Life isn’t always easy and there are times when we find ourselves ill-equipped to deal with a difficult situation. Sometimes we aren’t even prepared to tackle some of the more uncomplicated dilemmas that life throws our way. You might be asked to get dressed up and deliver a speech to a room full of people. Do you have the skill and confidence to speak in public? Do you even know how to do up your necktie? You better learn if you want to look good while delivering an interesting speech.
There are certain things that all men should know how to do. These skills aren’t necessarily taught at school but they are easy to acquire and a lot of these skills take little time to learn. Knowing how to do some of these things can be beneficial in many ways. They can save lives, they can make life easier, and they can make a guy look pretty awesome in the eyes of others. A simple thing like learning how to tell a good story or a well-delivered joke will delight people and make you an entertaining dude. Other rudimentary abilities like being able to sharpen a knife, plant a garden, or being able to swim can be immeasurably valuable. Here are 15 skills every male should master.
Knowing how to cook for yourself is essential. We’re not talking about complicated recipes such as turducken and beef Wellington, although great for you if you can do it. We’re referring to being able to cook some basic and tasty dishes like spaghetti, quesadillas, and basic stir fries. Do you know how to cook a steak? Steam vegetables? Heat up a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli? If not, then you need to learn how. It isn’t the 1950s anymore and most guys these days need to share the cooking duties. Going to the Burger King drive through or ordering pizza on your night to cook isn’t going to cut it. Besides, women appreciate a guy that knows his way around a kitchen. There are thousands of quick and easy recipes out there and you only need to master a couple of them.
14. Start a Fire
Even with matches or a lighter, there are lots of guys that are clueless when it comes to building a fire. Without matches or a lighter, those guys are in for a rougher ride if they ever find themselves in a situation that requires them to do so. Building a fire isn’t as simple as just piling up a bunch of wood, dousing it with gasoline, and setting it ablaze. It might burn for a couple of minutes and then go out if it isn’t properly prepared. Cavemen were building fires hundreds of thousands of years ago and they did it by rubbing sticks and using stone flints. There are several ways to start a fire without matches or lighters and you should know at least one of those methods. You should also know how to put one out.
13. Drive a Car
While we have all sorts of alternatives to driving a car, it is still important that you know how to drive one. This includes driving standard, knowing the rules of the road, and being able to park. You don’t need to be a Michael Schumacher, but even Mr. Magoo knew how to drive. It doesn’t matter if you get around on a bicycle, take the bus, or have your own private chauffeur, you never know when you will need to get behind the wheel of an automobile. Imagine the embarrassment you’d feel if you were unable to perform such a simple modern task as driving a car? Think of all the people that would point at you and laugh if they saw you struggling to parallel park. Come on, guys!! It’s the 21st century and you should know how to drive.
12. Basic House Repairs
Some men are unable to perform the most basic tasks when it comes to home repairs. Sure, it’s nice to call in an electrician to change your burnt out light bulbs but you can be sure that your significant other is shaking her head when you do so. There is no need to call in a plumber to fix a minor faucet leak and there is no need to call the appliance repair guy to change the burner on your stove. Men should be able to do minor wiring, fix window leaks, and clear a clog in the toilet, among other things. Of course, there are certain fixes that should be undertaken by professionals, such as major electrical work and installing or fixing gas lines but there’s no excuse for an able-bodied dude not knowing how to patch a hole in the wall.
11. House Cleaning
The way you keep your house says a lot about you. Nobody would be impressed to see a mound of dirty clothes in the bathroom, a heap of filthy dishes in the kitchen sink, and layers of dust and cobwebs collecting in every corner. You might presently have the luxury of an easy-going roommate or spouse that does the bulk of the cleaning but you can’t count on that being the case forever. Put that beer down, get off the couch, and learn how to use a vacuum and a washing machine. Not only will this show that you actually care about the condition of your living quarters; it will also give you a certain sense of pride. It really isn’t that tough to wash windows, mop the floor, and clean your toilet once in a while.
10. First Aid
Learning basic first aid can save your life as well as the lives of others and it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to master it. Being able to treat a wound properly, apply the Heimlich maneuver, and perform mouth-to-mouth has saved countless lives over the years and those that did it were probably looked at as heroes. If you or somebody that you know is choking then you need to act fast. If you or somebody else has a gaping wound then someone needs to control the bleeding and if a person is unconscious and not breathing then your knowledge could easily be the difference between life and death. There are first aid courses being offered everywhere and it’s important that you take a weekend to participate in one.
9. How to Dress
Sitting around the house dressed in your favorite ripped sweatpants and t-shirt might be a comfortable way to watch Sunday football, but it is no way for any self-respecting guy to dress outside of the house. OK, you might get away with it if you’re jogging but even then you look like a total slob. Men need to know how to dress. This means picking out the right apparel for the occasion, making sure your attire is clean, and making sure the clothes fit properly. Don’t be afraid to pull out an iron either. Billy Crystal’s Saturday Night Live character Fernando had it right when he said: “It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous”. You will probably find that you feel better about yourself when you look good.
8. Change a Flat Tire
Even if you don’t drive a car, knowing how to change a flat tire can be extremely helpful. If you do drive a car then mastering this skill is quite important if you don’t want to look like a useless twit. If you end up getting a flat on a deserted stretch of road then you could be screwed if you can’t perform this task. You might wait for hours before somebody comes along. Even worse is the feeling of impotence that will overcome you when you see how fast and easy it is to change a tire. For something that takes mere minutes to learn, this skill comes in handy. If you are a male that doesn’t know how to do this then your “man card” is hereby revoked until you learn how.
7. Build Shelter
If there is one thing that all of those survival television shows drill into your head it is that almost anybody can wind up in a desperate survival situation. Being trapped in a snow storm, lost in the woods, or stuck on a deserted island are just a few of the many possibilities. Heck, maybe you are on a camping trip and forgot to bring your tent. Whatever the case, building a temporary shelter is critical. Nobody is saying that you need to be a master architect. You just need to know how to build a crude cover that will protect you from the elements. It could truly be the difference between life and death. Depending on the situation, a good shelter can be erected fairly quickly with a few basic materials and a little know-how.
Fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors. It’s relaxing and it gives us a chance to let our minds wander as we partake in one of the oldest rituals known to man. It is quite a satisfying feeling when you return home with a couple of catches. When we speak of fishing in terms of being a way of survival, it is one of the best ways to get nutrition provided you are in an appropriate location. It doesn’t take much to put a lure or a worm on the end of your fishing line and cast it into the water. There are also other ways to catch fish too. If you know how to fish then you should also know how to gut and prepare a fish for consumption. If you don’t know how to fish then you must learn.
There is a difference between starting fights for no reason and knowing how to defend yourself or deliver an effective blow when absolutely necessary. We’ll focus on the latter here. You never know when a situation will arise when you need to defend yourself and knowing how to deliver an effective knock-out punch can make all the difference. This skill can be learned the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is to take a few lessons in self-defense from a professional. The hard way is to go to a couple of rowdy bars and participate in a few brawls. We suggest the lessons. You really want to avoid a fight at all costs but if it is unavoidable then you stand a better chance if you know a few moves.
4. Play a Musical Instrument
Playing a musical instrument can be very therapeutic and lots of chicks dig musicians. While some instruments are a little more difficult to master than others, there are a few that you can learn to play in short time. The guitar is a pretty good example of an instrument that isn’t that tough to play. You won’t become Eddie Van Halen or Jimmy Page overnight but you just might be able to impress a few people with renditions of “Folsom Prison Blues” or “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. Learning some basic chords can be done in a short amount of time and, with a little practice, you just might surprise yourself and others with what you can do. There are loads of free lessons that are available for viewing on YouTube.
Let’s preface this by reminding you that gambling is addictive and has caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. We’re not suggesting that you take your kid’s college fund, go to the casino, and bet it all on red at the Roulette table but every male should master a few games. Guys get together all over the world and play friendly games of poker and blackjack over a couple of beers and some pizza. Many charities and other organizations hold casino nights from time to time and they are fun to attend. There are a lot of situations in which gambling is present and you should know some of the basic types of games and rules so that you can at least participate the next time you are invited to join your friends at a poker table.
2. Buying the Right Gift
Some men are pretty good at buying gifts for others but there are more than a few guys that aren’t. Buying the right gift is one of 15 skills that men should master. This is especially true for those who are looking to impress that special someone. It isn’t always the value of the gift that matters. That fur coat that you got for your lady friend might have been very expensive but it won’t be well received if she’s a member of PETA. She’ll feel offended. You need to understand the recipient’s needs and wants while making it a thoughtful gesture as well. Let’s face it, many dudes buy gifts at the last moment. They rush into the nearest department store and pick out the first half-decent thing they see. You can do better than that, guys!!
1. Basic Car Maintenance
It is pretty easy to take your car to the garage and have them change the oil, top up the fluids, and make sure the tire pressure is good but these are things that all men should know how to do by themselves. You don’t need to be a mechanic to perform these types of routine maintenance. Checking tire pressure and adding windshield washer fluid are simple tasks that literally take seconds to complete. You won’t even get dirty. Changing the oil is a little more labor-intensive but it certainly isn’t complicated or time-consuming. There are things that should be left for the mechanic such as repairing the transmission or aligning the tires but all men should be able to change blown fuses, replace headlights, and replace the battery among other things.
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