I'm getting tired of this question on AskTRP. I only bang through friends - I don't do clubs, and so I think it's an important question to ask. But there are three levels to the answer and all I ever see is the (somewhat dismissive, but fair) answer "get a hobby" "play sport". These are correct, but not complete. Lotta assholes playing ultimate frisbee and still feeling lonely. There's more.
Trigger warning: For the Americans among us, I'll flag that the rest of the world understands the difference between attacking someone and laughing with them about something at their expense. And mock insults as a form of socializing. Everyone else on the planet understands this, so for the rest of this post please interpret "attack" to mean insult or mock without consent. Consent can mean that you know each other and are comfortable ripping each other off like this. Some people think they have that consent, and aren't that funny. These are assholes. Anyway, separate topic. On we go.
People like to receive value. Therefore, to have people seek you out, you should provide value. Money? Fuck no. Social value. Here's how:
Step 1: get into a group of human beings
As we all keep saying, yes you gotta go and find the group. I don't like the suggestions of hobbies and sport though; it's too limited. Get on Meetup and see what's happening in your city. Join your city's subreddit. Check your local council/library if you're really desperate. Whatever. Pick something. The only variable here is:
- this provides the most observable form of value second to money, but avoids framing you as a provider to abuse
- It filters you into a social setting with people who also chose to volunteer
- it gives you something to do and to talk about which helps avoid awkward small talk
Sport/hobbies/church/literally any excuse that humans use to gather into a group
- the value you bring is less obvious, but often still there, for example adding numbers to the group can enable the thing to continue (a sports team needs a minimum number of players etc)
Step 2: Provide value
Showing up is bare minimum value, and you can add more. Here are some ways to do it:
- Remove the baseline obstacles to being considered an equal/normal member of the group. Join groups where you can afford to participate without being a burden. People won't pay you to show up until you're already at like a level 4 in popularity. get your transport and resources sorted. Obviously.
- Be visually attractive. This is a huge force multiplier, as it is what people judge first and it opens the door. The rest is yours to lose. And for men it's dead easy; lift, shave your head if you're balding, dress well, hair cut, and fucking shower.
- Have confidence. Oh? just like that? It's that easy? No of course not. It's hard and takes time. But it absolutely does not happen unless you actively work on it. Find out what you value in people and build those parts of yourself. That's the magic formula. Men especially are lucky in that our value is not in our youth but in things we have the power to make. Use that advantage.
- Turn your focus to the individuals you're hanging out with. How do you engage with each on in particular in a way that they will enjoy? I actually do this subconsciously, but I think it's worth listing as an active decision.
3.1 If you're in the strong position; protect the weak. In a group of 5 lawyers and 1 maccas employee, I'm absolutely not going to bring up anything related to law. That's gonna make maccas bro feel like shit. Lawyers tend to have no life outside of work, so I'll actively move conversations away from work in this situation as well, because once we get in their domain, the conversation is going nowhere fast.
3.2 If you're in the weak position; learn from, and flatter, the strong. I'm moderately fit but I have small muscles. Built dudes are often attacked for it ("in jest") because people are threatened. I automatically compliment them on their bulk and ask about how I can build my <choose random part of the body>. I'm immediately on their side of that line they always socialize on and we're good from there on out. Plus bodybuilding is their art form. Everyone likes having their art noticed and admired. Don't be desperate in how you do this, do it from a place of self-respect and inner strength. That's why this is step 2.3.2, not 2.1. If the people you're around would attack you for engaging in this way then they have the maturity of a young teenager. Even older teenagers have figured out how repulsive that insecurity is. See my note about negativity above.
- Be funny. I'll write a separate post on this if asked, but here's a cheat sheet: If it fails, STFU and let someone else take the conversation, wear the loss and move on. People can forgive a bad joke, but we all hate the insecurity that forces someone to keep going. Remove all negativity. All jokes have a true element. It's only funny if they get it. I'll fucking stab you if you explain a joke everyone hates this. A joke is a surprising discovery of a link between two concepts.
Step 3: Leverage your popularity
I know this post was only about step 1, but there's more on offer here, and I'm going to mention it. Don't just get enough friends that for 90% of the time the fear of loneliness goes away. become popular, and then use it to make the world better. I don't mean save the whales, though you're free to of course. What I mean is that your new friends have subconsciously voted you into a position of influence in their community and you now get to call some of the shots. Call good shots. Make the community enjoyable to be in. This is a vital part of popularity that most people miss as their own individual and immediate needs have been met, and it usually results in the community stagnating and then breaking down. Fuck that, we're here to get better. Here's how:
- Don't become a despot. Many outcasts hold resentment towards people and when they get into power they do the only thing they ever learned from the popular: they make them feel like shit. Congratulations, we have an infinite loop of not happiness, not productivity, or creation, but shit. Literally what could be worse than an infinite loop of shit. Fuck outta here.
- Change the community. A community averages out the personalities of its members weighted by their value quotient. Yours is now higher. Use it. Some communities have negativity; start by removing it entirely from your own language, then subtly helping others to do the same. Instead of taking advantage of people's fuck ups for humor, actually become funny or interesting. When you remove that people are free to take more risks and you can start having fun. Judgement by other girls is the number 1 factor between you and some pussy. Consider that.
- Find new communities. The whole point of providing value to the first group you come across is because that's how you get invited to the next community. I've now got a field of friends who I've filtered from between 20-30 communities. These people are the highest quality; typically have their body in order, are funny, confident, they have enough self worth that we can relax together and be weird. And they invite me to the coolest shit this city has to offer. I only see any particular one of them 1-2 times per month, but they still keep inviting me because they know when I show up I'll make them feel good.
Just like all other human interaction, socializing (and popularity) is a market. Improve your market value. The side bar will tell you how to do this in a male-female relationship. I hope the above will have some pointers on how to do it in a community scenario.