Dealing with Approach Anxiety

Approach anxiety is undoubtedly the main problem for most guys when it comes to being able to talk to girls. If you can resolve that, the rest will simply and eventually fall into place. If you’re trying to “cure” and rid yourself of AA, my guess is that it’s going to be a constant and frustrating battle. We as social beings will always be concerned of what others think of us, regardless of how many times you hear “Don’t worry what people think of you” or how many times you say “I don’t give a shit what people think of me”, and thus approaching/hitting on a stranger and putting your balls on the line will always carry with it some degree of apprehension.

The best way to “fix” approach anxiety is to change your beliefs about it. Here are some thoughts:

It’s not ever completely going away, and the sooner you accept it, the better

I would have approached well over 5000 women in my time, and I STILL feel approach anxiety. BUT, I have simply taught myself to work WITH it. Personally I don’t believe people when they say they never feel AA, nor do I believe pickup marketers who offer fixes. I often see guys getting down on themselves because they feel their AA as some sort of disease which they cannot cure themselves of (which of course breeds more negativity and more anxiety). When you start to accept AA as completely normal, and something that arises not because of your own disability but just something that human beings in general feel in that specific situation, you start to feel a lot calmer and self-accepting. That’s when you feel more strength to work THROUGH it, rather than against it – “OK, I feel anxious, it’s natural, what am I going to do now?” is much better more helpful than “Why am I feeling this, what is wrong with me?”

 

And nor would you want to rid yourself of it. I have actually met a couple of guys who did feel/show zero emotion or fear when approaching. Unfortunately, they also felt nothing when talking to women and rarely connected with them. AA is actually a GOOD thing. If you take away AA, you also take out the raw emotion that charges and electrifies the situation.

Reframe approaching

When you feel strong approach anxiety, I think that you’re focus is misplaced. It’s likely on her, her thoughts of you, the outcome, and the subsequent questioning of your own worth/value … rather than where they should be which is on yourself, your own growth and the ALL of the benefits of an approach. The reframe that took my AA from a pain in the arse to completely tolerable was the idea that each time you do something that you’re afraid of, you become a little stronger, you expand that comfort zone a little more, you learn a bit more to manage the fear that stops you doing ANYTHING, not just approaching girls. So essentially, by approaching that girl in the supermarket or by the bar, yes it’s a pickup attempt, but it’s also a little act which will make you a better public speaker, make you more confident at work, make you more capable of standing up to people, make you more comfortable in your skin – just an all-round better, stronger man. Take a guy who is shy and timid, and have him approach a few women a week for a few weeks. This alone will make him stronger socially and within himself, and he will see the effects ripple to other areas of his life.

When you’re learning to deal with your AA, and you see an opportunity, yes see the girl that you’d like to meet, but also see an opportunity to push your personal envelop a little more. It’s is a great goal that you cannot fail at – your mere attempt is the success bar, regardless of what happens next. Picking her up (if it lands) is a bonus. Then comes the next important part of this – making yourself feel great for hitting that goal.

Hammer yourself with good emotion

This one is huge. Force yourself to feel positive for having just taken action. I personally feel that a HUGE factor in a lot of guys approach anxiety is that they have not found reward in THE APPROACH ALONE. So when they’re  out there approaching and meeting women, and most are going nowhere, the mind tends to go “Ok, I’m not enjoying this. It never even works. Why the fuck am I even here?” … So then what happens? His brain starts to associate nothing but negativity to approaching. And THIS is where AA largely comes from. As a human being, you move towards pleasure. We act to either get pleasure, and/or to avoid pain. Everything that you do in life carries with it some form of beneficial feeling to you. So if you’re out doing something that you hate, for what appears to be no reward, you will almost certainly develop a negative complex regarding it – and you certainly won’t improve. As the quote says “The best way to get more of what you want is to appreciate what you already have” If you start finding reward in the approach alone, if you start to make yourself feel good about the meager little “Hello” that you managed to get out of your mouth, if you start to have faith that your attempts alone with eventually turn to successes, THAT’S when you will start to get more results.

MAKE yourself feel good after each approach. Consciously squash the natural feelings of rejection, embarrassment and failure – simply demand your brain to override them with a better logic. If you focus on only one point in this post, make it this one.

Focus on just the opener

I find that with some digging around in their heads, a lot of guys fear not exactly the approach, but the endless possibilities of things that could happen AFTER the approach. I used to find with myself for instance, when I evaluated what I was feeling, it wasn’t really a fear of approaching, it was more often a fear of having to maintain conversation after the approach – “Fuck I’ll have to talk when I approach her. I’ll have to be on it and charming! What if it’s awkward? Could I really be bothered facing that right now?” … When struggling with AA, I get my clients to focus on JUST the opener – that’s it. THAT’S the goal – to approach and say something, anything, and anything after that does not get the mental energy. Deal with it when and if it comes. The possibilities of what could happen after an approach are so varied and so potentially nerve-racking, that it can really hold you back from approaching. Focus on just your opener, and deal with the rest when/if it comes. The irony is – approaches more often than not go much better with this more relaxed mindset. I read a great article once called (something like) Little Acorns Grow to Big Oaks, and the point of it was that very often even the most random and simple comments can grow into great interactions. The guy wrote about having said just “I like your bag” to a girl next to him at the traffic lights, which turned into him dating her.

Don’t overcomplicate your approach by thinking of more than you have to. She might not even look at you when you approach, and then you’ve wasted time and mental energy by trying to cover all of your bases. And for the most part, whatever you plan for, she will do or say something else. So let it go – focus on just your opener, and (important!) you will develop faith in your ability to roll with it as it comes.

Knowing and accepting your numbers in advance

If you accept the general stats, it can help you deal in advance with the concept of “rejection”. I personally feel that during day game for instance, in GENERAL, 50% of girls will have boyfriends (they will still be nice to you, but it won’t close), 25% just won’t be open to being approached, 25% will land well and will be date options (night numbers would be different). So if you approach someone through the day, and it goes nowhere, more than feeling a sense of “rejection”, think of it as more just a part of the numbers game. And this can very often be deceptive. If for example I gave you a barrel in which I’d put 100 black balls and 100 red balls, and the first 4 balls that you pulled out were black, it would be very easy for you to believe that it’s a barrel of black balls, when in fact that’s just not reality. I have some female friends who are beautiful, top notch girls, and because they don’t go out much, they just don’t meet guys, and they are dying to! The red balls ARE out there – you just need to be prepared to go through a few black ones to find them.

Designating time 

If you really want to “fix” AA, the best exercise that I can recommend is designating time to go out, by yourself, and focus on approaching just one girl at a time. Then do this as regularly as you want. I know in the past when I felt that I was starting to lag and wasn’t meeting many women, I would commit to one approach a day for a few weeks. I would stop in the city on my way home from work, put aside 30-60 minutes in which I had NOTHING else to do (thus all the excuses that usually get you out of it like “Oh I need to be here or there” are gone) and you can focus on it. Some days I would be feeling on it and brazenly pull up a girl on the street, other days I would struggle to just mutter out a question. Some days it would be the first girl that I saw, other days it would take me a few attempts. All I knew was that I was committed to myself, and I would not go home until I’d fulfilled that. For my clients now, I get them to do this at least once a week, and to focus on being more direct with women so that they’re not copping out by asking simple and obvious questions which have no intent behind them at all. Balls on the line! I also think doing this alone will felicitate more growth as you will learn to be your own boss, to motivate yourself, you will focus more on your internal thought process, and you will approach for yourself rather than to appease friends or to boost your ego. I think the real test of someone’s game/growth is when they’re out, going about their life, on their own, and then when they see a girl they want to talk to, they can. No pushing, no safety nets, no ego or state boosting. If you’re more a night person, find good guys that you click with to go out with and apply the same principal.

It’s not “rejection”, it’s incompatibility

This is definitely a belief which is both extremely obvious and helpful once it gets in your head. I remember the exact day when this belief realty sunk into me. A few years ago I was with a client who approached an absolute knock out, a bombshell, and she loved him. They chatted for a while and eventually swapped numbers. No more than 10 minutes later, and just to wrap up the day, he approached an (I’m sorry to say) average looking girl standing outside a store. She verbally raped him, telling him to fuck off. Same approach, same guy, same energy, less attractive girl, and it was horrible. Interesting.

Some people we click with, others we don’t. You can see it as rejection or you can see it as just the way it is. It would be the same with meeting guys – some you’d get along with, some you wouldn’t. I think if an approach doesn’t go well, or doesn’t go anywhere, DON’T get down on yourself and think that she rejected you – she is just not on that same wave length as you. On that deep subconscious level, you’re just different. No better or worse, just different. And our primal animalistic senses can tell that very quickly. It’s why “birds of a feather flock together” – your friends are the best indicator of YOU. If you’re a happy go lucky guy for instance, and you approach a world-hating woman in your happy go lucky attitude, of course it ain’t going anywhere! Is this rejection? No. It’s just incompatibility. And unfortunately, how hot a girl is is not an indicator of compatibility. That’s what makes the amazing girls that you do meet so amazing – true deep compatibility is rare. And thus the numbers element of pickup.

Accept the belief that some women are just waiting to be approached

SO much of this has to do with the girl. I find it funny in the pickup world when people talk about some elaborate method working when the truth is, the girl was likely just open to being approached. In fact she was probably wondering why he was being so technical and weird about it when a “Hello” would have sufficed. Girls work or study, most are 9am-5pm, and for the most part, they don’t go out every weekend. This leaves the guys that they work with or that are in their social group, and a lot of the times, that ain’t much. There are some girls out there DYING to have a nice guy talk to them in the supermarket, DYING to have a nice guy with a standout personality come to say hi to her on the one night a month that she goes out. And again, even if to start you meet a couple of women that are in relationships, or who aren’t open to being approached, or who shut you down, does not changed the FACT that some/many are out there waiting for you! So the same girl that you’re standing there shitting yourself about approaching, may very well be sitting at home every night wondering why she never meets anyone.

How you judge others is an indicator as to how you anticipate people will judge you

This is just a theory of mine based on patterns that I’ve seen over the years. The guys that are most judgmental and critical of other people, generally have more concern about how others with perceive them (read: more AA). At least from what I’ve seen. If you’re constantly criticising people for being weird, dumb, socially retarded, unattractive, etc, this is just a reflection of your own insecurity regarding the same topic and I feel will hold you back. As long as you’re dealing with the world like that, on some level you may feel like the world will deal with you like that. And if you’re focusing on the negative aspects of others, it’s only natural that you feel others will focus on yours. Yes everyone judges everyone, I know, but the more you dwell in it, the more it will hold you back, I feel anyway.

Don’t feel that you have to approach everyone

It’s OK to let some go. It’s OK to go “Ooooh hot girl … eeek, awkward situation” There is a difference between AA and looking at a situation and going “Yeah I’m not going in there”. If you look at a situation and think “That would be so awkward to go and talk to her now” – that’s not AA, that’s just you being a normal socially etiquette person. Just be careful with this at the start. Until you can clearly see and feel the difference, your brain will likely use this as its new favourite excuse to not approach anyone. But once you do start to differentiate, your shutdown/time wasted rate will drop significantly.

Enjoy your life

An obvious but often overlooked one. I reckon that a lot of guys are chasing women to fill a void in their lives. I’ve been there for sure! The ironic thing is that often a step back from women, and a focus on enjoying yourself and your life outside of women, makes meeting women 100 times easier. If you’re wandering around approaching women to fill the emptiness inside you, to overcompensate for a lack inside you, or to forget about an lingering emotional issue, of course you will feel more approach anxiety – every approach may be a girl making you feel even worse, and reminding you of the emptiness/loneliness inside you! It’s a long-term solution to AA, but certainly the most effective one in my books – doing more of what you love means being happier, means being in a better mood, means finding it easier to socialise and connect with people.

If your dating life could use a kick-start, or if you want to really ramp up your game, book a session today.

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4 thoughts on “Dealing with Approach Anxiety”

  1. Awesome post. I particularly like the part about reframing and concentrating on the benefits to yourself and your own growth. As soon as I did that I started enjoying approaching a lot more and had significantly more motivation.

    By the way, saw this guy speak last week. He knows his stuff.

  2. Hi, great post. I really enjoyed this section: “It’s not “rejection”, it’s incompatibility”, so true. Sometimes you just need to forget and move on.

  3. Hey Chris! Dynamite. Spot on, and very fundamental to everything we do in life. They should teach these things in school so that people didn’t have to walk around feeling so damn uptight. Good on you, mate!

    Paul

  4. Great article, honest, direct but most importantly it contains the key concept.

    I think a lot of men do not reward themselves for approaching, everytime you hesitate to approach, feel fear or anxiety, it becomes a challenge and everytime you approach you have overcome that challenge. The approach is a victory in itself, despite the outcome if you have pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone you have achieved something.

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