Approach anxiety and the "acceptance" paradigm
Much ink has been spilled in the pick-up world and manosphere on how to defeat approach anxiety. I think most of it is useless – human psychology is very complicated and what works for one person may not work for another. Furthermore, anxiety and fear of rejection is a constant fact about the human brain – you can’t just turn if it off any more than you can turn any other emotion off. That said, here are my thoughts on approach anxiety. I hope it can help some of you.
Approach anxiety exists because humans are tribal animals and our biggest fear is rejection from the tribe. Evolution wired us to seek acceptance into the tribe at all costs because we feel like we need the tribe for our needs (food, sex, affection, etc…), even it means being submissive, conformist, and paralyzed by anxiety. To keep beta men and women in their submissive, conformist place, evolution makes us feel anxiety whenever we even consider “asking” a higher-ranked ape for something because we know it might lead to soul-crushing rejection (side note: some researchers have hypothesized that part of the women get paid less than men in our society is because they are afraid to ask for promotions and raises even when they deserve them).
But we only feel anxiety if we “feel” like we are the beta “asking” a higher-ranked ape for something. That anxiety will not exist if we “feel” like we are the alpha “accepting” the lower-ranked ape into the tribe. To eliminate approach anxiety, therefore, you must “feel” like your approach is you “accepting” her, not “asking” her for anything. Of course, this is all feelings – there is no actual tribe, and therefore you are not actually accepting her into anything (I guess your life? Your good graces?). And any rational person can see that you are approaching her because you want something (to fuuuuck) so it’s actually closer to asking than accepting. But human beings are emotional creatures, and if you subconsciously communicate the right emotion she will accept you as the alpha. That doesn’t necessarily mean she will fuck you – she may have other alphas in her life she is committed to. But setting this emotional tone is a necessary precondition.
This may sound like woo-woo philosophical bullshit, but the “accepting” paradigm corresponds to an actual emotional state. Once you adopt this state, you will subconsciously emit those emotions, she will feel them and then she hopefully adopt the corresponding emotional state, which is the beta supplicant. Evolution requires all the apes “synchronize” their feelings and accept the order so if you demonstrate you are the alpha she will correspondingly adopt the beta position and vice-versa.
This synchronization is the same thing as frame. In other words, “frame” is the parties’ perceptions of the social hierarchy in any particular situation, and their subsequent adoption of the corresponding emotions. Frame is created by the emotional tone set by the man. Women usually come into an interaction agnostic about you (unless you clearly look inferior or superior) but your actions quickly solidify in their mind what emotional position they should take vis-à-vis you. Women don’t make this easy – they immediately try to “bitch” you and make you accept the beta frame – but if you beat that shit test and then women will accept that you are the alpha.
As a man, you must set the emotional tone of the interaction, not her. If she sets the emotional tone she loses interest because women want a higher emotional experience than what they already have. And you can’t be intimidated by her bitchiness, or her assertions that she’s dominant, or anything else – she is wired to accept the beta position if the man acts alpha. It’s a law of biology that humans can’t defeat. Mike Tyson famously said “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” My corollary is “everybody has a plan until their emotions act up.”
Because the man sets the emotional tone, he should not fish for positive reactions from the women. Obviously, you should be having fun and let her join in the fun, but seeking to make her “happy” is a form of supplication and validation-seeking. Girls observe everything and are masters of masking their emotions, so they can be building attraction but not let it on. Successful game requires long-term planning and patience, and doing the “right thing” even it doesn’t appear like it is immediately paying off. I’ve had many nights where I interacted with a girl that seemed cold and shitty, but I held my frame, and then magically at one point she gave in.
Of course, some girls will just not buy into your frame. They may be thinking about something else, or they just may not be impressed by you. That’s fine. Frame takes two to tango, and all you can do is your best. If she doesn’t like it, next her and find somebody else. Game is like fishing – I’m not begging each individual fish to come to my boat – I am just throwing my line out there and letting whoever wants bite it, as long as they’re not fat or ugly or whatever.
Be the acceptor
Imagine a regular girl who works as a bartender or hairdresser sneaks into an exclusive star-studded party thrown by Jay-Z. She is not famous and is mediocre looking compared to the other women there so she fears she will get kicked out for not being invited and actively avoids security guards.
But Jay-Z walks up to her, shakes her hand, says “thanks for coming,” and gets her a drink. She now feels great because the alpha “accepted” her into the party. Even though he approached her, she doesn’t feel like Jay-Z is a beta, or creepy, or overbearing, or overly aggressive. She also doesn’t think he is “targeting” her to fuck her. Nor does she think he gave her a drink to “buy” her or to supplicate to her. She just thinks “he is welcoming everybody into the party, and he just welcomed me too.”
Of course you are not Jay-Z and you are not always throwing a star-studded party people are killing themselves to get into. But you should approach every woman in the mindset that you are the alpha “accepting” them. She has to feel like she can walk up to you and start talking to you whenever she wants, that it’s ok for her to call you if she wants something to do, and that she can pour her heart out to you and you won’t make her feel like shit for doing so.
How to create the right frame
I discuss how to create the proper frame in my other articles. To briefly summarize, if you are more emotionally invested in a girl than she is emotionally invested in you, then you are the lower-ranked ape. The way you show emotional investment is by asking her for things (her time, attention, sex, etc…) and by validating yourself to her (by either giving her things or showing that you would give her things so that you can get her time, attention, sex, etc…). Both of these concepts can be reduced to “asking” – if she can subconsciously sense you are “asking” her for things, she will sense you are more emotionally invested.
The alpha, however, does not ask for things because, at least theoretically, he has everything. The lower ranked apes ask the alpha for things, and out of his abundant generosity, the alpha “accepts” them into the tribe and (maybe) gives them the things they want. “Accepting” doesn’t take a bunch of work and isn’t a grand thing. All it requires is a handshake and a nice smile, but more importantly, a “feeling” that she is “in.” Sometimes I’ll introduce myself to a woman very warmly, and then just walk away. I accepted you, now it’s your turn to prove yourself worthy of my attention.
Your approach should be warm, direct, loving, happy, positive, and familiar. Most guys are afraid to do a warm approach because they are afraid they will come off as creepy, desperate, overbearing, etc… But that fear only exists when you approach from weakness and are “asking.” If you approach a woman, and she rudely rejects you, she’s not being a “bitch” – she has just emotionally put you in the “inferior” trash bin in her mind because she felt like you were asking for something and therefore “submitting” yourself to her. It’s not a conscious decision for her to be a bitch – it’s an emotional reaction. But if it doesn’t “feel” like you are asking for anything, she won’t (and can’t!) have that negative emotional reaction. If you give her a warm, genuine, direct, approach and she acts like a bitch that means she has issues. The best way to make her feel “accepted” is to immediately speak to her like you guys have known each other for a long time and immediately make her feel comfortable.
Easier said than done
Approaching as an alpha is a lot easier said than done. First, you have to actually “feel” like you are the alpha and that she is lucky to be “accepted” into your world. This may require some delusion or wishful thinking. If you’re a busy club or a music festival you may not feel like you have any power to “accept” anybody into anything – that’s why you have to remember that this all an emotion you are creating and not necessarily connected to any real things in the real world. You have to eliminate any distractions or negative thoughts in your mind, as well as ignore any real facts: your only mission is to deliver an emotion to her. Despite all the various situations you might find yourself in, and all the layers of complexity human culture has created, and people’s crazy thoughts and personalities: we are all deep down just apes with a finite number of emotional buttons: press the right ones and you get what you want.
Once you start talking to her, you will be amazed at your success, and you may want to slip back into beta mode because fundamentally you “feel” like you are lucky to be talking to her and you want something from her. You must keep the frame, even if it means continuously reminding yourself to stay in the “accepting” frame and not the “asking” frame. As a man it is very hard for you to completely turn off your desire to “ask” because, frankly, you WANT her really bad. To turn this wanting and asking off, you need abundance mentality and an awesome life mission (read my other articles).
So how do I do this in practice?
If I am in a social gathering like a party, I introduce myself to everybody immediately as if I have a duty to do so, like I am Jay-Z at his celebrity party. I pretend like I am the “glue” holding the social group together and I don’t want anybody to feel left out, even if I am really a peripheral member of the group or a newcomer who only knows one or two people. My “opener” is usually just “hi, my name is Woujo” sometimes followed by some “acceptance-y” banter like “who do you know here” or “what’s your connection to these people?” I want her to feel like she needs to win my acceptance. If she validates herself to me I will even say “acceptance-y” things like “well, we are glad you are here” and “you’re a good addition to the group.” I’ll do irrational things like using “we” (there is no we) or “thanks for coming” as if I own the place.
I take the same attitude if I am somewhere I don’t know anybody. It’s harder to maintain that mindset, but you still must think: I am Jay-Z, this is my party, and I am “accepting” you into it. It requires some delusional and unrealistic thinking but that’s how human emotions work. There is no actual “we” but if I speak for the group, she “feels” like I am the alpha “accepting” her into it.
“Thanks for coming” is an incredible opener. If you are a newbie with lots of approach anxiety, just have a few drinks and tell every girl “thanks for coming.” You are almost guaranteed a positive reaction because, no matter what, the girl has to consider for a second that she is at your party and you might kick her out if she’s a bitch. It also flips that emotional switch linked to acceptance. I’ve picked up girls by saying “thanks for coming” in the middle of the street or in a Starbucks. Emotions beat rationality. Now, I don’t go around doing this anymore because I don’t like to feel ridiculous, but it is a useful technique.
When escalating, I introduce her to as many people as I can, including guys. I first make sure to introduce her to the leader or best looking guy in the group because it solidifies my place as the “alpha” of the group. If a random guy starts talking to girls I am with I might invite him along. Aggressively accepting guys into the group subconsciously communicates that 1) I am not jealous or scared of this guy taking her and 2) I am actually above this guy, because I am the one accepting HIM into the tribe, not vice-versa. And if she likes the other guy more than me, then I want to know early so I don’t waste my time. But that rarely happens. Most guys are too stuck in the scarcity/asking mindset so they end up looking beta when there are other guys in competition.
Once you understand the “acceptance” paradigm, women’s psychology and bizarre behavior makes more sense. The entire nightclub industry, with overpriced VIP sections and packing people together like sardines, is based on women’s need for acceptance. Men don’t give a fuck about VIP sections because they see themselves as the acceptors and not the acceptees. A man’s conquering spirit would never let him endure the humiliation of begging to be accepted into the VIP section of another man (if there weren’t girls involved). Women do not have that conquering spirit, however, so they need acceptance. When a beta loser walks around a club he sees a bunch of hot, snobby, “bitches” – but I see a bunch of pathetic, ridiculous creatures begging for acceptance.
A lot of guys complain that women just want “attention.” Not necessarily – women want to be “accepted” by the alpha. If they don’t see their man as the alpha, then his acceptance doesn’t mean shit to them so they need to go seek it from somewhere else. If a woman has high SMV, most men melt before her and lose their alpha status, requiring her to seek “attention” (i.e., acceptance) elsewhere. These girls often end up riding the CC.
I could write a 500-page book about the phenomenon of acceptance. Think about the word “hello.” What does it mean? It means “I am accepting you.” That’s all that means.
Once she’s been accepted, it’s her job to validate herself to you, not vice-versa. Like I said, acceptance takes very little – anything beyond that may seem like supplication or validation-seeking. One way of thinking about escalation is “higher levels of acceptance.” First, she’s “accepted” into being allowed to talk to me. Then, if she does well she’s accepted into getting affectionate with me. Then, she’s “accepted” into being invited to the next place with me. Etc… If she does something shitty or loses interest, I “un-accept” her by acting like she’s a stranger. I don’t whine or complain, I just pretend as if we never met. To un-accept a woman is by making sure she thinks you are less emotionally invested than her or she will think you are playing games or being weird. Note, however: if you find yourself “accepting” and “un-accepting” women repeatedly, that means they are probably are not interested in you.
I rarely, if ever, “reject” women because I get nothing out of it. Most men only “reject” women because they’re angry, and I have no reason to get angry. Rejection really hurts women’s feelings and turns them vindictive. There is a reason for the famous quote “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” I’d rather keep them all in a state of acceptance – but at arm’s length if they’re not behaving well. The hardest part of spinning plates is making them all feel accepted – if you don’t keep up with it they will feel like you rejected them and go sour on you. Part of the reason people go crazy and stalker-y after break-ups is that they’ve been rationally told “it’s over” but they still “feel” accepted so they feel entitled to keep going after that person.