Approach Anxiety. Most of us have experienced this crushing fear at one point—unless you’re Ryan Gosling—then you don’t have to do shit. Some guys won’t be able to comprehend this feeling, but approach anxiety is a serious barrier for many men.
This might be a familiar situation to you:
You see a beautiful woman. She’s radiating with energy, her eyes are striking, and her style tells you a story that makes you want to know more. You feel compelled to talk to her.
But you don’t.
You think of excuses not to talk to her, or, if you were like me, you’d start ordering rounds until you get the liquid courage. By the time you gain the liquid courage, you’re too sloppy to make a respectable approach. You end up looking like an idiot. If I wasn’t using booze, I’d just flat out think of reasons not to talk to her.
• “I have nothing to say.”
• “I don’t make enough money.”
• “What if I get rejected?”
• “I’m not tall enough.”
• “I have a cold.”
This is a dangerous mindset and it stems from your self-image. If you don’t have faith or confidence in yourself then the negativity lingering in your head is going to stay, leading to a path of frustration and inaction.
Gentlemen, this belief needs to stop right now.
I get it, approach anxiety sucks but you need to reframe your mindset to get through it. Work on yourself to achieve this. Work on your story. We all know you have something great to offer. You just have to have the confidence to show it.
Direct Opener Mindset
There are a multitude of tricks, how to’s, and manipulation techniques that help with approaching and attracting women. At The Epoch Man, we think sticking with the basics, or, the direct opener, is a good strategy to deal with approach anxiety. It’s a no-bullshit, straightforward and honest way to tell her you’re interested. Showing that you are interested from the very beginning removes any chance of you being placed in the worst situation ever: the friend zone.
Fellas, this takes balls to pull off. However, women will be receptive of this. The downside is she might reject you because you put her on the spot, pressuring her to make a decision. Yes, you might get rejected. In fact, you will get rejected.
Deal with it. You are not able to pick up every woman you encounter so it’s going to take serious work to find the woman of your dreams.
Maybe her dog died. Maybe she has a boyfriend. Maybe it’s girls night. Maybe she’s on her way to a meeting. It is impossible to pick up every woman out there. You can’t control what is going on in her life. All you can control are your thoughts and actions.
The good news is there are over 100 million women in the world. I think’ you’re going to be just fine.
The direct opener was the only way I was able to overcome approach anxiety. Instead of working on pick-up lines, tricks, indirect openers, situational openers, blah blah blah openers, I went for the straightforward. I’m an analytical person and the direct opener technique involved zero analysis. It was extremely uncomfortable (understatement), but the best strategy for me, since I wouldn’t have the chance to assess the situation and consequently, talk myself out of approaching a woman. I would have to make myself vulnerable and put myself on the line.
For the record, no woman will laugh at you or make fun of you for trying—so get that story out of your head. As long as you are genuine, there’s a good chance she’ll positively receive you, even if she rejects you.
Overcome Approach Anxiety
If you see a pretty girl, don’t think, just act.
First, take five deep breaths to get relaxed.
Initiate eye contact with her. If she looks at you and holds the gaze, you’re in. If she looks away, but connects again, you’re in. If she never makes eye contact with you, you’re in.
If she makes eye contact, flash her a relaxed and confident smile. This will show you’re friendly and confident.
Whether she makes eye contact or not, you are going to approach her. Don’t bee-line it to her. Walk slowly and purposefully to her. Stand erect with your chest and chin up, abs braced (don’t forget to keep breathing) and position your shoulder blades back and down. A confident stance encourages a confident mindset.
Understand that you should be doing all of this within seconds of seeing her. There will never be a perfect moment to talk to her. Waiting is only going to increase the anxiety and decrease your chances of taking action.
Once you approach her, smile, say “Hi” and. . .
1. Be Honest and Upfront
• “I saw you earlier and had to meet you.”
• “Honestly, I don’t know what to say. All I know is I find you stunning and had to talk to you.”
• “If I didn’t try to get to know you, I know I would be kicking myself.”
When in doubt, lay your cards on the table and see what happens. You’re making yourself vulnerable by throwing yourself out there, but she will appreciate this.
2. Compliment her
• “You have great energy”
• “I like your style. Where did you get your creativity from?”
• “Your shoes are decadent.”
• “You have a vibrant smile.”
Find something that you genuinely like about her look. Women take lots of pride in their appearance, so if you point out something exquisite she’s wearing then she’ll take note of your keen eye. Use a fun adjective to compliment her. Comment on something she’s wearing and ask about it.
Be different, don’t just say she’s pretty. She hears that all the time.
Keep the Conversation Going.
Ask good questions. Stay away from “Where do you work?” or “Where are you from?” Everyone asks those boring questions—you want to be her escape! Be someone who helps her get away from the daily grind of life.
Talk about travel (“Where’s the last place you traveled to?”), music (“What do you think of the new Adele song?”), pop culture (“Who would win a fight, Miley Cyrus or Nicki Minaj?”), food (“Do you like Italian or Chinese better?”), reading (“What genre of books do you read?”), the surroundings, etc. Use the world around you to keep the dialogue going. Try to find out what her passions are and get her to open up about them. It will make you much more interesting to her!
“Yes” or “no” questions will lead to silence and will kill the conversation. Ask open-ended questions. This will keep her engaged. As she’s speaking, be attentive and listen to her. Build additional questions from her talking points.
To close this out, don’t put women on a pedestal. Most women don’t like that. Believe it or not, they’re normal people who want to be treated the same as everyone else. Don’t try too hard and don’t try to get anything or you’ll come off as aggressive and needy. Women can pick up on this and it’ll turn them off.
Just be the cool, confident, and carefree, friendly badass you are. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you don’t care.