One of the hardest parts of meeting new people, for men and women, is that initial approach. Whether you’re in class, at the bar, hanging out at a party or at the bookstore, the idea of approaching that hottie you’ve had your eye on for a while sends shivers down your spine.
You take a step towards her, trying to figure out what you’re going to say. Your heart starts to pound. Your mouth goes dry as your palms start to sweat and your thoughts start racing. You manage to go through hundreds of worst-case scenarios in your mind, each worse than the last, in seconds. You freeze in place.
You’re suffering from approach anxiety. And it’s holding you back from meeting that hot girl or guy.
Approach anxiety is a particularly apt phrase created by the Pick-Up community to describe the feelings of anxiety and fear that we feel when we attempt to meet strangers that we’re attracted to. It covers the gamut from mild nervousness to full-blown panic at the very thought at trying to go up to an attractive man or woman and introduce ourselves.
It’s not terribly surprising that people suffer from approach anxiety. After all, you’re going up to someone – sometimes a complete stranger, sometimes someone you only know obliquely – a classmate, a regular customer, the hot barrista or store clerk – and trying to persuade them into being interested in you romantically and/or sexually. To the socially inexperienced, it can feel like you’re being judged, not just on what you have done at this specific moment but on everything that makes you who you are.
Approach anxiety is all about avoiding fear and conflict and how humans respond to fear stimulus. If you want to get over approach anxiety, you have to learn how to handle that fear and overcome it.
So let’s talk about just how you do that.