shit ton of xp, though I haven't done a lot in the last few years, even Chris admits that you'll fail way more than you will succeed. If you want to I started a subreddit today called goodlookingloserforum so that we can bring the forum do reddit, which is easier to navigate and has more reach. I'l link it, there are no posts yet but I'm gonna advertise it here a little so people can be aware of it's existence.
If people have trouble understanding you I'd also recommend talking louder in addition to your list.
Regarding universal conversation topics, it depends on the context. Are you walking on the street and trying to talk to a random stranger? I'd think week 1 of the approach anxiety on GLL would be sensible openers. If you're trying to have a mini conversation with a clerk at a store as you're checking out or in some other situation which is a bit more "natural" than approaching on the street then you can:
- comment on the weather. ("It's a really nice day today!" (if it's sunny) or "It sure is a cold one today!" (if it's cold) or "It sure is windy today" (if it's windy), etc.
- how's your day going? They say "good" or expand. You can talk about your day (even if they don't ask).
- comment on local NFL/college football (or other sport depending on time of year) team performance. If the team is playing tomorrow or that day you can ask "How do you think [name of team] will do today/tomorrow?" or if it's after the game the day of or day after: "It's awesome [name of sports team] won!" (if they won) or "That was a tough game" (if they lost).
Some people will say they don't follow the sport. That's fine. You can explain the game to them anyway if you feel like being cheeky.
Those are my off the cuff thoughts regarding conversation.
Your universal openers are too basic. Small talk and pleasantries are literally the only language I know. I need to either have mini convos or full length ones.
I had this moderately deep conversation with this store clerk a few days ago. I showed interest in her life and the conversation just unfolded. Oddly enough I began the conversation with a compliment. (I wasn't really interested in her, but she seemed chill).
I need more of the above events to take place to build confidence in my voice. I feel.
Also, 90% of what I say is small talk and pleasantries so fuck you for calling me basic.
A major concept of this site is the numbers game. And that applies beyond just getting laid. You mentioned you had a deep conversation with a clerk just by expressing interest in her life. It takes two to tango. If someone's not down to have a convo, it doesn't matter what you say. Conversely, some people are so extroverted/gregarious they'll shove a convo down your throat even if you could care less.
Talk to 10 more people and report back the convos (or at least what you opened and what they responded with).
No need to get offended....
I'm simply implying that talking about the weather is exactly why my life is where it is....such conversations never lead anywhere for me. I've been surface level my whole life, I don't see how you make a connection with someone like that.
You're right about not being able to force a convo though, I learned that today. I tried to engage with two people today and didn't have a good chat with either. They just didn't want to talk.
You don't have to only talk about the weather. Even if you open with the weather. Here are other broad categories of conversation:
=> favorite music. Opener: It's kind of gloomy with it raining today. Really gets me in mood for spaceman by the killers. (They'll respond if they're in the mood or leave you hanging if not.)
=> favorite books. Opener: I don't love driving in the rain but it makes for some cozy reading. I just finished A Study in Scarlet and can't decide what I should read next. What would you recommend?
- Would you rather
=> Would you rather sleep for a year or not get a wink of sleep for a full year?
=> Would you rather be trapped in a cave with a million rats, twenty hyenas, or three bears?
- Did you know (tends towards monologues rather than convso)
=> Did you know dinosaurs are more like birds than reptiles? (If they're curious you explain further.)
- Girl/Guy perfect in every way BUT
=> Would you marry/date a girl/guy perfect in every way BUT they're bald?
=> When do you think the world will go back to normal after covid? (You can also lead with your opinion and ask what they think or pause and see if they express their opinion.)
=> Do you think Biden will axe the Artemis program?
I guess the last four are not exactly small talk. But I also wouldn't open someone with them. No reason you can't, everyone has different styles. Experiment until you find yours.
My first interaction today was petting a middle aged woman's dog after it approached me. I didn't say much, I just said "hi, hows' it going?"
Then I petted the dog.
Once finished, I told her it was a good dog and to have a great day. I'm kicking myself now, because I could have stretched that convo more if I tried. The dog was wearing a Christmas sweater! It would of been an easy point of discussion.
Then I opened with "did you have a good Thanksgiving?" to the tanning salon employee..(I go tanning). It was a guy, but a human being no less that I could practice being social with. He said it was good, asked me about mine. Told him I didn't celebrate because most of my family is from out of state.
Then later on in the day, I went to the grocery store. Normally I'd opt for self-checkout but I wanted to talk and found an available cashier.
Again, I asked about Thanksgiving. She told me she had family come down and visit her, which I stupidly replied with "sounds like a busy week".....you see, I'm not always mentally present with people.
I've spent years being ignored, so my ability to communicate is weak.
Once I've said a couple of things, my mind goes blank and there's nothing to talk about suddenly.
Also Roger, perhaps you can tell me if my story is good. By story I mean, in Chris's guide he mentions that it can be good to have funny stories on hand....something to mention on a first date. I don't know if this story would be appropriate for having had just met someone.
Short version is like:
"I was goth in high school."
"I had this friend named Tasha, who knew a death metal band".
"The band was 1 black guy, and a few white guys".
"Sometimes when the black guy would leave, all of the white band members would get naked".
"Once the black guy would come back, we would all just start laughing".
Sadly this is a small town during a pandemic, so 3 people is all of the exposure I got today.
I see what you mean, I should open with something tame (like the weather) and then make it a deeper topic.
Great point about having stories on hand. As far as being funny goes, I definitely had a wtf laugh from it. But it's not all about material, you'll have to work on comedic timing too.
The thing about the dog's sweater made me think about how one of my roommates who is the most social guy I know - 90% of how he gets going is observational. Like we'll be hiking and he'll notice a mushroom and spout on about chicken of the woods - and somehow we end up talking about how fungi found in Chernobyl may be key to making trips to Mars...
Anyway good job getting out there and getting some practice in. Beyond helping me understand what you're doing, reflecting on the interactions should reinforce in your brain those convo missed opportunities like the dog's sweater, and hopefully things will connect next time.
I challenged you to talk to 10 people in a week. 2 days in you're already halfway there. Keep going.
Good, if a stranger online thinks my story is fine then a pretty girl will probably too.
So wait Roger, are you telling me most people don't start conversation based on the situation/surroundings? You say your friend begins 90% of the time with observational talking points. Is that unusual?
I need to learn how to make conversation without a visual point of interest, but I don't know how.
Thanks Roger for taking the time to reply to these messages, it's really cool of you & the community to be so helpful. My daily interactions are kind of limited, being in a small town without a life. I'll keep striving to chat with people.
11/30 update: I had a pretty good exchange with the tanning salon employee today. (Different employee altogether).
You see, I've been playing with style lately and I walked into that salon with a brand new jean jacket.
After the initial exchange of pleasantries, I said; "Hey, maybe I can get your opinion on something?"
Me: "I just bought this jean jacket and wanted to know if it looks okay with the collar up".
"It's not too edgy? Not too flashy?"
She asked that I put the collar back down to see the difference. After thinking to herself, she told me it looks good with the collar up.
I thanked her. She told me to enjoy my tanning experience, which prompted me to almost say "you too".
Instead of getting all awkward about my mistake, I laughed it off and said "I almost said you too, but that wouldn't sense". We laughed.
After I finished tanning, I walked towards the door and said have a good day. But then, right before I left the building I turned to her and said "Oh and...hey". I then proceeded to pop the collar of my jacket and head out the door. She laughed.
It was a bit cheesy but I'm okay with that, I make cheesy work.
All in all, it was one of my better convos. Anytime I can come off normal and friendly is a huge boost to my confidence. I'm just so accustomed to being ignored and rejected that I get joy when strangers treat me like a normal human being.
I'm also TERRIFIED of the future, because I have 15 months to get laid before I turn 30. I desperately want to spend the next 15 months doing anything/everything in my power to have sex, but a basic fundamental problem I'm faced with is a need of employment soon.
I imagine women don't want to go on dates if you are unemployed with no income.
I don't believe in lying, I won't tell someone I have a job unless it's true. At the same time, I don't want to get a job ASAP because that's going to limit my free time.
As it is now, I can spend all day long lifting weights/tanning/improving myself. Once I get a job, dating will be based on schedules and time frames.
I hate myself so much, if I would have found this website 1 year ago I probably would have had sex by now. Now I have to make a mad dash in the next 15 months.
For sure man. I'm not the most extroverted person so it's interesting to see someone on the path to getting more social.
You might want to check out @GettingItAll's log since he went from social zero, learning how to have conversations, and is now living the life of a king in college. So obviously he's in a different environment than you but may be inspirational seeing his improvement.
Regarding most people starting conversations based on situation/surroundings - yeah you're probably right - when starting a convo with randos. Hanging out with my roommate tonight we mostly talked about job applications, the Seahawks game (we were watching while lifting) and a few would you rathers (hot tube or pool; 5 kids or none) and how much would it cost you (to give a golden shower; to give a dude a facial).
Another win on the convos. 4 more to go in 4 days.
About not having a job, I'm with you about being all about honesty. I don't see unemployment as an issue though. It's really all about how you frame it. I see plenty of girls on Tinder with their "job" listed as "funemployed."
I imagine a girl looking to get married might see no job as a red flag. But if you're just trying to get laid it could be a benefit. Pretty sure Chris (GLL) was basically funemployed when he was banging tons of girls in his glory days. Along those lines, if being employed is important to you, why not try personal training like 5 hours per week?
Regarding getting laid, 15 months is a ton of time dude. I forget, do you have a Tinder/Hinge/Bumble/OkCupid/POF profile set up?
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I didn't think the "Get Hung" guide would have girls eyeing my bulge. It did.
I didn't think that your exercise and diet advice would have girls checking me out. It did.
I DEFINITELY didn't think that your hair-loss prevention would fix my hairline. Not in a billion years. It mother fucking did. You saved me a crazy amount of time, a ton of money, unnecessary pain, and destroyed my #1 source of anxiety. DESTROYED IT.
Kratom is next!
To anyone reading this, follow through, read this material, APPLY this material, and enjoy life.