I frequently read posts on seduction forums where guys bemoan the fact that they are introverts. “If only I was like on of those extroverts”, is the subtext. “Then I would be self-confident and able to walk right up to girls and tell them they’re cute, flirt with them, pull them. But no. I’m one of those damned introverts. So I can’t do those things.”
This is flawed thinking. I’ll tell you why—I was a classic introvert growing up and these days I can walk into pretty much any social situation without fear.
That sounded like one of those cheesy marketing lines for a “GET AMAZING CONFIDENCE NOW!!!”-type products, didn’t it? Well, it isn’t. It’s a simple statement of fact. And if I can make that transition then so can you.
What do I mean when I say I was an introvert? Well for a start I was extremely bookish. I was also terminally shy. Finally, I was bad at sports—in fact, I had very little interest in sports at all. I was also physically small (as a result of childhood illness). That, as you can imagine, is not a great cocktail for meeting friends and influencing people.
The problem is that things like this build on themselves and create negative reinforcement. When the other kids at school saw what I was like they either teased me for it, or simply ended up avoiding me. If you are a socially inept person then you are by definition hard to communicate with on an easy level. That shit cuts both ways. Yes, you find social interactions hard, but equally, those with whom you are seeking to interact will find dealing with you difficult too.
Introverts are solipsistic. Even if they have supremely low self-confidence—as I did—in some way they believe that the world revolves around them. After all, if you don’t think on some level that you are incredibly significant then would you be so bothered about what other people think of you?
What we forget is that others too are nervous, others too can feel intimidated by social pressure, albeit not to the same extent as us. And those people are not going to want to talk to someone who’s even more difficult to be social with than others.
My situation got slowly worse—at my own doing. As my fellow pupils came to see that I was a terminally shy, difficult person to be around they began to avoid me. This in turn made me feel even worse about myself. And so it went on.
These days things are very different. I am still an introvert in the classic sense. That is, I draw energy from being on my own rather than being in a crowd. So if I have to attend a big social event then I will do so and I’ll enjoy it—for a few hours. After that I will need to withdraw into my own company to recharge.
Introvert to Extrovert
But if you met me you might well imagine me to be an extrovert. I can talk to anyone I want to, look then in the eye and have a great conversation with them. My voice is loud, my gestures large (introverts are quiet and small to avoid drawing attention to themselves). I tell jokes and laugh a lot. If I’m in a club I’ll dance—even on a raised area. I can walk up to girls, couples, even groups and open them. I have—over many years—managed to mitigate my external signs of introversion sufficiently to make them almost invisible.
Can anyone do this? Yes, I believe they can. I go into my history in great detail in my new book How To Be An Assh*le, where I describe precisely what I was like before and how I changed it. But essentially it comes down to this: you have to take the spotlight off yourself, realise that no-one really cares, and stop giving a damn what other people think.
Easier said than done, perhaps. But as with most problems in my life, I solved it cognitively—through logic. I changed my mind, in other words, and then acted accordingly. The feedback I got from the world improved and so a positive loop was initiated.
You can do exactly the same thing.
In my first book The 7 Laws of Seduction I have a line ‘There’s no such thing as consensus’. It’s true. This was a huge lesson for me. Say you decide to wear a crazy Hawaiian shirt to a party. You walk in and the first guy you meet looks you up and down and says ‘That shirt is gross.’ If you are a sensitive person you might be horrified. You might think, “well, if he doesn’t like it then it’s sure as hell that no one else does either.” Then you will spend the rest of the party skulking around not talking to anyone, trying to keep the shirt hidden beneath your jacket.
But what that guy said is not consensus: it’s merely his opinion. Other people might think the shirt is cool. Others still might admire you for having the balls to wear something like that and admire you. Either way it doesn’t matter—you can wear what you want. But it was a significant breakthrough for me when I came to understand that not everyone thought in the same way. It is never you against the whole world. Rather, there is you and then there are billions of other individuals, all of whom think differently.
Once you understand this it becomes easier for you to push the envelope socially. You realise that it’s OK to raise your voice. It’s OK to tell that dodgy joke you’re not sure is funny or not. There is no consensus. Everyone thinks differently. Some will think you’re great, others won’t. So what then? You might as well assert yourself, your personality, your vision of the world. Because everyone else will. And you have just as much right to exist and flourish as they do.
For exclusive additional free content every week join my subscribers list here.
For daily updates follow me on Twitter