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This shy guy wants to know how to talk to women

Steve and Mia offer advice on how to break the ice.

Q: I'M A SINGLE man in his 20s who needs to improve his social skills. I'm not very good at conversation, especially with women. I just freeze up. When it comes to approaching the opposite sex, I get stuck. I'm a decent-looking guy, and I can tell if a girl is interested in me, but I can't approach her. Please give me some helpful tips to become more social, more outgoing.

Steve: The way to break the ice on your shyness is to repeatedly force yourself to make conversation. Don't think you have to be clever or discuss something weighty. Just say what's on your mind. Most folks love to talk about themselves, so once the conversation gets started you can just listen, and respond to what the woman says. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Mia: Steve's right. Everyone's favorite subject is herself. So, get the girl you're interested in to talk about her life. But don't go straight to, "What do you do?" That's a major turnoff. Keep it light and flirty.

If you're at a sports bar, say something about the team that's playing on the TV. Or ask, "Who are you rooting for?" If she brushes you off, try not to take it personally.

Q: My guy hasn't asked me out for New Year's Eve. I tried bringing the subject up weeks ago, but he just mumbled something about being out of town that day. Should I try going through his phone?

Mia: Clearly, you've never peeked inside the Playa's Handbook. Let me school you on a few things:

New Year's Eve is the biggest date night of the year. Guys who juggle multiple women at the same time hate Dec. 31, because it means having to choose. Whichever woman doesn't get a date discovers she's the side chick, and there's all hell to pay.

A lot of guys decide it's easier just to announce ahead of time that they'll be out of town. That way, they can resurface on Jan. 1 and no one's mad. But don't you fall for that. As a friend of mine's mother used to say, "If a man can't be with you on New Year's Eve, then he doesn't deserve to be with you the rest of the year."

Steve: If you want to mess with him, ask where he's going. When he tells you, say, "Oh, please send me a selfie in front of the [famous landmark there]." Then watch him fumble and stumble.