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10 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Gentleman

10 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Gentleman

Some guys never grow-up. Don’t be one of them! If you want to become a confident man who is capable of catching a female’s attention, check out these ten ways to be a gentleman.

1. Take a trip.

You can’t expect to have much of a perspective about the world if you confine yourself to the limits of your hometown. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive; you could hop in your car and start driving without a destination in mind, explore a nearby town you’ve never heard of, split the cost of a beach trip with a group of friends, or take your partner on a discounted tropical cruise during an off-season.

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2. Adopt a pet.

If you ever feel lonely, please don’t fret, because I’m about to share the best cure for loneliness ever: pets! As a single guy who lives by himself, I am thankful for my dog (a beagle named Dixie), who serves as a cute little shadow that follows me around and makes me feel needed. Being a pet owner will teach you to be more caring and compassionate. That said, don’t even think about adopting an animal unless you’re 100 percent willing to take care of it. As an added bonus, dogs are scientifically proven to be lady magnets. Don’t believe me? Take Fido to the park during peak hours to test that theory.

3. Read a book.

While there isn’t anything “wrong’ with playing video games, you definitely don’t want to spend all of your time in front of a television screen. No woman (or man) will be impressed by how quickly you made it to the final boss battle, so you might want to read an interesting book or thought-provoking article that arms you with knowledge that could prove useful if you ever find yourself having an engaging conversation with a person you are attracted to and would like to invite to dinner.

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4. Find a hobby.

Life can get pretty boring in a hurry if your days consist of waking up, going to work, watching TV, sleeping, and eating some food in between. Do your friends often compliment your sense of humor? Combine your funniest jokes that seem to elicit the best reactions in a stand-up routine and perform it at an open mic night. Do you have a knack for giving speeches or presentations? Audition for a community theater play, take an acting class, or join a local toastmaster’s club. You could even learn something new like a foreign language, instrument, or technical skill like carpentry.

5. Throw a party.

I’m not suggesting you should hang flyers everywhere, especially if you’re a college student who could end up with a bunch of strangers showing up and making a mess. Instead, choose five or 10 of your closest friends, ask them to all bring a single dish or bottle of wine (coordinate this together so you don’t all end up bringing the same thing), and have a fun time together. If it’s a hit, you could make this a recurring occasion where a different person hosts the event every week or month.

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6. Learn to cook.

If you’re a grown adult, there is no excuse to be completely clueless in the kitchen. Having to rely on prepackaged foods and restaurants isn’t only bad for your health and expensive for your wallet, but also something a child would do. Get started with something basic like chicken tacos or a ham and cheese omelet. Keep practicing with a single dish, adjusting your recipe every time until you’re finally pleased with the result (when you think it might impress a female). Repeat this process consistently, moving up to more difficult recipes as time goes on, and you’ll be a master chef before you know it.

7. Keep a journal.

There is nothing “weak” or “sissy” about confronting your feelings. Letting the things that trouble you build up inside will only make them harder to deal with later, so it’s best to find an emotional outlet that allows you to express yourself without a filter. Reflecting about your struggles in a journal (or blog if you’re feeling brave) will help you better understand your personality, get over your struggles, and figure out what you hope to accomplish in the future.

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8. Meet new friends.

The best way to feel happy and positive? Simple. Surround yourself with happy and positive people. The impact of our social setting on our quality of life cannot be overstated. If you spend all of your time hanging out with people who judge you and complain about everything, don’t you think it might hard to stay positive yourself? This concept might sound too simple to be true, but the hard part is having enough courage to walk away from a friendship that isn’t worth having.

9. Pursue your passion.

It’s wonderful to have someone to love and share your life with, but it’s also insane to expect any person to be your single source of happiness. People who put all of their emotional stock into a relationship often end up with a broken heart that takes a long time to heal, because they foolishly invested all of their time and energy into that person (and as you know, not many relationships last forever). Besides, there aren’t many people that would appreciate having so much pressure placed on them — they would probably feel a lot better if you had an interest outside of your relationship — so it’s in your best interest to find something else to care about.

10. Stand for something.

I encourage you to live according to a set of ethics or principles that guide you in business and relationships. Those principles shouldn’t be governed by gender roles, societal standards, what your parents expect of you, or anything like that. Instead, they should be based on the lessons you have learned during this adventure called life. Don’t get too attached to whatever you decide, because you will evolve as you learn and grow and change your mind, but you should nonetheless follow a personal code that helps you act confidently and decisively when faced with difficult decisions.

If you’d like to help the men in your life be a gentleman, pass this article along by clicking the share button.

Featured photo credit: Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother/QuoteKo via quoteko.com

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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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