You see this hot girl waiting for her order at the coffee shop. Feeling confident, you walk up and say, “Hi, I’m Mike. I just wanted to…” And that’s all you can get out before she grabs her double skinny decaf soy latte, says “I have a boyfriend” and bolts for the door.
Shot down. In cold blood.
Now most guys will take it personally when that happens. But you shouldn’t. Because 9 times out of 10, you weren’t the reason she blew you off. And by “you” I mean your looks, your personality, your clothes… anything that makes you “you.” Nope, instead you just fell victim to one of the most insidious traps a guy can fall into: The Panhandler Syndrome.
Here’s how it works: Think about the last time you were in a big city and got approached by a panhandler. Some guy shuffles up, hand out. “Excuse me, sir. I haven’t eaten today, can you spare some change?” Being a generous guy, you reach into your pocket and hand him whatever coins you have. No big deal. Good deed done for the day.
Now imagine that every time you walk down your city’s streets, 10 or 15 panhandlers approach you. All with the same come-on: “Excuse me sir…”, “Pardon me, friend….”, “Hey mister, can you spare…”. By the time the 5th or 6th one approached you how willing would you be to dig in your pockets for change? Exactly. Not at all.
In fact, after just a couple of these bums hit you up for money, you’d start to ignore them, maybe even snap “I don’t have any change!” before they can even finish the word “Excuse.” And it doesn’t matter how compassionate and caring a person you are, at some point we’ve all had enough.
Now imagine you’re a hot girl. And all day, every day, guys are coming up to you. Hitting on you. Just trying to talk to you. All using the same dumb lines… “Wow has anyone ever told you…”, “Excuse me, but I just wanted to…”, “Hi, my name is Mike and…”
Yep. We are panhandlers to women. Begging for phone numbers. Dates. And sex. A never-ending stream of us, all using some version of the same old lines. And by the 3rd or 4th guy, they’re blowing us off like we were Charlie Sheen in a convent.
It’s not their fault either. They can’t help it. The Panhandler Syndrome becomes reflex—a knee jerk reaction to an endless parade of jerks. Even if you might be a great guy for her, she’s got her bitch shield on high alert, and she’s shooting down any fool who trips the wire. And unless your name is Channing Tatum, you’re gonna trip the wire.
So what can you do?
You’ve got to avoid the triggers that set off the Panhandler Syndrome. Let’s go back to the city streets for an example. Forget all those guys shuffling up with a sad, “Excuse me.” Think about the creative panhandlers you’ve seen. The ones with the signs that say things like: “Yell anything you want at me for $2″ or “I’ll listen to you complain about your wife/husband for $3″ Did those catch your attention? Make you stop? Laugh? Even consider giving the guy a couple of bucks just for the effort?
Exactly. Because they didn’t come up with a line that triggers your reaction to avoid their insufferable neediness. And you have to think the same way when approaching a woman. This is why indirect openers can let you side step her triggers, rather than coming in directly.
You want to come across as if you’re not hitting on her at all. As if you’re simply asking a question or an opinion. “Is that chai? I’ve heard for every 3 cups you drink, you add a week on to your life. What do you think, is it really that healthy?” or “You look like a coffee veteran… Help me settle a bet with my buddy, I say a latte and a cappuccino are the same thing, he says they’re different. Who wins?” It doesn’t really matter as long as whatever you ask is creative, different, and can’t be answered with a yes or no. Or doesn’t make her think you’re angling to get in her pants. That comes later, after you’ve made yourself immune to the Panhandler Syndrome.
Eric Rogell is the author of “The Art of War for Dating” and is the founder of The Casanova Code, a program where he teaches sales teams, corporate executives and marketers how to achieve unrivaled business success by using the wickedly effective secrets of seduction. You can follow him on Twitter @ericrogell.