When it comes to dating, sometimes men think that a lot of the circumstances are out of their control. Today I want to talk about a different point of view: the idea that you possess the ultimate solutions to all of your problems.
Back when I first got started in hypnotherapy, one of the things that really drew me was how we (as hypnotherapists) gave people tools to solve their own problems — instead of giving them a dependency on some force outside of themselves. “Nobody’s broken” was the mantra, and it’s true. NOBODY is broken. Sometimes a person can be just feeding the wrong raw material into perfectly working machinery. The machinery works — but you need to insure you’re feeding it the right stuff.
Let’s rewind with me a bit: from the very first day that I noticed that girls weren’t ‘icky’ anymore, I had a big problem. I wanted them, and suddenly I saw them as unapproachable. And the cuter they were, the more unapproachable they became. It was as if nature had put this terrible curse on me… and the more I liked a girl, the more I became afraid of saying stuff to her, or just acting normally around her — clammy hands, pounding heart, slurred speech, the works.
Fast-forward several years: I don’t do that anymore. At a certain point in my life, I decided that having the same physiological reaction to a cute little girl as the one I would have to an attacking 700 pound bear didn’t make sense. Besides, I *wanted* to act normal around them, because that was the only way I could make any headway with them and bring them into my life.
To that end, I figured out several reasons why beautiful women aren’t scary at all. Then I went out and verified these cognitive understandings with real-world experience so they became a part of me. Sure, there’s still sometimes a twinge of that reaction that I used to have (and there’s a deep-seated biological reason for that…which I’ll discuss in a moment), but it’s 10,000 times less than what it used to be — the pale outline barely visible on a photograph bleached by years of sunlight. So! Let’s get started on the understandings to set you FREE from this unnecessary burden:
1. You’re not scared of her; she’s scared of *you*.
I remember reading once about an informal poll the great novelist Margaret Atwood conducted. She asked people, “What’s your biggest fear in a dating situation, when you’re alone with a member of the opposite sex?” Guys said their biggest fear was getting laughed at. Women said their biggest fear was getting killed.
The fact is that by nature, you are bigger and stronger than almost any woman out there. On the average you are half a foot taller, have 40% more upper-body strength and 30% more lean body mass. Women always have genuine reason to fear their safety and well-being when in the presence of a strange man. On the other hand, the worst she can do to you is laugh at you. Compared to getting killed, that just doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Okay, so what can you do about it? Look — I know you’re a nice guy. You and your friends know you’re a nice guy who wouldn’t harm an ant. But she doesn’t know you from Adam — yet. This is why in Chapter 9 and 10 of “The Tao of Dating”, I go into the importance of establishing trust, safety and comfort — with three specific, effective procedures for communicating your trustworthiness. Do them, and put yourself waaaaaay ahead of the game.
2. You can’t lose what you don’t have, so go for it.
Picture this: We’re in a Las Vegas casino. We see a showcase there with a big ol’ sign that says, “Free drawing — find out instantly if you’ve won $1 million.” And we think, heck, it’s free! Might as well give it a shot. So, we amble up to the counter, and get a ticket. And the lady at the counter says, “Looks like you didn’t win this time.”
How do you feel about that? Do you feel like you just lost a million bucks? Or are you psyched that you had a chance, and took it?
Great. Now let’s change the scenario a little bit. Let’s say they let you come back and try again every five minutes — for free! How often would you go back? Every freakin’ five minutes until the cows come home (or till buffet time), that’s how often.
Listen up, folks: the chance to be with a given beautiful woman is like winning the lottery. And your approaching her is like getting the free lottery ticket. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose (except perhaps a little bit of your dignity, pride, ego and all that useless stuff that ain’t gonna fetch you a buck on eBay). Since you read “Chapter 4: Be, Part I: Beliefs” from The Tao of Dating e-book, you’ve already internalized Belief #1 about the self, which goes something like this:
“Upholding my own importance is a waste of energy.”
That’s one my most favorite pieces of learning, so feel free to re-read that sentence, and mull it over, and share with me what it means to you.
Truth be told, when approaching women — especially the ones who are obviously beautiful — there can still be that twinge of hesitation, even though you *know* this stuff I just told you. Where does it come from? Which brings us nicely to the next understanding:
3. Fear of rejection is biologically built-in. Now get over it already.
Anthropologists believe that humans evolved chiefly on the savannah, in tribes of 150 or less. In these tribes, everybody knew everyone else, and making a serious social faux pas — i.e., unwelcome advances towards the wrong gal — had a severe cost: expulsion from the tribe. That pretty much guaranteed that your genes wouldn’t get to the next generation (through starvation or lack of sexual opportunity). So genes for social klutziness were weeded out, and the genes for social savvy and rejection aversion were selected.
The problem with that dynamic is, we no longer live in tribes of 150 or less. We live in huge cities with hundreds of thousands of people. In large metropolitan areas, it is possible literally NEVER to meet the same person twice over the course of years. So the once-useful rejection phobia is no longer adaptive. It’s actually counterproductive.
Great! So I just gave you an alibi for being a total wuss when it comes to approaching women. Right?
Wrong. Fortunately, my friend, I’m a lot sneakier than that. By telling you why this happens, I’ve brought this phobia (= unreasoning, counterproductive fear) to your conscious attention, which is the first step in banishing it from your consciousness forever. You now know that’s it’s not something that’s wrong with you, but rather something that’s right with you. Everybody’s got it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s no big deal. Acceptance is the first step of dissolving resistance.
Moreover, just like fear of snakes and heights (also built-in evolutionarily), it’s easy to overcome. You’ve just taken the first few steps by reading the newsletter this far, and I give you three dynamite procedures in the Tao of Dating e-book that you can use to blast this ancient remnant into oblivion (hallelujah and amen).
4. No woman has a monopoly on beauty, and every woman knows it.
Look around you, my friend. Beautiful women are everywhere. And you know what? They are all hyper-aware of each other. Most women will admit that they spend hours getting ready not to impress you, but to compete with other women. Compete for what? Whether they know it or not, they’re competing for the attentions of the dominant male. And if you’ve read The Tao of Dating, already you know exactly what to do to present yourself as that dominant male.
So you have two choices when it comes to the attitude you’ll have towards a beautiful woman. You can think, “Oh, Goddess, what must I do to deserve a shred of your invaluable attention?” Or, you can think, “Well, you’re kind of cute, but so are a lot of other women here. What do you offer that would distinguish you from the rest of the lovely ladies out here?”
One more thing: no woman, no matter how beautiful, is convinced that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. They are always worried that there’s someone hotter out there (or even right here in the room), which brings us to…
5. A beautiful woman’s biggest insecurity is her beauty. The more beautiful she is, the more insecure she is about it.
Let me ask you a question. If I told you, “Buddy, y’know, you really suck at knitting,” what would you say? You’d probably shrug and say, “Umm, yeah, you’re probably right,” and go about your business. But if I told you, “Y’know, you’re not really that smart,” or “You have bad taste in beer”, you’d probably get all defensive and annoyed and try to prove me wrong.
What’s happening here? The fact is that your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. This is the kind of flip-turned logic that the Tao Te Ching is full of. Because you have the greatest ego-investment in your strength, you are also most vulnerable to attack in that same area. Whereas you have no ego investment in your knitting skills, so even if you certifiably suck at it, it doesn’t bother you. Get it?
(Of course, if you get rid of that whole ego thing, then you’ve pretty much gotten rid of all problems, but that’s a discussion for a future newsletter.)
Returning back to our original argument, guess what? Beautiful women are perpetually advertising their greatest weakness for the whole world to see: it’s their looks. The slightest hint that something isn’t quite right with their appearance is often devastating to them. They’ll remember the comment for weeks or longer.
Your ability to tease a beautiful woman is a potent weapon, so use it judiciously. In the Tao of Dating e-book, I discuss the art of teasing in some detail and give a few sample lines to get you started. ALWAYS do it in the spirit of fun and lightheartedness — because, frankly, spending three hours getting ready to go out *is* slightly ridiculous, no matter how you slice it.
Another thing: women’s status in society, for better or for worse, has a lot to do with their looks — and looks are a perishable commodity. Beauty fades over time. Men, on the other hand, derive their status from things such as power, education, and wealth that *increase* over time. Women know this. I know at least one stunning woman who worries about her wrinkles at age 22. Do you worry about your wrinkles? (Didn’t think so.)
So just remember: being pretty ain’t a pretty business. Think of it as a handicap that beautiful women have to deal with, and then notice how difficult it is to feel intimidated by them.
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