How To Get Into The Best Social Shape Of Your Life
Many people think being social and confident are things that you either have or don’t. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, social confidence is a skill that can developed over time.
You can think of your social abilities like your physical fitness. The more you practice and develop them, the better they get.
Join Dr. Aziz as he describes how “social fitness” is like physical fitness, and discover how to get into amazing social shape!
Click below to hear this episode!
Social Fitness – The Antidote To Shyness And Social Anxiety
Hey, welcome to another episode of Shrink for the Shy guy. I’m Doctor Aziz. And today’s show is great because in this show, we’re going to talk about how to get into shape.
Now before you turn this show off, I’m not talking about physical shape! Although I do think that if that’s an area that you struggle in, if you’re not satisfied with your weight, with your physical ability with your body with your health then that’s going to have an extreme impact on all areas of your life including your social confidence and how you feel about yourself.
I can tell you how many guys will feel uncomfortable or reluctant to put themselves out there to meet women to develop their social network because their fears around their physical appearance and their body. And I know I fail into this camp for many years.
So that’s a whole other issue and one worth talking about in a later episode. But in this episode, I’m not talking about physical fitness, I’m talking about Social Fitness.
So Social fitness is a concept that’s really been pioneered by a psychologist named Lynne Henderson. She is a big force in field of shyness in shyness research. She’s worked with Phils and Bargo from Stanford. On shyness research for decades, she created a place called “The Shyness Clinic” and pulled out to California which is actually what I did some of my training.
So she is an amazing thought leader in this area and she’s really pioneered and put forth this idea of social fitness. And that’s what I want to talk about with you today about.
Because if you can get this idea, if you can see your social ability, your social confidence, your capacity to go meet people, talk to people, feel comfortable with people. As a type of fitness, it changes the whole thing. Because if you can see your capacity to go talk to someone, your ability to feel comfortable in yourself, your social confidence, your social abilities as a form of fitness it changes everything because it takes out of the realm of well you either have it or you don’t, some people are just confident and naturally good at talking to people and I’m not that way so that’s just my lot in life. And puts it in the realm was something that you can develop, something that you can do something about and that’s absolutely the case.
It is not true that some people are just really good at talking to people and that they never had to work at it and it just came to them naturally and it’s a piece of cake and they never feel nervous. And then there’s some people who were just horribly awkward and stuck and doomed and there’s nothing they can do about it. That is a load of BS, belief systems. And they also happen to be bullshit. You can realize that this is very shiftable if you start to see it as a type of fitness.
So let’s look at that metaphor for a minute. And if you think about actual physical fitness, let’s say you wanted to run maybe you wanted to run a marathon. Maybe you wanted to get buff, you want to get swoll, you want to lift some weights, get strong in your body. How would you go about that? Now, you might already be doing that in your life so you might have a good map for that or there might be an area in your life that you’ve neglected and so you don’t have a good map for that. But even if you don’t have a good map for that and you don’t follow through, you probably have general idea about how you would get into shape.
Well, let’s think about that for a minute, how would you get into physical shape if you wanted to. Let’s say you want to start running, let’s say you had a goal to run a marathon, what would you do?
Well, you’d probably have to start by running. Maybe not even that, maybe start by walking no matter what shape you’re in. Maybe you’d say, “You know what, I got to get into a routine of using my body so I’m going to get out there and I’m going to walk a mile around the block”, I mean to start or start wherever you at but you have to somewhere and you have to take action. Don’t you have to make the tangible effort to create the time in your life and then go do something, walk around the block, jog around the track for four laps to get the mile in.
When you keep working on that and eventually, what happens? Let’s say you jog a mile every day for a week, notice that aspect of it, everyday right? So let’s say you’re on training for marathon but you said “you know what, okay, I’m going to jog a mile on Sunday and then in a month, I’m going to jog another mile and then in another month Ill jog another mile”.
How prepared do you think you would be for that marathon, how in shape do you think you’d be? Well not very, right? And but we have to do it consistently so every day, well close to it. And then we’ll say, you did that, let’s say you invested a time and the effort you jogged a mile every day, where would you be after a week? Well, a week or even less you might start to notice that wow, I’m not as tired as I was at the end of this mile maybe I can jog a mile and a half.
And they can throw extra lap in there, maybe I can jog two miles. And so on and so forth and you build it up over time and that’s how people run incredible distances. It also helps to have good strategies, how to run, posture, how to breathe all that stuff and those are the things you can learn as well as a part of fitness. What about weights? Let’s say you want to get strong and tough in your body, you never picked up a weight or haven’t done it in a decade or two, what would you do?
Well, hopefully, you wouldn’t do what a lot of guys do which is you go in there and you grab the big heavy weights ’cause you don’t want to look like a woos, you don’t want to be, throwing around the five pounders, that looks lame. You want to throw around the 30-40-50 pounders, yeah. And then you injure yourself and you don’t come back to the gym for six months, that’s not what you want to do here.
You want to start small and you want to say, okay, what can I do reasonably consistently without blowing my body out and I’m just going to push my edge a little bit. And maybe that’s, maybe you are starting the five pound weights, but who cares ’cause you’re starting. And say you work on that for several days or several weeks and then eventually, what happens? Well, if you’re pushing your edge always, what happens? Is that your capacity expands and grows.
And it’s very easy to see that when it comes to our physical fitness because that process is like a formula, if someone pushes their edge for consistently for long enough that edge will expand out further, their limits will expand and they’ll be able to lift more weight. Now, you can do the ten pounds then you can do the 15 pounds. And you start and take pushups for example, if you don’t want to do weights I’m a huge fan of pushups. So, start out maybe you can do like five. And if you did that consistently, if you said you know what, I want to learn how to do 50 pushups in a row, or be able to do that.
How would you get there?
Well it’s the same process, right? So I don’t need to get redundant here but you get what I’m pointing towards when it comes to physical fitness. So how does that map on to social fitness?
Exactly, identically, it’s a perfect match that’s why Lynn Henderson’s ideas are so brilliant. It’s because when it comes to developing social ability, it’s the exact same way. What if you applied those same principles? So in this case, what is your goal?
What is the goal marathon or the level of weight that you want to lift when it comes to social fitness, what do you want? You have to have a goal in mind. So perhaps you want to be able to start a conversation with a stranger, anywhere, wherever you are, in a restaurant or at a bar or walking down the street or in a store, in a supermarket in the Target wherever you want, let’s say you want to start a conversation with someone. Maybe that’s your goal, maybe you want that someone to be a woman that you’re attracted to, you want to date? Maybe you want to be able to speak up in front of the group of people or if there’s not necessarily a public talk but let’s say there’s just a group of eight, nine people interacting, you can put your voice forward and have it be heard in the meeting or elsewhere.
So you have to find what your goal is. And then maybe for you, that’s like a 50 pound weight, that’s like a marathon. And so getting out there and trying to just run as far as you can in the first day or going in there and grabbing the 250 pound weights and trying to you know, lift it over your shoulders is going to blow you out it’s too much. So it’s as exactly the same when it comes to social fitness, you got to start small. You got to start where is my exact edge? And then what am I going to do daily to work towards that and that is a big piece of this, the daily piece.
And this is the most common pit fall I see in guys that I’m working with or people that reach out to me through the internet who want to know how to get over to this quickly is well, I tried once or twice and it didn’t feel any better so this doesn’t work. And I really want to keep bringing it back to that fitness model ’cause if you think about that, let’s say someone said “I want to run a marathon, I tried jogging twice last week and I don’t think I could do 26 miles”. All this training stuff is a load of BS, it doesn’t work. I mean it’s absurd, right? And if you are able to put in that time and make that commitment, it will work.
So the question is, is what could you do on a daily basis that will start to build that level of social fitness. And we’re going to get more into that in the later part of this episode, we’re even going to help you design a routine or a plan or a map of how you can systematically push your edge and gain courage. Stay tuned, we’ll get to that right after this.
Have you ever gotten fed up, I mean so frustrated with being shy that you just couldn’t take anymore and you said to yourself I have to do something about this and then what happened? Well, if you’re like most of us, it might have worked for a few days or even a few weeks but then you hit a major obstacle, you got rejected or maybe you just got exhausted from pushing yourself so hard. The reality is we are all controlled by our beliefs and patterns. And without changing your patterns and reprogramming your beliefs on a deep level in your body, change is difficult and usually not sustainable.
But if you’re ready to make that shift in your body and in you’re programming every beliefs on a deep level, I strongly suggest checking out Confidence Unleashed. This program systematically guides you through changing those beliefs and activates your body in a way that helps you feel an immediate shift in your confidence. And once you make those changes, nothing can stay in your way for too long. So go to confidenceunleashednow.com to learn more.
Ask The Shrink
Welcome back. As I was putting things together for this episode, I was looking tthrough some emails and I found a question where the answer is exactly what we’re talking about which is social fitness. So let me take a moment to read that question now.
Dear Dr. Aziz, I’ve been reading your stuff online for a while now and it’s really helped me be more confident. But I still don’t know how to talk to women when I see them. I can’t seem to get myself to do it. When I go out, I see beautiful women everywhere but I can’t break through and go talk to them. What would you recommend?
Well, this is a great question because I think I mean who can’t relate to this, right? I know I absolutely spent my life in a place where I saw women everywhere, opportunities everywhere not just for dating but just for my life and It felt like there was this invisible barrier between me and whatever I wanted especially when It came to meeting women it’s like there she is, she’s standing six feet away from me, she’s not doing anything.
I know that in some alternate reality people start conversations in this way and that’s how relationships start and that’s normal and I’ve seen it in movies and I even seen other people do it.
But I don’t know how to do that, I can’t do that? And then you just hit up against that invisible barrier again and again, that’s incredibly frustrating. So I get where you’re at Adam and I think so many guys listening right now can relate to that.
And that’s why the answer to this question is so important. And the answer is not a specific pick up line or thing that you can just say that’s going to work in every situation or the three words you can use in the right order with the right tone and inflection that will avoid rejection and all instances or whatever else you can find on the internet.
The answer is Social fitness and here’s why? Because going over and starting conversation with a woman that you don’t know that’s attractive is difficult, it’s intense, it’s anxiety provoking, it is that way for everyone. Whether or not you think you’re shy or you have social anxiety or any of that, it doesn’t matter even for confident people who are very secure in themselves, that’s very difficult to do.
In fact most people, most guys will avoid that. Even highly successful, they’re successful in their career and relationships and they’re feeling confident of themselves, they still will wait to get hooked up by a friend of a friend or maybe do some online dating which is a little less risky. Going over and starting conversation with that stranger and not knowing if she’s interested in you and not getting any signal first, that is ballsy that is bold and it’s also empowering.
And it opens up your world in a way that you can’t imagine so it’s highly worth developing that goal as you know, as your marathon as it were for social fitness. So it’s absolutely worth it but I first want to normalize that it’s actually really it can be challenging and scary for everyone. And so, it is like running a marathon. If you have to be at a high level of fitness, social fitness to be able to do that.
And so, what Adam is asking of himself is like saying you know, I haven’t really run in a while I haven’t really you know, I kind of have a pretty sedentary lifestyle. And then some friends came to me last weekend and say, “Hey Adam, we’re going to go on a three day mountain trek together, we’re going to hike up and down hills with packs for 12-15 miles a day you know, are you in?”
And he said “I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t in good enough shape I just, I couldn’t do it”. Yes of course, because you haven’t developed that. And so, it’s the exact same thing when it comes to talking to a beautiful woman and just being able to start a conversation off the cuff spontaneously.
Is that if you’re not practicing, if you’re not in social fitness mode, I don’t think you’re going to do it I don’t think it’s a matter of will power or if you’re good enough or if you can just push yourself to do it enough, it just doesn’t work I mean you can’t just push yourself to walk 36 miles with a pack on if you don’t have the physical capacity in your muscles.
So the answer to that question is you have to develop your social fitness. The question is well, what do you do, you know? Well, we’re going to get to that in the next segment. I’m going to talk exactly how to build social fitness. But if you are at an high enough level of social fitness then starting a conversation is just spontaneous ’cause you’ve been doing it all the time.
Imagine if you’ve been talking to people several times during that day, she’s not the first person you’re going to try to talk to. Imagine if on the way to wherever you saw her Adam, you are making eye contact with people you were smiling at people, you are saying hi to strangers you are looking at people in the eye.
And then you come into the restaurant, you’re next to her then something would spontaneously come out of you. If you’re in that level of fitness, and that level of social mode you know, you could–if you’re standing in line at a burrito shop and you know, you’re both waiting for your order.
You could say “what did you order?” Or you can say “Can I ask you a question?” “Yeah” “What’s your favorite thing on the menu?” I mean the stuff is not incredible, it’s not like a devious crafty pick-up lines, these are just authentic national organic ways to break the ice and start a conversation. You know there’s nothing devious here, these are not Shady, NOP pick-up lines that are going to quickly seduce her. These are just natural organic ways to break the ice and start a conversation. And in fact, if you’re interested in learning way more about that specifically, how to start conversations with women I have to suggest, I have a free report you can get online right now by going to 30 days to dating mastery, that’s 30daystodatingmastery.com.
And if you enter your email, I’ll send you a free report, it’s called seven ways to start conversations with women anywhere, anytime and it goes way in depth into just that, that kind of casual way of breaking the ice. And it’s amazing when you develop this ability. ‘Cause then you literally can’t talk to women anywhere and you know, you don’t have to wait six months to get a date, you can actually just go create that in a matter of weeks or even days depending upon your level of social fitness.
I keep harping on the importance of developing social fitness, so let’s get to that. You might be thinking, “Yeah, that sounds great, how do I do it?” You know okay, I can see that, I jog for a mile a day to work on a marathon but what is that exercise, what is the jogging that I would do or as Will Ferrell in anchorman says the so called yogging, what is this yogging that I need to do for social fitness? And the answer to that will be right after this. Stay tuned, don’t go anywhere. We’re going to teach you how to drill for social fitness in just one minute.
How To Increase Your Social Fitness
So the question on your mind might be, how do I start developing my social fitness? Maybe you’re on bored with that, maybe like you know, I am ready. I’m ready to get into regimen and that’s the first I’d say is you have to have a regimen. You have to commit to doing something just like you would physically five out of seven days, every other day at the very least three, four times a week.
If you do it any less than that, I find, it is slower progress. And that’s—that could be the only time you have right now, maybe you have a crazy job or you work from seven am to ten pm, five days a week. And but even then, there’s always opportunities because developing a social fitness doesn’t necessarily take hours a day like It might for running or working out. You can do an exercise in later early five minutes or less and you could do that, four days a week so you got a total investment time of 20 to 30 minutes over an entire week.
And if you can’t find that time in your week then I mean either you have the most insane employer ever, you’re out of control with your own business or you spend hours and hours on the internet in video games and you do that as time you can’t allocate anywhere else. So whatever the case is, you got to find the time you got to make the time you got to be willing and ready to say you know I commit to developing my fitness routine. And if you want to get some accountability, that absolutely helps.
Get a friend, you know a lot of guys that I work with are embarrassed to talk with this about a friend like “Oh God, tell a friend that I am trying to develop my social fitness they will think I’m a freak” but the reality is that every guy can stand to get in better shape, physically and socially, right? So if you want to say “Hey, I want to get more socially fit” first they’re going to say “what?” You know and then introduce them to this, show them this podcast have them listen or just tell them say this social fitness is like “I want to be able to talk to woman anywhere, anytime” “I want to be get in front of group of people to talk, I want to be more bold in my life and the way they do that is to develop my social fitness and I’m going to start doing that, are you in?” ‘Cause if you can get a buddy in this and some accountability and it makes easier more fun then whole process goes a lot more smoothly.
But even if you can’t, the steps are first you got to commit to a regiment, something that you’re going to do regularly. Then next thing is you got to find some basic exercises that match where you’re at. So one of the most basic ones which you might have heard earlier in this podcast is friendly greetings.
Friendly greetings is you go to a busy street area where a lot of people are walking, could be an indoor shopping mall an outdoor street area where there’s a lot of shops a lot of foot traffic and you’re just going to walk down the street and you’re going to make eye contact and say “hi” to at least 15 people.
And it’s not incredibly complex, it’s basically all you do is walk down the street you say hi you have to say somewhat loudly so the person actually gets popped out of their own bubble of their own thoughts or whatever and responds to you. And they don’t have to say “hi” back, they could even ignore you. But the purpose is just to get keep putting yourself out there in that way. And you might find in a good way to measure how intense of a workout this is, is to say well how anxious will that make me.
And that makes you like a seven, eight, nine, ten out of ten on a scale one to ten. That’s not the place to start, that’s like a 40-50, there’s too much weight, right? So you guys start with a five pounder. So find something that’s a little less. If the walking on the street making eye contact is too much, go out and ask three people what time it is. Just walk up to someone in the store, on the streets and say “Can I ask you a question?” “Yes” “What time is it?” And they will answer.
And hopefully, that one is not too low if you need something even lower, send me an email ’cause I have had some guys where. We’ve had to actually go out together do some infield work about the time question because that was so intense for them. And that’s fine if that’s where you’re at, there’s no shame here about using a five pound weight or even a one pound weight because hey, if you start with a one pound weight you can still get to a 50 pound weight you can still be walking up to that group of women and then start a conversation with them even if at first, you were scared ask to someone “what time it is?”.
Well, you can build up from there, right? Really look at what are the things that make me scared, if you want to get a more extensive list actually, if you check at my book, the solutions to social anxiety. There’s a bunch of ideas of things that might make you anxious so the way to determine what you’re regiment should be is to think about what makes me anxious?
And in fact, in a previous episode, I believe it’s the one before, several before we talked about a fear hierarchy. And if you listened to my interview with Robin Zasio, we talked even more about a fear hierarchy, how to develop that. And that’s basically creating your social fitness regiment, you’re a team. You got to commit to doing these things so there’s a lot of a resources in previous episodes of this podcast and my book “The Solution to Social Anxiety”. But the key is to develop the things, think of the things that scare you and then pick the things that are lesser. Don’t take the 50 pound weight than nine to ten things pick the three, four, five, six range. If you’re heart’s pounding and you’re a little nervous but you can do it, it’s uncomfortable but you can, that’s the perfect range.
Though as we reach the end of this episode here, we got to take all the stuff that you’re learning about social fitness and how to develop that ability and your social skills through regular practice and actually put it into action.
Time For Action
It’s time for you to determine your fitness routine. As for you to decide what exactly am I going to do. You don’t have to map out your entire routine although I would suggest generating a few ideas. What you need to do is find out, what am I going to do this week in fact, today. And if you’re listening to this at like midnight, tomorrow but what are you going to do as soon as you can that’s going to be at the bottom of your social fitness hierarchy?
The five pound weight. What did you find out five pound weight and how often are you going to work on this? Can you find the time, can you look at your week and say “okay, I can do this tomorrow morning, I can do this Thursday after work, I can do this on Saturday, I can get a buddy and go hang out on Saturday night and try some of these things”. Just finding, when am I going to schedule this into my life and actually schedule it, put it on your account or put it in your Google calendar or on your paper calendar or your phone or wherever you schedule stuff.
Actually, put it in and commit to doing it just like you would with a real workout, a physical workout. This is the exact same thing, how often are you going to do it? What specifically are you going to do? And then of course, the most important part of this action-step is to then take the action and do it. And if you do, and if you do that consistently, I guarantee you that your level of social fitness social confidence social ability comforting yourself, everything will increase. It’s formulae, it has to and it will. It’s never happened, the only thing that gets in the way is we drop out to early or we say I don’t feel like it, it’s just like physical fitness, right? You wake up in the morning and it’s raining outside and you’re like “Ewe, that’s wet and uncomfortable, I’ll pass”.
But the thing here is find that motivation yourself, find out what it is that you truly want and that could be the goal that excites you or the pain and suffering that awaits you if you don’t take action. And that’s I like to think about that but that sometimes a very powerful way to get you into action as if like “Hey, if I don’t do this if I don’t go out there and make eye contact with people today, I’m never going to find a woman that excites me that I’m choosing I’m always going to take whatever I can get or be single. Maybe I want to have some awesome relationship, maybe I want to have family and I’m not going to create that unless I get into shape”.
Tell yourself that and then take action. And that’s your action set for the week. And one thing is if you want a whole like a fitness plan, social fitness plan mapped out for you, I highly recommend checking out my program 30 days to dating mastery which has daily missions which are basically social fitness action steps that are actually laid out to be progressively more difficult, so it’s like starting with half a pound weight and by the end of the 30 days, you’re you know, throwing around 100 pound weights.
So if you don’t have the time or the know how to put it all together, that’s a great place to get it in all one package and have the accountability of the daily emails and it’s like daily coaching for me. So check that out if you really want that additional help. But it doesn’t matter, you don’t have to do it that way, you can design it yourself. The most important thing is that you take action. Thanks for listening for today and I look forward to hearing from you. Email me with your questions, how it’s going, challenges, success stories, questions everything at all. Address those things in the podcasts I will respond to you, I love to hear how it’s going; you’re not alone as you work on this journey towards greater social call.
Thanks for listening and until we speak again no that you’re awesome.
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