When it comes to learning about life, the young bachelor has the short end of the stick, especially in today’s society. Most men learn how to be men when they are initiated into manhood by other men, particularly older ones.
The key figure who usually teaches men and leads them along the process of skill-sharing is the father. Unfortunately for young men today, a significant portion of them grow up without fathers or at least grow up with emotionally or physically distant fathers who don’t put in the time and effort to teach their sons.
We at Male Matter understand the struggle, so we’ve compiled this list of 10 skills that we hope help young bachelors be themselves and lead them to self-actualization.
Stop Eating Unhealthy Food
If you’re still following the classic food pyramid (with fats, oils, and sweets at the top and bread, cereal, oil, rice, and pasta at the bottom), you’re entirely misinformed. While everyone understands that copious amounts of sugar are not good for you, the low-fat myth persists. Here’s the problem: Most low-fat foods need some kind of additive to keep the flavor and consistency that fat would usually give it. Sugar is usually the new additive. But our bodies burn sugar as fast as dry grass burns on a hot day. Sugar gives us short energy high and then sends us crashing back down.
It’s time to cut the soda and excessive sweets from your diet and transition to foods that give you a long, constant burn of energy. Remember that food is the fuel for your body. If the fuel is crude, expect your body to function sub-optimally.
Get into Strength Training
When you exercise, you feel healthier, more energetic, and develop your self-discipline and time management. Looking good is just an added bonus!
No one really likes a blabbermouth. Blabbering is an extremely ineffective form of communication. Not only that, but it shows a lack of social awareness and leaves the person or people you’re speaking to confused and disinterested.
To mitigate the blabber, you can pause before you speak and slow down your mind by taking a conscious breath. By giving yourself room to breathe, you can collect your thoughts and communicate with conciseness.
Another way to speak succinctly is to slow down your speech. When we are nervous or excited, we tend to talk quickly and with a lot of energy. This can be good, sometimes, but the practice of slowing down and being deliberate with your speech offers your words weight and depth that otherwise wouldn’t be there.
To challenge yourself, you can try the “five-word challenge.” For over-talkers, this one’s a doozy. When you speak or respond, you can only use a maximum of five words to get your point across. Obviously, this shouldn’t be your go-to way of doing things, but it can be an excellent way to unlearn some of your unsavory speaking habits.
Join a Men’s Group
Sometimes it can be difficult to be a young bachelor. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask for help when you need it. A significant number of men have bought into the idea that they have to bear as much responsibility as possible, alone. This is in line with the “be strong” message that is fed to boys at a young age—the same message that teaches boys not to cry.
But denying your emotions, or the social aspect of life, means denying your very nature as a human. A men’s group is a great way to start opening up. Just the act of showing up with the intention to talk and better yourself with likeminded individuals is a great starting place.
A men’s group acts as a trust support system to help you through the hard times and to celebrate your accomplishments, as well as everything in between. And they’re easy to find: Check online in your city or town, or start your own group!
Build Social Capital
Going off of the last point, you should learn how to build meaningful relationships. For a young bachelor, social capital is a type of capital that is more valuable than money or other financial resources.
Social capital speaks to how much support you can get from other people. Having substantial social capital can mean the difference between getting your dream job and becoming unemployed, between a successful and unsuccessful deal, and between a mentor and just a regular interaction with someone with more sway than you.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should be a dodgy individual who networks just to network. You should go into every social interaction with positive intent and ask yourself, “How can I add value to this person’s life, or business, or idea?”
Your track record, competence, and skills will help do the work for you. Ask people with more skill and experience than you how you can help them and ask for nothing in return. Sooner or later, you will be rewarded for your work.
By doing this for an extended period of time, you will become indisposable. As you learn more skills, your opportunity cost will grow. Furthermore, always be on the lookout for taking work off someone else’s plate and gaining social capital. It will surely separate you from the rest.
This is an easy one. When you put little effort into dressing well, people will put little effort into treating you well. I know it’s harsh to say, but that’s the reality of today’s society.
This doesn’t mean you should spend hundreds of dollars on fancy clothing, shoes, and belts. It means you should take pride in how you present yourself and figure out the basics of dressing well. Especially as a young bachelor, dressing better will help you in the dating department.
Here are some general rules to follow:
- Wear clothes that fit.
- Always dress simple rather than complex. A plain t-shirt is often better than a graphic tee. The same goes for any patterned or graphic shirts.
- Own a pair of business casual shoes.
- Get your suit tailored! It’s relatively inexpensive and will make you look a hell of a lot better.
- As a bachelor, you should always say “no” to khaki shorts.
And now for the lightning round:
Learn How to Shave Properly
Go to your local barber and ask for some tips or find a good YouTube video to show you the ropes. Learning how to trim and shave is an invaluable skill for a bachelor, and it will easily make you look better and more handsome.
Reading will provide you with a wealth of knowledge that will help you in both your professional and personal lives. Read history, read the classics, and read self-improvement books. Read articles, recipes, and how-to guides. The things you learn will come in handy someday, whether you’re at a job interview or on a date.
Pick Up a Hobby
This goes well with our eighth point. A bachelor whose only interest is their work is uninteresting. By adding a hobby into your lifestyle, you become more exciting and well-versed in the ways of the world. Learn to do woodwork, skate, or play a sport. Find what you’re passionate about and follow that thread to an activity you will come to love.
And Finally, Clean Up After Yourself
It’s a skill that is easy to pick up (literally, just pick up the garbage off the floor every once in a while). Do the dishes, clean your room or house, put the clothes in the hamper, and sweep the floor. These are small habits that will make a big difference in your life because a messy living situation leads to sloppy habits.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s a start to a crucial conversation about self-actualization and the process of becoming a man. Sharpen these skills and habits, and you will be on the right track!