It’s a Friday night and you have two options: stay home or go out? This is a debate I’ve had with myself many times.
The truth is, going out can be hard, especially for someone like myself who was a loner and suffered from social anxiety for many years. From experience, I agree when psychologists say that introverts expend energy when being social, while extroverts gain energy from socializing. Going out can be exhausting, draining, and even traumatizing if you go in with a bad mindset, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it.
Personally, if I miss even a week or two of going out, I quickly fall back into the habit of staying in and being antisocial. For a lot of men, this cycle can be tough to break out of, because the tendency is to start making excuses to continue to avoid going out.
A lot of these excuses stem from fears like being rejected or embarrassed by girls, dealing with large crowds, obnoxious people, and loud music, or (and I’m definitely guilty of this) feeling lazy and not wanting to get ready and make the commute to meet up with my buddies.
A common piece of advice in this situation is to generate leverage by accentuating the negatives of not going out and accentuating the positives of going out. In my experience, the problem is that this might work for a while, but it doesn’t work in the long run.
Shifting gears a bit, if I haven’t been out for a while, I’ll sometimes lose the desire to meet girls entirely, and the thought of getting back out there and approaching women builds within my mind, and gets more intimidating.
I’ve discovered that a good way to overcome these anxieties is to think small. Don’t think about taking a girl home, getting a make out with a girl in the club, or even having a good conversation. Instead, internalize these five principles to help put you in a better state of mind, and take the pressure off by just going out to observe.
When you do this, a couple of things will happen. For one, putting yourself in the environment without expectations will help you become more comfortable being out. Second, you’ll find yourself becoming more motivated. You can thank biology for the latter, because when you’re surrounded by hot women dressed in sexy miniskirts and high heels, you’ll find the desire to meet them coming back.
While observing, you’ll also discover something else that will motivate you: seeing who in the room is doing well with the opposite sex. Of course, you’re likely to see the stereotypical jacked, fun, good-looking guy, who seems to have it all.
But you’ll also notice guys who don’t seem to be particularly good looking or charismatic, and yet, they’re still doing incredibly well with the women in the venue.
I’ll never forget one night when I was reminded of this. It had been a few weeks since I’d been out, and I knew that I needed to do something to get out of my rut, so I decided to go out to the local college bar.
Socially, I was feeling rusty and uncomfortable, so my interactions weren’t going particularly well. At one point during the night, I recognized a guy I had known as shy and awkward around women. Yet something had changed, because within the next 15 minutes, I watched him smoothly engage, dance with, and begin to seduce, two different (very attractive) women.
Honestly, I felt jealous watching him, but his successes gave me an intense surge of motivation that helped me refocus on my dating and social goals.
I want to say one more more thing on this topic. Forcing yourself to go out will help you develop momentum. Just the process of going out, observing, being around people, and socializing, will make it easier to get off the couch and do it again the next night, and once you have momentum on your side, every night will become even easier.
Eventually you’ll find yourself crossing a tipping point in which you’ll be more inclined to go out and socialize rather than stay home and relax.
In an interesting paradox, I’ve found that when I cross this point, I start feeling more uncomfortable when I stay in than when I go out, because I can’t stop thinking about what crazy adventures I might miss. If you’re a guy who’s had a tendency to be antisocial, this shift in mindset is a wonderful place to be.