Approach Failure

First, this serves largely as a personal diary for me. People do read it; and I started it because I figured there were things that needed to be said that weren’t.

Strictly speaking “game” as it is usually discussed is beyond me. I’m too old to go out and talk to women in bars. Still I think I have to overcome certain obstacles I have with social skills as a matter of my own personal development. Life consists of a certain number of bridges you have to cross and lessons you have to learn, sooner or later, older or younger.

I had a rare opportunity to actually talk to a woman the other day and I couldn’t do it. I was waiting, along with a few other people, inside the video store for the rain to let up. One was a very nice looking woman, of a plausible age, and no ring. Couldn’t think of anything to say.

Game practice consists of going out and talking to a bunch of people, but if I could do that why would I need help? “Approach anxiety” is a big stumbling block. I really don’t like talking to people I don’t have to and I’m not entirely sure why this is so strong. There is some key to overcoming this but I haven’t identified it yet.

7 Responses to Approach Failure

  1. bill says:

    I’ve always hated talking to people too. But I’ve stepped up my efforts to talk with people and especially women. Just going up and talking to one isn’t much trouble since I use a comment based on surroundings or what she is doing. Problem is the transition from talking to escalating. Trying to figure that out.

  2. Sheila Tone says:

    Ask about her movie she’s renting, duh. Ask what time it is, even. If the line is long, comment that this is making you reconsider Netflix. No matter how stupid what you say is, it’s a better shot than nothing. She doesn’t know who you are, and you’ll never see her again anyway if you fail to engage her attention. You have absolutely nothing to lose.

    You’re a good writer. Can’t you write some small talk and memorize it to have handy in situations like these?

    Unless you say something really crazy, like, “I’d like to stab that actress in the throat,” anything you say will be fine. Small talk is subject to only minor scrutiny. The next hurdle will be whether she wants to talk or not. There are many reasons she may not that have nothing to do with you (like, she has a boyfriend, or even a husband. I sometimes forget my wedding ring when I’m on casual errands).

    I would still *talk*, though, even though I’m married. Some people just like to talk.

  3. Sheila Tone says:

    I have tried to stress this concept before: If you have a choice between being viewed as a perv or as a eunuch, risk being the perv. In my observation, the pervs are much more likely to eventually end up in relationships than the eunuchs. The kiss of death is being viewed as asexual.

    This does not apply to *professional* relationships, only social ones.

  4. Malik says:

    Your focus is on the obstacle, not on the goal. Game operates on the assumption that your focus is on getting laid and then applying techniques to do so. It’s purpose is not to serve as a personal psychotherapist for those with anxiety issues.

    Some of the teachers pay lip service to these issues, but the fact is if they focused on it, it would hold back the majority of guys who really don’t need help talking to people but instead lack the techniques to get laid. Because the fact is simply talking to girls will not necessarily get you laid, as most guys have found out. You will also have to figure out how to come across as dominant, be able to hold her attention, keep her guessing etc.

    Your problem (and the reason most people don’t change) is a combination of fear and lack of motivation.

    For instance many people have a hard time quitting smoking. However if these people came to believe-with absolute certainty-that the next cigarette they smoked would result in instant death, this fear would overcome any lack of motivation to quit.

    It doesn’t mean they will be able to bypass the trauma associated with quitting, (withdrawal, weight gain etc.) but they are willing to accelerate this process out of fear in order to reach the goal.

    When ever you become motivated enough to change, the obstacles will still be there, the trauma of failure, getting shot down etc., will still be there, your motivation+fear of the status quo will have to be greater.

    Even then, simply being comfortable talking to women will only be the first step down a difficult road. In order to get laid consistently you will have to come across as somewhat dominant, exciting, humorous, ect.

    These things won’t be accomplished with simple behavioral changes but will require adjustments to your very character and the way you perceive things. I think really what is really holding you back is that deep down you know this. The real first step for you then is to decide if it’s worth it.

  5. alek says:

    Hey man. Its nice to see the honesty. I had approach anxiety some 10 years ago… Today, I can’t even relate to it. Like, I can’t even imagine what its like to exit outside and NOT talk to a dozen women just going about my day.

    You want the secret? There is one secret that removes anxiety like crazy. You can go out tommorow and just talk to anyone, no problem.

    Its this – remove wanting. The only reason it triggers anxiety is because there’s a goal behind it. To get a number, to get a date, or at least to get appreciaction and or respect or a nice reaction…

    Scratch that. Your only goal is “being social for the sake of it”.

    Its hard to fake “being social for the fake of it”. You have to become a guy who does small talk. I started off by chatting with cab drivers, neighbours, store clerks. Now every single person in every store knows me.

    Point is, going straight for the hot woman is always going to cause AA, if that’s not who you are. The kind of guy who just talks all day, to everyone.

    I was the most socially anxious, phobic, introverted guy ever. I’m at the opposite end today. All it requires is having a goal of just being social “make small talk to everyone”. If you’re making small talk to anyine within hearing distance, when it happens to be a woman, it’ll just come on autopilot.

  6. Richard says:

    Did I read somewhere that you were London based? I suffer from AA as well but maybe we could beat it together. I am probably of a similar age too.

    Best wishes.

  7. Willy Wonka says:

    Most of all of us that got into game have some form of AA or aren’t as sociable as we’d like to be.

    I know this is very much the case for me. I would love to be the guy that alek describes that just talks to people all of the time for the sake of being sociable. Actually, I am trying to work on that.

    But, even then, it’s now gotten to the point where it’s easy to open some random stranger (guy or girl, just being sociable) with an off-hand comment or so, and make a little small talk, but the problem I have with small talk is eventually it ends. It’s hard to keep a conversation going on for too long with a random stranger.

    This is why I find gaming at bars and nightclubs at night the easiest, because I don’t have to telegraph my intentions, girls know why I’m approaching them. I find it harder to turn random day time small talk/networking/being social into an actual pick-up attempt.

    I’m sure this just means that my game needs a lot of work.

    But, as far as opening this chick in the video store. I mean, just say something man. If you know you have AA and freeze up trying to say something situational, then try to come up with some “canned openers”. Obviously, don’t go all Mystery Method “who lies more, men or women?” in a video store with no context, because she’ll wonder why the hell are you asking her this, lol, but come up with something. “Excuse me, I’m new to the area, you wouldn’t happen to know a good place to eat around here (or bar, or whatever)?” Something like that could work. I suggest trying it. If your AA is really daunting, just go out with a random question like this and go up to anybody, men and women and ask them this at various places during the day. Try to flip it into a small-talk conversation. Don’t try to get phone numbers or go for a same day lay or anything like that. Being outcome dependent can be a hindrance and lead to more frustration. Just go out to be sociable, try to get a 5 minute conversation out of a complete stranger – it’s easier than you think.

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