January 16, 2015 / How to Improve as a Social Producer
Ways you can bring social entertainment and value to everyone you know.
In a previous article, I talked about what it meant to be a social producer and social consumer. To quickly recap, the key question about whether you’re good at being a social producer, is this: "If I didn’t show up, would people have less fun?"
This question isn’t intended to make you anxious or self-conscious. But it’s to get you thinking about how you can "bring more to the table," socially. I know a lot of readers of JoshSway.com consider themselves introverts, and despair they’ll never be the "life of the party." But you can dramatically improve as a social producer among your friends and with girls before you actually see them. This article isn’t about how to be "the life of the party," because most social production happens before any socializing actually happens!
So let’s jump in and discuss some ways you can improve as a social producer, and ultimately develop a much richer friendship and dating life.
Plan and Organize
My introduction in the previous article was a classic example for this. Or to refer to Josh’s earlier article about The Fun and The Bank, this is essentially acting as "The Bank."
Seek out ways you can play a greater role in organizing and managing your social activities. When you hang out with your friends, do you just wait for them to contact you? Do you find yourself saying, "I’m cool with whatever" a lot? In whatever activities you’re involved with, are you only doing them because your friends did?
If so, stop. This means you’re mostly a social consumer when it comes to your friendships. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it means your social life is completely at the whim of your friends. Don’t like the movie they’re going to see, or the restaurant they want to eat at? Too bad, because you weren’t involved in planning it, or even gave an opinion on planning it. Why put yourself in that position?
You can start small. When asked for an opinion, state your opinion and then offer to contribute. For example, "Dinner sounds good, how about Mexican? I’ll see if Matt can come, and then make the reservation." And then take it a step further. "Let’s meet at my place, and then we’ll all head out together."
As you get more comfortable, you should find yourself more confident to plan more things. You’ll be comfortable throwing a party or organizing a team for a sports league. Eventually, your friends see you as a source of entertainment and fun. They’ll ask you things like, "hey man, when’s the next season start in our intramural soccer league?" or "dude, when are you going to throw another one of those parties?"
Invest Complementary Resources
Even if you’re not organizing or planning a social event, doesn’t mean you still can’t contribute. Some easy examples are:
- If you’re invited to watch a sports game, bring food or beverages.
- If you’re drinking with friends before you go out, bring some small speakers and set up Pandora or Spotify on your phone.
- If you’re invited to a party, bring any single female friends.
- If someone is planning something that requires everyone to pool money, offer to front the money and have everyone pay you back.
- If you’re going out with friends near where you live, offer to have people crash at your place.
It can be taxing to plan and organize things with friends, but It’s a lot easier to "invest complementary resources." As a social producer, you want to think, "how can I make this even more fun?" Which is really just a matter of answering, "what would make this more fun for me?" You want to be the guy that walks into the room and has his friends say, "dude, you’re a lifesaver for bringing that pizza, I’m starving."
Did you literally save anyone’s life? No. You just realized you’d get hungry at some point watching football on TV, and it would be great to be able to scarf down some pizza.
Be a Good Social Consumer
As you take deliberate steps to improve as a social producer, you’ll quickly recognize and appreciate efforts by others doing the same. Showing that appreciation will make a big difference. If a friend throws a party, help him clean up. If he’s spent a lot of time planning something, buy him the first round. Or sometimes all you have to do is say thanks.
Why Being a Good Social Producer Is Important
For several reasons, namely:
1. You’re taking control of your social life.
Being a social producer means you’re having fun the way you want to. Your friends are drinking the beer you like, or listening to the music you like, or going to the bar you wanted to. Being a social producer doesn’t mean doing a bunch of stuff and getting nothing out of it. You’re also the consumer of your own social production. So enjoy it!
2. Most male friendships are really just mutual consumer/producer relationships.
If your friends are just eating your food and trashing your apartment, they’re pretty shitty friends. But if you’re just show up, barely talk to anyone, and leave, you’re not being a very good friend either.
3. Women will notice.
Being a good social producer is one of the easiest ways to build "prestige" among your friends. You become the pack leader, because planning and organizing things are really just a way of leading. And in the company women, they’ll notice. Your friends will only have good things to say to you, and women will notice how they defer to you. You run shit, and everyone knows it.
Avoid Long-Term Relationship Pitfalls
If your goal is an LTR, I think it’s absolutely mandatory to be a good social producer beforehand. If you’re only a social consumer, then you’ll probably end up sound a lot like this guy. Because you’re used to deferring your social life completely to others, you’ll end up deferring it completely to her.
Your friends will invite you to hang out, you’ll say you’re busy hanging out with your girlfriend, and eventually they’ll stop inviting you. Meanwhile, your girlfriend may like spending time with you, but it will hardly be a fulfilling relationship. You’re not enriching her life, you’re just acting as an accessory to all the shit she’d be doing anyway.
But if you’re used to being a social producer, you bring a lot more to the table in a relationship. You’ll be used to planning things and asserting your opinions. When she says, "let’s do something," you won’t have any issue suggesting something to do. Or if she suggests an activity you think is boring, you’ll easily be able to think of an alternative and plan accordingly.