Yes, you can meet women on the bus.I want to give you guys a preview of the kind of content I send to the Wingman Labs, my weekly newsletter.
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For many of you reading this, winter is here and it’s cold outside.
One would think that because it’s cold, less people go out, but that’s quite the contrary.
In fact, there are more people in various indoor locations simply because it’s too cold to be outside.
But then it got me thinking...during the summer, most people will walk to places because it’s nice out but when it’s too cold, they use public transportation to get there.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to meet people on your way somewhere?
I get this question a lot from my clients as many of them spend over 10 hours a week commuting to and from work. That’s a lot of time doing something without making the best of it.
So, how DO you make the best of it? CAN you make the best of it?
Most wouldn’t even try because they feel there are too many obstacles in their way. For example...
You’re in a public place so people can be listening. When you’re on the train, most people are quiet so it would be easy to hear your attempt to talk to someone. I can imagine you freaking out already.
Or you’re on a train or platform where it’s too loud. Like music at a bar, it can be tough to speak over the noise and can interrupt a conversation easily.
Logistics. Those are the least of your worries but most people will worry about it. If you’re on the train, you don’t know when they will be getting off, so you’re not sure how to pace the conversation.
If you two aren’t close to each other on a train that’s crowded, not knowing how long they'll be on the train may make it tough to navigate the space.
And what if they are sitting down and there are no seats around them? It would be awkward to stand up over them, right? What if they are reading a book? On their iPod?
These are all valid points but let me argue with three reasons why it is to your advantage.
Most people travel alone. Unlike a bar, you don’t have to worry about other people vying for their attention and distracting them. In fact, there’s a chance they are bored and are in this “unknown void” of getting from point A to B.
Most people aren’t on the phone when waiting for or on the train. Typically when people are above ground, they’ll most likely be on their phone. Being underground gets rid of that. One less distraction for you to deal with.
Most people aren’t moving around. Besides the bar, public transportation is the only place where people aren’t really moving around.
When you’re trying to meet people walking down the street, in department stores or even during lunch time, most are on the move and it's more difficult to stop and talk to them.
So, all things considered, let’s talk about how to make it happen using the 3 C’s: Context, Confidence and Content.
Context: Find opportunities to be near them. On public transportation, the goal is to stand (if they're standing) or sit (if they're sitting) next to them. Never put yourself in a position where only one of you is sitting or standing. It’ll be uncomfortable for both of you.
You can set yourself up to make the move by looking at a nearby map, then going over to them. Trains can get crowded so if there’s an open seat next to them, take it while it's still there.
If you can help it, talk to them before getting on the train so it gives you more time to build that rapport since you may not know how much time you’ll have.
And honestly, if you can’t do it and wait until you get on the train, it’s highly unlikely you'll be motivated to make your move there either.
Confidence: The most important thing you can do is talk to other people prior to approaching that person. Ask people questions before getting to the station. If you stop by a coffee shop before hitting the subway, talk up the barista. The goal is to get you in a chatty mood and socially warmed up.
Content: Be direct, but not too direct. I would STILL recommend saying the usual, “Hi...” However, because it’ll be quiet, you don’t want to be overt about meeting people -- to avoid the creep factor.
So, if introducing yourself isn't something you're comfortable with, think of something more indirect. If you notice something they're wearing and think it’s cool, tell them and ask where they got it.
Or if the platform or train is crowded, you can say something like, “Gotta love the subway in New York during rush hour,” and see if that can illicit a response.
Either way, use context (what you see around you) as a guide for what to say.
Giving your business card in this situation is perfectly acceptable. Have it ready to give to them if you’re about to get off or vice-versa -- sooner, if possible.
If you’re uncomfortable with giving a business card, you can get basic ones at About.Me or Cheek’d -- both give just enough information for them to contact you (which would generally be an email or a phone number, at best).
So I’m sure you’re wondering...
When is the best time to do this?
Ideally, 15 minutes before and after rush hour and during the day Saturdays. But in reality, you can do this at anytime. It only takes one person to catch your eye.