November 09, 2013
Confidence with Women
Children raised in traditional Asian cultures usually learn early on to be deferential to elders and to express themselves modestly in public. Throughout Asian history, a strong emphasis was placed on respect for one’s parents and ancestors. This is commonly known as ‘filial piety’ and is almost a defining characteristic of traditional Asian societies.
While filial piety can be an admirable quality, unreflectively acquiescing to arbitrary assertions of authority is plainly detrimental to one’s development in masculinity. Far too often I have seen older persons berate, scold, and even physically beat a younger Asian man simply because the younger man dared to talk back to his elder. There is a time for dignified silence, for “taking it like a man,” or even for “turning the other cheek,” but such occasions in socially free societies are now relatively rare.
Instead of standing up for himself, the weak Asian man hides his ideas and insights out of a feigned show of respect, which is further compounded by a false humility. Asian cultures often champion an ethic of modesty.
As a child learning Mandarin Chinese, I was taught that the proper response to a compliment is to reject it. We were taught to respond to a compliment by replying, “Nali nali, mama huhu,” which basically means, “Not at all. I’m just mediocre.” You were to say this even if you had every reason to be proud of your accomplishment. What does it do to a boy to force him to repeat that he is just mediocre every time someone praises him? Eventually, he internalizes some of this, surmising that the correct attitude is to think little of his own accomplishments, not to “toot his own horn.” Clearly, the result is Asian adults with either low self-esteem or habitually false pretenses to modesty. Both are unattractive. And those suffering from the former end up needing assertiveness training.
How to Speak with Confidence
The empowered Asian man is comfortable with his views and communicates them confidently. If he has thought through an idea well, and he knows that other people would benefit from hearing his ideas, he readily speaks up, even, or especially, in a crowd or high-pressure situation. Moreover, he does not tolerate disrespect of his time, property, or person.
This is not to say that the sex-worthy Asian man is domineering or selfishly takes his pleasure at the expense of others. While he puts himself and his life first, he always takes into account the needs and desires of others. As long as his desires are not unlawful and present no reasonable grounds for complaint from others, he should assert himself and feel free to express his thoughts and desires. I have heard far too often in Asian settings, particularly in settings like Singapore in which people have a disproportionate preponderance of self-limiting beliefs about social behaviour, that while he would like to assert himself by approaching a group of cute girls with an outrageous opener (perhaps by moon walking around them as they talked), this sort of behaviour would bother or disturb the strangers walking or standing nearby.
But in public social settings an empowered Asian man should feel free to do whatever he wants as long as his actions are within the bounds of the law and do no real harm to others. If starting a fun conversation with strangers makes some bystanders feel uncomfortable, then that is the problem of those bystanders. The empowered Asian man is not constrained by the limiting beliefs of others. He is indifferent to arbitrary social norms.
You can’t let those around you dictate your place in life. You’ve got to learn to stand up for yourself. It’s not as frightening as it sounds. Trust me. Most people have never consciously practiced asserting themselves and most will give in to any kind of social pressure you put on them.
Often, just the act of staking your own social space is enough to impel them to cave in. But you’ve got to be ready and willing to claim it. Like the opening lines of Jack Nicholson’s character, Francis “Frank” Costello, in the movie, The Departed, affirms, “I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me…. A man makes his own way. No one gives it to you. You have to take it.”
Almost without exception, women everywhere are attracted to men who can assert themselves confidently and who have complete social freedom. In modern times, we rarely have to defend ourselves from outright physical aggression. Rather, predation and aggression come far more commonly in the form of social power.
A key part of developing the habit of asserting yourself is desensitizing yourself to social pressure. The idea is similar to how “desensitization” is used in behavior therapy and to some kinds of assertiveness training. You expose yourself in relatively controlled settings to stimuli that are low on your fear/anxiety hierarchy. You become progressively de-conditioned to each successive level, and you move up your hierarchy until you can confidently handle the worst stimulus.
For example, if you find yourself unable to assert yourself in social settings, especially around strangers, then you can begin by going to a crowded place. Once there, attempt to hold eye contact with someone attractive until they break the eye contact first. Do this with three strangers in a row. If they come over to you and ask you why you’re looking at them like that, you can reply that you thought they looked like someone you know.
You can then progress to simply asking strangers for the time and then for directions. And then you can try having impromptu conversations with the strangers for at least a minute or two. Then you can go on to making small talk with customer service staff for a few minutes without buying any products or services. At more advanced stages, you can practice telling embarrassing stories or jokes, first in front of groups of friends and then in front of groups of strangers. At this point, you will have reached at least an average level of social freedom.
Other things you can try are dancing or singing at random times in front of groups of friends and then in front of strangers. Or, here is a real challenge: You can pick a random time during the day to lie down for one minute on a sidewalk in the city, in a café, or in a shopping mall and have people walk around you. When you can do this, or something similar, you will have reached a level of social assertiveness that is generally above average. There are plenty of other things you can do to progressively desensitize yourself to irrational social pressure, but those examples should point you in the right direction.
The goal is for you to be able to dominate any level of social setting or discussion in which you might find yourself. You should feel free to speak your thoughts among groups of strangers without hesitation, doubt, or second-guessing. You should have overcome your social anxieties and inhibitions and be naturally assertive even in situations in which many other people might be timid or passive.
Making Your Move
The time is now to start making your move towards social freedom and dating satisfaction. As you practice becoming more assertive you will begin to feel more confident. As you feel more confident it will become easier to be more assertive. The cycle will perpetuate itself until you feel highly assertive and women are finding you extremely attractive. Of course, you are not going to stop there. Next, you are going to get sexy.
This is Part 2 on Assertiveness. To read Part 1, click here.
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