Some wise person (and wiseguy) once said, “We have found the enemy, and it is us.”
I first heard that when I was a teenager, and frankly it made no sense.
Then I heard it again after studying some Eastern philosophy, and I thought, “Yes, that is profound indeed.”
Now after really getting into Eastern wisdom and understanding it at a feeling level and not just an intellectual level, it doesn’t make sense anymore.
That’s because the enemy is inside you, but it’s not you. The enemy is friction.
Now there is good friction and there is bad friction. Simply put, the bad friction gets in the way of your getting some good friction.
Long-time meditators know what this bad friction is; science is slowly catching up with them.
When you’re experiencing discomfort, neurological friction is that part of your brain that puts up resistance to that discomfort.
This is what turns mere pain into suffering. It’s not just “Ow, I stubbed my toe”, but “Ow, I stubbed my toe – why me? Doesn’t the world suck? Whine whine moan.”
If you were to remove the “the world sucks” part from the equation, you’d probably just experience pain – or maybe not even that. It’s the friction that turns discomfort into something more.
As the Tao Te Ching says (Chapter 23):
Express yourself completely,
Then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
When it blows, there is only wind;
When it rains, there is only rain;
When the clouds pass, the sun shines through.
Same thing happens with pleasure. Your body resists the feeling, and you diminish the pleasure. If you don’t think you do this, just think about the last time you received a compliment, and then immediately said something like, “Well, but I’m really not that special.”
So friction makes you lose both ways. Turns the pain into suffering AND reduces the amount of pleasure you can experience.
The best scientific explanation I have for this is that your body has two kinds of nerve fibers when it comes to feeling. One kind goes up to your brain, reporting on what’s happening. The other kind comes down from your brain to your sense organs, telling them what they should be perceiving.
If that’s not interesting enough, consider this: scientists say there are twice as many descending fibe rs as they are ascending ones. Twice as many nerve fibers telling you what you *should* be feeling, as determined by your cortex, than what you really *are* feeling, as determined by your sense organs.
So let’s take the task of approaching a pretty woman. Initial impulse from the primitive brain goes “Cute girl! Me wants!”
Then the friction kicks in. Now you have to work up your courage to overcome the friction to go speak to her. Or you can wait until you’re fully paralyzed and can’t speak to her at all.
Moreover, the friction may also kick in and diminish your enjoyment of the fact that she’s a cute girl. “Aw, that’s dirty. You can’t be thinking about her like that.” This is especially pernicious if you were brought up in a religious tradition that made pleasure dirty – particularly that of the flesh.
Of course, the friction doesn’t stop here. Even if you do get the girl, the friction is on for the ride all the way, brother. It’ll get in the way of your enjoyment of her when she’s with you, it’ll poison your solitude when you miss her, and it’ll aggravate the pain when you’re not getting
Friction’s a bitch, I tell ya.
So, like a good ayurvedic doctor, I told you what creates the problem. Diagnosis complete. Now what are we going to do about it?
Incidentally, as a quick aside, the ayurvedic announcement formula goes something like this:
First, announcement of the symptom. This is the ‘what’: ‘The patient suffers from approach anxiety.’
Second, the announcement of the source of the symptom, or the ‘why’: ‘The patient has friction.’
Third, the solution: ‘The patient needs to engage in mind exercises.’
And fourth, the process for attaining the solution – the actual prescription: ‘The patient needs to do meditation and take classes with Dr Alex.’
If this sounds familiar, it’s because that’s how the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are framed – they’re cast in the guise of a traditional ayurvedic diagnosis and prescription.
Returning to our topic, there are three ways to fix this friction problem: bypass it; overcome it; and remove it entirely.
One of the reasons why bad boys and jerks tend to be good with women is because they don’t experience as much friction as the nice guys. They see a woman who turns them on and they just go for it. No apo logies, no pussyfooting – just
It’s the same lack of inhibition that makes them borderline or florid psychopaths, so this ain’t 100% a good thing. Gentlemen, please hold on to your frontal lobes – it keeps society functioning.
At the same time, there’s something to be learned here. In The Tao of Dating for Men, this is what I call getting out of your own way.
So next Tuesday, I’m conducting the Approach Clinic. It’s 90min in which I give you every tool imaginable to destroy friction when it comes to speaking to strangers – especially cute women.
I’ll teach you how to bypass (easy). I’ll teach you how to overcome (more work). And I’ll teach you how to remove it entirely (serious work, but also fun).
Getting rid of friction may be the one thing that will improve the quality of your life more than anything else. I’m not exaggerating here. So, to say the least, this is a worthwhile exercise.
We’ll do some hypnosis work, some meditation work and some cognitive work. I’ll give you a bunch of foolproof techniques that work in any situation, and also help you develop your own.
This one’s $99.95 The first 30 to sign up can apply the coupon code ‘APPROACH’ for $60 off — so you can sign up for only $39.95:
Sign up for the Approach Clinic
More power to ya
PS: If this is the one part of your dating life that’s been dogging
you forever, isn’t time to take care of it? Exactly. Sign up here: