How to treat a woman wearing headphones like she’s not human

So apparently today the Prime Minister conveniently found some evidence of terrorist activity in New Zealand to justify the law change he’s about to force through to reduce our freedoms even further and also make the terrorist breeding-grounds of the world even more likely to target us because of the creepy little-brother thing we have going on with the USA where we unquestioningly follow them into every ridiculous conflict they interfere with, so today instead of getting any more depressed about civil liberties, we’re going to have a laugh.

Dan Bacon is a self-styled “dating and relationship expert”. I’m not going to link to him. You can look him up if you like.

Via @drewmck I found myself reading Dan Bacon’s advice on “How to talk to a woman who is wearing headphones”. Like most “pick-up artist” advice, it’s both hilarious and creepy. Let’s read the highlights together, shall we?

These days, many women walk around playing with a smartphone or tablet device and are often wearing headphones and listening to music at the same time. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them. A woman wearing headphones is still open to being approached and as long as you approach her with confidence and the right attitude, she will happily take off her headphones to begin an interaction with you.

Apparently Dan Bacon has a different definition of “happily” from most people. A woman wearing headphones will happily listen to her music or podcast, happily go about her business without the sound of traffic or other irritations, happily ignore everyone who tries to invade her bubble, and happily take off her headphones when she is good and ready to do so. That’s the sum total of things that a woman wearing headphones will do happily. Did you see “remove her headphones to give her full attention to a man trying to hit on her” on that list? No, nor did I.

When it comes to the topic of how to talk to a woman who is wearing headphones, one thing you need to be clear on is this: Just because she has her headphones in, it doesn’t mean she won’t take them out for you. Women follow the masculine direction of men and if you have an easy-going, but commanding presence about you, she will instantly pull the headphones out of her ears and give her attention to you.

Instantly, look you. She will instantly forget about how her headphones are on to help her get in the zone for a big meeting, or learn about the founding of Croatia from The History Channel, or practice her Spanish, or whatever other reason she has for wearing them. None of these reasons will be anywhere near as important in her mind as following your “masculine direction”. She will instantly become a jelly-like pile of feminine compliance, just waiting for your wish or command. Hell, it’s a surprise she didn’t instantly orgasm the moment you approached within a block of her, your presence is so compelling.

If she didn’t already, she’ll almost certainly get to the orgasm stage when you do this:

Is [sic] she hasn’t already looked up at you, simply get her attention with a wave of your hand. Wave your hand in her direct line of vision so she can’t ignore it.

Remember how much you loved it when kids did that to you in primary school? Wasn’t it such a great way to make friends, waving your hand in someone’s face? Just remember how that used to make you feel, and take the memory into this interaction with you.

When she looks at you, smile and point to her headphones and say, “Take off your headphones for a minute” and pretend to be taking headphones off your head, so she fully understands.

Women are very stupid and require a combination of sign language, exaggerated gestures and simply-worded instructions to understand a complex message like this. Never mind that you’re already standing directly in front of her, waving your hand in her face, making eye contact and smiling. I’m sure she would never have figured out that you were trying to get her attention without you going to all this extra effort.

… some girls are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and excitement about what is happening.

Yep, that’s right, that feeling is nervousness and excitement. I suppose you can call it by those words if you like, although you’ll probably find that the more common usage is “outrage and disgust”. And while we’re on usage, you could possibly say she’s “shy”, but most people would go with “not interested in being interrupted”.

Then, do what we call “Acknowledging the Awkwardness” by quickly mentioning something about the awkwardness of the moment, to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isn’t the most common of experiences for either party.

Ah! So you do understand that what you’re doing is unusual and, in fact, downright rude. You understand it, you’re just not interested in acting on that understanding by, for example, leaving the woman alone.

The next thing that happens is a nice little role-play about “what to say when she takes off her headphones”. I hate to spoil the ending for you, but it doesn’t include the words “sorry for making you take off your headphones”.

  • You: [Smile in a friendly, confident manner] :) Hey – I know it’s not normal for people to talk to someone with headphones in, but I was walking along and saw you and thought – wow, she’s a cutie, I have to say hi. I’m Dan, what’s your name?

  • Woman: [Usually flattered by the compliment and impressed by your confidence to approach her like that] Jessica.

Guys, this is just downright misleading. She’s not going to say “Jessica” (even if her name is Jessica). She’s going to say something ranging from “why, what do you want?” to “I have a boyfriend”. If she’s even smoother than that, she’ll roll her eyes and leave without saying anything at all. Women do not want to be picked up in this manner.

Dan obviously doesn’t realise this, so let’s see what his next conversational move is.

  • You: [Add in some humor] Cool…nice to meet you Jessica. I don’t normally talk to girls with headphones, but your big green headphones were just calling out to me.

  • Woman: [Most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction].

Oh, no. Seriously? That’s supposed to get her onside? At this stage, any thought she may have had that you were stopping her to ask directions to Government House has evaporated. You clearly aren’t collecting for UNICEF or asking for a hand to change a tyre. You aren’t even asking her where she bought her big green headphones. All you’ve done with this line is establish that you have interrupted her for no valid reason. Any laughter that may occur at this point is a nervous, desperate giggle as she searches for an escape route. If a bus happens to pull up right now, she’s on it, even if she’s out of change and the bus is going to Wainuiomata.

  • You: [Let her know that you have something to do/somewhere to go, so she understands that you’re not going to stand there talking to her for 30 minutes] Anyway, so I’m just out doing a bit of shopping at the moment. I’m on my way to a store up the street. How’s your day going so far?

This actually isn’t too dumb a strategy. Let her know that your interruption isn’t going to disrupt her day too much. You know what would have been a better way to do that? Not interrupting her in the first place.

Then keep the conversation going, get her phone number or transition to her joining you for a coffee or juice. Or, if the vibe between you is great and she seems like she has free time, sit down with her and have a chat for a while before getting her phone number and leaving.

If she seems like she has free time? Seems? Why not ask her? At what point in this interaction does she become a human being with feelings, needs and responsibilities that are actually interesting to you?

Dan is nearly done with the good advice, so now he gives us a little recap:

When a guy approaches a woman in a confident and self-assured way and asks her to take off her headphones because he has something to say to her, she usually will. He then needs to make sure that the next thing that he says to her is engaging because if it isn’t, she will usually put her headphones back on and gesture for him to leave her alone.

Because the crack about the big green headphones was totally engaging. As for the “how’s your day going so far?”, wow, the eloquence nearly felled me on the spot. Seriously, why not at least make up a reasonable excuse for the interruption?

Here, again, Dan demonstrates his basic lack of understanding that women are human. She is not going to put her headphones back on immediately if he fails to engage her, because she’s not playing the same damn game he is. To her, this isn’t a pick-up game where she gets to penalise the guy for making a wrong move. All she knows is that she was walking down the street when this guy stepped in front of her. She’s already been interrupted. Unless she’s experienced this clumsy approach before, she’s going to wait a bit and see if the guy actually has a reason for wanting to talk to her. That’s because she’s a polite, considerate person who’s aware that other people have failings. Maybe he actually does want help with changing a tyre, but he’s embarrassed to admit it and is taking some time to get to the point. Or maybe he used to go out with her sister and he’s joking around a bit to see if she recognises him. Maybe lots of things. Regardless, she’s not going to put the headphones on and abandon him immediately after he’s successfully interrupted her – there might still be something in this to justify the interruption.

That something is not an awkward attempt at flirting, by the way. She’s not sticking around to be picked up. She’s sticking around to give you a chance to prove you weren’t picking her up.

The article wraps up with a list of “common mistakes guys make when approaching women who are wearing headphones”. According to Dan, if you make any of these mistakes, she will automatically put the headphones back on and go away, because she’s an automaton that requires you to press the right buttons or she won’t be able to detect your presence.

Approaching in a nervous manner: The #1 thing a woman wants to experience when she first begins interacting with you is your confidence. If you force her to experience your nervousness, anxiety and feeling of intimidation, she won’t be able to feel much or any attraction for you. Why? Women are attracted to the strength in men (e.g. confidence, masculinity) and turned off by the weakness (e.g. nervousness, anxiety).

Better hope she’s not a Domme. Or a human being who finds it reassuring when other human beings show their vulnerability.

Allowing her to ignore him: Headphones are a great barrier between a person and the rest of the world. This being said, if a guy wants to get a woman’s attention he needs to show confidence by being determined to get her to stop listening to the music and chat to him to him. If a guy has a weak vibe or presence about him, a woman usually won’t give in to his request for her to remove the headphones. Women love to test guys to see how confident they really are…

Those conniving strumpets! Always testing guys and finding ways to entrap them! Gadzooks, if they get any smarter they’ll start using headphones as a way of blocking out unwanted attention from men!

Allowing her to take control of the interaction: No matter how confident or challenging a woman might behave, she still dreams of meeting a guy who is more confident than her.

I would not recommend using this technique on a female partner in a law firm. Trying to out-confident her will leave you at risk of a brain aneurysm.

Sticking to polite or reserved conversation: A guy who is trying to talk to a woman wearing headphones has to make his presence felt twice as quickly as a guy talking to a woman anywhere else.

Because when you’re being an interrupting jerk, talking twice as fast really helps the situation.

Not including any flirting: Flirting is the human way of communicating sexual interest between a man and a woman. It is a way of saying to the other person, “I’m interested in you in a sexual way and I’d like to take this further,” without having to use words. Flirting is a good way to establish attraction and to make your intentions known.

Thanks for that, Dan. I can see how you got to be such a big-shot relationship expert, with blistering insights like that.

The article ends with plugs for a few of Dan’s products: The Ultimate Guide To Conversation, 72 Conversation Starters, and further down the page, 21 Great Ways To Get A Girlfriend. Despite being ebooks or audiobooks, these are drawn as if they were packaged up in ridiculously large cardboard boxes, like how we used to buy software back in the 90s.


Before scrolling out of Dan’s life forever, we notice that these guides can help us start conversations with both “women and people”. It’s always good to have a final reminder of how someone feels about you before you take your leave. Not a person, but a woman. Thank you Dan Bacon.

In case any men reading this are genuinely confused, here’s some real advice from a real live woman on how to pick up women.

  • Act like a human being.
  • Treat her like a human being.
  • If you have shared interests and values, a relationship will eventuate.
  • If you don’t, try treating some other women like human beings. You’d be amazed what can happen.