Three Taverns Church

Risky Advice, or Brilliant Strategy?


Me: “So, something else I wanted to talk about was the constant feeling that I’m not enough, the feeling that I need the approval of others, especially women. Recently, I’ve been feeling very clearly that there is a difference between my sexual attraction toward some women, and my desire for the attention and approval of many other women…”

My Counselor: “Or the fact that you tried to seek approval and connection through pornography…”

Me: “…right, exactly. It’s not really about the pornography, it’s about the thing behind the pornography…approval. What can I do about that? Does that need ever go away?”

My Counselor: “It seems to get easier with age. Tell me, when exactly do you feel like you’re ‘not enough’ or that you need other people’s approval most strongly?”

Me: “Pretty much any time a moderately attractive woman is around. I get very self-conscious and I have to fight the urge to try to get their attention. I have to work at doing nothing.”

My Counselor: “Why don’t you try talking to some of those women? It will help you stop objectifying them and see them as just people.”

Me: “Well, I do try talking to some women in my office, and I have noticed that those women seem less like symbols or objects and more like regular people with issues…But what about when I’m out in public and I come across a really attractive woman?”

My Counselor: “Try saying ‘Hello’ or paying her a compliment.”

Me: “…uhm….what?”

My Counselor: “Just try it.”

Me: “….OK…”

This is either the worst advice I have ever received, or it is a brilliant strategy to help me conquer my need for approval. My recovery program stresses that I ignore triggering women as often as possible, keep conversation to a minimum, avoid eye contact, and bounce my eyes away whenever possible. Now, my counselor is telling me to intentionally interact with triggering women. No matter what happens, it should be interesting…

4 thoughts on “Risky Advice, or Brilliant Strategy?

  1. Do it dude. Let me know how it goes.

  2. You can start by taking your watch off and simply asking if they have the time. Keep it simple and brief. I’d skip the complimenting because that sounds too attention getting for this scenario.

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