Stages of Approach Abilities

Carousel

Tribal Elder
Tribal Elder
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
576
Stages of Approach Abilities

This is a draft. I want this to be a helpful article over time, please contribute. This article draws on information from Levine and Berceli, and makes assumptions that they’re right. I’m looking for more clearly defined stages and overall correctness. I hope this can help diagnose problems and make it easier to prescribe the correct remedies for different situations.

A personal note from me to you: If you decide to comment or answer to this, reflect on where you’re currently at personally in terms of opening.

Carousel: This is a post written by @COCPORN in 2014. Much of it is still valid. I have made comments some places with my 2020 understanding of the topic. The topic is that AA is not just one thing, hence there is a lot of confusion about what it is on how to solve it. Note that this is advanced material, so please take time to try to understand us before you disagree. Also please read THIS thread explaining TRE and other therapies before you read this post, otherwise you won't understand the terminology: https://www.skilledseducer.com/threads/body-oriented-therapy-and-its-application-to-pu.21753/

Intention: To create a helpful tool for escaping problems related to approaching. This tool will work by identifying the stages of approach problems and presenting solutions to them. At this point there might not be solutions to all stages. I’ll try to present the solutions I’ve personally seen for the different stages. I’ll also try to theorize around some solutions to different stages, but these will be clearly marked. I’m not necessarily looking for new techniques with this article, old and proven methods are welcome as suggestions to solving the different stages of approach problems.

Problem: People have problems approaching. These problems range from deeply rooted to superficial. Even without deeply rooted problems related to approaching, there often seems to emerge a pattern of avoidance or forceful exposure.

Carousel: This is why you see so much disagreement on causes and remedies to AA - people are in different stages and some of the more advanced guys may never have even been in the worst stages described here, while the hardcases have only been in the worst stages. Of course these guys will have zero understanding of each other both in terms of perception of the problem and devising an useful solution. I have personally gone through all of them so I can relate to most of the perspectives.

History

Historically, the community identifies “approach anxiety”. This term in effect describes a huge range of problems related to internal and external states prior to an “open”. Because the currently used AA-term is so coarsely grained, recipes to overcome it are in general hit-and-miss. It’s in general a good thing to be able to refer to the whole phenomenon as “AA” because it doesn’t always need to be discussed in detail, but in terms of having a roadmap to mastery, using AA as the definition of the “enemy” might be too coarse.


The stages of approach problems

There seems to be a semi-gradual scale of problems related to approaching. There is obvious overlap between the stages, so this is a non-categorical model; you might be in many stages at once. Also, people’s ultimate goals might not be the same, so keep this in mind when you’re looking at the categories. The “top layers” are not necessarily your ultimate goal.


Anxiety

Level of avoidance:
High

Emotional stress (when faced with situation or expectancy of action): High

Goal: This stage is not a goal.

Symptoms: Internal turmoil, high physical response even to an imagined situation.

Description: This level of approach anxiety is often stored in the body. This is traumatization. It is coupled with the parasympathetic freeze response. I personally think this is quite common in the pickup community, more so than in the rest of the population. Part of the reason for this is that people with this problem will be attracted to the community, part is that the community to a degree creates this problem.

Solution: This is “easily fixed” with TRE, meaning; TRE is probably the most potent and most successful way to treat this that we’re currently aware of. Fixing this stage is imperative before moving on.

Solution timeframe: Single session to months.

Carousel: This is basically PTSD or cPTSD. Do not attempt too much exposure therapy here, it will only worsen the problem. Also affirmations, cognitive therapy and meditation are rather ineffective here.


Habitual avoidance

Level of avoidance:
High

Emotional stress: Undefined

Goal: This stage is not a goal.

Symptoms: Problem is being avoided at a habitual, unconscious level. The neural system is not spiked in this stage.

Description: Habitual avoidance is often a result of trauma. Because executing a task or being in a situation is considered highly painful, the situation is avoided in its entirety over time, creating habit. Habitual avoidance may still persist even though the underlying trauma that created it is gone.

Solution: ?

Solution timeframe: ?

Theorization (AKA KJ’ing): Habitual avoidance can possibly be remedied by exposure and typical “30-day”- missions. Since the problem of retraumatization is minimal as we have TRE as a tool, exposure, pushing and 30-day missions are potentially not harmful. Exposure and pushing over time might be able to overcome the habit of avoidance without the risk of worsening physically stored trauma.

Carousel: Short version: This is solved by exposure, for example 30-day missions or mass approaching: https://www.girlschase.com/content/get-way-more-out-your-club-pickups-mass-approaching


Resolution seeking exposure

Level of avoidance:
Low

Emotional stress: High.

Goal: This stage is not a goal.

Symptoms: Subjects repeatedly put themselves in situations they feel uncomfortable, looking for resolution.

Description: A state described in detail in Levine’s “Waking the Tiger”, resolution seeking exposure is an unconscious state where people return to situations that caused trauma in the first place. While there is not avoidance in terms of approaching, per se, this state might be one source of approach artistry; putting yourself in the situation does not lead to internal resolution, so the person struggling with the problem keeps doing it. These people open, but they do so because of a desire to fix a problem, not because they want to open. It is related to the fight/flight response.

Solution: Trauma release

Solution time: Single session to months.


False memories

Level of avoidance: High

Emotional stress: Low

Goal: This stage is not a goal.

Symptoms: There is a cognitive structure convincing the person that he’s afraid of something.

Description: False memories are a term to describe a state where a person avoids something at a conscious level because of memories that used to have an emotional stress connected to them. In terms of opening, this could be described as follows: I remember that opening used to give me a huge negative emotional spike. Therefore I don’t open, because opening gives me a huge negative emotional spike. This could typically be a result of not challenging your world view after doing TRE.

Solution (theorization): Exposure, challenging of reality map. NLP, hypnosis, etc. ?

Solution time: ?

Carousel: To me this seems similar to habitual avoidance in terms of solution.


Habitual exposure

Level of avoidance:
Low

Emotional stress: Undefined.

Goal: This is a goal for some, it is probably an unhealthy goal.

Description: Habitual exposure differs from resolution seeking exposure in that there might not be a trauma to resolve. Habitual exposure is the hallmark of approach artistry, where doing the opening regardless of outcome is the imperative part. The emotional stress level might be nonexistent after time, but might also be extremely high in people practicing habitual exposure. If there is a high emotional stress level, habitual exposure can lead to burnout.

Solution: ?

Solution time: ?


Fluctuating energy levels

Level of avoidance: Varies with fluctuation

Emotional stress: N/A

Goal: Not a goal state, but might be unavoidable.

Description: All people experience fluctuation energy levels. Low energy levels make it hard to be present, because being present requires energy. In its more extreme form you can see this in sleep (which is being absent), when the body needs to rejuvenate. When energy levels are low in general, the urge to “push through” will seem monumental compared to when energy levels are “high” in general. This is something else than “state”.

Solution: Physical workout, healty diet and lifestyle in general. Consuming alcohol increases energy levels while at the same time lowering inhibitions, however long term (multiple day) usage is not recommended, because the body needs to work at breaking down the alcohol.

Carousel: This is a separate axis of variation and related to neurotransmitter depletion - serotonine and dopamine are used up by high-energy socializing. Can be solved by diet or supplements, but I will not go into that as these are potentially dangerous in combination with certain medicines and drugs. Vitamin B, C and D aid neurotransmitter metabolism and should be supplied if not sufficiently present in your food. Also hormonal imbalance seems to be involved. Lose weight as fats store toxins and reduce testosterone levels. TLDR: Removing traumas will not fix energy levels, this is an neurotransmitter/hormonal issue rather than an anxiety issue.


Connection anxiety

Level of avoidance: High

Emotional stress: High

Goal: Not a goal state.

Description: What many people tend to mistake for typical approach anxiety is in fact connection anxiety. This is at its core a fairly similar feeling to approach anxiety, but the nature of the problem and its solutions are somewhat different. Approach anxiety is related to (obviously) approaching, but when the approach has been made, and an opener has been uttered (for instance “Hi!”) there is a period of time, usually a couple of seconds, where the attempt to make a connection might fail. This is typical of high energy venues, where one is simply ignored after opening. Again, this is not the same as “not hooking”, it’s more an example of not having an opener “stick”, leaving the person trying to open in an uncomfortable “limbo”. Connections can also be “fumbled” prior to opening, temporarily increasing both connection anxiety and approach anxiety. These fumbles are usually done with insecure eye contact, attempts to smile at people that are badly timed, etc.

Solution: Connection anxiety can be remedied much in the same way as approach anxiety, using TRE. Connection anxiety can also be addressed by significantly raising the level of connection from openers, or significantly lowering the effect of getting a disconnect. Raising connection level can be done through speaking louder, opening with kino, having more presence. Lowering connection failure damage can be done by using low tension “ping”-openers, adding mindfulness, etc.


Natural aggression

Level of avoidance:
Low-medium

Emotional stress: Low-medium

Goal: This is a potential goal.

Symptoms: Faced with a situation where there is a desire to act, one acts assertively.

Description: This state is highly coupled with the sympathetic fight-response. This is a state where the person goes into a competitive state, a “go getting”-state. There might be emotional stress, but this emotional stress is more a kind of “performance” nervousness than a real anxiety. This state can be achieved by removing considerations at all levels and being horny, or state pumping.

Solution: In the case a “solution” is needed, add mindfulness.

Carousel: Many adaptation processes follow the so called Yerkes-Dodson curve. Too much stress causes destruction, too little stress causes no adaptation. Think weight training or sun-tanning. The more adaptation, the more stress is needed to trigger further adaptation. A elite lifter requires heavier weights than a novice lifter, or more volume, in order to progress further. This same load would break a novice lifter beyond recovery. Opening, or PU as a whole is no different. Also this explains why "outcome independence" is a bad philosophy - if you actually DONT care AT ALL, you will not progress or even get that many results. This is especially true for the more advanced guys who can handle more pressure from having more reference experiences, outer game skills and mental stability.



Presence

Level of avoidance:
Low-medium

Emotional stress: None.

Goal: This is a potential goal.

Symptoms: Serenity. Apathy.

Description: People who are present don’t have problems opening, except for motivation. There seems to be a feeling that one state is as good as the other, therefore any transitional act could potentially be deemed superfluous.

Solution: Horniness will lead to natural aggression, stop masturbating.

Carousel: My comment directly above applies here also.


Carousel: I hope you guys got something out of this admittedly dense and theoretical post. Questions and comments are of course welcome!
 
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Glow

Tribal Elder
Tribal Elder
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
249
I think this outline is great and should be used as a resource for anyone with approach problems. Especially to slice up what the reality of AA is.

Problem: People have problems approaching. These problems range from deeply rooted to superficial. Even without deeply rooted problems related to approaching, there often seems to emerge a pattern of avoidance or forceful exposure.

Carousel: This is why you see so much disagreement on causes and remedies to AA - people are in different stages and some of the more advanced guys may never have even been in the worst stages described here, while the hardcases have only been in the worst stages. Of course these guys will have zero understanding of each other both in terms of perception of the problem and devising an useful solution. I have personally gone through all of them so I can relate to most of the perspectives.

Yeah, as you write we see many oversimplified solutions to AA - too simplified. And i further noticed a general rough approahc to it aka overexposure types or pump it types which might overwrite the situation momentarily BUT it becomes rough in doing so. And often overcompensating which is still just a coping mechanism. not a healthy emotional resource that supports seduction on very key levels.

Recent examples in our community:
* Wanting to approach in clubs despite serious levels of AA. clubs trigger multiple fears and is a high pressure chaotic environment. Getting drunk. or getting horny are too simple solutions. And exposure focus and momentum are tough routes.
* wanting to approach hotter girls and girls one is attracted to but mentally out of ones league.
* wanting to approach girls in day game finding it socially awkward
Just a few struggles and solutions considered we have seen in here recently.

One potential tool to add: The sum of fears and insecurities assessment.
Imo there is always in these threads suggested a mio. solutions to approach problems. but key imo is to understand what the AA is created from. And even understand that AA is contextual as various triggers may come into play in various sceneries. Most often AA is a mix of insecurities and fears coming into play based on multiple triggers. Similarly the outline gives many different levels of reaction reasons rating from PTSD like reactions to more specific fears.

A central part of my solution to getting more calm in my approach was to carry out a sum of fears and insecurities assessment. i Used to mingle myself into a social energy, but it was still an overwrite of fears that maintained an emotional roughness. and thus a clumsiness.

For the assessment In short, i spend time with various situations, felt into them , discussed w friends and slowly got several internal reactions defined that were the sources of the reactions. This was half the job done as knowing them dissolved some of them. Others needed more work. Slowly the feelings around it got less intertwinkled and less foggy inside me.

This created a systematic way to engage with AA and select specific doings to precisely manage each component. Once i got this managed i had a whole other weight in my engagements, a weight of feel inside that was a powerful resource. This will change again if you dont manage it but just a solid way to manage things. Also as i know feel these as they pop up i can slowly acclimatise if theyre there. This turns my inner world into a resource pool by respecting the reaction and insuring i feel good following a process outlined on various ways by both badboy and cozy.

Also on TRE - In relation to these fears and insecurities im confident that TRE is a good way to impact many of them and grow an embodied nervousness system type calmness that will be more dominant. So i find TRE a much better suggestion than many others. Also cause its about the body. But i would still advice a systematic fear assessment to learn ones critical reactions. And the above outline by Cocporn is great for having an array of gradual behaviors to help think about small changes and how it moves us up the ladder. Beyond that a lil will power is a good addition to these measures.

The sum of fears could be used alongside the various stages or each on their own to help get to the causes at play and adress it moderatly and based on understanding.

good stuff.
 
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Carousel

Tribal Elder
Tribal Elder
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
576
Also on TRE - In relation to these fears and insecurities Im confident that TRE is a good way to impact many of them and grow an embodied nervousness system type calmness that will be more dominant. So i find TRE a much better suggestion than many others. Also cause its about the body. But i would still advice a systematic fear assessment to learn ones critical reactions. And the above outline by cocporn is great for having an array of gradual behaviors to help think about small changes and how it moves us up the ladder. Beyond that a lil will power is a good addition to these measures.

This is a good point. TRE is useful for broad, diffuse anxiety. if there are more specific triggers, these should be mapped out after the "general" anxiety has subsided. It is possible to do TRE in a more "targeted" fashion, if there are severe triggers they will often release if one thinks about them while doing TRE.
 
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