Good morning, happy Friday and happy Maifest, my dogs of war. It’s gonna be a hell of a weekend, right? Good. Um, let’s see here. I was rustling through the sock drawer and found a loooooooong query for advice from a guy who sounds like he’s truly bummed.
He’s one of us, though, right? So let’s listen.
I have semi recently moved to a town away from home and long term friendships and all that. I moved here for a change of pace and for a better working opportunity and have been really succesful in work and it has definitely been a change of pace. I never got a free second when I was back home. There was always someone calling or someone stopping by or a million things to do and so on. After a while I began to feel really overwhelmed, thus the desire for the change of pace. Well (in reference to your many writings about confidence and Wednesdays post about coolness) back home I was brimming with confidence and cool. I would walk into a place and literally start fighting off ladies. It was weird, but whatever. Now that I'm in this new town and after I ended a relationship with a woman that was continually railroading my selfconfidence that I started dating about the time that I moved in to town (I won't ever date a girl in her early twenties again) I'm having a really hard time making friends and meeting new women. I get out in a place and start freaking out. I get around people that I've known for a while (not really friends but aquantices) and I don't have anything to say. I'm completely out of conversation material and I'm finding that I am having a hard time getting along with the people that I am meeting. I've been following your blog and the advice you've given for a while and I've tried switching up where I'm hanging out because the bars definitely weren't working. I've been going to shows, out to all different sorts of cool places to eat different cool food, going to art exhibits and spending alot of time in general in the greater downtown area of the town I'm living in. You know, all the normal things that you get involved with to find other people that are into subculture. I have been extremely let down by the people that I have met (the people that I have met I usually have some kind of dramatic confrontation with after knowing them only a short time and I hate confrontation now a days), and being even more let down by the fact that I'm not meeting any cool people, and that is what I feel is creating this whole social anxiety thing that is really starting to become an issue for me. I went from going out to places and having women offer me beej's in the bathroom (I never was down with accepting beej's from women I didn't know. I've always been a punk rocker and thought that your comment about punk rockers being prudes a couple of months back was right on with me regardless of if I wanted it to be that way or not.) and getting wrecked with the bands traveling through town to my phone not ringing ever. As a result, like I've said I went from being way confident and way cool to having zero confidence and a mounting social anxiety problem that I've never had before (I've been going out and hanging out for years and always felt ill at ease), and as a result of that I have zero friends in my new town and zero love interests.
Okay, you’re out of your element. That part is simple. Why do you lack the confidence you once had? Because you no longer have a girlfriend, and as your last one was long term, you haven’t been single for a while. AND you’re in a new town where you don’t know people and you’re having trouble meeting guys/chicks worth hanging out with. And to top it all off, those mysterious offers of bathroom head have dried up. And THAT, to put it mildly, is a definite bummer, which, combined with all that you’ve got going on, will drain your confidence quicker than a thai tranny will drain your wallet/balls. I feel like you already know this part though. AND I feel like you are taking some good steps to overcome this already (doing different shit besides just being a drunk mope) but you’re kind of missing the BIG picture, and that’s where, hopefully, I can help:
Most people are not cool, nor are they fun to be around, nor are they the types that engender feelings of inspired conversation or desire to kind of let shit roar. I notice that you didn’t say that you were having a hard time making conversation with friends or people you really like, you’re not interested in talking to uninteresting hothead dipshits who insist on bumming you out. Hey man, guess what? I don’t like talking to people like that either.
In your old town, you had worthwhile buddies because you’d been there long enough to sift through the assholes and have formative experiences with the ones that were just borderline assholes. Friends create confidence, familiarity breeds confidence. Now, you’re out there with no friends in an unfamiliar zone trying to distinguish the dildos from the good people (which is like a 30:1 ratio) and you’re getting frustrated. Sure. Who wouldn’t? It’s tough out there, man.
You need to own your situation a little bit. You’re not in your town where you know everyone and feel overwhelmed (sounds like you weren’t terribly happy there either), you’re a dude in a new town who’s wary about meeting people, and you don’t HAVE to have shit to say. Think about it this way: you’re putting pressure on yourself to act exactly like you did in a very different set of circumstances. I’d liken this to trying to get a boner. Easy in a room with someone you want to bang, not so much at the doctors office with your parents in the room. You don’t NEED to be conversational and get offers for blowjobs. That’s the combover, not the confidence. You need to own the person you are, quit being a pussy and quit putting undo pressure on yourself to meet people/get blowjobs/find an old lady. That shit takes time, and it tends to happen when it’s least expected, but for fucks sake, it sounds like you’re beating yourself up over having a very natural reaction to realizing that the world is full of assholes. That’s an unnerving discovery to make. I mean, as people travel and move they tend to realize that they and their friends back home are the exact same as the people you’re meeting now. Just some random group of uninteresting dipshits to someone passing through, you know? I don’t want any of this to sound harsh, because it’s not meant to be, and you’re in a rough spot for sure. I’d like to offer a few more pieces of advice though:
1. Don’t mourn the loss of the bathroom blowjob offers. If you were turning them down anyway, that’s really just some sort of shallow ego boost thing that’s not empirically important. Yeah, getting overtly hit on feels good, but if you’re not the kind of guy to act on it, then remember, it’s also terribly uncomfortable. Plus, overt acts like that usually come from desperation that only occurs when the chick KNOWS that you’re unlikely to fuck her and she wants to really go all-in. You’re not that dude in this new town. You WANT blowjobs. SO, you don’t exude that anymore, AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. See what I’m saying? You need to be confident in who you CURRENTLY ARE, not in competition with your past. I liken this to bands who listen to their own old records for inspiration. That’s like eating your poo to get nutrients. Don’t eat your poo, Danny. Don’t.
2. Since you’re out of your comfort zone to a ridiculous extreme already, why don’t you try some shit that really makes you nervous? What did you want to do back home but you had too much to lose? Go to a hooker? Skydive? Leave the church? Take ballet? Buy a trip to Headonism? I don’t know what it is, but you may (and you may not…this one’s difficult to think about practically) and this is the time to do that shit. When you next think “that would be cool, but nah…I can’t” Yup. You can. Nothing like just fucking doing it to help you feel vital. Don’t worry about THEM, worry about yourself. You just severed ties with all your friends/favorite spots and old lady for better or worse, your choice or not. Don’t be hard on yourself. You may be the only friend you’ve got in your new town, so hang out with yourself like the buddy you’d want to have there. Push yourself to try shit, don’t put pressure on yourself, enjoy your memories but realize that this is a new chapter, and encourage yourself to TAKE those bathroom BJ’s man. I can’t, in good conscience as a fully licensed and bonded advice columnist let that go unsaid.
Good luck. The rest of you Dogs Of War enjoy the wonderful weekend. Prost! See you in the sock drawer.