Why Sucking at Something Makes You MORE Attractive

Today, I talk to my wonderful friend (and one of my all-time mentors) Karen Rinaldi, who has written a book all about how attractive it can be to suck at something – and she even shows how you can learn to love it when you fail.

It’s changed my life. I know it will change yours too.

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And the arms go up as we prepare for Eagle and then we swoop in and there it is. I can see why they call it the Eagle, very majestic. That tucks and that leg comes all the way around that leg which is, that’s pretty close. And, full Eagle. Oh God. And into resting blog pose.

Now you may be wondering why I would do yoga if I suck at it so bad. Well recently I had an epiphany courtesy of my dear friend and the publisher of the New York Times best-selling book Get the Guy, Karen Rinaldi. Karen recently wrote a book called It’s Great to Suck at Something, and I have been itching to interview her on this subject because I think it’s fascinating in a world where people are increasingly unwilling to make themselves vulnerable and make mistakes. A world where we curate our public image constantly. We always want to be seen to be doing things well, to be living life at the highest level. We so rarely allow ourselves the freedom to actually suck at something.

When I interviewed Karen we talked specifically about how the concept of sucking at something applies to your love life and your dating life. Check it out. The audio isn’t as good as it normally is from us, because we screwed up on the audio on this one. But I think that’s pretty fitting on a video that talks about sucking at things. Check it out and I’ll see you at the end of the clip.


Matthew: “The stereotype is that if you do something well, that’s hot, right?”

Karen Rinaldi: “Yes.”

Matthew: “But there is something very, very attractive about someone who has complete abandon, and can suck at something. Can do something they’re not good at, but without that self-consciousness.”

Karen Rinaldi: “Right.”

Matthew: “What do you think is attractive about that?”

Karen Rinaldi: “Leaving your ego at the door is really sexy. Just think about people who just, you know, when you watch them in a moment of abandon, right? And it could be a moment only. You ever watch your…oh it could anybody. It could be your kid, it could you parent, it could be your friend, it could be a lover, right? And you see them across the room and they don’t know that you’re watching them, right? And they’re just kind of going on and goofing off, and they’re being like silly or something and you catch this moment. That is so much sexier than when they’re all dolled up and all kind of like ready to go, ‘Hey baby,’ you know? And you’re going, ‘Ah.’ No, it’s that moment of abandon and that letting go of the self-consciousness and ego. It’s so sexy, I mean, I feel like we’re forgetting that. I think we’re just not paying attention to those moments enough. And that’s a shame, because that’s really what, you know, again that’s where all the good stuff is hiding, right?”

Matthew: “Yes.”

Karen Rinaldi: “So, a greatest first date in the world, in a way, not the greatest but one of the great first dates or early dates, would be go do something that neither one of you can do.”

Matthew: “Yeah.”

Karen Rinaldi: “If you can’t ice skate you should go ice skating together. You’re both going to fall, you’re going to feel like idiots, and you’re going to laugh and you’re going to get straight down to your vulnerability.”

Matthew: “It’s authentic.”

Karen Rinaldi: “And you’re not going to be able to hide from that. That would be a good date.”

Matthew: “I like it.”

Karen Rinaldi: “You know?”

Matthew: “I like it.”

Karen Rinaldi: “It’s like that kind of brings you down to earth. I always think that the word for ‘humility’ and ‘humiliation’ have the same root. So, humility is awesome, humiliation is one of the most painful things in the world. They actually have opposite balances and they come from the same thing. Which is about, you know, from ‘humus,’ which is the earth. So, it’s like being brought down to earth. So, isn’t it interesting that we take this word and we kind of go in opposite directions, which is humility makes us more grounded and more self aware. And humiliation is our fear. One is grounded-ness and one is being afraid of…I don’t know even know what the interpretation…of being like on the ground.

Matthew: “You know that makes me think that the difference–they have the same etymology–the difference between them is meaning, right?”

Karen Rinaldi: “Yes.”

Matthew: “And both humiliation and humility–”

Karen Rinaldi: “Mm-hmm” [affirmative].

Matthew: “They’re both going to bring you down to earth, but depending on which one, you’re going to decide the landing. Right?”

Karen Rinaldi: “Beautifully said. That is beautifully said, exactly.”

Matthew: “You’re going to come crashing down, or you’re going to land in a way that you enjoy.”

Karen Rinaldi: “Yes.”

Matthew: “And humility is just the acceptance, you can’t be humiliated if you accept–”

Karen Rinaldi: “Your humility.”

Matthew: “You accept where you are, who you are.”

Karen Rinaldi: “I was going to say they’re over here, but they’re actually this close.”

Matthew: “Yeah.”

Karen Rinaldi: “So it’s really your framing and your value on it.”

Matthew: “Yeah.”

Karen Rinaldi: “So it’s up to us, right?”

Matthew: “It comes down either way, you choose the landing.”

Karen Rinaldi: “You choose the landing. And it could further your experience and it can stop you. Your choice.”


Karen is one of those people that whenever I happen to be in New York she is one of my first people to call to go and have lunch with, because I always want to absorb what’s in her mind. And the funny thing is she’s been talking about this book for years. I’ve literally been talking to her about the “suck at something” concept for a long time. And it’s only just come out. That’s why I’m so excited about it because I have been waiting for her to release this work. I have read through this book cover to cover now and it has actually inspired me to do things I wasn’t doing before. I am now doing yoga despite sucking at it, in fact, because I suck at it.

What are you going to suck at? Leave us a comment. What’s something that you’re going to do, not even necessarily to get better at it but just because you want the joy of doing it. Because I believe on so many levels there are psychological benefits to doing something that you’re not good at. To going through that process to being humbled by it, and I also think in the context of what we talk about a lot on this channel, it will make us all more attractive, more relatable, and more enjoyable people to be around.

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66 Replies to “Why Sucking at Something Makes You MORE Attractive”

  • I suck at dancing. Tried a Flamenco class nonetheless, great fun but I think the teacher was so relieved when class was finally over. :-) And I suck at singing, but it didn’t stop me from singing arias with a cute guy in the gym’s parking lot one night. Was a great moment too, unfortunately, he didn’t seem to like me enough to invest more after that…

  • In my 20s, I decided I wanted to take up violin playing. The conservatory laughed at me, said I was too old. So I found a kind teacher using the Suzuki method who let me also play in the children’s string orchestra. Even though I never got really good at playing, I loved it so much!! Going on a bus tour in Normandy, France performing in old beautiful churches and sleeping in schools was one of the best experiences of my life!! Thanks for reminding me to do what I enjoy, not only what I am good at!!

  • At the gym I’ve been trying a reverse lunge using an exercise ball… not so easy… I teeter and lose my balance and whenever I do there always seems to be someone watching and smiling. Usually I’m the type that would master it at home first. But for some reason I haven’t cared/worried so much about it lately. Love this video! Thanks.

  • Very timely video. In the last 5 years I threw myself at snowboarding (at the age of 38, as a Brazilian). I worked super hard and because very good at it – which is a source of pride and immense joy (snowboarding is my yoga). Last week I traded equipment with a friend and decided to ski. It was hard and humbling to suck at it again at a snow sport, to not be cool on the slopes anymore and to see the baby slope that I’d go down at 100km/he doing 360s now being terrifying again. Perspective is everything. Very grounding!

  • Tennis for sure! I’m mostly good at sports with with and without a ball but not a bat. And it could be a good laugh missing the ball ⚾️

  • Singing. Not that I don’t often try to be at least decent, but when it comes to singing, even when I’m bad, I’m always going to do it.

  • This week I’m going to my first ever swing dance class. I’m not a good dancer but it looks so much fun, so I’m just going to do it anyway, even if I suck at it!

  • I hate it when a guy see to be high-minded or feel too big to say hello to a female. But I will try to suck at saying hello to any male around me when it’s necessary even if am the first to do so since there is no harm in trying new things.

  • As a 47 year old, roundish mom of 4, I am learning to play ice hockey.
    I can kind of skate, can’t stop, have no endurance and at least once during each practice, am on the bench divesting myself of gear due to hot flashes.

    It’s awesome fun and my family is looking forward to watching me play my first game ever next month.
    I totally suck at it, but I absolutely love it!

  • Dating lol

    Language – I never feel comfortable talking to family members in native tongue. even though I can understand what is being said.

  • Wheny teacher shoute because I didn’t open my mouth when I ding at school… Ok feel very embarrassing

  • I sucked at dance but now I’m good at it .. I can’t tell you to this day I sit fall on occasion in pratice but that’s just the way it goes… I love challenging myself I took a self defence class which at first I sucked at .. I plan on taking more classes when I get a job . Ooh I suck at getting hired but I keep plodding away … I stink at men geeze that one I’m thinking about giving it another shot. . Ive got a bucket list of thing I want to try .. goo luck with yoga but just a hint the elbows touch on top of each other and the leg goes to the back of the calf not the front … I do yoga too..

  • I went to 2 auditions for a musical and sucked at it. Result: I feel like a loser. I practiced so hard before both auditions. Anyway, I hope this idea helps me through ☺

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