No secret making the first step can be scary as hell. Especially in the area of social communication.
I don’t need to tell you why. I’m sure you guys worked through a ton of self-help materials: books, courses, webinars trying to deal with it.
Fear of rejection, people won’t like me, overthinking, and stuff like this – you know!
Although there’s a constant high demand for ways, methods, techniques to resolve this issue, nothing new has been invented since… well, since the creation of the world, I guess. Nike worded it accurately: just do it.
It’s simple yet you, we, other people continue seeking for some innovative new age (and as a rule, more expensive in terms not only money, but time too) approach to the problem. This is pure procrastination. We do not want to face what we want to accomplish (paradox, but we humans are full of illogical).
I have nothing new to offer you either. But I know you’ve spent about 3-4 seconds reading the above paragraphs, so I’ve got to somehow make it up to you. Then, read on, my friend!
Let’s consider some mental traps you are most likely have caught yourself into.
The first one is expecting that some day you’ll wake up, walk out in the street and will NOT be afraid to make the first step. I’m sorry, but nothing could be further from truth.
There will never ever be such a day. Admit it.
You can’t pump yourself up with a bunch of techniques, motivational courses and stuff like this up to that point that you’re not scared, anxious or nervous to walk up to that girl/guy and say “Hello!” It’s impossible in its essence.
Why? We’re talking about fear here. Fear is the primary emotion that keeps species alive, humanity including. It let our ancestors survive and evolve. It’s basic animal instinct added by nature for our own good. So it’s natural to experience fear when doing something unknown (or thinking about doing it) for the first time.
It’s an indicator that warns us that we step into the terra incognita. It tells us: “I’m just warning you! If you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, that’s OK, but I’m just doing my job, nothing personal!”
As long as brain surgery (and our knowledge of brain overall) is in the infant state, we do not have physical tools to switch off the fear completely.
Even if you take a couple of strong tranquilization pills, it won’t work. In the best case (if the pills suit your organism and you do not have any unpleasant side effects, like much stronger anxiety – yep, it happens) you’ll just feel so relaxed, that you will simply not want to start any social interaction at all. You’ll be feeling peaceful and so fulfilled inside out that there would be no even a tiny bit of necessity to interact with external, social world for you.
So, if you admit that you’re going to be nervous and there’s no way around it, you’ll actually get rid of one of the constraining excuses, which hold you back.
Now let’s consider another excuse. This one is especially true for guys, so girls may skip it. This excuse can be worded as “She is not pretty enough.” Sounds familiar?
That’s my favourite one! I was holding to it so tight and used it sooo many times.
I see a girl, she’s pretty, I start feeling a natural desire to walk up to her, make a clumsy conversation, maybe ask for a phone number. And right at this moment – bam! – the excuse mechanism is activated. I start coming up with flaws in her appearance: her face, body shape, clothes she wears, trying to justify my own cowardice.
I bet you know what I’m talking about! “The angle of her cheekbones curves is not in my taste.” Nonsense! And then, later that evening, reproaching yourself for inaction.
The person does not need to be perfect to be interacted with, otherway no one would ever interact with nobody! A light attraction is more than enough to make an attempt. She may be not so pretty from the angle you saw her, and so hot from another point of view that you’ll want to bite your arm off!
The third lame excuse: “I’m not ready” or “I’m not prepared”. This includes such particular excuses like: I haven’t read enough personal development books or attended sufficient number of motivational seminars as well as I haven’t done my haircut, my jeans are out of trend or my phone is dated, and bullshit like this.
Until you’re stinking, you are ready for social interaction.
Surrender to the embrace of instant temptation of social interaction. Have seen a girl, felt something inside? – act on it! No overthinknig. No thinking at all. Make a literal move toward her. You’ll feel how adrenaline breaks into your blood, fills your body. Heart starts beating rapidly and intensely. Thinking is getting narrowed and focused? Great! A kind of “I’m gonna faint now” state? Perfect! That’s what we want. And that’s what we’ll use for our own good. It’s hard to think in the relaxed, passive way you usually do, brain switches on, “danger” mode is activated. Next several seconds/minutes you’ll be “in the flow” of this state. You’ll do your best whether you want it or not. Your “passive” ego has lost control over you. It’s time for the active one. And this ego will perform at the limits of your capability without asking your permission or requiring you to do anything. Don’t stop. Just keep moving forward.
The last excuse: I’d better pass her, and start a conversation with the next one.
Here focus on the benefits you’ll gain if you do what your heart or other parts of the body require.
First, you’ll feel a great, tremendous relief after, even if you do not succeed in getting her number, you’ll be more than happy that you’ve tried. Your self-esteem is raised, self-respect is raised.
Perhaps, you’ll have a date this weekend, first time in your life (Yeah, your male friends you’ve arranged a man-only-club with will be upset you miss the following meeting!)
After that deed you can do whatever you want – you’ve deserved it! Want to go to that new fancy cafe, a visit to which you were postponing for the whole month? Do it! Want to buy that new game and play it all day long – do it. You’re the champion here, and the most successful one among many who haven’t bothered to make an attempt! It’s your righteous reward.
When you’re feeling like receding focus and hold in mind the following perspective: my everyday activities are dull. They suck. I’m literally a move of a tongue from a fresh new experience, which will fulfill my life with new great emotions I am eager for for so long. Do your best to concentrate and hold this vision in mind, like you do with a body of another person when you masturbate. (Please, don’t tell me you don’t!)
Okay, now, to sum it up:
1. The first step is always fearful. Don’t try to fool your experienced animal instincts which were evolutioning for millions years with your young human brain.
2. Don’t be fool to catch yourself in a trap “She’s not good enough”. You know she is. Falling asleep this day, won’t you be dreaming that girl be lying here, in your bed with you? And high chance, not just merely lying.
3. Ready/not ready – these are only your inner assumptions. A casual social interaction is not familiar with such concept at all. It just happens!
4. Focus on great rewards which expect you in a couple of minutes.
Here’s a useful exercise I encourge you to try. I was using it at the PUA training 5 years ago.
You walk up to a girl and tell how nervous you are! Yeah, just walk up to a girl and begin rapidly saying out every thought you’ve got on your mind like: “Oh my god, I’m so nervous, you are so pretty, I don’t know how to interact with women, you’ll reject me for sure, I’m going to faint right here…” and so on.
The girl will start calming you down. I guarantee it! This approach is very funny at the same time – the girl will most likely start laughing. It is a very effective icebreaker!
When you make the first step, do not pretend that you are an expert. Admit that you are a beginner: it will make you stronger, not weaker. And then, quoting Steve Pavlina, people will respond. That’s the key.