Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A couple of posts ago Chuck introduced his protégé Walter, who asked the question “Should I take a crack at my divisional manager?” As background to that post, Walter was leaving his job; his divisional manager was single, attractive, successful and cagey as fuck (old school expression for what today is described as a Cougar). Of course Chuck weighed up the pros and cons for Walter and then advised him to “march onwards young soldier”. In the subsequent days, the Reality Bytes inbox was bombarded by readers desperate to know how Walter made out in his quest. It had all the makers of an epic tale except for one part – Walter lost his nerve at the last minute despite all signs pointing to him actually having a chance.

At the time Chuck tabbed Walters’s experience – Fear of Failure and promised to revisit the topic. Well guess what? Today’s the day.

It is important for both male and female Reality Bytes readers to put down their double decaf skinny lattes and reflect upon those times that you’ve spotted an attractive specimen across the room, felt the loins tingle and decided that ‘now’ is the right time to make an approach. Once you’ve done that, calibrate those times with the number of occasions that you’ve actually acted on that impulse. Chuck’s guessing that there will be a significant difference in the two figures. Of course there will be a group of people out there who are either shameless or have taken the necessary steps to concur their F.E.A.R*

*There is no reason or acronym behind the F.E.A.R, it just sounds awesome to Chuck when he spells it out and it’s also one of Chucks all-time favourite songs. In fact, the whole thing works better if you read F.E.A.R and say it in your mind as Ian Brown sings it. If it helps matters, check the song out now (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk8j3z53tGM) and come back to the post. You will not regret it!

Anyway, the act of asking someone out has actually become one of the most daunting activities a person can undertake. So often, individuals would rather smoulder intensely for extended periods of time while satisfying their dreams with a lubricant and tissues rather than actually acting on the urge. People are so gripped by the F.E.A.R of being rejected that they never take a shot. Don’t get Chuck wrong, he too was once so addled by the F.E.A.R that he passed up countless opportunities to engage with the opposite sex despite even the most outwardly visible signs of reciprocal interest.

So how did we get here? Good question.

Let’s be honest with ourselves for 5 minutes. We’re all so worried about having our egos bruised that we avoid putting ourselves in situations where we may lose – fear of failure or the F.E.A.R as Chuck likes to call it. Despite being constantly told by our parents, coaches, teachers and religious leaders that “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” we all become intrinsically aware that that statement is totally bullshit and that winning is all that matters in all facets of life (actually the religious leader will be telling you that it’s all about how you cup his nuts while he’s forcing his penis on you, but that’s another story). Everything we do in life is graded or commented on making it very easy to rank yourself against those around you. 

This way of life then breeds humans who have egos and like to succeed, meaning that they don’t take losing at all well. This mentally has infected every component of life including romance and relationships. People hate making the first move because they don’t want to be rejected. It always amuses Chuck to hear about breakups. People who have been dumped either admit they were dumped and then play the “I didn’t see it coming” card or lie and say that they ended things. You never hear people say “yeah I was pretty much a deadbeat who fucked it up and I deserved it”. We want to paint ourselves in a positive light at all times because our ego can’t handle realising that we may in fact be a loser.

Of course there are people who do realise that they are a loser and it is these people who cut their arms and listen to emo music.

And on the other hand, there are those people who have confidence to burn and even when they fail are able to write it off as a blip on the radar and keep on keeping on.

So how do you avoid the F.E.A.R? Don’t get Chuck wrong, there is no switch that you flick to turn it off. However, you can combat it in a few ways. A couple of things you need to consider:
  • If you are going to take a random shot at a chick at a bar you need to find a bathroom mirror and have a frank conversation with yourself first. Chuck’s not kidding here either, there has been plenty of times (on romantic, career & sporting levels) that Chuck has been confronted with a situation and has excused himself to a bathroom in order to look himself in the eyeball and make rational judgements). The first question you need to ask is “is this person in my league?” You have a small window of opportunity here so you don’t want to find some absolute dime piece (10 out of 10) and take a shot at her with minimal groundwork (small talk) if you’re an obese slob with stains on your shirt. That’s not to say that obese slobs don’t deserve love or that dime pieces don’t fall for obese slobs, but Chuck’s talking about minimising your chance of failure here.
  • Be sensible in regards to who you are having a crack at. For example, even though you may have had a smouldering desire for the office hottie, if you haven’t given him or her the slightest indication that you are interested or sensed that they may be interested in you, think how confronting it is going to be if you just spring a random date request on them. To make matters worse, if they decline your stuck working with them. While Chucks on co-workers, be smart about the level of person you’re going after. People in more senior roles than you are likely to reject overtures (unless they are senior executive males and you’re a buxom babe at least 20 years younger) for fear of damaging their career by chopping up a minion.
  • Alcohol always helps although your returns diminish once you tip into the pissed stage (especially if your object of desire is sober)
  • Always go in with a positive attitude. Walking up to a babe thinking you have no shot means that you have no shot.
  • Try and be clean. You will get rejected if you look an smell like a homeless person.
Really the key is to pick your targets wisely and give yourself every chance to do well. At the end of the day, the key to all this is remembering that you have nothing to lose. A rejection is merely someone declining an interest in you. If you approach the situation in the right way (and have followed some of Chucks above tips) you are giving yourself every chance. It shouldn’t be a crushing blow to your soul if you’re rejected. Keep your eyes on the prize, if you can pull it off you’re the ultimate winner!
So what was Chuck’s turning point? What enabled Chuck to get past the F.E.A.R? You may remember Chuck’s drinking companion who used the pickup line “Would you like a moustache ride?” Well he also lived by this credo:

“If I walk up to 100 women in a bar and ask each one of them if they’d like to fuck me, I may get 99 no’s (and a few slaps to the face) but if one says yes, the night is an absolute success”.

People, that statement right there is the antidote to the F.E.A.R

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