Social Skills Every Guy Should Know

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Everyone needs to master the appropriate social skills to survive in work, school, and life. The way you act in certain situations can change, and you have to adapt to the setting. I’m sure you know some people out there that could use a bit of help with their social manners. But maybe you’re thinking, I don’t need this. Well, there are plenty of tips out there that can come in handy during special situations.  So what are the basic skills you need to know?

You may not be aware of it, since you can’t see yourself, but the way you move your body, stand, sit, and walk can say a lot about you. You can appear confident, timid, scared, nervous all through the way you position your body. Have you ever tried working on your body language? Here are some tips to help you master the art of posture, conversation, and first impressions.

  1. Avoid touching your pockets
    Keeping your hands in your pockets can be a sign of nervousness or feeling uncomfortable. By hiding part of yourself, it can give off the impression that you want to hide. Also, hands in the pocket can lead to slouching. Rather, you should put your hands on your hips.
  2. Look forward
    Eye contact is a huge deal! It can be nerve-wracking to look someone in the eye. But by looking down or away, it can indicate that you don’t want to interact. Stand and walk with your chin up and eyes looking straight. Practice in the mirror, it may be silly but it will help.
  3. Master the handshake
    A weak handshake can be off putting to some people, especially because a handshake may be someone’s first impression of you. Go in for a firm grasp, but don’t try and crush their hand or hold it too long.
  4. Don’t move around so much
    Fidgeting is an obvious sign that you’re nervous. It’s not a good look for anybody, but it can be a habit you may not even be aware that you’re doing. Have a friend mention each time you fidget so you become more aware of it and can keep it under control.
  5. Refrain from crossing your arms
    You may think crossing your arms exudes power and confidence. But think about the muscular bouncer at a night club, would you want to go talk to him? NO! That’s what people will think of you if you stand and cross your arms. It may make you seem unapproachable.
  6. Stand straight
    It’s easy and comfortable to slouch, but it just doesn’t look right. Standing straight with your shoulders back slightly gives off an air of confidence. Practice!
  7. Smile!
    You may forget to smile! It’s ok, but try throwing one in every so often during a conversation. You can’t see your face, but your conversation patner sees it the whole time. Practice with a friend or in front of the mirror to see how often you’re smiling.
  8. Groom properly
    We have another blog on grooming habits. It’s important to come up with a grooming routine that works for you. You don’t want to meet someone and look a mess. Even if you know you’re an excellent conversationalist, that first impression can leave people thinking you’re sloppy.
  9. Listen!
    If you are having a conversation, it can be tough to remember to stop and listen to the other person. You want to get all your thoughts and ideas out there. But if the other person has no time to talk, or feels that you aren’t paying attention, it will leave a sour taste. Show you’re listening by responding to what they’re talking about, nodding your head, laughing, and smiling.

 

 

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The Essential Everyday Carry Gear

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Everyday carry, or EDC, is just what it sounds like. It’s a term referring to the items you carry everyday. This can mean your cellphone, wallet, keys, pens, some people even have tools like knives and flashlights.

EDC has become a bit of a community, with tons of blogs, sites, and forums dedicated to people (mostly men) sharing pictures of their gear. Some people consider everyday carry to be just what is in your pockets, while others include their bags and the gear within as well.

What’s the point of EDC? Think of it kind of like a convenient system. You will start thinking of the items you carry around with you in terms of their necessity and utility. Maybe you used to always carry a set of keys and your phone, but now you realize that carry a small pocketknife would be useful as well. Some people will think of their EDC items in terms of disaster preparedness, their occupation, safety, wilderness. It all depends on your circumstances and needs.

Everyday carry can become a habit. Once you sit down and really think about the items you’re carrying, you will realize what you do and don’t need with you. When you start noticing times when you needed a pen, or a flashlight, you will remember and look towards getting one. Rather than just grabbing whatever is on the kitchen table as you leave for the day, you will have your essential items that you know will come in handy.

It’s also about minimalism. If you don’t carry a bag, how much can you really fit in your pockets? Maybe a phone, wallet, keys, and folding knife. You have to really think about the items you need versus the items you want, but that aren’t necessary.

Common Everyday Carry Items

There’s no all encompassing everyday carry kit, it’s up to you to create one that fits your needs and style. And once you’ve caught the EDC bug after looking at everyone else’s photos, you will start finding items you really want to carry.

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Essentials

Phone
Whether you still rock a flip phone or have the latest smartphone, they’re pretty indispensable these days. You could get by without carrying one, but why put yourself through that? A smartphone is a combination camera, flashlight, map, watch, and notepad. Instead of carry all those individual items you just need one phone to do all those tasks.

Keychain
Let’s face it, you probably have way too many keys, reward cards, and other doodads on your keychain. It’s time to start pairing down that key collection to just the essentials. Get a nice keychain like a leather key fob. Or check out this article from Everydaycarry.com on the best keychains.

Wallet
This is probably your biggest headache if you find your wallet is constantly stuffed to the brim. Think of George’s wallet in Seinfeld and how he could barely fold it closed. If that’s you, it’s time to slim down. Many of the items in your wallet are unessential. Those rewards cards you barely use, the 3 extra credit cards, the business cards. They can all stay at home, you don’t need them daily. Find a nice slim wallet for a little cash, your ID, and one or two credit cards. The Everyday Carry website has excellent reviews on wallets.

Extras

Watch
This is one of the EDC items that doesn’t need space in your pocket. A watch not only helps you tell time without needed to pull your phone out of your pocket every few minutes, they also add to your style.

Notebook
It has been shown that taking notes by hand, as opposed to on the computer, helps us remember better. Carry around a tiny notebook (some just contain a few pages) to help you remember thoughts and reminders you’d like to keep fresh.

Pen
No notebook is complete without a decent pen. You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on one, but get one you know will last and not dry up too quickly.

Multitool
Multitools come in many different forms, and they’re one of the EDC communities favorite items. You can get credit card sized ones, or full on Swiss Army type tools with knives, pliers, and the works.

Flashlight
Your cellphone flashlight may only go so far, and it’s also bulky. There are many small, high powered flashlights that will fit in your pocket and on your keychain.

Knife
If you want a credit-card sized multitool, it probably won’t come with a knife. In this case, you’ll want a small dedicated knife. You’ll start noticing how often it comes in handy once you bring it with you.

Resources

Everyday Carry
Reddit.com/r/EDC
Everyday Carry Blog

Never Know How to Match Your Suit, Tie, and Shoes? Say no more!

Matching a suit is one thing. You have to pick the right jacket and pant color, then the dress shirt, followed by the tie. Now add shoes into that mix and you could be a walking fashion faux pas at your next event.

How could that be? Well, for one thing, wearing anything but black shoes with a black suit is not a good idea. A good rule of thumb is that black shoes go with nearly every color suit from brown and black to white and gray.

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Via r/malefashionadvice

This excellent chart from the /r/malefashionadvice subreddit shows you the proper suit color and shoe pairings. A black suit is perfect for formal events, especially paired with a wholecut oxford shoe. A more casual look is a light grey suit with a black or dark brown Brogue Monkstrap with Medallion Cap Toe shoe.

Once you have the suit and shoe down, you need to worry about matching your shirt and tie to complete the whole outfit.

This article from Fashion Beans gives examples of great shirt and tie combos from white shirts to striped shirts. Take a look to get some inspiration.

Next, this blog from Art of Manliness shows you the art (or is it a science?) of matching shirt and tie patterns. Starting off easy, you should go for a solid color or semisolid when it comes to neckties. Once you get more confident you can branch out into bolder patterns. You don’t want to be matching your tie too closely with the shirt, so don’t wear a similar striped tie and shirt combo.

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Via Beckettsimonon.com

Also starting off easy, you should have a conservative-colored dress shirt. Usually white and light blue are the most common, as well as pastels.

Next come the suits. Dark colored suits, says Art of Manliness, go with most tie colors. But be careful when you try to match a dark tie with a blue tint with a dark grey or black suit. Blue ties are much better suited for navy blue, or light colored suits. Light suits go well with dark ties.  There are many other great tips and rules to help you match your next suit, so check out the article.

This is a quick primer on matching suits, shirts, ties, and shoes. It takes some practice to get used to matching these colors and patterns, but you’ll get the hang of it! So find some weddings, business meetings, or networking events to attend and make sure your suit game is on point.