How to Overcome Extreme Approach Anxiety

What Fight Club can teach you about approach anxiety

Do you suf­fer from extreme approach anx­i­ety? You know, you see a beau­ti­ful girl who you’d love to meet, but instead of approach­ing her you chicken out and make excuses like:

  • The tim­ing isn’t right
  • What will peo­ple think?
  • I’m prob­a­bly not her type
  • She prob­a­bly has a boyfriend

If this sounds famil­iar, don’t worry you’re not alone. Almost every man in the world has two fears: a fear of judge­ment and a fear of death. Our fear of judge­ment is the source of approach anx­i­ety. For some men the mere thought of approach­ing a beau­ti­ful woman is enough to get their heart rate up and fill them with dread.

This fight-or-flight response was very help­ful for humans back in the day when we wanted to avoid being eaten by hun­gry preda­tors, but in mod­ern life it can get in the way of us hav­ing ful­fill­ing rela­tion­ships with beau­ti­ful women. In this post I’ll share a few tech­niques for deal­ing with extreme approach anx­i­ety from the insight­ful and enter­tain­ing book, Day Bang by RooshV.

Approach Anx­i­ety is Help­ful in Small Doses

A quick dis­claimer before we dive in. Don’t expect to over­come your approach anx­i­ety com­pletely. Your goal should be to reduce high anx­i­ety to low or medium anx­i­ety. You want to get to point where you’re slightly ner­vous to approach, but not afraid of women

High anx­i­ety reduces per­for­mance, how­ever a small amount of ner­vous energy is help­ful. It can moti­vate you into tak­ing pos­i­tive action and it’ll keep you on your toes mak­ing what you’re doing a con­scious and thought­ful process.

Any goal worth striv­ing for must stir your emo­tions a little. The fact is that you should be slightly ner­vous when approach­ing a beau­ti­ful girl. That’s how you can tell if it’s worth approach­ing or not. If you feel a bit of ten­sion in your chest from an increased heart rate, then it’s time to push excuses aside and make the approach.

Attract beau­ti­ful girls with­out act­ing fake,
fol­low­ing a com­pli­cated sys­tem, or being creepy!
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Over­come Approach Anx­i­ety With a “Rejec­tion Mindset”

Approach­ing beau­ti­ful women is intim­i­dat­ing and your fears are per­fectly nor­mal. Most men wouldn’t dream of cold approach­ing while sober. The good news is that you have an adapt­able brain that can be trained to deal with approach anxiety. 

Coun­ter­in­tu­itive as it sounds, adopt­ing a “rejec­tion mind­set” can be help­ful to reduce extreme approach anx­i­ety to medium or low anx­i­ety. A rejec­tion mind­set is where you imag­ine the absolute worst-case sce­nario, accept it in your mind and then pluck the courage to make the approach anyway.

Do this often enough and you’ll soon dis­cover that approach­ing women is nowhere near as bad as you imag­ined. With each approach you’ll gain more expe­ri­ence and con­ver­sa­tional prac­tice, and you’ll soon start feel­ing less anx­ious and enjoy more suc­cess with women.

Here’s an exam­ple of a rejec­tion movie you might play in your head before approach­ing a beau­ti­ful girl in a crowded cof­fee shop…

Imag­ine This Worst-Case Scenario:

You pluck up the courage to walk up to a nearby table and strike up con­ver­sa­tion with an attrac­tive girl. Your words are fol­lowed by a long silence. Then she points at you in dis­be­lief and bursts into con­de­scend­ing laughter.

You’ve been bla­tantly rejected!

Worse than that, every­body seated at nearby tables starts star­ing at you. Peo­ple start whis­per­ing to each other and point over to you. A few girls start gig­gling to each other about your fail­ure. One guy is laugh­ing so hard that he has to wipe tears from his eyes.

Your heart is pound­ing. Your knees are weak. Your palms are sweaty and you feel beads of sweat ooz­ing from your fore­head. Your mind goes com­pletely blank and you stand there com­pletely lost for words. You can feel the blood rush­ing into your cheeks.

You’re absolutely humiliated!

One heart­less teenager pulls out his phone and starts film­ing you as you stand there in front of her stut­ter­ing and fid­get­ing, hope­lessly try­ing to sal­vage the sit­u­a­tion. In a few min­utes his video clip will go viral on YouTube with the head­line: “Loser Gets Rejected Try­ing to Pick Up Hot Babe at Cof­fee Shop.”

Mean­while she’ll update her gazil­lion Face­book friends and Twit­ter fol­low­ers about what a loser you are. Then she’ll call up her clos­est friends to gos­sip in excru­ci­at­ing detail about your creepy pick up attempt, and how she shot you down.

You have no pride left to sal­vage, so you turn and hurry towards the door. In your haste you bump into some­one and you hear a tray crash to the floor behind you. As you rush out the door, you can feel a full room­ful of eyes glued to the back of your head as the gasps and laugh­ter fade behind you.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”

You swear repeat­edly and you feel like bury­ing your head in the ground with shame. You vow never, ever to set foot in that cof­fee shop again and even con­tem­plate mov­ing to dif­fer­ent city, where nobody knows you. 

Con­vinced that you’re des­tined to a celi­bate life of lone­li­ness, you tell your­self that all women are stuck-up bitches and that sex is over­rated anyway.

I know it’s not the kind of movie in which you want to play the star­ring role, but here’s the thing…

By play­ing this worst-case sce­nario movie in your head and mak­ing the approach any­way, you’ll soon real­ize that the worst never hap­pens. Not even close, trust me on this. The most likely out­come is that a girl politely ends a con­ver­sa­tion with you.

Let me repeat that: in most of your approaches, a girl will nicely end the chat by con­tin­u­ing to do what she was doing before you started talk­ing to her. Pretty bru­tal, huh? Even if things don’t go smoothly and your ego takes a nuclear hit, you’d be no closer to dying than you were a few min­utes ago. In fact in a mat­ter of days you’ll pretty much for­get what hap­pened and life will go on.

Attract beau­ti­ful girls with­out phony rou­tines,
cheesy pick up lines or hav­ing to fake it!
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How Does This Relate to Fight Club? 

Think about that scene in Fight Club where mem­bers are chal­lenged to go out and pick a fight with some­one. If you remem­ber get­ting into a fight turns out to be much harder than one might expect because most peo­ple don’t want to make a unnec­es­sary scene.  

Rejec­tion is sim­i­lar. No man can be every­thing to every woman. So, sure you’ll get rejected, but it’ll never be as bad as you think and each rejec­tion will put you closer to suc­cess. Closer to find­ing that beau­ti­ful girl who likes your vibe. The law of aver­ages says so, and it’s a law because it’s the truth.

Assign­ment to Desen­si­tize Your­self to Rejection

The faster you get rejected the bet­ter. Com­mit right now to mak­ing at least 30 approaches within the next 30 days. The more approaches you make on a sin­gle day, the faster your skills will develop, the quicker you’ll get over your approach anx­i­ety, and the sooner you’ll be shar­ing a bed with a beau­ti­ful woman.

After a few dozen approaches you’ll start to feel more com­fort­able talk­ing to women. Sure you’ll be ner­vous at times, but you’ll no longer be afraid. When you get to this point, you’ll want to move from visu­al­iz­ing fail­ure to visu­al­iz­ing suc­cess, but not before. You risk being demo­ti­vated if you visu­al­ize suc­cess too early when you’re still feel­ing over­whelmed by approach anxiety.

Don’t try to short­cut the learn­ing process by skip­ping the worst-case rejec­tion movie because it will help desen­si­tize you to approaches. Keep adapt­ing the movie to the envi­ron­ment you’re in, run it through your head, take a deep breath and make the approach. High anx­i­ety must be addressed before you can con­cern your­self with get­ting laid.

It’s Eas­ier Said Than Done

Now don’t get me wrong here. I know all too well that it’s much eas­ier said than done, but you sim­ply have to put your­self out there and be pre­pared to fail in order to achieve suc­cess. There is no way around it. And just because an attrac­tive girl doesn’t want to sleep with you, it doesn’t mean your value is low.

In the grand scheme of things one approach is noth­ing but a grain of sand on a large beach, so don’t give it more impor­tance than it deserves. It’s just a chat with a ran­dom girl who most likely isn’t even your type. So play your movie, take a deep breathe and approach!

Peo­ple do it every­day, they talk to them­selves… they see them­selves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to just run with it.  - Tyler Durden

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About Tyler Duncan

I'm not naturally good with women. Most of what I know I learned the hard way. I know how it feels to be too shy to approach, to get stuck in the "Friend Zone" and have girls flake on me. Check out this embarrassing post about How I Got My First Slap →

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