On Being Normal
Sometimes when I’m out with fellas who are acting all fucking weird, I find myself telling them, “Dude, be normal!” It got me thinking, how does one transform from weird to normal?
Why Be Normal?
When any artist starts learning their skill, they must first internalize the fundamentals. Before he or she can venture out into his or her own unique style, that artist should become competent or master the style of well-established others. For a guy who isn’t good with people, learning the fundamentals – that is, learning how to be normal and fit into society – should precede him developing his own style of behavior. Girls want to know you CAN be normal. Not to say you should be ordinary or boring, but if the situation calls for it, you can act like a normal man. When you demonstrate this, she feels comfortable and secure.
A big reason why guys act weird is their anxiety. Put ‘em in a familiar situation like a library and they’re just fine. But pile expectations on their shoulders like having to talk to people, and they crack. Nervousness is manifested through all kinds of behaviors: talking too fast, stuttering, looking around too much, moving too fast, playing with his cell phone or jewelry, smiling too much, etc., etc., etc. Not uncommonly, a guy will demonstrate a whole bunch of these behaviors all at once.
Normal people – unless they’re on coke or something – don’t act this over-stimulated when they’re in the usual social situations. Walk into any bar and look at the guys playing pool, or a pack of college kids drinking, and almost always they’re just chilling and having fun. But put these same guys into stressful situations – maybe a final exam at college or a job interview – and now their nervous behaviors emerge.
So it’s ok to become nervous when you need that adrenaline to boost your ability to handle the stress, but it’s not ok to become nervous when all that’s expected of you is to relax and have fun. Do you see why looking nervous in a social gathering may seem weird to others? Ok, well, you need to work on extinguishing these behaviors. And in large part this will mean finding ways to get out of your head, and into your body. Out of the past and future, and into the present. This is some Eckhart Tolle shit. Read it.
Getting out there into the field – even if it just means sitting by yourself in a bar – will be a main way to get these habits under control. You don’t necessarily have to open sets, but you should at very least feel comfortable in your own skin sitting in a bar by yourself, not worrying how others may judge you. So a night out of your house is NEVER a wasted night, even if you’re just sitting there by yourself feeling uncomfortable. With time, that feeling will get better.
Next, focus on body language signals that indicate your anxiety. There are a few good books on the subject. Read them and then always be cognizant of your own nervous behaviors. If you can’t recognize them, have a wing call you out until these habits are broken. It takes a lot of practice for some, and it means being in your head, but in the end it’s worth it.
Dealing with Dudes
We get really good at talking to girls, but still many of us suck at interacting with guys. I, for one, always had more female than male friends, so learning how to interact with other men took work. Plus, I CAN’T STAND talking about sports, cars, or most of the usual “guy” things.
First off, you gotta learn that normal dudes respect other dudes. They don’t touch them in weird ways, they give them plenty of space, they talk in a linear fashion, they make solid eye contact, they shake hands firmly, they project their voice with confidence, and they don’t say shit to belittle the other dude. If you stand with your crotch in some guy’s face, or you grab his thigh while sitting next to him, or make fun of something he’s wearing … even if he doesn’t kick your ass, he’s probably gonna think you’re weird.
And needless to say, normal dudes aren’t afraid of other dudes. That’s one big problem newbs face, the Fear of the Dude. They avoid mixed sets because of some imaginary fight that might erupt. Or maybe that fear isn’t even well-crystallized, he just refuses to open because some guy is standing there. So a lot of newbs start off in a mindset of intimidation and fear, or feel threatened before a threat is even posed. Again, can you see how this might be considered weird by others? Guys are there to help you. Make nice with them. Fear not. If you aren’t sure if he’s involved with the girl you’re after, clarify it with her. Problem solved.
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About Dr. Evan Marlowe Evan Marlow is the dean and founder of Man School. You can visit at Manschool.cc