Anxiety is defined as the fear of an uncertain outcome.
Now, if you’re walking through the forest and there might be a tiger stalking your tribe, you should be afraid of that possibility. In that case, the anxiety that keeps you alert is good.
The problem is that almost nothing approaches that level of danger in modern life, and yet we still experience anxiety. Indeed, the most likely thing that will kill you is heart disease or cancer, and yet people continue shoving Costco muffins and tacos down their throats and not exercising.
Ironically, one of the things we fear most are people–specifically, not fitting in or being accepted by others. Like the fear of being killed by a tiger, it made sense as we evolved to develop a fear social rejection, because the tribe was our lifeline and our status in the tribe determined almost everything about the state of our life, from the amount of food we got to the number or quality of women we had access to. Causing problems in the tribe was really bad, and if a woman rejected you as a mate, everyone would know about it, so we evolved to have a strong aversion to that kind of experience.
Unfortunately, as Strauss points out in The Game, it doesn’t matter anymore. Like, almost literally. I mean sure, you can get in trouble if you try to fuck a coworker or a girl who’s underage, but otherwise, rejection is completely without cost.
And yet, most guys are still terrified of rejection. From the first time we ask a girl out in 7th grade, or the hot chick in Spanish to prom, we’re fucking nervous as all hell…for no good reason whatsoever. And this follows us even as a grown ass men stumbling upon the idea of cold approach in our mid 20s or 30s. The idea at first sounds wild and scary, and for most beginners, it is. Even as a guy who’s done a ton of approaches, I still sometimes get nervous.
Even though NOTHING BAD is going to happen.
The point is that approach anxiety is real, and as day or night gamers, we have to kill it. There is no other option. If you don’t get over AA, you simply can’t do cold approach pick up. It’s impossible. It’s perhaps the most important thing any guy has to learn how to control, and it’s also why 99.9% of guys don’t actually do cold approach. Like, of all the guys on Twitter and YouTube and r/TheRedPill and anywhere else you might find them who claim to know about girls, most don’t do cold approach–most just swipe on their phones or mine away on the computer like the average simp they make fun of. And they’ll give you a hundred reasons why they don’t do it–they crush it on Tinder (lie), they can swipe while they wipe their ass on the toilet (true), cold approach has a low success ratio, etc…but the real reason?
They’re scared. Even as they beat their chests on the internet, the fact is MOST guys are too scared to do cold approach pick-up.
The good news is that you can train yourself to ignore AA through a combination of reframing your perspective, and doing exercises to show your brain that getting rejected is harmless, and perhaps even rewarding.
Reframe #1: You literally have nothing to lose.
A client recently made the remark that during his day game sessions he had the feeling he was, “playing not to lose.”
My reply: but like, you don’t even have anything.
We all know playing not to lose is a bad strategy in sports, but at least in sports the team who’s doing so has something–typically a big lead.
On the flip side, when you go out to run game, you don’t have shit.
And yet my client’s experience is fairly common: we have this feeling that if we approach a girl and she says no we lose in some way. So right as you step out the door, remind yourself: you have nothing to lose whatsoever–the only possible thing that can happen is good, which is you getting a cute girl’s number. Or making her smile. Or having a nice chat.
You getting rejected by a bunch of chicks is EXACTLY the same in terms of outcome as walking around not approaching a bunch of chicks.
And getting rejected is better, right, because at least you got the practice of doing it and had the chance one might say yes. Here’s a fun thing to think about: if you have zero game and just go ask a certain number of women for their phone number (“hi my name’s Brian–you’re cute–can I have your phone number?”) eventually one will say yes, and she could end up in your bed.
So in truth, only good things can happen by approaching, and on the flip side…
Reframe #2: Nothing that bad is going to happen.
One way to deal with any kind of anxiety is to examine the worst case scenario–like, what is the absolute WORST thing that can happen in a given situation?
In game, it’s this: a girl might be mean to you.
It’s true. If you do enough cold approach–especially night game–some women will be shitty. Mostly they’ll just keep walking or walk away. Sometimes they’ll say “no,” verbally. In super rare cases you might have a chick who tells you she’s too hot for you. And on the odd chance you’re a completely uncalibrated dick she’ll slap you or throw a drink on you or something like that…
But that’s it. Nothing worse. And mostly it’s just the first two: she won’t stop or says no and walks away. That’s it.
Your mom will still love you. You won’t lose your job. You’ll still have enough to eat (if not, game is not the most pressing issue my friend). You won’t lose any money. And no one will know unless it’s your wing. More importantly, no one will care, including your wing, AND the girl. Like, if she rejects you harshly, she won’t even remember you the next day–and if she does it means she probably liked you and is realizing she fucked up.
And all of that stuff I mentioned isn’t even that bad. Oh, a girl was mean to you? Guess what motherfucker: your forefathers took spears in the chest and were run through by swords and hewn to death by blunt axes. Dudes died at 27 because they had a cut that got infected. If you got a sinus infection there was a good chance you’d die. Some high number of people for most of human history starved to death…
But you’re afraid to talk to a pretty girl because there’s a 2% chance she’ll be mean to you and a 15% chance you get blown out? Fuck me! That is insane!
I’m not trying to make fun of guys who have AA or emasculate anyone–the struggle is real–but in the context of what men have faced throughout most of history, we’ve got it REALLY fucking easy. And I’ll just say it: stop being a pussy. You aren’t one, right? Then act like it. If our ancestors faced death, you can surely do this. Also…
Reframe #3: Girls want you to do this. So do the people who sometimes watch.
Ask anyone who’s a competent daygamer: assuming she stops, 95% of the interactions are positive, because girls like being told they’re pretty. Also: most girls are nice, pleasant human beings.
Really shouldn’t come as a shock.
Think about a girl’s perspective: she works out, doesn’t eat shitty food, spends lots of time putting on makeup, shopping, and keeping her body nicely taken care of and groomed. WHY? So hot guys will be attracted and come talk to her.
I mean, this is pick-up 101: ASSUME THE ATTRACTION. And it works because it’s often true. Like, if you’re in good shape, dressed like a baller, and popping some flash, most chicks are going to be excited to talk to you and many will get super turned on by the BOLDNESS of your approach.
Indeed, one thing that’s really weird for a girl is when a guy approaches her, is clearly flirting, and then doesn’t close. Now understand, she may still reject you, but she wants you to ask–because that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Chicks love the notion you think they’re attractive enough that you’re willing to risk rejection.
I’m going to repeat that: Chicks love the notion you think they’re attractive enough to risk rejection. It is a massive turn on for her. The catch is that the only way you can show her this is to risk rejection.
She wants you to approach. She wants you to close. She wants you to win.
And here’s what’s even better: so does most everyone else. As any guy who’s gotten into this will tell you, if you do run enough game–especially day game–people will compliment you for trying to get a girl’s number. Older women think it’s super romantic. Older men wish they had the balls to do what you’re doing. Other women wish you were approaching them.
Or else: they don’t care.
On that point–the whole “spotlight effect”–guess who the weirdo is? It’s the person watching, not YOU. You’re just a cool guy who talks to girls. Anyone else who’s watching is a creepy voyeur who should have better things to do–but also, who cares? It’s just some random person. What are you afraid of? That they’re going to call the police? You’re not committing a crime, right, so just ignore the bystanders and focus on the girl.
Reframe #4: go get rejected.
One of my guys always texts me before a session: heading to X to go get rejected.
I honestly can’t remember if I told him that or if we got it from somewhere else, but it’s a powerful way to reframe the whole thing–and especially for guys new to game.
Because you’re going to suck at first. Your openers will sound forced. You’ll forget what to say. You won’t show enough sexuality. You’ll forget to stack and qualify. And on top of all that, in cold approach, most girls are going to say no–she’s got a BF, husband, isn’t in the mood, or you’re just not her type. Some percentage of girls probably aren’t ever going to give out their number to a perfect stranger.
And while in most cases it’s not ideal to assume failure, in day game it actually makes sense. Now you still have to go see what she’s up to and do your best NOT to get rejected, but by going into the interaction with no expectations, you free yourself of any undue pressure from the outset.
So if you find it helpful, go into your sessions assuming the rejection, and then when you do get that number it’s a pleasant surprise.
How to train your brain not to be scared of rejection.
“OK RP–I get it. But I’m still scared for irrational reasons. How do I get better?”
Like anything else: practice. But let’s break this down into four basic ways you can teach your brain to stop being scared.
- Talk to lots of girls.
- Ask for favors that are likely to be rejected.
- Ask for favors that are likely to be accepted.
- Do scary/painful shit.
The best way of course, is simply to go talk to a bunch of girls.
The more you do it, the easier it gets. First one is the worst one, as Tom Torero says, or whoever he stole that from, and it’s true. Set #2 is easier than set #1, set #3 is easier than set #2–or at least typically that’s the progression.
So if you can just get those first few approaches, or better yet, make a habit of approaching chicks on the regular, AA kind of goes away in the same way going off a jump when you’re skiing or snowboarding gets easier as you do it more often: you realize nothing that bad is going to happen–and actually that a lot of times good stuff will happen–you just do it, even though there’s a slight bit of nervousness as you go off the ramp, because you know it’s going to be fine.
That’s why the best option is to simply jump straight into it and start talking to girls. Unfortunately, a lot of guys have a hard time with this, so another option is to…
Ask for favors that are likely to be rejected.
I’ll credit a client with this idea–although I was aware of it before–he put it on my radar…
“Hey, can I have a bite of your sandwich?”
“Can you give me $10?”
“I’d like a 20% discount on my coffee today.”
That is what most people are going to say if you ask them these questions. And? Who cares? You got rejected. Indeed, you knew you were going to get rejected. But otherwise, nothing bad happened. Someone said no. Happens all the time.
This is a great exercise if you struggle with closing, but also for anyone who experiences high levels of AA. Because by asking for favors you know are going to get shot down, you learn to accept that rejection is part of the process, and ultimately, nothing bad will happen.
Ask for favors that are likely to be accepted.
“Can I borrow a pen?”
“Any chance you could meet at 2:30 instead of 2?”
“Can I get one more day on this project?”
“Could you tell me where a good coffee shop is?”
Two blocks down and on the left.
Most people are helpful and will give you help if you ask politely and it’s not unreasonable. In a way, that’s the same frame you should apply to talking to girls: it’s not unreasonable to ask for her number–you’re a handsome man, she’s a pretty girl. She can say no of course, but it’s not odd for you to ask.
So ask people for favors. Coworkers. Parents. Friends. But especially random strangers since that mirrors the day game experience. What you’ll find is that most of the time, they’ll say yes or help you out if what you’re asking isn’t beyond them. And if not, it’s another lesson that rejection is bullshit and doesn’t matter.
“I don’t know where a good coffee shop is, sorry.”
Oh, OK. Have a good one.
Do scary/painful shit.
I take an ice bath almost everyday.
It’s horrifying. Absolutely dreadful. And I love it.
Because it forces me to stop being a pussy. It forces me to be uncomfortable. It forces me to realize that I can do hard things using my will and will alone.
Here are some things you can do along those lines:
- Run a mile for time
- Take a cold shower/bath
- Fast for more than 36 hours
- Walk/bike to the gym, or home, or to work
- Go to a foreign country, alone
- Do day or night game, alone
- Run stairs to exhaustion
- Do burpees to exhaustion
- Make a bet where you pay money to a cause you hate if you lose
I think the payoff here is obvious–kind of goes along with the reality of understanding most humans lived miserable lives for most of human history. They did really hard shit, which means you can do hard shit as well. And if you can do hard shit, you’ll realize talking to pretty girls isn’t actually that hard.
Alright kids…that’s how you beat AA. The problem is that most guys can’t do this on their own, which is why I offer coaching. In most cases, change is really hard, and you need someone to help you change and hold you accountable. Frankly, this is also why I don’t offer coaching for free: if neither of us have any skin in the game, who cares? Neither of us has to perform, because there’s no exchange of real value and no cost for inaction.
So as always, if you need help, hit me up. Otherwise, thanks for reading. Cheers fellas!
I am now convinced that this should be taught in school. I have an older brother that did his best to enlighten me with similar words of wisdom. I did ok but could have done much better. Hopefully lots of young guys read this or something similar because it is so true. Well done
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Good reframing of AA. Literally nothing bad can happen, but it’s the societal “consequence” or to be frank, feeling stupid, which comes out of insecurity that you’re rejected because you’re not good enough, rather than a million other reasons she could reject you for. One thing that helps me sometimes, literally, is to look at my phone immediately after a set. Distract myself from whatever I’m feeling.
But AA, is something that imho never truly goes away, no matter how many sets. It’s a matter of feeling it and doing it anyways. A great tip from Breeze was to turn around, and walk without expectation of approaching. Honestly, once you can take that first step you’ll approach 99% of the time.
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To add, there’s also an element of wanting something; That always makes things feel more high stakes than it really is.
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Yeah I agree–and I should have added that. Just start moving your feet. Walk toward her and your brain will figure out something to say.
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True… and you can also reframe it. Instead of thinking “im so nervous approaching this girl,” say “this should be exciting”
Without screwing up, you may never find out what you can do right!
Also, something that was never told to me when I was 18 was that women have their own concerns and hang ups. Furthermore, I found out that women were people and that helped me out big time
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