“I always felt I was a good guy, well-intentioned and nice. However, I felt sometimes life and people were kind of stepping over me, not a lot of girls and social success. Then I decided to transform, to become that good looking social and funny man that gets along with everyone.”
William started looking into the internet for resources. He found blogs and YouTube channels and started practicing what he learned. Eventually, he found out about SocialSelf and has been following us since. It took him some time and pain but now he is much closer to his ideal self.
“It’s still a long way but I’m on the good road. A lot of people who have met me after my “transformation” praise my social abilities and tell me it’s a strength. I feel proud of it,” William says.
“I learned that change is possible.”
How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
I’m an individual who is trying his best to improve every single day and turn into my best form, physically, socially academically, etc. I’m always striving for self-improvement. Now I’m outgoing, social and generally easy to talk to, sometimes a little random and weird but mature and kind in general. And what I learned is that change is possible!
William talks about his social life back in his “shy days”
It was kind of like this: “What have you been up to?” – “nothing”. The conversation would hit a wall and I didn’t know how to avoid it and people took advantage of my kindness.And girls, omg the most awkward thing ever. I didn’t know how to interact with them. I had no skill and couldn’t look them in the eyes. I felt like shaking.
One time I went with this girl and asked her something and she looked at me like “what?” I repeated myself and she didn’t quite understand me. Then I started shaking, went all red and said “Don’t mind, I’ll tell you later”, and left there all embarrassed and red. I don’t mean that now I can talk to them like a god but it’s easier now and I would always talk about boring and generic topics like school and classes… I was nervous and didn’t make a good impression.
People would ask me for favors or money and I would never say no or stand up for my ideas. I would be like “ohh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” and didn’t “fight back” this way. I was constantly used and stepped over.
“I realized that I have control over way more than I thought before”
Around my high school freshman year, I was like “wtf, this sucks” and wasn’t satisfied with my life or interactions. Then I asked myself what was wrong and how much of it was in my control. I realized that I have control over way more than I thought of before, so I started striving for change. This was around 3 years ago.
What made you realize you had control?
I didn’t want to make high school boring and strived for changing. When I addressed the issue, I was like “why is this like that for me and not for him?” Why do they act differently around me and around him?” (Other confident guys). So I was like “it’s their attitude, that’s just it dude.” The fact that some trusted girlfriends told me that physical appearance isn’t as important as attitude and confidence. I realized life was like that because I acted a certain way.
Williams first steps to change things around and how people responded
It all began with body language, kind of a “fake it ‘til you make it” and voice tone. It felt weird and fake at the beginning but eventually, it became more as second nature. Some other body language signs were openness and eye contact.
Sometimes people around me were like “are you okay?” It felt a little weird and fake both for them and for me, eventually, it became a natural reciprocal thing and conversation. It was like people aren’t ready for me “breaking the mold”. I was more outgoing, asking more questions and making more talk, that and the voice tone was a little shocking.
Important milestones in personal relationships, and methods that have helped the most to become self-confident
I guess my first girlfriend was an achievement, I never thought I could have one before. Or the fact that sometimes I would get multiple social invitations and get a full schedule and people were actually reaching out to me. That’s the time I felt things were fitting right!
Knowing that people always want to be heard and comprehended, they all have issues, fears, dreams and want to share them. So I try to share a bit about me and then ask about them, so it doesn’t feel like an interview, and I have found that when people feel heard and understood they are easier to connect with. If I learn their motives and motivations I get to know them.
As you improved your social skills, did you run into any setbacks and how did you tackle them?
From time to time, I feel there is no way around awkwardness, or sometimes my conversations hit a wall, almost never but it happens. Let’s say, I talk about certain subjects with people when I shouldn’t. For example, I talk about some meme to a girl, she doesn’t understand and it’s awkward. Little setbacks like this are interesting however I learned a lot from them.
I believe that some things that seemed good in the beginning, turned bad in the long run. For example, I became addicted to social media for some time, and I was frustrated because apparently everyone was having more fun than me, or when even though I acted my best, people weren’t responding right! I felt frustrated like I wasn’t making any progress and that being social was just a dream I couldn’t accomplish. Some depressing moments when I felt it was impossible for me more than anything in the beginning.
About inner objections against improving socially
Sometimes I have noticed that acting certain ways people are nicer to you, however, some ways aren’t moral or true for me so I try to avoid it. For example trying drugs (I have never tried them) but apparently, you are “cooler and edgier” if you do that, so I try to reject those fake ideals. I was a little socially influenced in the past and did some things just to fit in. However, I try to not fall for them anymore.
What were some things you could do to try to fit in?
Sometimes I drank alcohol (never got drunk) even though I wasn’t convinced, or talked a certain way about women around my guy friends, but I don’t feel that way, You are perceived as cool if you objectify them around men, so I kinda fell for that before.
William on program materials and what advice has helped him the most
I loved the conversation guide you sent. I remember how you sent it to the mailing list and it was absolutely awesome and detailed. I give a great part of my credit to that. I remember reading in one of your emails, that finding a common ground, a shared passion is a great start and a good way to connect.
“They told me that I was the most social guy at the table. It felt nice, people perceiving me as the most social, after considering me antisocial for all my life, it was a nice realization and made a great night”
The conversation that was made possible because of his improved social skills
I was at a party last Saturday and noticed a girl with a tattoo on her arm and some deep quotes in it. I asked her about that and she shared with me how deep and philosophical her quote was and how much it meant to her. l listened and got interested in her story and got to know her. She acted warm and nice to me the rest of the party. We were strangers in the beginning and it wasn’t even flirting. I didn’t even consider her attractive, however, it was just for the sake of socializing.
“They told me that I was the most social guy at the table”
It was some Saturday night, and I got together with some friends in a nice restaurant and went for some drinks. Picture it, getting all groomed up, looking in the mirror and liking what you saw, then went out with my friends. We ate chicken wings and drank beer, we had a great time, and after talking with my friends they got to a point where they told me that I was the most social guy at the table. It felt nice, people perceiving me as the most social, after considering me antisocial for all my life, it was a nice realization and made a great night.
Can you give an example of one piece of advice you’ve read, and then implemented, and how you did it?
One of the most helpful things was that conversation guide. I remember reading it and realizing how complex yet easy conversations were. I implemented it in the way of looking for a common ground in the convo, once you reach that, you’re pretty much going to continue naturally and easily. Always strive for shared topics and passions, and if you don’t have any, just listen to the person and their motives, story, passion and really make them feel heard and understood.
William gives advice how to keep things you’ve read in your head during a conversation
I notice that if you just keep talking and make it right, you can pretty much continue. For example, just ask “how is life?” And then listen, if the person isn’t as talkative just share about yourself. It’s a two-way street so you should make it work like that.
If you were to meet yourself one year ago, what advice would you give?
Change is possible and you have control over your life more than you realize. The only one holding you back from change is you, and that’s the very same person which can give you your happiness. I would tell that person to put all efforts and that it will be worth it.