Today I’ll talk to all of my bros out there who are introverts at heart like me. Building and displaying confidence can be a difficult thing for all men, but introverts often have an extra dosage of barriers because of their more secluded personalities and desires.
If you are not an introvert, some of the things in this article will also apply to you, but some will not. Pick and choose as you like. Today, this article is for all you reclusive, introverted bastards. A companion to this article would be the one I wrote on game styles as applies to your Myers Briggs type.
Introvert On The Inside, Extrovert On The Outside
If you met me in real life, you would assume I’m an extrovert. I smile a lot, laugh a lot, and talk a lot. I have a loud, booming voice. I’m opinionated as hell. Listen to one of my podcasts and you can hear what I mean. I’m very confident, and it comes across in my facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. I am very comfortable around people and in most cases enjoy talking to people. I love public speaking and it’s been one of my greatest joys for many years in my business career. I’m also a big, broad-shouldered guy with big movements of my arms and hands (it’s the Italian ancestry in me). Because of all this, I’ve actually had people tell me, “Blackdragon, you’re not an introvert.”
Oh, but I am. Just because I look like an extrovert on the outside doesn’t mean I’m an introvert at heart. Here are just a few reasons.
- Almost always, I would far, far rather spend time at home by myself than with other people.
- I hate parties and never go to any, unless I have to for business, financial, or sexual reasons. (And that’s rare.)
- I hate clubs, hate bars, and hate dancing. It all sucks. I’d rather be at home watching Blade 2 or First Blood on my home theater system. Oh hell yeah. For me, that beats sitting around at a bar or trying to talk to people in a music-blasting club. Every. Single. Time.
- After a long day of talking to people, be they family, clients, or women, I have to retreat away back to the quiet privacy of my house (or hotel room if I’m traveling), completely by myself, to recharge. I’ll even head back to my hotel room for a little bit during a lunch break while I do a Blackdragon retreat. Extroverts are charged up by being with people, introverts are drained by being with people, even if they’re enjoying themselves.I am very much drained when I’m with people for longer than about four hours, though I’m confident and socially calibrated enough where you probably couldn’t tell. (Which is the entire point.)
I’m an extrovert on the outside, but an introvert on the inside.
This did not come naturally. I had to consciously learn how to do this.
Back when I was a teenager and even into my young adult years, I was an introvert on the inside and outside. I hated being around people and it showed. I thought people were stupid, reckless, irritating, and boring. Though I didn’t look like one, I was very much a computer nerd, and after work I went right home to play around on my computers, shunning all human contact.
I was often angry and frustrated. I allowed the introverted side of me to overwhelm me in ways that damaged my happiness. Which is, of course, unacceptable.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but around age 22 or so, (which was also around the same time I lost my virginity), I realized being an introvert on the inside was okay, but being one on the outside was probably not a good idea if I wanted to live an amazing, happy life. Slowly, ever so slowly, I started improving my social behaviors. By the time I was 25, I was noticeably better. By the time I was 30, I was even better, though still socially uncalibrated in many ways (such as how I dressed). Finally, by the time I was about 35 I was unstoppable and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
I’ve learned an awful lot about how introverts can build not only confidence, but social skills as well. I could probably write an entire book about it. But we don’t have time for that today, so I’ll give you a few techniques that can start you on your journey from recluse to Decently Cool Guy. Here they are, listed below in no particular order.
1. Learn how to not look stupid when dancing.
Notice I didn’t say “get good at dancing”. If you’re an introvert, particularly a white introvert, you’ll never be good at dancing. Because you think dancing sucks and is lame. Which it is.
However, it does behoove you to at least learn how to get out on the dance floor and not look bad. Moreover, you need to know you don’t look bad. That’s most of it right there. If you think you look good dancing and no one is looking at you strangely, you’ve already won 90% of the battle.
Have a buddy or female friend who’s really good at dancing show you the basics. Again, I said basics. Don’t try to be Michael Jackson. Your goal is to not learn how to dance. Your goal is to just not look bad.
Player Supreme, one of the coolest guys in the universe and one of my original mentors in the PUA stuff many years ago, has a good series of dancing basics videos for white guys right here. The best advice I can give you is to A) don’t move around too much, and B) don’t move your feet. Keep them planted on the floor and move the rest of your body.
I hate dancing. I think it’s gay. But the few times when my younger women drag me to the dance clubs, I can now at least get out there and not look bad. It makes a big difference.
2. Lift weights.
If you don’t already lift weights on a regular basis, you need to start. Stop with the excuses. I know you’re busy. I know it’s a hassle. Shut up, and just start. Every man on the path of the Alpha Male must, must be lifting weights.
The only exception to this is if you’re very, very fat. If you weigh over 250 pounds, I would focus 80% of my energy on nutrition and 20% on cardio before I bothered with the weights, since the weights aren’t going to do shit at that point. I realize I’m going to start an argument here, since a lot of people are going to disagree with that advice. All that “but more muscle burns calories” stuff. Trust me, people giving that kind of advice to very fat people have never been fat themselves…and I have.
So listen to an ex-fattie. If you’re really, really fat, forget the weights until you get the weight down a little. Busting your ass to lift weights when you’re 300 pounds of lard will not help you in any noticeable way whatsoever, and one only has so much energy in any given day. Get your weight down to a manageable level first, then start lifting. (If you want to disagree with that advice, and I know many of you do, feel free to comment about it, but I’m not having that particular dicussion; I’ve had it too many times already.)
To be clear, this is only if you’re really fat. If you’re just chubby, then no excuses, hit the weights.
Trust me, when your shoulders and biceps and legs are noticeably bigger, harder, and stronger, that alone boosts your confidence in ways you won’t even be expecting. When women touch your upper arms and are shocked at how hard they are and say “Wow!”…man…if that doesn’t boost your confidence at least a little, I’m not sure what will.
3. Learn how to ask questions.
I come by this naturally so I never had to work on this, but most guys out there are terrible question-askers and discussion-directors. You need to learn to ask questions, especially when it comes to dating women, but it’s also is a great asset in business. You need to learn to constantly direct the conversation in a very natural, easy way, and never “run out of” things to ask.
This skill is built by practice. Whenever you talk to someone, practice asking questions. Ask a question, listen to the entire answer, then ask another question based on what that person just said, even if it means changing the subject. Rinse and repeat. See how long you can do this. I can do this for literally hours, and have many times. Get good at this.
4. Work on your sense of humor.
I’ve always had a pretty good sense of humor, but back in my introverted days it was a little crass and too hard-edged for most normal, social people. I had to learn to soften it a little.
You may have the opposite problem. You may be the guy trying to be too funny. Many introverts overcompensate a lack of social skill by trying to be funny all the time. (Asian guys are particularly guilty of this.) If that’s you, dial that shit back. It makes you look needy and stupid.
You may be the other opposite extreme. If you’re a hardcore introvert and not funny at all, you need spend some time on YouTube watching some stand-up comics. Try to emulate the parts that speak to you. Try it out on people. Above all, laugh at yourself. You have plenty of flaws just like I do. Laugh at them. Make yourself laugh. I make myself laugh all the time. Laughter is infectious. People like people who laugh.
4. Force yourself to get out of your house on a regular basis and go be with people.
This one is huge. Sometimes I still forget about this one.
As an introvert, you love being by yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. I too love being by myself more than any other person in my life. I like myself. This is healthy. Way, WAY too many people out there lack the ability to be alone and are thus creating all kinds of problems in their own lives by their incessant need to ALWAYS be hanging around other people. It’s brutal.
For example, think about this. How many women do you know under the age of 28 who live completely alone? No family, no children, no boyfriend, no roommates. I’ll bet you can’t name one.
If you can, if you really do know a woman who lives completely alone, ask yourself this: how often is she actually home? You’ll find that she’s never home. Because she can’t be alone. It’s not healthy.
However, the desire to be alone has a dark side. You might ALWAYS be alone when you’re not working. This is a bad idea for your health, your confidence, your sex life, and even your income.
Every once and a while, you need to force yourself, and yes, you’ll have to force yourself, to actually put on some nice clothes and head out to the mall or something. If you hate malls, then go downtown and walk around. Or hit up Meetup.com and join a social group you find interesting. Get out there around other human beings. Interact with people.
Yes, yes, I know people are dumb. Yes, I know they’re loud. Yes, I know they can be irritating. Yes yes. That doesn’t mean spending your life sitting in front of your computer is a good idea, because it’s not. It’s very difficult to A) get laid and B) make good money without ever having to talk to people in real life and understand social nuance.
Often you can directly measure your discomfort around being people based on the amount of time it’s been since you spent a decent amount of time in a large group. Set a goal to get out of your house and into “the real world” at least twice a week. You’ll find doing this makes a big difference.
(And hell, while you’re out there, practice your daygame. Time management, baby. Two birds with one stone.)
5. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Be a confident, socially calibrated introvert. Don’t try to be an extrovert.
I see a lot of introverted guys try to become the next Jim Carrey, and then beat themselves up that they don’t measure up to that level of social interaction or comfort.
Look, you’re not an extrovert. Don’t try to be one. I’m not an extrovert, never will be, and don’t want to be. Shit, if I had to talk that much, if I had to feel all the emotional ups and downs of extroverted guys on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure I’d kill myself.
Your goal as an introvert is to be cool, confident, and fun for short spurts of time before you need to head back to your cave to recharge. That’s really all you need to do. If you have some really fun, extroverted, outgoing buddies, that’s great, but let them be the extroverts. Don’t try to be them. That won’t make you happy anyway. Focus on being a cool introvert, not an extrovert. There’s a very big difference.
I could go on and on about this topic, but that should be enough to get you started in the right direction.