Most guys have approach anxiety.
You see a beautiful, single girl... and even though you have an incredibly strong desire to go talk to her…
...you don't. (Hint: Learn how to approach a girl.)
Even if you tell yourself it’s just a girl, and there’s nothing to be nervous about… you still feel that crushing approach anxiety.
Now, I’ve seen that approach anxiety happen to countless guys… and I’ve seen that most them attempt to overcome it with tricks, tactics, techniques, and arbitrary goals.
But those things hardly ever get rid of the anxiety.
They make men focus overly hard on fighting their anxiety, and end up stressing even harder over it... making them feel even more nervous.
…And that’s exactly why the Kyles (both of them) and I teamed up to write this post. They've been there, and know firsthand how awful approach anxiety makes you feel (must be a Kyle thing)… and I’ve been on the other side of that anxiety, and can tell you exactly what the girl you see is really thinking.
And since understanding how to get a girlfriend requires you to conquer that anxiety AND control it...
...Below, we’re going to show you exactly what powerful actions can help you actually feel more in control, and be able to stop faking confidence in front of women… because it’ll be real.
I recommend reading through all of these 6 steps to find your absolute favorites... but if you’re looking for something specific, you can click the links below to jump to that section:
What is Approach Anxiety?
Approach anxiety is that overwhelming feeling you get when you can't convince yourself that approaching a cute girl will yield positive results. (Kyle G here, by the way.)
And lots of guys struggle with it.
For me, it was a self-esteem issue that manifested into negative thought patterns. I simply didn't have the confidence to approach girls...
So how did I fix it? I started improving myself by doing exactly what you're doing right now (reading self-improvement articles and practicing in real life.) It took a while, but I figured out who I am and found my confidence. And so can you!
But I've been lucky... I don't have a diagnosed anxiety disorder.
If you have approach anxiety, it doesn't necessarily mean you have an anxiety disorder, but having one will make meeting girls immensely more difficult... But not impossible.
So if you're one of the guys who suffer from social anxiety (or any other type of anxiety really), it's completely normal to get help.
Just remember... no matter where your anxiety comes from, it's absolutely conquerable.
And this is your first step towards getting over it.
How to Overcome Approach Anxiety: 6 Steps
Changing your thought process (instead of focusing on goals) targets the real problem (which is the anxiety, not ineptitude with women), and will dramatically help you reduce anxiety.
You’ll be able to find those valuable connections with women... and even better:
Not feel crushed, defeated, or insecure when a connection doesn’t pan out.
1. Counter your own negative thought patterns about approaching
Let em start by saying I get it:
When you’re staring at a beautiful girl who hasn’t even looked your way, the flood of doubts/fears in your brain are almost impossible to shrug off.
...So I’m going to help you 'answer' the most common of them, because if you realize now that your fears aren't real, you can feel drastically more empowered to talk to that girl.
1. "Women are too picky."
Now… I’ll tell you with 100% honesty that yes, women are picky. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
The real question is, why aren’t you picky?
Obviously, you think this girl is attractive enough for you, but is she smart enough? Does she have a good enough sense of humor? Is she too insecure/clingy? Does she agree with you that flip-flops are/aren’t acceptable footwear, or that the Cowboys are the greatest/worst team ever, or that Han did/didn't shoot first?
In short: is this girl even worth your time? If she’s not, be picky, and search for a connection somewhere else.
2. "She’s out of my league."
Some women just look mind-blowingly attractive... way more attractive than you see yourself.
But… (and stay with me here) so what?
She probably spent hours putting on that face, hair, and outfit. She's literally designed every inch of her look, to make her eyes pop, mouth pucker, skin glow, and body rock. I’ve done it countless times… so I know this girl is presenting her 100% best appearance... and her real self might not actually be 'out of your league'.
Plus, what’s underneath her skin could be pretty ugly: she could be dumb, rude, or uptight.
...So how do you possibly know she’s out of your league? Go investigate her looks/personality close-up, instead of assuming that she’s perfect just because she looks it from across the room.
3. "People will notice if I get rejected."
This one’s really easy (and really common) to think, but I promise, it’s not true.
No matter where you are, almost every girl is thinking about her own attractiveness (how her hair looks, if her bra straps are showing, if she has leg fat, if her posture is bad), or she’s intently focusing on what she’s doing (eating, working, talking on the phone, shopping, running, etc.)
…And every other guy is concentrating on the girls (think about it... this is what you're usually doing, right?).
Basically, everyone is wrapped up in themselves and their own goals of meeting people, and no one is concentrating on you… so don’t let that fear stop you from acting.
4. "I’ve already failed so many times..."
Look... finding those real, valuable connections with women is hard. You'll have to weed through a lot of sub-par connections before finding a real one.
…So in the past, you haven’t failed to pick women up, you just haven’t made a good connection yet. But you absolutely will.
2. Know What To Correctly Say To A Girl
It doesn't matter how many girls you approach, if you don't know what to say to a girl, you'll fail every time. We have plenty of things to talk about with a girl, but here are a few safe topics for approaching a girl:
- Things Happening Around You
Be aware of your surroundings and talk about the interesting and odd things going on around you.
- The Place You're At
Learn some history about the places you visit and drop that knowledge on girls. Or just make up something ridiculous and hilarious to get her to laugh. For example: "This place is haunted by Old Lady Gertrude and her 18 cats. That's why it smells so much like cat food."
- Your Unusual Skill
If you have an unusual skill that's not too weird (like dislocating your shoulder), tell her about it and demonstrate. You're her entertainment for the evening. Be interesting!
Tip #1: Ask Questions To Ask a Girl
To keep her engaged in conversation with you, you'll need to have some questions to ask a girl in that noggin of yours. These three are highly effective for approaching a girl:
- "Have you had the [specialty food or drink] yet?"
This is a sneaky way of buying her a drink. If she says no, buy her one (don't ask if you can buy her one, just do it while you're chatting her up.) If she says yes, tell her she looks like she could use another one and buy her one. Be smooth about it!
- "So what do you do?"
This question is meant to be ambiguous. If she asks you to clarify, tell her about a couple of your hobbies. If she tells you what she does for work, tell her you meant for fun. The goal is to keep her talking.
- "How many tickles does it take to make an Octopus laugh?"
Tentacles. The answer is tentacles. Girls love this joke because it's so silly. Opening with a joke doesn't always work though... So save this for when the moment seems right.
Tip #2: Compliment Her
A smile and a compliment work wonders when they're the first thing you say to a girl. And as long as you're sincere, all compliments for girls are free game. Here are a couple of our favorites:
- "Oh man, I LOVE your [whatever you like about her]"
The more enthusiastic the better, but if you're not the enthusiastic type, tell her in whatever tone suits you best.
- "I like your style"
If she responds with, "I like your moves", she's seen the hit 2004 franchise reboot of Starsky and Hutch. But really, it's a good way to let her know you like how she put herself together for the evening.
Tip #3: Don't Be Someone You're Not
Don't try to be cooler than you think you are. Don't use words you don't know the meaning of. BE YOURSELF, because if she ends up liking you and you're being someone you're not, you're living a lie and she'll figure it out eventually.
3. Go to the right places to meet women
This step is incredibly simple… and will make approaching 1000x easier:
Go meet girls in a place where you already have a connection.
Think about what you enjoy:
Drink good espresso at coffee shops, browse bookstores, join a coed volleyball team, or take your dog to the dog park. You’ll be in a place that you’re comfortable, and any girl who’s there will automatically have a connection with you… because she obviously enjoys that activity too!
…So unless the girls you like are heavy bar crawlers, stop looking for girls at bars. Instead, socialize by doing what you really like, and connect with women over that.
Pro tip: go to social events with your friends as often as you can, to meet as many of their female friends as possible... because you don't have to approach women at all if someone you know is introducing you.
4. Realize that she's not a perfect person
Many guys associate beauty with other ‘perfect qualities’… in a way, they instantly assume that since a girl's face/body is gorgeous, her personality must be, too.
...And that makes them even more nervous to talk to her.
But think about this:
Don’t you know men and women who are extremely attractive, yet also extremely stupid, rude, or boring? And... how can you be so sure that this girl isn't like that?
That beautiful girl is a person with flaws, problems, and insecurities... just like you.
So approach her with that exact mentality (I know that sounds overly negative, but assuming she's not 'all that' can be incredibly helpful to calm your nerves). Find out if her personality is as good as her face, and don’t be afraid to move on if you quickly find out that it’s not. If you keep this in mind, a lot of nervousness over the approach immediately vanishes.
(I can promise, there are many girls out there who are fun, sweet, and beautiful... the whole package).
5. 'Investigate' her personality
After you’ve approached a girl and broken the ice (and remember, you can talk about almost anything if you’re sincere), the next major hurdle is continuing the conversation… and when you’re nervous, that can be insanely difficult to do.
…So here’s my advice for how to handle that moment:
Look at the entire conversation as an interview, or exploration of her personality.
I mentioned in Step #1 that even though she's pretty, her personality might not be worth your time... and now is your chance to find out (by asking questions and looking for incompatible personality traits), before you commit to giving her your number/spending an entire evening with her.
…And here's the best part:
You’ll find that if you’re interviewing her, instead of trying to impress her, you'll be 1000x less nervous.
6. Give up quickly if a connection doesn’t pan out
Here’s why I really dislike setting goals like talk to a girl for X number of minutes, or until you get her phone number:
What if that girl sucks? Then you've spent the evening with a girl you have no connection with/don't even like because you had to achieve your goal.
That's why we have the above two steps... they help you find out if she's worth your time. And if she's not worth it... or isn't making the conversation easy and fun?
Simple: move on.
Tell her thank you for her time, and walk away. These valuable connections you’re trying to make with women shouldn’t require work, anxiety, and sweat. They should be easy and fun. Knowing that you can walk away should also make you significantly less nervous.
I know this one is hard because walking away from a girl who’s actually talking to you is difficult… what if another girl never wants to talk to you. But consider the reality. There are 3.5 billion women out there, and this is not the first one to converse with you. You may not meet another good girl tonight, but you will meet another one. Plus, nothing beats the empowerment of walking away from a beautiful woman because you think you’re better than her.
Bonus: it’s impossible to feel ‘rejected’ if you’re the one who decides she’s not good enough for you!
Why You Need to Change the Goal of Your Approach
One huge problem with common approach techniques is that they pressure you to talk to girls that you have absolutely no honest connection with.
Think about it like this:
Everyone's personality is unique and complex, but if you find women who share personality traits with you, the connection between you will be natural and easy (you won't have to 'convince' her to keep talking to you, she'll want to... and don’t worry, we’re going to explain how you can find those women in our steps below).
...But on the other hand, if you spend hours trying to ‘pick up’ or talk to completely random girls whose personalities don’t connect with yours… everyone’s time is wasted, and you go home feeling defeated.
I know this one sounds hard, and you probably think that there are no girls who even want connect with you unless you put on a fake, confident front. But here’s the thing:
Don’t you have guy and girl friends who you just sort of connected with? People who quickly matched your personality... so well that you couldn’t help but be friends? Start thinking of women like those friends, and approach them with the mentality of seeking a connection, instead of trying to impress them.
...And Why Common Approach Anxiety Tactics Won't Help You
The usual tactics for overcoming anxiety are isolated actions:
- Say hello to ten strangers a day
- Start a conversation with 5 girls at a bar
- Practice your approach on less-attractive women
- Work your way up to the hottest girl, and get her to talk to you for 5 minutes
- ‘Warm up’ (rehearse your approach) several times
- …And a dozen other goals that don't focus on connecting with a girl
In almost every other Mantelligence article, we constantly encourage actionability (set goals, practice skills, track your progress, etc.). But… here’s the thing:
When it comes to finding a connection with a woman, the most important thing is to get out of your head... which means stop that rehashing the ‘art of the approach’ (internal practicing, tracking, documenting, and rehearsing). Focusing on those mental processes actually makes you less successful in approaching, and here's 4 reasons why:
1. Goals lead to exhausting, fake connections that go nowhere.
If your goal is to approach 5 women… what if you had a connection with the first, but you moved on too quickly? What if you wasted an hour with the second, and missed a connection with the third?
…And if you waste an entire evening with girls you don't connect with, all you gain is a fleeting sense of accomplishment, followed by a lonely night at home because you merely suffered through 5 conversations.
Does that sound better than a passionate night with a woman who wants to see you again?
Of course not. To find a connection, you have to let go of goals, and only talk to women you connect with.
2. Goals make you focus on the wrong thing.
Common approach goals make you focus on your eye contact, your smile, your rehearsed words, and which girl you’ll approach next... which don't tell you if the girl in front of you is a good connection or not.
So focus on the girl. Is she worth the time you’re spending on her? Do you really want to keep talking to her? If she is, what do you like about her?
Concentrate only on getting to know the girl in front of you, instead of focusing inwardly (and unintentionally feeding your inner anxiety).
3. Connections should be easy and fun, and goals make them stressful.
Guys… doesn’t stressing over those goals take all the fun out of talking to girls?
…And wouldn’t you rather have fun in your approaches? It’d certainly make you want to approach girls more. So set a new goal, to only approach a girl who makes you want to get to know her.
Here's the bottom line:
You will gain a natural sense of confidence when you stop trying, stop assuming women are too good for you, and stop beating up your own confidence by placing rules and goals on yourself.
So set yourself a better goal:
Rather than focusing on numbers or assignments, approach women for fun and connection. You’ll feel dramatically less pressure to perform, and you’ll enjoy each conversation more. And that makes this the most powerful part of overcoming approach anxiety, because you don’t get anxious doing something you enjoy, right?
Stop Thinking, Start Doing
Most approach anxiety is caused by over-thinking and over-preparing. So, instead of reading more about how to do this, it’s time to get out there and start talking to beautiful women.
Keep things simple, and remember: This will become dramatically easier for you, the more you do it.
Because approaching beautiful women is a skill you can learn. So get out there, get the girl, and get over your anxiety.
Honestly, as a guy who's tried these techniques before... I felt a sense of relief realizing that I didn't need to do them anymore. They did nothing but put a ton of stress on me... and now, instead of worrying how to perform well in your approach, YOU get to focus on the easy steps below... And over time, they'll become completely natural.
How To Get Her Number When You Have Approach Anxiety
Hey, it's Kyle G again. I can't tell you how many times I've awkwardly stumbled over myself when trying to get a girl's number. And now that I'm looking back on it... I can't stop laughing at myself.
You're going to make a fool of yourself from time to time... But those moments are how you learn; how you figure out what works and what doesn't.
But the problem with having approach anxiety and wanting to get a girl's number is that you just can't go up and ask her for it. You have to make her want to give it to you.
We have some advice on how to get a girl's number that's easier to employ once you get over your approach anxiety, but really... it's all about how you present yourself. Girls don't want to give their numbers to awkward guys...
And using the advice in this article along with the linked one above, will help you avoid receiving a fake number... Or no number at all.
More Steps On How To Get A Girlfriend
If you're looking for more helpful advice, check out the links below:
- A big part of conquering your approach anxiety comes in knowing how to flirt with a girl.
- Of course, once you get her number, you'll have to know how to text a girl.
- Knowing how to meet women is helpful in dealing with approach anxiety.
- Do you know how to talk to girls? It's easier than you think!
Approach anxiety isn't necessary if you simply change your thought process about the approach (and really, learning how to approach a girl is half the battle in doing so.) You can gain the confidence to approach women if you stop trying so hard.
Because if you can learn how to control and eliminate your anxiety, you can absolutely learn how to get a girl friend...
...and our 6 steps can show you how.