“Why don’t you say hi to that girl over there?”, says your friend as you’re sitting at the bar with him. He just came back from chatting up a cutie with you watching in awe from afar. Yeah, “just go over and say hi”. Like it’s that easy. As you fidget, you just know you will find some excuse not to, feel annoyed and angry at the situation and yourself, and end up all alone in the night once again. And it’s so ridiculous! You can talk to your colleagues and bosses at work, but when it comes to beautiful strange women, you freeze up. Man… We all know how it feels. Here’s how to stop approach anxiety.
When you feel approach anxiety, a number of things happen in your body, and it can be beneficial to know these. You don’t have to be a scientist to figure these out: with some self-observation, you will easily recognize your body’s reactions. Nod with me if you do:
- you heart starts racing
- you start sweating
- you shiver
- you can’t concentrate on the present moment
- you get stuck in “what might happen” scenarios
- you feel a sting in your stomach
- your mind goes completely blank
The last one doesn’t happen immediately. You know those rare instances when you get yourself together and approach a girl despite all the feelings I described? Yeah, that’s when your working brain completely shuts down and you can’t think of a single thing to say to her.
The invisible wall
It feels like there is an invisible wall restraining you. It’s a wall of nervousness, sweat, and shivers. Your physical and mental reactions nail you to your spot. The vicious circle is: the more you stay there, obsessing in your brain about possible scenarios for the approach, the more you will tense up. And tenseness hardens the wall that keeps you in place.
To soften and finally dissolve that invisible wall, you will have to replace your tenseness with pure relaxation. This is nothing you can do between breakfast and lunch, though: like most worthwhile things, it takes commitment and time. There are, however, some quite useful exercises that you can start doing right away to relieve your anxiety.
Be in your body
First of all, I’m sure that so far, you’ve been all but ignoring the physical reactions of your body whenever approach anxiety hit you. I know I did, before I learned what to look for and how to do it. When it was time for me to step up and talk to a girl, my brain was completely preoccupied with the voices that my mind shot through it, and my body just did what it did without me even noticing.
I changed that dynamic with the power of mindfulness. Starting now, you can listen to your body, too, and keep track of its signals and activities. As your awareness grows, start influencing these cycles: consciously breathe and let your thoughts follow the air into your body, and every corner of it. Once you’re there, you can “imagine” certain sensations in these regions, and also control what happens inside.
Be in the moment
When you allow your mind to follow your breath into the innermost regions of your body, you also give it something to do – other than filling your head with a big cacophony of voices all talking against each other and immobilizing you. When you approach a girl, there should be only one thing for you: the present moment. You and her, that’s all you have: the here and now. Nothing else matters, because the two of you are there, and you don’t need any outside voices or stimuli to keep either of you “entertained”.
As you do your breathing exercises, you will find yourself becoming more and more calm and relaxed – not only in stress situations, but in your overall life experience. And in order to approach a girl, that calm and relaxed state is just what you need.
Treat her like your buddy
One of the things that women hate most about men approaching them (go out and ask them!) is when they put them on a pedestal. Instead of manning the f*ck up, they’ll crawl around on their bellies in front of them like fat puppies, desperately hoping to get some affection and perhaps a piece of meat. “You look really good”, “Can I buy you a drink?”, “Ahem err erm uh ahem, well, hrrrrruhum”. Yeah, those are not good lines.
Imagine walking up to your buddy. Imagine you haven’t seen this cool dude in a while. How do you approach him? “Heeeey, man how’s it going?” Handshake or high five. “Nice to see ya. What have you been up to?” Yes, you may find that hard to believe, but just like men, women love being talked to like normal people, so something along those lines (get it? Lines!) actually isn’t too bad for talking to a lovely girl you see.
Be happy that she brightens up your day with her sexy presence. That alone is reason enough to rejoice! And still, by just talking to her like a normal person, you’re giving her room to breathe and become attracted to you. You’re not pushing anything here. You’re merely showing your interest and appreciation for a cool person. Now she has the liberty to go for it, and follow you.
The next time you feel tensing up, just think about these ideas on how to stop approach anxiety. I hope you’ll already be a bit better prepared for it from following our advice.
Hi, I'm Chris Calo
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