Yesterday I was working at the bar and a group of freshly 21-year-old men came in to start their night of drinking. These groups are always very entertaining and always the same: they come in all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, super excited to enter the unknown adult world while still having absolutely no idea what they’re doing. They don’t know how to tip, they don’t understand how to drink, they don’t understand etiquette, and most of them don’t even understand manners.
This particular group was a group of five young men came in to prepare for their night ahead. It started out with them eating to try to get a solid base to make sure that they could consume the maximum amount of alcohol. As with all groups of men, they were easily distracted by all the lovely young ladies in the room. But as with all young men, they were very very easily intimidated.
Being in a public setting with your friends and with young women is a very vulnerable position that takes time, finesse, and etiquette to get used to such an interesting and openly available prospect. The idea of confessing how you feel to an attractive woman is intimidating in itself. When it is done in front of all of your friends, the fear of rejection can somebody sometimes be crippling. This is how it the night pursued with these young men.
Being someone who has gone through similar uncomfortable feelings and fear of vulnerability and rejection (and still does when the correct opportunity becomes present), I took it upon myself to become a sort of mentor for these young men. As I could see that they were very easy going and open to suggestion, I conversed with them in the way that almost all guys know how to do, and can relate to: I talked a lot of shit.
This goes back to very similar time in all young men’s lives called locker room talks. What happens in the locker room is a very interesting tribal sort of communication where masculinity is tested and vulnerability is ever present, but you have to know how to look for it. Often times it is glossed over by making inappropriate jokes, obscene gestures, and many times very homo erotic and homophobic remarks in order to both embarrass and seek dominance over your fellow men. The main point of all of this is acceptance by your peers. Being gross, crude, vulgar and all the other words makes men connect to other men. That connection and bond is vital and yet never openly discussed. And, this lack of discussion is exactly what makes it so important.
Because of this, it is a very delicate dance. These young men came in with a goal in mind to have fun. This is a new world for them and it has glamorized for the last 20 years of their lives. Now they get to experience it themselves. So, as someone that these men were looking up to, I took it upon myself to ensure that they proceeded with at least some sense of direction. I could tell that there was one man who was blatant and very unsubtle about how he was staring at a lovely young lady from across the room
As she walked past, this young man stared at her as she approached and as she exited both being happily nervous, and overly excited to the point where he had no idea what to do. So to get him out of his vulnerable uncomfortable area, I proceeded in the male fashion. “So are you going to stare at her all day or you going to actually go talk to her? “
This little jab at both his ego and at something that he probably felt embarrassed about by being caught caused his friends to both ease off tension (as none of them were going to talk to her either) and also get a change to making light of a potentially vulnerable situation. Had he felt confident, I’m sure that he would have approached her the second he saw her but confidence can be easily wavered by a beautiful woman. This jab not only notices the decline in confidence but also confronts it in a playful manner. He responded saying along the lines of “he would eventually he just needed to find the right time.” So, I proceeded to give him the best advice anyone is possibly giving me
I put on my serious face and said, “Sir it’s very easy. You walk up to her in front of her friends and say ‘hello miss, I think you are beautiful and I would like to buy you a drink to get to know you.’ If she responds positively you have exactly one drink to try to convince her to be interested in you.”
Him being a young man that was easily impressionable and also not wanting to look like a little bitch in front of his friends, he proceeded to do as directed. The young lady took it well and allowed him to buy her a drink they proceeded to talk, and then they win out into the patio for some privacy to have more communication
This is all good but this story happens a million times every weekend. It is not new by any means. So far, this is all just background. Going forward is what led me to want to write a post about this interaction.
I continue to work and after about a half an hour the young man came back looking rather distraught and somewhat beaten. Upon investigation it turns out that the young man had asked if the lady wanted to go to another bar with him and his group and see where the night would take them. The lady declined and therefore the young man felt a sense of rejection.
I stopped him at this point to show him that this was not rejection because she accepted his drink and he had spent some time with her. That was the original goal, in which he had succeeded. The secondary goal may not have gone as planned but that was not the primary purpose. At this he seemed to agree but I could tell there was still a sense of rejection (which is true every time and completely acceptable. It sucks but it happens). I could tell there was some internal monologue happening so I asked him what his next move was. He responded saying that after a few minutes he was going to go and talk to her again.
This is a very common approach that has happened and been taught across many many men because for some reason the idea of rejection does not correlate to moving on but means that it’s something that needs to be conquered and continued so I decided to write this wrong. It went as follows:
“So you know what you have to do next right?” I said.
He responded, “Yes, I’m going to go out there with another set of drinks and try to convince her to come out.”
I flatly stated, “No that’s exactly the opposite of what’s going to happen next. What’s going to happen now is that you’re going to leave her alone. She already gave you her response and you’re going to respect it.”
He replied saying, “That’s not how it goes. No doesn’t mean no; no means maybe.”
I told him that that was what rape is and then if he wants her to actually admire him and respect him then what he needs to do is respect her first. He made his choice, and she gave her response. That’s that. Move on. There’ll be more girls tonight and there will be more girls in the future some of them will like him and some of them will not simply not be interested and it’s up to him to take that response and move forward with it because 1) it shows confidence and 2) it shows a level respect.
I point out once again that he accomplished his goal: he went and talked to her and we’re going to keep going forward based off that. In the future, he will find a girl who will want to continue talking, but right now this is a determining point for how your night is going to go. He had to choose whether he was going to spend the night with friends (people who actually want to hang out with him) or if he was going to spend all night groveling over a complete stranger that he has never met before just to try to convince her that he was worth hanging out with.
From there, his friends responded with support and confidence that what I was saying was true and that this is “pure gold” and that it’ll change his life. They told him that this will make him somebody worth hanging out with, and they will find girls who actually want to hang out. I advised them to try to focus on spending their night hanging out and having a good time with each other instead of trying to find a girl and convince her you’re worth hanging out with. It is this mentality of having fun that will attract women who actually want to be with you instead of forcing her or making her feel like she is required to. Also, it makes your life significantly easier and stress-free because being with somebody that actually wants to be with you is life altering, and somebody that actually puts effort in instead of you having to go 110% just for them to spend time with you is excessive, ridiculous, and it’s absolutely unnecessary.
At this the table got very quiet and they all stared at me blankly. It seemed I had drifted out of their realization and into my own. I quickly diverted back to them and talked some more shit to ease the tension. The night continued after a few more drinks and I bid the young men farewell.
The young men said thank you and the after a round of shots they proceeded to go out and have fun and celebrate their friends. That’s the difference that I’m trying to enlighten with this story, with this life, and with this project. What I am learning is that if you go out and you try to have fun by yourself and have fun with your friends and focus on you having a good time, you will attract good people. You’ll be put into scenarios where you can influence good people instead of trying to force yourself into situations that you feel that you deserve. Things come naturally and the only thing you control over in this entire universe is yourself and if you build yourself and make yourself better than those around you and the world around you will be better.
Its just that simple.