– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound
As a coach who works primarily with men on their dating and social lives, I’ve noticed some major differences between clients who reach their goals and those who don’t.
If you’re looking to improve your own social life, here are four qualities cultivated by those who have done just that.
1. Not Afraid to Seek Help
Many folks with unsatisfying social lives spend a lot of time venting about their situation, often on social media. While this can sometimes be a healthy outlet, always complaining without ever taking action does nothing to improve your lot.
Every month I offer a handful of free, 20-minute e-chat consults to struggling men to discuss their dating. I don’t expect most of these folks to become paying clients, I just want to share some strategies that might help them get out of their rut, and hope they’ll take things from there.
Yet, despite their often desperate situations, a surprisingly high percentage of these guys will flat out refuse. Of course, some of them are skeptical of coaches in general, a skepticism I share, as there are a lot of frauds out there. But nine times out of ten, I don’t think their fear of wasting 20 minutes is what’s keeping them from chatting. Instead, I believe the obstacle is an unwillingness to ask for help, with the root cause being an inflated ego.
You might not think guys spilling the beans about their dismal dating prospects on social media are concerned with their egos. But, here’s the thing: As long as they stick to blaming society for all their difficulties, they don’t have to admit to themselves they’re partly responsible.
Subconsciously, they know the second they accept their future is in their hands, they’ll have no choice but to acknowledge they’ve been fooling themselves all this time, frittering away precious years and creating much of their own misery.
Ironically, many guys would rather choose a lifetime of social isolation and lack of human connection than accept the terrible truth that they, themselves, are the number one obstacle keeping them from happiness.
2. Follow Through
The simple act of doing what they say they’re going to do is perhaps the most important habit separating those of my clients who achieve social (and other kinds of) success from those who don’t.
This pattern is usually apparent early in our interactions. For instance, I always assign homework to clients, pushing them to develop new skills without exceeding their abilities.
The clients who show up for the next session having done their homework are almost always the ones who get results. Those who don’t, improve at a much slower rate, if at all.
Doing what you say you’re going to do is also the key to building genuine self-confidence. Not until you prove to yourself you’ve got what it takes to make things happen, can you truly start believing in yourself.
3. Manage Negative Feelings
It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re not going to click with everyone. Since developing a satisfying social life is about finding where you fit, it goes without saying that you’ve also got to figure out where you don’t.
Whether you’re dating or looking for friends, despite the lies that many dating coaches tell, you can’t avoid rejection. Nor should you even try to. Instead, your goal should be learning to cope with the negative feelings that will come up as a result of this inevitability.
Sure, getting shot down by a woman can be disappointing. But if you laugh it off and move on to the next encounter, you keep it from festering into resentment, one of the worst states of mind to be in when approaching a woman.
Likewise, a long dry spell without dates can be frustrating. But having the right mental outlook can keep you from falling into despair and giving up entirely.
The guys who ultimately succeed in their social lives aren’t the ones who learn how to avoid rejection. They’re the ones who learn how to put it all in perspective so they can keep getting back on that horse.
4. Won’t Make Excuses
It’s easy to come up with reasons not to do the work we know we need to do. In fact, our brain is so good at fooling itself into taking the path of least resistance, it’ll come up with all sorts of excuses to avoid a challenge.
For instance, I’m sometimes in touch with prospective clients who say they’re interested in coaching, but balk at paying literally anything for the service. Naturally, we should all be wary of who we give our hard-earned money to, especially if we’re not particularly wealthy.
But what’s funny is that many of these guys think nothing of blowing hundreds of dollars at a strip club every few months in exchange for a couple of hours staring at women they can’t touch. Yet, somehow, they have a mental block in regards to investing that same amount (or less) into cultivating a lifetime of genuine relationships.
Ultimately, no matter how much guys suffer in loneliness, isolation, and lack of human connection, some of them simply aren’t willing to take the baby steps needed to climb out of their hole. As much as it pains me to say this, I’ve come to accept there is little I can do for those people.
On the other hand, when I come across those who aren’t afraid to seek help, who follow through with what they say they’re going to do, who are trying to manage their negative feelings, and who won’t make excuses, I get excited, because I know this is someone well on their way to personal transformation.
If you’ve read this far, I want you to ask yourself: “Which of those two people am I?”
As a young man, Introvert Unbound founder and coach, Wes Colton, had none of the above four traits. But as soon as he started developing them, his life began changing for the better. Ask him about it at firstname.lastname@example.org