I was out a couple weeks ago and one of my wings was talking to one of the members of Fall Out Boy in the bar we were at. I was amazed that no one in the bar even noticed him. My wing knows the guy and told me that he is pretty much socially inept and no fun. I found this incredibly fascinating that a member of such a high profile band would be so poor at social interaction.
I watched him from time to time throughout the night and he basically messed around with his phone and tagged behind his more alpha wingmen. I didn’t see him talk to anyone.
After seeing him I realized how easy it is for someone less in the spotlight like myself to have social problems. Society nowadays is incredibly impersonal. You can go through your day with only having to have the most brief and routine conversations with others. There are few situations where you are actually FORCED to have a highly personal and interactive conversation with someone you don’t know.
I’ve had several professional jobs but the one job that made me break out of my shell and become the most social was when I was just a lowly department head of a yard at a home improvement store. I had to create small talk with 100s of customers from all walks of life every day. I had to interact with dozens of workers from other departments of the store to solve issues even in difficult and heated situations.
This improved my social abilities in regards to meeting women and wingmen.
I spoke with two guys this weekend who had similar situations.
Beethoven is a frequent commenter on this blog and I got to meet him Saturday. He was fearless when it came to opening and spent the majority of the night in set. He said he had a business job where he had to make cold calls and visit companies unsolicited and attempt to sell them products and services. Getting rejected was a daily occurrence for him. This destroyed any approach anxiety that he had and eliminated his fear of rejection.
Similarly, I met a guy in his early 20’s whose parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was telling me how at an early age his parents had him go out and approach strangers on the sidewalks and knock on their doors and tell them them about his religion. He said that it was hard but it was important in helping him become better with social interaction and public speaking.
I’m now a computer programmer so I unfortunately am not forced to talk to my colleagues that much in a typical day. If your job or environment is like mine and you have problems overcoming approach anxiety and interacting with others you might want to consider finding a hobby, part-time job or volunteer position that will force you to be social.
Join a local co-ed club that interests you. Volunteer at the local humane society. Get a part-time job as a waiter, bar-back or even at a department store. Sure these will consume more of your time but it will be time well invested.