Sunday Self-Scaler 17
What I've been up to, 4 uncommon lessons in charm, and an excellent YouTuber worth following
Hey, bud! I thought it would be a great idea to give you a sneak peek into what I’ve been up to lately.
The past few weeks haven’t been very eventful, but they’ve sure been super-insightful - I deleted my Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat accounts. And let me tell you - I’ve never enjoyed more mental serenity and peace.
I urge you to do the same - with social media being a FOMO hellhole of everyone portraying their best lives and selves, I believe even you are better off without it. Only let the ones you need stay (I let Linkedin and Twitter stay for my writing’s sake)
Also, in case you don’t know already, I’m a NoFap believer and I recently relapsed on a long streak (29 days). A few terrible splurges followed it but I’m thankfully back on another streak now.
There’s quite a bit more and many of these changes were inspired by my unofficial mentor, a YouTuber I recently stumbled across. You will find more about this in one of the upcoming sections.
4 Uncommon Lessons in Charm from The Most Likable Person I Know
“Bro, how long? I'm famished and done waiting”, Arydok says before walking away. Slamming shut my laptop, I jog up to join him. As we are scurrying down the staircase, I spot a friend and exclaim, “Buddy, where have you been. Haven’t seen you around lately.”
After conversing for a while, we bid him goodbye and run to the mess. As we grab our plates, “I didn’t know you knew him.”, I say. “I don’t”, he replies.
Baffled, I say, “Wait, what? You were conversing as you knew him for years.”. Nonchalantly, he replies, “So what? Meeting someone for the first time isn’t a reason to act cold or aloof.”
The Way to Treat Every Person
I soon unwittingly found myself observing how Arydok treated people and I noticed that irrespective of how long or how well he knew someone, he would speak with the same warmth and sense of familiarity.
No, by familiarity I don’t mean asking intrusive questions or creepily breaching their personal space. I mean a friendly warmth and playful politeness.
“Meeting someone for the first time isn’t a reason to act cold or aloof.”
He could be speaking to a stranger or to an onlooker, and it would seem like he was speaking to someone he had known for years.
This habit of his brushed off on me to some extent and I found myself warming up to people with ease. The best thing was the reciprocity — people warmed up to me easily as well!
It’s simple. By assuming familiarity and acting warmly, you put the other person at ease, make them lower their guard, and treat you with warmth as well.
Treat every person like you’ve known them for years and they’ll want to know you for years.
Don’t Just Put Yourself in Other’s Shoes
He was nodding silently as I gesticulated wildly and spoke with emotion about my past, my mistakes, how the regret ate away at my innards for years, and my first epiphany.
Most would mask condescension and mockery with a look of sympathy but his look of genuine understanding prodded me on and I told him things that I hadn’t dared tell anyone else before.
I expected disgust, horror, or anything of the sort but I received a matter of factly, “Don’t worry bro. It’s your past and it has nothing to do with your present. What matters is that you’ve changed.”
He taught me a powerful lesson in empathy that day — don’t just put yourself in other’s shoes, but also lace them tight and walk around. To quote Henri Nouwen,
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
Deep down, we humans just want to be understood and this is exactly what makes empathy a superpower.
“Don’t just put yourself in other’s shoes, but also lace them tight and walk around.”
Be Genuinely Genuine
I consider myself a genuine person but Arydok really takes the cake. He’s genuinely genuine. While I find myself sometimes hesitating to say a no, he’s quick to slap one.
In fact, he’s more likely to praise you behind your back.
While I find myself speaking in an affected manner sometimes, his manner of speaking seldom varies. While I would pull my gut in and subtly flex my arms if an attractive girl passed by, he would continue with his slouch and protracted gut.
And no talking sh*t behind people’s backs. In fact, he’s more likely to praise you behind your back. He’s the embodiment of “Be Yourself” and people love him for that.
“People are more likely to love the imperfect real version of you rather than a perfect fake one.”
It’s funny how one of the best ways to be likable is not by changing yourself in any way but simply by being yourself.
We tend to love genuine people as we can trust them and also since they have a quality that we all secretly desire to possess but often lack the courage to.
People are more likely to love the imperfect real version of you rather than a perfect fake one. So, rip off your mask and bare your true self.
Be a Beacon of Positivity
Arydok has one of the best senses of humor I have ever seen. I remember times when I laughed so hard that my stomach cramped and I had tears streaming down my face.
Despite his jokes having quite the burn, none of them have even a trace of toxicity. This was a far cry from the idea of humor that most of my old “friends” held — cracking crass poisonous jokes, laughing weakly, and making each other miserable.
Not only his jokes, but everything about him screamed positivity. You could be feeling like sh*t and he would leave you feeling much better.
You could share your happiness with him and he would genuinely light up, not utter a half-hearted, “That’s great! I am happy for you.” while masking envy as most do.
“The world is just a great mirror that reflects your internal state.”
It’s hard for negativity to persist around someone that positive and it’s hard to not love someone that always makes you feel better.
Emotions are contagious and your “Affective Presence” determines how you make others feel. So when you embrace positivity, you positively affect the people around you and your world.
The world is just a great mirror that reflects your internal state. Become a beacon of positivity and the world will amplify and reflect back the light at you.
I’ve realized that likability at its core is something very simple — being a positive and genuine human being capable of understanding others. In other words, being a good human being.
Also, likability isn’t everything. You cannot please everyone nor should you try. As Jessica Valenti says,
“The truth is that we don’t need everyone to like us; we need a few people to love us. Because what’s better than being roundly liked is being fully known — an impossibility both professionally and personally if you’re so busy being likable that you forget to be yourself.”
The YouTuber I Was Talking About
Well, I won’t keep you in the dark anymore - his name is Hamza Ahmed, a 20. something who’s drastically improved himself and is inspiring other men to do the same.
If you are anywhere between 16-25 years old and a male, you NEED to watch him. Here’s one of his best videos:
Despite being on the self-improvement part for quite some time myself, this dude helped me improve two of the most fundamental areas of life - dating, and family.
His videos paired with my own mulling helped me break the link I had formed between my dating status and self-esteem. Developing the mindset of truly not “chasing” girls has been super-helpful.
Another thing is family, this video of his felt like an epiphany. Philosophies like Existentialism and Objectivism had made me an “independent” person. And I had consequently come to view family limitations as “burdens”
But Hamza completely changed my perspective. As he crudely put it, the ONLY reason most men want to stay alone is - “To get over and f*ck drunk b*tches.”
Yes, harsh but mostly true. But when he described his own experience of living outside and how he stays at home now made me think.
In college, I never slept on time, gamed all day, ate whatever I wanted, and was overall a degenerate. But at home? I enjoy my mom’s cooking, am super productive, have loved ones to talk to, and it’s overall, actually better.
Focused on the negative (the lack of freedom), I had overlooked the sheer number of positives. And Hamza made me realize this.
Absolutely loved it, bro! Great piece.