The Misconception That A High-End Social Life Means Going To Lots Of Exclusive Clubs And Parties
There are some sources of social skills advice aimed at young men that, intentionally or not, portray a certain kind of social life as the ultimate dream you can unlock once you've become really charismatic, connected, and well-respected: You're able to go to lots of exclusive parties, and get into the VIP sections of nightclubs. You generally enter the secret world of trendy, wealthy, upper-tier people.
Often this end-goal social life isn't even framed in terms of the friendships you'll have. There may be a few mentions of how you'll rove around with a crew of other popular, in-demand guys, but usually other things are emphasized (again, whether it's said out loud or implied):
- By getting into all these closed-off fancy events you'll be a high-status person for its own sake.
- You'll be able to mingle and network with rich, successful types.
- You'll be able to meet lots of attractive women. When you picture these closed-off get togethers there always seem to be beautiful women lounging around everywhere.
I'm not saying it's impossible to have this kind of social life, or that it couldn't be fun. I'm sure there are men who go to a different rooftop party in Manhattan every weekend and chat to millionaires and runway models. I just want to challenge the idea that this should be every young guy's default goal, or that it's the only kind of "good" social life someone can work toward.
When you're a younger man and starting to research interpersonal skills you can stumble onto places that sell this dream, and unthinkingly adopt it because you don't know any better yet. Take some time to think about whether that kind of life is really the best fit for you:
- Do you even like nightclubs?
- Do you like giant parties?
- If you do enjoy clubs and parties, do you like the fancy, expensive "bottle service" version of them?
- Are you willing to significantly change your lifestyle to go after these things, e.g., moving to a bigger city where these kinds of events take place?
- Why does the idea of getting into exclusive places hold so much value for you? Are you trying to compensate for a deeper insecurity? Do you think your old wounds will suddenly be healed if you can become a guy who can get past the VIP rope?
- Similarly, are you putting certain types of supposedly high-status people on a pedestal? Do you think that if you can get them to accept you it will make up for all the times you were rejected by the popular kids in school? Would you actually enjoy their company? Do you have anything in common?
- There's nothing wrong with liking good looking women, but is it possible your fantasy of going to a pool party full of interchangeable sex object models is a bit one-dimensional, and colored by images you've seen in movies, music videos, and staged social media photos? What types of women do you actually get along with? Would they be hanging around at a pricey nightclub at 2am?
- As you're reading these questions are you having a reaction of, "Anyone who says they don't want these things is just a loser who's fooling themselves because they know they can't hack it"? Where is that response coming from?
If you consider the above and decide you genuinely are interested in a life of VIP parties, and it's not coming from a sense of inadequacy and over-compensation as you far as you can tell, then all the power to you. I'm not trying to say pursuing a life of lavish invite-only events is tacky and anyone who does it has the wrong priorities.
Like I said, I just want young men to take a moment to question the notion that it's what they should all go after. If you're lonely and just want some buddies to hang out with, do you really need to try to become the ultimate social climber? For some guys the kinds of get togethers that will make them the happiest are casual hikes, or an evening playing board games, or seeing an offbeat comedy show. That's no better or worse than a boilerplate "high-end" social life.