When a man gets into game it is natural that his first concern is with the emotions of the women with whom he interacts. You spit a bad line on your approach and she’s angry. You tease her too hard and she gets upset. Or you settle into a relationship but she is jealous and you fight.

In all of these cases the primary concern is the manner in which she reacts to whatever you’re doing. “If I could only change the way she feels,” the man thinks, reasonably enough, “Then all will be well.” But regardless of what you want from your relations this is the wrong way of looking at it. For a man to get good with women it is his own emotions that need to be controlled first, not hers.

Fear

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The most common emotion that men encounter in cold approach pick up is fear — that and anxiety, shame, and sometimes even depression. This, as we all know, is rooted in what we call “approach anxiety.” You spend hours reading tips on pick-up on forums and websites and then when you steel yourself to actually try it you might get rejected rudely or simply snubbed.

For obvious reasons this creates a negative spiral of bad feelings. You have put yourself on the line in the most fundamental way and your looks, height, style, demeanour or alpha status or some combination of all of them are found lacking. The cruel smack of the sexual marketplace has shattered whatever ego protection you built up beforehand.

It is little wonder that many men tiptoe over the line into approaching, only to retreat again when the going gets tough to the safety of forums where they can safely deny the efficacy of game in a mutual circle jerk that assuages nothing.

Fear of approaching thus deters many men who could have gone on to achieve success, but who instead drop out of the market prematurely, a clear example of a negative emotion having an adverse effect.

But positive emotions can equally upset one’s equilibrium. The man who is on a good run in game can feel like he is flying. The effect is literally narcotic because guys who go hard can end up sleeping with a great many more women than they were designed to and certainly more than their fathers or grandfathers ever did. This releases adrenaline and endorphins into the system that can become addictive over time.

The Dark Side Of Game

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Herein lies the dark side of game. The rush that follows a successful approach or close is frequently replaced with moments of meaninglessness, loneliness, and a general questioning of the whole process. If a man has simply amassed a catalogue of one night stands then as pleasurable as these may have been, he might well find himself pondering on the overall pointlessness of the whole endeavour. In this instance, it is ironically a level of success that might encourage him to quit, the ups and downs of the game proving too much for him.

As with all elements of life, an ability to marshal one’s own inner resources is what is important. This is not a self-help seminar – I’m not here to give you easy mantras or to be an online cheerleader encouraging you to go out and approach. But what I would say is that it is vital that you consider the endgame every time you walk up to a girl, or get snubbed, as you undoubtedly will from time to time.

This particular approach, this particular girl doesn’t matter so much in the big scheme of things. Learn to view game as a process — you come in at a certain level and spend time building a skillset which will with application lead to greater things. You shouldn’t allow individual troughs to get you down too much.

If you fall into the latter camp, and are finding the highs too high and the lows too low, I would suggest that you should incorporate regular “time out” sessions into your routine. One of the most important elements in my life is the strong group of male friends that I have. We get together frequently to talk. Yes, women will come up in those conversations, but they range much wider, taking in our respective ambitions, work lives, and hopes for the future. It is the grounding influence of male friends that has helped me through the emotional ups and downs that game almost inevitably provides.

Become Grounded

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It is only when you have truly mastered your own emotions that you will become the kind of man who is grounded, and as such attractive to women. Flightiness caused by untreated emotional disturbance is a major turn off for girls. If this is something you are experiencing a lot, then perhaps it is time to sit down and truly assess where you are going and what you actually want from game, and life.

While chasing women can be a lot of fun, it is no replacement for the solid foundations that immersion in meaningful work and male friendships engender. Disregard these at your peril.

Read More: 5 Reasons Why The Skeptics Are Wrong And You Need To Learn Game