How to be playful

How to be playful

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How to be playfulA reader writes in:

“ Hey man been a LONG time since I’ve emailed you! But I’ve been keeping up with the site and I love both you and Ricardus advice just awesome all around. The one thing that has INFINITELY thrown me off about the site is the sort of serious tone.

You guys understand pickup so well its scary sometimes lol! But one thing I realized yesterday was how important a bit of playfulness and humor is in pickup.

Maybe a post on how to inject playfulness into an interaction, because that is one thing I think that has really helped supercharge my interactions in the past. The ones that I had a playful attitude about were the ones where my success was higher. Whereas when I had this “I’m coming to pick you up” vibe it kind of scared some girls off because they weren’t used to that level of directness but I believe if I had that playful side I could have saved the interaction. ”

He raises a good point.

I’ve actually stayed away from talking about how to be playful on here for a long time because being playful is one of those things most guys who are new to learning about getting girls place way too much focus on and overdo.

If you’ve been through this site, you know there’s a strong emphasis here on actively avoiding trying to get yourself making girls laugh all the time and on showing why fun is overrated for making headway with the women you like.

And all this might lead you to believe you ought to be Mister Serious in all of your interactions with women.

But if THAT’s the impression you’ve got, then we’ve got a little reconditioning to do.

How to be playful

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

George Bernard Shaw

I was 25 and traveling through Ireland by myself. I was in Cong, a rural small town outside of Galway. It was quiet. Very quiet. Even though I had met people on my trip, I was starting to feel lonely.

I was thousands of miles from home. I had nobody around who knew me well or cared for me, and in the days before cell phones or internet cafes, I couldn’t just get in touch with my friends or family at the drop of a hat.

I went on a walk in a local park, along a wide stream that emptied into a small, pristine pond. The weather was grey and gloomy, the park was damp and romantic-looking, with its bending trees and dark water.

On a whim, I sat down by the edge of the pond and began to do something I hadn’t done in probably 15 years: I started to build a fairy village out of sticks, pebbles, and leaves.

As a child I had practically lived in the backyard, building intricate tiny villages, exploring the spaces in between plants and trees, making tree roots into cottages and lumps of mud into hillsides.

It calmed me down and got me away from sometimes troubling thoughts. In Ireland, I found the same thing happened: My loneliness and anxiety vanished, and an hour or so later when I finished, I felt better: lighter, and less worried.

When we lose ourselves in play, whether creating a make-believe world, throwing a ball between friends, frolicking with our dog, or watching silly YouTube videos, we allow ourselves to get out of the linear, problem-solution, adult mindset.

We’re activating a part of our brains that we don’t use much in the grown-up world: the one that doesn’t care about deadlines or mortgages or how much we weigh, the one that doesn’t care how we look to others.

In the land of play, we make connections we wouldn’t normally make. We see things in new ways. Play can boost our creativity, heighten our mood, make us laugh, and can engage us in the world in ways that regular “adult” life often doesn’t.

For some reason, I’ve never grown up enough to stop playing. When I stop noticing the playfulness of the world around me, I know I’m in a bad mood or too stressed, and I often make myself stop and re-engage in the world in a playful way, even if just to watch a funny movie.

Here are some ways you can add more play to your life:

1. Spend time around young children.

You can’t really engage with young kids without entering the world of play with them. Let them show you the way and leave your grownup mind behind!

2. Take a walk or day trip without any plans or route.

To make it extra playful, toss a coin to decide on the direction you’ll start out in. Then just go wherever you are drawn. Let your playfulness lead the way.

3. Do art without thought of success.

Grab a random stack of magazines and make a collage, without worrying about whether it’s “good.” Finger-paint. If you do art or writing, do a piece in the style of an artist or writer that’s completely different from your normal style. Have fun. Don’t worry.

4. Get a couple of different magnetic poetry kits and combine them.

Keep them where you spend a lot of your hours and play with them whenever you get bored or creatively blocked.

5. Invite a few fun friends over for a “play date.”

Get some kids games, art supplies, even pieces of costumes, and just hang out and have fun. Make the goal to be to laugh as much as possible.

6. Play with young, active dogs.

They love to run and jump! If you don’t own one, borrow one from a friend, volunteer to walk the dogs at an animal shelter, or go hang out at a local dog park. Even just watching dogs play can be fun!

7. Keep kids toys at your desk.

Having them around will automatically lighten things up, but playing with them when you’re bored or in a bad mood will help even more.

8. Before you start on your commute to work every day, think of something you’ll look for on your drive.

Maybe they’ll be blue pickup trucks, American flags, or houses with red roofs. Count the number you see by the time you get to work.

9. You know those silly cat YouTube videos you ignore when people send them to you? Watch them.

10. Dance.

Do it alone, do it with friends, do it with strangers, but just dance. Any style, any place. You can’t dance while also being stressed and worried!

How do you make life more playful?

How to be playful

About Melissa Kirk

Melissa Kirk is an editor, writer, and blogger living in the SF bay area and attempting to go with the flow and roll with the punches as much as possible. She writes for Psychology Today and also has a personal blog.

Laughter leads to playfulness, and playfulness equally leads you back to laughter. An easy way to laugh spontaneously more is to play more, because laughter is a natural outcome of playful behaviors. Give yourself permission to play every day!

Here is list of 40 ideas to experience childlike playfulness – the preciousness of fantasy and imagination – as adults. Find the ones that appeal to you and try them! Even if they do not make you laugh upfront, assuming there is resonance they will/should loosen you up and prepare yourself for laughter.

  1. How to be playfulAsk lots of questions with a big smile on your face.
  2. Do a bubbles-blowing competition. The biggest/fastest traveling bubble(s) wins.
  3. Build a fairy-tale sand castle.
  4. Climb trees.
  5. Collect rainbows. If there are none today, draw one!
  6. Commit to engaging in a heart to heart conversation with a least one new person per day for a whole week (longer of course if you can). The goal is to make new friends.
  7. Dance! Lots of free dance videos are here.
  8. Daydream: imagine you are riding a cloud…
  9. Doodle with colored pencils (because you can), draw on and paint an empty apple box you can get for free from your local supermarket, or draw cartoons on toilet paper.
  10. Dress as a clown, just for fun.
  11. Fly a kite.
  12. Get into the habit of doing really nice things for people who will never find out. The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
  13. Get a new pair of sneakers (multicolored ones are best), and then pro-actively tell everybody you meet for a whole day why you like them.
  14. Get really excited about everything, just for fun.
  15. Give gag gifts (buy them here).
  16. Go barefoot. Add lots of “ooooo’s” and “aaaaaa’s” while walking around.
  17. Go on an adventure.
  18. Have a comedy night (Go with friends. If you don’t have any, invite your neighbor).
  19. Have a food fight in gibberish (a made up language that nobody understands).
  20. Have a funny toy throwing contest.
  1. Have a water fight.
  2. Have a theme day, and dress and behave accordingly.
  3. Jump in a mud puddle.
  4. Look at every object you interact with as if you were three years old and seeing it for the first time, wondering how you could play with it.
  5. Make a list of what feeling happy looks like to you, and then endeavor to engage in all of these movements to the best of your abilities (It’s OK to make believe if need be).
  6. Make up new rules and try them out religiously for a whole day.
  7. Mine your past for play memories: What did you do as a child that excited you? Did you engage in those activities alone or with others? Or both? How can you recreate that today?
  8. Play a game! (I post what I like here. Thousands of quality games and creative activities for inside & outside family fun are here. There are also lots of games in the Online Laughter Session Planner).
  9. Put on a puppet show.
  10. Read aloud to your partner trying on different foreign accents.
  11. Sing happy music, karaoke style. 100+ happy and other songs to make you dance, sing and feel good are here. Many thousands more are here.
  12. Sing in the shower (Try different styles.)
  13. Spend time with a baby, play with little ones. Playing with kids helps us experience the magic of play through their perspective.
  14. Talk to your pet.
  15. Tell a fantastic tale with lots of enthusiasm and hand gestures to at least one child of any age every week/month. Yes, you can volunteer and do bed visits at your local retirement community or hospital. There is a fool-proof template to create amazing stories on the fly here.
  16. Try face & finger painting.
  17. Try lip synching. Turn off the sound on your TV and make up the dialogues yourself.
  18. Watch funny movies and/or funny pictures.
  19. Watch the moon and stars come out. Say “aaaaaaa” and “oooooo” a lot.
  20. Wear 2 different color shoes or socks (dare to be different).

Written By: Clay Drinko

How to be playful

How to be playful

Photo by Alex Harvey on Unsplash” >

I still remember stories of my great grandmother waking up every morning to run barefoot in the early morning dew.

When she showed us slideshows of her old photographs, she would sneak in one with a tiny figurine riding a UFO and giggle and giggle when her joke slide came up.

My great grandmother was playful. She was connected to nature and kind to everyone she met. She was filled with a genuine childlike sense of joy.

But not every adult nurtures their playfulness. Many of us lose our playfulness because of socialization and, well, life.

It can be more difficult to be playful when we have to pay bills and keep a family safe and healthy and go to a job every day that we may or may not love.

We are trained early on to think that being an adult means being serious and stable. But learning how to be more playful well into your adult years can have important positive effects on your mental, physical, and social well-being.

Why you should be more playful

There are many reasons you should start figuring out how to be more playful. Some of the most compelling evidence for play is that it speeds up learning, makes us more productive, and increases job satisfaction. It also helps us build relationships and communicate and collaborate better.

Studies have even shown that people who are more playful are also less stressed and possess better coping skills. Playfulness keeps us calmer and keeps us on our A-game.

How to be more playful

But that doesn’t tell us how to be more playful. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch. Playfulness is a tool, something we can practice and improve throughout our lives. Luckily, it’s something we can foster in our own lives, no matter our age.

Here are 3 different ways to become a more playful adult.

1. Find the game

One way to be more playful is to start finding the game. In improv parlance, this just means priming yourself for fun patterns. Be on the lookout for amusing and interesting things you can add onto and enjoy.

Your coworker plays a 90’s dance classic while eating their lunch? That doesn’t have to be annoying. It can be a game. Join in by playing an even better 90’s dance classic. Might I suggest Stars on 54?

Your son starts drumming on the table? You’ve got some choices to make. That could also be super annoying. Or you could join in and find the rhythm.

Just be on the lookout for moments in your day where you can jump in and start a game. It’s like Sliding Doors but with games. You can try to find the game or you can be totally annoyed and grown-uppity.

Also, please do yourself a favor and watch this Sliding Door’s trailer. It is so wrong, it’s right.

2. Gamify your life

You can also learn how to be more playful by gamifying your life. Gamifying is a fairly simple concept. You just make lame things fun by giving them some game-like qualities.

Add a points system, winning and losing, goals, competition, and rewards to even the most mundane tasks, and you’ll be well on your way to a more playful life.

Sure, you have to clean your house. But what if you turned it into a game? Race against the clock. Try to beat your old record. Or try to clean the house while dancing and keep track of your style points.

I even turn paying my mortgage into a game. Instead of just sending that cash every month, I used to use a toy monkey to show how much of our house we actually owned. I measured the perimeter of the house and did all the math to have the monkey be a visual representation of our home equity.

How to be playful

Mortgages don’t have to be lame. Gamify it!

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash” >

Monkey is still next to the front door? We don’t really own this house.

Monkey is all the way to the bedroom? Congratulations! We own 30% of this house.

Monkey makes it back to the front door? We own this place outright. Boom goes the dynamite. And the dynamite goes boom. We’re rich.

If I can turn my mortgage into a game, I’m pretty sure you can gamify some of your less desirable daily activities, too.

3. Rediscover your childlike wonder

Finally, if you want to boost your playfulness, learn from the experts. Learn from children.

Before society crushes our spirit and turns us into boring grown-ups, we are playful and curious and filled with wonder.

Bring some of this back into your life. Slow down. Take some calming breaths and become genuinely curious and excited about the magic that’s happening all around you.

Be like my two-year-old daughter.

See a flower. “Ooooooh. Flower so pretty.”

See a jacket? “I like jacket. Jacket sweet.”

See a rock? “Wow. So beautiful. Mine!”

You get the idea. Ella is genuinely checking out the world all around her, and it’s a good lesson for us all.

Literally stop and smell the roses, and I think you’ll start to reignite your inner child with all the playfulness that comes with them.

Final thoughts on how to be more playful

Life doesn’t have to be lame. Sure, we have responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. It doesn’t mean we can’t continue to play and be playful.

Playfulness is vital for our social, emotional, and physical health.

My great grandmother didn’t have to read scientific studies to be convinced. She just intrinsically knew that playfulness made her feel great. It made life worth living.

And so she played.

I’m not asking you to be foolhardy or perpetually silly. Playfulness means that you find fun in various situations. You look on the bright side and try to see how something could bring joy to your spirit and the spirit of those around you.

Playfulness means you take time to explore your world and add enjoyment to your social interactions whenever you can.

Playfulness means you make things more fun, not less. It’s a matter of perspective.

So, find the game, gamify, and lead with your childlike wonder. Playfulness will help you reconnect, recenter, and reenergize your life.

How to be playful

How to be playful

We humans are meant to play – for so many reasons. Playfulness has been associated with academic success, a greater capacity to cope with stress, innovative performance at work, and well-being – and that’s all backed by research. (Don’t you love it when science backs up what we already kind of know!) The problem is that too often we forget how to be playful.

Recent research has added to the list of playful positives, finding that playfulness is one of the ‘must-haves’ that men and women look for when it comes to looking for a long term partner. Friendliness, intelligence and a sense of humour are also up there.

When it comes to long term relationships, those who are laid-back, creative and easy to have fun with are more likely to set our hearts racing – or beating – or whatever it is that excited hearts do best.

Anthropologist Garry Chick, from Pennsylvania State University has explained playfulness in an evolutionary context. He suggests that for women, it represents low aggression and means that a potential mate would be less likely to hurt their offspring. For men, playfulness in a woman may signal her vitality and fertility. (No mention of what happens to that loved up feeling when one wipes the floor with the other at a ‘playful’ game of Scrabble – or whatever.)

Research from Zurich University found that out of a list of 16 characteristics that people tend to look for in a potential mate, women and men largely agreed on the order of importance. There were a few differences though. Women rated sense of humor higher than men did. For men, an exciting personality was more important.

For both men and women, playfulness was more important than the partner having a degree, being religious, or having good genes.

The good news is that anyone can learn to be more playful. The potential for fun is in all of us. Sometimes it might be gasping for breath beneath a pile of washing, work, stress or exhaustion – but it’s there.

So how do we get playful? Here are a few ideas:

  1. If you have a challenge on your hands, try to come at it a bit light-hearted.
  2. Try a bit of friendly, low-stakes competition.
  3. Flirt – or do anything that builds anticipation for a special day, a special night, a special surprise.
  4. Play a board game.
  5. Play a team sport.
  6. You know the things you did when you were younger to have fun? Yeah. Do them. That might be kicking a ball, painting, flying a kite, throwing on a pair of roller skates (although remember your body is a bit different to the one you were happy to bum-plant when you were 5), water fights – anything.
  7. Dance like no-one is wat- … you know how it goes.
  8. Ditto for singing.
  9. Cooking (for the fun of it, not because it’s 6pm and there are hungry mouths to feed).

Part of growing up well means not growing up completely. It means finding time to enjoy some things for the sake of having fun. Nothing that nurtures us, nourishes us, makes us laugh, lighten or connect will ever be a waste of our time. Rather, it’s quite possible one of the best uses of it.

6 Comments

Through play, we grow… Through play, is the best way we genuinely integrate and learn positively. Play is just the most pleasant and natural way of doing, being and evolving… How do we ever come to forget? Don’t we go backwards when we don’t play anymore? Don’t we go away from our essence… our divine essence?

I love these tips, thank you. I am absolutely rubbish at playing with my children – I find it so hard to let go of the rational and give in to imagination (No, that’s a dinosaur, it can’t go in the farm!!). But dancing…. now that’s something I am great at committing to 100%!

Go you!! Dance it up. And if your kids are in the room when you’re dancing they’ll love it – all counts as playing!

Play is the best self help! People that play seldom need therapy.
Play can accompany work, sadness, and many other challenging situations. It can be the remedy for those.
I agree with dancing! And singing….herr in the car with windows closed as I drive ..and nobody can hear ?

Hi Patricia. Play is amazing – we just have to remind ourselves how important it is sometimes. I know what you mean by singing in the car with the windows up – such great therapy isn’t it!

Laughter leads to playfulness, and playfulness equally leads you back to laughter. An easy way to laugh spontaneously more is to play more, because laughter is a natural outcome of playful behaviors. Give yourself permission to play every day!

Here is list of 40 ideas to experience childlike playfulness – the preciousness of fantasy and imagination – as adults. Find the ones that appeal to you and try them! Even if they do not make you laugh upfront, assuming there is resonance they will/should loosen you up and prepare yourself for laughter.

  1. How to be playfulAsk lots of questions with a big smile on your face.
  2. Do a bubbles-blowing competition. The biggest/fastest traveling bubble(s) wins.
  3. Build a fairy-tale sand castle.
  4. Climb trees.
  5. Collect rainbows. If there are none today, draw one!
  6. Commit to engaging in a heart to heart conversation with a least one new person per day for a whole week (longer of course if you can). The goal is to make new friends.
  7. Dance! Lots of free dance videos are here.
  8. Daydream: imagine you are riding a cloud…
  9. Doodle with colored pencils (because you can), draw on and paint an empty apple box you can get for free from your local supermarket, or draw cartoons on toilet paper.
  10. Dress as a clown, just for fun.
  11. Fly a kite.
  12. Get into the habit of doing really nice things for people who will never find out. The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
  13. Get a new pair of sneakers (multicolored ones are best), and then pro-actively tell everybody you meet for a whole day why you like them.
  14. Get really excited about everything, just for fun.
  15. Give gag gifts (buy them here).
  16. Go barefoot. Add lots of “ooooo’s” and “aaaaaa’s” while walking around.
  17. Go on an adventure.
  18. Have a comedy night (Go with friends. If you don’t have any, invite your neighbor).
  19. Have a food fight in gibberish (a made up language that nobody understands).
  20. Have a funny toy throwing contest.
  1. Have a water fight.
  2. Have a theme day, and dress and behave accordingly.
  3. Jump in a mud puddle.
  4. Look at every object you interact with as if you were three years old and seeing it for the first time, wondering how you could play with it.
  5. Make a list of what feeling happy looks like to you, and then endeavor to engage in all of these movements to the best of your abilities (It’s OK to make believe if need be).
  6. Make up new rules and try them out religiously for a whole day.
  7. Mine your past for play memories: What did you do as a child that excited you? Did you engage in those activities alone or with others? Or both? How can you recreate that today?
  8. Play a game! (I post what I like here. Thousands of quality games and creative activities for inside & outside family fun are here. There are also lots of games in the Online Laughter Session Planner).
  9. Put on a puppet show.
  10. Read aloud to your partner trying on different foreign accents.
  11. Sing happy music, karaoke style. 100+ happy and other songs to make you dance, sing and feel good are here. Many thousands more are here.
  12. Sing in the shower (Try different styles.)
  13. Spend time with a baby, play with little ones. Playing with kids helps us experience the magic of play through their perspective.
  14. Talk to your pet.
  15. Tell a fantastic tale with lots of enthusiasm and hand gestures to at least one child of any age every week/month. Yes, you can volunteer and do bed visits at your local retirement community or hospital. There is a fool-proof template to create amazing stories on the fly here.
  16. Try face & finger painting.
  17. Try lip synching. Turn off the sound on your TV and make up the dialogues yourself.
  18. Watch funny movies and/or funny pictures.
  19. Watch the moon and stars come out. Say “aaaaaaa” and “oooooo” a lot.
  20. Wear 2 different color shoes or socks (dare to be different).

How to be playful

ART: WILLY POGANY

In honor of my love for Christian Carter’s work I am posting more of his blog article entitled “4 Things A Man Wants in a Woman” see #1 below 🙂

For one-on-one Relationship Coaching, contact me- [email protected]

I will respond within 24-48 hrs

#1) A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is Playful

There’s something that drives men wild and invites them into a deeper level of “connection” and bonding with a woman faster than plain old talk about feelings and experiences.

And that something is PLAY.

See. men love to be active and to play.

Men were raised to express themselves and connect with those around them through ACTION. Unfortunately, too many women seem to forget this and want to TALK TALK TALK their way into a man’s heart.

The strange reality is that as you’re getting to know a man. MORE TALK will often get you LESS RESPONSE from a man on an emotional level.

Sure, talking is great to get the facts, and for you to share some things such as your VALUES, and what you do or don’t want in a relationship. But the fact is that men don’t “feel it” for you because of what you SAY. (Just like you don’t meet a man and feel it for him because he has a great “pick-up line”!)

It’s not the words. it’s the experience.

And for men, the easiest and most straightforward way for a man to engage in his emotions with you is by DOING THINGS with him that DON’T require talking, but allow you to be PLAYFUL with him.

“Doing things” is pretty vague. so I’ll give you two examples of PLAYFUL activities you can do with a man that are sure to dial up the emotional intensity, and have him grow more ATTACHED to you:

1. Sports: Not all men love sports or are great at them, and you might not like them either, but that’s not the point here. The point here is to play a sport with a man because it involves aspects of a “game”. You against him competing.

Any sport will do. Ping pong is an easy favorite because no one is really “good”. and you can have all kinds of playful banter hitting the ball back and forth.

Pool is another good one since it’s easy to find when you’re out together – plus you can tease him by placing your gorgeous self in front of where he’s aiming and distract him so he misses his shot. Then, when you’re shooting, ask him to come over and help you so he puts his arms around you. Nice! What man wouldn’t love that invitation? Then if you miss, blame it on him in a fun, sarcastic way.

Bottom line, if a man is being active and engaging in a playful game with you while there is also some kind of TOUCHING involved. it’s a magic combination that’s sure to raise the ATTRACTION level up several notches.

2. Teasing: For men, teasing is a universal way of bonding and communicating that is like an unspoken language that all men speak.

Every man I know at one time or another has told me a story about at least one exciting and attractive woman they once met. Almost all of these stories involve one common theme – the women they were with started TEASING them.

Teasing is easier than you might think. The one catch is to do it all with a sense of humor and fun. and don’t get too serious.

The best way to tease a man playfully is to be SARCASTIC with him. If he asks “Do you have the time?” and you have a watch on.

Look at him straight in the eyes and say “Yes,” smile, and then turn away from him without telling him the time and stop paying attention to him. He’ll realize that you’re being funny and see that he only asked you is you KNEW the time, not to tell him. Then he’ll either ask you directly what the time is, or he’ll start immediately being playful back at you. And away you go, playing together.

This kind of thing is subtle, but builds a growing level of ATTRACTION inside a man for you.

Again, the WORDS you’re saying don’t matter. What’s important is that you’re intentionally either misleading him with your words to mess with him, or you’re playfully making fun of him.

Some women feel uncomfortable with teasing or making fun of a man. But for men, it’s again another way they connect socially. The funny part is, the more you can tease a man and have him laughing and wanting you to be serious for a minute. the more he’s going to be wanting to get close to you and know you better. It’s funny how men and human nature work.

How to be playful

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How to be playfulSomething that can be a great deal of fun to deploy when talking with some new girl is playful banter. You can quickly find yourself in a riveting, electrifying back and forth that leaves both you and her smiling and excited with this fresh new person you’ve each just met.

However, if you haven’t spent as much developing your technique, playful banter can, instead of being a lot of fun, end up being downright headache-inducing. Pop the aspirin and break out the Alka-Seltzer — you’ll need it (or maybe she will).

And even if you have put time into building good wit, there’s a good chance — particularly if you’re newer or even intermediate — that you haven’t learned the timing of using that wit and banter in a conversation with a new woman yet — and that you may very well go over the top, or go for too long, straying into the land of the socially awkward or even calling up out-and-out auto-rejection via over-gaming, thereby costing yourself a girl who otherwise might’ve been yours.

For that reason, figuring out the rules of bantering properly ends up being quite important for your early game — you’re not always going to deploy your wit in full force with every young woman you meet, but you will with enough of them that having it honed more or less to a razor’s edge can end up making the difference between making it to the mid-game with that new pretty girl you like, or having to bow out early.

Thus, this quick and dirty guide on getting down some of the basics of bantering playfully with women.