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@Lee–I don’t think you’re reading me right. Of course it’s tough but it’s also individual. The whole concept of “approach anxiety” is a construct by a relatively new group of individuals trying to sort themselves out. It’s not a “thing”–we treat it as one to try to help people. But at its core are lots of individual issues–not everyone’s fear of talking to girls has the same causes–just as even clinically recognized things (depresison, anxiety, social anxiety) aren’t actually “things” either but sets of similar symptoms with vastly different underlying causes. It helps me to realize that. It may not help you, or some other people, but it helps me.

Anyway, by “natural” i mean sexual expression. It IS natural–most people just experience puberty and go with it. Flirting is natural–it’s nothign more than free expression. Those of us who can’t or don’t flirt don’t not do so because of some evolutionary psychology–we avoid it because of things that happened in our past, things we’ve been told–even prenatal reflexes in some situations. Why is it that tons and tons of guys DON’T have this problem?

No–honestly I don’t buy the evolutionary psychology aspect. Maybe in the perpetuaion of group dynamics, but that’s about it. We’re told when we’re 2 or 3 years old to not approach strangers, to treat women in X, Y or Z, that we’re supposed to suppress certain things. Those things we learn are powerful.

I do think that things like nervousness are more ingrained–fear of the dark or as you say, heights, sometimes develops out of nowhere. Like when your’e going to call a girl up on the phone, or ask her out. You may feel nervous. But to the point of completely stopping yourself from acting? I don’t see that as akin to a fear of heights or the dark–it strikes me as a different animal.

I think without those social “learnings” we’d be a hell of a lot freer to act on impulse.