Let’s be honest. We gauge how well people live based on their social profiles on the internet. Now, let’s really be honest. People’s lives look much better on social media than they actually are.
We all have examples of friends who, on social media, are doing all the cool things all the time. They are posting amazing meals, amazing concerts, awesome sunsets, checking in at parties and gatherings of all kinds, and have incredibly cute pets that never shed or crap on the floor. We know some of those friends too well. We know that the life they are portraying is about ninety percent bullshit. The truth is that they are recluses with major social anxiety. Some of them even have girlfriends they never met in person like the guy in Napoleon Dynamite.
Even though we know most of this online social posturing is severely inflated, it can still make us feel like we aren’t doing enough. Seeing a pic of a delicious home cooked plate of a grilled whole red snapper with a roasted vegetable medley can make you think you should cook more, especially while you’re eating Chipotle for the third night this week.
You may not want to admit it, but maybe you are one of these people. Maybe you’re posting quotes from some cool contemporary book like you are reading it. Except you’re not. Could be the last book you actually read was “Goodnight Moon” when you were eight. Sorry, the skim job you did with “Lord of the Flies” in high school for lit. class doesn’t count. I’m harsh. I apologize.
So let’s say you don’t embellish your life too much on social media but you do want more of real life by physically going to real places and engaging in person with real people. How do you do that?
YOU’VE GOT TO CIRCULATE TO PERCOLATE
My dad used to say this all the time. He died before the world of social media took over, so I’m sure what he meant by this was to get out there in the world and do stuff. Even before the internet, it was hard for many people to go put themselves out there by doing new things and meeting new people. It’s much harder to do now since you can create a pretty incredible virtual world of discovery and friends by watching YouTube and playing online games all in the emotional safety of sitting on your couch.
For most people, getting your social needs online is fulfilling only to an extent. You can banter with people on Facebook, share your sports opinions with your fantasy football group, and shop for clothes by yourself online. But it only goes so far. Porn is a great example of this. All of us look at and use porn to satisfy our needs. Eventually, it gets old though, and you need another actual person, in the same room, with you at the same time, connecting physically.
“I WISH THE REAL WORLD WOULD JUST STOP HASSLING ME”
I’m gonna say it out loud, “a social life in the real world is far superior to one on the internet”. Sure it’s harder to do actual things with actual people, but it’s worth it. How do people do this though? How do guys get to do cool things with cool people? Some guys think that you have to have this super social ability. Those dudes who really do a lot of things are just luckily born with a high level of attraction and that since they don’t have that, they just have to sit at home and masturbate. As a social person, I don’t agree.
There are things everyone can do to make themselves more social. There are friends for everyone, and there are things to do for everyone. Even if you are socially awkward, It may be harder for you, but you can have a great social life. To help, here’s one of my biggest tricks, say “yes”.
SAYING “YES” IS PROBABLY THE BEST SOCIAL TOOL YOU CAN HAVE
Social media gives us some great opportunities for being social in the real world. There has been no time in the modern history where a civilization can communicate and promote the things they are doing with each other. There are endless groups available to join in every interest from music bands to indoor rock climbing to babysitting. Whatever your interest is, you can find groups to join for it.
So you probably are already a member of several groups, and these groups probably organize all kinds of events, and you could probably go to some of these events. But do you? Everyone gets invited to go to some things. Even if you haven’t engaged in the online group with any comments, you’ll get asked to attend some things. Do you enter “yes”, when asked? If you commit, do you go to them?
How about when you are asked to do something from a friend. Do you say “yes”? Most non-social people don’t. They think about it for a hot minute and then decide that whatever it is won’t be much fun or they can’t afford it or they don’t have the time or some other excuses not to leave the house. As a social person, I say yes to everything I can say yes to. Sure, many things won’t be as much fun, or I won’t really like the music of a particular band much, but that doesn’t matter to me. I say yes and then go to things so I can talk to and get to know people more and make friends with some of them. The event doesn’t have to be some home run great time. Regardless, it’ll be better than just another night of by yourself with two beers, a pizza, and three more episodes of Animal Kingdom on Amazon.
THE MORE YOU SAY “YES”, THE EASIER IT GETS
If you are not used to going to things, the first couple of outings will be rough. You’ll be unsure of yourself, and you won’t feel comfortable in your own skin. Tough it out! Stay and force yourself to talk to some people. You may find that some of the other people there are in worse social shape than you. Meeting and hanging out with just one other person will make it so much better. But you have to go meet them.
The more people you meet at these things, the better it gets. Let’s say you’ve decided to follow a popular local band. The first gig you went to was awkward, but you met two people there. They were short meetings, and you didn’t hang with them much that night, but you met them. Now, two weeks later, you decide to go see the band again at some different location. You walk in and notice that one of the people you met the time before are there. Now you can go say “hi” and talk to them more. Then the other one shows up a little later with a friend, and they come over to you both. You are then comfortably in a group, hanging and listening to a band that everyone knows. That night, on your way home, you feel like a million dollars. You actually did something and made some friends.
Of course, you don’t stop there, at that point, you go to see the band again and also, maybe see what the two people you met are doing and make plans to meet them somewhere doing something. You are now on your way to having a real life social life.
WANT TO BE SOCIAL? MAKE IT A HABIT TO SAY YES
Being good at having a real life with real people takes the same thing as being good at anything. Practice makes better. Try to say “yes” to do as many things as you can and say yes to different things with different people. The more you put yourself out there, the better you’ll be at being attractive to others. You’ll learn how to be less socially awkward with every new person you meet at every new place you go to. Before you know it, you’ll have more friends and things to do than you want.