You walk into the bar, sharply dressed in that suit your dad gave you 6 years ago, and you’re ready to do this “speed dating” thing. You’ve gave yourself a pep talk in the mirror before you left, and even squeezed one out like that Ben Stiller movie advised.
You’re calm, you’re collected, and tonight is definitely going your way. You’re going to meet your special someone.
You make pleasantries with the other men at the event, listen to the rules and announcements, and get ready for the speed dating to begin!
Full Disclosure: I’ve never been speed dating.
The bell rings, you grab your speed dating bingo score card and mini-golf pencil, and head to the first table.
“I’m Mary.” She says as she extends a warm, soft hand to you, a radiant smile lighting her face.
“I’m nervous!” You joke. She laughs and looks away quickly. You catch her eyes glancing back at you through strands of brown hair. This is it! First table, first woman, and you’re already in love. It’s like social electricity!
“Well, nervous,” She says, keeping the ruse, “If you could go back in time and spend an hour alone with any one person from history, who would it be and why?”
What a great question! She’s trying to see who you admire, perhaps outline your belief system. Maybe you should say something smart like John Locke, to imply your love of fairness and process. But you’ve never actually read any John Locke, so that’s a bad idea.
Maybe you could say Henry Ford – a pioneer of business and industry, a man of achievement! But no, that won’t really groove with your reality will it? You work in pharmaceutical sales.
Perhaps Abraham Lincoln, showcase how absolutely in love with diversity and humanity you are-
“Adolf Hitler.” You word vomit.
The room comes to a complete stop. Every single person gasps and looks at you. Mary is horrified and disgusted. Suddenly you feel a waterfall of liquid shit cascading down your pant legs.
“B.. um… be… because…” The stench fills the room, several people gag, the bartender vomits and passes out, “because he had.. The little mustache.. I’m.. A mustache afficionad…” You just stop.
How stupid, you berate yourself silently, why didn’t you just say so you could fucking kill him!? Jesus Christ! What the fuck is wrong with you!
After what feels like literally 10,000 years in the desert sun, Mary pipes up, “You do know this event was put on by J-Date, right?”
You clear your throat and attempt to speak, but before you can two large security guards pick you up and toss you out of the restaurant. You land on your ass, squishing wet shit up into your crack.
There is nothing left to do now but pick yourself up and walk home in abject shame, knowing you’ll likely be dealing with a pretty serious rash later, what with having publicly defecated all over yourself.
I want you to notice two things about this story
The first thing you should notice is that this story is completely ridiculous. There is a less than 0% chance that you will accidentally cop to being a Goebbels fan, or telling your date that you find giraffes sexually arousing.
It doesn’t happen.
The next thing I want you to notice is that, as absurd as this whole story was, it is surprisingly close to your nightmare scenario, isn’t it?
If you’re like most men, your tallest hurdle is starting the interaction precisely because your biggest fear is that the whole thing will go sideways on you and you’ll… what, exactly? Be embarrassed?
Perhaps you’re worried that some random person you’ve never met before and will (most likely) never see again won’t think you’re a superstar. How tragic.
When it comes to meeting and interacting with women, your biggest obstacle is yourself. You are the only one standing in your way.
Even if the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen to you does, in fact, happen (tons of people laugh at you, you actually wet yourself, and run from the bar literally in tears), you will still be alive, and you will still probably never see those people again.
And stuff like that doesn’t even happen!
When I was little (say, 8), I used to love spending time with my big brother. He liked horror movies, and I was petrified of literally everything. But I loved spending time with my brother more than I was scared of Freddy Krueger.
This lead to me watching horror movies. A lot. I remember we once did an entire Friday the 13th marathon. He and I sat on the couch all day and watched every single one of those movies. Back to back.
During the really scary bits I would close my eyes and just listen. I would imagine incredible horrors based on what I heard, and those imaginations would often keep me up at night.
Fast forward 10 years and I watched all of those movies again. As it happens, they’re pretty gay, very dull, and absolutely not scary in the slightest. But what stood out to me the most is that what actually happened was far less frightening than what I had been imagining.
I don’t know why, but as humans we have this inclination to imagine the worst possible scenario, and that scenario tends to overshoot reality by a country mile.
This is true of my kid self listening to horror movies, and it’s true of you when you get swamp ass, thinking about everything that could go wrong talking to that cute girl in the mall.
The actual worst case scenario
You are chatting up a cute girl in Starbucks (or whatever) and you go to close her on her number. She will either give you her number, or she’ll say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend…”
Now we could get into the various ways to deal with this, and whether or not she’s telling you the truth, but that’s all for another day. For now, let’s just say she was being genuinely friendly, but has no interest in forming a relationship with you, much less sexual congress.
You have officially been shut down.
Just look at her in the eyes with a smile and say, “Hey, no problem! I just misread the situation. Listen, I’ve got to run, but you have a fabulous day!”
And then leave.
No embarrassment. No pants shitting. No admitting to your weird NAZI fetish.
Misunderstandings happen in real life, and when you’re putting out a certain vibe and she isn’t picking up on it, all you really have is a misunderstanding. Just move on.
Actively Practice Psychopathy
When you have mastered the Way of strategy you can suddenly make your body like a rock, and ten thousand things cannot touch you. This is the body of a rock.
You will not be moved.
A complete emotional disconnection from the outcome. A complete peace with the worst possible outcome. If you can be at peace with the worst outcome, then there is no outcome which can hurt you.
If you are emotionally disconnected from the result, then the result will not tear you down.
This doesn’t just apply to talking to women in a Bath & Body Works, either. This applies to any situation at all.
Scared people at the gym are going to laugh at you when you show up because you’re a fat piece of shit? Make peace. The worst thing that could possibly happen is some people will initially laugh, but then you’ll gain their respect.
Really, fat guys showing up to the gym often earn more respect than anything. Look at you, trying to make a difference in your life!
If you can be at peace with terrible outcomes, then you are ready to take on the situation because any outcome will suit you.
With this realization comes a certain amount of power and authority. As Musashi says, you become a rock – and you cannot hurt a rock.
Next time you’re faced with a situation that makes you nervous, I want you to take a moment and consider the worst possible outcome.
Then I want you to make peace with that outcome, know that your life is long enough that you will move and grow beyond it. You will survive it.
Then I want you to attack the situation head on, as a stone, knowing you cannot be hurt.
Leave a comment and let me know what times in your life this sort of thing has worked for you! And make sure you share it around.
Until Next Time,