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Hey, everybody, welcome to today’s episode of the show. Today, we’re going to be talking about social freedom, something that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s something that I actually … when I first created the work that I’m doing in the world through the Center for Social Confidence. I had some tagline for the business that was like social freedom or something. And then a bunch of people are like, “What does that even mean? I don’t even know what that means like you should change and make it better.” So I think I stopped using that word a lot and stopped saying that a lot because I don’t know if people … maybe you’re not even walking around thinking, I need more social freedom, right. But I think when I share with you what social freedom is and what it means to me, you’re going to love it. And I think you do want more of it. You probably are already creating more of it in your life. And I’m so excited to share with you how to just blow the lid off of this and develop more of that social freedom. So I’m going to share what that is and how to have more of it and the secret to really growing and building that for now and for your entire life. So, I’m excited to share all this with you today.
If you like to go deeper into the show, go to shrinkfortheshyguy.com. That’s shrinkfortheshyguy.com, you can also get a copy of my eBook there, 5 Steps to Unleash Your Inner confidence. That is my gift to you for free. And someone … a friend of mine, a colleague was just a … he’d never … he’s known about the work that I do and how I help people but he’s never actually gone to my site and got my eBook and stuff but he did. And we had lunch the other day and he said, “Dude, that’s like a real book you’re giving out.” I’m like, “yes.” And he’s like, “Oh, I thought it was like a three-page handout or something, a checklist.” And I was like, “No, it’s like the 5 steps to unleash your inner confidence, it’s legit if you do those five steps.” So anyway, you can get that whole eBook and I also follow it up with video trainings on each step. It’s extremely powerful and it’s all free and it’s designed to help you radically boost your confidence. So, go to the shrinkfortheshyguy.com to check out that and more. You can also ask me questions there as well. And I do the bonus episodes of ask the shrink or I’ll respond to those questions if they’re good and fit for the show.
So, let’s talk about you and social freedom. What is social freedom? When I say that phrase, social freedom, what do you think of, what do you imagine? Now, if you’re thinking of society and larger freedom. It’s freedom of speech, et cetera. Bring it down. Bring it down to the individual level. Bring it down to you, your level of social freedom because the reality is many people, many of you listening to this live in cultures that are relatively free in the sense that you can wear what you want. You can go places that you want. I mean there’s limits and depending on what country you’re in, there’s more or greater or fewer limits but still, we live in an era in the world where there’s a lot more basic choice and freedom than in different eras in time. And I know that’s not true for all places right now. But that’s like what’s sanctioned to you or given to you by society, but then there’s another kind of freedom, the amount of freedom that you take, social freedom. How free are you around others, around other people? Do you feel limited? Do you feel stuck? Do you feel afraid? Do you feel confined? Are there things that you want to do but can’t? Those are signs of a lack of social freedom because to me, here’s what social freedom is, social freedom is exactly what … so freedom is the ability to do more of what you want, choice, opportunity, it’s the same thing, social freedom.
To me, that’s being completely free and feeling completely free around other people, to say what I want, do what I want and be however I want and that could be around anyone. That’s my goal, social freedom around anyone and everyone. So, some people have some freedom around say, your family. You feel a lot of social freedom like you can wear what you want, do what you want, say what you want. Some people have the opposite, have no social freedom around their family and it’s very confined and they feel judged but … or maybe for you, it’s around a good friend, you feel … where do you already feel a lot of social freedom? May be there are certain situations, maybe you don’t feel in a lot of places but then you get on the basketball court and you’re playing a game of pick up or something and boom, you’re free, you’re laughing, you can say what you want. You talk some trash. You’re more free to be you. Or maybe it’s when you’re gaming, you got the headset on. You’re like, “Yes, I’m a badass, I’ll say what I want,” right? And it’s not just about saying what you want, that’s part of it but it’s also about dressing how you want, communicating in other ways that you want, laughing as loud as you want, asking the questions that you want, moving in the way that you want, standing in the way that you want and going over and talking to people that you want. That’s all. Just imagine total freedom. I can do whatever I want. That’s social freedom.
Now, a lot of people experience that and you might experience that in some areas but not others. Or maybe if you’re really stuck, you don’t experience it all. There’s no place where you feel totally free but usually there’s some place. Maybe just at home alone with your cat. So, how do we or where are the edges actually in the question I have for you? Where are the places? And the most common are … well, you might not feel totally free around people that you’re attracted to. If you are a man, maybe around women that you find beautiful or compelling in some way or if you’re a woman listening around men that you find handsome or charming. Maybe you feel like, “I’m a little confined. I’m not myself.” I’m not freely myself.” Or maybe it’s a situation at work especially if you’re dealing with people that you feel like … well, it could be around anyone but it could be around people you think are more powerful. This can come up at all situations.
I was talking to talking to one of the guys in our Mastermind the other day and he runs his own business. He’s got maybe … I don’t know maybe eight or nine people in his company. And it’s funny because he can feel very free in some situations but around certain employees or if he’s going to need to say, “No, you can’t take that time off,” or basically hold some standard or limit. No, very little social freedom. It’s very hard for him to say and do what he wants there. So, it can come up at all different areas. And honestly, I think social freedom is a goal or a practice. I don’t know. Maybe some of that … geez, total or hundred percent social freedom around everyone all the time forever. I haven’t gotten there. There are places where I feel constricted. I know for me, as I reach out to people that are more and more influential and have bigger lists of followers and I want to engage with them, interview them, see if they want to promote me in some way or collaborate with me, I find that if they’re very … if I perceive them as very powerful or influential or like they don’t have much time, then I notice that some of my social freedom level goes down. It’s a little harder for me to say what I want, do what I want, be how I want. That’s my edge right now. And there’s others too but it’s just an example. So, this is a lifelong practice but this episode, hopefully right now, your brain is popping with like, “Whoa, where am I? Now, where am I already socially free? Where am I not socially free? And how do I get more of that? Because if you’re like me, you want more of it because it feels good, doesn’t it? So let’s dive in to how you can get more of it. We’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, I have a list of things I’m excited to share with you. They’re almost like permission statements. They’re me giving you and hopefully you giving yourself permission to be how you want to be, to be free. So, you’ll definitely want to listen that.
So, let’s get into the secret to social freedom. I’m going to read a number of things here so there’s a lot of little tips and techniques but the overarching secret is you don’t have to. You don’t have to. You have choice. I mean that’s a secret to all freedom, really, because we think freedom is unfettered access and unlimited whatever I want. Not really, freedom is actually just to realize you have a choice in every situation. And the opposite of that, I have to do this, that’s not freedom, right? That’s like you’re trapped, you’re confined, you’re caged, I must, I have to. And it’s easy to fall into a victim of circumstance mindset, not just socially but in life. I have to do that. She made me do this. They are forcing me to do that. I don’t want to but I have to. And anytime we’re falling into that, we’re going to feel discouraged, anxious, resentful, disempowered so we always want to remind ourselves. And I talk about this a lot in my book, The Art of Extraordinary Confidence which has a whole … there’s a whole section in there about becoming the owner in your life instead of being the victim of circumstance. And there’s also a whole chapter on power which if you’re liking this stuff, I think you’ll love the stuff in there about social power and just really calling out this power in you to be who you want and say what you want.
Anyway, so part of social freedom is you don’t have to. And you can choose any … there’s so many things socially that we think we have to do and they’re conditioned in, we sort of were trained to do them. But the more you question those rules that you have in your head, the more you give yourself more and more permission to just do more of what you want, the more free you become and the better you feel. So here are some of these things right now.
This is a first one. You don’t have to answer all questions asked of you. You don’t have to answer all the questions asked of you. So if someone asks you a question, you can “not respond to it, you can respond to part of it, you can gloss over it and answer something else or you can change the subject entirely.” Isn’t that … it’s weird. This one took me a long time to learn so I was like, “Wait a minute, okay.” Someone says … so here’s a basic example. Someone says, “So, how was your weekend?” right, common question on a Monday. How was your weekend? Now, you might think you need to tell them how your weekend was, right? That’s what you do, but you don’t have to. You can just say whatever you want. You can say anything you want. How was your weekend? I saw an awesome movie two weeks ago. I want to tell you about it. You might want to throw in one word like, “Oh, it was great.” Hey, I saw this movie two weeks ago or hey, I’m doing this thing next week, I want to ask you about it, right? Like boom, just right over that question, because maybe you don’t want to talk about your weekend, maybe you weren’t that interested in what you did, right? But so instead of saying, “Well, they’re going to determine what I talk about because they asked me so now I have to talk about it,” right? This was interesting for me because I remember I had a lot of challenges in dating. Even once I overcame my fear to talk with women, I would talk with them but then have kind of boring conversations, conversations where they didn’t seem that engaged. I honestly didn’t feel that engaged but I was like, “Well, at least she’s talking to me,” right? But in there, and she asked me … every question she’d ask, I felt like I had to answer and just like stay right on the course. And what you’re doing there is you’re letting the other person determine what you talk about and where the conversation goes, which is okay if you’re enjoying it and it’s what you want to do but you don’t have to. It’s where social freedom comes in.
So, I learned that if someone … a woman would say, “So, what do you do for work,” especially if it was really early on like the first conversation, I realized I don’t have to answer that because then, we get into the scene of, “Oh, I worked down the street in the building over there on the 4th floor and I sell insurance and it’s … yes, type in the reports every morning,” and then she’s, “Oh, neat.” right? And then you’re aaahh … you’re just down to those boring conversation in the world even if your job is interesting to you. That’s okay but you don’t have to go there if you don’t want to. In fact in a lot of ways especially early conversations to keep things more interesting, you don’t have to do. You say something totally different. “So, where do you work?” “Oh, the where-do-I-work question. I will tell you but not right now because I have a more interesting question to ask you,” right? So, there’s a lot happening there but it’s different. You’re not answering. I’m also being playful and I’m a little bit teasing her by saying, “You’re asking me a boring question,” right? So, that’s just one example. There’s tons there but remember, you don’t have to answer all questions asked of you. This is super liberating to realize.
Here’s another big one for social freedom. You can say no. You can say no. You can say no to anything for any reason. What? No, that makes you a bad person, doesn’t it? Makes you a selfish, awful bad human, no, no, you can say no to anything. You don’t have to have a million reasons. In fact, you don’t have to give 5,000 reasons when you say no in excuses and explanations. You can just say, “No, it’s not going to work for me,” or “No, I’m sorry I’m not available then.” Boom, next question, right? So, you don’t have to go on and on. That comes from our own insecurity and anxiety about saying no. They’re not going to like me. They’re going to resent me. They’re going to hold it against me. I’m a bad person. But instead, you can just say, no. You have that right. That’s how you build your social freedom just by saying no. I had an unpleasant exchange recently where there was … someone that I know through … this is from a number of years ago, we did some personal growth work together. And we were never really close friends but we got kind of close for a little while as we’re doing that work together, and then we haven’t talked. Maybe we talked maybe once a year. I go out to lunch with him. And just a little while back, he invited me like “Hey, let’s get some lunch. I have some stuff I want to ask you.” And I got … we got a toddler and a baby and business and a lot of stuff happening over the summer. And I was like, “Dude, let’s look at our calendars in a couple of months like I’m … maybe three months? Two, three months, I’m pretty full right now.” And he got upset, he’s like, “Well two, three months, come on. What’s up with that? You’re pushing me away.” And I’m just like, “I’m sorry, that’s my availability right now.” So I just got to say … I get to do a double no there but you can say no. And then of course, some feelings came up like, “Oh man, maybe I should.” But I was like, “No, wait a minute. I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do. I’m sorry.” I mean life … there’s things already in your work, in your family that … they’re all by choice, that’s right but if you want to be a good dad for me or if you want to be … you want to keep your job, there’s things that you might kind of get yourself to do that you don’t immediately want to do, right? You’re already doing that a lot in your life so why would you want to add that into your social life?
For your social life, you want to do whatever you want to do, man. If you want to hang out with someone that you like, hang out with them. If you’re not having that good of a time, say no. Just because you were friends in high school doesn’t mean you have to fucking hang out with them now, 18 years later. Sorry, no, I’m busy. No, I’m not available. And then don’t even offer another time to reschedule if you don’t want to, does that make you a terrible person though. I’m sorry, terrible human. Maybe being socially free and feeling good and feeling powerful is more important than pleasing other people and avoiding anyone’s hurt or upset feelings, maybe, maybe.
Here’s another one. You can talk about what you want. You can talk about what you want. Bring that into the … and whenever you go to a conversation, remember that. Talk about what’s interesting to you so, back to that. So, how was your weekend example. You don’t have to give them a rundown of the whole weekend. Well, Saturday morning, we got up and about 9 a.m. and had waffles. And then we went to Target in the park and then went for [makes sound]. And does that seem engaging to you? Probably not, you’re just giving him a rundown. Talk about what you are most interested in. Was there one moment of the weekend that fascinated you? That was interesting to you, that engaged you. Well, talk about just that or in a conversation. I talk about this a lot in The Confidence Code about following the fascination, is you want to ask the questions that you’re actually interested in because if you just let them steer the conversation, you could be a nice person all day long and maybe listen for five hours and they think you’re real nice but you’re not having fun. You don’t want to do it again. You got to talk about what you want to talk about. You can change the subject whenever you want. Whenever you want, you can change the subject. You can interrupt. I mean there’s so much more. Let’s take a quick break and we’re going to keep going with this list, of all the freedoms you have, all the choices you can make and all of your interactions to radically increase your sense of social freedom.
Last one I said is you can change the subject whenever you want, you can interrupt whenever you want, I got a great practice doing that. We had some contractor helping us with some work on our house and he liked to spin yarns, tell long, drawn-out, boring, tangential, Grandpa Simpson style stories. During a meeting, we were trying to like, “Dude, I got 30 minutes away from work, let’s figure out what we’re doing with the wall here.” And he’s like, “Well, let me tell you about my daughter’s husband’s mother’s brother’s son. Back in 1984, he had a motorcycle.” And I’m like, “Oh my God, dude,” right? And the first few times, I would just be like playing, “Oh, okay, interesting, yes.” And maybe engage with him. And eventually I realized like, “Dude, we’re not going to get anything done here.” So, I started doing this. He’d tell me, “My brother’s husband’s sister owned a motorcycle.” And I say, “Wow, that sounds pretty cool. Hey, let me ask you this question. I was wondering about the wall here.” Like boom, I would just start doing it like … I thought wow, that’s pretty harsh or short but you know what, I just had to do it because otherwise, we would never get anything done and he talked to me for two hours and I don’t want that.
So it’s okay to interrupt. You got to interrupt. You got to start taking care of yourself. Notice that all this stuff for social freedom is about taking care of yourself. And not … you might think that’s being selfish or bad but actually, you trying to be totally selfless and just do what everyone else wants and okay, he wants to talk to me for two hours about this. I’ll do it. Okay, they want to talk to me about the weekend. I’ll just listen to whatever they want to talk about. I won’t change a subject because I’m not sure if they’ll like it. All of that, you might tell yourself it’s making you a good person but actually, it’s you being scared. It’s you pleasing other people. It’s you try not to ruffle any feathers and trying to get everyone to like you and that is the opposite of social freedom. You’re perpetually under threat. You’re perpetually in a cage, so let’s break through. What else can you do? What are your other choices? What are your other options? In any situation, you can leave. You can get up and leave. In a conversation you could say, “Hey, it’s been great talking to you. I got to go.” You’re having a fight with your husband or wife, boyfriend or partner and you say, “Listen, let’s just take a few minutes. I’ve got to get some fresh air. Let’s come back to this in just a minute.” You can leave.
In a relationship that’s not going well for you, you can leave. In a job where your boss is criticizing or ridiculing you in front of everyone, you can leave. And it’s been really fascinating to watch people like in my one-on-one coaching or group programs, who have left jobs while they’ve been in the program. And before they wouldn’t because they didn’t have the confidence but they got … as their confidence built, they’re like, “What the F … this person is talking to me like this all the time? Unacceptable.” So you can do that, you can leave. You can approach whoever you want for whatever reason you want and ask them anything you want or say anything you want. That’s a big one. You can approach whoever you want for whatever reason you want and ask them whatever you want or say whatever you want. Let’s just let that one sink in, imagine that. You can approach whoever you want. Who would you approach? Maybe it’s someone you find attractive, maybe it’s for dating, maybe it’s a networking event, I worked sometimes with people about creating their social life, their friend network. And there’s a sense of, “Well, people already have their friends full and people,” it’s same thing in dating. People stay in their comfort zone and try to find someone to date or someone to be their friend.
So they stay, they look around them at work all right? Who are my potential friends here? But when you give yourself total social freedom, you could be hanging out at a park and you’re just like … I don’t know, sitting there on a blanket, reading a book perhaps The Art of Extraordinary Confidence which I hear is a fantastic book. So, you’re reading that and then you look up and there’s a couple of guys … I don’t know, throwing a football around. And let’s say, you are like, “Oh man, I like to throw off a ball around.” Maybe you hear them laughing or something and you’re like, “Oh, I would love to like hang out. Maybe they’re fun people to hang out with. Maybe I’d be friends with them.” The freedom to approach whoever you want for whatever reason you want. “Hey, what’s up, guys?” “Hey” “Hey, can I join in? Boom, now you’re throwing the football around with them and then after you start chatting with them and you can say whatever you want. You can ask whatever you want. Like this is … you can open up your entire world by giving yourself these permissions. Here’s the core of it. You can be more of you. You can be more of you. In fact, the more you do, the better you feel and the more others are drawn to you. We have it all backwards. We think, if I do these things and say what I want and ask what I want, approach who I want and all that stuff, it’s going to be bad times. It’s going to be just a never-ending string of horrendous rejections, but it’s the exact opposite. The more you give yourself that permission, the more you show up powerfully and just do it, the more people are drawn to you and the better you feel, and it’s a win-win. So let’s talk about how you can apply all the stuff in your life right now with your action step.
Your action step for today is to come up with the top permissions, maybe the top three that you would really want to have for yourself, the top three. Now, I listed a bunch here or maybe there’s even something I didn’t list but maybe here I said, you can interrupt or you can say no or you can approach whoever you want or you can ask someone for something. So, pick the three that sound most appealing to you that you get a resonance with like, “Oh, I want more of that.” And change it from you to I. I can say no. I can change the subject whenever I want. I can interrupt. I can leave. I can approach anyone for any reason. Now come up with the three that are most appealing to you and write them down somewhere, repeat them in your mind. Think about them. Hold them in your awareness and then live like live them out, do them. So if you’re in a situation you’re like, I can change the subject. Then in that moment, practice changing the subject. Practice proving to yourself that you do have those abilities, that you do have that choice even if you’re a little nervous. In fact, that’s the only way you’re going to transform this and build that social freedom, is by doing it even though you are nervous. You can’t just say this to yourself and then never do it and hope that everything changes. You have to say it to yourself. I can say no and then practice saying no. And if three is too many for you … if you like, “Whoa, that’s a lot,” just pick one. Just pick one of these permissions and build on it from there. And as you do that, as you stack more and more and more of these, your level of social freedom will just start to skyrocket more and more and expand and then your life gets better and better and better.
So thanks so much for being with me today. I really appreciate your willingness to show up, to learn and focus on this stuff and to create a life of more confidence and an extraordinary life and you’re awesome. So until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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