A complaint that comes up time and again is young men finding it hard to 'cold approach' women these days. I hear women complaining that young men don't approach women any more, which explains why so many of them waste half their lives on OLD. The truth is that women miss men approaching them.

If you just have a quick glance at all the PUA's training courses, at least 50% of it is all about how they promise to make you a 'cold approach god', all you need to learn are these 11 scenarios, these 7 archetypes of women, these 5 openers, these 8 pivot points and these 3 cast iron closers. They’ll tell you that you need to take the ‘machine gun’ approach and just keep upping the amount of shots that you take. Or maybe you need to quit the machine guy approach and become a sniper. This is all BS in my opinion.

I would also get rid of any preconception in your own head about you being an introvert or shy or a nerd or anything like that. Those are all labels that will hurt you rather than help you. Don't be looking at actors or comedians that go on stage and think;

'It's easy for them, their extroverts, trouble with me is, I'm shy, I'm an introvert'.

Everyone is born shy. Everyone is an introvert. Big actors tremble before they go on stage. Many of them turn to alcohol and other substances to steady themselves (ever wondered why half of them end up in re-hab?). Some comics that throw up backstage with nerves before they go on. The reason for their success in managing their nerves is that they have learnt how to 'build up' to what they are doing. There are no fancy ‘tools’ that can be developed to solve anxiety. The secret is de-sensitisation. They just kept doing it until it felt more or less routine.

You don't start your career by doing a 90 minute set in a stadium. Chris Rock didn’t start his career by presenting the Oscars on live TV. He started making up jokes in his bedroom, as a shy, skinny, short teenager who wasn’t especially good looking. Then he told jokes to his friends. Then he might have done an open mic night. Got a spot in the school play. Then a talent show. Then he built up to doing free gigs in a pub and then he kept going, building up and up and up, making mistakes all the way and getting on with it.

This 'building up' is key to what I am about to say, and it's what’s missing from the PUA systems. Because the traditional PUA strategy is basically throwing you on the stage at half time during the Super Bowl with no build up. If you haven't first addressed your social anxiety and learnt how to initiate an 'incidental interaction’ (more about incidental interactions later) with a colleague, fellow student, waiter or cashier there is no way you are ready for the Super Bowl. You are bound to crash and burn (more about the Super Bowl later).

Another thing that is all wrong about the PUA approach is that it suggests that there is a script or tricks that you can learn. ‘Phrases that pay’, that sort of thing. It’s actually counter productive. Because a script is always just a script. You can learn it all you want, but it still comes across as fake and scripted, because it is.

Humans are so perceptive. If you learn a script and try that, it’s going to sound like one of those spam calls you get from a call centre (because they too are reading from a script). Even if you’re 1 in a 1000 and can make a script sound good (maybe you’re a natural actor) scripts fall down at the first hurdle - because the other person is not reading from a script, and definitely not from your script. So the moment the other person answers, they deviate from your script, and you’re lost.

The reason young men find it hard to talk to women is down to one main problem, and that is 'social anxiety'. Social anxiety is normal, especially as a young man, and it's darn near universal. It’s your default setting as a child. And some people never shake it off, which is a shame. What I am going to suggest to you is that you forget (for a moment) all about ‘picking up chicks’ and resolve your social anxiety with a concrete plan. Then you can come back to women later.

The good news is that if you forget all picking up women, resolving social anxiety will serve you in every other aspect of your life as well: in job interviews, in work, your position amongst other men, your pathway to becoming a leader etc etc etc.

One quick additional point - lockdown set us all back. There are lots of young men that are missing 2 years of a formative part of their development because of the stupid lockdowns. So it's even more important to have a plan. If you don't have a plan - you're lost. Having a bad plan is better than having no plan, because you can always adjust your plan as you go. So here is a suggested plan:

  1. If you’re working or studying from home, get out of the house every day, whether you want to or not. Better 2x than 1x. You don’t need to go looking for social interactions at first, just be open to them. That's step one.

  2. To break the ice, if you’re coming from a low base, you can just go to a busy café and have a coffee and be in the hustle and bustle of other people. On day one, it's fine if you don't even talk to anyone. Just be amongst people. Dress better than if you were just slobbing around the house. A good golden rule: don’t ever go out wearing sportswear while you're not doing sports!. When a young man thinks he is ‘dressing casual’, to most people he just looks homeless. Nobody would want to talk to you. ‘But girls go out in leggings and hoodies and they get lots of attention…’ I hear you say…. Well, you're not girls. You’re a grown ass man. And going out and about in sportswear as a young man makes you look like a criminal, unemployed or homeless.

  3. Make it a habit to chat to people, where appropriate. For example, if you're ordering a coffee, don't just say 'Latte please'. Ask them how it's going, have they been busy, do they also make sandwiches? What's the most popular sandwich etc. You'll soon notice if they want to chat or not. That last sentence is so important - being able to tell if someone wants to chat or not, learning to read the signals - it's even more important than what you say. You'll make a few mistakes and you'll learn. That's how it goes. Don’t worry too much, because there’s nothing to worry about. There’s nothing at stake with an incidental conversation, because you’re not after anything except a chat. There’s no agenda, so you can just relax.

  4. Make sure you go out on your own, not with a friend. Because if you go with a friend, you'll just end up talking to your friend. So, make sure you have at least one outing on your own every day that involves talking (no matter how long) with at least one stranger. This is a minimum, not a max. When you do meet up with a friend, you must still use that outing to talk to strangers. But this is not a replacement for your 1x min daily solo outing. There is a huge difference between a young man that just says "2 coffees please" and someone that chats and maybe even cracks a joke (no matter how bad that joke is). The world looks at the second example and says 'now there's a confident friendly young man'. In reality, being friendly is a habit and a skill that needs to be developed. And once you make even the smallest bit of progress, you'll want more and more. And it will be with you for life.

  5. This one is important - DON'T JUST TALK TO HOT WOMEN THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN, like some thirsty, socially inept sperg. In fact, if you're coming from a low base, AVOID talking to hot women, or any woman that might be ‘sexually relevant’ for now. Talk to everyone and anyone except hot chicks.

Talk to the uber driver, he'll appreciate the company, rather than sitting in the back like a mute retard staring at your phone. Talk to the couple in line behind you at the cinema. Chat to the old man sitting next to you on the bus. Be friendly and chatty to the fat, old cleaning lady that everyone else ignores. Be nice to everyone, and you'll soon see that most people will be nice to you. Make a phone call to a golf club and ask them to tell you about membership, and be friendly to the person on the phone. If you’re walking past an exotic fish shop that’s not too busy, walk in and ask their advice about aquariums, even if you have no interest in buying an aquarium. Deliberately seek out 1-2-1 interactions during the day, while you are stone cold sober, with no 'wing man', no script and no intention to get anything out of the interaction except some friendly conversation. This is basically learning how to overcome social anxiety. It’s a question of repetition and exposure, not some secret sauce.

  1. Do this for 90 days. Make sure you do it everyday. The good news is that you can do it anywhere - in the airport, at college, at the canteen. I highly recommend joining a sports club (tennis is great) where they have a mix of young and old, male and female, so that you can go there (on your own) and talk to groups and single people in an incidental way. Congrats - now you are NOT a social retard. NOW you are ready to talk to women.

  2. When you do start talking to women - forget everything you have read about 'cold approaching' and 'game' from PUAs that are mostly likely total losers themselves. Instead - just talk to them the same way that you talked to the old man on the bus, or the cleaning lady that you weren't interested in. Just be friendly but incidental. The key word is 'incidental'. The convo that you are having is 'incidental' to what you are doing, where you are going, what you want out of the day. You were on your way from the lecture to the library, and you stopped to ask a girl if she knows where the gym is... if nothing comes of the convo, it doesn't matter, because the convo was incidental to what you were doing anyway. If you end up chatting to a girl at a pub while playing pool with a friend, it doesn't matter if she's not interested because the convo was incidental to the pool game with your friend. So it doesn't matter what comes of the convo. You can be indifferent to the outcome. Indifference is the key. Once she senses that the conversation doesn't matter that much to you, she’ll be more interested.

  3. Once you get your head around this (incidental interactions, continuous daily interactions, outcome indifference, talk and be friendly to everyone) you will realise just what a terrible idea the traditional pick up routine of young men actually is.

This is what they usually do:

spend too much time on solitary pursuits like going to the gym, running, and studying. Wear headphones out in public and totally ignore everyone (and subsequently get ignored themselves). Get accustomed to dressing like a criminal / vagrant because they are not seeing enough people Spend all their time texting and staring at their phones. Read some nonsense from a PUA about 'cold approaching'. Then set up some 'big night out' with ‘the squad’. Get dressed up, put some gel in the hair, maybe even a pre-going out pump at the gym. Then go out with the crew, get a bit wasted, check out all the girls, and then try on some lines in the club.

This is a performance. This has made ‘picking up chicks’ the sole purpose of the evening. It’s impossible to have incidental interactions in this artificial environment. It’s a pressure cooker in which men are performing and the women choose between the men with the ‘tightest game’. Personally, I have never always found it very hard to score in a nightclub. But I’ve met plenty of women in normal social settings, with just normal everyday chit-chat.

First you need to resolve your social anxiety, which is probably easier than it sounds if you're patient and have a plan. Being able to hold and enjoy conversations with strangers that have nothing riding on it is what will develop a ‘cold approach’.