The worst is when a quiet guy works up the nerve to go up and talk to a girl, and as he gets there, she turns to talk to a friend of hers. Now, he's already standing there and his friends are watching, so he decides to wait. He stands there awkwardly. One sip of beer. Looks around to see if he knows anyone, knowing fully that he doesn't. Another sip of beer. Bobs his head to the music slightly, trying to look comfortable. Awkward pause. Another sip of beer. Another awkward pause. There is truly no sadder sight than a man who can't seem to cut into a conversation. Do you notice that most often, your first conversation with someone of the opposite sex is the best one you've ever had? "We stayed up til five AM, just talking." True. But that's because you had 18-20 years to talk about. The problem now is that you covered your whole life in one night, and are left with nothing for the rest of your friendship. "He just doesn't open up anymore." No, he's open he's just got nothing left inside. Starting a conversation would be easy if I could just go up to people and say, "Hi, I'm Steve." But you know why I don't? Because I know that one time someone will look at me and say, "so?" If you want someone new to like you, spend the first half hour of the conversation just asking questions. They'll talk about themselves, which everyone loves doing, and you won't have to tell them a thing. And by the end of it, they will always say, "I feel like I know you so well." A guy stepping into the middle of a girl conversation is always awkward. You sit down at a table with a few girls you know, and you ask if you could move your friend's purse so you can have a place to eat. And suddenly someone says, "Oh, that's a great bag, where'd you get that?" And then everyone is talking about Prada and Kate Spade and Fendi. And it's all your fault.Like this column? Then buy the book!