Breaking the Catty Barrier
Working the floor to every girl’s advantage
By: Reed Walton
So it’s late at night, you’re at the bar and on the prowl. You’ve spent more than two minutes on your hair; you’re wearing something low-cut, and, if you must say so yourself, looking pretty damn good.
Walking in, you’re surveying the room for prospects. After all, the night is young. You’ve barely had half a vodka cranberry, and you’re not quite at the point in the night when things like sweat stains and “popped” collars start to look sorta acceptable.
Then, suddenly, at the back of your neck, a chill. The teeny tiny hairs on your neck stand on end, and you spin around, paranoid as a conspiracy theorist. Sure enough, a few feet away, another (admittedly attractive) woman is giving you the death stare. You end up shooting icy glances at each other all night. It’s a bigger turf war than the Greek goddesses in the Iliad competing for the “Most Beautiful” title. (And shame on you if you don’t know your classics–that particular beef started the Trojan War.)
If you’ve already started thinking unsavory thoughts about your would-be rival, stop! You’re not making the situation any better for you or the other women “on the hunt.” In fact, playing Ice Queen with a fellow bar patron can even hinder your chances of getting to know somebody worthwhile.
Instead, it’s time to break the catty barrier. Here are a few tips that will help you crack the ice–and possibly beef up both of your dating prospects for the night.
- Smile. You know that old bumper-sticker expression–“Smile, it just confuses people”? Well it’s 100 percent true. As soon as you receive a less-than- appreciative stare from some female competition, instead of looking away or sending teensy hate particles right back, beam a big, genuine grin in her direction. It will catch her off guard and bump up her shame factor at having been so frosty.
- Compliment, compliment, compliment. Immediately pick one thing about your “rival” to compliment. One time in a bar bathroom, I got death-rays from a woman leaving the stall, only to fire right back with, “Your hair is so beautiful!” It was astonishing to watch the suspicion literally melt off her face as she smiled and thanked me. Every time we ran into each other throughout the night, we’d end up sharing a grin.
- Team up. Some of these attractive women may be at the bar with a group of friends-guy friends they’re not romantically interested in. If one of them catches your eye, you’re much more likely to get an endorsement from a female friend of his if she views you as approachable and trustworthy. I mean, how many times have you heard (or said), “Jared ended up talking to some skank all night. He basically ditched us”? It’s not that she really thinks you’re a skank–she doesn’t know you from Adam… er, Eve. It’s protectiveness–even of a guy friend that she herself has rejected as a romantic possibility.
However, if you both have your sights set on the same guy, that is another story for another column, and may the gods of dating have mercy on your soul.
So, you see? There’s really no need for the Frost Queen act. One of the lovely things about being human is that we can take that lioness-protecting-the-pack instinct, turn it on its sociological head, and end up having a better time navigating the treacherous waters of the dating pool.
Tell us: Have you ever turned a foe into a friend with simple kindness?