Have you ever been afraid of walking over and striking up a conversation with a girl you’ve never met before? It’s easy, just go over and say “Hi”. You know what to do, but it feels impossible. Why?

This kind of social fear usually comes from being in the wrong state of mind, and is an issue that is all too common among guys. But what if I told you that you can take control of this fear and not let it have any more power over you? By state shifting, you can!

Understanding State

First, what is a state? A state is the psychological and emotional filer that you use to focus and make decisions. Believe it or not, your state is fluid and ever changing, and usually depends on what you are spending most of your time doing. However, you also have a “default” state that you automatically switch to, based on what you do in your daily life. For example, if you’re used to being analytical and solving problems every day, then this will likely become your default state. This is why engineers stereotypically have issues being social and playful, but they are great at problem solving. Likewise, people who work in sales, and deal with people on a regular basis, stereotypically have no problem talking to people. Basically, the less time you spend your time in a social mindset, the more important it is to take the time to shift into that social state.

Shifting State

The only way to shift from your default state into a more light and playful state is by regularly interacting with people. Now that might sound scary at first, but there are really simple techniques you can use to slowly dip your toes in before having full on conversations with anyone. It’ll also give you the opportunity to open up a little bit and have fun while you’re out. Here are two of the techniques that we use.

Give a Genuine Compliment

  • The first state shifting technique is to make people’s day by giving them a short, genuine compliment. As you are out walking around, look for people who stand out in a positive way. This could be something they are wearing or something that they are doing really well. Then, walk up to them, smile, give the compliment, and walk away. It’s as simple as that! Now, keep in mind that your compliment needs to be specific. Saying “Your cute” doesn’t mean anything to anyone, however, saying “That shirt looks good on you” carries a bit more weight.

Ask a Genuine Question

  • The second state shifting technique is to ask a genuine question. When starting out, your question can be as general as asking for directions; however, once you’re used to that, you should make them more specific to something that you want to know about that person. For example, if I see a girl with dyed hair, I usually ask what made them want to dye their hair that color.

When practicing these techniques, the only thing you should be focusing on is shifting your state. It might feel weird at first, but that is all the more reason why you needed to do this in the first place. Just keep in mind that the more you practice getting into state, the easier it becomes and the faster you’ll be able to shift into it again.

Once you’re in state, it’s important to stay in state. Don’t look at your phone or sit down. These can easily shift your focus and you may have to start all over again to get back to where you were. Always be looking for opportunities to go up to someone, even if you’re taking a break from talking to people.