Are You Battling Approach Anxiety?
Watching Vh1’s The Pick-Up artist last Monday, I have to say that it brought back some not so fond memories. Man, I could feel Alvaro’s pain as he sat there alone struggling the entire night to approach even one girl. I’ve been there. Everyone has. And it fucking sucks big time.
I was a pretty shy guy growing up. High School was the culmination of my approach anxiety. I couldn’t talk to a girl. Words literally would not come out of my mouth if a girl was within 5 feet of me. Yes, Bobby Rio, the man who has now dated and slept with a such a large number of women that sometimes even makes him feel dirty… was once a tongue tied chump.
It took years to develop into the person I am now. And because of that I will always lend a hand to guys struggling like Alvaro did in that first episode of the Pick-up artist. No one should hate them selves for being shy. In fact, it was only recently that I was able to truly forgive myself for fucking up so much when I was younger. I realize now that it was part of my growing process. I would not be the man I am today if it weren’t for my early stumbles.
The StyleLife Weekend Wingman series recently sent out a newsletter where a couple of the members contributed in wrting their thought on overcoming approach anxiety.
Pushing Through by Gypsy
Have you ever found yourself standing in a
corner with a beer in your hand, wondering why
you still don’t have a beautiful and intelligent
woman by your side?
Talking to nobody will get you nowhere.
Don’t let the game be over before it even begins.
Gypsy has your solution: You have to play to win.
When I hear that aspiring social artists and
reforming AFCs say that they want to learn how
to “push through” and overcome their discomfort,
I generally find that it’s directly related to
their approach anxiety.
Many of us have experienced approach anxiety in
the field. For most of us it sets in when we
begin to think about approaching beautiful women
in social situations, and it’s generally
strongest, and most inhibiting, when attempting
the cold approach.
Approach Anxiety can be so crippling that it
cements your feet to the ground, makes you sweat
profusely, stutter, and completely second guess
your approach intentions.
We all feel anxiety in some form, and there are
those that have argued that because of its
seemingly universal nature in men, its origin is
genetic or at the very least strong social
conditioning imprinted at an early stage of
development. No matter what the cause…if it’s
present in your mind it must be defeated for you
Some try alcohol as a social lubrication to
diminish their anxiety, but this is a
double-edged sword because it can easily throw
your mental social calibration off kilter.
In this article, I would like to provide you
with the key methods that I used to overcome my
own approach anxiety. Yes, that is correct your
Stylelife Senior Coach and SLA brother also had
horrible approach anxiety.
Learning the keys to getting over my own
approach anxiety has transformed every
aspect of my life, from dating, to networking
For me the cure was, first and foremost, the
desire to change; and secondly, reprogramming
my conditioned responses to the feelings
associated with anxiety.
Below is my proven 3 point method for you to
immediately start conquering your approach
1. Recognize the condition. Everyone’s approach
anxiety downward spiral is different, so learn
to recognize the cues of your own. As we said
before it will begin when you first think about
approaching. You may begin to show outward signs
of anxiety like stuttering, blushing, body
shaking, jittering, nervous ticks such as
stabbing your straw into your drink and many
diverse others. Also many of us begin to have an
internal dialogue with ourselves discussing why
we should not approach. Your approach anxiety
might also be coupled with “cement feet”,
the almost inability to move one’s own feet in
the direction of the approach. As an added
negative you may also fixate visually on the
woman that you desire to approach in a passive
aggressive attempt to obtain what you desire.
This of course further decreasing your chances
of having a successful approach. Recognize all
of these signs of your own approach anxiety.
Know what it is, when it sets in and what it
feels like. You must understand the nuances it
produces in your mind and body.
2. Now that you know your beast, I’ll teach you
how to kill it. As your negative approach anxiety
cycle begins, immediately take steps to end it.
For me, the most powerful aspect of my approach
anxiety was my negative internal dialogue. Begin
to counter it by focusing on the outcomes of
your potential actions or non-actions. When I
would catch myself beginning the negative
internal dialogue with myself, I would stop
and immediately begin a series of prepared
mental questions and answers that I designed to
immediately change my focus and focus my energy
towards achieving the results I want in my life.
Below is an actual list of questions I would
ask myself, as well as specific answers that
proved to be very effective for me to conquer
my approach anxiety:
Question: “Why am I out tonight?”
Answer: “To become better at meeting women.”
Question: “How can I become better at meeting
My response: “I must approach them.”
Question: “If I do approach and gain valuable
practice in the social arts how will I feel?”
My response: “I will feel great because I
achieved my goal.”
Question: “If I do not approach how will I feel?”
Answer: “I will feel horrible and see this night
as a worthless and awkward experience.”
Question: “How long will I think about this
negative experience and how will I feel every
time I conjure it into my mind?”
Answer: “I will think about it until I go out
again, probably a week, and I will feel horrible.”
Question: “Do I want to feel horrible for a week
or do I want to feel like a rock-star right now?”
Answer: “I want to feel like a rock-star, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s do
3. Now you must take action. Use the strong
negative feeling of your approach anxiety to
propel you into a set. Turn your fear into your
power and you cannot be stopped.
The important points here are to understand your
weakness and overcome it.
If what you are doing right now is not working but
you truly do want to push, then write down these
tips. Put this dialogue in your pocket and next
time your approach anxiety begins to set in,
recognize it, pull out these words, run your
dialogue, and keep going.
What to Say Next by Evolve
You overcame the beast known as approach anxiety,
and now you’re in set, talking to some lovely
Fast forward ten minutes…your mind goes blank.
You’re stuck and suddenly feeling uncomfortable.
Your all purpose exit line “Pleasure meeting you”
pops into your head as an option. Do you take it
or do you have what it takes to be a champion?
You CAN push on if you choose. Next time your
mind goes blank, try the following tips from
“I can’t think of what to say next.” As a dating
and attraction coach, I’ve heard this sentence a
million times. In this week’s Weekend Wingman,
I want to help you alleviate this problem by
giving you some ways to think of something to
Observation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Pay attention to what everyone’s
wearing, how they’re standing/sitting, and how
they’re reacting to each other. Mention something
about their body language or clothing. Example:
“You know the way you’re standing means you have
a dominant personality.”
Location Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Make a comment about the area you’re
in, then tell a story about something that
happened to you concerning your location. Have
you lived there your whole life? Are you there
for business? Is there a great restaurant nearby?
Is there a secret place that you and your friends
would hang out during high school?
Listen to what they’re saying – As you listen
to people talk, absorbing information. This
information is great to use later on in
Did someone mention music? Work? Sports? Food?
Be sure to ask them to expand on this so that you
can learn as much as possible about the woman you
want to get to know better.
The Future Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Are you traveling soon? Moving?
Eating? Getting a new job? Ask the group
something about whatever it is that’s happening
Example 1: “Hey guys, I just got offered a job at
Pfizer to do pharmaceutical research. Do any of
you know anyone who’s worked there?”
Example 2: “I’m looking for a good Thai food
restaurant to go to around here. I had a girl
from work offer to buy me lunch and I really
wanted some Thai food. Do you all know any good
Sure you might screw up. You might say something
that isn’t exciting, or that doesn’t keep the
group talking. That’s not important. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
important is pushing yourself.
Stay in set!
Give it that extra 20%!
This is where the real learning takes place. It’s
the pain period. The little period of time when
you don’t know what to do is when you make the
most improvement. This extra bit of time will
show you exactly what you need to work on. It
will help you build contingencies. It’s the key
As you progress in your custom tailored program
here at Stylelife, your repertoire of material
will increase dramatically.
You’ll begin to build and use material that
better fits into these little gaps you’re finding
in conversation, and eventually have a collection
of effective, proven material, to help you in
your interactions, as well as the tools to think
of your own replies – on the fly – as you
interact with women at clubs, bars, coffee shops,
at the mall, or a park.
Until then, you’ll need to find those spaces,
feel out for the gaps where the material can
fit, and develop an intuition for social
scenarios. Become “Calibrated.”
This intuition can only be developed through
time in the field.
Push yourself this extra 20% and you will learn
the art of “Calibration”, one of the most powerful
tools in the social arts.
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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.