After all, not everybody is going to start at the same place.
But while the investment is low, the payoff is spectacular.
The same skills that let you make brief small talk with a stranger are what help you out when it “counts”, whether it’s meeting people at parties or building up the relationships that strengthen your professional network.
This is why one of the things I advise people who deal with approach anxiety is to simply start by going up to people and asking them for the time.
Once you’re used to asking for the time, you start pretending to be a tourist in your own town and ask for directions.
The process of getting better at dating can be a difficult one. And of course, there’re a lot of people who buy into this.
There are a lot of self-limiting beliefs that can be hard to overcome – not the least of which being that you’re “stuck” at wherever you are and there’s nothing you can do. It’s a tempting narrative after all; when there’s no hope and no choice, you are relieved of all responsibility.
However, while you can’t cut down the total amount of time it takes to get better at a skill – particularly the skills involved in dating – you can spend that time more efficiently.
In my case, if I wanted to practice, I had to go get gussied up, maybe get ahold of some of my friends or regular wingmen and head out to the bars.
It didn’t help that I wasn’t sure what I needed to actually work on.
Part of what slows us down when we’re learning how to date – or want to date better – is that we tend to focus on the wrong things.
Just as trying to practice it all at once is inefficient, we often expend our time and energy on things that aren’t nearly as mission-critical as we believe.