Advanced Man Skills
By RU Contributor J. E. McCollough
There are plenty of articles on ‘things men should know’ posted on the web and published in men’s magazines. It seems everyone agrees a Man should know how to change a tire, build a fire, grill a steak and do basic chores around the house like fixing a toilet or pounding a nail. And, of course, every man should know how to tie a necktie, dress well, order a glass of wine and how to drive a manual.
But, these are all skills that can be learned in a few hours, max. These aren’t things that make a man. Character is what makes a man, and character is only learned from brutally hard life experiences. Reading this list won’t teach you how to be a man, it can only encourage you to seek out the experiences you need so you can learn how to be a man.
Believe me, I’m still learning.
1. Know how to take rejection – Rejection may feel personal, but it’s not, it’s a fact of life. If you ask the girl out and she declines, don’t keep texting her. If you get fired, start working on your resume. Picking himself up after getting punched in the gut by life is a man’s obligation.
2. Know how to tip – Tipping is an expression of politeness, of consideration. You don’t have to tip your server at Denny’s 50%, but tipping appropriately is an essential part of being a gentleman. A real man treats anyone providing him with decent service with politeness and respect, whether it’s the waitress, the mechanic or the flight attendant. Be rude to your server on a date and watch how quickly the girl you’re with starts looking for the exit.
3. Know how to drink – Possibly the best advice ever given in a movie is from Dirty Harry, when Clint Eastwood growls out, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Obviously, this applies to a great many situations, but if you apply that advice to your alcohol consumption you’ll never wake up in the drunk tank surrounded by horny homeless guys. Not an experience you want, trust me.
4. Know how to keep your anger in check – A real man can take an insult, smile, and keep drinking. That asshole will end up in jail at some point. There’s no reason for you to end up in jail with him.
At the same time…
5. Know how to throw a punch – And take one. Both literally and figuratively. If you’ve never looked another man in the eye and punched him in the face, you’ll die questioning your manhood. A guy who is afraid to be aggressive when he needs to be, and who has the judgement to be able to identify such situations, isn’t a man at all. And if you’ve never taken a hit, well, a man with a glass jaw isn’t much of a man.
6. Know how to kiss a woman – Mae West said it best, “A man’s kiss is his signature.” Kiss a woman well and she’ll want to know more about you. You might not have anything more to offer, but you’ll have gotten that far, at least. And, she’ll never forget you.
Lastly, there is one crucial skill every man should know. It falls in that earlier category of something that should really only take a few hours to learn, but, sadly, some guys never figure it out.
7. Know how to unhook a bra – Fumbling around at that critical moment can ruin everything, she could just decide to close up shop or, even if she lets you get lucky that one time, she knows it’ll never happen again.
No advice I can give, though, compares to Rudyard Kipling’s:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!