Archive for May, 2010

The idea for this post came to me in field immediately after I got instantly blown out of a set. A wing and I were in a small bar in Soho, London’s West End on a Friday night. It was still early, and there were only two sets in the entire place: one large group of 20 some-things sat on sofas at the back, and a mixed group of about 8 people in the middle in the middle of the bar who’s average age looked to be about 17 (under age drinking; don’t do it kids!).

I was leant up against the bar chatting to my wing, when two Eastern European looking girls entered. I didn’t really notice them until the stood next to me at the bar and ordered drinks. I turned my head to look at them, and opened them casually over my shoulder as body remained in place, “Hi guys”. One of them turns her head to look at me. She’s a 7, maybe an 8. “Do you know what time it gets busy in here?”. She turns her head away from me and looks forward, completely ignoring my question. I know she heard it.

Blow out. There’s a slightly uncomfortable burn in my stomach, the type of thing you get were something that is slightly socially embarrassing happens. I continue chatting to my wing. “Wow, it’s rare my opener is completely ignored like that”. My wing shrugs, “It doesn’t matter, you opened, that’s the main thing. It happens occasionally”.

I think about it for a few more seconds and feel a bit bad. Getting totally blanked can make you feel fairly low value. Then I go into analytical mode. Did I not speak loudly enough? Did I not properly make eye contact? Next time I open I will have to speak louder and make more of an effort not to be ignored. It’s then I realised that it was my approach, and not myself that just got rejected. The bad feelings are gone now (this entire thought process has only taken like 5 seconds), and I start chatting to my wing about 3D films, with some quick glances around the bar for more sets. I never realised that 3D porn, while sounding great, includes the prospect of being faced by a giant erect penis, pointing out at you from the screen. Thanks to my wing for ruining something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

So I got blown out. It wasn’t as bad as blow outs get, sort of just an average blow out. It lead me to think about how blow outs suck so much. When thinking about it, I had a minor epiphany.

Blow outs suck so little they barely suck at all

That’s right. If a blow out was a blow job you’d be asking the girl to put more effort in because you can barely feel the sucking. The worst you can expect from 90% of all blow outs is a few seconds worth of negative feelings. This is nothing compared to the hours I have spent feeling like a failure because I let my approach anxiety get the better of me and made far to few approaches.

This is very important to people like myself who are suffering from approach anxiety. The sense of dread you get from approach anxiety, when viewed logically is completely disproportionate to any reasonably likely negative outcome of opening a set. In other words the fear of approaching is completely illogical. It’s not like your in the trenches during the Battle of the Somme and about to go over the top. A reasonably expected outcome in that scenario is death so extreme fear is very understandable.

Approach anxiety therefore comes down to a battle, the beast vs the man. It is our reptilian brain (the beast) telling us approaching can lead to bad things happening. We must force ourselves to think logically, and let the man (the logical part of our brain telling us nothing bad will happen) win the fight.

Not approaching has negative consequences

We often think that approaching may have a bad outcome, but not approaching won’t have any outcome, negative or otherwise, since not approaching is inaction, and we are less likely to think of inaction as having any consequences. This is not true. Not approaching has worse consequences than approaching, and we feel the effects of those consequences for longer. The long term consequences of not opening are horrific: lack of sex, low self esteem, no relationships with women, possibly no family and kids. Things don’t just happen on their own. You have to make them happen. Remember this next time you’re contemplating an approach, but you think it’s better to just do nothing.

So, dear reader, I’ll leave you with a quote which I think is very relevent to the topic of approach anxiety vs getting blown out. Some cleaver bloke said it so it must be true:

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake

Meister Eckhart