Psychological Self-Help

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There are so many things to talk about. Have a few possible topics
in mind and a few questions. Ask open-ended questions requiring an
explanation, not just yes or no. Do both--ask questions and talk
yourself. Try to talk about half of the time; people will like you better if
you do. Talking too little looks passive and insecure; talking too much
looks dominant and self-centered (Kleinke, 1986). Don't worry if your
comments aren't brilliant. It is important to keep up the conversation,
what you say is less important. It helps to recognize that
conversations with friends serve many purposes: having fun, passing
the time, finding out what has been happening in each other's life,
getting help or information, sharing entertaining stories, having
serious discussions, getting to know each other, discussing your
relationship and future plans. When meeting someone, you are mostly
"selling" yourself, seeing if the other person is "buying," and looking
for a way to continue the interaction, if both are interested. 
At this point, several skills can be used, especially listening and
empathizing (method #2) and self-disclosure (method #6). Try to be
upbeat, confident and enthusiastic, not pessimistic and self-
depreciating. Smile, nod, give encouragement ("I agree," "right,"
"that's great"), and keep good eye contact. Being warmly attentive is
more important than talking about yourself. If you share a little
personal information, the other person is likely to also. 
After a few or several minutes, you may have to decide if you want
to continue the relationship. And, you have to decide if the other
person is interested or not. Chapter 9 discusses looking for a partner:
how to show we are attracted, women's problems with approaching
men, the conflict between "being in love" and evaluating a potential
partner, the problem of pretending with a new date, and remaining
able to disengage. If you and he/she seem interested, it is important
to arrange a future meeting (or at least exchange phone numbers),
otherwise the opportunity is lost. 
Suggest doing something interesting together. Be specific
about the activity and the time. Don't make it too demanding (e.g. a
whole day) nor too intimate (e.g. an R-rated movie). Describe how
much fun the activity should be. If he/she can't make it or rejects your
first suggestion, have an alternative to propose. If both invitations are
rejected (pleasantly, not violently), tell him/her that you are
disappointed because you were really hoping to get to know him/her
better, give him/her your phone number, and suggest that they call
you at a later time. On the other hand, if he/she accepts your
invitation, let them know you are happy, ask if he/she would like to
invite a friend to come along, and make specific arrangements
regarding meeting time and place. 
Women over-estimate how many males dislike being approached
by women. In fact, over 90% of college students (men and women)
say it is OK for women to approach men (Kleinke, 1986). Because of
this misunderstanding, however, many women drop hints, e.g. "I have
no plans for the weekend" or "I'd like to see the new movie," instead
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