Every guy has been there:
You see a beautiful, single girl… and even though you have an incredibly strong desire to go talk to her…
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 approach anxiety, and end up stressing even harder over it… making them feel even more nervous.
…And that’s exactly why Kyle and I teamed up to write this post. Kyle’s been there, and knows firsthand how awful approach anxiety makes you feel… and I’ve been on the other side of that anxiety, and can tell you exactly what the girl you see is really thinking.
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.
Kyle and I are going to take you through a few steps to overcoming approach anxiety… first from understanding the goal of the approach, looking at why you still have approach anxiety, and finally, the 7 best steps to permanently overcoming it.
If you want to skip to any part of this article, use the table of contents below:
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.
The usual tactics for overcoming approach 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:
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.
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 myself to perform well in your approach, you get to focus on the easy steps below… that are much better, easier ways to form a connection with women.
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 approach 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.
Here are the 7 most powerful, highly effective steps to changing your approach:
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.
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.
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.
Step #3: Ignore tactics to ‘overcome approach anxiety’… except these two
There are two tactics that you should use every time you approach a woman (but they’re incredibly simple, unlike most approach tactics):
- Stand up straight.
- Say something sincere.
The second tactic, say something sincere, might seem crazy… but it really works. Need proof? Here’s three real-life examples:
- When I met Will, he asked the first thing that popped into his head… “Why do you look so sad?” I was a little shocked by his honesty… but then I opened up to him. He sincerely listened, and I very quickly stopped feeling sad, and started feeling very attracted to him.
- A recently-single friend met a girl at a bar, and within 1 hour, told her all of his flaws and hangups about women. He said he was done playing games, and left his number if she wanted to call. She actually called (and they eventually got married), because she was attracted to his sincere personality.
- Last week I saw a guy at a coffee shop ask a gorgeous girl if he could sit next to her, because a Pokémon was behind the bar at that exact spot, and he needed to catch it. She laughed, said she played Pokémon Go too, and gave him her number a few minutes later.
See how it doesn’t actually matter what you say? All of these guys weren’t (as girls would say) drop-dead gorgeous, but they were sincere, and the right girls responded to it.
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?
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.
(I can promise, there are many girls out there who are fun, sweet, and beautiful… the whole package).
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.
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.
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!
Step #7: Stop reading about this
This article should be all the push you need to go find connections with good, fun, valuable, awesome women.
…So stop looking at tactics, stop reading books, stop setting goals, stop practicing. Go live your life in parks, coffee shops, work, the gym, in class, and at concerts. A great girl is waiting at one of those places.
Approach anxiety isn’t necessary if you simply change your thought process about the approach. You can gain the confidence to approach women if you stop trying so hard…
…and our 7 steps can show you how.