When I was in high school a Turkish friend of mine lent me his Real Madrid soccer jersey. I left for college without ever having returned it to him. Although I wasn’t a fan of soccer, for some reason I really liked the way the jersey looked on me.
I wore the jersey more often than I probably should have, and it had several teas in it that were becoming increasingly noticeable. But I loved the jersey and refused to stop wearing it.
Well, my girlfriend at the time used to make fun of me. Not only did she laugh at me for wearing a soccer jersey in the US, but she would constantly point out the tears made me look like a poor person. She also hated the color and told me it amplified my paleness. I think the fact that she was so irked by this jersey, I was inclined to wear it even more.
One day when I the two of us were walking through the mall, a well dressed, extremely good looking Italian guy came up to me.
“Where did you get this jersey” the man asked.
“My friend gave it to me” I said.
“You know this is an extremely rare jersey.” he said.
“No, I didn’t”
“Yes, they only issued this design for one year then stopped making it. This shirt is probably worth a thousand dollars. Are you interested in selling it to me?”
“No” I said.
My girlfriend, of course yelled at me for not taking the money. And I later regretted not letting a little pride prevent me from walking out of the mall a thousand dollars richer. Especially when I later researched the jersey and found that it was a reprint, virtually worthless.
But a funny thing happened after that day in the mall. My girlfriend, who I used to heated battles with over my wearing that jersey in public, started to actually encourage me to wear it. I could even sense that she was more attracted to me when I had it on. Like I suddenly looked better in it. Of course I never told her it was a reprint.
My point: I walked into the mall and walked out of the mall wearing the same exact jersey. Before the trip to the mall, the jersey was an ugly, old, second-hand shirt my girlfriend hated. After the mall it was a rare collectible that an attractive Italian guy was willing to shell out money for.
Perception is everything: Marketing yourself is nothing but altering perceptions.
And the easiest way to do that is through routines, stories, and building your social resume.
About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.