How To Be Popular In College: Becoming Cool

Alright, so I cranked out an article a while back on the superficial ways to become popular  in college.

I felt kind of weird writing that article, because I actually do not do that stuff anymore.  Nevertheless, it is easier than ever for me to make friends.

That article was targeted towards someone who is looking for a “quick fix” to a lame social life that doesn’t require seriously changing him/herself.

Now, providing booze, hot girls or a place to party is not the only way to become popular in college.

You probably know a guy who is just so fucking cool that he can appear at any party and immediately become the center of attention without doing anything.

He can get away with this because he is cool.

Most of us act, or try to act, cool.  When we say something, we hope that the other person responds in a certain way (laughing, being in awe, etc.).  When they respond the way that we want them to, we feel more confident that the other person thinks we are a cool person.  As a result, we feel better about ourselves.

In short, we are response junkies.  Like a heroine addict, we need our fix of validation from others in order to feel good about ourselves.  When we feel good about ourselves, we give ourselves permission to act cool.

Guys who are cool don’t need certain responses in order to give themselves permisison to be cool.  That permission comes from, well, being alive.

Because they are so convinced that they are the shit, any kind of negative feedback, such as others not laughing at their jokes or feeling annoyed, is blocked out completely.

As a result, they don’t feel self-conscious when they don’t get a certain response because they aren’t looking for a certain response in the first place.  Negative responses are not even processed.

Because they aren’t self-conscious, they feel free to be cool.

Now, being cool is the secret to social success.

But what does it mean to be cool?

Cool= Uniqueness + Congruence

Uniqueness:  Things that stands out about you.  This can include your personality, your mannerisms, your style, your worldview and the general way you carry yourself.

Congruence:  Are those things “who you are?”

Usually congruence lags behind uniqueness.

For example, if this guy…


…rolls into class one day rocking a tank top, bling bling and a bandanna and goes around saying “whad up dog,” he is probably not going to be congruent to it.  In other words, it is going to come across as weird because it is not who he is at that time.

Now, if he keeps with it long enough, it will become who he is.

The fact is, people can and do make dramatic changes to themselves.

If you think back to high school, you might have witnessed an average girl turn into an emo girl.  You might have seen a nerdy introvert become very outgoing and popular.  You might have seen a jock become a nerd.

Now, when somebody does something to make themselves stand out, they are usually not congruent to it.  Instead of being cool, that person goes through a period where he is “try hard” or “not himself” or “weird.” It takes a long time for old habits to go away, after all.

For example, if you are dry and boring, you will initially come across as weird if you start telling jokes.  Most of those jokes will probably bomb initially because you just aren’t that kind of guy yet.  You will feel enormous social pressure to return to the dry, boring conversationalist you were before.  After all, that boring identity is what you are still congruent to.

Most people are not willing to go through that period of rejection, so they don’t do anything to make themselves stand out more.

And since conformists are so common, they don’t stand out and therefore are not cool.

Now, even when a person becomes congruent to a more unique identity, their problems are not over.  The more you stand out, the more people with either love you OR hate you.

Your life will be filled with more groupies AND more haters.

The person you know with the most friends also has a lot of people bitching and moaning about them.

This is because if you do what most other people are doing, people will be indifferent towards you.  When you don’t do what other people are doing, then other people will actually have opinions about what you are doing.

Indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love.

Think about Nelly.  Nelly is undoubtedly a guy who stands out both professionally and personally.  He is pretty congruent to that to.

In fact, when he got a cut on his face and started wearing a bandaid, thousands of groupies across the country followed him and started rocking bandaids on their faces as well.

That said, a lot of people do not like Nelly’s antics.  They don’t like his attitude, his language, his style or his music.  To these haters, he is not cool.

Cool is in the eyes of the beholder.  The more you stand out, the more cool you will seem to some and the more uncool you will seem to others.

It’s a balance of sorts.  Depending on what you want in your life will depend on how you want to stand out.

It is possible to be cool and wear T-shirts and jeans.  It is possible to be cool and be full emo.  There are so many different ways to stand out it’s not even funny.

So let’s bring this around.  The key to being able to make friends without relying on superficial things like hot girls, booze and parties is to develop your individuality and allow yourself to stand out from others.  It is all about identity.

When you can go up to other people and give them a taste of this without needing anything in return, that is when you become powerful.  That is when you will have people begging to hang out with you.  That is when you become attractive to the opposite sex.  That is when you can walk into any social environment and immediately hook attention.

That is also when you will get people talking shit about you and trying to mess with you.

Thankfully, you will always have more groupies than haters so long as you give off good vibes.

Expect more to come on this topic.

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2 Responses to How To Be Popular In College: Becoming Cool

  1. […] want to be the center of the social scene in college, the way forward is pretty straightforward.  If you don’t want to cultivate a chill, fun personality, you can get pretty much whatever you want if you provide at least one of three things: hot girls, […]

  2. Tron says:

    Great post.

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