Life Skills Every Man Should Know

From Bar Mitzvahs in Brooklyn to cliff jumping in the South Pacific, every culture has a ritual associated with the ascension to manhood. However your culture might proclaims you an adult male, there are some basic skills every man should master if they hope to realize the greatest possible contribution to society. To make it easier, we’ve broken these skills down into the categories that will likely dominate your adult life: Basic Life Skills, Work, Sex and Dating, and the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

1. Choose Friends

You don’t get to pick your schoolmates or work associates. Most people you come into contact with in life are largely incidental. Whom you choose to stay in contact with is an accurate gauge of your ability to make character assessments.

2. Negotiate Major Purchases

Whether it’s a house, car, or big-screen tv, the ability to secure the best possible deal from a professional salesman is what separates the savvy from the suckers.

3. Play Poker

You might have learned the basics of this game as a child, without ever knowing how deeply poker can help you hone many other basic life skills, including (but not limited to): risk assessment, the ability to read body language (while masking your own) and, most importantly, how to lose with dignity. Learn to play poker, and all of life is a game.

4. Cook

You have actual food in your house? Good, you’re a grown-up. Can’t cook it yourself? Fail. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef, but learn the basics. Know how to fix a decent cup of java, scramble eggs, cook a steak and steam vegetables. It’s basic self-sufficiency, and will earn kudos when you entertain. 

5. Grocery Shopping

Nothing screams, “I can’t care for life’s basic necessities” like a refrigerator full of condiments and half-empty takeout cartons. The ability to select and procure fresh produce and proteins is proof that you can sustain yourself.

6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Seven to nine hours of quality shuteye per evening is the prescription for adults. But most of us are getting 20% less sleep than our own parents’ generation. Getting enough quality sleep is essential for health, quality of life and safety. 

7. Perform CPR/ the Heimlich Maneuver

Someone’s choking or has stopped breathing. There’s no doctor around. Don’t just stand there impotent to help. Be a hero. Step up and save a life.

8. Write a Resume/CV

Writing a CV can feel egotistical and entirely self-serving. But if you can’t convince people why they should hire you just from words on a paper.

9. Speak in Public

There’s a reason we love Tarantino-style monologues. Everyone loves a good orator. Learn to speak well in public, and you’ll win the begrudging hearts of even your biggest competitors.

10. Ask for a Raise

No one will ever offer you more than you think you’re worth. If you’re confident in the job you do, show it by having the balls to ask for what you deserve to earn.

11. Hire well

Possibly the most important work skill you can master, knowing how to assess the potential of a job applicant exhibits deep insight and perspicacity. Hire well, empower, then get the hell out of the way. 

12. Fire well

This may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do in your work life. Respect that you’re interrupting someone’s ability to provide for themselves financially. Don’t prolong the pain, preserve a person’s dignity, and you’ll be able to sleep with difficult decisions.

13. Quit

Never wait until you’ve to be asked to leave. When your time has run its course, bow out gracefully–and on good terms–and you’ll be positioned to take charge of the next phase of your life.

14. Flirt

Approaching and engaging a stranger in a way that makes them feel relaxed and accessible is a mark of civility and distinction. Don’t talk about your confidence — demonstrate it by making others feel comfortable in your presence.

15. Pay a Compliment

In an age when stalking, creeping and catcalling have sullied the ability to approach strangers, learn how to say something kind, genuine and playful—with no expectation of outcome—and you’ll increase your opportunites by a factor of magnitude.