Overcoming Shyness And Social Anxiety As A Virgin

shy virgin social anxiety depressed depression

Until my twenties I was a virgin.

For years I hid this fact about myself because I was humiliated that someone would find out. I was afraid of what people would think.

I was a virgin because I couldn’t talk to people.

I couldn’t even say hello to a cute girl without turning red and stumbling over my words.

Social Anxiety took away from me a large chunk of my youth.

I knew that time was passing by and that I would never be able to re-live the years that I spent hidden away in my room. But I just couldn’t believe that I had anything of worth that would make anyone interested in me.

Social Anxiety (SA) takes your self-loathing and projects it onto other people. It convinces you that your hatred of yourself is shared by other people.

The person suffering from SA believes that he lives in a world filled with people who hate him as much as he hates himself. He thinks that other people are just as disgusted with his flaws as he is.

It took me years to discover that this wasn’t true.

Social Anxiety Is Not Fear Of Society, It’s The Fear Of Revealing Your True Self To Society

When you have SA you believe that you are beyond love. You think that you’re not like other people. You’re below them.

Is it any wonder that when you’re around other people you’re a nervous wreck? You imagine that their minds are filled with evil sharp judging thoughts and they don’t like you.

And that’s when you stop going out and you start avoiding people.

Virginity Is A Symptom Of Social Anxiety

If your social anxiety is strong enough then it can prevent you from experiencing any sort of intimacy. Including romantic intimacy.

I remember when I was in my early twenties thinking about sex and feeling that it would be evil of me to expect a woman to touch me. How could I do that to her? It would be like asking someone to put their hand in vomit.

I absolutely knew that if I approached a woman I would be cruelly shut down. There was nothing else that I believed as strongly as I believed that.

I couldn’t bear the idea of a woman rejecting me. And because of this fear I avoided women. I never asked anyone out and I stayed in my room.

Avoidance Of Rejection Leads To Stagnation

There is a problem with completely avoiding rejection: you never get the chance to grow and become a better person.

How do you get better at anything? You practice. First you might fail but as you continue practicing you slowly improve your skills and get better.

The same exact thing needs to happen if you want to get better at approaching women.

One day I sat in my room and listened to all the people having fun in the student house I was living in. They were experiencing life and I was just sitting there alone in front of my computer.

On facebook my friends were getting new internships and exciting jobs but I just remained in the same part-time job and the same lifestyle routine year after year.

And I had never been on a date.

I had gone to see a therapist and he had given me some advice about changing my opinions about myself. He said that I needed to concentrate on improving myself before I could share my life with another person.

But I had hated myself for years. How could I just change that? His advice didn’t seem realistic.

Then I came across something called Psychotherapeutic Flooding (PF). This is an actual medical technique used by doctors to treat severe fears and phobias.

The way PF works is by deliberately exposing the patient to what he fears the most and teaching him to cope using relaxation techniques. If you do this often enough you can train the patient to replace his fear with feelings of relaxation.

Scientific testing of this technique has proven it to be extremely effective.

I decided to research this further and I came across a man named Jason Comely who had taken inspiration from PF and made a practical little game called The Rejection Game. The game is simple, here are the rules:

Be rejected by another person at least once, every day.

That’s it. You win the game by getting rejected once a day. You don’t try to get a positive outcome. You don’t try to convince the person to accept you. You just go out and get rejected.

Anyone can do it.

The game is usually played for a month and every day for that month you go out and get rejected by another person. Comely designed the game for the purpose of reducing stress during business deals. But people have used it to deal with all sorts of fears.

As soon as I read about the Rejection Game I knew that it would be how I got over my fear of women.

The 30 Day Virgin Challenge

I was always a person of extremes. When I needed to lose weight I lost over 60 pounds in just five months by doing extreme calorie restriction. I saw the Rejection Game as something that could be me similar results.

I set myself a 30 Day Challenge. Every day for one month I would go up to a random woman and I would start a conversation that would end with me asking for her number.

What I wanted to do is get over my fear of approaching women. At this point in my life I felt that I had only two options:

  1. Give up. Be terrified of rejection forever and live as a virgin forever.
  2. Be terrified of rejection and approach a lot of women.

The Beginning Is The Worst

I made excuses for a week. As I walked around outside or in stores I would see cute girls but I would be unable to work up the courage to approach them. There was always some reason that made me feel better about being a chicken: “Oh she looks annoyed…..she’s too busy….she’s obviously not going to stop….she’s going too fast…”

But everyday I made myself go out there day after day. Finally after about a week of just walking around I made myself do it.

It was a total disaster.

I got all sweaty. I stumbled over my words (I’m sure I didn’t make much sense!). And my face turned red.

I was rejected and left humiliated.

But walking back home I began to feel exhilarated. The Rejection Game had made me do something that nothing else had for more than twenty years: approach a woman and ask for her phone number.

The next day I was back out there. I was rejected again.

The next day again.

And again.

No More Stagnation

As the weeks passed I discovered that I was sweating a little bit less. My words came out smoother. 

After the 30 Days were finished I realized that the extreme fear that I had once had with approaching women was gone. Sure I still got a little nervous but talking to random women was now just a normal thing for me. I had learnt that rejection is nothing to fear.

So I was rejected thirty times in a month. So what? What bad thing happened to me? Nothing.

I continued approaching multiple women a week and soon refusals started to turn into phone numbers. Then to dates. Then sex. Then relationships.

And I wasn’t a virgin anymore.

Goals VS Systems

Why did this work for me? I believe it has to do with the difference of two different ways of accomplishing things: goals and systems.

For over twenty years I had set goals when it came to women. Goals like:

  • I will date Theresa
  • I will make Jessica like me by the end of the semester

I never accomplished these goals. Either I never worked up the courage to ask Theresa out or I didn’t know how to make Jessica like me. So I just sat there admiring them from afar.

The Systems Approach To Dating is different. Instead of picking out a woman to obsess over or making it your goal to date some fictional woman sometime in the future (but not right now of course) you instead create a system where the entire purpose is to ask out women.

With a goal you can waste months or even years pursuing a girl that will never give you the time of day. And if you fail to achieve your goal you’ll have wasted all of that time.

But if you setup a system of just going to where there are lots of women and asking them out one by one then even if you fail at getting a single date you’re still going to learn a lot about approaching women.

Your failures will end up as lessons that you can use next time.

Have you ever played a video game where you had to play a level multiple times in order to figure out where all the traps are? You had to die over and over again in order to get just a little further the next time.

A systems approach to dating works the same way. You ask out woman after woman and you get a little tiny bit further each time. You learn what doesn’t work so you avoid doing that the next time.

But Neil I Have A Specific Girl In Mind!”

What have you done in the past? Have you always focused on some one girl and made it your goal to make her your girlfriend?

Has that worked for you?

It sure didn’t work for me. Until my twenties I had one crush after another that I would obsess over. And it never worked. My object of obsession either ignored me completely or I never worked up the courage to ask her out.

You need to realize that you’re only obsessing about this one girl because you have so little exposure to other girls. If you had more interactions with girls then you would realize that the one you’re obsessing about isn’t so very special.

Start At The Bottom

When I first started asking out women through the Rejection Game it took over a month of being turned down by dozens of women before one finally said yes. But then I ran into a new problem:

I didn’t find this woman very attractive.

A decision had to be made. Do I text her and cancel because I’m not attracted to her? Or do I take her out and experience the first date of my life?

I chose the latter.

It was a great opportunity to learn about a “first date” and since I wasn’t planning to go on a second the pressure was low.

This is what you need to do. Don’t fixate on one girl but instead start asking out random girls. And go for girls you may not even find that attractive at first. You need to build up the confidence and knowledge that you’ll need to make a good impression on a girl that you really like.

The Numbers Game

If you observe people who have a wild success with women you quickly learn that most of their “skill” comes simply from approaching a staggering number of women.

They might be rejected 90% of the time. But if they approach 100 girls they’ll still get 10 “yes” responses.

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