Approach Anxiety’s Odd Cousin: The Walkaway Blues

Everyone is familiar with approach anxiety: that nervousness and hesitation you feel right before walking up to someone you’re interested in and saying hi.

But there is a flip side to approach anxiety. I call it the “Walkaway Blues.”

Whereas approach anxiety affects you before you approach a woman, the walkaway blues affect you after, as you are walking away (or as she is walking away).

The walkaway blues are that down feeling you get after a conversation or interaction didn’t go the way you were hoping. You muster up the courage to say something, you make a real effort, you take a risk. And then… it falls flat.

Either she’s not interested, or not available to talk at that moment (she’s busy running somewhere, her phone rings, her friend shows up, whatever).

Sometimes the conversation is just dull and underwhelming. Sometimes you get that down feeling not because of anything the girl did, but because of how you feel other people are looking at you or judging you.

The walkaway blues are actually just as detrimental to your growth and progress as approach anxiety. Unchecked, they can really screw you over.

I’ve noticed this a lot with myself. I reached a point where I could deal with approach anxiety and it was no big deal for me. I got a handle on it and I could start conversations easily and consistently.

However there was still something bothering me. It took me awhile to recognize it, but this was it. I often felt really shitty when I walked away from an “unsuccessful” conversation.

The problem is that everyone is focused on everything right before the approach, but nobody thinks about what happens immediately after: the feelings you have, the stories you tell yourself about that conversation, the narrative you create in your head, how you interpret that event, the way you carry yourself as you walk away from that moment.

This all makes a huge difference. We shouldn’t ignore it or brush it off as unimportant.

If you feel like crap after a bad conversation, your brain is getting the message “Hey, that sucked, that was painful. I don’t want to feel that again.”

And that makes you gun shy when you see the next girl. You’re less likely to actually talk to her because the sting of that previous rejection is still with you. You want to avoid that pain, so you do nothing.

Or, instead of doing nothing, often you create a negative cycle where one bad conversation or rejection leads to another, and another, over and over.

Even though the women are completely different and in totally different situations, that one “failure” creates a black cloud that hangs over you for the rest of your day or night.

You’re not approaching them with the best attitude and energy, but rather just going through the motions.

And the overall experience just sucks. It’s not fun. It’s just a long hard slog that you have to “get through” as if it’s a military drill.

So how can we bring the walkway blues under control?

Like approach anxiety, you can’t totally eliminate it because it’s a natural human emotion. It happens. But you can at least become less affected by it.

You have to intercept these negative thoughts and feelings with positive, empowering ones.

If your reflex reaction when walking away from a rejection is “Ugh, that sucked. She was so turned off,” re-frame it in your mind: “I took action, nice!”

You’re simply changing your focus from a negative one to a positive one.

Suppose you have trouble giving women compliments, and that’s a specific thing you’re practicing. If you approach a woman, give her a compliment, and her reaction is negative/ uninterested for whatever reason, just say to yourself “Yes! I gave her a compliment!”

Her interest has nothing to do with you taking action for yourself. If she doesn’t like you, then leave it alone. That’s not your concern. Your concern is you going after what you want.

Maybe you are trying to get phone numbers from women. But you’re nervous and hesitant. Instead of feeling dejected and depressed when a girl refuses to give you her number, just walk away from that congratulating yourself for making the attempt.

You can remind yourself things like:

“Hey, I had to try. Wow, she was beautiful, that was awesome!”

“I’m taking action and that’s what’s important”

“I’m happy that I asked for what I wanted”

It’s important to be enthusiastic in your self-talk because it reinforces the positivity of what you’re doing. You have to counteract those negative feelings with positive, uplifting ones.

You need to feel awesome about trying, regardless of the outcome with an individual woman. That is what will propel you to take consistent action, and to get the ultimate results you want.

2 thoughts on “Approach Anxiety’s Odd Cousin: The Walkaway Blues

  1. Nice post. It’s always good to reframe negative outcomes into positive ones and eventually it will just be a habit. I find that the walkaway blues may also come up when you leave the interaction too early even when it is going well because you want to “leave on a good note” instead of taking further action. Paradoxically, you may start having feelings of regret when you leave early instead of giving it a chance for something more.

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