10 life skills every man should know

Because it’s better to be a jack-of-all-trades than a master of none.

Meryl D'Souza March 24, 2016

A couple of months ago, my girlfriend moved to a new apartment. Among the many things that needed to be replaced, cleaned and fixed was a leaking toilet spray. 

I suggested hiring a plumber, it just made sense to let a pro handle it. She was having none of it. I don’t even know where she got the tools from, but she fixed the damn thing.

She never rubbed it in, but it’s not a good feeling to see your girlfriend fix home appliances while you’re streaming Netflix. However, with today's generation living digitally-centred lives, this form of emasculation is probably quite common. As men, we've forgotten how to do some of the most manly skills.

So here, may you never feel that kind of shame that makes you want to bury your head in the ground. Presenting 10 important skills that could save your life or at the very least, give you a more manly one.

1. How to wire a plug

Will be useful when: You have a damaged plug head or exposed wires. You don’t want the members in your family getting shocks, do you?

2. How to put up shelves

Will be useful when: You buy yourself a set of books to read or want to show off all your trophies, for manly stuff.

3. How to change a tyre

Will be useful when: Your plan to go on a long drive backfires because of a flat tyre. Now you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and you know there's no network. 

4. How to built a raft 

Will be useful when: You’re a castaway and need to build a raft to get across the island you’re stranded in. Or, you could just build one because rafting is fun.

5. How to build a tent

Will be useful when: You’re a castaway again and need a place to stay for the night, because as they say in Game Of Thrones, "the night dark and full of terrors". Or, you could learn to build one and then show off your skills on a friend's camping trip. 

6. How to start a fire

Will be useful when: You’re still a castaway and decide it’s been way too long and someone needs to come and rescue you. Or, this could be useful for barbecue nights when the coal isn’t working. If things get out of hand, call the fire department and play Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” on loop. 

7. How to tie a bow tie 

Will be useful when: You’re getting married, going on date night or need to make an impression for that black tie event your promotion hinges on. Once you've mastered it, what about the most popular bow-tie options?

8. How to polish your shoes 

Will be useful for: Every single day of your life. Seriously gentlemen, polish your shoes. There’s a reason they say women judge a man by his kicks. If you're not sure how, read our comprehensive guide to caring for your shoes.

9. How to make perfect scrambled eggs

Will be useful when: It’s your anniversary or you’re cheering your lady up because you forgot it was your anniversary. It’s all right if you don’t know how to make anything else. Perfect the art of scrambled eggs and breakfast in bed will earn you unlimited brownie points.

10. How to make a cocktail

Will be useful when: You want to flaunt your mixology skills to the tunes of “Hippy Hippy Shakes” by The Swinging Blue Jeans à la Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Here are a few recipes to get you started.