First Approaches

So, the first skill I’m working on is Opening. My big challenge at this point is really getting past Approach Anxiety (AA), and getting used to approaching women on a regular basis.

My first approach was actually yesterday. I was having lunch at Hooters (I decided to treat myself), and just as I was getting ready to leave, I saw a woman walk past who looked amazingly familiar. I thought about it for a couple minutes, then realized she looked like my old vet, who had left for another city a couple years ago. I hemmed and hawed for a couple minutes, noting that she joined two friends at an adjacent table. I waited long enough that I totally broke the three-second rule by a large margin. Still, I decided to go up.

It was really easy.

I said, “Excuse me”, waited for the three of them to look at me, then asked the one woman if she had ever been a vet. She asked me to repeat myself, which i did, and she said no. I mentioned that she looked like my old vet. She replied that she didn’t know at first if I meant an “animal vet” or a veteran, as she had just gotten out of the military, having done a tour in Iraq. I said that I had been in the military, too, but had been in before the Iraq war. I made a little joke about having better timing than she did, then excused myself and wished them a good day.

I suppose I should have stayed longer and tried to do a Transition, but I wasn’t really into any of them, and I was pretty satisfied at how easy and relaxed it was.

That night I got a new email from The Mystery Method‘s Online Apprentice Program (OAP), talking about Opening. Specifically, the first step in my training is to Open five women I don’t know a day. Wow!

So, that’s what I did today.

The first two I opened at the grocery store. I used the opener “Do you know where they keep the barley?” I used to use barley in making my dog’s food, and I remembered never being able to find it in the store I usually go to. The first girl was a slender asian girl, very lovely. She was very apologetic in saying she didn’t know. I tried talking about making food for my dog, but she didn’t bite, just said she was sorry again, so I told her, “No problem”, and went on my way.

I then saw several smoking girls, but kept wussing out. Finally, just as I was about to leave, I saw an attractive brunette in an empty aisle. I didn’t notice until I started talking to her that she was pregnant and showing. Probably not the best target. Anyway, the same Opener, with the same result.

After this I dropped my groceries off, told the dog I was sorry, but he was going to have to stay crated for a bit longer, then headed to the mall.

I was having major problems thinking of an Opener that would be appropriate. Finally, I tried a similar opener to the one I used yesterday, approaching a group of three girls at the Food Court. But I was nervous, I paused for too long, trying to remember who my target was supposed to look like, and just ejected in a very embarassing manner.

I had a little trouble getting past this, but I kept focussing on how my previous three approached felt, and ruthlessly squelching any thoughts of the one I just bungled. After a couple almost-approaches, I turned to a cute blonde as we were walking past each other, and asked her if she knew the area. She said she did, and I asked her if there was a good place to get Chinese nearby. She said she couldn’t think of one, then gave me directions to the Food Court in an almost dismissive tone. As she was turning away, I mentioned that I had gone to the Food Court, but was really in the mood for Chinese. She was basically gone, so I thanked her, wanting to be the one to end the conversation.

I had decided to leave at this point, and try to get my fifth at a bookstore, when I passed a group of three younger girls talking off to the side. I went up to them, and used the Chinese Opener. They argued amongst themselves for a bit, during which time I was unable to think of something to say, but finally said they didn’t know. They were very nice about it, though, and as I thanked them and walked away, I had a spring in my step. They were all gorgeous, and I had had a short, but pleasant conversation.

Still, I need to tune my Openers a bit. First off, the one bad approach had used a blatantly false Opener. I need to stop doing that; my body language probably showed it. Also, I need to ask directions to places or things they could actually direct me to, and maybe induce them to show me. Finally, I need to work on Transitions. Getting my foot in the door is relatively easy; moving to a normal conversation is the next step.

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~ by arkhilokhus on March 10, 2008.

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