The Approach

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You see a cute girl in the bookstore. You want to walk up to her, and you almost work up the nerve to approach her…but then your palms start sweating. You come close to the point of hyperventilation. What if you blurt out something stupid? What if you can’t get out any words at all? What if she takes one look at you and runs for the hills? As you stand there, struggling with your own indecision, the girl grabs a book off of the shelf and flips through a few pages. Then she turns, heading to the cash register. This is it: your last chance to work up the courage to speak to her. You take one step forward, and then you’re frozen. That one step is the only action you’re able to take.

How many times has this happened to you? This is something that happens to both and women. That initial shyness before approaching someone. This paralyzing shyness is why motivational speakers are able to charge thousands of dollars for seminars teaching men the art of picking up women.

Feeling like you need to pick up a woman is a first mistake. This is another case of people making their lives more complicated than it needs to be. Take the complication out of the equation. You’re not a man who needs to say something witty or clever in the first sentence you say to someone. She’s not some goddess on a pedestal that you need to impress. Viewing women as goddesses is sweet and in many cases encouraged, but on that initial meet, you are a guy (or maybe she’s a girl) and she is a girl (or maybe he’s a guy). On that initial meet, you are just two people in the same place. Treat the situation as such.

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If you see a cute girl in a bookstore, you don’t have to walk up to her asking if it hurt when she fell from heaven. Many girls and women have heard lines like these before. Sometimes they can work if a man puts a twist on them. Instead of outright asking her the question, you can walk up and say, “I was tempted to walk up to you and ask you something corny, like if it hurt when you fell from heaven…but then I decided against it.” Boom. You’ve shown that you are confident enough to walk up to her, you’ve shown that you have a sense of humor, and you’ve shown that you try to avoid being corny whenever possible. Points for you.

Sometimes all you have to do is say hi. “But what do I say after saying hi, that’s the hard part.” Valid. Okay. It depends on the circumstances. Using the bookstore as an example, if she’s holding a book in her hands, ask her about the book. If you’ve read it, offer your viewpoint on the book. She’s not holding a book at all? Ask if she needs help finding anything, even if you’re not certified to help her find whatever book she’s looking for. Make a joke about maybe you’ll stumble upon it together. It’s too easy. We just have to get over our own mental hurdles. We just have to stop making the approach seem more complicated than it actually is.

You’re not in a bookstore? You’re at a theme park? Walk up to her and ask which rides she would recommend. She throws you a curve ball and says that this is her first time at the park? That’s okay. Make a joke that maybe you should be the one recommending rides to her then, and ask why this is her first time. Maybe she’s in town visiting family, or maybe she has recently gotten over a fear of heights.

I have an appreciation for the guys out there that are nice guys. I have an appreciation for shy guys. A lot of these men are the most humble. While their shyness is cute, I want to see them going after what or who they want. I want to see them overcome that paralyzing shyness. When you let opportunities pass you by, there’s no telling how your life could have been changed. View it that way. If you let that girl leave the bookstore without even saying hi, what great opportunity could you be letting slip through your fingers?

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And if the girl doesn’t seem receptive towards your approach or communication? That’s okay. It’s not something to feel mind-numbing embarrassment over. It’s nothing to get in a cold sweat over. Sometimes a rejection doesn’t even have to do with you. Maybe she’s dating someone, or married, maybe she dates women and not men, or maybe she was recently hurt by someone she thought she loved. You never know. A rejection isn’t an excuse for you to draw back into your shell. The next time you see someone else you’re interested in getting to know better, be open enough to approaching her. Don’t carry the emotional baggage from that first approach to the new one. Make it a habit not to carry emotional baggage at all, if you can. Life is too short to stress over the small things and life is too short for you to get in your own way. So instead of standing there, paralyzed in fear and nervousness, take those steps forward and seize the day.

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