Quick Dating Tips – 5 Things You Can Do to Build Your Confidence With Women

“All you need is confidence.”

We’ve all heard that before, am I right? Thanks for the advice, internet. Real helpful. Just like all that sarcasm you sling around without context!

But seriously – confidence.

Everyone wants it.

Especially this guy.

Why?

Well, if you had confidence, you’d talk to that girl. You’d finally put on that full body whale suit and ask her to space prom. And also defeat the evil Emperor Zab for dominance of the galaxy. Or something.

Confidence is key – but how do we get it?

Luckily, your boy Vichet is on the case.

Here are 5 Things You Can Do to Build Your Confidence With Women!

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Thought of the Day – 10/25/12

I eat when I’m stressed.

That’s a cop out, though. That presumes that my eating is a direct result of things out of my control – the stressors in my life.

So, I’m going to force myself to say that I choose to eat when I feel stressed.

Things to be thankful for: I pretty much got rid of (regular) soda, sugary drinks, and candy from my diet a few years back – I used to drink 2-3 liters of soda per day in college. I developed hepatitis (hepatitis by itself means liver inflammation – in my case, the cause was too much sugar) from it. Now I drink beer/wine/cocktails 3-4 nights a week and my liver’s healthy as hell. That’s how bad the soda problem was. I’m actually HEALTHIER drinking alcohol.

But, I still have shitty eating habits from when I was a kid. When food is in front of me, no matter how much food or how hungry I actually am, I have a drive to eat all of it. To “clean my plate” – this was important when I was growing up, and my parents didn’t have a lot of resources to just throw around.

Now I make good money and go out a lot. It’s really easy for me to just get as many snacks and drinks as I want. If I weren’t dancing 4-5x a week, I’d be way overweight. Thing is, with how much I eat when I’m not on top of it, I still tip in the direction of gaining weight.

After college, I was 190 at 5’11”. I went down to 155 (unhealthily) with crash dieting (the “fuck this extra weight I’m not gonna eat anything” workout plan… I was pissy every day for two months) and lots of running/calisthenics.

Then I got to a healthy 165 by re-balancing my diet. Went back up to 180 after I allowed some drama to reappear in my life and chose to eat shittily as a response. I stayed that way for a year, then got down to 155 after I diffused the drama and made good eating choices. That was when I was happiest. That’s also right before the time I started my blog (you know, Table Theory – you might have seen it around here).

Now I’m back up to 168ish. Not bad, but I don’t want to let what’s been happening for the last few years happen again. I’m in control of my choices every day. And every day I eat because of stress, it’s me selling myself out of my own happiness so that I can have a fucking cheeseburger at 2 in the morning. I can’t live like that. My eating issues are literally the only unhappy thing in my life right now.

This isn’t depression – that was much harder to kick. This is just little choices every day. Soup, or a 12 inch hoagie. Salad, or a plate of wings. Juice, or water. Simple choices. I need to make the right ones.

We can help each other – I try to remind myself that I have the luxury of living in a country where I don’t have to worry where my next meal is coming from, so I have to stop eating like there won’t be food tomorrow. If you’re facing these challenges, send me a message. We can work together.

It takes a lot of work to deconstruct 23 years of habit. I’m going to do it.

Six more weeks to get a six pack.

Off the Cuff #7 – “Vichet! How’d you get so fly?!”

How did you gain so much common sense when it comes to dating? Trial and error?

Mostly, yeah.

I did read a book called “The Dating Dictionary” by Doc Love. I recommend it – it’s a good starting point for opening your eyes to fear-based social conditioning, and how to overcome a lot of it.

Beyond that, I never read “The Game.” I have, however, discussed pick-up, dating, relationships, life, philosophy, and other abstract uselessness with other people, both in person and on the internet, for years.

A lot of what Erik Markovik and Owen Cook have said about pick-up have resonated with me… but more about life than about dating.

I guess that’s because I believe knowledge is knowledge, regardless of how you express it. Richard Feynman made a great distinction between knowing what something is called and knowing what it actually is:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05WS0WN7zMQ%5D

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a thinker, so I suppose that makes sense.

As for practical advice, I mostly just got out there, talked to people, examined myself, went through depression, came out of it with hobbies and life goals, and dated lots of women from lots of different backgrounds and circumstances along the way.

Look, I don’t consider myself a guru. I’m learning, just like everyone else. What I’d say I do have is the balls to put my name on my failures in a place for anyone with internet access to see. But, that’s not a huge difference – it’s not like I have more ability or value or talent than the next guy. I just have the willingness to be accountable to it, and use it in my life.

Here are some bullet points that have helped me in my completely aimless and roundabout (and ongoing) journey.

  • Pay attention to your instincts, but don’t be ruled by them.
  • Opinions are cheap – unless they’re coming from the people who really have your back.
  • On that note, evaluate who really has your back – if it’s no one, consider that you might be an asshole.
  • Always be willing to look at what you did wrong. If you have to, admit it to the people who have your back. Saying it out loud puts your ass on the line, and we’re more effective when there are stakes.
  • Never assume you have a secret exceptional skill that will swoop into your life and save the day when you least expect it. Instead, work on building the skills you know you want to have, so that YOU will swoop in and save the day some day.
  • You can only find happiness in your own drive to live life.
  • Physical activity is a time-tested, great way to learn what it’s like to live in the moment – being in the moment is something you will never understand unless you’ve been there.

Oh, wait, you wanted dating advice?

  • You’re not for everyone.
  • Not everyone’s for you.
  • One girl, regardless of how hot, is just one girl.
  • There is no “the one” – if you were immortal, you’d meet an infinite number of “the one.”
  • Be the expression of your potential, or be on the road to being the expression of your potential.
  • Don’t settle for anyone that takes away happiness from your life. Your happiness is not a negotiation with a third party, it’s a choice to be made by you.
  • Never underestimate the power of chemistry to draw out your stupidity.
  • Love is all you need… as long as you also have food, shelter, and a standard of living that doesn’t have you waking up and crying twice a week.

I have tons of these. They’re disorganized because, like my life, they have come at me randomly and at inopportune moments. Rarely do I ever actually think about them – I just live them. Remember what I said about how a tiger doesn’t have to think about being a tiger? Yeah, well, I’ve internalized a lot of this stuff. So here we have my blog that allows me to externalize them, all for you, for free.

You’re welcome, internet.

Quick Dating Tips – Learn to Dance

Ladies LOVE men who can dance.

Okay, fine. MY kind of lady loves men who can dance.

You know, the beautiful, fun, long-legged dancing types of ladies.

Anyway, have you ever been the guy watching someone bust a move at a club/dance party/warehouse gang fight thinking “holy shit I wish that was me?”

Warehouse gang fights are legit, yo.

Well, my rhythmless brotha, this article is for you.

For 17 years I was that guy that I described, sitting on the sidelines awkwardly hopping around like I was having a seizure (and accidentally making fun of everyone actually having seizures) – too shy to even think of trying to learn anything about dancing. Flailing my arms and doing the Humpty Dance (which, admittedly, I still do, though much more effectively) was good enough for me.

Every time an opportunity to learn came up, I shot myself down.

What if I wasn’t good enough?

What if I’d look MORE idiotic?

What would other guys think of me? Dancing? Preposterous!

Finally, at the advice of my brother, whom I trust with my life, I took a ballroom dance class. Seriously, that’s what it took to convince me, even though I always wanted to learn.

I figure that I get to meet girls, and I get to learn something I’ve always kinda wanted to learn. In that moment, years of self-doubt melted away, and I took the first step. I was 17.

Here I am, mid-20s, almost 10 years into dancing, happier than ever.

And the only regret I have is that I wish I’d started sooner than I did.

See, if you’re like me, you always wished you could dance. So that part’s easy. At least you know what you want.

Even the solution is easy: if you want to learn how to dance, start NOW.

The hard part is getting rid of your ego. Or at least for now, living with it until it goes away on its own.

For me, that required women. I wanted women. So, I had to learn how to dance – not because I wanted to (even though I did) – but because ladies loved that shit!

Isn’t it funny how ass-backwards we work sometimes?

Here’s a short list of how dancing will help you with your dating/social life:

  • You will be the guy who gets the party started (and also crazy/naked/borderline illegal. Don’t ask. It’s a dancer thing.)
  • You will always have dancing as a fun activity to fall back on.
  • People will notice you because you will walk differently – with posture, purpose and confidence that you have down to your bones (because you learned to MOVE). I’m not shitting you on this one.
  • Girls around the dance floor will either a) be intimidated by you or b) want to dance with you. Possibly making a you-sandwich on the dancefloor. Or, if you’re really good, a you-casserole. As for the intimidated girls, all you have to do is say hi, be a nice guy, and they’ll be extra impressed. I dunno, something about being good on the dancefloor can make a lot of girls think you’re a dickhead. Surprise them by not being a dickhead, and you’ve got automatic, easy brownie points.
  • You’ll just be goddamn happy because, shit, you’ve always wanted to dance, and now you think you’re crazy for ever coming up with reasons not to learn.

See those? They’re selling points. I’m trying to sell you on this thing you already want to do, because the biggest barrier I’ve ever seen to anyone wanting to learn how to dance is that no one wants to look foolish/new at something.

I wrote an article about how you can get over that.

So, be honest with yourself. If you wished you could dance, and you have no crazy disability keeping you from doing so, the only barrier to learning is you.

Learn to dance. It’s that simple. Here’s how:

  1. Take class. Don’t listen to what anyone says about just “feeling the music and figuring it out.” Don’t listen to what anyone says about having to have a “sense of rhythm.” You learn that shit in class. Out of thousands of dancers world-wide, only maybe a handful have been completely self-taught – and I guarantee you that they are exceptions. YOU are not. You are average Joe, because if you were born with the talent and hunger to be an exceptional self-taught dancer, you’d already be one.
  2. The class can be anything you want, but there are certain things that go well together. For instance, modern and ballet go together. Or hip-hop and jazz. Or, in my case, competitive Latin dance and ballet.  If you wanna learn bboying (“break dancing”), it’ll help to take hip hop (yes, there’s a difference) and some acrobatic or gymnastics classes.
  3. For the first few months – that’s right, MONTHS – stick with it on a regular schedule – one to two classes per week. You’re new at this, and like anything else in life, nothing will come of it unless you take those classes every week for a while. Bonus: most classes are cheap if you buy them in bulk. Use Yelp to look for a good studio in your area. A good price range is $10 – $15 per 1.5 hour class in bulk, $15 – $20 individually – assuming, of course, the instruction is any good. Do your research!
  4. See a good dancer somewhere? Ask them how they got started and where a good place to take class would be. A lot of times, hearing it from dancers is best.
  5. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t improve much in 6 months, or even a year – as long as you’re improving. Learning to dance is literally like learning how to walk – only now you’re old enough to understand how excruciatingly gradual that process can be. Keep at it!
  6. Dance is great exercise, but it’s not the only exercise you’ll need to stay healthy. Your overall level of fitness will help with your dancing (to a point – if you’re a superthick body builder, some of those muscles will get in the way). Fitness will add back into your dancing, I promise you!

“But Vichet!” you say. “How is ballet or ballroom or modern dance going to help me on the club floor? You can’t do ballet there!”

No, you can’t. If you’re already a dancer, and you’re the kinda guy who does your type of dance everywhere you go, well… don’t. Pay attention to context (music, mood, people around you) – otherwise you’re not really dancing.

That said, I will tell you the great truth of dance: all movement is the same.

It’s all the same.

It’s taking your body and doing something with it that involves movement.

Some types of movement are called “ballet.” Others are called “modern.” Or the “dougie” (god damnit…).

But ultimately, your training in any one style will help you access others, as long as you realize that coordination is coordination. The better you get at moving in a certain way, the more prepared you will be to learn how to move in other ways, even if learning new ways of moving requires breaking down some of the habits you build up over, say, 9 years of Latin dance training.

So when you get to the club with your 2 years of ballet, guess what? Here’s what you bring to the table without even a single hip-hop class:

  1. Poise and posture – you will look confident down to your bones, because you’re used to moving, period.
  2. A sense of rhythm – makes dancing to those club anthems REALLY easy.
  3. A sense of other people’s movement – after you learn how to dance, you can better read how other people move, and better yet, adapt to them. This makes dancing with you FUN. Most common compliment I get when dancing with girls is that I let them dance how they want to, and I complete the picture. You can’t do that if you spend all your concentration on not falling over.
  4. A sense of space – you will not be the dickhead swinging your elbows around ruining everyone’s time.
  5. Badass je ne sais quoi – this is the X factor. Through your dance training, you will learn how to better express yourself. You will shine through – but better, and more gracefully.

So again, this article is for all the guys out there who want to learn how to dance.

Like me, you might start learning because you want to do it for the ladies. But, if somewhere deep down, you have even a remote desire to learn, you will be giving yourself one of the greatest gifts of your entire life by learning how to dance.

Just ask any dancer.

It’s not about the ladies – it’s about YOU.

Although, like I said. MY kind of lady LOVES a guy who can dance.

See you in class!

Dating Doctrine – Step 4 – Give Up on Perfection and Embrace Failure

I teach competitive Latin dance – you know, that stuff you see on Dancing with the Stars.

Pics or it didn’t happen.

I specialize in teaching people who have never danced a day in their lives.

You know what the first thing they say to me is, even before we begin?

Can you guess?

Well, here’s a selection of things that people tell me (and themselves) even as they’re walking into my class:

“I can’t dance.”

“I’m not coordinated.”

“There’s no way I can learn this.”

“I’m not talented in that way.”

Basically, the same damn thing I told myself the first two years I started doing Latin, 8 years ago.

So, I know where they’re coming from.

Usually, what they’re thinking when they say “I can’t do that,” is that they’re imagining the end goal. So they see something like this…

… and they think “I’ll never get there.”

They see a dance like that video up there, and to them it’s perfect and unattainable. It’s not even worth it to try.

Of course that happens. They’re beginners. They’ve never danced before. And usually, because I teach at a top tier University, they’re also really damn smart. So, it really frustrates them when I explain something with words, and they understand it, but they still can’t do it.

So, here’s where a lot of different neuroses, habits, and hidden downsides of “self-perceived aptitude” all come together in a perfect storm of getting nothing done: the illusion of perfection makes it impossible for you to improve as a person in any endeavor.

You tell yourself “Well, if I was good at it, I’d already be good at it.”

And then you don’t try. Because people who are good at things don’t lose.

As if no one has ever lost at tennis, basketball, or jello wrestling, right?

See, there’s something about our culture that reviles failure. As in, you fail at something – even something small, like a spelling test in first grade – and that’s it for you. You carry that shit around like luggage.

In modern civilization, you are not allowed to fail.

Let that marinate for a bit. Really let that sink in.

“But Vichet,” you say. “We’ve all failed in some way or another!”

Yeah, I know we have. I’m the one writing this, remember?

But really think about it. How openly do we allow ourselves to talk about our failures? How strong is that reaction in the pit of your stomach that makes you think “oh no, I better not mention that time I _______.”

What’s going on there?

Shame? Regret? Anger? Despair?

Sheesh. Where did that come from, right?

All of this, because for some reason, we all feel the need to be “perfect.” Whatever that means.

Got it?

Now, think of someone who is the paragon of their field.

Richard Feynman. Michael Jordan. James Brown. Anyone. Think of people who are world champions, renowned artists, leaders.

Now, think about the fact that when they were young, they were pretty much just like every other kid around them, and very likely, they were getting their asses handed to them at whatever it was they became known for.

You think Michael Jordan won every basketball game in his life, ever? Even when he was 6?

You think he was born knowing how to play?

It’s more likely he started playing when he was young, sucked at it for a while. Someone was dunking on him. Someone was breaking his ankles with a sick crossover. Someone was making him walk home and think “maybe I should get into something else.” Someone made him feel the way anyone who ever started fresh at something has felt, ever.

Right. Now why do you expect that your life would turn out any different?

I’ll tell you why.

You expect yourself to be perfect.

You think you’re a Betty Crocker Instant Expert kinda person. You think there’s some skill out there that you haven’t discovered yet, and that skill is your calling, and you’ll be better at it than anyone else in the world, instantly, because – well, because you think perfection is what you deserve.

Sounds really weird when you voice that opinion out loud, don’t it?

Well, you’re not. No one is instantly good at something. Well, Mozart, maybe. But, really, are you saying you think you’re f*cking Mozart? Ego much?

What this really comes down to is how often we let our pride make decisions in our lives for us.

Your pride is what tells you that you have to be perfect at this or that, and if you’re not, well, get out of there because you can’t let people see your “weakness” or “failures.”

Let me tell you this. I started ballet and modern dance less than 2 years ago. I’m in classes with people who are both very talented, and have been doing it for longer.

Twice to three times a week, I step into a place where I am measurably one of the worst people in the room.

But I don’t let that matter.

Because if you want to be good at everything, you have to embrace the fact that you will suck at it for a long time.

Those were just two examples of things I’ve been new at. After I got over my pride, I discovered I could be new at ANYTHING and just do it without being embarrassed. I got in control of my life instead of my life controlling me.

So really think about it. Where are those moments that you allow fear of failure to make decisions for you?

Yeah. Get rid of those. The only way you’ll get better at anything is to commit to failing for a while. If you’re starting at a 1 out of 10, you’ve gotta go through 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 – all failing grades – before you get to 7.

So, live it. Become it. Be it.

Jake the Dog agrees.