A lot of guys getting into game want to find a way through the pain barrier of embarrassment. If only, they think, I could not feel embarrassed when I walk up to her. If I felt no embarrassment I could do anything.
Well here’s the thing. You will feel embarrassment—it’s all part of the game. But if you can learn to love embarrassment, to welcome it, to hold it close to you and embrace it like an old friend. Then you will have developed a social superpower that will get you great results with girls.
My Own Experience With Embarrassment
I wonder to what degree embarrassment is culturally inculcated? Certainly it seems so with the British, of whom I am one. Think Hugh Grant’s stuttering protestations of love in all those rom-coms. That is what we Brits are like.
Other nations seem brasher to us. Americans, for example, seem to have no trouble being cocky funny. And Italians are forward and persistent with apparently no issue at all.
Actually, though, from coaching a great many guys worldwide I know that in reality most of us feel the same way. We are self-conscious, too aware of ourselves. We look at ourselves in 360 degrees, and imagine what others must be thinking too.
For whatever reason, I was always incredibly shy as a child and growing up. I was shy to the point that I found it hard to look people in the eye when I was talking about them. I found it difficult to get up and leave a room to go to the bathroom in case everyone talked about me when I was gone. I was even embarrassed when I phoned up a call centre, imagining what the bitchy office crew on the other side might be saying about me when I hung up. My whole life since, including my journey in game, has been a slow process of giving less of a damn.
When you suffer from embarrassment, or acute social anxiety in my case, the thought of approaching a woman is terrifying. What will she think? What will others think? And this is of such great concern because you are investing too much importance in the attitudes and opinions of other people. And you are also attempting to mind read.
The First Girl I Asked Out
I recall the first time I ever asked a girl out. We were in the same class together. She was the prettiest girl in school. I fancied her like crazy. Probably every other guy there did too.
Of course, there was no way I could speak to her face-to-face. So instead I got her phone number somehow (I forget how) and I called her up.
I was so embarrassed even just making that call that I brought a comb with me down to the phone in the hall. As I dialed her number, I clenched that comb in my fist so that its teeth bit into my palm. It hurt—when I looked at my hand later I’d drawn blood—but that hurt kept my mind focused away from the acute embarrassment of making the call.
She rejected me. She gave me an ‘I like you as a friend’-type speech. We were perhaps 14. It’s amazing how girls have all of that stuff down so young. I later found out that she’d been seeing this guy called Vinny Pringo, the class alpha. It was an early taste of the red pill for me. The movies had told me that if you wanted a girl all you had to do was tell her how you felt.
How To Handle Feeling Embarrassed
Most of us become more confident as we get older. It is unusual to meet anyone past their early twenties who is crippled with social fear, and it tends to lessen incrementally as we get even older. Age has a way of allowing you to put things into context, and to understand that something as simple as getting rejected by a girl is not the end of the world.
One popular way of reducing social anxiety, though, is through desensitisation. In this article the writer James Altucher describes how he travelled from 42nd Street to Brooklyn Bridge on a subway train, skipping carriages at each stop, doing stand-up comedy to the passengers. That must have taken some balls. And then again, in another way maybe not.
Here’s Altucher on making the decision to just go for it:
I said to myself, “there’s no way I’m going to do this. This was a waste of time.” And I got ready to get off at the next stop.
Then, I figured, why wouldn’t I do it? What can happen? I’m not even really trying to make people laugh. I just want to do it.
What jumps out? For me it is ‘What can happen?’ and ‘I just want to do it.’
Because really, what can happen? Altucher chose to break with social convention and do something highly unusual on public transport in NYC. But he wasn’t doing anything illegal. He wasn’t doing anything offensive. He was just doing something that most other people wouldn’t dare to because of their fear of what others would think. Why? Because he wanted to.
That’s a kind of positive selfishness, when you think about it. In life a lot of us tend to think far too much about the concerns of others, and far too little about our own concerns. And a way to reframe the way we behave socially is less ‘I’m going to be very brave and do this’ and more ‘I’m going to put myself first and do this.’
When you approach a hot girl in public in front of other people, you are doing so because you want to get with that hot girl. If you choose not to approach then you are making what you imagine other people will think more important than what you want. But why in the world should you do that? Why shouldn’t what you want be more important to you—as long as you’re not harming anyone—than any other consideration?
If you really find it difficult to approach girls because of embarrassment or shyness, then you could try a desensitisation exercise like James Altucher’s stand-up comedy training. You could go and pull some crazy stunts on the subway to get used to people looking at you, so you realise that in the majority of cases the consequences are minimal.
Or you could do the mental work necessary for you to put yourself first. After all, if you just want to do it, then what can happen?
Either way, once you have reduced your sensitivity to embarrassment successfully then you will be thousands of kilometres ahead of the majority of other guys. It will be like you developed the equivalent of a social superpower and your results with women will improve exponentially.
For a compilation of all Troy’s best game writing, advice and techniques from the last four years buy his new book How To Get Hot Girls Into Bed.