I know a bunch of guys who are very successful in their careers, but still lack confidence with women. Coming from an engineering background originally, my experience has been that career success doesn't always translate automatically into feeling confident interacting with girls. In fact, some of what we learn as men about being successful vocationally can work against us when it comes to the fairer sex.
Women want a well-rounded guy who is successful in business but they also need to be able to connect and relate to us in order to get to know us more deeply. The biggest mistake I see successful career guys making with women is attempting to apply the same strategies that work for them in the business world to their relationships with women. After a few relationship failures, the once confident guy's self-confidence starts going down the tubes as he blames himself for not getting the relationship he wants; or even worse he becomes bitter and resentful of women for not liking and accepting him the way he is. The problem isn't him; the problem is the strategy he's using unconsciously to connect with women, and simply changing strategy can make all the difference.
So here's how to convert business success into confidence with women:
Connect With Your Heart, Not Your Head
Most guys in the business world are used to connecting with others on an intellectual level, whereas women are craving an emotional connection. When a woman knows how you feel, she starts to sense that she can trust you. Don't mistake revealing your feelings for just talking about your problems though; you want to learn to reveal how you're feeling in the present moment, whether those feelings be pleasant or unpleasant. You probably aren't used to doing this, so at first it may feel a little exposed and come across awkwardly. Persistence is key to success.
When you tell stories about yourself, remember to include the crucial ingredient of emotional content. If you only talk about what happened to you, the woman will switch off after a while. Make sure you include how you felt, and describe scenes in a way that allow her to form a visual picture of what you've experienced that affects her senses.
Woman want a level of connection with us that isn't common in the business world. Establishing this requires trust and developing trust takes some time, so be patient. Don't unload all your emotional baggage on her at once; that's what a therapist is for. Learn to progressively disclose your feelings as the interaction deepens and you experience her reciprocating. Talk about how you feel in the present moment rather than getting caught up in the past. Women generally expect men to take the lead, and when you are one step more open than she is, she'll generally follow along and talk more about what's going on for her too. If she doesn't start opening up in response to your lead, perhaps she isn't the woman for you.
Reveal Your Inner World
Most men who struggle with women keep too much of their inner world to themselves. Women want you to be open with them before they can really trust you; even if they don't like everything they hear, at least they know where they stand with a man who is open with them.
One of the biggest surprises of my life came a few years ago when I was rehearsing for an amateur production of Les Miserables, which I had joined because I wanted to connect with more men who shared my theatrical interests. Between the audition and when the rehearsals started, I became chronically ill; which meant I turned up at every rehearsal in a foul mood. Rather than pretending to be a nice happy guy like I used to, I told the truth for the first time: I let people know that I was cranky and felt terrible. I was astonished at the compassion and support that the women in the cast gave me week after week as I turned up feeling dreadful. At the party after closing night, I ended up with a girl in each arm and another on my lap. All because I hadn't tried to hit on anyone and I'd told the truth about how I really felt; so they ended up trusting me deeply.
If your inner world is fraught with anxiety, frustration or unhappiness, it's best to share it with a therapist or coach so you can get to the bottom of what's going on for you. It's OK to have some issues that you're working on, but women will get turned off pretty quickly if you're always down on yourself or remain stuck in a victim mentality.
Make It Fun For Her
Unless your a comedian, the business world can be pretty serious a lot of the time. That's fine for making money, but not so good for making fun connections with other people. Inside all of us is a remnant of our childhood selves who loves to play and have fun. Every woman is just a bigger version of a little girl who is yearning to have the opportunity to play again.
Too many guys focus on what they can get from a woman when they meet her, rather than focusing on how he can make the interaction fun for her. You don't need to be a clown; not too many women want to go home from a party with Bozo. You just need to focus your energy and attention on what is fun about her, about the situation that you're in, or about the environment around you. Be perceptive and pay attention to little things that other guys are oblivious of. Have fun. Play.
If she laughs at your jokes, you're well on your way to flirting your way into her heart. If she pours scorn on your jokes, it could be that you're trying too hard, your delivery sucks, or she's just not the girl for you. Develop your sense of humor so that you know what amuses you, and learn to share that with other people.
Don't Pretend Your Interest Isn't Sexual
Women like guys who are straight with them about their sexual interest. This may come across as a bit weird if you're used to pretending that you're not sexually motivated. Some women are uncomfortable with sexual attention from men; particularly men that they aren't attracted to, or aren't attracted to yet. Often we hold off on expressing any sexual interest because we're afraid of offending the girl or coming across as sleazy. My definition of a sleaze is “any man who is sexually interested in a woman who isn't sexually interested in them.”
We often can't tell whether a woman is sexually interested in us until we express a sexual interest in her, and see how she responds. This is particularly true until we learn to pick up subtle cues that women send to indicate sexual interest. A lot of guys I know are terrible at reading these cues, and can end up wasting time and effort on women who show little or no sexual interest. Some women are quite reserved and will wait for you to show sexual interest in them before they'll give you any signals.
Most western women live under a sexually repressive cultural mindset that labels any woman who is “too sexual” as a slut, dumping them with a tremendous amount of shame to deal with about their natural sexuality. So it's often up to us to show interest first and deal with the possibility of rejection. Many guys hold back out of shame about their own sexual nature, and the fears that get triggered when a woman shows disinterest in us. Holding back is the shortcut to the “friend zone” where we become emasculated; this is painful for the woman as well as for us. Thinking that you can get into a woman's pants by befriending her without revealing your sexual agenda is deceptive, manipulative, and a symptom of Nice Guy Syndrome.
Obviously this kind of attention in the workplace makes women feel uncomfortable; whereas in a social setting it's appropriate to be up-front about how you feel towards a woman. In my own life, more and more I'm realizing that the answers to the frustration I've felt in my relationships with women come down to simply being more open about what's really going on for me, and not hiding my intentions out of fear of judgment.