You can tell exactly how things will go just by watching him walk toward her.
“Go say hi to her,” I tell him.
He’s a tall, exceptionally good-looking guy with hair parted straight down the middle.
He looks across the bookstore at her. I can see his expression change from normal to tense as he says “Okay.”
He starts to think.
He sees me looking at him. “Okay,” he says again five seconds later.
He starts to walk. It’s a death march. He’s going slowly with his eyes fixed on her.
Just as he gets near her, he loops around and comes back.
“Give me a minute,” he says.
There’s a very simple rule in pickup, probably one of the first rules guys learn.
It’s called the 3-second rule: if you see a girl, don’t wait more than three seconds to approach her.
This rule is one of the most important rules when it comes to approach anxiety. The longer you wait before you walk up and talk to that girl, the more your anxiety builds and builds and builds.
You wait long enough and it is almost certain the approach will fail.
She can tell when you’ve waited ten seconds or twenty seconds or two minutes before you approach her.
How can she tell? Is she telepathic?
No. It’s written all over your body.
The tension is everywhere. There is apprehension in your voice. You’re faltering. You are thinking at a billion miles an hour.
Ah, thinking. If we could only turn off that deluge of thoughts that comes in like a firehose and drenches our confidence.
Conversely, if you approach her before you have time to think, your nervousness is at a minimum. You don’t have time to “brace yourself.”
Your braced readiness is what causes you to fail. You become shut off, self-protective and anticipatory of a bad reaction?all the hallmarks of the guy with social anxiety.
You end up closed off and unintelligent, instead of open, exploratory, welcoming and fun–exactly how you want her to be with you.
A lot of my best approaches happened when I wasn’t even expecting myself to do it. All of a sudden I was talking to her.
In studies of school children, it was determined that the time it takes for them to approach each other was the number one factor in determining social success.
“Asendorpf developed an observational system for coding children’s contact initiation behaviors. The category most closely related to dispositional shyness was the percentage of observed “wait-and-hover” among all initiations, defined as “the child approaches the physical proximity of a partner, stops, and observes the activity of the partner for at least 3 seconds without speaking”. Here, watching occurs within a self-interrupted approach.” (Jens Asendorpf, 1985)
It is no coincidence that the 3-second rule and Asendorpf’s study honed in on three seconds as an appropriate time frame within which the approach will succeed.
There is also a strong correlation to another important part of becoming uninhibited and successful with women: spontaneity.
Even within interactions when we become fearful and non-spontaneous, the interaction suddenly becomes dreadful and boring for her.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is practice getting better at approaching women immediately.
If you are unable to do a full-on approach immediately upon noticing the woman, you can practice at least engaging women when you see them.
You see a hot woman. Not ready to approach? Immediately go up and ask her for directions.
“Which way to the bathroom?” if you’re in a bar. “Do you know how to get to the library” out on the streets.
Don’t worry about getting a good reaction out of her. The point is to do it over and over and kill your hesitation.
Kill your hesitation and your interactions start to get smoother than butter.
Don’t let another second pass. Approach her now!