Many men suffer from severe approach anxiety. The mere thought of approaching a stranger – let alone a beautiful women – cripples them with fear.
This is kind of silly when when you think about it. We’re all just humans, after all.
In the opening scene of the 2005 movie Hitch, Will Smith, who plays a high-end dating coach for men, proclaims that “No woman wakes up and thinks: I hope I don’t get swept off my feet today.” Granted, Hitch was a formulaic rom-com vomited out by Hollywood to appeal to the masses. But its basic sentiment holds true. Women want you to approach them.
Nonetheless, approach anxiety is almost ubiquitous among men. But in the current age of online dating, men who approach women in the real world are intoxicating.
When you approach a woman, you exhibit boldness and confidence even if you’re nervous on the inside. And you immediately set yourself apart from most men – because most men never approach women in real life and resort solely to meeting women online.
As Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy and Dating Essentials for Men, explains, “A single woman essentially lives in a waiting state. She waits for a man to approach and show interest, giving her the opportunity to accept or reject the man. Approaching a woman does not make you a creep or a pervert – unless you lack common sense and act like a creep or a pervert.”
Throughout history, it has largely been angry, toxic feminists who think all men are creeps. This may be shocking to read in these politically correct times. But women have evolved over thousands of years to respond to you as a man.
So, consider this: It is creepier not to approach than it is to approach.
Who do you think a woman might find more attractive? The man who walks up to her, gives her a compliment, and introduces himself? Or the man who sits in the corner and ogles her from a distance?
The first man, though he may be nervous, exhibits confidence and charm as a man of action. The second man is just one big creepy turn-off.
OVERCOMING APPROACH ANXIETY
Every man who struggles to meet women seems to suffer from overwhelming Approach Anxiety, which is likely exacerbated by his equally overwhelming obsession with overcoming it.
Here is an age-old question: What’s the worst that could happen?
I have never known a man to die from cordially introducing himself to a woman. I don’t know any men who have been prodded, punched, or publicly shamed for engaging in the same activity. I don’t even know a man who’s had a drink thrown in his face.
If you were to approach a woman, smile, and introduce yourself, what’s the worst that could happen? If she tells you that she’s not interested or that she has a boyfriend, do you think you could handle it? Worse yet, if she tells you to f*ck off, do you think you could go on to live a perfectly adequate life? I’m betting you could.
The thing is, there is no way to completely prevent anxiety.
“As long as you’re alive, as long as you’re challenging yourself and putting yourself in new situations and stepping outside your comfort zone, you are going to feel some degree of anxiety,” affirms Dr. Glover.
“You can manage your anxiety by completely avoiding situations that make you anxious, in which case Mother Nature will still f*ck with you. Or you can learn to soothe your anxiety and do what makes you anxious. At the end of the day, thinking causes anxiety, acting cures it.”
AN 8-POINT PLAN FOR ELIMINATING APPROACH ANXIETY
APPROACHING WOMEN WITH CONGRUENCE
What you are saying and doing should reflect what you are thinking and feeling. This is congruence. And it’s especially important when approaching women.
If you’re not taking aligned action, if you’re not acting in accordance with your thoughts and feelings, women will pick up on it. Women can sense whether or not a man is being congruent. If an available woman shows low interest in you, it’s not because she thinks you’re a loser. It’s not because she can see right through you. It’s because she can feel your incongruence.
This is one of the reasons that classic pickup techniques don’t work and generally come across as inauthentic and creepy. Things like DHV stories, cold reading, peacocking, and magic tricks are dead giveaways to women. These are not authentic forms of communication. They are inherently manipulative, and they probably aren’t congruent with who you are as a man.
Think about it: If you are not a magician, why the fuck would you do magic tricks for a woman?
You are also being incongruent when you:
- Approach a woman but repress your interest in her
- Seek someone else’s approval by being what you think they want you to be
- Hide your feelings, thoughts, or agenda
- Try to be a woman’s friend when you really want to fuck her
- Play it safe to avoid upsetting a woman
- Lie or withhold information
Have you ever been spending time with someone, and while you can’t quite put your finger on it, something just seems off about them? This is what incongruence feels like to a woman.
A woman will almost always have a negative reaction at an unconscious level when you are being incongruent. She will sense that you are not being you, you are not being present, you are holding back, you are repressing your sexual agenda, and you are trying to get her approval. Consequently, she won’t want to get close. She’ll want to run like hell, even if she doesn’t know why.
HOW TO APPROACH WOMEN WITH CONGRUENCE
Here are some fundamental things to consider as you work towards approaching women with congruence.
- Begin with you. Get comfortable with yourself and your sexuality. If you don’t like who you are, it’s no wonder you don’t think a woman will. You must value yourself enough to consciously work on you. Change what you can and learn to accept the rest.
- Live a congruent life. Whatever you do, do it 100 percent and in the open. As Dr. Glover likes to say, “Nothing hidden, nothing half-assed.” If you have secrets, reveal them to safe people. Consciously work at being a man of integrity. Do the things that make you happy. Don’t defend yourself to anyone. Stop seeking validations and approval. Pursue your passions. Live in a way that feels right to you.
- Talk to everyone you meet. By being yourself with all kinds of people, you develop and project congruence. A man who never engages strangers but approaches an attractive woman has no congruence.
- Ask your friends how you come across. Do you have any mannerisms that might be a turn-off? Do you send any uncomfortable signals? Does your body language make you seem unapproachable? Work on these things.
- Practice being present and real. Be in the moment. Say what comes to mind without apology. Be playful. Use humor. Acknowledge what you’re feeling.
- Don’t try to hide the reason you’re approaching a woman. Again, women aren’t stupid, and they know why we’re talking to them. There’s no need to repress your sexuality.
Approaching women with congruence requires you to be honest and be yourself.
As Dr. Glover often suggests, “Be a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy. Give women the chance to like you just as you are.”
THE CONFIDENCE CONUNDRUM
If you are anything I was, then you are probably thinking: If women are turned on by confidence but I don’t feel even remotely confident when approaching women, what chance do I have?
Ah, yes, the ol’ confidence conundrum.
If confidence is required to have success with women, and success with women is what you need to feel confident, you’ll probably never get a woman. You might as well just stay home and jerk off, right?
This is a self-limiting belief that your mind has concocted to prevent you from having to experience the anxiety that comes with approaching women.
Of course, approaching women is like any other skill. You’re probably going to suck at first. And you’re probably going to feel unconfident. But the more you practice, the more confident you’ll become. Eventually, you’ll be able to do it with ease.
Until then, however, you can interact with women in a way that makes you appear confident, even if you’re riddled with anxiety. And this is how:
- Make eye contact. What do you think you’re communicating if you never look up, never look around, or never make eye contact? Or what if a woman makes eye contact with you and you immediately look away in shame? You need to maintain eye contact, and either smile or approach. Eye contact will trigger an evolutionary response in a woman. Not to mention that you will exhibit confidence. If she looks away or seems uninterested, you aren’t doing anything wrong. (And, yes, there’s a difference between making eye contact and staring. Don’t stare. It’s creepy).
- Test for interest. This is the foundation for all social interaction. Test for interest everywhere you go with everyone you meet. You don’t need to be a master conversationalist; you just need to be social. Women are attracted to men who are social.
- Practice the Three Ts. Naturally charismatic men touch women, tease women, and playfully tell them what to do.
Women may pick up on the meta signals of your anxiety, but most will cut you some slack. Your courage will almost always trump your anxiety. So, own it. Women generally welcome an anxious man if he is congruent and taking aligned action.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON APPROACH ANXIETY:
Anxiety won’t kill you. It’s an electrical and chemical impulse in your brain. Your anxiety is likely caused by a few basic things: your inaccurate, internalized beliefs about yourself and the world, your lack of experience using effective social skills, your attachment to outcome, and perhaps your unwanted inheritance of an overactive amygdala.
“If you want something different, you have to do something different,” says Dr. Glover. “It’s really that simple. We make things way too complicated. There’s no magic bullet. The alcoholic has to stop drinking. The porn addict has to stop watching porn. A phobic person has do what frightens him. And the anxious person has to do what makes him anxious.”
Unfortunately, most men are indeed looking for a magic bullet. They want an easy fix. And they never want to feel anxious.
They don’t want to take risks.
They want the gorgeous woman with no baggage, and they want her to make the first move. They don’t want to set the tone and take the lead, they don’t want to face rejection, and they don’t want to have to break up.
They don’t make any changes.
They keep doing what they’ve always done and keep getting what they’ve always got. Then, they feel worse about themselves because they know there are solutions. Usually, they know what they need to do, they just don’t do it.
It’s time to start doing what you need to do instead of what’s easiest. It’s time to stop making excuses. If you want to overcome your approach anxiety, then you need to approach women.
Approach women until it becomes instinctual. Approach women until you don’t give a fuck about the outcome.
It’s likely that 80 percent of men stay stuck, while the remaining 20 percent of men get the most out of life. The only difference between these groups of men is their willingness to do what makes them anxious. Which group of men do you want to be in? You get to decide.
If you want to master dating and relationships with support from an amazing tribe of men, Integrated Man University is just a click away. Get lifetime access when you join today!
Tony Endelman is an author, blogger, entrepreneur, certified transformational life coach, certified No More Mr. Nice Guy Coach and the founder of The Integrated Man Cave.