We’re in the middle of a small series on the concept of reboot capital. Just like a business needs capital to grow, your reboot needs capital to be positive and productive. There are five areas of your life where you need to build up reboot capital:
Next up in our reboot capital series, brothers, is social reboot capital. Social reboot capital consists of activities that promote wellness within your interpersonal relationships. This includes your family, your friends, and your colleagues.
Human beings are social creatures and naturally seek the comfort and support of healthy relationships with others. However, as men who struggle with out-of-control behavior with porn addiction problems and masturbation, most of us do not have healthy relationships. We isolated ourselves because of the shame and guilt we felt.
When we did have to spend time with others, more often than not we were irritated. Being around people took time away from what we really wanted to be doing: acting out. It drives a gap between us and those around us, making us more frustrating and difficult to be around.
A pivotal part of the reboot process involves learning to reintegrate with people. Building social reboot capital means building caring relationships with others while engaging in positive social interactions and behaviors.
I remember early in my reboot realizing that, while the friends I had around me were good people, they lived a lifestyle that could have easily led to me slipping. They went out to the bars every weekend, occasionally smoked weed, and were an overall party-oriented crowd. There’s nothing wrong with living life this way for normal people but you and I are far from normal, brother. We can’t balance that kind of lifestyle with a successful reboot.
Take stock of your friend group and consider how you all spend time together. What is the focus during your interactions? Where do you guys go? What is the driving force behind these relationships? Is there substance to them or is it all surface level with no depth?
Building social reboot capital requires looking at these things. Men who are successful in the porn addiction recovery Reboot Program consider every aspect of their lives. Consider whether your friends are helping you move toward the kind of man you want to be or further from it. Does spending time with them support your reboot practices or make them more difficult to follow through on?
If you find your friendships don’t strengthen your life in any way, it may be time to take a step back from some of them. I had to recognize which friendships were building me up and which were bringing me down. It doesn’t mean you have to cut out every single one of your friends but it does mean you need to expand your friend group.
The thought of spending time with new people triggers a lot of anxiety in many men, though. You’ve spent so many years isolating yourself from people around you and trying to scrape by with the relationships you already have. You likely feel some social anxiety whenever you do get out of the house and into social situations.
Addressing and working through this social anxiety is the first part of building social reboot capital. You can’t find new friends if you struggle to spend any time outside of your comfort zone. Overcoming social anxiety takes work but it is possible. And I say this as an introvert, brother!
Joining a class, group, or club is a great way to face your social anxiety head-on and begin building reboot capital. Join a small gym instead of a large box one, look for a hiking group in your area, or consider taking a class at the local community college. These will all surround you with people who share similar interests and give you something in common right away.
I chose to join a dance class when I first started building my social reboot capital. I know, can you believe that? I’m not a dancer, per se, but had a friend who invited me to check out a swing dancing class. I never would have checked it out on my own but because that friend invited me to go I was willing to try it.
He ended up not showing for the class and I remember feeling so uncomfortable and awkward at first. I felt silly for joining in and berated myself for even considering such a ridiculous thing. But by the end of it, believe it or not, I had a great time. I danced with a few girls as we learned and rotated partners which was more female interaction than I’d had in over two years.
Getting out and joining a group is a far cry from living in front of a computer screen the majority of your day. It brings you into the real world, encourages you to interact with real people, and teaches you real skills in the process. I believe participating in groups, classes, and clubs is by far the most effective way to build social reboot capital in the beginning.
As you build confidence through your activity of choice, expand your social practice into other areas of your social life. Once you become comfortable in the class, invite some of the people to hang out outside of the group. Go out to dinner, watch a movie, check out a museum. This builds more social reboot capital and allows you to engage outside of the structured environment.
Family is the most challenging part of building social reboot capital. Family members know which buttons to press and how to frustrate us the most. You may think the things they say don’t bother you too much but oftentimes they pick at our deepest insecurities.
If your family is particularly difficult to interact with, I recommend keeping them at a comfortable distance until you develop more reboot capital. As you learn to reconnect with others, redevelop your sense of self, and maintain boundaries, you can let your family further into your life.
In the meantime, lean into brothers in the Porn Reboot group. Talk with men who have similar difficulties. Connecting with them keeps you from feeling alone in your struggles. Building relationships with your Porn Reboot brothers solidifies your social reboot capital, too. Join us in the free Porn Reboot Facebook group and find someone to connect with if you need it!