The Pick Up world has long been divided between two ways to approach a girl:

Direct and Indirect.

And it’s about time we addressed them. So here’s the low down:

Direct approaches are when you go up to a girl and express interest in her directly (duh). These are things like complimenting her or telling her you like her (or something about her) in some way.

Indirect approaches are when you start up a conversation with a girl about something completely unrelated to your interest in her. The only way she can even guess you’re interested is through the (ambiguous) subtext that you’re talking to her in the first place.

Which one is the best way to approach a girl?

The truth is neither one is fundamentally “better.” Both have their uses and their value.

But before we get into that, let’s address a major misconception about direct and indirect approaching – a misconception that has caused many guys to pigeon-hole themselves into only following one way to approach a girl, to their detriment.

Types Of Approaches and Confidence: Is There A Connection?

A common belief about approaches is that direct approaches require more confidence than indirect approaches. Therefore, direct approaches are for confident people, and indirect approaches are for guys who are more nervous, don’t expect a good reaction from girls when they express their desires, and more generally don’t know what they’re doing. It’s the training wheels, so to speak. So if you’re unconfident, indirect is the best way to approach a girl; if you’re confident, direct is the best way to approach a girl.

I understand the logic in this. And in practice, probably more confident guys are doing direct approaches and less confident guys are doing indirect ones.

But really, confidence and approach “style” have nothing to do with each other.

For instance, if I wasn’t confident I could do direct approaches. I could go up to a girl and tell her I thought she was attractive, even though I’d probably be talking fast, struggling with eye contact, and maybe nearly shitting my pants. Would it get a good reaction? Who knows. It depends on the girl and just how bad it was (these things run on a spectrum). Many girls respect the balls it takes to do this and even find it cute.

Conversely, I could do an indirect approach if I was confident… and be very, very successful at it. I could strike up a conversation with a girl about something innocuous, gradually flirt with her more and more as I build up my “value,” and then swoop in to finally make my move… with striking success.

But what if I did an indirect approach and I was unconfident, like so many Pick Up guys suggest unconfident guys do? True, at first I might slip beneath her radar, and perhaps have a little bit of success having a conversation. But do you think eventually she’s not going to realize what’s going on?

Unconfident guys may feel more comfortable starting an interaction with an indirect approach. But if you do an indirect approach and don’t have the balls to transition at some point (and it better be sooner than later), you’re going to start talking too much, get needy, and lose the frame. Keep trying to engage after this, and it won’t be too long until you’re branded a creep.

(Read: Why Guys Are Creepy)

What’s the takeaway here?

Lack of confidence is going to make your interactions worse regardless of which approach you use.
 An unconfident guy shouldn’t rely on indirect approaches as a crutch because that lack of confidence is going to bite him in the ass later. If anything, he should be doing what’s more scary for him – direct approaches – because that’s likely to increase his confidence faster.

Pour Conclur: Your confidence should not determine your approach.

But now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to be clear: That doesn’t mean there isn’t a best way to approach a girl.

It just doesn’t have anything to do with you.

Because it is entirely dependent on the situation.

Direct vs Indirect Approaches: When You Should Use Each Of Them

Who you are and how you feel about yourself is important in a successful approach. But they are NOT most important when it comes to determining which approach to use. Context and environment always reign supreme – they are everything when it comes to choosing the right approach.

Although some internet marketers would tell you otherwise, going into a situation with a script like a robot will not yield good results. You must learn to hone your instincts and awareness: think about what is going on, what you’re feeling intuitively, and what is socially appropriate.

For instance, if you are at an event or a museum, an indirect approach will usually make more sense because the point of being there is to discuss whatever theme/piece is in front of you. It’s easier and more natural to ask some derivation of “what do you think of this painting?” or “that was some presentation, wasn’t it?” and to segue from there, rather than tell a girl directly that you find her attractive. This is especially true if there are other people around.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, for the record, or that doing it would never be effective. Just know: you are going to need to have a very strong frame. You are skipping the casual flirting and niceties that would make an indirect approach in this situation natural, and laying your cards on the table early. That’s fine, but personally I find it to be riskier and unnecessary. I prefer to keep my approaches as smooth as possible – it just makes the interaction as a whole easier. If you’d like, try this later on only when you are more advanced.

Understand, however, that this is only one environment. A different environment will change this analysis entirely. If you’re approaching a girl on the street, for instance, it almost always needs to be direct. Unless there is a legitimately plausible reason to talk to a girl other than that she’s cute (i.e. she dropped something), you have to reveal your intentions. Otherwise you’re just weird… and are going to start coming across as creepy.

Finally, at bars and big parties, you can use either approach easily. These environments are big and social enough that it’s appropriate to express your attraction directly, but there are also plenty of things in the environment to draw from to make a natural indirect approach. In these cases choose which way to approach a girl based on which way fits your personality and the precise moment best.

Which Way To Approach A Girl: The Big Takeaway

I have said time and time again that approaches were the most difficult thing for me with women. I practiced them day in and day out to overcome my insecurities around them.

But after months of practice my biggest realization was this:

They matter far less than you think.

Both direct and indirect are good ways of approaching a girl. Both work. And as usual in the Pick Up world, both are discussed much more than they need to be.

(Yes. I realize that makes me a hypocrite for writing this article. Oh well, gotcha!)

So a reality check:

Your approach is like 3 seconds of your interaction with a woman. Most of the time she doesn’t even remember what you said or care – all that’s really important is your tone and subcommunication. Stop having circle-jerk debates and overthinking it, and just go talk to women.

All you need to remember is this:

The best way to approach a girl is the one that is most socially appropriate and most fits what you’re feeling at that particular moment.

(Read: As You Are)

This means developing social awareness and getting in touch with what you want, not what you think other people want from you.

And then it means acting on it.

I know, I know.

No easy answers around here. Just simple ones 😉

Get to them.

– Pat

PS Understanding which way to approach a girl is one thing. Actually going out and doing it is another. If you need help with this, contact me for personal coaching. I’ll push you past your fears and limiting beliefs so you can get this handled once and for all.

Fill out an application today.

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