There's a lot of talk about “approach anxiety", and for good reason. It has been optimistically estimated that over 80% of all men are terrified of approaching attractive women they have ever met. And let's face it: without overcoming this fear it's all but impossible for a man to experience any success whatsoever in meeting great women, let alone attracting and keeping them.
Most of the information I've read on the subject centers around teaching men to sack up and “get over it", using any manner of Jedi mind tricks designed to help us “deal with rejection", “visualize success", use “indirect openers", etc. But I've read relatively little on the subject that dives beyond the surface of the issue. Most of us are or were at some point in our lives afraid to approach women. Instead of being given a pep talk, I'd rather know WHY we as men are almost universally affected by this, and HOW we fell into this trap. From that position of understanding, it makes sense that we can better figure how to dig ourselves out.
And it is absolutely a trap. It's an irrational fear for a man to be “afraid" of women. After all, most of us as men are not catatonic basket cases sucking our thumbs in a fetal position when it comes to other aspects of our lives. We play football in high school. We go downhill mountain biking, surf hurricanes, get concealed weapon licenses, street race muscle cars, ask customers for high-dollar sales orders, train pit bulls, get full-sleeve tattoos, do third-gear wheelies on GSXR-1000s and remove offending garden snakes from backyard sheds. Some of us even DAYDREAM about things like making high-pressure 20-foot putts for birdie on the 18th green at Augusta National.
Yet, we cannot bring ourselves to go talk to an interesting woman at a bar, an airport or even in our own dormitory at college.
To further underscore how bizarre this phenomenon gets, I remember running with a crowd primarily composed of United States Marines back when I lived in Yuma, Arizona. We'd park our sportbikes somewhere to grab a bite, see an attractive woman and NOT ONE OF US would talk to her. We're talking about guys who had VOLUNTEERED to risk their lives for this country, and furthermore had just finished a pavement blistering canyon run five minutes before.
What is going on here?
Here it is: it's not the WOMEN themselves we are afraid of. It's our own egos that hamstring us. Allow me to elaborate.
We as men are competitive beings. When we're out with our buddies it's one contest after another. That's all well and good, and we like it that way. But deep in the soul of every man is a mortal repulsion against getting “beat by a girl". Whether women like it, understand it, think it's silly and/or can deal with it is actually irrelevant. It's a fact. The archetypal shame associated with it is wired into our XY genetic code.
Remember back in sixth grade when the girls were maturing and the boys were, well…still looking like little boys? Remember in gym class how some of the girls could run faster and throw harder? It was a drag, wasn't it? When we as guys got older that problem took care of itself for the most part…except in two notable areas: the business world and, of course, the dating world.
In the business world women are going to get promotions and ascend to positions of power with or without any input from YOU in particular. If a woman “beats" you in that arena, you can either accept it and stick around or find another job.
But dating is another story. The “competition" is mano-a-mano when it comes to approaching a woman. And THAT, my brethren, is where we as men let our egos betray us. We tend to see approaching women as a COMPETITION. If you or I approach a woman with this mindset, we believe someone is going to WIN and someone is going to LOSE. If she REJECTS us, we lose-and we've been “beaten by a girl"! And even if we DO get a smile and a phone number, if she doesn't answer the phone when we call her we STILL are getting “beat by a girl". Given this situation, it's a no-brainer to see why most men don't even bother to talk to women AT ALL. The risks to ones psychological well being are just too great. Getting “beat by a girl" is more painful than crashing and burning anywhere else.
So what's the solution?
The discussions I've heard about reframing the approach so as to involve a QUALIFICATION PROCESS are the closest to hitting the mark. Our problem as guys typically is that we've PRE-QUALIFIED women before we've even met them based on their looks and/or how they appear to handle themselves from afar. Having already decided we like a woman before even meeting her, the insidious “contest" is on. Every time.
Instead of approaching women with our approval already sewn up, we need to start putting women to the test in the same manner they famously test us.
Men are typically the CHASERS and women the CHOOSERS in this society as a result of how men tend to view this stuff. Men who deserve what they want and who refuse to “settle" need to start raising the bar, refusing to offer up immediate approval to women we meet until they have proven to be as attractive AFTER we meet them as they were BEFORE we met them. Women instinctively evaluate us when we approach them, as we know all too well. It's time for us to start doing the same-which we have every right to do as fellow human beings.
And look what happens in that case. The “competition" factor has magically been lifted from the scenario. If we haven't yet reached our own conclusions when we approach a woman, she really can't “reject" us…or “beat" us, as it were. She can only pass or fail our own evaluation process. And as any man who conducts himself with dignity and refuses to “settle" knows, women who are rude and/or quick to dismiss us thereby fail the qualification process. The principle at play is much the same as when a pushy or otherwise socially inept man fails a woman's test…as well it should be. It's as simple as that.
Simple, maybe, but not easy. It may take some time to unlearn the poisonous habit of seeing the approach as a competition. But the fact remains that we as men have the power to view things in the more sober context of mutual evaluation rather than “winning" or “losing". In doing so we overcome THE major contributor to “approach anxiety". And I assure you the effort is well worth it.
Strangely enough, the women will even appreciate you MORE as a result. After all, women love real men.
Scot McKay's dating strategies for those who refuse to settle for anything less than the ULTIMATE relationship are found at: http://www.relationship-advice.us/ . Stop by right now and grab a FREE e-book ($20 value) when you sign up for the X & Y Communications Newsletter, which is always packed with unique and practical dating tips.