Today’s topic comes from a question brought up in one of our groups. This brother asked,
“J.K., I read your post saying that people who try to live a balanced life tend to not know what their priorities are. I’m headed into my second year of university and my goal is to boost my GPA and improve my social reboot capital by joining clubs at school.
I tend to isolate myself when it comes to my studies, though. I don’t participate in class discussions or answer questions when the teacher asks them. Instead of studying with friends, I go to the library alone and study by myself. I stay in my room, sleep, and repeat.
Is it possible for me to hit both goals or do I need to prioritize one over the other? I don’t want this year in university to be like the first one when I felt overcome by loneliness as I watched my peers connect, but I also don’t want to fail my classes either.”
This is a fantastic question. I appreciate it because it applies not only to our brothers in school but to our brothers in their careers as well. Whether you’re busy with classes and studying or work and trying to build a business or get a promotion, each of these is an important achievement to work towards.
At the same time, many of us find ourselves isolated from our fellows as a result of our out-of-control behavior. We spent years withdrawing from others as we hid away in a cocoon of compulsive porn addiction problem. Reintegrating with the world is a vital part of the reboot process.
But what does rebuilding your social reboot capital look like? It might not look the same for you as it does for other brothers, especially if you’re more of an introvert. This brother mentioned that he prefers studying alone at the library or in his room. He’s attempting to put himself out there by joining some clubs on campus, but he still finds himself spending much of his time alone.
Social reboot capital doesn’t necessarily mean you can tolerate spending hours at a time with people. You must determine who you are as a person when identifying what an effective social reboot looks like for you. That means finding the amount of socialization you can tolerate before losing interest.
Honestly, I’m a pretty big introvert. I find it rejuvenating to spend time alone. I don’t mean isolating myself from people for weeks at a time, but I need some alone time every day. That applies at home, out on the road, or even on guys’ trips with my friends. I recently went to Nashville with some buddies and while they all booked an AirBnB together, I opted to get a hotel room nearby.
I still had some work to do and clients to speak to so I needed space for that. I also prioritize my morning routine and don’t want interruptions, so having my own space made that easier, too. And honestly, there’s only so much catching up I can do with these guys though I still see them as great friends.
We were out there for three days. I had a great time when we went to dinner, hit the gym, or stopped by a bar. I could socialize with them through all of these events and had a blast doing it. At the same time, it was nice to have a space to return to at the end of the night where I didn’t have to deal with guys staying up, talking, and drinking all night. I could maintain my priorities while still having a great time with my friends.
I used to feel like that meant something was wrong with me, but the more time passes, the more I realize that I’m simply an introvert. I need that time alone to recharge my batteries. That might be the case for this brother and it may be the case for you, too. There’s nothing wrong with needing a bit more solitude than those around you.
Don’t use your introverted preferences as a reason to avoid engaging with others, though. It’s important to find some ways to socialize that are interesting and engaging for you. You can join campus clubs, sign up for a dance class, join an improv group, enroll in a martial arts class, or start Brazilian jiu-jitsu, just to name a few. It’s important to put yourself out there socially at least once or twice a week so you start interacting with the world again.
Putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations is the only way we will grow. I had to do it when I was selling Bibles door-to-door as I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about or read here on the blog before. I needed to purposefully put myself in situations where I needed to be social, no matter how uncomfortable I felt at the time.
One of the most important ways you can put yourself out there, brother, is to be a friend. The best way to find a friend is to be a friend. I decided I was going to be the type of friend I was looking for and this was by far the most effective approach I could have taken. I chose to show up for people until they gave me a reason not to. I became far more willing to spend time with people I would not have normally spent time with. And the results were pretty incredible.
I’ll admit not all of those friendships worked out. Some guys I spent time with were needy, others were consistently negative. On the other hand, some of the men I met during this period are still my best friends today. They’re creating exciting lives, building successful businesses, starting beautiful families, and enjoying what the world has to offer.
So I don’t think this brother is abandoning his GPA to build a social life. I think he can find a good balance between the two things by getting honest with himself about who he is and how he prefers to socialize. Perhaps he’s expending more energy than necessary by telling himself he needs to be more social than he prefers. And the same may apply to you, too.
Start by identifying what an effective social reboot looks like for you and go from there. Determine how your progress in your schooling or career fits into that social aspect. And even if you choose to spend more time on your own, don’t neglect the critical component that socialization brings to your reboot either. You can reach a place in the middle that works for you because you alone know what’s best for your social situation.