A Complete Guide to Approach Anxiety

approach anxiety

I promised I would write about approach anxiety one of these days. So, we’ve finally arrived at that point. This term is rooted squarely in the rise of the seduction and “advice for meeting girls” community; but may have existed before then in the world of cold-sales.

In a similar, but less severe fashion, people who try to sell things sometimes experience bouts of anxiety as they attempt to make contact with a complete stranger and convince him or her to buy something.

A lot of guys struggle with this issue as they attempt to meet women. And it’s no surprise, given that many guys do come across as salesmen.

It’s so prevalent that there are products and coaches specifically designed to help men with approach anxiety.

If you don’t think that this type of anxiety is almost hard-wired into us; the very act of going to a bar and having drinks is a past-time of singles specifically because alcohol, music and partying reduces social anxiety.

The challenging part of social anxiety is that when you approach a stranger in public, such as a woman you don’t know, you’re not only dealing with your own anxieties, but hers as well. If not carefully handled, the whole situation can become awkward for everybody involved.

I think what everybody wants is the power to cut through mutual social phobias and just connect with someone. There are certain masters who I’ve met (and worked with) who seem to accomplish such feats effortlessly.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Approach Anxiety is Largely Performance Anxiety

The problem most guys have is that they stake too much on their approach. They’re rehearsing what to say and the delivery of a “perfect” opener. For this reason, the stakes become massive. Not only do you have to appear cool and suave, but for many guys their masculine skills are being put to the test and they risk shame and embarrassment, not just by the woman–but also by his peers.

That’s a LOT of stress to deal with.

This is why guys go up to girls with fear etched on their faces. And it’s that fear that actually alarms a girl and makes her want to get away from you.

So, clearly the default way most guys approach is actually quite flawed.

Approach With No Desire For an Outcome

What you can try instead is to get into a habit of approaching a LOT of people, all of the time, until the act of approaching a stranger becomes as regular as brushing your teeth. And when I say “approach”, I refer to low-pressure interactions, like saying “Hi” to the grandma shopping for canned goods at Albertsons.

Obviously, you don’t “want” things out of the regular people you approach. By contrast, when most guys open an attractive girl, they have an entire laundry list of things they want. Affection, approval, acceptance, romance, a date, sex.

Those who are really, really good at this have more or less detached from any desire to get those things. And this is why they don’t experience fear, anxiety, and paranoia.

They talk to so many people that saying “hi” to a girl at the checkout line, who also happens to be really attractive, is no big deal.

My advice is to make it into a habit to just be very, very social–talk to as many people as you can, whether at work, on the way to work, or while you’re shopping.

Enjoy Flirting

All throughout the subject of mastering communication with women, there are Taoist principles (from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu) that arise again, and again. Namely, the ability to have no attachment to an outcome, and yet to make a path for the outcome that you do not care about.

While approaching a lot of women is great, it may not get you a date. The true masters are extremely social, and place no outcome dependence on who they talk to, but they are also quick to express their non-verbal interest if the woman is attractive to them.

This is done through flirting: which is the expression of sexual subcommunication. You could be talking about the weather and still create a sexually charged subtext.

The more confident a man is as he expresses this interest, the more easily the woman can feel relaxed about it, and go along with it (and express her interest back to you).

Women are BEGGING For the feeling of meeting a mysterious stranger and suddenly having magical, sexual chemistry. They are just unwilling to surrender this feeling to any man who feels the slightest bit unsure (non-congruent) about his behavior.

But It Has to be Natural

So how does one combine all of this into a formula that actually works?

My theory is that the litmus test of a successful approach are your own feelings.

If you feel anxiety and fear, and the stakes are very high to you, I understand some people say to “push through it”. But, I disagree.

These negative feelings are an indication that you are coming from the wrong internal, emotional place and there’s a 99% chance the approach will seem awkward, stilted, or creepy. And, will fail.

In this case, go talk to more old ladies, neighbors, and office building custodians until talking to people seems so completely normal and unobtrusive that there is NO extra value placed on the person you are interacting with (whether a beautiful woman or an old man).

Once you can brightly say “Hi! It’s a nice day out, huh?” to a gorgeous girl who’s leaving Starbucks with you, and you don’t feel the slightest bit uncertain about it, then she has the highest chance of responding to you with equal comfort and enthusiasm.

That’s because you’re not pursuing her and trying to “get” anything out of her. You’re just in a pure, flow-state.

Now, if your feelings are aligned with curiosity, enthusiasm, and yes — a bit of sexual interest — and without any semblance of uncertainty, then you will become that “God among men” that other guys call at odd hours for help and advice.

Try it and let me know what happens!

Speak Your Mind