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.

“Nice Guys Finish Last”, or at least that’s how the saying goes, especially when it comes to women. The term “nice guy” usually gets a bad rap, but we at Nice Guys Finish First want to change that. The problem is that the typical nice guy is usually too nice to people, so much so that he becomes a total pushover. That kind of attitude has made women do a complete 180 and flock to the assholes. Instead, we say that you can still be a nice guy but there is a balance.

The Typical Nice Guy

The typical nice guy likes to think of himself as a caring and selfless person. He expects the best of people and is willing to go out of his way to help others even if they don’t, or aren’t, able to return the favor. He tries to be modest and is generally a pretty agreeable person. He treats women with respect and is usually the first to buy them a drink. This would beĀ Leonard from the Big Bang Theory, Ted from How I Met Your Mother, or Fry from Futurama.

Unfortunately, women don’t seem to see him that way. They see him as passive, boring, and insecure. He’s almost always too afraid to ask the girl out but then gets upset when he learns that he’s not even a blip on her radar. He’s so agreeable that he becomes boring. She’ll say that she likes something (like country music) and he’ll just respond, “me too!”. There’s no mystery, there’s no dynamic. This sort of attitude can sometimes come off as fake or unauthentic which will leave people wondering what his real motives are. For him, he’s so afraid of being judged that he’d rather follow everyone’s lead than to make his own mistakes or decisions for himself. This is why the typical nice guy usually winds up in the “friend zone”.

The problem with the typical nice guy is that he’s too supplicative. He will literally beg for people to like him. He has some self esteem issues and doesn’t feel like he’s valuable himself, so he will try to get his value from other people by doing favors or buying small gifts. Because of this, his confidence is shot and people tend to walk all over him.

The Asshole

Frustrated with his “bad luck” with women, the typical nice guy will eventually realize that, while women say they want a nice guy, they always go after the assholes. He’ll see the asshole as being loud, aggressive, and a bit cynical towards people. Sometimes the typical nice guy will even become the asshole himself. Why not? After all, the asshole seems to get more friends and women than the typical nice guy had ever had before. This would be Archer from Archer, Dr. Cox from Scrubs, and Dr. House from House.

To make things worse, women usually do go after the asshole. It’s not because he is an asshole, but they see something in him that others don’t always see. This varies from person to person but it will range from some women mistaking his cocky attitude for confidence to others knowing he’s an asshole and trying to “change” him. Women want mystery, surprise, excitement, and sometimes drama; the asshole gives them that. At the very least, he comes off as being confident enough to be himself around them; which is something that the typical nice guy doesn’t do.

The asshole is also a result of low self esteem and insecurities. He is a combative person and doesn’t feel like he is as valuable as other people, so he will seek out external validation. He demands attention and will either put others down to make himself seem better or even challenge them to prove his superiority. His confidence is fake but to him, he’s at least the bully and not the victim.

Our Nice Guy

Our nice guy isn’t too different from the typical nice guy, we’ve just given him a backbone. He’s still able to be himself but he’s also confident, self-respecting, and interesting. He is the kind of person that makes you feel good about yourself and, even if you never talk to him, you notice when he leaves a room. This is Bruce Wayne from Batman, James Bond from 007, and Hitch from Hitch.

Women especially take notice of this. They see how he treats others and he makes them feel special. He sees women as human beings and wants to genuinely connect with them. He has his own opinions, is deliberate in his actions, and isn’t afraid to lead or take control of the situation. He is an incredible listener and is non-judgmental. He is also willing to show vulnerability and owns his insecurities. Our nice guy is someone you’ll meet for five minutes and feel like you could tell them your whole life story.

Unlike the typical nice guy or the asshole, our nice guy doesn’t seek validation from external sources. Instead, he seeks value from within himself. He accepts himself for who he is and is constantly growing. This gives him high self esteem and exudes confidence. He has a cooperative personality, promoting others out of confidence, and is always thinking win-win.

When a woman says that she wants a nice guy, she’s not talking about the typical nice guy. What a woman really wants is a guy who treats people well and is not afraid to be himself. That’s our nice guy!