An acquaintance of mine was recently talking about how we live in an age where men rarely make friends with other men. The reason, he believes, is that guys, unless they’re jocks or alpha males, are too afraid of being humiliated or rejected.
Most guys understand this fear, I believe, because the very same emotions get in our way when we try to socialize with women. Maybe you got over that fear with women. If you did, it was through applying psychology, and you can very easily apply the same psychology when you’re looking for a guy friend. So let’s step back for a moment and think about human behavior in social groups.
First, reverse the question and ask yourself: “What do I look for in a friend?” No matter how you answer this question, whether you’re a jock or a nerd, an alpha or an omega, your answers will ALWAYS have one thing in common with everybody else’s.
You look for qualities that you find valuable. It all boils down to that. You certainly don’t want to hang out with someone who’s boring or socially empty. You want to hang out with people who are cool. So does everyone else.
But here’s where things start to go so wrong for so many of us. When you see someone you think is cooler than you are, you assign them a higher value than yourself, at least unconsciously. And the second, literally the second that you begin to interact with them, they unconsciously perceive your assignment of lower value to yourself. That, my friend, is what makes them inclined to reject or even humiliate you. You just gave them permission to do it.
How do you solve this problem? The first thing to do is to stop seeking the other person’s approval, because doing so automatically sets you up for failure. Tell yourself that you already have the other person’s approval, and that they have yours. Behave like this is true, and amazingly, the perceptions of most other people will come into line. Why? They see you as having equal value to them, because you just assigned yourself equal value. It’s the path of least resistance. Perception becomes reality, but this time you’re using it to your advantage.
The above tactic will work on the vast majority of guys and women you interact with. Still, there will be those who want to throw cold water on the party, and you need to learn (and practice) how to defuse their efforts without getting upset or angry. There are many psychological tactics you can use to accomplish this, but I’ll keep it simple. Remember, there are always multiple ways of looking at the same situation. If someone is being sarcastic, for example, you can pretend to take it as a compliment. For other negative statements, you can behave as though the person meant something completely different. (Psychologists call this “reality projection.” If you can “hold” your projection longer than the others in the group can, they will begin to question their own views of reality. Yes, it sounds bizarre, but it works!)
The last thing I want to leave you with is that socializing, whether it’s with women or with other guys, is supposed to be fun. You should be trying to make them smile, and they should be trying to do the same for you. If they don’t, or if you don’t feel like you want to bother making them smile, then it just means that they’re not the right people for you to spend time with.