Approach anxiety is real but it is also total bullshit.
You are having beers with your friends in a bar, laughing your asses off and enjoying your time in general.
Then all of a sudden, she walks inside and all of your friends including you go silent immediately. You look at her and on one side praise the Lord for giving the world such a beauty and on the other side, curse the fact that she had to walk into this exact bar at this exact time.
Because you know what that means. You want to go over there and talk to her. You look at your friends and they have the same idea- you can notice that in their eyes. But your hands start to sweat, your breath becomes heavy and start swallowing Jupiter-sized balls of spit down your throat.
It’ here. The Approach Anxiety is here and it prevents you from moving from your chair to talk to the girl and it does the same thing to your friends. It’s paralyzing, petrifying and you absolutely hate it from the bottom of your heart.
I know because I do too. And every single guy in this world has it and hates it as well. But don’t despair because there is a way how to handle approach anxiety. Men have been doing it for years and no, it doesn’t involve getting drunk-faced and then not remembering what you did for half of the night.
I am talking about sober approaching the hottest girls in the club, bar, disco or on the street and it can be done. I’ve been there and done that and if I can learn, so can you.
But before we go into tips & tricks, strategies and tactics, we will need to rewire our way of thinking about approach anxiety. And to do that, we are taking a history lesson in human behavior again.
So relax and prepare to enjoy reading the evolutionary background for approach anxiety, how to think about it and at the end, how to deal it.
Approach anxiety and evolution
So you know from the previous articles that we humans used to live in tribes. And we were living in tribes of around 50-150 people, going hunting together, sharing food, water and shelter.
But our species, Homo Sapiens, is a social animal and that means that we didn’t just share living necessities. We shared out lives with each other and connections and relationships mean a lot of messy things.
So imagine that you are living in a tribe back then and out of those 100 people, you spot a gorgeous girl. You want to approach her and go talk to her (tribal style) and have sex with her. So you approach and it turns out that the girl is actually chief’s girl but you didn’t know that.
The repercussions? The tribal chief and his henchmen either beat you to death or they expel you from the tribe.
If you think that being expelled from the tribe doesn’t sound that bad, think about the what that actually means.
No food, no water, no shelter, no way of defending yourself against wild animals, no help from other people from your tribe and if you meet other people from different tribes, there is an almost 100% chance they would kill you. Suddenly, being beaten to death doesn’t seem that different than being expelled from the tribe. That’s because it isn’t.
So our ancestors used to look at those situations (which definitely happened) and thought for themselves “Wow, I am not doing that ever in my life. One wrong approach and I lose my head.”
And then you have this way of thinking for around 100 000 years and this fear of approaching the girls gets passed along the line. To this day, every single man has approach anxiety because it’s rooted in the evolutionary biology. It was a way for us to survive the harsh reality of the world back then.
But we are no longer living in tribes. And yes, you, me and everyone else knows that. But our brains don’t. Our brains still think that we live in the tribal era because they can’t follow the rapid pace of our technological and civilizational growth.
Even though approach anxiety is very real, on the other hand, it’s total bullshit. And here is what I mean by that.
Approach anxiety and mindset
You live in a safe world today and nobody will expel you from the tribe (or kill you) because you approached a girl. So objectively, there is no reason for us to be afraid of that. This fear is not justified and lives only in our heads.
The way to think about approach anxiety isn’t as an emotion of fear but as an emotion of excitement.
The example is that if someone put a gun to your head, you would probably feel fear. And if you were going up a rollercoaster and were about to go down, you would probably feel the same. But you wouldn’t say that you are afraid, you would express it as excitement.
It’s the same chemicals that we feel, but we interpret them differently.
The way to think about approach anxiety is that it’s a situation where you have a chance to excel, to succeed. You were just given an opportunity, a situation where your skills, delivery and the way you will behave yourself will really matter.
And the best thing is that there are no downsides for this. Becuase if you get rejected, absolutely nothing will happen.
But if you don’t get rejected, you might end up with the best sex of your life or with an awesome girlfriend or even with a person with whom you will spend the rest of your life with.
So now when we know why we have approach anxiety and what kind of mindset we should have about it, it’s time to go into the technical nature of dealing with approach anxiety.
Approach anxiety and how to deal with it
Approach anxiety isn’t something you fix overnight and you will probably have it for the rest of your life. But as we have seen above, we look at it now as a challenge, not as a fearful situation.
There are a couple of ways to deal with approach anxiety and some ways will not work for you, while some will be perfect. So here are the four ways and methods you can use to deal with approach anxiety:
Body and approach anxiety
This way is about adjusting your physiology so that it’s primed for an approach. We already know that our minds can affect our bodies but also that our bodies can affect our minds.
Physiological way means to loosen up your body, like going dancing (and not caring what anyone thinks of you), shouting out loud, standing straight up, walking with your chin held high, squaring up your shoulders, stretching a bit (calibrate the social situation) and looking people in the eyes.
This will loosen up your body and send messages to your mind that you are confident and relaxed in your body. Your mind will follow this and you will have a positive feedback loop.
Reframing and approach anxiety
What does an approach mean to you? Reframe what it means to you. As one dating instructor said, “The moment you said hi, you won.”
Think about approaching as something that is just saying Hi. That is easy and everyone can do it. You can’t plan out the conversation because we have no idea what the next 30 seconds will actually be about and you shouldn’t.
Simplify what an approach is and just say hi and let it go from there naturally. If you are thinking that you are incapable of having a conversation, that is simply not true. Even if it somehow happens (which won’t), it doesn’t matter because you did an approach.
You will learn in stages and by breaking everything down into small steps will make it easy.
Social pressure and approach anxiety
This is a commitment and social pressure method dealing with approach anxiety. We, humans, have two different motivation factors: Avoid pain and seek pleasure.
The stronger one of those two is avoiding pain.
And this method or way amplifies the part of avoiding pain instead of increasing pleasure. Because if we believe that we will lose way more by not approaching then by approaching, we will actually approach the girl.
If you are with your buddies, give them your 20 dollars and tell them to give the money back to you when you do the approach. Or you can even give them money and tell them that they can keep it if in 10 seconds you don’t approach that girl.
This way the loss is actually bigger then the gain and even if at this moment you think this won’t work, it will for sure. Because that is how we people are programmed (remember evolutionary psychology and biology).
So increase the amount you can lose and let your brain do the work for you.
And the final way or method is the emotional situation.
Emotional situation and approach anxiety
This is the way I dealt with my approach anxiety. The emotional situation means that it’s not about the girl over there, it’s about you.
You know the quote that goes “You will regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.” The emotional situation is about having positive emotions about yourself and having the self-respect to move towards excellence in your life.
If she rejects you, that is fine. But if you don’t even go there and say hi, you are actually rejecting yourself. You are saying to yourself that you are not enough and that you don’t matter, that nothing will change and that you will never be able to go there and strike a conversation.
I can tell you that I don’t remember almost any rejections I had from girls (and I had plenty of them), but I can remember every single time I rejected myself. And the pain you feel from rejecting yourself is a million times bigger than any girl rejecting you in any possible way.
Live without regrets and respect yourself, because who will if you won’t.
We have talked about approach anxiety is formed, why it’s formed, how we need to think about it and the four ways to deal with it. Out of the four ways to deal with approach anxiety, at least one will resonate deeply with you. The four ways are physiological, by reframing the approach, by using social pressure and by changing your emotional state.
It is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. And you, with which way will you start?