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‘Socializing in Bad Places’
A Man Question from Eugene on Selecting Drinking Companions

“James, I have read and enjoyed and been helped by Thriving in Bad Places. You don’t include much about going to bars and such in bad places. Is the answer just a flat ‘don’t’? If so than that’s not exactly thriving is it? I am particularly interested in tips on selecting drinking companions as I imagine going alone is not ideal.”

Thank you,


You’ve got me dead to rights there, Eugene. For anecdotal information and tips on socializing in dive bars in predatory neighborhoods see The Fighting Edge, The Logic of Steel, The Logic of Force and When You’re Food, as I collected much of the data for these books by accessing the worst bars in town and showing up with my binder and “Violence Guy” business cards.

However, I have not—as far as I can recall—written a guide to socializing in bad places. Count this article as the header to my three part answer, which I shall hopefully post over the next few days:

1. Reasons to and not to go to a bar.

2. Drinking Companion Personality Characteristics

3. Drinking Companion Combat Characteristics

Thanks for this opportunity to address a major oversight, Eugene.

Thriving in Bad Places

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