how to chat up someone without being a creep

How To Chat Up Someone Without Being a Creep

It’s really hard to chat up someone without being a creep. The trick is to notice whether they actually want to talk to you (and whether they want to keep talking to you). #ConsentInnit

If you want to chat up someone the first thing you should know is that it’s really hard to do. Because of this lots of people choose not to do it (which is fine). It’s hard because there is a strong possibility that you are going to get rejected. It’s also difficult for the person being approached because it can make them feel scared and uncomfortable.

The difference between rudely harassing someone and gently talking to them really comes down to consent – do they want you to chat to them? Working this is out is difficult because uh, a) you haven’t talked to them yet, b) you don’t know them and c) everyone is different. Still want to give it a go? Here’s a handy flowchart and some more ideas about how to make this work below.

how to chat up someone without being a creep
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Do they *want* to chat?

Be honest, do they really want to chat to you? Do they look at you? Are they smiling at you? Do they turn towards you? Have they deliberately made eye contact with you? Are they mouthing “hello”? Have they written “come and talk to me” on a paper aeroplane which they threw at *your* face?

A post shared by Justin (@bishsexed) on

 (well insta)

These might be signs that someone is interested in you talking to them. But even if you think they want some of your chat, this doesn’t mean they actually do. If they turn around, or walk away as you start to move over, or ask you to go away – STOP. They don’t ‘really want’ you to talk to them. Believe them.

If you’ve been staring at them hoping that they are going to look back, they may not be thinking “hmmm they’re hot” but might be thinking “why are they looking at me, it’s creepy.”

I *think* so, what now?

First of all try and relax. Take a big breath out. Loosen your jaw. Stand up tall and smile gently. Then walk over.

Try not to stand too close to them. Stand at an angle so they feel like they can walk away at any time. Eye contact can be good, but don’t stare at them wide eyed like a weird serial killer (remember to blink!). If they look back at you and start to smile it might be going well (for more on these moments see this). Don’t stare at their body.

There aren’t any killer chat up lines that always work and many people think that they are a bit sleazy. Some people say that it depends on the context and how a chat up line is used. If they’re interested in you talking to them then just saying anything may work. Maybe you could just go and say something like “hi, you seem nice, wanna chat for a bit?” or just introduce yourself “hey I’m ______ .”

Be nice enough but not over the top with compliments and affection. Remember, you don’t actually know them yet.

Maybe try to be funny or lighthearted – some people like a bit of ‘bantz’ but some people really don’t. Putting people down (also known as negging to make them feel bad about themselves is a pretty bad thing to do – so stop that yeah?

OMG they’re interested

The most important thing is to actually listen and to take part in a CONVERSATION, but nerves can make this normally quite easy thing really difficult.

There can be so much going on in your head (do they like me? am I being creepy? are they going to kill me? what’s their name again? am I sweating? is everyone just staring at me right now?) that it can be hard to just stand and pay attention to what the other person is saying. Also try to think “are we getting along” rather than “I must make them like me.”

So show that you are listening by use of body language – don’t fold your arms, or yawn, turn your back or look at your phone. Be attentive, notice what they are actually saying and how they are saying it and, you know, actually listen. Remember to keep breathing. If you’re feeling anxious or nervous that’s OK – allow it.

If they seem like they want to carry on chatting you could ask if they want to sit down somewhere, or go for coffee. You could give them your number or email address or twitter name to arrange a sit down at a future date. Give them space to change their mind – don’t ask for their deets, give them yours. Some people even have their own little cards to give out – which I think is a great idea.

Dealing with rejection

Lots of people are not going to be into you. If you’re not for them, they’re not for you. So deal.

You might wanna think about *how* you deal with that. Check these posts about self-esteem and bigging yourself up. Don’t cover up your difficult feelings or fear of rejection by being a **** (see below), just accept that you might feel crap for a few seconds or minutes and ride it out.

If someone does reject you or isn’t interested in you, just move on. They don’t need persuading, they have made their mind up. Persistence or isn’t romantic or sexy, it’s creepy and non-consensual.

Don’t be a d***

Just shouting or staring or giving random ‘compliments’ to people in the street isn’t the best way of telling someone you like them. Many people really hate this as it makes them feel like objects and can feel scary and uncomfortable.

If you do this you don’t care about whether they actually want you to talk to them – it’s non-consensual. Just because someone is looking hot or existing in the same space as you, does not mean they are asking you to talk/shout at them.

© Justin Hancock, 2015


7 thoughts on “How To Chat Up Someone Without Being a Creep

  1. I found your site by chance. I struggled with things I couldn’t put into words. When I did find the words to ask about some of the stuff I struggled with, a lot of people said things like ‘it just happens’ or ‘no one can answer that.’ But you could. I struggled with those things until my late 20s.

    I guess this is just my way of saying thanks. I plan to purchase your book to show support once I settle down and finish traveling.

    Thank you!

  2. Bit confused about the comments above because they seem to be written in 2014 and article dated 2015, and refers to being written by a woman, but think Justin identifies as a man?

    Anyway, I liked this article, but did not read it in a gender specific way (don’t think it was written as such) in terms of men approaching women, but more broadly. The only thing that I wanted more on was in relation to low self esteem and shame. I think when we struggle with this or maybe we are depressed, struggling, low (I mean when I feel like this) and approach people (I don’t mean just chatting up, I mean all kinds of initiating contact with people) we can give off signals either being over confident, or under confident and then we get (or might perceive) ‘I don’t like you’ signals because of this. We might then become more anxious, persistent etc, which just gets us more ‘back off’ signals. I have always envied people a bit who have that basic confidence and self-esteem, a kind of ‘take you or leave you’ attitude, because this is often attractive to others. I also think that when someone is giving ‘back off’ indicators, it is not always to do with not liking you, but they still do want you to back off, because of a whole lot of stuff going on for them. It’s a courageous thing to approach someone, and a horrible feeling to be rejected, especially when you don’t feel great about yourself in the first place. I like how these guidelines are practical and matter of fact about it all.

    1. Thanks for your comments Emily.

      Sorry about the date confusion. I had to change the dates of the posts after relaunch of the site. Also yes, I do identify as a man.

      I think that’s a really good point you make Emily. Sometimes people might be uncomfortable or back off for different reasons, but the important thing is that the person doing the ‘chatting up’ notices this and stops.

      Some people like to give people a card with their number on so that they the person being chatted up can then decide whether to go on a date with them in their own time.


  3. this is an article on how to act like a human being, not how to express interest in a person for romance. good effort, but it’s quite clear you’re quite inept in social situations. perhaps asperges/autism?

    1. This is just more feminist garbage written by women who hate and fear men for no reason other than watching to many movies. If you women want to run things, dictate the rules. How about we change so WOMEN do the APPROACHING. If women are so scared of men, how about we take a step back and let women hit on men for a change, see how terrifying it is. You women make men do all the hard work, then take the credit and want to run it when its done. So over this women rule the world men are the slaves bullshit you women spout it. And im not the only man who is.

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