Remember That Women Get Approachee Anxiety

Vox Day had a post at Alpha Game last week in which a self-styled omega male reader asked for advice on basic conversational skills. I empathized, as a recovering shy person myself there was a long time where I was paralyzed by my embarrassment at not being able to carry on conversations.

However, the whole topic combined with my earlier post about the personality demands of “beautiful high-quality women” got me thinking about a couple of bad mental frames guys can get into when it comes to approaching women.

SOME GIRLS ARE BAD COMMUNICATORS

When you’re a young dude and especially if you’re not into small talk, it’s easy to blame yourself and think that it’s “your problem” if conversations with girls don’t go very well. Likewise, it’s a point of Girl Canon to assume that by virtue of their sex, girls have great communication skills and are socially top-notch and so any botched conversations must be because the guy is socially awkward or something.

That’s simply not true. Plenty of girls are crappy conversationalists, dealing poorly with topic changes, reading tone, managing cadence, interrupting, listening, or talking about something the other person would be interested in. It has helped me, on the whole, to consistently remind myself that women do not have it all figured out in the game…lots of women have “approachee anxiety,” get nervous around guys, don’t know what to say and so say whatever insipid thought might come into their minds, and otherwise fail at properly shepherding the conversation forward. When you consider the plethora of girls who socialize mostly with other women and in addition aren’t getting approached frequently and thus don’t have much practice chatting with guys, it’s not hard to understand why many of them aren’t that great at the conversation thing.

This goes double for those occasions when a girl is interested in you.  Standard PUA teaching is that a woman will drop stereotyped indicators of interest (IOIs) when she’s into you, such as touching herself, touching you, laughing at what you say, or asking your name. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes a girl will respond to the interest of an interesting man with a total unnerved shutdown that looks like non-interest, or a free-wheeling lack of conversational tact. I’ve heard literally dozens of women say how embarrassed and flustered they feel when an attractive guy is talking to them.

It really knocks the pedestal away to remember that it’s only half your fault if the conversation sucks. The past few years I’ve been able to internalize that I’m an interesting, dynamic guy, and if she can’t keep up an interesting conversation with me, it’s HER problem, and I don’t stand for a woman making men feel like they are the ones with the problem because they can’t keep the girl entertained when she can’t be bothered to carry her weight in the discussion.

GIRLS CAN’T READ YOUR MIND

In turn, this discussion brought to mind how easy it is to psych yourself out when approaching by thinking that women have some kind of mind-reading ability and can tell exactly how nervous you are and what your insecurities are and all the rest of it. Don’t go down that path – she may have a bad read or squarely no idea what’s going through your head. This came up in LaidNYC’s interview with Manosphere Radio:

“For most guys, your nervousness is honestly pretty subtle, and girls aren’t experts on male body language. This mythical woman’s intuition, it’s all bullshit – girls don’t have like a magic window into your soul. I feel like guys have this idea that when you approach and you’re nervous, a girl’s gonna know that you’re a nervous low-value virgin or whatever. But in reality, you’re giving her way too much credit.”

Host Peter then quotes Krauser who posits that a bit of nerves can make you a bit more “real” and head off the “player vibe.”

Anxiety in general tends to heighten one’s self-consciousness, and approaching is no exception – that’s one of the outcomes of approach anxiety, you begin to doubt your own value and project your doubts onto other people. For all you know, she spotted you walking in and has already projected onto you her conviction that you are the sexiest guy she’s seen all night. Just walk up to her, say the opener and cast out any thoughts that she’s got you figured out. Some approach anxiety is almost always going to be there, don’t make it worse by making irrational assertions to yourself because of it.

While it’s true that women are going to pick up body language and kinetic cues that you might be unaware of, don’t mistake that for someone having a full informed picture of your own emotional state. People misread cues all the time, and if women had this magical intuition in spades, they’d be dominating all the poker tournaments and arms negotiations.

KEEP IT REAL

I find that recalling these two truths gives me a couple of things. One is a sense of ease that the other person might have as many butterflies as I do. Another is a sense of empathy for her, which helps stave off the adversarial frame of the typical night-game approach and build the human connection I am going for to begin with.

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17 Comments

Filed under beta guide, dating and field game

17 responses to “Remember That Women Get Approachee Anxiety

  1. Great post. So many people, and especially women, are getting to be such horrible communicators in person. Sometimes it could be shyness, or maybe they’re on the autism scale, but it probably also has something to do with our culture’s focus (dependence?)on technology. I see people talking to the person next to them WHILE also texting, checking Facebook, and otherwise using their smartphones to “multitask” numerous conversations.

    I am appreciative of the technology we have at our disposal, but loathe the way people use it. Formerly, it was just us nerds/geeks who were bad at talking to women…now, it seems a good half of our population is failing to pick up on conversational cues. :/

    I don’t date, but hopefully your post here will help those guys who are trying to be successful. If the women who wander into my store are any indication, men will need all the communication help they can get.

  2. earl

    “girls don’t have like a magic window into your soul.”

    Yeah but I notice how many of them will look you in the eyes…and I would say that is a subconcious test. That is a big indicator of what’s going on in your head.

    They may not be able to read the whole mind…but you should become comfortable with eye contact at least.

  3. This is so true. I get young women blushing and giggling nervously when I talk to them. I’m an older guy, tall and in good shape, and I’ve been told I’m intimidating. Watching a cute girl turn red when I chat with her is like fuel on the fire.

    It helps to remember that many young women (especially American women) are complete dorks whose inadequate social skills are a result of hours of texting, reading celebrity news, and watching reality tv.

  4. While it’s true that women are going to pick up body language and kinetic cues that you might be unaware of, don’t mistake that for someone having a full informed picture of your own emotional state. People misread cues all the time, and if women had this magical intuition in spades, they’d be dominating all the poker tournaments and arms negotiations.

    While I like the content of this paragraph a lot, I have to mention that one reason women do not dominate in poker tournaments from a superior ability to pick up body language is because men generally have a superior ability for stoicism. The whole ability-to-read vs ability-to-be-a-blank-slate is an arms race between the sexes that’s more equal than the current blue-pill world gives men credit for.

  5. Joe Blow

    I used to have a boss who had three ivy league degrees. She was a hardcore believer in Womyn’s Superiority, and also the most socially inept person I have ever dealt with. I thought it was me for a while, then I discovered that everybody else felt perpetually off-balance with her. Her thought & conversational flow was staccatto, she couldn’t follow changes in topic but constantly initiated such changes making her very difficult to follow, and she was absolutely devoid of manners, t o the extent that her routine temper tantrums were pretty much indistinguishable from her day to-day communications. Couple that with a nearing-flattened affect, and one could never tell whether she was being mean, joking, sneering, or trying to play it straight. It was like trying to balance on one leg on a basketball on a concrete floor covered with marbles. Worst communicator I have ever met.

  6. Great post. Empathizing with your target’s weaknesses is an important part of knocking her off the pedestal.

    When you realize girls are just people with their own anxieties and problems and even social deficiencies, it becomes easier to connect with them.

  7. Urs

    Yeah, I gotta say as a chick that we don’t usually know what’s going on with you guys. I’ve been approached by a lot of guys in my lifetime, and I’ve never once gotten the impression that any of them were nervous. It’s only recently that it has ever even occurred to me that men aren’t always the uber confident rock stars that I’ve generally interpreted (and envied) them to be.

    But also, there is also definitely aproachee anxiety. Any time a guy walks up to me, I am usually thinking, “Uh oh. What does he want?” I am not sure if he will simply want to know something like where the bathrooms are, or if I am about to get hit on. Which isn’t necessarily so bad, but sometimes it’s very vulgar and uncomfortable. And also, I am married, and this doesn’t always garner a pleasant reaction, either – I almost hate to even mention it because some guys are so ugly about it. Even if it is a nice guy just trying to have a nice conversation with me, I feel weird and guilty about it, like I’m not only betraying my husband, but also leading this poor guy on by continuing to converse with him.

    It was a little different when I was single, but not much. I wouldn’t lie and say I had a boyfriend just to make someone go away, which meant that some guys were just distressingly persistent, even after I’d make my disinterest clear, try to end the conversation, or even leave. Surely enough, I developed a bitch shield in order to manage it. Only to find out that a good percentage of guys aren’t even fazed by THAT; some even seemed to prefer it, interpreting it as “playing hard to get”. I could, and did, literally say things like, “I don’t like you, and I don’t want to talk to you anymore”, and it rarely mattered much (although I typically reserved this level of discourse for the most uncouth men I encountered, not guys who were at least reasonably pleasant).

    Of course, my social skills are not always on point, although they are much better than they used to be. I know there were occasions where I was approached by someone attractive, and in my inability to accept their interest in me, I would cut the conversation short, trying to “do them a favor”. Surely, they couldn’t be interested in me? Despite wanting to talk, I would instead try to flee, sure that this person would lose interest upon spending any amount of time with me (I clearly had some value issues).

    Indeed, good social skills are hard to come by, on both sides. I am glad I don’t have to date anymore!

  8. Glad you’re back Brother. ‘Sphere sucks without you.

  9. This really is an excellent post Badger. Great work. One of the things I really like about many of your posts is your explore interpersonal dynamics from a different, much richer perspective and angle than a lot straight “Pick-Up” guys.

    GIRLS CAN’T READ YOUR MIND

    In turn, this discussion brought to mind how easy it is to psych yourself out when approaching by thinking that women have some kind of mind-reading ability and can tell exactly how nervous you are and what your insecurities are and all the rest of it. Don’t go down that path – she may have a bad read or squarely no idea what’s going through your head. This came up in LaidNYC’s interview with Manosphere Radio:

    “For most guys, your nervousness is honestly pretty subtle, and girls aren’t experts on male body language. This mythical woman’s intuition, it’s all bullshit – girls don’t have like a magic window into your soul. I feel like guys have this idea that when you approach and you’re nervous, a girl’s gonna know that you’re a nervous low-value virgin or whatever. But in reality, you’re giving her way too much credit.”

    This is pure golden truth here.

    Very recently, I attended work-related training on effective meeting facilitation. One of the exercises was running a mock meeting where many of the people are basically out to sabotage your meeting….having side conversations, interrupting you, asking stupid off the wall the questions, trying to sidetrack the agenda. These people were just playing a role, but it still evoked in me the emotions of being flustered, frustrated, angry, etc. The exercise was videotaped so that you could watch yourself later along with the feedback. During the exercise, I was making a conscious effort to try and keep my composure despite my internal feelings. Here is what was interesting. During the feedback, NO ONE could tell just how frustrated and angry I was at certain points. When I watched myself, I couldn’t tell either. To be honest, I was actually amazed at how calm, cool, and composed I came across despite feeling what I know I was feeling.

    So yeah, I think the idea that women can read your mind, or somehow assess your entire mental/emotional state and inner thoughts from just a few facial “microexpressions” is total malarkey. I think it is one of those things some women are invested in believing they have some sort of super power to “read” people. I’m almost thinking there may be a “shit test” aspect to it as well, with a guy taking himself out of the game.

  10. Jeremy,

    “men generally have a superior ability for stoicism. The whole ability-to-read vs ability-to-be-a-blank-slate is an arms race between the sexes that’s more equal than the current blue-pill world gives men credit for.”

    You’re absolutely right, I hadn’t thought of that angle at all. Just as we’re evolved to detect others’ cues, there’s an evolutionary incentive to hide your state. In this sense sociopaths are the most evolved, capable of great false sincerity with no internal repercussions.

    Many a hamster has been turbo-charged by the stoic, unknowable nature of even a mildly attractive man.

  11. Morpheus,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    You’ll hear from some women that you shouldn’t bother learning any PUA-style game because “women can smell insecurity” so you have to have lots of “inner game” so you’ll be “authentic” and then you don’t need any openers or comfort routines or anything, it doesn’t matter what comes out of your mouth because your authentically authentic authenticity will overpower her. Or something like that.

    For any guy who is shy or inexperienced with women that’s just a circular-logic death sentence. You and I and everyone reading this knows that the inner-game-authenticity syllogism is a racket because authenticity can be effectively faked, and in any case there are behaviors that are effective in leaving more of an impression on her than her usually-bogus read on your unspoken frame.

    Women are bamboozled by fakers all the time, and it’s certainly as you say an ego investment for some of them to believe they have clairvoyance and can’t get fooled. How many times have we heard “that PUA stuff would never work on me”?

    While I don’t advocate concocting a false persona, a little fake-it-till-you-make-it never hurt anybody and is the only way guys are going to get better with girls.

    Danger&Play had a great post where he says to hell with the IOIs, the “indicator of interest” you use to greenlight an approach should be YOUR interest in HER.

    http://dangerandplay.com/2012/09/11/how-to-spot-a-player/

    “Although knowing body language is useful, players never wait for an IOI. If you see a girl you like, make a move.”

    I am tempted to add ShockG’s advice, “homegirls…see a guy you like? just grab him in the biscuits” but this is a family blog.

    “Here is what was interesting. During the feedback, NO ONE could tell just how frustrated and angry I was at certain points. When I watched myself, I couldn’t tell either. To be honest, I was actually amazed at how calm, cool, and composed I came across despite feeling what I know I was feeling.”

    Isn’t it wild to find out you’re not communicating what you think you are?

    bbsezmore had a situation similar to yours, where she was royally pissed off at her then-new husband about something or other, and received quite a shock when he told her not only couldn’t he read her mind, but he couldn’t read her body language either, because she wasn’t communicating the way we’d expect an angry person to act like.

    “He looked at me in amazement. “You are? How can anyone tell? You look totally calm. I had no idea. What are you mad about?””

    http://bbsezmore.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/what-every-girl-should-know-iv-he-cant-read-your-mind/

    In his interview, LaidNYC gives some examples of girls he’d approached who looked totally unapproachable, and it turned out they were totally game to chat with him and he wound up sleeping with/dating them. Some revealed they really wanted him to approach, had no idea they were giving off negative signals.

    Men gotta realize that women as a whole don’t understand men very well these days (not nearly as well as they have convinced themselves, for sure), and so they don’t really understanding how to read men all that well (the point of this post) but they also don’t really understand how to communicate in a way men will understand.

    You are spot on with the shit-test angle, as Rollo put it they want a guy to “just get it” and if he doesn’t her hindbrain humunculus will try to push him out of her breeding pool.

  12. @ Morpheus…

    I had a similar experience being videotaped for a dance presentation. I had my general nerves based on the situation (people watching, being judged by another dance instructor, remembering what to do)…but watching it I couldn’t believe how in control I looked as I accomplished the task. It’s almost like a hurricane in reverse. The center is full of strong winds and destruction…and the outer parts are calm.

  13. Martin

    Major reason why people are becoming bad conversationalists: iphones. Stop staring at that bloody box and go talk to real people.

  14. Pingback: Remember That Women Get Approachee Anxiety | Depression fighting

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  16. Giana

    I love this! I’m a female in college and when a football player approached me, consistently semester after semester, I’d always smile and walk away because of approach anxiety. He was so perfectlooking. I didn’t know how to react. Now I see him n he still tries to talk to me, but I need advice. This site offer no solution! How do girls beat approach ee. Anxiety?

  17. @Giana
    Just giggle a lot and play with your hair. Don’t worry about saying dorky stuff. Have a go to question ready when he approaches that will let him tell you all about himself. Maybe ask him about his plans to get ready for the football season. Or ask him about his experiences growing up.

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