“My Crew Is Better Than Your Crew”…But Who Are You Without Them?

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promoinsertI have spent the majority of my time over the past seven years sitting and existing behind closed doors. While writing, recording and collaborating with other creative types, my journey hasn’t provided many opportunities to form new, close relationships. I have created a space for myself, consciously and subconsciously where I am forced to rely on the random contact with friends who have been a part of my life since Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski reigned over Saturday mornings. It makes me feel good knowing that the individuals who fill the positions in my circle are people who listen to me, share with me, and like me as I AM – even as I have grown and changed into someone who isn’t as publicly social. In my daily struggle to reach mainstream media success, I have chosen to remain in regular contact with those who give me good advice when I ask for it, assists in taking action that will help me reach my goals, and works alongside me to help figure out what to do next in moments where I am facing difficult times. My goal is to maintain a crew I can tell anything to and know they will not betray my confidence.

In many circumstances, this generation has lost sight of the significance and supreme purpose of surrounding themselves with a group of people who can truly be considered friends. Instead, many teens and twenty-something’s have opted to simply hang out with individuals who engage in constant fun when out and about, while in the process — looking good standing together for group shots. The “MY CREW IS BETTER THAN YOUR CREW” slogan dictates a contemporary, collective status of surface qualities: pseudo notoriety and second hand loyalty amongst the ranks. Many young people are choosing their friends based on convenient connections that have very little to do with creating a circle where the interactions enrich their individual lives. Everyone wants to be accepted by the “cool kids” – even if that top tier of the social paradigm only provides temporary self worth and gratification. It has seemingly become enough however — in a world where including non-talent related booking information in an online bio has replaced the honor of listing degrees, certifications and other substantial achievements.

“MY CREW IS BETTER THAN YOUR CREW” should be measured on the basis of collective accomplishments and group success if indeed one circle is even to be compared to another. Are the majority of the people you call your “crew” involved in daily tasks and activities that somehow contribute to the growth and productivity of the communities from where they stem? When others see your “crew” walking into a venue or standing side-by-side at a Sunday, rooftop party, are you all being greeted with looks of admiration and handshakes gripped in respect? There’s a huge difference between a crowd being physically attracted to most or all members that comprise a crew and that same crowd feeling drawn to each member as a result of their positive energy and personal vibes. This generation sometimes confuses the surface attention their circle of friends receives, with the levels of high regard that is often afforded to those who are making great, individual strides.

It’s so easy to get caught up in this whirlwind of group praise and adulation when people don’t fully understand who they are behind closed doors or what their purpose is in the world at large.

People who are constantly attaching themselves to other social groups, unable to walk outside alone or attend events without being seen with a slew of others are often dealing with issues of inferiority. Somehow, they don’t feel confident enough to face the world as a solo entity — in fear that their insecurities and weaknesses will be exposed on the front lines. It’s easier to hide our lack of confidence or pride in self behind the names and reputations that others have built and established for themselves. Individuals who often jump between social circles, hanging with this group today and that crew tomorrow – are usually in search of their own identity. Because they are unknowingly confused about what they want to do with their lives or how to create a plan to reach certain goals, they constantly ride the coattails of people who are seemingly powerful & revered. “MY CREW IS BETTER THAN YOUR CREW” is only as relevant as ones perception. When each person who comprises the crew isn’t able to stand on their own accomplishments and ride the wave of their solo merit, it echoes a very empty reality. When someone has to rely on the company they keep to cushion the shattered framework of their self-esteem, that individual has to begin building their internal strength.

When we force ourselves to engage in public and private activities that don’t involve the distractions of television, music, the internet or the presence of other people, we begin figuring out who we are at the core. The silent time we spend with ourselves allows buried thoughts to rise to the surface of our minds and hidden feelings to pump their way through the largest vessels in our hearts. We give ourselves the space and time to not only identify some of our pain, confusion, frustration and self-doubt, but we allow our minds to process methods in dealing with these internal battles. Constantly hanging out with the “crew” only creates a situation where we train ourselves to only feel comfortable and confident within group settings. Alone time then becomes a nightmare of sorts – igniting a fear of being with our own struggles and demons behind closed doors.

WHO ARE YOU WITHOUT YOUR CREW? Sit by the water for two to three hours on a Sunday afternoon with no ipod, ipad or partner alongside you. Patiently wait and allow the tides to turn on your mind. The answer can only be uncovered when an individual separates themselves from the outside world, and deals with the mental and emotional layers of their stripped down character. It may be uncomfortable but it IS necessary.

I Feel Like The Ugly One Amongst The Group That Nobody Ever Tries To Talk To When My Friends & I Go Out

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Most people will say they get dressed up to simply go out, dance, drink and have a good time. It’s no secret, however, that many single individuals are hoping to wrap their Friday or Saturday nights by exchanging numbers with someone they find physically attractive or otherwise, appealing. While the intent may be to party alongside close friends, it certainly makes one feel good when total strangers offer to buy us a drink. There’s nothing more exciting than igniting a weekend by meeting a potential date. Even when we’re not looking for love or in search of a sexual rendezvous, the flirtatious attention we receive from one or two men amongst the crowd can easily become the highlight of our evening. It then makes sense why people sometimes feel that their night out was a waste of time when they don’t meet someone new.

It is important to remember that it takes a lot of guts for a guy to walk up to someone he doesn’t know in an effort to express romantic interest. It becomes even more challenging when that someone is surrounded by their circle of friends. We often assume that men aren’t approaching us because he noticed that our skin is starting to breakout or maybe the top we chose to wear isn’t too flattering as it folds over our less than flat tummy. Whenever we do catch one of the guys looking in our direction, we naively convince ourselves that he’s staring at our ‘obviously attractive’ friend; the Kim Kardashian amongst the group. Meanwhile, most guys who are out in search of a new date or love interest are surveying the crowd for a little more than the sexiest person on the dance floor. It’s very rare that men will even approach the conventionally cute ones. A man is not only waiting for the perfect moment to say something to you, but he is also hoping that you will ease the awkwardness by sending a signal of mutual interest.

If you feel ‘ugly’ when you enter a social setting, that particular attitude is going to exude through your mood and your ‘I don’t belong here’ demeanor – It is very easy for men to determine that someone suffers from a low self esteem. It becomes even more apparent to onlookers that you lack confidence if you are out with a circle of friends who are rather outgoing and fun. While some guys will prey on your insecurities, others will simply stand clear of you. No one really wants to invest time into convincing someone that they do, ‘belong in the room’. Sell yourself a little bit. You shouldn’t be pulling out your phone every seven seconds, pretending to reply to text messages. Stand upright, look forward, sway to the music that’s playing and smile. Confidence is a very attractive trait, one that tends to impress and draw attention from men.

However, though guys can be lured by confidence, many of them don’t want the ‘one’ who is dancing on the stage or the bar all night – It’s usually the friend who doesn’t draw added attention that gets approached most often. If you ever notice, most face-to-face exchanges take place in the darker, discreet areas of the club. Guys tend to feel more comfortable talking to the individuals who appear to be rather reserved, but still able to have a good time. Dating is already a difficult task for a lot of people. It can be intimidating for some men to even consider grabbing the attention of someone who everyone else is obviously staring at. Being the loudest or wildest one in the group isn’t going to make you the most appealing to others.

While tipsy flirting is a turn on, drunken thottiness certainly is not – People drink socially to sometimes ease the tension of being in a crowded room and having to directly or indirectly engage with strangers. Sometimes, folks don’t realize that they’ve had too much to drink until their three shots of tequila catch up to their second glass of wine. Nothing screams (((TURN OFF))) louder than the friend who can’t maintain their balance on the dance floor. Guys simply aren’t going to try and talk to the one amongst the group who wobbles up to every other man, feeling on them, slurring their words or being overtly sexual. This individual is looked upon as the LIABILTY amongst the group. Men don’t want to add that level of drama to their personal lives.

If you so happen to become the object of someone’s gaze or constant stare, don’t be quick to look away – Often times, men will interpret you looking away from them as an expression of disinterest. As a result, they will automatically count you out as an end-of-night prospect. Even if you are shy and immediately become nervous as he continues to peek over, lock eye contact for at least three seconds. This will possibly give him the nerve to approach you.

If a guy does approach you, let him lead the conversation, but don’t leave him hanging – Some dudes are going to immediately get close to your ear, and ask for the phone number. Most, however, are going to lead in with a series of simple questions and compliments; i.e. what’s your name? or I think you’re really attractive. Try your best to not simply give him one-word answers. After telling him your name, continue your response by asking him his. If you’re thanking him for a compliment, be sure to say something nice about his top or the way he smells. It seems odd to people when guys initiate the public interaction, but then walk away before trying to exchange contact information. Usually, they’re uncomfortable with the flow of the conversation and sense a possible rejection. Feed off of his energy by giving him as much attention as he is offering to you in those few moments. This is when having a charismatic personality sets some of us apart from the others.

When a guy asks for your number or tries somehow to ‘talk to you’, it’s because he finds you attractive and feels comfortable doing so. Whether you realize it or not, how you look physically isn’t always the factor that determines why men aren’t approaching you. Your mannerisms and other behaviors can invite men into that space of wanting to know you beyond the club, or your actions can make them feel completely uncomfortable. Go out into social settings with the intent to truly enjoy the music, food and quality time spent alongside your friends. When you are truly comfortable within yourself, that level of positive energy will always attract the types of men that you’ll actually WANT to meet.