Hi Reddit, my name is Tak Maeda, I'm the author of the first-ever complete guide to creating a social life you love, called Outside the Box to Box, and I help people develop the skill of meeting new people so they can meet the friends and dates that will enrich their lives.

If you would like a copy of my new book, you can get it for here for FREE: https://rocketshippublishing.com/outside-the-box-to-box-book/

If you want to get specialized, one-on-one help from me after the AMA, please go to https://rocketshippublishing.com/consulting/

PROOF: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQTm4kbHQiJ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

*EDIT: Thank you all for a great AMA! I really enjoyed answering the questions. This AMA won't be as monitored going forward.

** EDIT: Although this was communicated multiple times throughout the AMA, it should also be noted here. I am NOT a licensed therapist nor a medical doctor. This information should NOT be taken as professional advice. Please see a doctor/therapist if you believe you have challenges that need to be addressed by one.

Comments: 360 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

isaacstitch626145 karma

How does one keep a friendship going if the other person is on the other side of the country? Like they met in person, but now live somewhere else and there's no opportunity to meet up and hang out in person.

TMLife55 karma

Really good question!

This is a tough one because friendships are sustained through face-to-face interactions. If this isn't possible, keeping in touch regularly thought text/social media and calling/video calling would really only be the suitable next option.

Hopefully, this helps with the friendship!, the only friendships that were sustained were the ones with who I was already quite close with, and those with who I knew I was going to see in person again. The others unfortunately aren't as strong as they were.

There also may be good advice on sustaining long-distance relationships online. Even if it's not a romantic partner, similar advice may still hold.

Hopefully this helps with the friendship!

- Tak

tupels13 karma

You say face to face, are you saying you can't be truly friends unless you have had face to face interactions?

TMLife2 karma

Great question!

Not necessarily, it's just that friendships are much stronger and better formed when face to face. If you have online friends who you'd like to keep online, by all means!

- Tak

isaacstitch6264 karma

Thanks 😊

TMLife0 karma

You're welcome!

TheseMeringue108 karma

If you’re in your mid-30s and never really had any friends is it too late to start?

And if not, how do you start when your peers are now in the stage of life where kids and work are their whole lives?

TMLife5 karma

Thank you for answering!

Many of the other great replies have shared a common theme that yes, you must try: join groups of people who have similar interests! Unless you have a specific interest that you'd like to join already, I always recommend group exercise because they're the most widely available, people of all ages go there, it tends to draw in a good quality type of person, and exercise acts as a social lubricant the same way that alcohol does (minus all the bad stuff).

I will add one more point to this, but please take a look at all the other helpful replies in this thread.

It would also be worth working through the challenges or obstacles that have caused you to be at your age without (m)any friends. Why has this happened? Have you moved around a lot? Have you had some sort of social anxiety or insecurity? Were you not brought up in a way that was social?

My book (free in description) will provide you the theoretical aspects and strategies of becoming a person capable of being social, but if there are deeper issues, it should be worked out with a professional psychologist or someone similar.

I hope this helped!

- Tak

Ickyhouse78 karma

What would the biggest benefit I see if I expanded my small social circle? I really don’t have one and mostly just hang with my wife and kids. Family and a few friends that I see occasionally is all I have.

TMLife82 karma

Hi there! It's totally up to you. Many people do get great social fulfillment from being with their wife+kids and a small group of friends while some people, say extroverts, may prefer larger, more active social lives.

The biggest benefit would be more opportunities for fun, company, emotional support, intimacy, and a sense of belonging.

It totally depends on what you specifically want. There isn't a right or wrong, just right for you!

- Tak

Taymerica-8 karma

"The biggest benefit would be more opportunities for fun, company, emotional support, intimacy, and a sense of belonging."

That sounds like single people stuff, any personal benefits for someone in a relationship?... Cause I feel like if I did this alone it would hurt the relationship. Does it involve including your spouse?

TMLife94 karma

Healthy relationships should involve fulfilling social lives that aren't exclusively centered around your spouse. Of course, if you can involve your spouse in these events, definitely do so but a spouse shouldn't be the only source of social connection one has.

For example, girls night/ guys night or weekend trips with the friends exist for this reason.

Now of course, it would make sense to communicate these things with your partner before they turn into potential resentment or future problems but unless there are other problems (insecurity, anxiety, etc), it shouldn't hurt the relationship. It should help it, because you will be a happier person for having an enriching social life!

- Tak

SchwiftyGameOnPoint14 karma

From psychologist who specialized in relationships, I was once told, in a healthy relationship there should be 4 parts. 1) You and your partner together alone 2) You and your partner apart alone 3) You and your partner together with others and 4) You and your partner apart with others.

Most of your time in your relationship will probably be together in #1 with just the two of you. However, you should both respect that your lives need other relationships (nonromantic) outside of your relationship together. Additionally, you both need time alone, for yourself. Also, you guys should have some relationships outside of your romantic one that is shared, mutual friends and such if possible.

If you can maintain a proper balance between these, it would help a lot with your and your partner's relationship and your social needs as a whole.

TMLife2 karma

This is a very good way to summarize and organize a healthy relationship! Thanks for sharing!

- Tak

brusiddit55 karma

There is a huge benefit in not being dependent on your wife for socialisation. Basically you are less likely to get a divorce, if you are not stuck around each other 247

TMLife2 karma

Amazing point!

- Tak

madriotofcolors63 karma

Hey, why do people find it harder to make friends in their late twenties or in thirties? I will take my own example, I find it hard even to interact with a group of people that I have been attending an online course with. The younger me used to make friends quick and had an active social life.

TMLife153 karma

This is a really solid question that many people can relate to!

There isn't one clean answer, so I will do my best to name all the variables I can. Assume that any person or friendship/relationship that struggles in adulthood has at least one, if not multiple of the following:

  • Time: Adults have work, responsibilities, dating, hobbies, and other things that take up their time. Children only have school and homework.
  • School: If you're a kid and you go to school, you're surrounded by hundreds or thousands (tens of thousands for university/college), so making friends is as easy as talking to the people in your class. No other time in your adult life will you be surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people your age doing the same thing.
  • Dating life: If you have a significant other, many people in those relationships use their one partner as their social life. Although this is quite unhealthy, it is super common. Kids don't have the same commitment to one person.
  • Established friendships/groups: Adults, especially if they stay in the same city/town for their entire lives, may have friendships or groups that they've been a part of for decades and may not be as eager to make new friends. In childhood, these relationships are less tightly held and they tend to be more open to new friendships.
  • Social ability: It's not crazy necessarily to have good social skills as a child. It's not like you're having full conversations as a child anyway. If you don't develop those necessary skills by adulthood, it can get much harder.
  • Complacency: Children are not nearly as complacent in their social lives or lives in general because they're still young and want to explore and expand. Once you graduate school and start a job, weeks or even years can go by in a blink of an eye because we get sucked into our schedules and routines.
  • Locations: In order to meet friends, they need to be somewhere they can be interacted with. If your weeks are spent going back and forth from work and school, it's hard to be in places where you can be social.
  • Willingness to make friends: This is similar to complacency but it's pretty uncommon for kids to have no friends because they are so eager to talk to the other kids. With all the distractions present in adulthood, it's easy to have the willingness to make friends diminish.
  • Threat/discomfort: It's pretty hard for a child to make other kids feel uncomfortable unless they're a blatant bully. Adults are more complex, and drama, manipulation, and other threats are more present.

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I really enjoyed answering this question because this is exactly why I wrote my book. Making friends in adulthood can be difficult, especially if it's not taught properly (which it usually isn't).

I hope this answered your question!

- Tak

S_S_Sioux60 karma

How do I get over the feeling that people are only nice to me because they are nice people and not believing anyone could actually like me for me?

anima17327 karma

Not op, but I think I can answer this one. I used to feel the same way. I basically started trying to experiment more with my interactions instead of just always playing it safe with my go to polite answers. So if I see all these people at work or school everyday, sure I will do the “hey, how’s it going” but then I’ll start following it up with other bits of conversation, as one naturally does, but there are things to pay attention to. If the person jumps at the chance to talk, they may be showing legit interest in talking to you. They may also just really like talking, in which case I’ll notice that the conversation becomes one sided and they don’t really listen to me. Your fear that everyone is too polite for you to know if they are genuinely interested in you can be assuaged by the fact that people will only show so much interest out of politeness. Their continued involvement (their time and attention) shows more and more interest. And part of that is how much you engage them, so it is likely changing minute to minute based on many little subtle factors. But if people volunteer their time to hang out with you regularly, then that is some genuine interest. It could change, but for the time being, they chose to be there.

TMLife2 karma

Thank you for sharing! This is a great point.

- Tak

TMLife3 karma

Yes, the comment from anima173 brought up great points to consider! If somebody is choosing to talk to you/hang out with you/ be nice to you, there must be something about you that's worth it :)

I would like to shift gears and tackle a deeper issue. Note: Although I am an author in this field, I am not a licensed psychologist/doctor so please don't take this as licensed medical advice. So, when external circumstances say one thing but your internal self refuses to accept it, there is a good chance that there is a reason why. For example, a number of years ago, when I said something stupid and people openly gave me a negative reaction, I would shut down and overthink it in ways that wasn't healthy. Why? After working through it with a psychologist, I learned that it was because about 6 years before that, when I told a crush I liked her for the first time and she turned me down, I failed to process that emotion and bottled it up which led me to repeat these same patterns 6 years later.

I'm not going to try and unpack your past experiences because I don't have specifics, but it may be worth exploring this type of analysis with a professional because even if people are genuinely nice and like you, there may be a part of you that doesn't want to accept it.

Last note: I may totally be reading this situation wrong, and if so, then the original advice of "if someone's choosing to be nice to you, it must mean there's something to be nice about" holds true.

I hope this helped!

- Tak

jugokomunist46 karma


TMLife168 karma

Great question!

I always recommend group exercise. (Crossfit, weightlifting, BJJ, Muay thai, MMA, bike/spin, yoga, cardio, run club, sports league).

The reasons why I recommend group exercise are the following:

  • You always have something fun to do, which takes the pressure off. (Playing a sport vs sitting down with someone for dinner has two completely different levels of pressure.)
  • Exercise acts a social lubricant the same way that alcohol does (minus all the bad stuff).
  • Exercise will get your body and brain into shape, which does wonders for confidence and mood.
  • Most importantly, it gives you and the other members something to talk about, instead of trying to make conversation out of nothing, like say at a dinner.

My advice would be to pick one group exercise (sample list above), and go to it consistently (at least once a week, ideally more). Then get as comfortable as possible there. You don't need to talk to everyone and be the life of the group. Talk to the instructor, give people compliments about the exercise, say hello, ask for help. Soon enough, you'll have friends in that class in no time. Repeat with other group classes if you'd like.

Hope this helps!

- Tak

jugokomunist13 karma


TMLife9 karma

You're welcome! Good luck :)

chromaZero42 karma

I’m well into my 50s and would be I interested in having more of a social life for my husband and myself. Do you feel socializing advice would be different for older folks like myself compared to people twenty years younger, or is it fundamentally the same challenges no matter your age?

TMLife4 karma

Great question!

So the general "structure" for making friendships will be pretty much the same regardless of age. Meet new people you like -> Spend time with those people -> Develop the relationship.

But the way you go about it may be different than someone, say 20 years younger. You may not meet new people at a loud bar or a super athletic sports league, and instead, choose something that is more your style. I'm just giving these examples off the top of my head but a dinner party where many people bring their spouses/families, a wine tasting, more casual sports leagues.

So to answer the question neatly, the challenges you may face will most likely be about how you go about creating a social life but the general structure will be similar because human connection is still human connection.

I hope this helps, and best of luck!

- Tak

tube-screamer27 karma

What’s the best single piece of advice for making a good first impression?

TMLife82 karma

Great question!

Without a doubt: Smile!

The single most important thing to know when meeting a person for the first time is to understand they are still evaluating whether you're a friend or foe (threat level). A smile is the best and easiest way to convey you're a friendly person in a good mood.

It's so important that I make it a point to never talk to someone for the first time without smiling. Or at least I do my very best.

Keep smiling!

- Tak

Darlington2826 karma

How many cats are too many?

TMLife33 karma

Aha nice question!

If you're asking me specifically, I'm not much of a cat person so I'd say 0 in my household but if you're asking in general... I actually have no idea how to answer this.

The limit could be your budget, it could be the space in your house, it could be how many cats can the other cats stand living with, how many you can tolerate, or how many names you could remember at once.

Without going overboard, I would say 3. But I'm probably the least qualified person to answer this one with any degree of accuracy.

Hope this helped. I enjoying answering this one :)

- Tak

Chengweiyingji26 karma

Hi Tak!

Here’s my question: would you say that trying to build friendships is more of a “takes two to tango” thing, or is it entirely one-sided at first? I’ve had trouble trying to figure that out.

TMLife43 karma

Hi there :)

Ideally yes, you would want the friendship or any relationship, to become a two-sided effort where both people are investing into it but it's not uncommon at all for the beginnings of that friendship to be more one-sided. That's not a problem in the short term, but if it goes on for too long, then it may be worth pursuing one where it becomes equal effort-wise.

- Tak

sarahforest19 karma

Hi Tak, what advice will you give someone who has been single for a long time? YEARS I mean. I'm quite conventionally good looking, my friends can't explain it (I have many friends!), and I've met people with bad intentions, people who tried to scam me etc while on the journey looking for love. With covid, my hopes are even lower now. So close to giving up...

Thank you in advance! :)

TMLife26 karma

Hey! Thank you for asking.

Please don't give up! If you feel like you need to take a step back and re-evaluate or re-charge especially because it's covid, by all means, but definitely don't give up. If you are good-looking and you have friends, you certainly are in a good position!

To address your challenge, it's worth breaking down dating into 3 parts to really get at the issue here. The parts are: meeting/talking to new men (I'm going to assume by your username you're a woman, but the advice is valid for all genders), dating those men, being in a relationship with those men.

Each part has their own unique "win":

  1. Meeting/talking: Did you go on a date with a man you like?
  2. Dating: Did you get into a relationship with a man you like?
  3. Being in a relationship: Are you happy in the relationship?

Each part also has its correlating challenges:

  1. Meeting/talking: meeting enough new men and connecting with them enough for you to go on a future date.
  2. Dating: getting to know them better, becoming a person they want to be in a relationship with (and vise versa).
  3. Being in a relationship: continuing to develop the relationship

Because I don't know much about you, it would be impossible for me to pinpoint your specific challenge but I can ask you a few questions you can answer on your own that will help to address the challenge.

  • Which part do you get stuck on? (Eg. Rachel goes on 2 dates a week but they tend to drop off after a few dates = she gets stuck on the "dating" phase.)
  • Was there a specific relationship or relationship that you really wanted to work but failed for a specific reason?

If you have an understand of which part you tend to get stuck on, here's a few good tips for each:

  1. Meeting/talking: How can you introduce yourself to more men you like? Hint: bars may not be the best place here. Most men are quite intimidated to appraoch in bar settings. How about a group exercise class with a good sex ratio? How about meeting friends of friends? Online apps?
  2. Dating: It's worth understanding your worth, and sorting through the men who will be receptive to your strengths. (Eg. If you're very compassionate, it may make sense to put more effort into men who appreciate that quality.)
  3. Relationship: This one is partner-specific, but it comes down to: how can you show up best for your partner, and how can you bring out the best in your partner?

You also mentioned you had a lot of scammy partners or people with bad intentions. If this happened on a repeated basis, is there a blind spot you have or something you're not seeing? Although you shouldn't take 100% of the blame, you should recognize these "red flag" type patterns so you don't fall for them in the future.

I hope this helped! If you have any follow up questions that are more specific, I'm happy to answer.

If you have an understanding of which part you tend to get stuck on, here's a few good tips for each:

sarahforest10 karma

Thanks Tak, really appreciate such a thorough response from you. Thank you for taking the time!!

For me it seems like during this covid times, the first stage is more of a problem. But in the past, I’ve been on dates but same as the “Rachel” in your example, they didn’t take off.

I’ve met many people from online apps, and seem to meet people who are just interested in sex. My pictures are not revealing at all though. So I thought, hm maybe where I’m looking for men is wrong. So I got off the apps and moved onto irl interactions.

So fast forward to joining more meet up events and sports classes. I was pretty active, but one of the meet up apps was a scam. And started harassing me and tried to extort money from me. So taking advantage of my desire to expand my social network.

But I’ll reflect again on your points. And maybe just keep trudging on this path... :)

I’m luckier in other aspects of life, but this particular one is like navigating a troll filled swamp. 😂

Thank you once again!

computerguy0-012 karma


I'm a dude and was on the other side. Trying to find a great girl with clear intentions. I'm conventionally attractive, top 1% of millennial income in my state, house, car, stable job, great work/life balance, good conversationalist, but I stayed single until 27... Then I figured it out.

The market is LITTERED with bad potential partners. I read a book on attachment styles and it just clicked as to why. The good potential partners are already in a relationship, and they stay there for a long time/forever. So what's the singles market littered with? All of the perpetually single types and a handful of the type you're looking for. So our perceptions are skewed.

But guess what? The type you are looking for are snatched up VERY quickly OR give up very quickly because they can't tolerate the sea of crappy people...Especially if they are doing the online thing.

The next single time around, It took me 4 months of hard work, but I met my current girlfriend on Tinder. I'm conventionally attractive with a Photofeeler score of 94/100 (I really needed to know if it was my appearance or not causing issues, but no, it was my self esteem and inability to know what I wanted).

I figured out the self esteem issue and what I wanted and set at it. 30,000 swipes, 100 conversations, and 12 first dates later I met my current girlfriend. I had to filter through people so much via conversation, figuring out what type they were just from pictures/profile sometimes. Like if the girl put her instagram in her profile it was an instant no, always. Every single one was fishing for attention. Sometimes it would take meeting in person to filter out, but I was always close. There were a few I absolutely clicked with but for whatever reason they passed.

Anyways, we've made it past 3 years and once she gets a few problems in her life worked out, there is no doubt this will make it to marriage.

She gave up TWICE and was only on Tinder for a few days a few weeks apart due to being inundated with crappy messages. If I didn't stay consistent every day, I never would have met her. Consistency is key with the online dating apps.

Good luck! Don't give up, don't get discouraged. Reflect on yourself and see if there is anything you can improve and jump right back in.

sarahforest8 karma

"The market is LITTERED with bad potential partners. I read a book on attachment styles and it just clicked as to why. The good potential partners are already in a relationship, and they stay there for a long time/forever. So what's the singles market littered with? All of the perpetually single types and a handful of the type you're looking for. So our perceptions are skewed.But guess what? The type you are looking for are snatched up VERY quickly OR give up very quickly because they can't tolerate the sea of crappy people...Especially if they are doing the online thing."

- I felt that!!! so I ended up closing the door on online channels. Too little filter, its like opening a flood gate to this sea of crappy people.

Thank you for your comments computerguy0-0. I think I got affected by past failures and for a long time I believed all guys were jerks and after one thing and one thing only. (sorry!) But now I see the whole issue about the disproportionate representation of fkbois/perpetually singles in the dating pool.

Good news is though, I'm consistently trying to improve myself. Went for therapy, read books, hitting the gym (I'm quite fit), optimizing my health and energy levels, working on my career (I also have a good career and financial standing, no debt and decent net worth), building my social network...

So thanks, I'll be heeding your and OP's advice. Don't give up, jump back in, keep trying. Consistency is key. Right?

Though as a girl, I feel like it might be better to let the guy do the chasing and show his intentions. But I'll be consistent with showing up and accepting him I suppose?

TMLife4 karma

Hi again!

A few of the other replies echo what I'm about to say too. Although it's completely understandable why a woman would want to have a man pursue, keep in mind there is a big difference between making him chase versus him initiating.

If you'd prefer a guy ask you out, that is valid. (Although you can ask him out too!)

But if you say, play hard to get, and make him jump through hoops of rejections, unanswered texts, long replies, and so on, you will unnecessarily weed out the men you want! Emotionally healthy men who have options usually aren't thrilled about jumping through these types of hoops.

So if you'd like to be the "receiver" rather than the "initiator", this is valid. But help him be the initiator in this case.

- Tak

TMLife3 karma

This is an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing this! You're absolutely right about the "right" types of people being snatched up so fast.

Great advice to follow!

- Tak

Foxsayy5 karma

You also mentioned you had a lot of scammy partners or people with bad intentions. If this happened on a repeated basis, is there a blind spot you have or something you're not seeing? Although you shouldn't take 100% of the blame, you should recognize these "red flag" type patterns so you don't fall for them in the future.

Can confirm I see a lot of this, and most of the time it's completely unconscious. Ask trusted/wise friends if they notice and bad patterns in your dating life or the type of person you select for.

TMLife3 karma

Yes! An trusted, experienced third-party will either be better than you at noticing blind spots and/or will provide fresh new perspectives. All Presidents, CEOs, and other people in power have trusted advisors for this exact reason, and we should have them too in our personal lives.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

- Tak

TMLife2 karma

You're welcome! Glad it pointed you in a helpful direction :)

- Tak

advil40218 karma

Where is the best place to make new friends, and is better to try and meet people online using social media?

TMLife28 karma

Great question!

Face-to-face (in person) is always the best choice! There are so many things that in-person friendships provide that online relationships don't. Having another physical body near you is something that touches you to your psychological core that a friend who's behind a screen/ text cannot replicate.

So I would try my absolute best to meet and make friends in person. I know it can be hard for a lot of people, which is why I actually wrote my book. I don't want to push my book too hard on this AMA but it's designed for people who'd like to make new friends in person but don't know how to go about it. (It's free in the AMA description :)

You can try to meet people online through social media or reddit and then ask them to meet in person if they live in the same area as you, but it would probably be better to bypass this and make new friends in person.

Hope this helps!

- Tak

shadow-knight-cz18 karma

What is your opinion on pick up artists?

TMLife87 karma

Great question!

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan at all. But my opinion about pick up artists as a man isn't nearly as important as what the women think about pick up artists. Across the board, most emotionally healthy women also don't like pick up artists.

This is a subject I can write an entire book on but I'll try to summarize it as much as possible. The biggest problem with pick up artists is 90%+ of their tactics are not socially calibrated or intelligent. This happens because the people who teach pick up advice or the advice itself tend to have sociopathic tendencies (not saying they're sociopaths though), and the people who get drawn to them are people who are usually unsocialized growing up and don't understand women (totally understandable, not their fault.) Add on top of that, pick up business models usually center around paid courses or programs (nothing wrong with this) but it just usually propels the cycle of odd behavior.

Using goofy pick up lines, worrying about your "close ratio" or "field reports", "going out solo", or using "escalation tactics", to anyone with any sense of social calibration makes no sense and turns people off.

But don't take my word for it, ask a bunch of women who are honest enough to answer.

- Tak

** Great books, if you're looking to improve your dating life as a man, is Mate by Tucker Max & Dr. Geoffrey Miller, and Models by Mark Manson. Both are quite scientific and non-gimmicky. (Not affiliated with either book/authors)

biger9283id38 karma

(not saying they're sociopaths though)

Some are

There is at least one's mens self help company secretly teaches wealthy clients physics, psychological, and legal tactics to get away with sexual assault and rape.

go to /r/rbi and organize by top of all time and go to the one named "I've uncovered leaked videos from the world's largest Men's help company"

In addition to supporting abusers, they brainwash socially inept men that the reason they can't get girls is because secretly men like to be raped and sexually assaulted, and they just keep it a secret to weed out betas from the alphas.

They go a step further by secretly recording themselves actually sexually assaulting and raping women and selling to footage as a how to.

Here are some quotes from the post I directed to

You see this in John Wayne movies, where the girl is freaking out, and he pins her to the wall and starts kissing her. She struggles and struggles, and then let's go and just falls in love with him again and everything is FINE. haaa, those motherfuckers KNEW how to interact with women on an emotional level back then, before the women's movement came in and fucked us all up

He says he wants to kiss her but she keeps on saying no, repeatedly. The video shows Julien aggressively and effectively retraining her. Anyone who studies grappling knows what he's doing, constricting her at the armpits so that her arms have no leverage. Despite that she tries her best to push his face away. But he's too strong

she tried escaping and getting off bed. For the first time in my life I experienced hardcore LMR. She kept on saying "Stop! Please! it hurts! no! NO!" I just kept on thinking TD [Tyler Durden, which is Owen Cook's nickname] pinning his GF. She wants it

Yeah that bit about jiu jitsu... I actually recommend taking some form of martial art for improved man handling abilities, bjj + strength training = god tier manhandling skills. yeah, and then when you're done with her, you just like grab all her clothes an then throw em at her, then shout get out you fucking whore. women deserve this because of what they've done to us

In the video he puts his penis into the mouth of a clearly heavily intoxicated woman. Her intoxication is quite clear by the way she moves and slurs her speech.

TMLife34 karma

Oh I absolutely know for a fact that a decent number of pick up guys are sociopathic, I just didn't want to make any generalizations for that specific piece of advice.

I don't really want to get into the specifics because my advice/information is always always always on the side of social intelligence and being a good person but you are absolutely right, the predatory pick up business people/gurus' main target is socially inexperienced men because they are far more malleable.

It's sad that like any industry, there are always going to be people who prey on the weak and vulnerable and I hope the their students don't end up resorting to sexual violence or anything remotely close to that.

Thank you for sharing!

- Tak

Tatworth20 karma

** Great books, if you're looking to improve your dating life as a man, is Mate by Tucker Max & Dr. Geoffrey Miller, and Models by Mark Manson. Both are quite scientific and non-gimmicky. (Not affiliated with either book/authors)

Wait? Not *that* Tucker Max?

TMLife19 karma

I don't know of any other Tucker Max lool. But read the book, it's night and day from the books that made him famous (or infamous).

Keep in mind too, to be able to do what he did in his stories, to get girls at the level he did, he had to be significantly more socially intelligent than the average person who doesn't have those types of stories. Add on top the expert data from Dr. Geoffrey Miller and you have arguably the best dating advice book out there.

Give it a read if you'd like... or don't. Up to you aha :)

shadow-knight-cz1 karma

Thanks for the info. Will check out the books.

TMLife1 karma

You're welcome! Glad it helped.

pretty-ok-username10 karma

It sounds like a lot of people trust your opinion and advice about human relationships. I’m curious, what qualifications do you have?

TMLife3 karma

Thanks for asking!

Yes, I'm super grateful that a lot of people are willing to listen to the information and help I'm willing to share.

I'm not sure if you are looking for me to answer about any degrees or licenses I have because I'm not a therapist or professor by any means. My qualifications come from the experiences I went through, my ability to understand human and social behavior from studying the topic intensely, and my ability to communicate effectively in a way that helps people.

If you were looking for me to have a bunch of fancy letters after my name, sorry to disappoint but I'll let the writing/work speak for itself :)

- Tak

pretty-ok-username2 karma

Thanks for your honest response. The reason I ask is because it seems as though you are purporting to help people with their psychological and social functioning, and charging a fee for your services via your book and consulting “program.” Although I’m sure you have some interesting personal insight and limited knowledge from self-study, I highly, highly suggest that you include a disclaimer that you don’t have formal training and licensure.

There’s a reason people need to attend accredited institutions to obtain degrees to help people. Professional licensure is important; it protects the public from people who have good intentions but zero training by enforcing strict ethical and professional standards. To ensure that public health, safety, and welfare are protected, a minimal degree of competency is required to grant licensure. Without this, anyone can claim to be experts and provide any kind of service that isn’t regulated, which can be dangerous.

I’m sure you have no intention of causing any harm, but the population you are targeting, people who are struggling psychologically/socially, may be susceptible to misinformation and/or unintended harm. With that said, an ethical approach to positioning yourself as a helper is to make it very clear in your promotional material that you do not have formal training or qualifications. You could also add that people should seek support from a mental health care professional if they are experiencing significant distress. This kind of disclaimer could also protect you from legal trouble down the road.

Anyway, that’s my (unsolicited) two cents as a doctoral student in clinical psychology. Wishing you all the best in your future!

TMLife2 karma

I really appreciate this information. Although in my book I have a disclaimer that it shouldn't be taken as medical information, I have added multiple disclaimers on the website (and have done throughout the AMA) to make it more obvious. Even though I've never attempted to label myself as a therapist or anything remotely close to that, the opposite, making it super clear that I'm not is something I should've anticipated ahead of time, but will make it unmistakenably clear going forward through my website and other communications. Thank you, seriously!

pigia3608 karma

Anything i can do to get out of being an introvert? I dont always have much to say in a convo and it makes things really hard.

TMLife16 karma

Great question!

So the first thing you need to know is that introversion doesn't mean you're bad at conversation. Introversion just means you just get your energy internally instead of from external sources stimulation. You can be an introvert and have great social skills, or you can be an introvert and have poor social skills.

Although you can certainly work to change your personality type, it may be worth playing to your strengths. For example, if as an introvert, going to a loud, buzzing party of 50 people seems like a nightmare for you, you can work to enjoy those events, or you can play to your strengths, such as prefering small, intimate dinners with close friends.

As for saying things in conversation, that is either a problem of you literally don't know what to say, or you know what to say but you're uncomfortable in social settings. Believe it or not, learning the literal things to say is the easy part. Be more knowledgeable of various topics of conversation, ask good questions, bring up your own stories/opinions, don't answer in ways that kill the conversation.

Being comfortable is a different thing. If this is your main challenge, there is a good chance that there are certain fears, anxieties, or insecurities holding you back. You need to first identify those, then find the best ways to address these whether they mean getting rid of them or becoming comfortable with them.

I'm not looking to push my book too much in this AMA but I have one full chapter on becoming more comfortable in social settings and one full chapter on social skills that I think you would really benefit from. (Book is free in the description)

I hope this helped!

- Tak

AQen7 karma

How did you get started? What's your background?

TMLife9 karma

Thanks for asking!

So my background is similar to a lot of people who share these types of advice: I experienced the problem of lacking social connections and the ability to meet girls/people in general.

When I moved to a new city for university without knowing anyone, I severely underestimated how difficult making new friends from scratch was going to be. When I started working full time, I realized a lifestyle of work -> home -> work -> home without a healthy social life of social relationships wasn't sustainable.

I started watching lots of self-improvement/dating advice YouTube videos, read a lot of books on the topic, and listened to podcasts. Although these helped, I realized there wasn't a complete guide to helping someone creating a social life for someone struggling like me.

From there, I just started putting all the knowledge I got from my personal experiences + self-help/dating information into a book that was designed to take someone from not having (m)any friends or romantic relationships to becoming capable of creating a social life they love and showing the strategies to accomplish just that, and helping people personally along the way.

- Tak

osmith1813 karma

What's the best way to get people to leave me alone?

TMLife2 karma

Don't engage in interactions and communicate your hopes to be left alone if need be.

- Tak

happy-Tip2 karma

What led you to this profession?

TMLife2 karma

Thanks for asking!

A desire to help people with a problem that I personally faced, that many people in the world do too, and carving my own path led me to do this!

- Tak

Void_Creator2 karma

What are some good things to keep in mind when going into a new social circle? Try to assert my place? Just find my people? What do you think?

Void_Creator2 karma

Also if it isn't too much, how do I know when to break things off with a friend that's helped me through a lot? I feel an obligation to stay with them.

TMLife10 karma

Great questions!

So the first one. When you say you're going into a new social circle, I'm guessing you mean a new group of people? There's no need to assert your place, you just need to work to develop good friendships with the people in them and the group as a whole.

The way you worded that first question though makes me think you're entering a new social setting like a school that you don't know the people in them. If this is the case, yes, just worry about finding the people you like and don't worry too much about the larger social culture unless it becomes of concern.

The second one. The way you know when to break things off with a friend is very simple: when you want to. That's it. If they've helped you a lot but you still want to leave, the reason why you want to leave clearly outweighs the benefit of staying. Generally speaking, although you may feel a sense of obligation to stay, relationships that are not built based on the enjoyment of being in them usually are unhealthy and should be avoided. If your reason for staying is you feel obligated, or you feel bored, or you don't want to feel lonely, or they have a lot of money/status, then it's not worth it... period.

It may be worth communicating your feelings with your friend, but I would start by fading away from the friendship by hanging out less, talking less, then communicating what you feel if need be.

Best of luck!

- Tak

phoooooenix2 karma

I am usually a social person in group but I struggle to socialize when I am alone with one person. I don't find anything to say and get anxiety. Any advice?

TMLife2 karma

Good question!

So it's hard for me to pinpoint anything in particular because I don't know you personally but if you don't get uncomfortable in groups while being uncomfortable one-on-one, it could be the fact that there is more social burden on you (and the other one person) when one-on-one as opposed to being in a group of say 3-5 people. 50% of the burden versus 20-33.3%.

The best one piece of advice for this could be to really get a feel for what good one-on-one conversations look, feel, and sound like. You could listen to a podcast where it's more conversational as opposed to interview style, as the hosts are usually good at keeping conversation. Joe Rogan is one of the best examples of this.

I hope this helped, or at least got the ball rolling!

- Tak

karin_cow2 karma

I have trouble making friends as an adult. However, I'm great at making work friends and acquaintances. I have no trouble talking to strangers, I'm friendly. I strike up conversations at work, dog parks, etc. But it never progresses past that. How do I communicate doing something outside of work for example? If they say they're busy, how do I tell if that's true or they are blowing me off? Should I ask again at a later time? If I meet someone cool around the city, how do I ask for their information without sounding like a creep or desperate? I met a women at the dog park, our dogs got along so great. I told her my husband and I were new in town, she told me about all the places she and her friends take their dogs to give me suggestions but didn't invite us or offer her phone number, for example. It felt rude to push. What can I do in these situations without being rude or pushy?

TMLife2 karma

Thank you for asking, and for the detail!

It's great that you've got the first part of making new friends handled: meeting and talking to new people.

The next step is to invite them to do fun things with you. To do this, you will need to get their contact information.

Although this is just a guess, I can sense that there are certain mental patterns holding you back from asking for their contact info. "It felt rude to push", "... without sounding like a creep or desperate." Asking for somebody's contact information to meet up at a later time is not even close to being rude, nor is it creepy. I would make the ask.

With that being said, humans are quite uncomfortable rejecting someone outright. Instead, preferring to give a reason that can help save face. So if somebody does say they're busy, then it's worth taking it at face value. It's the same as if a man approached a woman and asked for her number and she says "sorry, I have a boyfriend." Maybe she does, maybe she doesn't, but the intention is clear. If you already have their number and they say they're busy, that's a different story. I would try 2 times, max 3 but it's worth letting go after that.

I hope this helps!

- Tak

plmcalli2 karma

Here is a bit of a different question? How do you cope when you “break up” with a friend? I recently stopped communicating with a very close friend.

TMLife2 karma

Good question!

Like any break up, it's going to hurt—regardless of the reason. It would be a good idea to not hold back any emotions during the process. For me, it really helps to let some tears go, it really helps. If you want to cope alone, cope alone. If you want to cope with trusted friends, that is good too.

Then continuing to build new and better friendships would be the best next step. Time will heal but only if you're not looking back at it.

I hope this helped. Sorry to hear about your "break up".

- Tak

Killerman9272 karma

How common and acceptable is it to make friends with people of the opposite sex when you have a partner?

TMLife2 karma

Great question!

Yes, the person who replied gave a great answer that's similar to mine. It comes down to clear communication and handling of insecurities. If you have a healthy, clear and honest, trusting relationship, it shouldn't be a big deal. Also, you can invite your partner to hang out with your opposite sex friend too. That's a good way to reassure them.

I hope this helped!

- Tak

sagittarius_d1 karma

Do you advice people differently based on the society the person living? because I feel like most of the advice that is seen on internet is based on American culture which won't worl in a conservative culture like for example south east asia

TMLife2 karma

Thanks for asking!

So yes, my advice is mainly focused on Western societies because I live in one, and I'm speaking off of experiences and understanding of human/social behaviour.

However, human connection is something that's universal all across the board in all countries, and the general structure is the same: Meet people you like -> spend time with people you like -> develop those relationships.

With that being said, yes you are correct in the sense that people in other cultures and countries may have different norms.

So for example, if you live in a South East Asian country, it may be worth reading the book and getting the advice (or other advice from other people), and applying it in your location. If you think something is off or may not work, that is something that you, with your knowledge of your specific culture may have to work out. Or, you could seek to find information that is suited to your culture.

I hope this pointed you in the right direction!

- Tak

Powerfule_Mars1 karma


Foxsayy12 karma

I'm not OP, but I can offer the experience I've had. A lot of the people who describe themselves something like "upfront" with people or they "say what's on their mind/tell it like it is" are struggling for one of two main reasons.

  1. The first is: hey, you have socially inept and asshole tendencies, maybe you even are a genuine ass, and there's no nice way to say it without you rationalizing it. These people do things like speak aggressively or talk down to people, but they won't even realize they're doing it. In fact, if you hear someone like this tell the story later, they tend to tell a narrative that paints them as speaking rationally, kindly, calmly, and ironically framing the other person's retaliation to their hostility as the attack. These types also tend to take it poorly when someone brings the issues up, partially because they don't really believe they've done anything, or if they did, they have a "good" reason they did it, which may or may not be true. e.g. I was stressed at work, I've had a health scare, it's been a really tough day and I've been working 3 jobs and my boyfriend yelled at me. Naturally, they tend not to give the same consideration for others' excuses, even if the excuses are extremely similar.

  2. The second reason is some sort of almost innocuous social ineptitude, often paired with or because of one's personal philosophy or morals (and sometimes a mental issue like Asperger's). For instance, you might be well intentioned and think they your acquaintance would like to know their anger issues are scaring off their friends. Maybe you think this because you would prefer that. Thing is, people often hate being told about their flaws, and it causes them not to want to change but to dislike you. (And if you call it out in front of people when you could do it on the side, that's just a dick move.) There are certain social conventions and niceties that certain people just don't see a point in, and some of these can vary from region to region.

Some of these conventions are useful, like small talk I so often hear someone say they hate. (btw, if someone says that, 95% of the time they're some form of socially inept. It's a red flag.) Small talk may not always be the most fascinating thing, but among other purposes, it serves to start a conversation with a stranger, a date, etc. and for feeling out who this person is and how they work, if they're safe and sane, etc. It often functions as a sort of preliminary screening.

And yeah, a lot of these conventions ARE stupid and even sometimes harmful, but here's the thing if you want to fit into groups within society: you have to play the game. Sometimes it sucks. But just like small talk, if you want to find others that share your mode of social interaction or you mesh with, you're often going to need to play the game to find them. After you've shown that you're not a sociopath weirdo and can at least act well enough not to embarrass your friends in public (which could alienate them from their networks), you're more likely to find the friend you can feel comfortable with and doesn't mind if you casually tell them they look like shit or appreciates you looking out for them when you bring up their unpleasant rage issue.

A good tip for being a bit more socially adept from what you wrote might be noticing the good in people and complimenting on that. People despise having their faults exposed to their social networks, and if they think you mention their bad traits to others that's social suicide. They will mark you somewhere between an annoyance and a threat and distance themselves. But people love talking about themselves and having someone talk them up.

Anyway, this went way longer than I expected, and I hope it was somewhat helpful. :)

TMLife2 karma

Thanks for answering with such a detailed and helpful post! The original commentor deleted their question so I hope this provided the answer because I can't see it :)

- Tak

royalsJ1 karma

How and why did you get the job you have today?

TMLife2 karma

Thanks for asking! I answered a similar question to another person so I will answer it here as well.
So my background is similar to a lot of people who share these types of advice: I experienced the problem of lacking social connections and the ability to meet girls/people in general.
When I moved to a new city for university without knowing anyone, I severely underestimated how difficult making new friends from scratch was going to be. When I started working full time, I realized a lifestyle of work -> home -> work -> home without a healthy social life of social relationships wasn't sustainable.
I started watching lots of self-improvement/dating advice YouTube videos, read a lot of books on the topic, and listened to podcasts. Although these helped, I realized there wasn't a complete guide to helping someone creating a social life for someone struggling like me.
From there, I just started putting all the knowledge I got from my personal experiences + self-help/dating information into a book that was designed to take someone from not having (m)any friends or romantic relationships to becoming capable of creating a social life they love and showing the strategies to accomplish just that, and helping people personally along the way.
- Tak

indigo_fish_sticks1 karma

What do you think about your environment and living in certain cities that generally have less people interested in meeting new people and being active, or trying new things? I currently live in the city in which I was born, and my closest friends thru the pandemic have been my old friends from high-school which don't like to do anything other than play games online and hang out on Discord. I'd really like to meet new people and make new friends that are more along the lines of myself now, but I've become a lot more socially anxious and introverted since the pandemic.

TMLife2 karma

Good question!

Definitely the busier a city gets and the more technologically advanced we become, we do tend to become less interested in social relationships. With that being said though, this is a big generalization because a lot of people are like me and you, people who want those friendships.

I feel as if the problem is that we don't have a consistent way to be social in person as life goes on in a way that say school gave us in our childhood. I'm trying to do my part with the book though, and making it free is a good first step.

I hope this helped, or at least pointed you in the right direction.

- Tak