Look, I know being shy locks you up. You want to say something, or at the very least just be comfortable in your own skin.
But as you stand there, trying to say something to her, you get more and more locked up and shut down. What if I told you this was a learned behavior and that you could unlearn it?
Read on to find out how to be calm and collected, so you can effortlessly connect with those around you, including very attractive women.
Part 1: What Does It Mean to Be Shy?
Let's talk about what shyness really is.
A lot of people say that they aren't really shy they are just introverted. Shyness seems to be synonymous with introversion.
I guess it's a lot nicer way of putting it, and people don't want to say they have social anxiety.
But in my experience, most people who say they are introverted, are really just shy, and the people who say they are shy really just have social anxiety. So you may ask, if I'm not really an introvert, and I'm really just shy, and I'm shy because I have social anxiety, then what is being an introvert?
Introversion doesn't mean you are afraid of social situation, groups of people, or even interacting with strangers. I know this personally, as I'm VERY introverted. But I can step out of it when the situation requires, like when I filmed the video for this article.
Introverts typically prefer to be by themselves not because they have social anxiety, but because they usually have something they believe is more interesting going on in their lives, or in their mind (like their imagination), than social interaction.
An introvert has no problem holding conversations as long as they are deep and meaningful. In other words, they get drained in social situations, not because of social anxiety, but because they find that particular social setting incredibly uninteresting, and it is usually pulling them away from something they would rather be doing.
So they get bored easily and feel like they are wasting their time. Now that boredom IS a weakness of introversion, and it leads to dismissing good people, but that's a topic for another video.
As you can see introversion is VERY different than having anxiety in a social setting. Introversion is simply a preference.
With social anxiety though, the very thought of interacting socially brings up feelings of anxiety generated by underlying fears of nonacceptance. They feel that they will be judged poorly if they don't perform adequately. That people will consider them a loser. People with social anxiety fear that they will be discovered as a fraud and that they are not truly worthy of love and acceptance. So they hide.
Social Anxiety - You're NOT Born With It
Imagine a small child on the playground. Imagine how they interact with other kids, strangers, and anybody who will give them time and attention? They may be a little bit shy at first because they have a genetically innate fear of physical danger from a large adult, which is perfectly understandable, and smart, but once they see that they have nothing to fear, they open right up and want all that person's time and attention.
They don't have social anxiety.
So you can see, social anxiety isn't something that you are born with. It's a learned behavior, and if it's been learned then there is a real chance that you can...unlearn it.
So let's learn how to unlearn your social anxiety?
Part 2: Where Your Shyness Comes From
When you were a very small child, you had very little or no negative self talk. You would just go about your day and do things you wanted to do.
You'd have fun! You would play! You didn't think of other people's emotions AT ALL. You were completely ego-centric. As you got older and developed empathy, you were taught to NOT to accept parts of yourself, or you were told to shut up and be quiet, and that you aren't accepted the way you are with your unique idiosyncrasies.
You internalized these negative experiences. You started to believe that these things are true, because they are coming from adults, kids older than you, and perhaps your peers who seem to know more than you, especially if it's someone you hold in high regard.
Like a pretty girl you had a crush on, or a parent who makes fun of you for liking someone.
Your True Self gets shamed.
And when someone shames you they are telling you that you should hate yourself for being yourself, because you are not being how they think you should be. It's incredibly toxic and children are very susceptible to these things because they are so impressionable. They take it all in with no filter.
So now that you know where it starts, let's use an analogy of WHY it grows into anxiety in social situations.
Let's say, that you're a small child and nobody has ever shamed you for being yourself. Your 5-year-old self wakes up excited to be alive at 5:30 in the morning. Your emotional availability to you is at 100%, in fact, you are overflowing with openness and happiness, and you just want to run out of your room and just see what happens.
You don't have a plan other than to experience LIFE, and you're already enjoying the hell out it!
Your mom hears your footsteps and comes out of her bedroom. She's incredibly groggy, cranky, and not in an accepting mood for your immediate requests for food.
So she says, "Ugh...why can't you just sleep in? Don't you realize we're all super tired? Don't you feel bad about waking everyone up? No...well you SHOULD!"
Your 5-year-old self has no way of processing this. You might only understand a little bit of what she is saying. But you know it's not good.
These words and emotions go right into your unfiltered childlike subconscious. Sure the happiness of the day eventually overrides her nonacceptance, her guilt trip, and shaming of you for being just what you are - a hungry happy 5-year-old. But because you can't process whats' going on here, you ignore it and overlook it because you want to be happy, you want to eat, and you want to play.
You feel off because you don't know what you did wrong. What came to you naturally was not accepted. You weren't told ahead of time that you would fail. You just now know that you did fail, and that you should feel bad for not knowing you would fail, and because you failed you aren't accepted. You can't win, she created an emotional vengeful trap, it was by her design.
Part 3 - Your Willpower Bank Account
Think of your willpower capacity of the day like a bank account.
When a situation like this arises and you don't have the ability to or willingness to process it, you push it under the rug. Or what I like to call the negative emotional credit card account.
Since you aren't willing to fully look at it and process it, you push it onto the negative emotional credit card to be processed or paid off later, if ever.
Over time, when painful experiences happen over and over, and as you don't process these feelings, by escaping into TV, Video Games, Masturbation, Beer, Sports, etc. they go on to the emotional credit card. The credit card balance gets larger and larger as the years go by.
The problem with credit, as you know, is that it comes with interest. This interest appears in your mind as negative self-talk, beliefs of not being enough, being unlovable, and of being a failure. And the interest MUST be paid off, daily, the moment you wake up. Every day you have to pay off that interest with your daily happiness and willpower checking account.
The interest always gets paid FIRST, and sometimes constantly throughout the day.
As you fill up that emotional credit card, you have less and less happiness and willpower from one day to the next. There is less about yourself that you absolutely love, the less about life that you love. At some point that emotional credit card debt is so huge, so gigantic, that just the INTEREST takes ALL of your daily happiness and willpower.
You wake up stressed. You wake up tired, and maybe you don't realize your tiredness is just emotional exhaustion. And that your emotional exhaustion is coming from the interest that needs to be paid. Loads and loads of negative self-talk, of beating yourself up. But by now the debt is so gargantuan you don't even want to acknowledge that it's there. It's too scary to face, and you wouldn't even know where to begin, so you escape even more. You are now putting even the interest on the credit card.
The debt collectors come knocking at the door constantly begging to be paid, but we don't have any emotional capacity to pay it back because we're tapped out, we're exhausted, in fact, we don't even have enough to pay the interest anymore. All the negative emotion saps our energy for the day, and more.
We have nothing left for ourselves. We are overflowing with emotional debt, and constant anxiety kicks in. This where social anxiety comes from. It is a part of this negative self-talk, this debt that must be paid.
Living With an Overdrawn Emotional Bank Account
You will never feel better until you pay some of the debt off. And you'll never feel calm, collected, and comfortable in your own skin until you pay most of it off.
Here's an example of a scenario where you need some willpower and happiness to get you through, some self-love and acceptance, but you no longer have access to it because it all used up, constantly by not dealing with your emotions.
Say you go to a party and you're standing around not knowing what to say. The negative self talk kicks in telling you that you are a loser and that nobody likes you. The debt collectors are calling in, and they want to be paid. Right now. During the party. You freak out and leave the party because you don't want to pay that interest, you don't want to deal with the negative emotions. Especially in public.
And so you stop going to social events. That's like avoiding the debt collector calls. That doesn't solve the problem either. It's just another way of running from it.
You don't go to parties.
You don't ask that girl out.
You don't ask for that raise or go after that job.
You don't make moves in life because you avoid paying the emotional debt collector.
You live in a deficit. You're bankrupt.
Any new stresses or thoughts of stress are just completely overwhelming, and so you'd rather do nothing.
You're emotionally broke.
Trying to avoid the next panic attack.
You falsely believe that you just need to dig deeper and tough it out.
That life is stressful.
But this is NOT true.
So after all of this, this long explanation, what is anxiety?
It means being DRASTICALLY overdrawn in your emotional bank account. And you're just used to it. You're just used to feeling crappy every day because it came on gradually. But you don't have to feel crappy every day, you can feel great again, just like your 5-year-old self.
Part 4: How To Start Paying Your Debt
So to fix an overdrawn account, you start paying your debt.
I'll tell you how, but realize that this isn't something you're going to fix overnight. You've got a lifetime of debt built up.
It's going to take a while to balance things out. The good news is that it won't take another life timetime to fix. In fact, it's probably a lot quicker than you think.
It All Starts With Acceptance
You must be willing to live with your emotions and not escape from them by distracting yourself.
If you're sad, you must be sad.
If you're afraid, you must be afraid.
If you're angry, you must allow anger.
If you have anxiety, you must allow anxiety.
You MUST be willing to notice your emotional state and not try to change it or distract yourself, but to fully feel it until it runs out without added commentary.
It's not going to be easy.
And you can't fake it until you make it like some coaches will tell you to do. And they will tell you to. They'll say that having anxiety about approaching a beautiful woman is natural and that you gotta push through it. That you have to toughen up.
What they don't understand is they are just getting a bigger emotional credit card. And becoming more narcissistic through self-denial. It always catches up to you. If you don't believe me, read "The Game" by Neil Strauss. I'll spoil the ending. All the men end up depressed and hate themselves.
I call it the textbook in what NOT to do if you want to have a great relationship with yourself and the women in your life.
Part 5: Exercises to Charge Your Emotional Bank Account Instantly
Again, you're going to have to push through a certain amount of fear of feeling your emotions if you have any reasonable expectation that this anxiety is going to get any better. Here are some affirmations to help you get started:
I am a good man with good intentions.
Being a good man is a badge of honor and people notice that.
People are willing to see the good in me and accept me for who I am.
People love me in spite of my mistakes, and so do I.
I am not defined by what I can't do, but what I'm will to face.
The good news is that you can't be expected to run before you walk, so let's start a very very basic exercise that you'll want to do at least once a day. Preferably whenever you feel a negative emotion.
- Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply into our lower belly.
- Feel whatever emotion is going on inside of you, right now.
- Allow that emotion to be there
- Don't look for reasons as to why it's there, it doesn't matter
- Don't indulge in the emotion by using your imagination to make it worse.
- Don't judge the emotion...it simply IS.
- Eventually, it will go away.
- When it does go away, imagine a scenario that brings you anxiety.
- Go to step 3 and repeat the process until the times runs out.
That's it! Very simple.
As you go through this process and release emotion after emotion you'll start feeling better.
You'll have more emotional capacity every day you do this. You are essentially paying off your emotional debts. You are allowing years of emotional repression and suppression to unravel. I have faith that you can do this. But you MUST do it every day.
If you can't do 20 minutes, and you only do 2 minutes, realize that SOMETHING is better than nothing. But you aren't going to get to where you need to go with only 2 minutes. I've personally done hundreds of hours of this work.
If you're struggling with shyness, check out this free introductory video to our MOAB-coaching program. It's a great way to reconnect with your mojo. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to schedule a call with us to see if the program would be helpful for you.