I've really put a lot of effort into improving my appearance in the last few months, besides just working out. I've really been paying attention to my style and doing little things with grooming that I haven't done before (like using a cleanser and moisturizer on my face - lots of guys don't do this). The result is that I think I look a lot better. I was always decently good-looking (or so I'd been told), but every little bit helps. My skin certainly looks more radiant. It's pretty incredible how doing little things can make such a big difference.
Anyway, I was on my way out today to do an errand. There was an old woman in the elevator as I was going down. I greeted her politely. She immediately made a comment about the pendant I was wearing (it's of a Griffin). She even said it was "beautiful." I tell her the story behind it. I was pretty amused by the whole thing. This old woman was trying to flirt with me. I politely bade her goodbye once the elevator reached the lobby and I went to do what I needed to do.
Even though this was an old woman who I obviously had no interest in, I was still pretty upbeat that she attempted this, because it meant I was in some way attractive. This wasn't the only time something like this happened either. Just yesterday, as I was out with a friend for some Fleet Week adventures (well, I was still waiting for him at this time), a girl came up to me and asked me for directions. I gave her the proper ones and continued on (I was actually quite upset with myself at that point because I saw a particularly beautiful girl only a few minutes prior, made steps towards her, and even noticed something she was wearing that I could talk about, but ultimately didn't open because of that beta voice in my head holding me back). I then saw her turn back to look at me as she was walking away. I didn't really care for her that much, but she was with an attractive blonde who I wouldn't have minded hitting up. Didn't think of it until it was too late. I could tell that yet another girl was making preening motions in my vicinity on the train as I was getting there, and I've definitely been making good eye contact with a lot of girls (I still think I need to work on more facial expressions though), including a few yesterday.
This all got the gears in my head turning regarding how it is with women. I enjoyed the conversation in the elevator today, even if I wasn't interested. It does feel good to know that you're attractive to somebody, even if you don't reciprocate it. Surely it must be the same with women, where physical attractiveness is even more important?
I'd think that as long as the person trying to flirt with you wasn't someone you were actively repulsed by, you'd still feel somewhat flattered. Now a lot of guys say women get approached all the time. This is something I disagree with and never quite believed. I live in New York and I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a man actively try to strike up a conversation with an attractive woman he doesn't know, at least without very specific factors present. Sure, you'll see a lot of stares, maybe some passing lines that lack dominance as she's walking by, but not a serious approach. This is why I say that attractive women might get "hit on" a lot but not "approached."
So ask yourself in the heat of the moment: wouldn't the interaction with a woman you don't know be enjoyable, regardless of whether she rejects you or not? Ultimately I think the major part of approach anxiety isn't fear of rejection but fear of the unknown (at least it is for me). You're approaching a stranger and you have no idea how she will react. Yet I've never once had a bad experience with any stranger, man or woman, I've said something to. The worst that will happen is I get ignored. Wouldn't it make more sense that you'd be received positively, especially if you put an effort into looking good?
This is something I think everyone should keep in mind. By approaching you do her a favor by telling her she's desirable, and there's no more flattering thing for a woman than to be desired by a high-status man.
Despite having a number of daytime approaches under my belt now, I'm still battling that anxiety, especially in environments like the streets, but I will try to keep this in mind and reframe that anxiety as excitement (which is more helpful than calming down). I only wish I'd been thinking about this when I saw that really beautiful girl walk by!
Oh and, as an aside, I got to the ship on the west side with my friend and got to hold some guns on board, including a Barett. 50 sniper rifle which weighed forty pounds. That was pretty cool.
I also noticed a bunch of girls flirting with the service members. That was also amusing. It was good training in reading body language at least.