Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Approach Anxiety- Risk is volatility NOT loss.

I read Howard Marks' book "The Most Important Thing" a few weeks ago. The book is a collection of interoffice memos within Oaktree Financial(The company he and Warren Buffet run together).

The book is interesting for anyone looking to get an insight into what has made Oaktree successful over the years, but it also had an idea that I think applies to most guys in regards to approach anxiety.

I happen to think of most things related to pick up on a risk/return continuim. There are no rewards without risk when it comes to meeting women.

In "The Most Important Thing" Marks makes a point of explaining that risk when applied to investments is not necessarily about guaranteed loss, but rather volatility. What this means is that risk doesn't guarantee a loss as much as it guarantees that we DON'T KNOW what is going to happen next.

So how does this apply to approach anxiety?


Most guys when they see an opportunity to approach a new woman don't look at it through a risk/reward continuim. Instead they start to assess the situation based on what they think they have to LOSE.

Most guys due to this misunderstanding of risk as loss rather than volatility (or what I'll refer to as the unknown for the rest of this post) Fail to even get themselves to approach.

You have to understand that each different approach a unique and free standing situation. You also have to avoid the gambler fallacy and the tendency to project past performance as a precursor of future success or failure.

The key is to remember that the unknown is always a factor in approaching, but the unknown is not always a loss.

JS-The King Of Content


  1. Anonymous1:54 PM

    This post should be titled, "The Sinns of Approach Anxiety"

  2. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Do you have to relate everything you read to pickup?

  3. Anonymous8:12 PM

    @anonymous #2 this is a pickup blog dickhead. Of course we want Jon to post about pickup related material.

  4. Anonymous9:06 PM

    This is a pickup blog so I would say yes. However I would be interested in reading more stuff on psychology from sinn if he had another blog

  5. "do you have to relate everything you read about pickup"

    Well, when you're passionate about something...thats what you usually do. #haters gonna hate

    Visit Chicago Sinn!

  6. Anonymous6:01 PM

    This was already what I understood the word risk to me. I don't quite see the insight here.

  7. I find this insightful. Its not that we're afraid of the outcome itself, we are just afraid that we can't predict it.

  8. Anonymous11:21 PM

    Howard Marks is actually one of the worst examples you could use to relate investing to pickup. Howard is an ultra-conservative investor who would likely only approach one or two women out of a hundred due to a fear of loss. In fact, Oaktree's motto is "avoid the losers and the winners will take care of themselves". Also, Warren Buffett is in no way related to Oaktree Capital Management. I'm not quite sure where that idea came from.

  9. Anonymous3:06 AM

    Dude I just watched you latest video with a fast connection and I spent more time waiting for it to buffer than watching the actual video.
    Please make a play and pause buttons!

  10. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Well AA sucks, Escalation Anxiety is worse, virgin25, keeping hope alive.

    Cardio Approaching, The harder the set, the easier it gets, i gotta quarrel with mom/daughter sets milf or daughter,

    Zen Books don't help, Approach to Date all the rest is noise so turn down volume and hopefully I get some positive momentum.

  11. Anonymous9:36 PM

    sinn I was wondering if you will ever release a course on online game or strippers and hired guns as bootcamp are to expensive, thanks J

  12. "do you have to relate everything you read about pickup"

    - it's a pick up blog! FFS

    Interesting insights.

  13. Anonymous10:47 PM

    I think it helps to imagine a positive response before even approaching, instead of a negative one which most guys kind of do.

  14. Anonymous7:35 AM

    Nicely put. If you see the situation like you have more to lose than gain you will never approach and you will miss your chance. But if you don't think about it and just go for the approach you will find that there is approach anxiety cure.

  15. About everything related to AA there is no logic.

    If we could think our way out of of AA then it would be so easy. 99% of the women I approach I NEVER see again so why should a potential negative outcome bother me ?
    It should not but for one weird reason I'm always nervous when I approach a very risk free activity.
    I do sky diving and that does not scare me half as much as approaching a 9 in a club...

    Go figure....

    But the only two tips I would give to overcome approach anxiety if it's not too severe is:
    1) Prepare....
    Do your homework and have some canned material in handy if you crumble under the pressure.

    2) 5 second rule - Approach right away before you start going inside your own head....You will be able to convince yourself that NOT talking to her is MUCH better...