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”

  • Hi Coach Matthew,

    Thank you, Another heart felt inspiring message.

    I loved Karen’s first date idea,” Chose an activity that you

    both are new to or suck at.:)

    I love how you listened to each other face to face. Karen

    brought up the words Humility and Humiliation.

    Matthew, I love how you surmised her thoughts,

    “We Get TO Chose where we land.”

    You two made me smile, simple but profound.

    still smiling.

    Good job

  • Hi Matthew,

    My name is Kristine from the Philippines, i am a 36 year old single parent. My ex and i broke up 3 years ago and i have been single since then.

    Then i have met this amazing guy on a dating app, he is 41 years old a Nurse from Canada. After we constantly talking through text and videocalls on WhatsApp, and there was no dull moment every time we talk. We both agreed that we like each other instantly and that we definitely have great chemistry and connection. He like that i am outspoken and we are both open to our feelings. He was here in April but I don’t know him that time yet. He will be coming back here in October for 3 weeks and we were planning to meet. Unfortunately, something happened and changed everything. ☹️He will still be coming here for vacation. But i dunno if he will still meet me.

    What happened was..
    I had a really bad day at work one day, and i called him 5x he isn’t answering and on the 3rd call he declined but i still kept calling. I was calling him because, i thought he is the only person that can make me feel better that time. He blocked me on whatsapp and unfriended me on Facebook after that, then after few hours we spoke over the phone he said that he was at work and he cannot answer my call. The unfriended on Facebook is i dunno the reason. Then, he unblocked me on whatsapp the next day. We still had a few video calls but it’s not the same anymore. It already felt awkward. Then this was his last text.

    “Hey, I know it’s been awhile since we chatted. I’ve been working every day and been really busy. But I think you might also be right that I dont have the time to be able to give you the attention you need. I would still like to chat if you want but if you cant I also understand that. Anyways i hope your feeling better and your not so upset anymore but I feel like you will be. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you”

    After that i sent a couple of messages saying that i still like to chat him too, and that i still hope that nothing changed.
    But days gone by, and he never text me anymore. I sent him few more text asking how he is. If everything is ok. And he isn’t replying anymore. He just seen my messages and i dunno if he is even reading them.

    Matthew, I really like this guy and i never felt so attracted to someone like i am to him, i never felt so excited talking to someone but him. And I really would like to restart with this guy. I wish you could help me, on how to restore US. How to go back the way we are.

  • I frickin’ love sucking at things. Sounds counter-intuitive, but the feeling truly makes me smile.

    I realized this when I was in the Fringe Festival last year, and spent 10 full days trying new things with people I didn’t know. I made a ton of mistakes, and I loved every single one, because I learned from them, and I felt the humility that came with it. It was certainly grounding.

    Thank you for putting this video together, Matt, and for so eloquently describing the feeling for the rest of the world. It’s liberating, and I know other people can benefit from this.

  • Great video Matthew ! But my boyfriend judges me when I suck at things and that makes me less open to trying new things in front of him. We have talked it over but its in his deepest nature and he cant change. He fell in love with the perfectionist in me and wants always to hear the better storys about me. Thats unrealistic!

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