Category Archives: Man Skills

10 Things Confident People Don’t Do

Today’s material comes courtesy of Travis Bradberry who is the author of “Emotional Intelligence.”  I hope you enjoy the read and can utilize some of these tips as we head into 2017 to become a more confident person in every aspect of your life.

In The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda is training Luke to be a Jedi, he demonstrates the power of the Force by raising an X-wing fighter from a swamp. Luke mutters, “I don’t believe it.” Yoda replies, “That is why you fail.”

As usual, Yoda was right—and science backs him up. Numerous studies have proved that confidence is the real key to success.

Studies exploring the performance gap between men and women in math and spatial skills have found that confidence plays a huge role. Women who were asked to identify their gender before taking a spatial skills test performed more poorly than those who weren’t. Women also performed better when they were told to envision themselves as men, and both genders performed better when they were told that their gender is better at the task.

What’s even more interesting is that the gender gap practically disappeared when participants were required to answer every question. Apparently, when the women were allowed to skip questions, they did so not because of a lack of knowledge, but because of a lack of confidence.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh

True confidence is very different from egotistical swagger. When people believe in themselves and their abilities without bravado, there are certain things they simply don’t do.

They don’t make excuses. If there’s one trait confident people have in spades, it’s self-efficacy—the belief that they can make things Image result for making excuseshappen. It’s about having an internal locus of control rather than an external one. That’s why you won’t hear confident people blaming traffic for making them late or an unf
air boss for their failure to get a promotion. Confident people don’t make excuses, because they believe they’re in control of their own lives.

They don’t quit. Confident people don’t give up the first time something Image result for Don't quitgoes wrong. They see both problems and failures as obstacles to overcome rather than impenetrable barriers to success. That doesn’t mean, however, that they keep trying the s
ame thing over and over. One of the first things confident people do when something goes wrong is to figure out why it went wrong and how they can prevent it the next time.

They don’t wait for permission to act. Confident people don’t need somebody to tell them what to do or when to do it. They don’t waste time asking themselves questions like “Can I?” or “Should I?” If they ask themselves anything, it’s “Why wouldn’tI?” Whether it’s running a meeting when the chairperson doesn’t show up or going the extra mile to solve a customer’s problem, it doesn’t even occur to them to wait for somebody else to take care of it. They see what needs to be done, and they do it.

They don’t seek attention. People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Image result for Seek attentionConfident people always seem to bring the right attitude. Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

They don’t need constant praise. Have you ever been around somebody who constantly needs to hear how great he or she is? Confident people don’t do that. It goes back to that internal locus of control. They don’t think that their success is dependent on other people’s approval, and they understand that no matter how well they perform, there’s always going to be somebody out there offering nothing but criticism. Confident people also know that the kind of confidence that’s dependent on praise from other people isn’t really confidence at all; it’s narcissism.

They don’t put things off. Why do people procrastinate? Sometimes it’s simply because they’re lazy. A lot of times, though, it’s because they’re afraid—that is, afraid of change, failure, or maybe even success. Confident people don’t put things off. Because they believe in themselves and expect that their actions will lead them closer to their goals, they don’t sit around waiting for the right time or the perfect circumstances. They know that today is the only time that matters. If they think it’s not the right time, they make it the right time.

They don’t pass judgment. Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other Image result for Passing judgmentpeople down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

They don’t avoid conflict. Confident people don’t see conflict as something to be avoided at all costs; they see it as something to manage effectively. They don’t go along to get along, even when that means having uncomfortable conversations or making unpleasant decisions. They know that conflict is part of life and that they can’t avoid it without cheating themselves out of the good stuff, too.

They don’t let a lack of resources get in their way. Confident people don’t get thrown off course just because they don’t have the right title, the right staff, or the money to make things happen. Either they find a way to get what they need, or they figure out how to get by without it.

They don’t get too comfortable. Confident people understand that getting too comfortable is the mortal enemy of achieving their goals. That’s because they know that comfort leads to complacency, and complacency leads to stagnation. When they start feeling comfortable, they take that as a big red flag and start pushing their boundaries again so that they can continue to grow as both a person and a professional. They understand that a little discomfort is a good thing.

Bringing It All Together

Embracing the behaviors of confident people is a great way to increase your odds for success, which, in turn, will lead to more confidence. The science is clear; now you just have to decide to act on it.

Tell us if you agree or not!

Dating Advice 101 – Landing that Second Date

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We are foregoing the normal fashion blog today to discuss something almost as important: dating.

While getting a first date can at times be tricky, the real difficult part in dating women is locking in the second date.  If you need help getting a first date I highly recommend you watch the movie Hitch.  I know it is a romantic comedy but there are worse things you could be doing than watching a movie with my all-time celebrity crush Eva Mendes.

In the movie there are a lot of pointers for not only scoring a first date but getting to the second date.  If you fast forward to the 2:35 mark in the clip below you will find the key to getting a second date.

“It’s your job not to mess it up.”

We often can spend too much time on the first date doing many of the following: wondering if she likes you, is she having a good time, starting at her boobs/butt, not engaging in conversation or being too worried about what to say.  Like Will Smith says, “She is already out with you.  That means she said yes, when she could have said no. That means she made a plan, when she could have just blown you off.  It means it is no longer your job to make her like you.”

And by not messing it up, we mean putting in the work to ensure you get a second date.  As many of you know I am a happily married man which means I obviously had no problem getting a second date with Sharlay.  However, I know many of you are still going to be skeptical wondering if I really have enough experience to be believed.  First, all these come from my very own arsenal of romance and charm. Second, I dated A LOT of women in New York City.  Before I met Sharlay  I would have to say I dated at least 20 different women during the 5 years I was there before her and I met.  That may seem high to some and low to others but I can tell you it was the most women I have ever dated in my previous 31 years combined. I managed to get second and third dates with most of them so I am pretty confident I know what I am talking about.  I mean have you seen my wife?  No way should I have gotten a woman that beautiful!

 

 

Follow these steps and I promise you are well on your way.

Make a Plan Dummy

She wants to see you put in some effort to the date.  Prior to the date did she ever mention wanting to try a particular restaurant?  Or perhaps she said she had been dying to check out a new bar.  You Image result for Dating quotescan plan on meeting for drinks at said bar and if the night goes well head to that same restaurant for dinner.  Maybe she said she loves mini-golf (not likely I know) or perhaps bowling.  Have a back up option to do something like that after dinner.  If you are able to pull off something that shows you have been listening to her and paying attention she will be impressed I promise.

When Sharlay and I went on our first date I made plans with her to grab dinner.  I made no mention of doing anything afterwards. However, I had also made reservations for a karaoke place that was within walking distance from the restaurant.  The karaoke place was within walking distance to Grand Central Terminal which is where she would be headed after the date to go home.  I was charming enough (according to Sharlay) that I didn’t need the karaoke to seal the second date as she was already on our third date halfway through dinner.  I told you I was good.  It’s not false bravado.

You execute a good plan on a first date and I promise you she is going to say yes to a second date just to see what you can pull off. I cannot overstate how important this step is.

Reasonable Expectations

If you go into a date with reasonable expectations, I personally believe it will make it easier for you to be yourself on the date.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look forward to the date, make a good plan for the date or hold back on the charm.  If you have too high of expectations for a date you can often put too much pressure on yourself.  You want to be loose and carefree on the date.  As Hitch says, “She may not want the whole truth but she does want the real you” so don’t set yourself up for failure.

This can be more challenging when you luck out and manage to score a date with a major hottie but the same rule applies.  I datedBrittney-Palmer-2016-calendar-Hawaiian-style-ali-fashion-0706-3 some truly beautiful women when I was in New York and I am not even sure how it happened most of the time. However, everyone of them turned out to be weird in one way or another.  One of them was super cold and not affectionate at all.  Another one hated going on dates in public and only want to come over to my place or me to hers (which wasn’t terrible if you know what I mean.)  One woman one was super possessive after only two dates and yet another one was such a terrible, awful kisser I just couldn’t take it any more.  The point is they all had their faults and I learned that just because a woman was hot didn’t mean she was going to have what it took for me to stay interested.

I met Sharlay on Match.com so I knew from her photos she was beyond gorgeous but for the most part I didn’t care.  Heading into the date I fully anticipated it would be just another evening with another beautiful woman who had nothing more to offer other than her looks.  Obviously I was wrong, but had I let her looks intimidate on the first date things might not have worked out so well.  As a matter of fact I was so uninterested in how she looked it really opened her eyes to the fact I was a different kind of man than she was used to dating.  It really impressed her that I didn’t fawn over her looks and didn’t get caught staring at her chest.

Curiosity May Have Killed the Cat But It Will Help  You Get…

You are meeting a person for the first time ever and while it probably isn’t the first time you have spoken to her, there should be enough mystery about her, you should have no shortage of questions to ask.  However, this isn’t an interview so don’t grill her to death.

As you guys talk you may find out she loves the same television show or movie as you.  You could ask her who her top three favorite or least favorite characters are in the show.  This is likely to either start a hot debate about the merits of the charters or an instant bonding moment whereby you agree that Janice from the Soprano’s might be the most annoying character of any television show ever created.  Boom. Now you have something in common.

Another easy conversation starter is to ask what was her favorite vacation destination.  Let her talk about it and then ask her “If I were to take a trip to [insert her answer here] what would be the top 3 things I needed to do or see?”  It will show that you already value her opinion and respect her which is never a bad thing.

If she is at all normal these kinds of curious questions will be asked of you in return and before you know it you have been talking non-stop with her throughout the date.  Being able to converse with her is going to win you a lot of brownie points and getting a second date isn’t the only thing you will be getting.

Steer Clear

First dates aren’t the time to be asking about her views on gun control, abortion, Donald Trump, same sex marriage, having kids or the crisis in the Middle East.  Those items (and plenty of others) are sure to derail any chance you have at a second date.

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You may get lucky and find out you agree on all of those issues but chances are you won’t and it likely will end up in a debate or argument that is just not conducive to a romantic evening.  No one wants to hear how smart you think you are.  Leave it at home.

Be a Man

There are a lot of men who are intimidated by being out with a beautiful woman.  Don’t let the fact she is beautiful change the man you are or your expectations of her on a date.  For instance, if you are out on your date and she keeps checking her phone you should call her out on it.  You need to do so in a a self assured way which includes remaining calm and being patient but you should definitely do it.

Before Sharlay and I even went on a date I had to do something similar.  She gave me her number almost right away (I didn’t even need to ask for it) so of course I called her a few days after I received it.  Long story short, she wasn’t so great about returning calls or texts.  Finally, I called one last time and got her voicemail. I left a message simply saying that if she was no longer interested in going on a date that was fine just let me know so I can stop wasting my time.  It may not have been that rude but that was the basic message.  Guess what?  She called me back!

She would later tell me that most guys would hang around forever and try to get her to call them or text them simply because they were so enamored with her beauty (i.e. they really wanted to hook up with her.)  So when I was rather quick to draw the line and call it quits she was surprised and also attracted to me simply because I was standing up for myself.

Throw Out “The Rules”

I hate all the so-called “rules” about when you should call a woman back after the first date.  Don’t listen to those boneheads who suggest you wait 3 days to call her.  Chances are she is a hot commodity (pun intended) so if you wait too long some other dude is going to swoop in and steal her from you.

Whenever you drop her off or part ways make sure you tell her you had a nice time, that she was a lot of fun and that you would like to take her out again.  If you get the appropriate response, ask her what day will work best for her and tell her you will call her in a day or two to finalize plans (and be sure you actually do.)

Now you just have to repeat these steps for date number three.

Until tomorrow, make it a better day!

What did we leave out?  Disagree?  Let’s hear it!

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Food for Thought: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

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Last week I decided to do something that I normally don’t voluntarily do; I went golfing after work.  Okay, so it wasn’t the golfing part or the work part that is out of the ordinary.  Instead, I actually had to pair up with two guys I didn’t know in order play.

Few things get me out of my comfort zone more than golfing with strangers.  I don’t make friends with other guys very easily.  There are a number of reasons for that which I won’t get into here but the fact remains.  It is even more intimidating for me on the golf course because quite frankly, I am terrible.  Even though I am not one of those Type A competitive people, I do hate embarrassing myself on the golf course.  This was one reason why I started taking lessons this past Spring.  I am sad to report my game is still languishing.  I can hit really well in my lesson but once I am out on the driving range or course it is like I become someone else.  I am the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of golfing perhaps.

Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik in a scene from the motion picture Caddyshack. --- DATE TAKEN: Rec'd 10/04  No Byline   Warner Home Video        HO      - handout   ORG XMIT: ZX26917

My natural instinct in a situation like this is to be really quiet, not say much and do my best to avoid embarrassing myself with my mouth as well as my golf game.  I often don’t have any sense how the things I say sound to other people who don’t live in my head.  Thus, people often think I am upset, sad, lonely etc., based on how my face looks (resting bitch face is my problem) or how my voice sounds when I say stuff.  Most of the time I think I am being funny, at least a little bit.  It isn’t a shocker to say it takes a little time to get used to me and understand my sense of humor.

This time however, I knew I needed to step outside my comfort zone at least a little bit.  I am new to Nashville and when you get to be as old as I am, it becomes much more difficult to make friends and I need some golf friends.  Don’t get me wrong I still wasn’t Chatty Cathy or anything on the course but I made a solid effort to talk to them and ask questions etc.  By the end of the round (we were only able to get in nine holes) things on my end were starting to feel a lot more comfortable.  My golfing was still terrible especially from the tee box but it was just nice to get out there.

What I hate most about these situations is the fear of rejection (if I am being honest.)  I don’t have the time or desire to go into where that stems from but the fear is very real.  If I don’t step out of my mv5bmtcwmtq4oda1ml5bml5banbnxkftztcwmza0ndy2mq-_v1_cr030250141_al_ux477_cr00477268_al_comfort zone in this situation 99 times out of 100 I simply walk away and say goodbye to these two guys.  I knew I couldn’t do that this time.  Even if I never saw these guys again I at least needed to make an effort.  When our round was finished I handed them each a business card and made what was a passable joke about my golf game and offered to play golf with them again if they needed someone to tag along.

Now maybe they will call me and maybe they won’t.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter.  It felt good (and horrifying) to step out and make more of an effort to meet people than I am usually comfortable doing.  I have been around enough guys in my 40 years to know I am not the only one who struggles with this.  I only hope that by sharing this one experience with you, it will help you make the effort to get out of your comfort zone, whatever that is.

Tell us if you agree or not!

Fashion Friday – Three Ways to Wear a T-Shirt

TGIF People!

As you know we have been gone way too long.  I hope you all will come back now that we are settled in and ready to rock n roll.  I know it is getting close to the end of Summer (say it ain’t so!) but the following bit of fashion advice applies year round (especially if you live in the warmer climates where there is no winter.)

I hope you enjoy!

With a Blazer

This is not as easy to pull off as you may think. after all there are rules that must be followed to be successful here.  First, don’t go crazy with the t-shirt.  It should be white, navy or grey.  It also shouldn’t be a crew neck but rather a t-shirt with a small v-neck shape to round out the look and keep it sharp.

Second, do NOT try this with your suit jacket! The last thing you want is to go out looking like an 80’s TV star.  The shoulders of a suit jacket are too square for this kind of casual look.  The blazer should be soft and deconstructed.  They are more causal and the relaxed shoulders go great with the t-shirt.

Finally, make sure the blazer fits at the waist (i.e. when buttoned) to complete the look.  Just a friendly reminder that you should only be buttoning the top button!

With JeansT-shirt with jeans

It is pretty hard to screw up this look.  However, if you fail to pay attention to the fit of your t-shirt you will end up looking like a homeless man (too big) or something straight out of the 70’s (too tight.)  Fit is key for this look so don’t miss this detail!

Graphic Tees

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, throw on a graphic t-shirt (think subtle not Metallica Ride the Lightening.)  No sports t-shirts, no college t-shirts and of course under no circumstances should it have come from Ed Hardy.  Think classy not obnoxious.

How to wear a t-shirt

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Fashion Friday – The Pocket Square

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Happy Friday Gents!  I know it has been awhile for fresh content on our blog but as I noted yesterday I had the flu for about 10 days.  It was hard enough to function let alone try to utilize the itsy bitsy amount of creativity in my brain.

Anyway, I am back now at least for this week and I didn’t want another Friday to go by without some fashion advice.  From my recent travels I can tell you fashion advice for me is still very much needed.  Today we are talking about pocket squares.  Using the pocket square is no longer utilitarian like it was back in the day but rather is used to set yourself apart from the other gorillas out there and to attract those peacocks.  See below for a little history on the pocket square and the appropriate ways to wear it.  Follow the advice below based on your own personality but don’t be afraid to take a chance and step outside of your fashion comfort zone.  Few things get a persons attention like a great pocket square and a sharp looking suit.  I hope you enjoy!

THE HISTORY

Before people used the word handkerchief, the word kerchief alone was common. This term came from two French words: couvrir, which means “to cover,” and chef, which means “head.”

In the time of ancient Greece and Rome, handkerchiefs were often used the way they are today. But in the Middle Ages, kerchiefs were usually used to cover the head.

Then in the 16th century, people in Europe began to carry kerchiefs in their pockets to wipe their forehead or their nose. To distinguish this kind of kerchief from the one used to cover the head, the word “hand” was added to “kerchief”.

King Richard II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399, is widely believed to have invented the cloth handkerchief, as surviving documents written by his courtiers describe his use of square pieces of cloth to wipe his nose. Certainly they were in existence by Shakespeare’s time, and a handkerchief is an important plot device in his play Othello.

MODERN USAGE

The material of a handkerchief can be symbolic of the social-economic class of the user, not only because some materials are more expensive, but because some materials are more absorbent and practical for those who use a handkerchief for more than style. Handkerchiefs can be made of cotton, cotton-synthetic blend, synthetic fabric, silk, or linen.

Handkerchiefs were also used, especially by children, as an impromptu way to carry around small items when a bag or basket was unavailable. They could also serve as a substitute for a bandage over a small injury. In the United Kingdom, the habit of wearing a handkerchief with tied corners on one’s head at the beach has become a seaside postcard stereotype, referenced by the Gumby characters in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

In Spanish football or in bullfighting, it is a common sight to see supporters waving white handkerchiefs as an expression of deep emotion. It is used both positively, in admiration of an exceptional performance by a team or player, or as a negative sign of disgust at an especially bad performance.

From the late 18th century white handkerchiefs were waved, generally by women (men usually waved their hats), to demonstrate approval at public events such as processions or political rallies.

Using handkerchiefs to accentuate hand movements while dancing is a feature of both West African and African-American traditional dance, in the latter case especially in wedding celebrations.  Handkerchiefs are also traditional accouterments in certain kinds of English folk-dance.

Besides their intended use, they could be used for cleaning equipment, polishing shoes, cleaning hands and face, signalling for attention, as a sweat band, neckerchief, as protection from dust inhalation, to repair footwear, cut out pieces to patch clothes, cut up as emergency firearms cleaning patches, Molotov cocktail wick (fire-bomb), hot cooking utensil holder, a makeshift bandage, tourniquet or arm sling.

With the development of the modern two and three piece suits during the 19th century, the handkerchief would be tucked into the breast pocket by men not wishing it to become sullied by dirty objects in their other pockets, and thus the pocket square was born.

HOW TO WEAR IT

The Presidential

Use this traditional fold if you are going for the classy, crisp, understated and ah hem “Presidential” look at your next event.  If it makes you feel better it is the same fold used by James Bond.  Extra points if your pocket square has color around the outer edge. (Please note: pocket squares and ties are NEVER supposed to match.  It can match your shirt but it can’t look like you bought both in a two for one sale.)

The Cooper

This is sometimes called “The Puff” but I think we can all agree that sounds lame.  So instead we will use the more popular name “The Cooper,” so named for Gary Cooper (if you don’t know who that is, I can’t help you any more.)  As you can see from above this square simply needs to be made into a puff and gently placed in your pocket. Easy.

The Sailboat

This is certainly not your father’s style of folding a pocket square and can be a bit tricky to pull off.  You don’t want it to look like you crammed it in your pocket with no thought.  You should only use this type of fold if you are looking to show off the pattern or edges of your pocket square, otherwise this fold serves no purpose and you will look odd.

The Four Point Fold

This is another classic fold for your pocket square and certainly will set you apart from others wearing pocket squares.  If you need help making this fold you can find it here (although please see below for what The Cagney really looks like)

The Cagney

The Cagney is most easily described as a backwards Four Point fold with one of the points not being exposed as shown above.  You can pretty much following the link above on the Four Point fold and you can pull of this look.  It resembles a flower emerging from your pocket but there isn’t anything wrong with that and again will help to highlight any patterns, color or other embellishment on the edges.

The Reverse Puff

This one has several different names but is really a quick and dirty version of the Four Point Fold.  Lay the pocket square on a table; grab it in the middle with your thumb and forefinger; bunch it into your fist with the four corners point out and then stuff in your pocket.  Boom.  Done.

There are plenty of other ways to wear a pocket square but this will have you covered for the time being.  As you feel more comfortable wearing one (and getting intriguing looks from others) you can experiment with other styles and folds.  Feel free to add a lapel pin for extra pizzazz!

Tell us if you agree or not!