Thursday, November 24, 2016

Dating advice from Teacher Bert

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I’m sure since the moment I started posting here five years ago, you’ve all been wondering in the back of your minds “When is he going to finally give us some dating advice?” Wait no longer my friend, our time has arrived. Should you take dating advice from me? No, no you should not. Should you do the opposite of what I think is best? Yes, yes you should.

Things you should do:

I’ve been on one date with one lady in my dating career but I will try to pass on everything that I have learned in that time-span. First things first. Do something you haven’t done before that you think would be fun or something you know you already love. Worst case scenario is you just did something you’ve always wanted to try or you did something you enjoyed even if the guy was a dud (see writer).

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Keep it short. 
Don’t be going on 9 hour thousand islands trips. Under an hour is the dream but no more than two. You theoretically have your entire lives to start annoying each other; let’s keep the first one short and sweet.
I’m a fan of outside, having your environment help with the conversation and nothing too formal. Eat ice cream and go for a walk in the park or play Frisbee while listening to music and drinking a few beers.

You are there to have fun so…HAVE FUN! Let’s face it, this person probably isn’t the one but we can learn a few things from everyone who enters our lives. They know tons of things that we don’t. They have at least one or two interesting tales or experiences that could enrich your life.
This might be more for guys because I feel like there might be more pressure on us to make a quality first date impression but try not to impress them too much. Be yourself and ask yourself, “Is this person actually legit or do I just want to hang out with them because they are good looking?” Just because someone is good looking or other people like them, does not make them cool. Don’t be overcritical but look for things you like but be on the lookout for things that could become taxing.

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If you haven’t been hanging out with Teacher Bert recently, you have missed out on what I’m going to call Question Bert. I’ve developed and researched a variety of fascinating questions to use on first dates and in everyday life with people I’m forced to have small talk with. While people say it’s not a job interview, essentially it is. I’m a BIG fan of questions but make it seem natural and don’t pepper them with questions. Be cool but have a good 10 in your back pocket.

Remember things they say. What???? I know, right? People think it’s important and rightfully so. You don’t need to remember everything but remember what they do, a trip they have planned, their best friend or roommate’s names, etc. I promise it will make greater strides than you spending $200 eating at a French restaurant for your first date. Another point, avoid going to restaurants but try to incorporate food because women love snacks/treats. There’s a saying that says “It’s not a date unless you split something.” Do with that information what you wish.

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Don’t: (Oh boy. I’m going to try and not get carried away here)

Don’t be someone you’re not. If you aren’t super funny, put the comedy routine on the back-burner. You aren’t into sports? Put down the racket for now. People can see through what you aren’t so embrace who you are but be open to learning something new.

Details. Details. Details. If you are a guy and you don’t think she’s going to notice that thing in your car, stain on your shirt or whatever little thing you are trying to hide, you couldn’t be more wrong. Women have hawk eyes and attention to detail. Tighten up your game and get out there stud.
Punctuality. Be on time you monkey head.

Do I have to tell you to dress nicely, have good shoes and smell like a vanilla candle?

If you have a problem with losing and being somewhat competitive, DO NOT bring your date to a board game cafĂ©. Just don’t.

Don’t take everything so seriously. Don’t picture her as someone you might marry or blah blah blah. It will all work itself out so just try to have fun, make them laugh and if you go on a second date, build on what you’ve built on the first.

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Don’t kiss them. Whatever you do, don’t kiss them. Oh, you are going to kiss her as she looks for her keys at the end of the night? Stop. It’s too much for me. Don’t kiss them on the second if we you really want my advice. When they think you’re going to zig, you zag. Don’t be like everyone else. Don’t be predictable. People on dates are guessing what they think you’re going to do next. Leave them guessing.

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Meeting up with people and going on dates with strangers can be extremely awkward in a ton of different ways. One of the first dates I went on after being away was with this 24ish year old Asian girl I had met. We met up for lunch (try to meet up after work or at night) and had sushi. I wasn’t really feeling it and I’m bad at faking interest so towards the end of the date she says “You don’t meet many new people, do you?” Jab, jab, upper cut. My counter to that would be that I meet lots of people and I feel like I know pretty quickly where things are and are not headed. Maybe I go with that first impression too long but I think it’s important to go with your instinct most of the time. I’ve personally have had enough for one year and am looking at 2017 with a high sense of optimism.

I think we make dating harder than it needs to be. If you want a simple, clear way to decide if you want to keep dating someone, I have the solution. Don’t worry about ten years from now. Don’t worry about next month. At the end of every date if you are thinking about seeing this person again, ask yourself “Would I rather see them or would I rather _________”. If you’d rather do something else, that is not the wrong answer and maybe you shouldn’t see that person again or maybe another time might work better. Just keep asking yourself “What would I rather do. Meet up or do my own thing or meet up with someone else?” I promise it will solve your problem. What would you rather do? Simple as that.
I will leave you with these two posts I’ve written previously

And a post from my main man Mark Manson. He sums relationships and other factors in our life as Fuck yes or no. If it’s not a fuck yes, it’s a no. Even simpler. Happy American Thanksgiving.

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“Fortune favours the bold.”


Monday, November 7, 2016

How's your first impression?

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I’ve thought about writing a post like this for about two years at this point. With all that time to ponder about the topic, you would assume that you would be getting a high quality, well thought out post from Teacher Bert. You would be mistaken. The idea first came about two years ago with a friend when the topic of what if what we thought we looked like wasn’t really what we actually looked like so mirrors, water and pictures weren’t the complete picture. So we started researching how to find out how other people see us. The main objective was purely superficial and wanting to know if who we see in the mirror is really us. The article went into great detail about more in-depth specific areas to focus on to understand ourselves and what to look for in making a good first impression, maintain friendships, etc. 

Robert Rodriguez

The article got quite deep and right at the end of the lengthy article, our answer was merely a footnote when it stated “If you want to know how other people see you, hold a mirror up in front of another mirror and that’s how people see you.” It was one of those had to be there moments but it was the funniest thing that happened that year by far.  I then randomly found a book on first impressions and it has taken me this long to comb through it so let’s dive into how people see us and how we can improve.

Image result for 'The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.' -- Maimonides

I’m confident and certainly not proud of the fact that I don’t think I give off a great first or even second impression. I think my fifth, tenth and sixtieth impressions are great but I don’t think people meet me at a party and think “I like that Bert guy.” Most people come around to the idea of Bert making their lives more entertaining but some people take longer to warm up than others. Two areas I knew I needed to focus on before reading about this was that I don’t smile enough and could make more eye contact. I can specifically remember my cousin telling me that I needed to work on it which I think I’ve made strides on but still not a 100% comfort level.

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 After reading First Impressions, I was alerted to the fact that I also should spend a tad more attention on matching rate of speech with people (I talk too fast when I get nervous; I was also told to slow down how fast I speak in Thailand because they were just learning English), give more compliments, show some deeper feelings, people like being gently touched in conversation (apparently) and to be the one to introduce yourself first. A few things. I specifically avoid touching people I just meet because I think it’s strange. Even on a first date, I won’t touch them and almost want to message them just before meeting them that I don’t want to have an awkward hello hug. I’m super awkward at meeting people and they go for a cool handshake and I’m doing a classic business man handshake; it’s awkward 80% of the time. I’m not cool. I wish it was Thailand and everyone did this to say hi and goodbye:

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I’m also guilty of not being the first person to introduce myself. I have a memory of this being a New Year’s resolution of mine but alarmingly, it didn’t stick. I want to be the type of person who goes for it first. The other person is thinking/dreading it as well so you might as well get the points for doing it first. It certainly shows confidence and being comfortable in the situation. I also struggle at remembering their name and using it in conversation. Like appallingly bad. I’m almost positive my mom is named Beth. This and smiling will be the two areas I focus on first. 

Image result for Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. —Dalai Lama

Things I do well? Oh, thanks for asking reader. I think I excel at asking other people questions, listening to their response, being an active listener and not trying to brag or show off to impress people. (it would be a short conversation) I think I’m good at making people feel comfortable if I’m comfortable around them, good at making people laugh and being able to laugh at myself or share mishaps to gain common ground. If you want to take a quick gander at the tables and fill them in to give you some insight, here is the link. Click on tables on the left hand side on the site.

They suggest tackling one issue at a time then once you feel comfortable, starting on your next area of weakness. They also suggest taking pride in what we do well because it’s easy to beat ourselves up about on downfalls and not focus as much on our strengths. Asking yourself how you actually want to be perceived is a good step in understanding what changes you want to make, if any. If you are happy with the way everything has gone so far, no need to change but I feel like there is always room for improvement. Asking a close friend for some tips is recommended but not to take the advice too personally and get offended. I think you are super-duper not matter what.

I took this quiz and it turns out I’m super shy. Agree? Give the test a whirl:

 Image result for Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."

 “If you are grading your own test, you will pass every time! Be careful of your self-perception because it could deceive you.”

Mario Hill