Reply To: Going Direct
That is a sensible approach. I can understand feeling disingenuous when doing this stuff. That is a common feeling at the beginning. And it is 100% fine to focus only on direct approaching. That said, I would still make sure that you “ramp up” with direct approaching. If you force yourself to show interest in a woman every time you speak with her (“I thought you were cute,” etc.), the fight-or-flight response will be triggered in your body more than if you allow yourself to ramp up by asking for directions, giving small compliments, etc.
I suggest you figure out a way to ramp up with direct approaches. If you’re going to a store, open your mouth and talk to someone for some reason. Doesn’t matter what. Ask for directions. Ask for the time. Give them a compliment. You may not feel the difference, but it will make a huge difference when you actually talk with someone. And it will make a huge difference how you will start to feel from day to day.
Let’s take an analogy of getting past a fear of heights. Perhaps you have a huge fear of heights. Your goal is to go bungee jumping. If on the first day you forced yourself to walk the top of the tower and bungee jump, your body would react a lot. If you went back every day and bungee jumped, your body might never calm down. But if on the first day, you only walked up one flight of stairs and the next day you walked up two, etc., this would give your body time to adjust. It’s called exposure therapy. It’s a proven psychological technique.
And I can attest that this has been true in my own life. When I first started approaching, I did ALL direct approaching. I didn’t do any ramping up. I just forced myself to go out every day and approach an new woman. It was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life. I did start to get more confident, but the arousal my body experienced NEVER dissipated. It was only when I started to change my method and ramp up that I started to experience less of the physical and psychological symptoms associated with anxiety. In fact, I think that doing all that hardcore approaching may have even set me back because now I associated approaching women with those feelings and my body started to react automatically when I would go out, knowing I was about to jump into the deep end.
I can understand that it feels disingenuous to ask directions, or give compliments to people if you aren’t feeling it. That feeling is a symptom of your anxiety. As you do more of it, that feeling starts to dissipate. You will always have to push yourself past that feeling in one way or another when you ramp up. After a while you get completely used to it.
> Do you have thoughts on when a good time to “turn it on” would be and when to “turn it off” would be?
I recommend that you set aside a specific time to go out and do this, like one hour per day, and only approach during this time, at least at the beginning. If not, you may end up putting too much pressure on yourself the rest of the day and you may end up feeling failure when you aren’t approaching every hot woman you see. You want to minimize the amount of failure you feel. Give yourself an achievable goal and try to stick to it. It is not reasonable to think that you will approach every woman you are attracted to from the start.