You are gaining social skills and you’ve possibly even started going out being social. that’s great, but you need more. You need to become a man that people are actually interested in being around. You could become the most charming man in the world, but you will still be inadequate and still feel hollow if charming is all you are. You need to become a person who is actually interesting in himself.
What you need is to engage in interesting things that you enjoy and make you, you. Every man should have something they are good at, something they are better at than most other people, that exists apart from their work. You need some hobbies.
Nothing builds confidence like becoming good at something. Nothing makes you more likeable than being an interesting person and nothing makes you more interesting than doing interesting things and being good at them.
Hobbies give you something to discuss with other people, they give you a place to relax and enjoy, and they give you a reason to meet people who like the same things you do.
There are an infinite amount of hobbies to choose from, so you should be able to easily find some that you enjoy. I’ll give some suggestions at the end, but its really up to you to find something you enjoy.
You do want many hobbies, but do not start them all at once. Start with one hobby, then after a while add another. If you try to start to many at once, you’ll just burn out from over-stimulation. Also, if a hobby is simply not doing it for you, feel free to quit, but do not quit a hobby because it is too hard; if that is the case, simply work to get better.
Note: Video games, TV, YouTube videos, mindlessly surfing the internet, and movies don’t count as hobbies, get off your ass and do something. Nobody cares about your kill count in CoD or your level 80 Orc shaman. You can still do those things, in moderation, but they are pleasant time killers, not hobbies.
Here’s a few considerations:
Research – Before you being a hobby, make sure to research the basics of the hobby. What kinds of resources you need to being, where to get the resources you need, where to meet others who do your hobby, etc.
Time/Accessibility – You want a hobby you can devote time to. If, for some reason, a hobby can only be done at times when you are unable to do it, don’t make it your hobby. Make sure you will actually be able to participate in your hobby. It is no use choosing paintball as your hobby if there is no paintball group in 100 miles of your home or paintball only occurs on Thursday evenings when you are busy with your sport. Choose a hobby you will actually be able to participate in.
Group/Individual – Some hobbies, such as carpentry or shooting, are more solitary activities, others, such as paintball, are more group oriented. I’d suggest getting both types of hobbies. You need something you can work on on your own, but you also want something you can do with groups of other people.
Etiquette – For hobbies that involve other people, make sure to get to know the community etiquette before hand. Most communities around hobbies have there own ways of doing things; if you ignore them, you will find it difficult to meet other people to participate in your hobbies with.
Cost – Make sure you can afford a hobby; research how much it costs to start. Taking up shooting is silly if you can’t afford ammunition.
Enjoyment – A hobby should be something you enjoy; if you don’t enjoy something, get a new hobby.
Skill/Progression – A hobby should be something you can get progressively better at over time. If it’s all luck or it’s too easy to master, it’s not a hobby. (Gambling is not a hobby). Also, work to progress in your hobby; try to become good at it.
Creation – Some hobbies lead to creation; creating something with your own hands feels manly and makes you feel good about yourself. You might want to get at least one hobby where you create something.
Manliness – Make sure at least one or two of your hobbies are traditionally masculine. You don’t want to turn into some effeminate dweeb.
Activeness – Some hobbies are more active than others. Make sure at least one of your hobbies involves going outside and/or working with your hands.
Here are a few possible suggestions. There are far to many to list, this is just to get you thinking.
Shooting/Hunting – Shooting is fun and lends you a bit of a dangerous edge. There is nothing quite like feeling a 12-gauge roar in your hands. Shooting can also lead into hunting. There’s nothing more manly than killing your own food. The problem with both is that they can be expensive; ammo is not cheap (unless it’s .22). It’s also relatively easy to bring someone else along on a shooting night.
Archery/Bow Hunting – Kind of like shooting, but old school. Can be expensive to start, but less upkeep over time. It can also lead to hunting as well. Can seem a little LARPy/geeky to others depending on how you go about it.
Fishing – A relaxing way to while away an afternoon with some good friends.
Geo-caching – You use GPS to find small ‘treasures’ hidden by other people and then replace them with your own ‘treasures’. It will get you active and will lead on a bunch of adventures exploring either nature or your own city. You’ll also get a collection of nick-knacks each with its own story. An excellent conversation starter for your home. It’s also easy to bring someone along to.
Home-brewing – Make your own beer or wine. You’ll get a lot of cheap alcohol and will have something to impress others with.
Paintball/Airsoft – A fun group activity where you get to shoot each other. Need I say more. They’re rather expensive (airsoft is generally cheaper) and require people and land, but if you can start, it’s fun.
Gaming – Boardgames, miniatures games, tabletop RPGs, CCG’s, wargames, etc. are probably something your average awkward individual can enjoy. They give plenty of time to chat with others and make friends. Can be expensive depending on what type of gaming you do. The miniatures and war games can also overlap with modeling. Almost always seen as geeky by others.
Writing – Write a blog, write a book, write some poetry. Why not develop your intellect by putting your thoughts into words in an organized matter?
Woodworking/Carving/Metalsmithing/Etc. – In this category are a number of personal creation hobbies shaping raw materials into something useful or aesthetic. Gerenally, these are solitary hobbies, but the nice thing about these are that you make create something tangible. Many will require certain tools to do.
Mechanics – Building, repairing, and rebuilding engines of some sort is a traditionally masculine activity. You’ll also save money on vehicle repairs.
Gardening – You grow food to eat. A solitary activity that many people find relaxing. Plus you get healthy food out of it.
Cooking – Everybody cooks, but if you become good at it, it impresses others and you get to eat some great meals.
Modeling – You probably put together model kits as a child; if you enjoyed it, you might enjoy more complicated models as an adult. This can often be done in conjunction with wargaming or can be a build up to model airplace flying. A solitary activity which creates something.
Programming – Another solitary activity, but you get to build something without having to use your hands. Good for clumsy or undextrous people. Just make sure it’s not your only hobby.
Running/Jogging/etc. – it will keep you in shape and if you join a running group, you’ll get to meet a lot of other people
Dancing – A fun physical activity in which it is very easy to meet girls. Also, knowing dancing is attractive to a fair number of women. So, try some swing, salsa, or ballroom dancing.
Collectibles – Collect something: stamps, hockey cards, coins, guns, whatever. Just make sure you’re not randomly collecting any old thing. The point of collecting is to learn about what you’re collecting. Make sure that you are gaining a vast, comprehensive knowledge of your collectibles and your collection reflects that. Throwing together a bunch of random stamps you know nothing about, does not a collection make. This can seem kind of geeky to others depending on how you do it.
Music – Pick an instrument, practice regularly, and get good at it. The piano has a classic appeal, while the saxophone has a bit of sex appeal. The harmonica is easily portable, while everybody loves guitar.
Your hobby doesn’t have to any of these; these are just suggestions of common hobbies. Find something (multiple somethings) that interests you and become good at it or knowledgeable of it. Check out wikipedia’s list of hobbies for more ideas.
Your goal this week is to research hobbies and try a hobby you’ve never tried before (no, video games don’t count).
If you are combining this week’s goal with last week’s, find a social group that’s doing your hobby and attend their next meeting.