Approach Anxiety | The PUA Exposure Technique
Written by Robert King (Kingy) who posts at: pua.co.uk
Reading this article you are probably well aware of what Approach Anxiety is. Just in case you are new to the PUA Community “Approach Anxiety is the fear that arises when doing a cold approach on a woman or group of women.” Approach Anxiety can also be called “AA”.
Approach Anxiety fear comes from doing something
A. Unknown and
B. Outside of your comfort zone.
Your Approach Anxiety will usually be at its worst when attempting a new type of approach for the first time. The Fear of the Unknown will cause the mind to attempt to predict what will happen. Unless you have been raised exceptionally outgoing and social your mind will probably go towards the negative to be “safe”. If you have an anxious or adrenalized disposition then your mind might even catastrophize the probable outcomes. Suddenly everything would become very serious and life threatening. If your fight or flight response gets triggered, your heart rate would increase, palms become sweaty and you would become tense and possibly passive aggressive. This is definitely not the ideal look for approaching women but also remember that any approach is better than no approach!
The unknown part of Approach Anxiety also comes from doing something similar but slightly different to normal. So for instance if you are used to approaching solo women on the street, approaching groups of women would then trigger this feeling. If you are used to approaching women in bars and clubs, then approaching women in shops and restaurants would also cause this. Perhaps you need to approach women with a wing; going out solo would also be “Unknown”.
There is also the comfort zone element to Approach Anxiety. Your comfort zone relates to your recent activities. If you have a social and outgoing job then approaching women after work might even be within your comfort zone. So this means that this part of approach anxiety doesn’t get triggered. If you are self-employed and work from home then approaching women in front of lots of people might feel like a big step. Your comfort zone will expand and shrink over time. So one or two days of solitude would decrease your comfort zone and a couple of weeks of solitude would put you back to the beginning.
Keeping Approach Anxiety at bay is a combination of facing the Unknown and maintaining a healthy comfort zone.
Today I’m going to give you a technique which does both of these things for you without you even needing to make an approach!
Exposure therapy is a technique for reducing conditioned responses. During this technique the PUA will be voluntarily exposed to the very stimuli that trigger that approach anxiety response. When people repeatedly are exposed to the stimuli that they fear and nothing bad happens, the emotional parts of the brain learn that they can relax in the presence of this stimuli.
It is possible to graduate the therapy by starting on something less strong and building up to the things that really scare the person. This technique can be done by an instructor or the aspiring PUA doing it by himself.
The scientific reason for why exposure therapy works is through the mechanism of habituation. Habituation occurs when continual exposure to the stimuli decreases our responsiveness to it. For example, on moving to a new home situated on a busy road, we may start to tune out the noise of the traffic within a couple of days.
This habituation response also happens by using the exposure technique. The scientific community emphasises that
Exposure Therapy helps because:-
A. Safe exposure helps people to think about fear more rationally
B. People experience less to no anxiety in the presence of the selected stimuli
C. Exposure will increase the person’s beliefs that they are capable of coping with their anxiety.
The first step to doing the PUA Exposure Technique is to make a list of all the type of approaches or situations with women and dating that create a degree of fear within you. This list of stimuli is probably going to be quite long. Now you want to rate each stimuli with a number from 1 – 10 (1 close to no anxiety, 10 being close to a panic attack). Finally, for the highest numbered stimuli you will want to sort into an order of which ones are most important to you right now. Do you want to learn to approach solo? Do you want to make direct street approaches? Do you want to feel less anxiety talking to a certain type of woman?
If you went out recently and there was something that caused you anxiety. Then you can use this stimulus as the example during the technique.
When you have written your list, your next step is to begin the technique! Find a quiet place to sit down and close your eyes, somewhere you won’t be interrupted. Now start visualising your selected stimuli. Let’s take an example of approaching women on the street. Visualise yourself leaving the house, taking your preferred mode of transport, arriving at the street, notice it’s really busy, notice women walking fast. Be really honest with your visualisation, you have been to this street before and you know what it is like.
Now start to visualise yourself running up to women on the street and approaching them. Be really honest with what is going to happen on an average day.
You approach a couple of women and they continue walking right past you. You walk away… maybe a couple of people are looking at you.
You approach a girl by herself, she stops, visualise yourself asking the questions you normally ask. She says she is in a rush and has to leave.
Visualise yourself approaching a couple of girls and they stop and talk to you. Visualise yourself doing your normal game and you ending up with a Facebook or a number. Be honest though, if you don’t normally get a number then don’t visualise this. Visualise a typical day of approaching and also doing things that you wouldn’t normally do. After every approach visualise yourself walking back to the position you were in, maybe some people look at you as they walk past.
When talking to the women, visualise that some of them are scared, some women are annoyed, some women are busy and some women are friendly.
During this technique you should feel your heart rate increase and you might even start to sweat. This is good, keep doing it.
Don’t imagine crazy responses. In my nine years of cold approaching and teaching over one thousand students I have never witnessed, heard of or read about something bad happening from making an approach. The most I’ve ever experienced is women not having the time to talk or turning her back to the interaction. I’ve never heard about or experienced anything worse than those two things. Pick up is pretty much 100% safe!
Spend about 5 – 10 minutes visualising you doing a session of approaches then take a couple of minutes break. Then repeat this process several times. Visualise yourself leaving the house, making your way to the street and visualising some approaches. A few of them the women don’t stop, a few of the women do stop and then make an excuse, a few of them have boyfriends and a few of them you get one or two numbers.
The more you do this technique the more powerful the results you will achieve. It is not just some feel good technique, this technique directly challenges the main two parts of Approach Anxiety:-
A. The Unknown
B. Your Comfort Zone
The results that you achieve from carrying out this easy technique will stay with you for the rest of your life.
This is the exposure technique which is based in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Do this technique and then go out to make some approaches. Post in the comments section how you got on and how it helped you!
It’s been great connecting with you and I’m looking forward to meeting you in person some time,
Peace n Love, Robert (Kingy)
About Robert King Robert King also known as Kingy has taught bootcamps in England, Ireland, Norway, America and Italy to thousands of students. Travelling the world, living with monks, hanging out with other leading authorities in self development and attraction has lead Kingy to becoming the man he is today.