Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review of an Organised Social and Approching More Girls

Last night I went to an organised social, the first for several months now. Everyone there was between 18 and 29, with an equal mix of men and women. I only decided to go on the day. Having not been to any social like this for sometime, and after having had a new haircut, with a more fashionable style, I just couldn't face staying in on my own again.

The place was very busy when I arrived but I settled in quite nicely. It was mainly the men who were there at first, the girls seemed to arrive all at a similar time about 20 minutes later.

One unfortunate dynamic that occured in the first pub was that the girls ended up sitting all round a table, and the guys were standing around mingling beside the other table. I mean I was quite happy to mingle with the guys and as always do my best to be socialable and take an interest in everyone. But what seemed to happen at one point, and I can never pinpoint easily how this happens, is that the guys were split into a couple of groups and I somehow found myself shut out of both conversation. Solution - toilet time!

Back from the toilet things got a bit better as the guys started sitting down on another table. In the meantime I introduced myself and shook hands with the girls, along with some other men there, but the combination of the loud music and the positioning of the girls in a circle made it virtually impossible to have any proper conversation with them.

Soon after though, we moved to another pub. I'd already mentioned to the guys after I came back from the toilet that "I'm not happy with this dynamic, with the girls all around that table and the guys standing around, we need to go somewhere else to break this dynamic!" This did seem like the worst possible dynamic because when your somewhere sitting round a table it doesn't really look noticable if your not really engaged in the conversation, whereas if you are standing up mingling and you're and the converstion of the people closest to you are talking ahead of you, you can look rather like a 'loser.' That said you don't want to be stuck at the same seat all night. You need a mix of standing and mingling and sitting.

As we moved to another pub I managed to interact with the girls more. Prior to the night and on the train journey there I had done my usual brainstorming. This was for both possible topics to disucss, and also conversational techniques and opinion openers to use. I largely feel I succeeded with this.

I had more social success in the second pub. I managed to get sitting on a stall opposite a couple of girls and got them engaged in a conversation, using some of the techniques I have learnt in the past year. I tried out a new opinion opener on them (although I wasn't making a cold approach). Later on I managed even to use an ice-breaker, with one man and one girl, that I actually learned unwittingly from my parents to get a couple of people talking, and to get the conversation to become more interesting. I feel really proud of this moment because I actually managed to lead the conversation for a time. However I may also have unwittingly got those two into some type of 'us' zone, as on the second time round, they both agreed to do it again, and have the loser by a drink. When he suggested this I said I wasn't prepared to play such a game as I didn't have enough cash left, so the two of them did it between them.

Eventually we went into a third pub but by this time the group seemed to be dissembling, probably due to the crowds of people. So I decided at this point I would slip back to the station, but not before going into a favourite pub in the town and making a cold approach with my new opener. I found a couple of girls and a suitable moment to approach them, keeping an eye on my mobile whilst pretending I was recieving a text whilst looking for my window of opportunity. This time I seemed to hit the mark as far as this went. The girls seemed to be engaging with me, one of them even asked me what I do, thus investing something herself into the conversation. Mind you, they said they had to leave by this time. So mixed feeling about this one!

I bumped into a girl I had been speed dating with coming out of that pub. She recognised me, though I did not recognise her. And I managed a fifteen mintue interaction at the train station sitting down in the waiting room. I found an excuse to give that girl my number, though I don't think I liked her enough to want to ask for hers. A man from work was also entering the station and saw me chatting to the girl. She said to him "we only just met." I hope I impressed him somewhat.

Overall I am pleased I was able to put some things I have learnt recently into practice, and perhaps one thing I have learnt is to take a more chilled out approach to approaching girls. That said I still feel I have some social deficiency that I cannot quite pinpoint, but that seems to prevent me from actually making real friendships and bonding with people, particularly women. I hope to continue practicing doing these kinds of interactions.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Being Secure in Your Insecurities: A Challenge for 2012

A couple of months ago, I was definitely feeling like I was quite poorly grounded, and this was showing itself somewhat in my Facebook status's. The reason was to do with my uncertainties. For a start I am studying accountancy in my spare time but I really don't know when and how I'll be able to get a job in that type of work. Also socially I'm feeling somewhat poorly grounded. Of course there's always organised socials but that is very much an artifical context, and what I am lacking is any kind of close group of mutual friends of both sexes and my age range that I can hang out with, and get to know girls through. Sometimes it looks like something is about to take off that will change that, but all too often those thing don't materialise due to other people's circumstances. It means it's hard to know from one week to the next, or one month to the next, what social opportunities there may be. I have a number of friends that meet up with me for a cup of tea or something, but thats mainly older single guys, and all too often on my Saturday evenings I'm left with a choice of a social in an artificial context or being on my own.

I feel quite insecure about the fact that I am always seeking out new people. I don't really want to have that identity. At the same time I am very much a political person and an 'issues' man. My interests are quite specialist in a way and not everyone wants to talk about them. Politics by nature is something that divides people rather than unites them. So I feel awkward about on the one hand being political, into my own interests and views etc, and yet also feeling insecure socially and wanting to make new friends, regardless, really of their opinions on everything.

Being socially in need is not an identity that I really want, yet I am socially in need and don't want to be on my own, without opportunities to meet women.

To add to the mix, there are things that make me worried, and things that make me angry.

I am very much aware of that fact that a man who is well grounded and secure in his identity is far more attractive to women than one who poorly grounded. And I definitely want to be well-grounded, but how is that possible when life is full of uncertainties?

Being Secure in Your Insecurities

I think that over the past year, I have steadily learnt from one of my closest friends how to be secure in your insecurites. My friend has been through a divorce this past year, and the issues around visiting his son whilst going through the divorce. On top of that he is living with another couple and isn't likely to ever to be able to afford to buy his own property.

My friend has uncertainties and issues. But he is very much an alpha male. He comes across as well-grounded despite his issues. He is very much a leader of men. Other men, including myself will call him when they have a problem, and he is very good at helping guys get out of their rut, who probably otherwise would not have any way of breaking out and fulfilling their potential.

I meet with this guy and a group of other guys every few weeks. One thing I have identified about my friend is that he is secure in his insecurities. This is something I hope to become this year.

Usually as I start a new year I will begin with a degree of optimism as I determine to make a fresh start, hoping all my problems with go away and brainstorming how to expand my social circule. However, most people have some kind of issue which won't disappear overnight. As I've thought about this, it seems that in order to be secure in your insecurities, you need to first know yourself well and know exactly what your insecurities are, and to in a sense, contain them all into separate boxes.

If its an uncertainty about your social life, then its good to identify what your issue is, and what it is you all looking and hoping for. If it is a struggle with your identity or who you are as an individual, it is good to be able to pinpoint what is causing you to be insecure. If it is about an ongoing worry or anger issue, it is good to be able to pinpoint precisely what it is you are worried or angry about, identifying the issue. Put the issue in a box, so it doesn't get out of hand.

It may not always be possible to eliminate a certain problem entirely, however there should always be ways to manage the problem to avoid it escalating and getting out of control. Identifying the problem is the first step to tackling the issue, because by identifying it you made it seem smaller - it's not as big as you first think it is. And it then enables you to go and talk to someone about the problem and seek the precise help you need.

Often when a person is in a panic or in a fit of rage, much of the reason for this is because something has just occurred that has put that person into 'shock' mode, and there hasn't been time for that person to digest the issue they're worried about, so the problem seems a lot bigger than it is. Once the person has had time to compose themself and break down the issue and identify what aspect is causing worry, anger, stress etc, they are far better equipped to address the issue.

A soldier, full of energy, will be far more effective when he can pinpoint who his specific enermy is and target them, than when he faced with his opposing enermy territory that is too much to handle, and find himself in a panic about it and not know which part of enermy territory he should target.

Its the same principle with dealing with personal problems. Identify the insecurity, then try to be comfortable with this insecurity, knowing that is part of who you are, and then with a clear understanding of the problem, work on addressing the problem. That's what I call being secure in your insecuritites.