Choose Your Battles

The last couple of days, I’ve been on a trip out of London for an old uni pal’s wedding.

They had a pleasant ceremony yesterday in a church, followed by a lavish reception with good food and plenty of free alcohol. There were quite a few hot bridesmaids around, and everyone was in a good mood. And yet several hours before the event finished, I just slipped away on my own without telling anyone. Why?

First, not drinking when everyone else is, especially when the booze is free, is a soul crushing affair. As everyone else gets increasingly wasted as the day goes on, their attention spans get shorter and shorter, the content of their speech becoming depressingly inane, until before long communication has been reduced to a series of slurred whooping sounds and high fives.

Also, being naturally introverted, I’ve got at most a few hours where I can be the life and soul with the best of them, before social fatigue kicks in. My best hours were used up in the afternoon, before the inebriation had begun in earnest.

Mainly though, I was not there on my own terms, and I had no value in the room.

It is my firmly held belief that as a man, I should live my life on my own terms, and no-one else’s. That means doing what I want, when I want, with whomever I want. Remove the control of any of those variables from me, and it undermines my ability to be in control of the situation, and therefore undermines me as a man. Bearing that in mind, it can therefore be seen why working for someone else for a living is such as essentially emasculating affair. Being beholden to another for something so essential as money is not good for one’s self esteem. Obviously for most of us, working for a living is a necessity, so what do you do? Remove the necessity, by implementing a plan to gain your financial independence, as I’m currently in the process of doing with my stock system.

But I digress. In addition to not being there on my own terms, I had no value in the room. In my day to day life, I’m used to commanding attention and respect wherever I go. I stand out from the crowd massively, effortlessly socialising with strangers, a cut above in my physical appearance. Yesterday, I was just another dude in a good suit in a room full of 100s of them, of which I only knew a small handful. Furthermore, I was a very different person when I was at university. Socially maladjusted, awkward, lacking in confidence. No matter how far I come in life, those group of friends from that era – who I see infrequently and only ever in group settings – will always see me as that person to some extent, and allow it to colour their interactions with me. I’m usually an afterthought in their group activities and I’m spoken over frequently (which I’m REALLY not used to these days – when I talk, people listen).

What also didn’t help was that the best man ripped into me repeatedly during his speech, comparing my antics at the last few weddings from the social group to those of a “sexual predator” (I always hook up at these events), calling me a narcissist who stares at himself in the mirror all day whilst working out, and then throwing me a box of tampons for being a pussy for missing the stag do. Despite all being completely true, and all in good humour of course and genuinely funny, it didn’t exactly do me any favours – let’s just say the cute blonde who had been shooting me looks for the past 30 minutes seemed to suddenly reconsider after that! Good job I have a girlfriend at the moment, or I’d have had a tough battle on my hands. Perhaps the infamy could have worked in my favour later on when everyone was drunk.

It’s important to always make sure you’re operating in situations where you command value as often as possible. If you’re not a sharply dressed, high roller – don’t try to go to a VIP champagne bar with all your month’s salary. You’ll be a worm. Stick to places you know that you command some respect. And if it’s somewhere like the gym, then you better work your ass off to become one of the bigger dudes in there.

After a while, the feeling of commanding respect becomes ingrained in you, and garners a deep sense of entitlement. So much so, that you won’t tolerate anything less, and will take yourself out of a situation where you know there is no chance of you imposing yourself to any degree.

I paid my respects, will send the groom a message thanking him for having me and apologising for leaving early, but ultimately I choose to fight my battles on my own terms.

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5 thoughts on “Choose Your Battles

  1. The Lucky Lothario

    Having started to drink just soda on nights out, you really notice how retarded people become with alcohol. I’ve still had a few drinks occasionally and want to cut it out, but getting fucked up drunk is such a weak thing to do. Your mind shouldn’t be such a depressing place that you’re constantly trying to escape from it.

    One of my ‘strengths’ is being able to approach sober(only a strength in comparison to average guys), by the time 1 am rolls around I’ve lost what was my primary advantage as every descends into caveman game. Which (limiting belief) I don’t feel I can handle that well sober until I pack on a significant amount more muscle. Plus there are some moral/legal grey areas there.

    So the battle I’d choose to pick and train for is daygame and early evening bar game.

    • Yes, you’re spot on there mate. There’s no point trying to compete with a bunch of pissed up knob heads, who are so drunk they’re just grabbing women – women who themselves are so drunk that being grabbed is all they will respond to. It’s a mug’s game. You’re better off out of there.

      The more you stay sober and less you go out, the more you realise that there really is no comparison between night and day game. The difference is well… Like night and day 😉

  2. “Also, being naturally introverted, I’ve got at most a few hours where I can be the life and soul with the best of them, before social fatigue kicks in.”

    Big yes – so glad to hear it isn’t just me. I’m a big introvert. It’s not that I’m bad in social situations; on the contrary, I am often the life and soul of them, cracking jokes, leading the conversation, holding the frame. It’s just that after a few hours of that, having to do more of the same is like torture and all I want to do is spend some time alone with a book and a cup of tea.

    “Furthermore, I was a very different person when I was at university. Socially maladjusted, awkward, lacking in confidence. No matter how far I come in life, those group of friends from that era – who I see infrequently and only ever in group settings – will always see me as that person to some extent, and allow it to colour their interactions with me.”

    The frame you set at the outset is the one that is easiest to maintain. I also know that, were I to meet people from my high school or first couple of years of university, I simply wouldn’t be respected. To them, I’d still be that awkward dweeb who is beneath them and not worthy of being given the time of day, despite the fact that I am now probably a cooler, more solid guy than 90% of them. Such is life – all you can do is move on and set a solid, confident frame from the beginning of all your interactions with new people. Make them know you’re worthy of respect from the outset and you can maintain that for the duration of your friendship.

    • Entirely correct. I think the only thing that might shock them out of their old opinion of me might be to see me rock up in a Ferrari, and perhaps not even then. They’d probably just think “Oh, the weird guy somehow got a Ferrari. I’m still way cooler than him at least, as I sit around talking about football and playing poker with all my spare time”

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