One of the most popular dating books in the world is The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. In it, one of the chapters is titled “Show Up Even If You Don’t Feel Like It.” It’s about the importance of getting out and having fun (or at least making a hearty attempt at having fun) if indeed you want to expand your social circle and meet men.
I learned a valuable lesson: show up even when you don’t feel like it. Maybe it’s a dinner you’ve been invited to. Maybe it’s a party or a concert in the park. If you feel yourself exhibiting hermit-like behavior, question where the hermit feelings are coming from. Perhaps you really do need some time alone or with a close friend to rejuvenate. However, if you’re feeling any inkling of fear or “smallness,” you’re most likely letting that little hermit voice talk you out of going. Maybe you’re afraid you won’t be good at something, afraid you won’t fit in, afraid that you won’t meet someone, or perhaps, even afraid that you will.
Sometimes it isn’t our own hermit voice keeping our social lives a dud, but our own friends clipping our social butterfly wings. If you find that your current social circle is hindering the social life you want, here’s when you need to speak up. I’ll show you exactly what to say with confidence and class.
1. When your friends invite you to the same old not-so-happy hour and you have zero interest in going:
Thanks for thinking of me ladies. I’d love to hang out, but I’m getting tired of the bar scene. Nothing ever seems to change, and we are too fabulous to stay hunched over some sticky bar. I’d love to go out and try something new together if you’re interested. If not, I completely understand, but please let me know if you have any other ideas, and we can plan together.
2. When you want to go out on the town to try something new and your friend wants to stay in and watch a movie:
I totally understand if you’re interested in more of a chill night in. Tonight I’m feeling energized and excited to go out and mingle, so I’m going to go out even if I have to go alone. Of course you are invited to join me if you change your mind!
3. When you are out having fun and your friend wants to leave:
I’m having such a great time, and I’m really not ready to leave. I don’t want to make you feel like you have to stay, so go ahead and leave without me. Have a good night!
4. When you are out with friends and not having fun, but you still want to go somewhere else before the night is over:
I’m not feeling up to this. I’m going to go look into doing something that’s more my speed for tonight. Feel free to join me!
You can leave a place where you aren’t having fun even if you don’t have a Plan B. Part of being your own boyfriend is letting go of something that doesn’t work for you and being fearless enough to improvise. You welcome the uncertainty and realize that it creates space for something unexpected to come along.
The first steps to a better social life are opening yourself up to new activities, finding what you like to do, and showing up even when you don’t feel like it. Your inner hermit will eventually give up on pleading with you to stay home. Once you’re out and about, do your best to have a good time, remember to speak up when you’re dissatisfied, adjust your attitude or gracefully exit if you aren’t having fun.
SELF-LOVE PRINCIPLE #24
Figure out what fun means to you and make sure to have lots of it by yourself and with people whose company you enjoy.
When have you spoken up for yourself in one of these settings?