Approach anxiety is extremely common among both shy and not so shy people. What exactly is it? Steve Pavlina describes it as “the fear of starting a conversation with someone new” and that is a pretty good description. Josh Pellicer describes it as an “overwhelming, gripping fear that you will be rejected if you approach a woman” which is more “approaching women” centic and a great description.
It can be so severe that the thought of approaching someone new, maybe the cutie in the Laundromat or the park, that you start sweating uncontrollable, your blood pressure and pulse increase, and you are absolutely terrified. A friend described it as more severe an anxiety than the first time he went skydiving – and he is afraid of heights!
This is real fear although perhaps illogical
It is not like you are approaching a lion or tiger or bear: just a woman or perhaps group of women, who worst case will be disinterested. It is exceedingly rare for a woman to even be actually rude when approached.
Remember, everyone has approach anxiety to some degree, and how severe it is varies. Some days it is pretty major for me, and other days I’m not quite fearless but do end up approaching and talking to attractive women.
There is no major pill or bootcamp or exercise you can take to “cure” this anxiety, but it can absolutely become much better. Some people like to talk about exercising your social muscles, and in truth by exercising or practicing being social you can get much better.
If I think about the first time I met a woman from an online dating site, I was terrified. The second and third times, not so much. Now, barely at all but sometimes more than others.
Take baby steps. You are not going to walk up to the super model looking women surrounded by admirers and introduce yourself probably, but you probably interact with several cute women every day. Talk to the cute barista instead of just ordering coffee. Ask how her day is. If standing in a line next to an attractive woman, say something, anything.
How about “Is it always crowded here Mondays?” or “What do you usually order – I’ve never been here before.”
The more you talk to people the easier it gets, so I recommend you talk to EVERYONE to help overcome your approach anxiety. I had a lovely chat with the woman at the cleaners today even though I’m not remotely physically attracted, and also the male barista at my favorite coffee shop today. If you talk to everyone, then talking to that unusually attractive redhead seems natural and normal. Hey, you may have some anxiety, but you are a social guy, you talk to everyone, so it is normal and natural.