“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Greeting fellow barbarians! I hope you are enjoying life as it is, and if not you get your butt out there. There are better things to do than to play video games! Nah, I am just kidding. Video games are awesome! But seriously, today I wanted to talk about social awkwardness and what I did to overcome it to be exact. Social awkwardness is a pretty normal thing especially to young men who are just starting out on their journey to be full-fledged men. I know it is scary and sometimes intimidating, but it is not an excuse to live under a rock. We as men must be capable in navigating various social situation life has to offer, from talking to our neighbors, to negotiating a raise from our bosses. Our lives are a series of Hi, Nice to meet you and Goodbye, See you next times.
“Mr frowny face” that is what my mother used to call me back then. Always frowning, I never smile, and I do not talk to any random person. I do not even make small talks to the checkout girl, and I met my ex over mIRC. I really do not go out much and I find every excuse I give to stay my room to face the computer or play video games. I was a social outcast, or at least I pretended to be; I was trying hard to be the “me against the world” archetype that it made my life lonely. I was miserable, and when everything else failed; I got nobody to fall back to.
A great friend of mine once told me, “It is not what you know, but whom you know”. A saying the quite stuck on me as it unraveled me to a simple truth that for me to live a full and meaningful life as a man, I have to be social and learn my way to navigate through society. And the first step is to overcome social awkwardness, so today I want to share with you the 6 steps I took to overcome my social awkwardness in hopes of helping you who might experience similar dilemmas.
- Prioritize your grooming – Make sure that your grooming is on point, make sure you shower, shave, floss, apply deodorant, apply moisturizer/cologne daily. Brush your teeth twice a day. Trim your mustache and nails weekly. Get a haircut and trim your nose hair monthly or as much as needed. The thing is gentlemen, this is a lot of hard work but you really do not want to give yourself more reason to be awkward about. Do not drive away people with bad hygiene, sometimes it is not our social skills that are lacking but rather how we present our self.
- Wear clothes that complement you – Avoid wearing unflattering clothes, it does not really matter whether you’re rugged, preppy, geeky or hip. Dressing well really does not mean fine suits and leather jackets, it is about knowing what you are doing and avoid looking like a bum. Dress the body you have and not the body you might have, wear clothes that fits you and avoid tacky trends. That’s what separates style from fashion: style is something that embodies you as a person, not the clothes you wear.
- Be fit – This is where your true confidence comes from. I cannot stress this enough, our fitness is paramount. Aside from the obvious physical benefits of exercise, it has been proven that exercise can also improve our mental and emotional wellness. It has been known to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. Exercises such as heavy compound barbell exercises have also been known to boost testosterone levels, a growth hormone needed by men.
- Find a hobby or sport you’re good at – Sports and hobbies are more than great stress relievers, they are also good conversation fodders. Clubs and gyms are also a great place to meet new people to make friends with. A hobby or a sport can add another layer to your personality; you may be quiet tech support working on the background of an office but try adding another layer of being an excellent boxer or guitar virtuoso makes your interactions a bit more interesting. In addition, being good or a master of something adds to your confidence.
- Develop a good sense of humor – Laughter really is the best medicine, having the ability to make somebody laugh in a very clean and respectable manner is a gift. Learn how to tell jokes, and learn how to take one. You would be surprised at how well a person might react to someone who could make them laugh.
- Drillers are Killers – Lastly, try to interact as much as you could. The thing is, my fellow barbarians, is that you really have to put yourself out there. Sure, it will suck on your first tries but it will become better as you go along. Little by little, try exposing yourself to social stimuli every day and try to familiarize yourself with different situations. You will find yourself having the courage and will be able to relax in social situations.
My friends, I think that it is crucial for any man to be social in order to thrive; in my opinion of course. We must put ourselves out there and conquer. It is scary, I have been there; I should know. But you know what, it is better than living under a rock or a recluse. Part of my ongoing theme here at The Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing is to live a life of courage, so muster up all the courage and go and talk to the checkout girl.
And that sums up my 6 ways to overcome social awkwardness, I would like to hear more from you guys so please comment down below.