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I have two problems, and I hope you can help me.
Here’s the first. While most people have developed normally, it appears that other people (like me) do not, and we lack social skills compared to “normal” people. My problem is purely mental, not physical. I am not crazy or violent, just deficient in certain areas of brain function.
Doc, this makes it easy for me to commit social faux pas. Sometimes when people address me, I might not understand exactly what they’re saying. My hearing is perfect, but sometimes I draw a blank. Also, my lack of solid social skills means that some people might think I’m odd or weird. I’ve gotten better by learning and trying harder, but these problems are likely to last a lifetime.
So you can probably see where my second problem -- with women -- comes in. It can be hard to keep up in conversations, and I think they pick up on how “different” I am. I’m a decent-looking fellow, and I’ve had some rather pretty girls flirt with me, but I don’t have the Confidence to use your techniques because I’m not sure they would work for someone like me.
How am I supposed to be Confident when I stumble in conversations and make mistakes? My problems also attract attention from the worst kind of people – those who enjoy cutting me down in front of others, especially pretty women, as it gives them a rush. There is nothing more emasculating than being cut down in front of a pretty woman. It’s worse because I guess you could say I’m a “nice guy” and don’t fight back well.
Doc, what should I do? How can I be a winner when people have always (and will likely continue) to bring me down in front of Beautiful Women? I don’t know what to do, and at times I can feel very broken.
Roger - who can’t feel like a winner when he feels like a loser
You got two problems, pal? You’re real lucky! Most people have at least 11!
Roger, sometimes “normal” people commit blunders, too. You’re basically an okay guy; you just make a lot more mistakes than other guys, that’s all. Whereas the so-called typical person on the street makes 20 boo-boos, you make 80.
Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “Of course your problem is purely mental.” Maybe you had lousy parents. And if it wasn’t them who screwed you up, then maybe you weren’t born with a full deck. In life, everyone has shortcomings of some kind, what a surprise! But we’re going to give it a shot anyway.
First you should go and see a counselor – a guy or gal with a sheepskin, one who specializes in treating your type of problem. But like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Don’t spend your money for more than three months if something good isn’t happening.”
Lots of people draw blanks in conversations, Roger, don’t forget that. My book is full of witty and brilliant things to say to women, so that should be your first stop. You don’t sound that bad off to me. It’s just that you haven’t been exposed to the correct training or experience. And, like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “I think you’re laying a heavy trip on yourself. Give yourself a break.”
My friend, there are lots of loser guys out there who say the wrong stuff all the time, so don’t feel like you’re alone. You’re being way too hard on yourself. And that can set you back straight out of the gate, no matter who you are.
But let’s concede that you might have a lack of social skills anyway. What are you going to do about it? Go on Amazon and download a book of etiquette. You’re going to put it right next to the Dating Dictionary and you’re going to study it. Then you’re going to get a book on how to be a good speaker and do the same. You’re going to make your index cards and use them when you have to. And you’re going to practice, practice, practice, until you know what’s on those cards like you know your first name.
Look at it this way: if someone asks you your first name, you don’t get stumped by that, right? It’s the same principle. The point is that you can be coached. Like my cousin General Love says, “You’re not completely hopeless, soldier. You should see what I have to put out there on the dating battlefield!”
But you say you’ve gotten better, Roger. Fantastic! To you Psych majors, as long as you improve, that’s what’s important. I don’t care if the trip to becoming the reincarnation of Cary Grant is 50 million miles, as long as you’re on the right track and going forward – and Roger, you are. Just the fact that you wrote a letter proves it. So you are doing some things right. That’s what you have to build on.
So when you’re with women, you smile and show your teeth like they do. When they stop talking, you stop talking, until you’re comfortable with your rap and can guide the conversation. And I hope that when these pretty women flirted with you, you said “Hey, what’s your phone number?”
Let me ask you something, Rog. If you want to dig a hole, would you rather use a spoon or a spade? Dude, “The System” is a power shovel. You’d be a fool not to use it. I get letters from guys all over the world. One of my loyal students in India, who’s turning into a love doctor himself, called me recently. His buddy was about to commit hari-kari over some babe who dumped him. And my student talked him out of it by using some of the materials from my book. Now I’m not going to tell you that my principles prevent suicide. But in this case it sure helped – and if it could hold someone back from smoking the tailpipe, it could sure as heck help you to be more social!
So what you’re going to do is use shorter sentences, guy, so your tongue doesn’t get tied in a knot. You’re going to find a way to get the woman to carry most of the conversation. You’re also going to go to Toastmasters and talk about “The System.” The first time you get up on the podium you’re going to make 88 mistakes. But the next time up you’re only going to make 87. The third time it will be 86. And so on. Then you’re headed in the right direction.
Regarding the mean-spirited people you run into, why don’t you just walk away from them? Why do you hang around for a beating? But if you have to stay, get the upper hand, turn it to your advantage. Say what my cousin Fast Eddie Love would say to a hot babe who was putting him down: “I love it when you insult me!”
But you don’t have to fight back at all, Roger. Just walk off. Or disarm that Beautiful Woman who mocks you. “Do you think it’s loving and hospitable, to torture me just because I can’t get out three words in a row?” That’s what you say to her. You have to use humor. If other guys cut you down in front of pretty women, just split, simple as that. Change your environment. If it’s too hot in the kitchen, get out.
Why are you so convinced that your pattern of failure will never change? How can you predict the future? See your therapist, Roger. Then we’ll grow you a PERSONALITY. If you do what I tell you, if you’re patient and don’t put yourself down, and you realize that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, the truth will change you.
But if you’re convinced that you’re a lost cause, there’s not much I can do. I may be able to get any guy in the world a date, but I’m not a miracle worker.
Remember, guys: nobody’s perfect.
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