Being Cool

Miserum

Well-known member
#1
I've been analyzing here and there what it means to "be yourself." I think it means to not try so hard, as may already be evident to others. For me, trying hard has been trying to be an intellectual far too often, sounding smart or cool, or forcing topics, all in order to appease others or show them that I'm actually pretty "smart"... instead of letting the conversation flow and being tactfully uninhibited.

When it's the latter, idk, I feel like people like me more. When all my quirks are on display, even though I stutter more, and am more silly, and probably come off as a little less mature, and I talk too fast or too much, all the while committing more social faux pas' than if I were more my more reserved self, and eschewing deep topics. But when I act like this--see: my default state of being--it clashes with my image of what is "cool."

I've never been that "effortlessly cool" guy. I've always had to alter myself to be cool, or at least to be what I think is cool: strong, witty, cool-headed, confident in what I'm saying, doing, believing, knowing what I want from life, courageous in the face of danger and hard work. I see other people that do these effortlessly; it seems so simple to them. That's how I personally define cool. But for me, it takes effort to do any of it, and that inhibits who I truly am. How I see myself is not cool enough, though I strive to be cool, so I make alterations.

Maybe this idea of "cool" isn't any good though, since I've just stated that people tend to like me more when I don't try to be "cool" (under my definition of cool), and seem to embrace my silly quirks. At least it seems that way. Maybe people can just see through my tryhard alter ego. Man am I confused.

Please excuse my discombobulated rant.
 
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#2
I've been analyzing here and there what it means to "be yourself." I think it means to not try so hard, as may already be evident to others. For me, trying hard has been trying to be an intellectual far too often, sounding smart or cool, or forcing topics, all in order to appease others or show them that I'm actually pretty "smart"... instead of letting the conversation flow and being tactfully uninhibited.

When it's the latter, idk, I feel like people like me more. When all my quirks are on display, even though I stutter more, and am more silly, and probably come off as a little less mature, and I talk too fast or too much, all the while committing more social faux pas' than if I were more my more reserved self, and eschewing deep topics. But when I act like this--see: my default state of being--it clashes with my image of what is "cool."

I've never been that "effortlessly cool" guy. I've always had to alter myself to be cool, or at least to be what I think is cool: strong, witty, cool-headed, confident in what I'm saying, doing, believing, knowing what I want from life, courageous in the face of danger and hard work. I see other people that do these effortlessly; it seems so simple to them. That's how I personally define cool. But for me, it takes effort to do any of it, and that inhibits who I truly am. How I see myself is not cool enough, though I strive to be cool, so I make alterations.

Maybe this idea of "cool" isn't any good though, since I've just stated that people tend to like me more when I don't try to be "cool" (under my definition of cool), and seem to embrace my silly quirks. At least it seems that way. Maybe people can just see through my tryhard alter ego. Man am I confused.

Please excuse my discombobulated rant.
You say that "people tend to like me more when I don't try to be "cool".
Doesn't that shine like a bright neon sign for you, that what you define as appearing "cool", actually seems to make you "less cool" in other people eyes?

I'm just curious, where or how did you come by your ideas of what constitutes being "cool"?
Do you think - given what you have said - that maybe redefining what you believe is necessary to be seen as "cool", might take a lot of the stress away from you, that your current idea of "cool" is causing you?


P.S. Just letting you know, I am enjoying reading the threads you have created recently, Miserum. They are very thought-provoking. :thumbup:
 

Miserum

Well-known member
#3
You say that "people tend to like me more when I don't try to be "cool".
Doesn't that shine like a bright neon sign for you, that what you define as appearing "cool", actually seems to make you "less cool" in other people eyes?

I'm just curious, where or how did you come by your ideas of what constitutes being "cool"?
Do you think - given what you have said - that maybe redefining what you believe is necessary to be seen as "cool", might take a lot of the stress away from you, that your current idea of "cool" is causing you?


P.S. Just letting you know, I am enjoying reading the threads you have created recently, Miserum. They are very thought-provoking. :thumbup:
Thanks for the kind words BlueDays! :)

I guess my idea of "cool" goes back to my days in middle and high school, even college, and from what I've seen in movies and books lol. That witty type of banter that men and boys engage in: I've always had to force it. And if I don't force it, I believe I'm seen as weird or weak or dumb (I feel that it does take some smarts to be able to banter), by the other guys, and then by extension, the girls. I feel alienated. Same thing goes for trying to be intellectual, which has traditionally been a male thing. Being able to flex your brain in a debate means you can't be ****ed with to some extent. Same thing goes for physical strength; if you're strong, and another guy says something that offends you, well, then it can escalate physically, or if he straight out attacks you physically you can defend yourself--phenomena as old as the human race.

And I feel somewhat justified in this definition of "cool." If it weren't cool, then why has the idea (smart, tough, witty etc) been glamorized throughout the ages?

And yes, perhaps a change in paradigm is required. Like I've stated before in another post, I've been bullied historically so the foundation of my thought revolves around defending myself. And its hard for me to come out of that because I always feel like I'm going to be attacked or picked on, even by friends... and especially by new people.

I worry that in trying to be this definition of "cool," that I'm failing at it, because, as stated, people seem to dislike me when I'm trying to be cool, instead of just being myself. And this means that I am forever destined to be "uncool." People may like me as I am naturally, but I will never be that "cool" guy. If I be myself, I feel weak, like I can be taken advantage of or picked on. I am still confused here, at the end of this post, but thank you for allowing me to hash out my thoughts a little more on this.
 

Sacrament

Well-known member
#4
I think not caring is what makes you cool. I don't mean not caring in the sense that you're hurting people and not giving a crap, but generally not caring about what people think of you. Doing your thing confidently.

Confidence makes you cool. Living in the present and enjoying it fully makes you cool.
 
#5
When it's the latter, idk, I feel like people like me more. When all my quirks are on display, even though I stutter more, and am more silly, and probably come off as a little less mature, and I talk too fast or too much, all the while committing more social faux pas' than if I were more my more reserved self, and eschewing deep topics. But when I act like this--see: my default state of being--it clashes with my image of what is "cool."
So, my opinion is that your "true" self sounds more entertaining than your fake self for your interlocutors. Especially if your interlocutors are your friends, who I'm sure would rather spend their time with a silly, imperfect but true person than with a fake character who's trying to impress them. Also, fake is pretty easy to unmask unless you're very very good at it.

In fact it is my personal experience that people who looks uncool are often way more cool than people who looks cool. From my point of view anyway. In fact, it happened to me more than once that after hanging out with a group of people for a while, the person I first considered the most uncool in the group ends up being my favorite person in the group. And not because the others would turn out to be shitty people or anything.

And there is also the question of what does cool mean. To me, being "cool" basically mean being relaxed and easy-going. Which is hard to do when you're faking it.

I agree that you're starting interesting threads lately.
 

lily

Well-known member
#6
The difference in general b/t me online and me in person is that I'm able to express myself more online. Thanks Miserum for creating a new thread!
 

Miserum

Well-known member
#7
So, my opinion is that your "true" self sounds more entertaining than your fake self for your interlocutors. Especially if your interlocutors are your friends, who I'm sure would rather spend their time with a silly, imperfect but true person than with a fake character who's trying to impress them. Also, fake is pretty easy to unmask unless you're very very good at it.

In fact it is my personal experience that people who looks uncool are often way more cool than people who looks cool. From my point of view anyway. In fact, it happened to me more than once that after hanging out with a group of people for a while, the person I first considered the most uncool in the group ends up being my favorite person in the group. And not because the others would turn out to be shitty people or anything.

And there is also the question of what does cool mean. To me, being "cool" basically mean being relaxed and easy-going. Which is hard to do when you're faking it.

I agree that you're starting interesting threads lately.
Good points, Loner. I agree that being relaxed is the key. When I am relaxed I am noticeably more liked, and noticeably more the "cool" qualities that I seek, now that I'm thinking about it. But that relaxed state comes and goes with the wind. It always depends on context, the people there, the mood I'm in, and whether or not I feel like someone is trying to **** with me, which is quite often actually. Really too many variables to count. So I've just opted to close myself off--rather than be a quirky spaz (that's how I generally see myself)--to be reserved and to be "cool," almost a mimicry of my relaxed state.

So I find myself in three states of being:

1) Utterly relaxed. People like me the most here. "Cool" qualities happen more naturally. The downside is that this state is not frequent nor consistent because of my social anxiety.

2) Silly, uninhibited state. Here I am not relaxed because of my social anxiety. I have my quirks as discussed in my initial post. People tend to like me here, but I don't like myself here because I know it is a result of my social anxiety and it gives me a poor self-image. It makes me feel weak and oppressed.

3) Reserved """cool""" state. I am trying to mimic (1) utterly relaxed state. I mimic it poorly, and people do not like me. They can see through the sham. I have my worst social anxiety in this state.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Loner. You've given me more to think about.
 

Miserum

Well-known member
#8
I think not caring is what makes you cool. I don't mean not caring in the sense that you're hurting people and not giving a crap, but generally not caring about what people think of you. Doing your thing confidently.

Confidence makes you cool. Living in the present and enjoying it fully makes you cool.
That is very true. Easier said than done unfortunately. :sad:
 

Miserum

Well-known member
#9
The difference in general b/t me online and me in person is that I'm able to express myself more online. Thanks Miserum for creating a new thread!
Yeah agreed. I guarantee you would not recognize me if you met me in person. I think I'm much better at communicating online than I am in person.
 
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Sacrament

Well-known member
#10
That is very true. Easier said than done unfortunately. :sad:
Definitely, but I think that if you seriously practice it, it gets easier to achieve that state, especially if you work on yourself in a consistent manner (eating well, sleeping well, working out, keeping yourself properly groomed, etc).
 

Miserum

Well-known member
#11
if you work on yourself in a consistent manner (eating well, sleeping well, working out, keeping yourself properly groomed, etc).
I'm actually fairly good at doing that. It helps with self-confidence for sure, but something is still missing. I think what needs "grooming" most is what's on the inside, rather than what's on the outside.
 
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