Posts Tagged ‘progress’

Last month I realised that approach anxiety was my sticking point, and so set myself the goal of opening 50 sets in February. Due to a few cases of poor sarging planning and improper venue selection, I nearly missed my target. It was tough going, and there were many nervous approaches on my part but I made it in the end. An important point to note is that the fact that I set myself a goal was many times the only thing that drove me to get out in the field and sarge. Goal setting is important, do it.

So, did I cure my approach anxiety? Yes and no. I am still slightly apprehensive about approaching women, but this has massively improved. I no longer get full on stomach churn when approaching, and as a result I am much calmer when in set. An important thing to note about approach anxiety is that is is hard wired, and as such never fully disappears. You just learn to cope with it.

All in all my social confidence has gone up hugely in the past month. I’m not going to talk crap to you and tell you I’m a new man already, but my surge of confidence means I’m certainly making big, positive changes to myself. I feel a step closer on my journey to becoming a true PUA, but it’s going to take time.

I know that there are lots of you out there who are currently being held back by approach anxiety, so I thought I’d share with you what I learned this month, as it may hope you to overcome it:

  • As I suspected, the main thing you can do to overcome approach anxiety is to repeatedly open sets until it goes away. No matter how nervous you are to start with eventually you will get used to it. Just like your body, your psyche seems to be driven to achieve homoeostasis, so over time you learn to ignore the anxiety.
  • Having a set of openers that you feel comfortable saying really helps. I found some of the standard Mystery Method openers (“I just need a female opinion on something…”) felt a bit odd, so I went with some openers which seemed a bit more natural. For example, asking what time the bar you are in gets busy, or if there are any good clubs in the area. If you are to approach many women, you must have a prepared opener which you feel comfortable saying. Many people say that what you open with really isn’t that important . This is true for the more advanced PUA, but what people that say this fail to realise is that one of the biggest things stopping a novice PUA from making an approach is that he doesn’t know what to say to the set. Fail to prepare some openers, dear reader, and you are going to fail to successfully open.
  • The reactions you will get from women are much better than you might expect if you’re not used to opening. Once you realise that nothing bad will happen when you open a set this gives you a lot more confidence. The worst that has happened to me over the course of 50 approaches is being asked ever so nicely to leave them alone, and the odd funny look. These ‘bad’ reactions happened on only a small percentage (maybe 15%) of all approaches.
  • Do listen to what the girls in the set have to say. It’s easy to focus so much on your opener, body language and eye contact that you actually completely ignore almost every word the girl says. The girls pick up on the fact that you’re not really listening, and this makes them uncomfortable. Also everything they say is a possible springboard to further conversation. Not listening is wasteful.
  • The Mystery Method recommends the use of false time constraints (FTC) when opening. An FTC is where through either words or body language, you, while opening, make the set believe you are just about to walk off. This stops you looking needy, obscures your objective (picking up the target ) from the set and makes the set feel more comfortable because they aren’t worried your going to be hanging around them for ages and boring them. FTCs seem very powerful to me, and this is despite the fact I never a actually used an FTC. So why do I think FTCs work when I haven’t used then? I occasional accidently used time constraints when opening. This would typicaly be when I was leaving a bar, or moving to a different area of the club and decided to spontaneously open a set on my way. I was never intending to stand around and chat with them. Just a quick opener then I was off. Almost every time I did this I got great reactions from the set. Like lots of big smiles, trying to re engage me in conversation as I walked off, and some times even one of the girls grabbing my arm to get my attention as I walked off. These sets did not feel like I was trying to pick them up. I was just the fun guy that has little chats with everyone. This made them want to talk to me. There was no, “FFS, another random guy trying to hit on us” bitch shield to try and circumvent with these sets. FTCs are an attempt to artificially recreate what I did naturally on these occasions.  Do use FTCs. I’ve noticed that many aPUS don’t bother with them, but I’m sure that your sets will open more easily with them. The opening line itself may not matter, but the first impression you give sure as hell does.

One thing I did find, is that because I was purely focused on opening, not intending to do any follow through, I did prematurely bail on quite a few sets. With almost half the sets I opened the girls would have been quite happy for me to hang around and chat longer. Around a third of sets actually seemed to actively want me to stay and chat to them after I started to leave. Some of these sets tried to re-initiate conversation as I was leaving. I usually gave them the brush off, and ignored any IOIs I was given. This was the one disadvantage of single mindedly focusing on opening. I could have taken many of the sets I opened much further if I hadn’t lost interest in them as soon as I’d added another notch to my opening bed post.

I think the graduated, one step at a time approach I have decided to take might occasionally slow my progress down artificially. Despite this, I think learning game will take a long time anyway, and in the long term I fell that this controlled pace of learning will lead to a greater mastery of the game.

So for now it’s back to the books. I have put some of what I learned in the field into practice, now it’s time to do some reading, study up on the theory and decide where I want to go from here. Once I’ve worked out what the next step is, I will be able to set this months goals such that completing them will help me get there.

In my next post I’ll let you know what March’s goals are.

Edit: March’s goals online