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Chase Amante's picture


I commiserate. I have a little bit of perfectionism myself. I spent junior high, high school, and the first 2/3 of university avoiding women, even if I liked them and knew they liked me, because there was never a perfect way to talk to them or do whatever I wanted to do with them or they wanted to do with me.

I've mentioned it in comments before, and probably ought to do a proper article on it. But rather than fight perfectionism, the way to not have it block you socially is to redirect it and harness it.

For me, the way I did this was by realizing I looked like a stunted idiot not knowing how to talk to people, not having women in my life, and so on. So I adopted the strategy of "I always need to be talking to people and practicing with people and improving if I ever want to reach a point of respectability." I'd still get upset with myself over mistakes, but if I wasn't social in social situations, or didn't approach women when I had the chance to, it made me feel a lot more 'imperfect' than trying and failing did.

If you can redirect your perfectionism to target being social and taking opportunities to try out things and improve socially, you can make it useful, instead of harmful.

but me I have this belief that is wasn't that hard for you,your struggles were short lived , you always knew how to handle situations and got results quickly

I mean... I didn't learn how to have a conversation until I was 22 years old. I had friends in primary school, but didn't 'hang out' with a single other person from age 12 to age 19, save for an aborted attempt at Senior Week post-high school, and a couple of house parties my coworkers threw when I was 18/19. From 19 to 22 I went out sometimes with my freshman year floormates and/or my randomly assigned roommates. But I really only went out about once or twice a month. The rest of the time I was either in my room, or walking to a fast food joint by myself. I spent a lot of time eating alone in Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King restaurants watching all the other college students in their groups laughing and talking, doing my best to not feel sorry for myself.

I learned how to tell stories and make jokes in junior high, just to try to get some of the social attention I was starved for. I got pretty good at it, but man was it stressful. Every single day I'd wake up terrified that maybe that day no one would notice me or think I was cool or, worse, that I would do something lame and people would think Chase was lame. Each day went by excruciatingly slow, I was completely alone but could tell no one because I'd look lame if I did (everyone knows cool people don't give a fuck, and I wanted people to think I was cool people, which meant no one could know I gave a fuck... at all), had to turn down girls I was crushing on or in love with because I was too scared to say yes, had to turn down guys I thought were super cool who invited me to hang with them because I was too scared to say yes, and finally had to watch all the people I liked give up on me and move on with their lives, and while they still thought I was cool (they said) and occasionally talked to me and invited me to things (which I still always turned down, while wanting to say yes), nothing I did could get them to pay that kind of attention to me again.

Life was complete hell. I tried to end it in my early teens. After I came out of that, I resolved not to do that again, but I still trapped in socially isolated hell. I was in the top 10% of my high school class (a good private school, too), and probably would've been higher if not for my depression. I did not apply to college, which made my teachers, classmates, and parents all flip out. All I heard was "What are you going to do with your life???" and all I could say was "Dunno, but I have zero interest in college. Not for me." There was just no way I was going to sit through another four years of having to do a bunch of work in a bunch of classes while being completely miserable and alone and watching everyone else party and have fun and lead social and romantic lives around me. No thanks. I went to university after a year of working as a tire salesman, thinking my sales skills (which were by then pretty good) would translate directly into social skills and I'd be going to parties and making friends and getting dates and getting laid. Then I got to school, completely failed to make any friends at all, got completely ignored by women (at least in high school they flirted with me sometimes), and collapsed on my floor one night after the first month and just broke down. After that I sort of made my peace with it and gave up on trying to make friends or figure out women for the next 3 years.

When I finally started making real progress on fixing all this, I was 22 years old, trying to figure out how to hold a conversation that went beyond "2-minute monologue about a funny thing that happened to me yesterday" or "wise cracks about random things that people always find amusing." I would go to parties and stand in groups of people and listen to how people talked to each other, what they talked about, and roughly what the rules of the conversation were. Then I'd watch the most socially successful people, and how they moved from group to group while most people stayed confined to their own circles. I looked at how they excused themselves from groups and how they joined new ones. Also at how long they spent away from groups and when they circled back. Then I slowly started doing this myself, making lots of mistakes but continually correcting them. I did have excellent social intuition (couresty all those years spent learning to 'feel the crowd' telling stories and jokes maybe?), so that was one advantage. But I was also 10 years behind everyone else in almost everything else social.

Once I started getting dates, I got ditched and dicked around in every way imaginable by women. None of it was willfully malicious; it was just these women playing a game they'd been honing themselves at for 10 years, and me being a total newbie who was trying to not seem like a total newbie because no girl wants to date a clueless guy who doesn't know stuff the other guys she dates knew half a decade ago. I didn't hold it against any of them; I knew I was the one stepping into the ring with far more experienced practitioners, but I sure took a lot of clobberings.

I didn't discover there was anyone teaching social skills until I'd been working on mine for a year. I'd been approaching women in bars and cafeterias, at the gym, wherever, and then after a year of that I discovered the pickup community and it blew my mind there were guys doing this stuff and you could actually read about how they made it work. I took training, saw some guys in action, and then I was going out a lot more, approaching a lot more, but dealing with tons of mental blocks that made me botch easy lay after easy lay. I had women throwing themselves at me but was so stitlted from years of crappy social skills that I'd just completely botch the layups they were giving me. When I started getting laid from pickup it was mostly SNLs from night game or (some) online game, and I was compromising on my standards a bit too much to get it. I was reaching a point of desperation where I'd plowed so much time into it (~1.8 years total; ~0.8 years of being extremely active) and was so unhappy with my results. Really what I wanted was a great girlfriend and I was just not finding that. I was getting pretty close to a breakdown again before I managed to land a truly beautiful, incredible girl, who did not want to date me but man I just put my hooks in that girl, there was no way she was going to not be my girlfriend. She was very good for me, and I started getting much hotter girls a lot more frequently once I'd 'broken the seal' with her.

But I will tell you. That was not an easy journey.

It's a little weird to look back on, because my life now is so different, and my thinking now is so different. All the suckage my life was for so many years was my doing. I had opportunities but shot them all down. Once I took responsibliity for it though, it was not an easy climb. I started from a deep, yawning hole. I didn't feel like I fully reached the 'socially normal dude' level until 4 years in. I didn't reach 'cool and totally confident in just about every situation' until 7 years in (2 years after I started this site). It took me 6 months (of being only semi-active) to get dates. I wasn't pulling off SNLs until 1.5 years in. Took me 1.8 years to get a girlfriend. I have taught a lot of guys over the years, on forums, in comments, over the phone, over Skype, and I am definitely in the bottom 5% in terms of how slow my early progress was. Once I was caught up socially, it got pretty easy for me fairly fast. But yeah, no, I would not say "short-lived struggles."

Do I just take action and cast aside these inner game problems that I have with myself?

You need to be in action; you can't solve inner game issues sitting in your room.

But, you should direct some of your focus to fixing your mentalities. I used to be sort of 'inner game hostile' and tell guys to not worry about inner game, just to get in action... but actually focusing on fixing bad mentalities was always a thing I did at the same time I was taking action as well, and just sort of didn't put as much conscious importance on, even though I focused on it lots.

These days I will say the formula is "be in action, be trying new things, if something doesn't work, try it 20 more times, then tweak it. At the same time, keep an eye on your thoughts, strip out ones that don't help, and replace them with problem-solving and forward-looking thoughts instead, or, alternately, have-fun-in-the-moment thoughts (depending on what thoughts you're training)."

This stuff can be really easy for some guys.

For other guys, it's a lot of work. It's still doable though. You just have to want it and be willing to suck up the wounded ego you get from wading into lots of rejections and uncomfortable social situations, and keep your eye on the prize.

Often this stuff works like a snowball too. Just because you have a little snowball that is moving slow and you have to keep prodding it to even get it to move does not mean that once it gets big enough it won't be hurtling down hill. Getting skills (like how to talk to people/girls, get dates, and put women into bed and secure them in relationships) is a lot like building a snowball in that it's a lot of work before a certain point; once you reach critical mass, though, and the snowball is so big it's hurtling downward under its own weight, the thing just takes care of itself.