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How To Overcome Approach Anxiety


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Has this happened to you - wanting to talk to a pretty girl in the café, but the moment you go to speak to her, your brain freezes. 

The mere thought of interacting with an attractive person gets your head filled with doubts and fear. “What if she rejects me? What if she scoffs and laughs at me? What if I say the wrong thing?” There is immense pressure to appear attractive, appealing, and confident on the first go. However, this prevents us from taking the initiative and starting a simple conversation. 

I know how that feels. Yes, I've been there way too many times. But eventually, I put a lot of thought and work into this issue and finally overcame my fear. 

Here are some of the things I did to reduce approach anxiety:

#1 Accept The Fear

First of all, notice the pattern when fear arises. When you spot someone interesting, you want to speak to them but feel scared to approach and start avoiding eye contact. I often tried to make myself appear smaller, and sometimes I got so uncomfortable that I wished the ground would swallow me whole. 

Instead of bashing ourselves for being under confident, we need to acknowledge the fear and feel it. Running away from the issue won't ever solve it, so allow yourself to feel the stress, and over time you will get comfortable with it. Hold your ground, and I promise it gets better when you decide to work on it instead of hiding and avoiding it.

#2 Talk To Strangers Often

If approaching people you find attractive is a challenge, start interacting with anyone new. This was truly an eye-opener for me. I found different types of responses and got the hang of how people react. 

So, the next time I saw an attractive woman at the bar, I simply struck up a conversation like I did with any other stranger. I'd suggest you do this often and it will dramatically increase your confidence in talking to people.

#3 Embrace Rejection As A Natural Possibility

If you strike up a conversation, know that it can go either way. Not everyone you approach wants to talk, and that is totally fine. Whether you are interested in someone or want to make a new friend, remind yourself that they might not be interested - and that’s okay. 

Even if the conversation doesn't go as planned, don't think of rejection as a personal failure. You will feel terribly embarrassed at that moment, but as your comfort zone expands, approaching any interesting person will become child's play.

Is approach anxiety something you have had to overcome? What helped you overcome it? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think one of my brothers has had this problem his whole life. I don't know if he has ever even had a girlfriend and he is 29 years old. If he has had a girlfriend, he never brought her around the family. He seems to struggle with talking to women his own age. I am not sure why but maybe he does have anxiety and doesn't realize it.

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