115th Ask Josh – Getting the Guy

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

jc said…

“Say you are a girl and you like a guy, how do you get the guy to like you back?”


Okay, fine. I am a girl and I like a guy. 

There, I said it. Saying I’m a girl is easy. And saying I like a guy is not an impossible stretch.

Getting a guy to like me back? Not so easy.  It is my experience more and more that if you don’t like someone from the get go, or if they don’t like you from the beginning, the primacy effect is making it increasingly difficult to get people to change their minds and feelings about you, and it is difficult for others to get you to change your mind about them.

That is to say, if you blow it on the first impression, there is not a whole lot you can do to “make” someone like you.

It is easy for me to like someone just after meeting them and then after some time decide that I am not really interested. It is much more difficult for me to meet someone, commit a few social gaffes and then try to convince them to change their mind and decide, “hey, Josh has made me like him now.” In the spirit of fast Sunday I testify to you that the converts to Josh are much harder to come by than those born in the Josh.

So before I start bloviating about getting someone you already know to like you, let’s start with making it easier to have them like you before you even realize you like them:

1. Be likable from the beginning.

I had this roommate. Let’s call him Zack. Oh, what the heck, let’s even link to his blog . I gave him the title of “Master of First Impressions” shortly after meeting the man. I have studied this talent of his. And some things that I have observed:

a. He is always pleased to meet you. You know how you often hear people say, “Pleased to meet you” or “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” It’s more of an older movies kind of phrase, the last time I heard someone say that was the guy on the Brendan Fraser version of The Mummy when the tongueless and eyeless man meets the mummy just before the mummy drains him of all his bodily fluids in order to restore himself so he can revive his bride from the dead and take over the world. But I digress. In any case, the eyeless man did a good job of greeting the unlikeable mummy, and Zack does the same thing. He is sincerely pleased to meet you. He is glad that he knows you after not knowing you before.

b. He is comfortable with himself. Zack is not perfect. Perhaps there are people out there who don’t like Zack. But Zack is not self-conscious about that (if he is, he doesn’t let it show). So whenever Zack meets someone new, he is confident.  He is confident that the person should like him and he should like the person he meets. Being comfortable with himself makes it easier for him to look outside himself and put others at ease. The ability to put others at ease is a hallmark characteristic of charm.

c. Old-fashioned manners. Learn them, practice them, remember that the knife goes on the right and protects the spoons from the forks. Men should stand on the side of the sidewalk nearest to the street, and women should expect it. Men should open, hold, and close doors, and women should expect them to. 

Now, I know you asked for help on getting someone to like you that you already know. So advice on first impressions will do you no good at this point. 

If you’re looking to make a man change his mind–or should I say, change his heart–about you. This could be tough. If I have no interest in someone, I get bothered when they show increasingly more interest in me. You know the feeling. It’s like a pushy salesman. I smile and nod, but deep down all I can think about is how much I want to get away. 

Not many girls have won me over after I started out not liking them.  But, it has happened. Here is what some of them did:

2. Asked me out. (I can see how this can be hard to do. And usually I don’t like the idea of being asked out by girls. But if it can be done without the obvious agenda that the girl has already seen me in white and wants to have my babies and grow old with me, I love going out on a friendly date. And when the date went better than I expected, I became interested.)

3. Talked to me without trying to impress me. This is akin to just being yourself. Freshman year, there was this one girl, I had never paid attention to her. To be perfectly honest, I was much more interested in her next door neighbor, I may have only talked to this girl just for advice about her neighbor. One morning I found myself in the cafeteria having breakfast at 7:00 am and she happened to be there eating by herself. I sat down at her table and we just exchanged a few words over nothing really too interesting. But I was suddenly interested just because I had such an enjoyable one-on-one where nobody was putting on airs at 7 in the morning trying to impress anyone. Four years passed and we ran into each other in an airport terminal. We made small talk again for a little while and I felt all those butterflies in the stomach come back again. She never was trying to impress me. She always was just being herself. And I loved it! I have often quoted Billy Joel and will do it again, “I don’t want clever conversation … I just want someone that I can talk to. I want you just the way you are.”

4. ______ with me. Put anything you want in the blank: played catch, danced, jumped rope, watched movies, spent time. If you think that he would like you a lot more if he just got to know you better, then you need him to get to know you better. While it may be true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, you need to put in the time and effort to make it so your parting becomes such sweet sorrow. If I enjoy your company, I’ll miss it once your gone. And when I do, I’ll come to you. 

Go get ’em. Or should I say, Go get him.



  1. i know how much you would love for me to add to your list of questions lacking an answer, but i’ll have to pass this time. i did want to say:your blog is my favorite. and it makes me miss you and your duquesne sweatshirt. and fyi, you can’t make fun of fantasilandia unless you’ve been. you don’t even know the word of tagada.without wax

  2. Actually, I forgot that I still haven’t answered your question about writing you a love poem. So actually I am 19 questions behind thanks to you.

  3. i would say nice post, but that would seem arrogant and over-confident…on the other hand; assuming my role in the blog post is so important as to taint a compliment is also an over-confident statement. I am at a loss of words. Congratulations. You did it.

  4. josh… this is hilarious. my favorite part:”I had this roommate. Let’s call him Zack. Oh, what the heck, let’s even link to his blog.”keep up the good work…

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