Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: What is wrong with me?
65 points by gatocathon on Feb 6, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 73 comments
I am getting confirmation day by day that people dont want to spend with me. Usually I do small talk, initiate conversation but it seems many people I come across do talk only because I initiated conversation.

I also feel resistance when I ask someone to go out on outings, trip or to bar/club.

Without saying it goes that I still don't have GF or wife. I am 29 and getting near 30 is a bit scary.

What is wrong with me, seriously ?

I'm younger than you, but I used to have similar issues. I think you have to realize that you're a worthy human being and don't need to seek approval in back-up friends. People "smell" neediness and low-self esteem: do something that makes you proud of yourself and stop listening to social pressures of any kind. You don't have to become a jerk, but seek balance.

Insecure men also struggle with their manliness. This is usually a taboo topic, but you need to address it and be sincere about it: do you feel emasculated? "Without saying it goes that I still don't have GF or wife. I am 29 and getting near 30 is a bit scary." There are more people than you realize in your same situation; worse, there are people who married early and are now stuck in a loveless, bleak marriage. one of my mentors – I respect him so much! – found the love of his life in his late 40s, after an awful, awful marriage.

You're a free, young man in his quest for manhood and respect. Just like everyone else. :)

Lastly, let me link you to a post where I addressed my insecurities: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8745651

If you need an e-mail pal, reply to this post and I'll give you my contact information. :)

On the subject of manliness, get to the gym. Lift some heavy weights. It will do wonders for your testosterone levels which will in turn boost your confidence and esteem. As a bonus you will also look better and feel better.

This is true, if you can get over the fact that results will come very slowly, and that, in the gyms I've visited at least, most of the people there are already ripped and can make you feel somewhat inadequate.

The upside to the "most people are already ripped" is that even though you may feel inadequate those guys are pretty non-judgemental about you/others. Everyone started somewhere and my experience is that the gym is pretty judgement-free.

I've been going to the gym for the last year or so and it's helped me through a few tough times. I like the simplicity of it, even though everything else in my life might be chaotic I can spend a couple of hours at the gym forgetting about it, making myself feel better and getting healthier in the process.

I felt a little uncomfortable my first few times in the gym until I realized that the really serious people saw me the same way I tend to see programming interns -- not looking down at all, just cognizant that they are further down a certain road. They've been helpful and encouraging to me, just like I try to be when the subject is programming. Really, it's much scarier to think about not going to the gym, than going.

Results come a lot quicker for beginners. If you are feeling intimidated about going to the gym at first, it would be worth getting a personal trainer who can show you the ropes and get you started on a program. It gets rid of the fear of being that beginner who has no idea what they are doing.

True story... In 6 months hitting the gym 3/4 times a week any gym newbie see a huge change.

True, going to the gym should be a permanent lifestyle change that should be kept for at least a couple of years. As for the ripped people, they all started off somewhere too. Nobody gets to look fit for free.

I found martial arts a more bearable way to get more exercise and not get bored. Started out with karate and then picked up Brazilian Ju Jitsu, which is a lot more full on and arguably less structured. Both did wonders for how I felt about myself as well as putting on some muscle and losing some fat.

No, you "don't need to address it". That stuff is just bandaid.

I struggled with my "manliness" until i realized it didn't matter. You don't have to match up to standards of masculinity to find friends and/or dates.

EDIT: of course getting good exercise is still a good idea for its own sake.

This is a perfect answer. Actionable, kind and empathetic. Thank you, as someone who has struggled with this too.

(dropping in mid thread here, hopefully I'll be clear where I'm talking directly to the OP and where I'm quoting other people in the conversation)

I was in a similar-but-not-identical position to you some years ago (around your age actually, I'm 36 now and things are going fine) so can relate to the feeling. I think most people feel this way at points in their lives.

> you're a worthy human being and don't need to seek approval

This is a significant point. First make sure you like yourself; from there social confidence does not come from believing other people will like you and want to hang around with you, social confidence comes form knowing you'll be perfectly fine if they don't.

Don't take that as "it is their loss" or "I'm better off without them" because those are negative trains of thought which will make you seem (and feel) arrogant, instead try use the frame of mind "well, that didn't work out, shame, but fine, lets try something else". The more relaxed attitude to things not working out as desired will reduce any air of desperation you might be giving off which will help you be more comfortable to be around.

> > I also feel resistance when I ask someone to go out on outings

There could be many reasons for this. People have limited time, especially those with GF's/wives and families. Adding new people to their social circle may just seem like something they don't have time for right now, and if that is the case it isn't a slight against you personally.

It may also be that what you are suggesting just isn't their thing. Have you tried finding like minded people outside your current family and work circles? If you have hobbies then finding a local club relating to one of them is a good way to meet people with whom you more naturally have something to talk about.

> Insecure men also struggle with their manliness.

I didn't read a specific "manliness" issue here, but rather a more general "socially awkward" one. The rest of that paragraph are on point though: there are many in the same boat, many in far worse situations because they fell into something less than ideal, and finding the right people simple isn't predictable. I say "right people" not "right person" there as I don't believe there is one right person for anyone - there are a number of people you could love, a number of people who could love you, and there will be more people in the compatibility cross-over of that venn diagram than you might fear.

> > I still don't have GF or wife

I suggest not worrying overly about that, if you try too hard to make it happen you'll look desperate and either scare people off or attract the wrong sort who are out to take advantage. I've been single for a little over a decade now (initially burned by a long term relationship that went sour so I locked myself away a bit, more recently just because the right situations haven't occurred (or when they have it hasn't worked out)) and it really isn't a problem. Concentrate on finding friends, if something else happens after that then that is a bonus. Heck, once you develop close friends they might introduce you to people they know who that might work for you with.

If you are specifically worried about that and feel it is something that is missing form your life you could try things like speed dating, I know a couple of people that has worked out well for. Everyone in the room knows they are in a similar position in the respect and the event is regimented which removes some of the awkwardness of approaching each other, and the worst that can happen is that you've lost a couple of hours of an evening and it might help you to go and realise the range of people who do turn up including people who you might otherwise assume could just walk into a bar and pull on command.

> > What is wrong with me, seriously ?

Almost certainly nothing more than is wrong with the rest of us!

> There could be many reasons for this. People have limited time, especially those with GF's/wives and families. Adding new people to their social circle may just seem like something they don't have time for right now, and if that is the case it isn't a slight against you personally.

This is a critical point. My dear dead grandmother had a supremely wise rule of thumb: "If people are being weird or cruel, it's probably due to something that's up with them, and not something you did." People are so wrapped up in their own problems. They can't help it, none of us can, we're trapped inside ourselves and our own perspective, everything we do and feel seems so important to us that we naturally assume it's a primary cause for other people's actions and reactions, too. Humans sometimes take this really, really far... They think that if they are bad, they'll offend the god(s) and get struck by lightning. Nowadays many people mock belief like this---any notion that nature or the universe somehow care what you do---but even the staunchest atheist can still be caught assuming that everyone else's bad moods, cruelty, indifference, and poor behavior are primarily due to STUFF THEY DID. This rule of thumb can seem depressing---nobody cares about me!---or you can view it as freeing, consoling, calming. Which is how my grandmother (and now I) mean it. Someone being cranky? Someone doesn't want to hang out? Don't jump to the conclusion it's because you did something. Maybe they are just worried about bills. Maybe they just really have to poop. Rejoice that your own bowels are fine and look for someone less grouchy to hang out with.

This is in fact normal and nothing is wrong.

If you are throwing a party and invite 100 guests, only 10 will show up. 9 out of 10 will flake out. This is normal and that's how people work.

People don't initiate conversations. It's very rare to meet somebody who will initiate conversation, and keep it going. If you want to have good time, that's on you (to keep finding topics and jumping from theme to theme, have a lively back-and-forth going). It's a skill you can learn and is incredibly easy when you get in the groove.

People don't jump on it, when you invite them to something. For 10 attempts to do something, only 1 will succeed. The key is to keep going and simply have 100s of ideas and keep inviting people. If you are not inviting, nobody is and NOTHING ever will happen. People just keep waiting around, standing around and are incredibly passive in general.

And it's not like everybody is going to parties and you alone are not invited. Nope. It's a desert. In fact, if you yourself don't think of some activity, nothing is happening ever. And most people seem OK with this kind of quiet existence.

The only thing wrong with you is that you have higher expectations (and desires) than the baseline. The solution is - go and make what you want happen. The way to do it: keep having ideas and inviting people. 9 times out of 10 they will decline. That's completely OK, just keep having ideas. 9 out of 10 times when you actually go out and do something, it will not be very exciting. That's the reality and it's completely fine. But then during 1 out of 10 times magic happens.

This advice is perfect. Initially (and perhaps always) it is all about the quantity. I have a friend who went from having just a few geeky friends (including me right) to a thriving social life. He wanted to get a girlfriend so he gave it his all for two years. He read things like 'The Game' and cold started hundreds of conversations with strangers.

Don't let people convince you that it's weird or that this should come natural. In the modern world something like 80% of people are lonely, even if they have a partner they might fully dissociated from friends. Being social is not the norm and it takes effort to break from the norm.

Also, and this is just my personal opinion, don't let people convince you that reading literature about this is wrong. Every single book will tell you going out and meeting people is the most important activity, but books like 'The Game' give you tips and tricks on how to overcome anxiety and get more out of your efforts. Don't shirk the pick up artist community, just don't drink the koolaid and start believing oneitis is the bane of existence or that it's OK to insult women. It's actually a great resource if you can look past that.

Anyway, if you want to make this happen fast, make it your full time job. Literally invest 40 hours per week into it. It's what the popular kids did back in highschool, and now you're behind.

Edit: oh forgot, my personal favorite book is 'how to talk to anyone', by Leil something. It's a short book with reminders about social interaction.

There's a "friends fallacy": Statistically, your friends have more friends than you. It's a true mathematical fact, due to the fact that the people with a lot of friends weigh a lot in the average of a lot of people. So it's not only your imagination ;)

I'd say you need to have a mentor, and in many cases it means having a psychologist. It takes hours to get over shyness and beyond all other hindrances of social life.

> If you are throwing a party and invite 100 guests, only 10 will show up. 9 out of 10 will flake out. This is normal and that's how people work.

I made different experiences.

If you prepare a party well, invite key people first, look that enough females are invited, make good invitations and tell that key people come, send out reminder short before, then I have this funnel:

- 100 invited

- 50-60 show up

- They bring people along and I end again on almost 100 (once it went to +200)

Again the preparation is the key and should be a pedantic plan of everything. Guest, location, drinks, etc. should be perfect. As an example, a good location should be always a bit too small, many people make the mistake getting huge locations for few people and then wondering why the party is so empty. if you expect only 20 people then get a tiny venue (rule of thumb: 2 guest/sqm)

I can confirm the 1 in 10 rule. It really is like this. Then you loosen up and don't care any more. Then things happen.

And then there is like 15-20% "cancel two hours before" reduction on those :)

> It's very rare to meet somebody who will initiate conversation, and keep it going.

And, of the people who do both of these things, most-to-all of them are selling something.

Absent more information, it's difficult to tell. There are a bajillion possible reasons people aren't hanging out with you. Off the top of my head, some of the reasons I don't like to hang out with certain people include them being overly argumentative, saying racist things, leaning in too closely to me while talking, not taking things seriously, taking things too seriously, and body odor. It's also possible that you're over-analyzing your current situation.

You really should just try asking a close friend, family member, co-worker, classmate, or anyone you spend (or used to spend) a lot of time with (in a friendly capacity or otherwise). That said, the fact that you're asking HN rather than a close friend, family member, etc. suggests that doesn't work for you, for whatever reason.

So try this: go to a random meetup, chat with a stranger for 15-30 minutes, and then ask them if there's anything about you that seems off-putting. If you feel uncomfortable asking that kind of question or if you're concerned that you won't get an honest response, tell them you're gathering data for a study or something.

And if that doesn't work, you can always schedule an appointment with a professional therapist.

"If you feel uncomfortable asking that kind of question or if you're concerned that you won't get an honest response, tell them you're gathering data for a study or something."

Tell them you're a student actor trying out some character traits. The character you're playing is supposed to be a bit annoying or unlikeable. Ask them how you went in portraying those traits.

I wouldn't lead the question by telling them that you were supposed to be annoying, because then they will look for things that annoyed them about you that they may have not noticed otherwise. I would tell them to be brutally honest, and, to be honest, if you're wearing the 'suit' of someone else, you could just ask them if you seemed like the kind of guy they would hang out with. Then note their response down in a survey like manner.

Most people suck. I suck, you suck, we all suck. Modern western society does not improve matters, where many of us are uprooted from more local, traditional societies where there are strong community traditions that provide easy social defaults and a fairly limited, consistent group of other people to interact with.

Most social groupings are formed out of blood or forced closeness - small towns, religious groups, schools, the workplace, housemates, etc. These are people you spend a large percentage of your time with, and they tend to be non-transient factors in your life - i.e. continued social interaction with them is likely over a non-trivial timespan. You can count on these people being around in the future, so the investment of effort in cultivating relationships with them has a high expected payoff.

Compare this with the modern, post-collegiate experience for most 20-somethings. Seeking gainful employment often means leaving behind the familiar contexts one was born and raised in, abandoning familiar social nets, to move to more economically dynamic areas, with larger and more diverse populations. Turnover in employers and fellow employees is vastly higher than it was a generation ago. Tied with this, long-term home ownership is less of a realistic proposition, so the community of locality that comes with living with and getting to know one's neighbors is diminished. Other people are more transient and disposable in this world, and the general uncertainty makes it more difficult to focus the effort on building relationships, particularly when you are trying so hard just to get by, day to day, week to week.

I don't really have a solution, but this seems to me to be the problem.

While this may not be the full cause, it's an interesting insight.

Two hypotheses:

1. Maybe nothing is wrong with you and the people that aren't reciprocating aren't the right people for you. In this case, consider ways to find new people, activities, etc., or try to be more comfortable with the fact that you're special and it may take some time to find the right people (but do as much as you can to increase your odds such as hobbies you love, etc.).

2. Maybe something is wrong with you in the sense that your brain is creating emotional pain in the same way that your body alerts you to physical pain. In this case, first be happy that your brain is trying to help you (even if the emotional pain is... well, painful). Next, consider exploring your emotional pains through philosophy, psychotherapy, positive psychology, exploring your childhood and close relationships, etc.

Each of these hypotheses branches out to many other hypotheses, most of which can be "tested." If one of them isn't yielding a good theory, move on to the next, and you may ultimately find something. Keep trying!

'Desperation is a stinky cologne' - people pick up on your need for companionship, assume there must be some reason you don't have any, and so it ends up as a self-fulfilling prophecy. there's a good chance that nobody you know could articulate this and are just picking up on your anxiety subconsciously.

So, what you need is self-sufficiency. Once you get more comfortable being in your own company and doing stuff on your own then people will get more interested in you. Pick up some intellectual interest or activity outside of your work and preferably not related to it. Consider getting a dog - seriously It's surprisingly emotionally rewarding plus you get automatic entry to this whole secret society of dog owners and an automatic icebreaker/topic of positive small talk. I wasn't into dogs at all until I rescued one, but it turned out to be a big positive and well worth the required lifestyle adjustments. Also, women will size a guy up by how he relates to his dog. If your dog is chill and happy, then people will come over to tell you how cute it is, and this will reflect onto you.

Here is the secret to making friends:

People make friends with friendly people. Friendly people enjoy the act "giving" friendship.

They give you fresh baked cookies just to you to see you smile - not because they expect you to do something in return.

They ask about how you are feeling ("How is your back these days?") because they actually care - not because they want your help moving.

Making friends becomes a by-product of being generous with your friendship.

As you get into your late 20s and early 30s most people are looking to get married if they haven't already. At that point social life is going to mostly turn into family, wife, kids and work related friends. I'm 32 and recently married and I find it very hard to justify spending much of my time socializing outside of those above contexts. It's often nothing personal and from my own perspective I would actually like to have more friends but after going through a lot of friends over the years it's proven to be rarely worth the long term investment. I'm not going to chase down others to get together and they likewise. There probably isn't a whole lot wrong with you and judging by the desperation at which people try to gain attention on social networks it seems like far more people are lonely then they openly admit - in other words you aren't alone. If you really want to give it a go to gain more friends I would suggest looking for social groups with shared interests, such as recreational sports teams, programming meetups, or whatever you personally like. Attend events that you have interests in, travel by yourself (I used to all the time in my early 20s) and in general just try to make yourself a bit more interesting. Learn to pick up on social cues better, focus on listening rather than talking and go out of your way to help people that you aren't even that close with in simple ways. Online dating is also a good way to meet new people and practice social skills without much risk (you can cut off contact at any point).

>s you get into your late 20s and early 30s most people are looking to get married if they haven't already. At that point social life is going to mostly turn into family, wife, kids and work related friends. I'm 32 and recently married and I find it very hard to justify spending much of my time socializing outside of those above contexts.

But why can't those be combined? I find this either family or friends mindset a lot of people have quite strange

Because you only have so much time and you are better off spending time with people that are more likely to still be in your life in 10 years? I'm not sure I understand what you mean if that's not what you were getting at.

What you've written above comes across as the nightmare requirements spec from a client. You're being too vague. You need to deconstruct yourself and your life. Your personality, your habits, where you live and how you live. What you want out of life.

Consider NLP, consider getting involved in things that you find uncomfortable (e.g. amateur dramatics). Join meetup.com and locate groups in your area doing stuff and pop along. Talking to people is hard.

Smarten yourself up. Make yourself look great ALWAYS. Change the way you get to work. Consider cycling/walking. Exercise. Run a half marathon. Follow a passion. Get into local campaigning. Be involved in society. Join a debating society. Avoid MMORPGs as a social outlet ;)

Love yourself (but not in an arrogant way).

AND when you are ready, do something crazy.

You're almost 30. It's time you circumvented the world by train and boat. Consider backpacking around India. Go climb a mountain. Tour across America on a bicycle.

You're single. You have no dependents. You can go anywhere and be anyone. Telecommute from Vietnam.

I would say your statement about going to clubs indicates a way of thinking about getting 'hooked up' that probably does not suit you.

Also hanging out with work colleagues is not good. Going for a drink is fine. People have their own social lives and doing drunk stuff in front of work colleagues can be a very bad thing. People connect with people at work because of the interests they have outside of work, not because they share the same workplace.

Maybe suggest moving into a house with a group of people.

I would also say that from the way you state people don't talk to you is that you have a personality trait some people find uncomfortable.

> Change the way you get to work.

There's something to this. Change your smaller habits (ie, where you eat, walk, who you'd normally talk to, etc). Also, get other people talking, ask questions. People like people who listen to them.

On the other hand, don't only ask questions/listen. As someone who lives abroad, I can't tell you how many times I have to repeat my story (how long I've been here, how I learned the language, etc) and strangely people have the habit of keeping me talking with many successive questions (I'm not entirely comfortable with this). I've come to see this as possibly a nerves thing, where they find it easier to ask questions/listen than to be the one talking. What I'm saying is, develop both sides and you'll be able to handle the situation, whatever it is.

>It's time you circumvented the world by train and boat.

I think the word you are looking for is circumnavigate. lol.

Hang in there buddy. As others have said it all starts with being content with yourself first. Focus on your hobbies, especially those that come with an "instant community". Get out and do new things and enjoy life. Everything you do gives you some new perspective and interesting new things to talk about with people. Try joining some new MeetUp groups and see if you click with anybody.

Also, make sure you have the basics all covered. I'm not saying any of these apply to you specifically as obviously I don't know, but the basics would include proper hygiene, good breath/dental care, dress in neat, clean clothes, etc.

Finally, you also might want to try reading some books on the subject of interpersonal skills. There are a lot of quick practical tips in the areas of body language and ways to communicate that make other people feel good about themselves when they are around you.

Without knowing you personally it's really hard to say.

My personal experience with friendships/relationships is that it is a chicken and egg problem. It's a lot lot lot easier to make new friends when you already have many (same goes with romantic/sexual relationships). It probably has to do with social proof dynamics and the fact that you might be unintentionally signalling insecurity through body language and appear to be desperate. It's possible that a lot of the people you talk to think something like "there must be a reason this 29 year old guy doesn't appear to have any friends".

One drastic solution would be to move to a new city or country which would make it more socially acceptable for you to openly seek out new friends without appearing to be desperate. Another option would be to join a local sports team or other group activity where socialising isn't the central goal (poker, working out, hackatons, hiking, etc.).

Finally, HN is probably the wrong crowd to ask for this kind of advice. http://forum.bodybuilding.com/, http://boards.askmen.com/ and other similar "lifestyle" communities would probably yield more interesting results as a lot of the people on those forums are there specifically because they have gone through similar situations.

Just by using smalltalk as argument it's rather difficult to say what's wrong. Maybe (instead of listening to strangers on the internet) you should see a therapist. There might be things in your life, that _you_ think are completely normal though they aren't. What I've experienced from friends who went to see a therapist, was: "Wow, are you telling it's not normal to wake up and hate youself?".

In that vein, sometimes one can over-interpret normal behaviors as more negative than they actually are. The book "Feeling Good" [1] covers this, and ways to deal with it in a very accessible and straightforward way.


it's hard to say without knowing a lot more. who are you? how would you describe yourself? who are you trying to talk with? are they coworkers? are they people with similar backgrounds? how do you engage people? how sure are you people are interested in talking about what you want to talk about? how much do you care about other people? how much do you care about what other people have to say? do you think you're showing people you care (assuming you do)?


Assuming that you've checked that you're not actually repulsive (halitosis, habitual drooling or unchecked running nose, pants hiked up to your rib cage and smelly, unwashed shirts), then it's most likely that you're just not finding the kind of people with whom you have chemistry.

I felt rather similarly in my early and mid twenties. I didn't click with people, and it always felt like too much effort to socialize. Then I moved to the Bay Area and my life changed over the course of two months. I finally met people with interests and goals I could relate to.

For what it's worth, if I were doing it again now, I'd move to a great city and exploit things like Meetup.com, get out, and take up every class and activity that so much as caught my eye.

Remember: to be interesting, you have to be interested.

You are not alone. I am 30 and have experienced the same thing my entire life. Several years ago I questioned it too and was told that it was MY fault for not initiating conversations with people all the time, even though nobody ever has put the effort into initiating a conversation with me, I always just get ignored, somehow I have to put in all the effort and everyone else gets a free pass. But even when I put in a lot of effort nobody gives a shit and eventually flakes out because we haven't been friends since kindergarten like the rest of their friends have been. Well, I finally had enough of this bullshit life and flakey bullshit people; I got rid of all my belongings and moved to South East Asia.

Who knows?

Perhaps appearance issues - from being overweight to having sweat stains to not smelling nice to having too long fingernails. Perhaps interaction issues - not making any eye contact, making too much of it, taking down to people, sucking up to them, etc. Perhaps personality issues - odd sense of humor, lack of overall confidence, over-confidence, pushy / boring / quirky personality, etc. It can be anything or a combination of thereof :-|

# That all said, I'd say the first impression you make and the overall confidence are the two most important things to pay attention to if you are looking to change things.

This is the wrong place to ask "what is wrong with me?" because we don't know you. Trying to answer without more information is going to be mostly speculation and projection.

That said, it's a good question to ask. I think most people who have trouble socially don't ask, and end up unhappy without realising why. I'm going to try to answer the related question: "how do I find out what is wrong with me?"

There are two people I think you should talk to:

Firstly, someone who would have been affected by your problem (if there really is one). You just need to ask them nicely and in a way that doesn't make it seem personal. If someone I knew said "Hey, I'm trying to improve myself. Could you tell me honestly if there is anything I'm doing that makes people uncomfortable?" I would do my best to help them.

Secondly, a therapist. They can listen to how you feel about social situations and help you figure out how to deal with it. Keep in mind that social anxiety is one of the most commonly reported mental health issues. There may be nothing wrong with you in social situations except the way you think about them. I can't say for sure because I'm not a therapist, but this kind of problem is exactly what they do.

Good luck and I hope you find your answers.

Don't worry about what others might think of you. But do worry about what you think about yourself. Aside from the facts that you mentioned what do you think about yourself right now? Are you happy with your body? are you happy with your career? are you happy with your hobbies? Do you eat well? Do you exercise regularly? Do you take care of yourself well? ...

Bottom line: Be someone YOU respect and like. The rest will take care of itself.

If you don't like yourself, nobody else will.

I agree; but don't sweat on it too much. If you constantly question yourself if you're doing the right thing, then you're not.

(Oh - there's nothing wrong with you. Really)

Yeah I know. I'm weird like that.

I'm constantly looking for things I can improve, and running out of free time to do that.

I don't find it makes me insecure in social situations though.

There was a post on HN just today by an anonymous guy for his book 'Hacking Sex' [1]. I actually went ahead and checked it out, since it had a lot of positive comments from women on Amazon. I was intrigued that the author stated that luck with women has nothing to do with genetics, but my surprise/interest diminished when I skipped through the pages and found all sorts of sections on buying clothes and being in good shape. I was really turned off when he gave advice about actually making love, really starting to think this guy is full of himself. I'm a little bit disgusted by his attitude about needing to have sex with as many women as possible, but I also understand how it could be beneficial. I'm sure that his advice does indeed vibe with what women desire, and it would probably do me some good to be open to it (when I have the time/money to do so).

More on my opinion and less on this book (which as I said I have only skimmed for now so can't really judge), I believe in the LAMPS theory: girls tend to be interested in Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power, and Status. I think you can gain a lot of the last 3 just by working hard on improving your own life. That book says you can be yourself and that girls will like you even more for that, but maybe that's just signaling Power/Status, or maybe LAMPS is just not a good theory. Ultimately though, in today's society you really just need to look good/healthy, have a fulfilling well paid occupation, and give the ladies (or other people) exactly what THEY want; you can't be selfish. It's not about YOU becoming less lonely, it's about being interesting to other people.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9005096

"my surprise/interest diminished when I skipped through the pages and found all sorts of sections on buying clothes and being in good shape."

Well, it does matter, as much as some people like to think it doesn't or shouldn't. It's certainly not everything, not even by half, but people like attractive people. It gets you through the door so to speak. That, in turn, gives you more opportunities to meet people.

If you have a crap personality most women won't stay long anyway, but if you're overweight and dress like a kid in high school then don't be surprised that women aren't falling over themselves to talk to you (and no, that doesn't make them superficial; it's how the vast majority of us are wired, and how you present yourself says something about you).

Yeah, and as I say it didn't surprise me that any of that mattered. I've always known what I have to do (have more money for clothes/fashion, spend time at the gym). I think I have a pretty interesting personality, I do make friends with a lot of people once they get to know me. I just have trouble even saying a single word to females I find attractive. But I've got bigger problems in my life to solve.

Here's the quote from the author's website that intrigued me:

"A five-point guide on how to be more attractive (Hint: your genetics don’t matter)"

I thought he might go into more of a strategy about how to open up and talk with women (again, I haven't really read it yet), since it's not looks that matter. But it turned out, as you and I both understand, appearance really does matter, and therefore genetics DO matter, because they are a huge factor in your appearance and even in how healthy you can appear.

I tend to be the planner in my social circle and I've learned a few things in my many years of planning/organizing (I'm 33)

- If it's something casual, don't be too pushy. Like we learned in D.A.R.E, leave the door open. So if I ask someone if they'd like to come out to get drinks and they're not sure, I just say "No problem, text me if you want to come, we'll be there." For more formal events that require reservations, get a commitment well in advance.

- I find that if I'm doing something that the person I'm trying to invite hasn't done before they're more interested in coming. I do my best to make it easy on everyone so I lay out an exact itinerary, offer to do the group purchasing, and make sure everyone has a way to get to the event.

- I find that posting some post-event photos on Facebook help a lot as people see the fun they're missing out on.

- Don't be afraid to have fun by yourself. I enjoy rambling around new places by myself and the more I put myself in new situations, new places, the more often I find myself meeting new people.

I'm not sure about your specific situation, but it helps if you focus the conversations on them instead of you.

Be genuinely interested in other people and they will like you. Respect their opinions even if you disagree.


A few examples would help us understand the problem better. Based on just this description, it could be anything.

There could be many reasons why people avoid you. I don't know you and it would be hard to find the real reason here but I give you this one advice:

Don't go out and look for friends—never do this.

The problem is that people will smell it from the first moment you are around them. They will know when they see you looking at them, how you approach them and how you talk and how long you talk with them. You signal—it's basically written on your forehead: 'I need friends. I want friends. I am lonely, I am needy and full of despair, please f*ing talk to me.' And this neediness makes you as a person very unattractive. It's not your looks.

I went through a similar stage for a long time but could get out, now I have again tons of friends, a lovely girl-friend and life is good. Let me know if you need more advice.

A lot of people are late bloomers.

Then again, some people are just incapable of socializing. I know at least one person like that who is older than you, single, and gets looked over for a lot of activities at the community group we both frequent because people feel that he's incapable of holding a conversation.

Yet he's harmless and tries to be social but it just comes out wrong and in all his years he has never learned.

Then on the other hand I'm 30 and I just recently in the last 4-5 years started blossoming. I'm not saying I'm extrovert yet but I've realized a detail about being introvert and that is that we thrive in social situations as long as we can rest after and recuperate. Resting requires silence and alone time, or time with very close friends and spouses.

I don't know you but people skills are indeed a skill you can learn. Try reading How to Win Friends and Influence people and doing some of the stuff





Also toastmasters, meetups good. PUA types can be helpful but also can be rubbish. I think a lot of social types spend years on the social stuff in school uni etc so geek types can sometimes have some catching up to do.

Why do you approach them in the first place? Are you genuinely curious about them as people, or do you want them to fill some need / ache / void in you?

If you think it may be leaning towards the latter, try to look deep within yourself and understand what it is you need. The next step would be to meet this need by yourself. Trying to use other people seldom works well, in my experience.

On the other hand, if it's the former, does it come across to them that you are genuinely interested? Do you keep eye contact most of the time? Do you pay attention when they are talking, and do you listen to what they are saying without thinking about what you should be saying next? Are you listening more than you are talking?

I guess a lot of programmers can at least partially identify with this:

"You see your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. You see, our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful."

"And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks," in your profession "they are a positive boon." (You work in front of the screen the whole day anyway).


I am probably one of those people that keep cancelling appointments with friends. Nothing personal. I'm just busy (work, kids) or probably not organised well enough. Some of my friends understand, some are worse than me, but some take it personally. Interestingly, there's no relation between the time I spend with a friend and how mad they are with me.

Nobody should be hurt. It's my life, that's what it is, the day has only that many hours, things happen, and things will change one day. Right now, I don't even have time for myself.

I have another advice:

Since many and me wrote that you should NOT go out and look for friends since it makes you needy and people smell the neediness it's is important to note that having a few good friends is the key to happiness. Just one or two is enough. People you can call anytime.

Now I said that you shouldn't actively look out for those but I am saying at the same time that they are the key for happiness. Without friends depression comes quick.

Let's dive into 'friendship', what are friends? Is there an abstract concept for it? Or what is more interesting here—how does friendship evolve? It's quite simple and we start with an anti example: imagine you met a guy some night you went out. He has some similarities like same interests und you guys both recognize that you need friends and decide to meet more often to do stuff together. You go a few times out and then you guys realize that you have nothing to talk anymore. So you decide to do some active stuff, you guys play tennis, it's fun but you guys are still not friends, after the match you head to your places without talking too much. You go out more often, chase girls together. Fun but you still no friends, rather competitors. So why did no friendship evolve here? You guys had the same interest, did many activities together and still feel awkward together and have nothing of significance to tell?

The answer in my experience is that the relationship I describes before is based on a voluntary setup that means that nobody forced you guys to be together. Every time you met you had to act to see each other, no external force brought you together.

A beneficial setup for evolving friendship is a forced community with a hostile participant or just somebody with more power. Friendship easily evolves there where people have a common enemy and the need to form alliances. School is the perfect example with the teacher as the enemy. The older the people get there are less forced communities. You office is also a forced community with managers as 'enemies' but since there is a lot of change and office politics involved friendships there are very prone to fall quickly apart.

The bigger/stronger/tyrannic the enemy is the stronger your friendship will be and once the enemy is away you friendship will slowly fade.

Disregard all definitive answers in this thread. You have provided so little information, it is impossible to answer your question with any reasonable degree accuracy.

The best way for you to receive an answer that is close to reality is to visit several psychotherapists and talk to professionals qualified to talk about your personal issues while maintaining your privacy. It would be also beneficial to learn more about meditation, self-awareness and psychology in general.

> Disregard all definitive answers in this thread

> The best way for you

Well done...

Not that it's bad advice, but still.

The synonyms for definitive are conclusive, final, ultimate. My advice is not an ultimate one, it is a intermediate strategy (a best one from my point of view) to achieve a definitive answer. So I'll stand by my wording :)

The described "best way" is actually the reasoning behind the suggestion for disregarding the definitive answers.

It's easier to connect when you have something in common.

So my suggestion is that you join some group doing things you like - be it art, music sport or anything else that you like and will introduce you to different people (suggestion: not some technical group).

My personal change came when I joined a sports group (triathlon in my case). I was never a good athlete but I did get a change to meet a lot of new people. Indirectly I have found my wife through that group.

I'd suggest that you take some time off from your current life and go out travelling and see the world. You will definitely get some perspective on things.

If you get social offers, say yes as often as possible. Someone wants to go out but you're feeling a bit tired and sitting on the couch? Get off your butt. Short of money? "Watching my alcohol intake this month - will have a couple and then stick to waters if that's OK with you."

Someone I know recently asked people via social networks what they thought of her (her good qualities and bad). She did it via a Google spreadsheet ('backend') while what people saw upon clicking the link was a form (preventing anyone from seeing other people's responses). Try this.

Read the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" from Dale Carnegie.

I'd say the same. Its not as shallow as the title insinuates.

Your negative attitude and belief that you're not worth anything.

There are lots of books on self-esteem and social improvement. I suggest you read a few.

Pivot. Tech has a way of turning viable men into old creepers. You will be 40 in 2-3 jobs.

Do you smell?

learn NPL, your social skills will improve ; >

i.e. http://www.nlp-secrets.com/nlp-seduction/how-to-talk-to-girl...

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact