The Best Guys In the World Get Approach Anxiety

by Eric Disco
Apr 6

Questions from a reader:

I take it you were once like every other nice guy out there who couldn’t talk to strangers for whatever reasons, but while most gurus and websites advertising seminars and workshops would have you believe that your approach anxiety can be fully ‘cured’ in six hours, you seem to still suffer greatly from it. – TA

Guys who are really good with women still get approach anxiety. Approach anxiety is not something to be be “cured” in six hours, six weeks or even six years.

That nervousness and excitement you feel when you make yourself vulnerable by talking to an attractive girl is a GOOD THING. It adds energy to the interaction.

Do I still get approach anxiety? Does an olympic level marathoner still feel his heart race when he goes out for a run? Of course. That’s all part of the process.

My fear is part of me.

Can I help you “get rid” of your fear? That would be like you telling me you got hurt from loving someone and that you want me to help you never get hurt again.

The point with learning how to handle approach anxiety isn’t to “get rid” of it, but to learn to handle it and NOT BE PARALYZED by it.

I am still sometimes paralyzed by my fear. I PURPOSEFULLY put myself in challenging situations so that I can grow as a person.

I approach girls on crowded subway platforms. I do approaches in front of large groups of people.

I welcome these challenges because I know I’ll grow as a person.

So what I’m wondering again, is do you consider yourself a fully-fledged pickup artist, or a guy who’s not quite made it to being a pickup artist yet – or perhaps just a guy who, like me, doesn’t want to be labelled a pickup artist, since that’s not an entirely attractive way for anybody to describe themself?

Yeah, the term pickup artist has lame connotations. It sounds slimey and deceptive.

Do I have skills at picking up women? Yes.

I have done and can do a lot of the typical “pickup” things.

I have done same day and night hook ups, multiple relationships with women I truly cared about, hook ups with super hot women, etc.

I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor to do some of this stuff even just to do it a few times.

I’m not as much of a club goer any more and prefer to meet women during the day.

I love the empowerment that goes along with being able to walk up to any woman I choose and have a roadmap for making it happen.

Beyond that, there is nothing in the world like social confidence. Human beings are social people. When you feel confident and comfortable in social situations, you feel confident and comfortable in life.

More so than all the wonderful women who have entered my life, I am less fearful everywhere I go every time I open my mouth.

What a liberating feeling!

I avoid bragging about hook ups for a very important reason: I’m selfish.

I’m fine with people thinking I suck at picking up girls. In fact I prefer it. I would much rather people see what I struggle with.

That’s because I want to improve.

I don’t know a lot about Buddhism or Eastern Philosophy and enlightenment, but I know part of it is losing your ego

Every time I step out into the street to go talk to a new girl I am back at square one, no matter what.

I am back in kindegarten. I am learning something new.

I have no idea how she could react. I have no control over that.

I can only reduce myself to nothingness and walk toward her. All I have is my willingness to learn and accept everything that follows.


posted in Acceptance

9 responses
Jools says:

Thanks for answering those so thoroughly, it’s all very interesting. It makes sense, given the nature of this website, that you’d rather write about the times you found it difficult than the times it was effortlessly easy. Gives people something more to relate to I guess.

Keep up the good work anyway man. For someone like me (a college student) who can’t afford to do a workshop, these sites are probably the best bet beyond finding some like-minded friends who are good at forcing you to stop being feeble and just go for it with approaching girls!

Jonno says:

Thoroughly enjoyed your site and your podcasts ever since I found the site a couple weeks back. I’ve been through almost the whole thing already, and I’m really impressed by your dedication to keep the site active with new posts on a regular basis.

It’s easy to let something like this fall to the back burner, so I appreciate you taking the time to do this, I think it’s helping me already.

I was wondering if you had any suggestions about something. I live in a busy city, the kind where people don’t often stop to say hello or even make eye contact, but often times I find myself seeing girls in passing on the street or in public spaces where it’s hard to make eye contact or get their attention for a second. I feel like if I can make eye contact I have a decent shot at an opener, but if I don’t I can’t think around the problem.

It’s a cold, cold approach, I find, and I was wondering if you deal with stuff like this at all.


Rocky says:

I’m feeling your comment during AoR that, after you were hitting them out of the park in San Fran, when you got back to NY you were “wondering what happened to your super powers.”

I find it harder and harder to approach anyone I am not completely attracted to on some level. It’s been 2 days since I’ve approached, but I can’t fake it to make it. I either believe it and do it based on that, or I don’t. I guess if you count making small talk with cashiers, etc…then I’m still doing my daily approach, but it’s not the real thing.

Well, the weather has been sucking here in Chicago. I’m waiting for the sun and warmth to break out so I can really get things moving during the daytime. For right now it’s been bargame, and I’m doing well, but like I told you in Chi, daygame is my endgame.

Another awesome article as usual. Man, your blog is one of the best.

I was wondering if you had any suggestions about something. I live in a busy city, the kind where people don’t often stop to say hello or even make eye contact, but often times I find myself seeing girls in passing on the street or in public spaces where it’s hard to make eye contact or get their attention for a second. I feel like if I can make eye contact I have a decent shot at an opener, but if I don’t I can’t think around the problem.

You do not want to wait until you make eye contact with a girl to open her. God forbid I only opened girls who I made eye contact with. I would never open anyone. I’ve had plenty of great interactions with girls with no prior eye contact.

Theres a great article by David Shade called “Eye Contact Experiment” It is one of the best articles out there on improving your eye contact. Check it out here.

Alexandra says:

Eric, I loved this article. The best girls in the world get approach anxiety too. Just last night I was thinking about this very subject, and then I happened upon your post today. I consider myself a confident girl. I can walk up to complete strangers (men, women.. anyone) and feel extremely confident about it.

The truth of the matter is, when I meet someone that I just like in a friendly way and have no deep interest I’m more than fine, not nervous at all. However, as soon as I truly meet someone I reallllly like.. I am all a funble and the tension makes my heart race. It doesn’t matter what techniques or lines I have learned in the past.. you instantly forget everything and just turn into your true self. I feel like I am right back in high school during the time when I was so shy that I couldn’t talk to anyone. When this happens, the only thing you can do is hope that, that person sees the same thing in you that you see in them. You can only be yourself.

Anyway.. maybe I am making no sense.. so I am going to include a small portion of a letter I wrote to someone just yesterday.. I have never opened up so much in my life. It makes me so vulnerable. But I think you will find it interesting and partally relate to what you wrote.

“I’m the girl that couldn’t get a date for the prom, and the nerdy guys didn’t even approach me, unless I approached them first. I have gotten to a point (self taught) where I can walk up to anyone and exude great confidence. I can flirt with guys and it will make me laugh or smile, but it doesn’t fill you up inside. A guy can put his arm around me and that doesn’t mean a warm feeling takes me over. Meeting you, made me go back to some of my nerdy ways.. getting nervous and not knowing the “right” things to say. I felt nervous each time we would touch, even if it was a light tap on the knee. ”

Seattle misses you.

Jonno says:

I guess I just need to work on some good openers for people just on the street. I never have anything to say that will illicit more than a one-line response it seems.

Do you think a touch on the shoulder is a good way to get someone’s attention or is that overstepping my bounds?

p.s. thanks :)

Bebop says:

Alexandra, thanks for expressing yourself, which is basically what we’re all trying to do. I find that when I open myself up to people, they will open up to me. Cut through all the BS we shroud ourselves in and enjoy the attraction between talented, interesting individuals. I thrive on emotional and physical intimacy with people.

You don’t have to worry about the “right” things to say, as long as you’re emotionally, mentally and physically confident they will come naturally. The way I see it, is that you can’t force a connection, BUT you can improve yourself in all areas of your life so you become more able to connect.

Jonno says:

Nice input, Alexandra, Bebop.

The problem though is that, yes, mutual attraction is perhaps more easily expressed between talented, interesting individuals, but this is largely a matter of self confidence. If you can believe you are talented and interesting, and speak passionately about something, you can become radiant, Develop “magnetism”. A lot of it just breaks down to self respect. If you believe in your own self worth, and your body language reflects that, you develop a stronger presence.

People that don’t respect themselves will always be looking for excuses to escape behavior that allows for positive growth.

In one of Eric’s articles he describes how he overcame the issue of self doubt by putting his actions one step ahead of his actual comfort level (Standing in the center of a room). It’s all too easy to be a prisoner of doubt, and letting your actions lead and your mind follow for a change seems to be a nice way to actually develop internally (Outer game informing inner game).

Do you think a touch on the shoulder is a good way to get someone’s attention or is that overstepping my bounds?

A tap on the shoulder is fine. We teach this in Art of Rapport. A few things about the tap:

Tap on the shoulder she ISN’T carrying her bag or purse. Just so she knows it’s not somebody trying to steal it.

Tap light, as if you are tapping a friend.

Don’t be all in her space when she turns around. You may need to take a step back.

It’s hard to show all the mechanics of it, but that’s what I can tell you.