I went down to the creek for some sunbathing a couple days ago.
I stood by the rushing stream in my rolled-up underwear, embracing that sweet sweet sunlight all over my body.
Then the sun hid behind the trees, I put my shorts and shoes back on, and I went off to go find another spot where I could get some sun on me.
I spotted one such spot on the other end of the park, and on my way to the spot, a few good-looking girls in refined dresses were doing a DSLR photoshoot by the water. I considered chatting them up, but I just stood in the sunlit bit of the rocks by the creek and kept soaking the sun up.
Then once the sun had enough of me, I walked by those girls again.
I had my own DSLR with me in my backpack, and I consider a spontaneous photoshoot my idea of a fun time, so I offered to join in on those girls’ photoshoot, let them get a few photos of me by the water.
“We’re good,” one of the girls said.
“Gotcha,” I went on my way.
No big deal, my mind said. They don’t know me and I don’t know them. I’m not scared of a bit of rejection. One of these days, I’ll find people who are more aligned with me to do random photoshoots with.
But my body freaked out. I was a sexual and social reject again. Viscerally, suddenly. I was again that 19-year-old boy getting drunk in his dorm room by himself crying about how no girl wants to have sex with him, watching girls seemingly go for any guy but him no matter where he went.
Guess I still had some trauma stored in there.
As I walked through the park’s concrete path, I was looking for someone I could scream at, someone I could insult, someone I could make feel less than, as revenge for all the times I’ve felt socially and sexually inadequate.
Of course, I have a moral compass. So I wasn’t actually going to do that. I just embraced the fantasy of it. I let that nasty, hateful voice in me say what it wanted to say.
I found another sunlit spot in the grass. The sun was peeking perfectly right through the trees. I stood on the grass, barefoot, rolling up my shorts, relaxing into the sunlight.
A group of 4 attractive early-20s guys and girls were laying on the grass near me. One of the girls was a bombshell in a bikini with a figure that turned me on. One of the guys had the typical 2022 popular college boy aesthetic – pastels, curly brown hair, and a grown-out moustache with a stubble beard.
I thought about chatting them up with some BS excuse like “hey, I’m putting together a modeling portfolio, would you mind getting some photos of me?” before transitioning into some canned game to win their approval and make them think I’m a fun guy who parties a lot…
Nope. I kept my eyes forward as my old social anxiety came back. What were they thinking of me? That I’m not cool enough for them? That I’m not attractive enough? That I’m too short, too unconnected, too inherently weird to ever be a part of their scene? That I’m socially unwanted for being a young guy without a full head of hair?
For the first time in a long time, I was genuinely afraid of not fitting in. Of being rejected. Of everyone who has a shred of “cool” in them thinking I’m not “normie” enough, that I’m too weird and polarizing to ever hang with them.
I wasn’t going to settle for that fear. I decided to transmute it into power.
I’ve done my research on consciousness.
The easiest step out of Fear… is Anger.
YOU DON’T FUCKING KNOW ME!!! I thought. WHAT, YOU THINK YOU’RE BETTER THAN ME? LOOKING ALL HAUGHTY AND SHIT WITH YOUR FRIEND GROUP? OH, LOOK AT ME, I HAVE FRIENDS, I’M ATTRACTIVE, I FIT IN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A SOCIAL REJECT, I’M TOO COOL TO TALK TO ANYONE WHO’S “WEIRD”. FUCK YOU. IF YOU JUST GOT TO KNOW ME A BIT, YOU’D SEE THAT I’M COOL TOO! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE IT?
Then out of Anger… Pride.
I’M BUILT A LOT MORE STRONGLY THAN YOU’LL EVER BE. I’VE LIVED A TOUGHER LIFE THAN YOU EVER HAVE. I SPENT 4 FUCKING YEARS IN LIMBO WORKING ON MYSELF WITHOUT MAKING ANY NEW FRIENDS, SO I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO MAKE SOME SACRIFICES, AND YOU DON’T. ALL YOU KNOW IS HOW TO FIT IN AND FOLLOW WHAT THE NORM TELLS YOU TO DO, YOU’VE NEVER THOUGHT FOR YOURSELF, BECAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN GIVING UP YOUR PRECIOUS “APPROVAL”.
Then I let myself get sick of that prideful inner ranting, and get into Boredom.
Yep, I’m just standing here soaking up the sun. The sunshine’s gonna do good things to my body. It feels warm and relaxing and energizing. Don’t mind me, I’m just your friendly neighborhood sunbather doing some sunbathing this evening in this nice little park.
After I left the park, I decided to put some good Karma into the world, and I internally complimented a few people I passed by. I consciously decided to look for something positive in them. That girl’s good-looking… I like that girl’s shirt…
Then I ran into a couple friends I’ve made recently, and we had a fun conversation where we got lost in the vibe. I forgot all about my anxiety there.
The real reason you have social anxiety
My rational mind re-entered the chat soon after. I looked back on that social fear episode of mine.
It’s entirely my fault that I felt this way, and it was hypocritical.
How many people do I soft-reject before even talking to them?
I walk past a TON of people every day, attractive and unattractive, “cool” and “uncool”, well-dressed and sloppy, younger and older, etcetera… And I have no interest in getting to know them. There’s no higher purpose or “je ne sais quoi” drawing us together. And I have nothing bad to say about most of these people. They are who they are, and they’re simply not aligned with me or my path in life.
As for those girls doing the photoshoot, and those preppy yuppies chilling on the grass…
What were they REALLY thinking of me?
Not a lot, probably.
To those girls, I was likely just some random photography-loving stranger passing by who they didn’t feel a “je ne sais quoi” with, not a socially undesirable creep trying to get something from them. Maybe they did think I was a little weird, but not to a creepy extent with my social calibration and awareness.
And to those preppy yuppies, I imagine I was just some random bald dude getting some sun near them. They noticed me, yes. But were they judging me for anything? I think not. Most likely to them, I was a stranger with his own life and life path who likes getting some sun, and that was that. No one was too cool for anyone. We simply didn’t feel the “je ne sais quoi”.
Those people I was scared of being judged by didn’t actually think I was a loser.
I was unfairly projecting MY self-devaluation onto them!
Worst case scenario, they do think I’m a weird, creepy, socially unwanted loser. And then what? I get a little insecure about it, then go back to my life, where I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in the gym, moving forward on my other ambitions, connecting and hanging out with people who ARE aligned with me and my path…
So fucking what? I’m okay with people disliking me, and I know plenty that do. So what?
Why did THOSE specific people trigger me like that, when I’ve faced worse ACTUAL rejections and cancellations, and walked away from them happier, with a smile on my face?
What did I want from THEM that I’m not already taking responsibility for in myself?
I’m unfairly hard on myself sometimes, dear reader.
There’s a past version of me who would freak out over the slightest “rejection”. He genuinely believed he was socially unwanted, and destined to be alone socially and sexually. He thought attractive girls were socially infallible goddesses, not flawed people just like him, who have even worse anxieties and insecurities than he does. He would rather have gotten drunk by himself in his room than go out and meet people he could potentially be devalued by.
For a brief hour a couple days ago, I got to be him again one last time.
The ubiquitous status anxiety
What did I learn?
THAT PART OF ME NEEDS TO STOP FUCKING SEEING THE WORLD THIS WAY.
People who pin their identity on social success are just as scared as people who pin their identity on social failure. This is something I’d forgotten!
Social success gives you its own form of social anxiety, not just social failure!
When I was in high school and college, I DID “fit in”. I had my social circles. I was in school and could relate to people my age over that. Girls were interested in getting to know me when my preselection was right. And overall, I had a conventional, definite place in the world.
When I eyed those yuppies laying on the grass, I didn’t only remember how I felt as a “loser”. I remembered how I felt as a WINNER.
Even when I was getting invited out all the time, going to parties every weekend, I’d see this as revenge against all the people who ever rejected me socially.
Look at me, I have friends now! I go to parties now! I’m a socially valuable guy now!
This programming I had that got me seeing myself as some socially objectionable loser was bullshit. I’d contracted it from people who were even more status-anxious than I was, even if they superficially had more of it.
I was stupid and self-unaware for playing into this game and this frame, and basing part of my identity around it.
But yeah, back then, I didn’t want to be associated with any “losers” myself! I feared getting my status lowered by association with anyone “uncool”, even if this software of mine was only operating in the background. Part of me would always be vetting the people I’d encounter by how they’d “measure up” socially.
Here’s something I want you to remember when you encounter someone who’s seemingly “cooler” than you:
People who “fit in” are just as scared of not fitting in as the misfits. They just have more bravado and influence and subjective status covering this fear up.
And you know what, this fear is a natural part of our hindbrain. You’ll never fully get rid of it.
You’ll never get fully rid of your status anxieties, but you can decide HOW you define social status – by how someone looks, by how someone acts, by how someone treats people, by how much money that someone makes, by how much that someone gets laid…
So, how do you define status?
If you’re an average middle class guy with few female options consuming online content made by rich ballers who fuck hot Instagram models, and you take their values to heart… You’re gonna feel shitty about yourself!
If you grew up in a broken home and didn’t give yourself a lot of love growing up, and you take to heart the values of someone who grew up with loving parents and ended up locking down their high school/college sweetheart.. You’re gonna feel shitty about yourself!
If you’re a free spirit who values creativity and unconditional self-expression, and you feel like your only chance at a social life is to get into a scene that runs on status anxiety… You’re gonna feel shitty!
Status comes in two forms: Objective and Subjective Status.
First, let’s talk about
These are universal traits of yours that’ll make you more attractive and high-value in ANY social setting: Fitness, good looks, wealth, a good sense of game, not being needy.
Most of all, ENERGY is the source of your objective status.
High-energy, high-vitality men ALWAYS win against low-energy, low-vitality men. The more energy you carry as a man, the more masculine and the more spiritually powerful you are, and barring unaddressed psychological issues, the less needy.
The more tension, energy, life force you have, the more Objective Status you have. This will raise your social standing ANYWHERE.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be accepted everywhere. You also have to be aware of
Being aware of archetypes and demographics will make or break your results with the ladies. Because if you’re trying to game and date girls in environments that aren’t aligned with you and your values and your interests, your results will be barren. Even if you have high objective status.
So don’t take it personally if you’re working on yourself and still get rejection after rejection after rejection.
You may just be in the wrong environments, trying to attract the wrong demographics of girls.
Discovering your subjective strengths in attraction may take some trial-and-error, but again, they make or break which girls will be receptive to you.
The girls who want a tattooed, pierced punk rock type of guy are looking for a guy with a different type of Subjective Status than a church Chad who reads his Bible and is saving himself for marriage.
Putting on a well-fitting suit and going to a business meeting gives you a different type of Subjective Status than a hoodie and joggers while you’re at the gym.
I personally tend to have the strongest, easiest connections with girls who are in STEM. So many times, I’ve been firing on all cylinders talking to a girl, before finding out she’s studying some sort of science. I may not be in that exact field myself currently, but somehow, I naturally have Subjective Status among scientifically-inclined ladies.
Part of eliminating social anxiety and fear is raising your Objective Status. Stop masturbating, retain your sexual energy instead. Get in shape. Make money. Learn Game.
Discovering your Subjective Status is worth just as much.
Where do you belong?
What do you deeply value?
What do you enjoy doing, and what aligns with your subjective path in life?
Yet oddly enough, the things you enjoy doing don’t always give you Subjective Status around women.
I enjoy photography very much, yet I’ve fallen over almost every time I’ve attempted to connect with a girl through it.
I’ve also been a consistent gym-goer since my teen years, but I can’t be arsed to get girls through it. I’m not interested in bonding over my meals or my fitness routines with anyone, and find them to be boring conversational subjects… While there’s a ton of gymrats out there who don’t feel the same way! They want to be around people who care about the nuances of gym-going as strongly as they do!
If you’re socially and/or sexually frustrated, anxious, or disappointed despite being fit and ambitious, I guarantee nothing’s inherently wrong with you.
You likely haven’t found your voice in this world yet.
Your “social anxiety” isn’t a reflection of your value as a person. It’s a reminder that you’re putting yourself in social environments that aren’t right for you. You’re trying to play the status game of someone who doesn’t give a fuck about you, not live based on YOUR VALUES and YOUR TRUTHS.
Becoming a confident, holistically healthy man involves all this and more.
It means building a self and a life by your standards and your ideals, and never compromising them. Following your own path instead of feeling inadequate for not being on someone else’s.
I’m not your dime-a-dozen “just learn some game and lift weights and Be Masculine and be a High Value Man” type of dating coach.
I’m more Holistic than that.
And I expect you to have the superficial stuff figured out BEFORE we work together 😉