10 Skills Every Guy Should Have
This list was compiled with input from my wife. It was also a lot longer when I started, but who wants to read an article called "The Never Ending List Of Things a Guy Needs To Know"? Also, I realized as the list came together that I, personally, only have a handful of these skills. Message received. I'll let you decide which of the following you think are my original ideas, and which were added by my wife. Either way, guys are works in progress and we've all got a little work to do. Enjoy!
10. Dressing The Part
A guy doesn't have to be at the forefront of men's fashion. He doesn't even need to know the difference between a tie and an ascot. But he does need to know how to make himself presentable in any given situation. A guy needs a black suit for weddings, funerals, or fancy dinners, a couple of ties (and the ability to tie them!), a shoe, sock, and belt combo that matches (all black, all brown, all the same), and a nice pair of jeans. A guy must know how to use an iron (or at least make it look like he does:). Dressing well shows a woman (and everyone else) that you care about her, the guests, and yourself.
9. Building A Fire
You can be a house guy, a teepee guy, or any other incantation of your choosing. But every guy should know that the kindling goes on the bottom, followed by smaller pieces of wood, followed by the long-burning log. A guy should be able to light a fire with one match. And those 3-hour compressed wood logs do not count. Whooping at the top of your lungs while spraying a gallon of lighter fluid on logs is NOT building a fire, it is the first step to becoming an arsonist.
8. Smoking A Pipe or Cigar
A guy doesn't have to be a 'smoker' to know how smoke a pipe or a cigar. There will be occasions when a guy will be presented with a cigar or pipe (birth of a child, poker game, bachelor party, etc.) and he needs to know how to appropriately manage the situation. Use the match or lighter to light the entire end of the cigar (or top of the pipe), and take small, quick puffs to get the 'cherry' going. After it is is burning, TAKE IT SLOW. It is not a race and you never want to be the guy who gets nauseous because he smokes like a newbie. Contrary to popular belief it is okay for the cigar or pipe to extinguish. Just relight it and act like you meant for that to happen. It'll look cool. Oh, and don't inhale.
7. Maintaining His Car
This skill isn't as complicated as one might think. A guy needs to have the tools and knowledge to change a tire, jump a battery, change his oil, check his fluids, and change a busted headlight. A guy should own jumper cables, a spare tire, chains, an oil pan, and an assortment of wrenches. Pretty much anything after that can go to his mechanic. A guy also needs a good mechanic.
A guy doesn't need to be an iron chef to survive (but if you are that's cool too), but he does need to know how to navigate a kitchen. Macaroni and cheese may get you through the week, but it won't impress anyone (even if you add some hot dogs to make it extra special). Get a couple of cookbooks and learn the basics. 4 or 5 go-to meals will go plenty far to wowing your friends, a girl, your boss, or your future in-laws. If you're still struggling just go with the Rule Of Three: You need a protein (steak), a vegetable (steamed broccoli), and a starch/carb (baked potato).
5. How To Apologize
It's pretty easy to know when you are wrong (especially if you have someone in your life willing to point it out:). It is a important skill for a guy to not only admit it, but to apologize as well. Contrary to common belief, admitting you are wrong and apologizing are not signs of weakness, but rather a sign of maturity and strength. Don't try to make your apology too complicated. Find a place or time where you and the other person can speak openly, look them in the eye, and use the words, "I am sorry." You should also indicate that you understand why you are apologizing.
4. Carry A Conversation
While it remains a relatively easy skill to learn, too many people are really, really bad at it. Especially guys. You don't have to be a genius to understand how to carry a conversation. Look the person in the eye. Use affirmative language to let them know you understand what they are saying. Ask probing questions (why? how did that make you feel? etc). And above all else: listen to what they are saying. After you have done all these steps, then you are allowed to interject your own stories or advice. No-one wants to talk to someone who dominates the entire conversation so make sure there is plenty of give and take.
3. Ask For Advice
Asking for advice shows that a guy has a good respect for the men and women who have more experience that he does. It also shows that he is aware that his learning is finite and he wants to know more. Both of these qualities are very attractive in a guy. By asking people for their advice, a guy opens his mind to the experience of other people and can solicit feedback for his ideas. It is important to remember that we're in this all together and we can do a lot to help each other out.
2. Laugh At Himself
A guy who doesn't take himself to seriously is a guy that people want to be around. You may be the coolest cat on the block, but even that guy trips up the stairs occasionally. If you are able to laugh at yourself, you let people know you are comfortable with who you are and you aren't worried about what other people think. That quality is attractive and fun to be around.
1. Know What To Do
You know when you were a kid and you thought your dad knew everything to do in every situation? Someday you want people to look at you like that. So take some time to learn some basic skills. Because bad stuff happens. You blow a tire, someone steals your wallet, your pipes freeze and break, you get lost, you run out of gas, and the power goes out (hopefully not all in the same day). You don't always need to be able to solve the problem yourself, but you should know what to do in any given situation. If you're over 25 years old that should not be call your parents. Unless you just drove their car into a pool. No-one respects a guy who panics and doesn't know what to do. Learn about your car, get roadside assistance, know how to shut the water and power off in your house, and get certified in first aid and CPR. These are life skills every guy should know so that he isn't ever caught completely off guard.