I’m 20 and a college student. It’s always been hard for me to fit in with the other guys. I’ve tried to “be the man” with them when we hang out in bars. But it’s just not me. The other guys seem to have such a great time. Meanwhile, I go back to my apartment feeling crappy and lonely. What can I do to fit in and to have a good time with these guys?
Dear Bummed Out,
As alone as you feel, you’re not alone with your feelings. They may not let on, but a lot of the guys you see “enjoying themselves,” may not be having the blast you imagine. The truth is, these young men grow up to be older men, like the guys I work with at the men’s center, who have always “played the game,” but never developed a true sense of who they were as men. Now they feel lost. As you get older, it becomes much more challenging to change your habits and to be the man you always wanted to be. That’s why you are a lucky man. This is the best time for you to build these muscles.
Rather than comparing yourself to others, start taking the time to figure out what the man you want to be looks like. You see, inside, you’re already that man. It’s just that the noise from peer pressure, marketing, TV and movies, makes it hard for you to hear that voice within. It’s time to start listening to that voice, so you can start trusting that voice. That voice is you!
There’s nothing wrong with you. You just don’t like to do some of the things the other guys are doing. Fine. What do you want to do? And what’s in the way of you doing it? I suspect, whatever the obstacles, they’re more imagined than real. It takes courage to be the man you want to be. Now’s the time for you to experiment and to take some risks. The rewards will be outstanding.