I've also realized that trying to actively fight your fear and calm down is counterproductive. It only gets you further inside your own head. It's instead better to reframe your fear as excitement (which are closely-related feelings - you can even feel it in your brain), accept that your fear exists, and tell yourself that it's based on a faulty perception.
This is what I did. And it did help - a little. But as I was walking toward her I think what put me over the edge was that I would be extremely disappointed in myself if I didn't do it. I thought of Marlborough and Louis. I thought of how they would be disappointed in me if I didn't do it, when they did such marvelous things in their lives.
If you read Think & Grow Rich, one of the chapters talks about emotional cocktails and their powers on the brain - that different mixtures of emotions and thoughts can lead to very different outcomes. I suppose this is what happened, because I did it.
I simply said "hi" as I was passing her and that I didn't want to leave the park without talking to her. This was my plan all along and that too, reduced the initial fear. She was friendly. I quickly found myself asking too many questions. The good part was that I caught myself doing this and tried to make some statements and assumptions to get her talking some more, it just didn't really work very well. Sometimes that just happens.
Anyway this girl was in med school. I caught myself in the trap of talking about that too much and trying to relate, when I should have just said I had no idea about any of it and asked her open-ended questions of how she felt about it all.
She asked the usual question of what I did for a living, blah blah. I asked her to take off her sunglasses so I could see her eyes, but she wouldn't. That's when I knew things were on the rocks.
At any rate when I saw that there was just no real connection being made I began to bail, but made the mistake of telling her she "probably wouldn't give me her number." No shit she wouldn't, if I was just going to reject myself that way! She even said "I don't know." I should have tried to overcome that objection, but didn't. Lesson learned.
So those were some bad things. The good things were that I was actively catching myself making mistakes and attempting to adjust. Eye contact with her was good. Vocal tones were good. Body language was good. I did shake hands with her, though on a bench I wasn't entirely sure how I could have physically escalated any further. Asking her to take off her sunglasses was also good because it's a well-known fact that someone doing a small favor for you will be more psychologically attached to you.
The best thing was that as soon as I approached, all fear dissipated. I really do not have any trouble talking to people, women I'm attracted to, or talking well for that matter (as I've said before). If I can just get over that initial anxiety, my road to success is pretty broad.
So some of the good things were:
- My body language and voice tones (very important).
- My ability to keep the conversation lasting a while.
- Caught myself making mistakes.
- Tried to tease and make some assumptions to get out of the 20 questions game.
- I made some compliments specific to her.
- Most importantly, I overcame the fear.
- Asked too many questions, and not the good kind, but rather the value-taking kind.
- I tried to relate too much instead of being more honest.
- I don't think I tried hard enough to create masculine/feminine polarity.
- The worst mistake was basically rejecting myself when asking for her phone and ejecting too fast.