Man Up | Ep. 55 • January 11, 2016
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or over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their dating and love lives.
Once a nerdy, skinny professor of philosophical psychology who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned dating and life coach using therapeutic methods. Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, including AXN, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore. Formerly a professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Tian is actively researching, speaking, and publishing in the areas of philosophy and psychology.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man,” is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in The Man Up private Facebook group and answers based on his experience Coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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What Should I Do To Get Girls, If I am Old, Chubby & Shy?
In Man Up episode 55, I answer the question of: What should I do to get girls if I’m old, chubby and shy?
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up.
Hey, it’s David Tian Ph.D., welcome to episode 55 of Man Up. I’m here in Shanghai, in advance of our Mastermind Summit coming up. So I got a lot of guys flying in for this and it’s going to be awesome. I thought I’d take some time now, as the sun is setting, to answer some questions from the private Facebook group.
And this one comes from Aki – I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that correctly. It’s a Scandinavian word. So anyway, there you go, Aki. So the question is: He has gone through some of the free training videos and they’re very good and makes it look really easy – and that’s good because that’s the idea. It walks you through, step-by-step, how to do it and it’s pretty straightforward. But, he says, that he is different.
He is shy, with no confidence, he’s chubby and he’s over fifty. And he says, many ladies look down on guys like him because of these disadvantages, especially European ladies, Swedish, for example.
I’m assuming you’re Swedish, then. And that’s great because I have quite a few Swedish friends and the sociological studies have shown that Swedish women expect their men – I guess, sort of like a Viking thing – to step up. When they see something they want, they should go and get it. They should speak up and so on and not be timid and afraid and all that. So it makes sense. And that’s good – I think that’s good because men should benot timid and afraid and diffident and so on. If you’re going to go do it, just do it.
So anyway, let’s answer the question. And I’ll break it down into the various points he’s mentioned because each of these points are slightly different. So let’s go with shy, no self-confidence. Well, those are different. So confidence comes in two ways. The easiest way and the way that most people get confidence is by obtaining – like practice or doing the thing that they’re not confident about. Because remember the first time you rode a bicycle? You weren’t confident because it was the first time.
And then you rode it – I don’t know how long it takes, 50 times? Until you’re starting to feel really comfortable with it, you can take the training wheels off and you could go. And now, if you’re an adult, you jump on a bike and it’s a relatively easy thing to do and it’s hard to forget, actually how to do it. So it’s easy to do but only because you have the experience and you’ve gone and done it many times.
What is it that you lack confidence in? I hope it’s not at your workplace. And that’s a great example, too. You don’t lack confidence at your workplace because you, hopefully, know what the fuck you’re doing. And you probably know that because you’ve had a lot of training and practice and you’ve had experience. So it’s a question of – the easiest way that people start to get confident is by seeing that they’re getting results and they know what they’re doing and they go and do it. So in this area of talking to people, the easiest way to get confidence is the way that I got it. The first time I got it was through experience. I just went and did a lot of socializing. I met lots of new people.
When I first started, it was mostly about women. So I was going out and meeting lots of new women. But along the way, in order to meet attractive women, you have to befriend a lot of people that, maybe to you, are not physically attractive. But you have to find ways of interacting with them, of connecting with them and of socializing.
And you start to learn how to make friends. And this is something you get experience in; you realize it’s a skill. It’s a skill and every skill can be developed. So you’re learning these social skills. The first thing you should do, if you’re trying to develop social confidence, is to go and get the social skills. Go and practice them. Don’t just watch the videos and go, “Oh, look.” Just go and do it.
There’s not really much I can do if you’re too afraid to even try. Then, at that point, you need to get accountability; you need to get a support group to go and do it together. I never really had that. You know, I had like a wing or two, so to speak, back then. Other guys who were learning what I was learning and we’d just go out – it’s not like it was effective in getting results but it was effective in getting courage and keeping each other accountable.
Like, “Dude, I’m going out tonight. You better be coming.” And in a way, you’re going out to get experience and you blow past your fear because you owe it to your friend. Because you want to be there for him and you don’t want to let him down and so on. So that’s a good thing.
It’s like when you’re working out at the gym, if you’re just starting to work out, you probably aren’t going to go to the gym. Like over 90% of people who have gym memberships don’t go after Valentine’s Day. Like, January, it’s packed. Then by February, it’s empty. So, one way to keep in the gym and going with your training is to have a training partner or a trainer who keeps you there, as a human being, who makes you feel guilty for letting him down.
So you show up, for the human being, for your accountability. And then you start to learn to love the training because you start to see results and you start to make it a habit. This is the same for every skill. I could’ve used anything in addition to learning how to ride a bicycle. But most people have done that. And the training at the gym, same deal. If you want to get confident at mathematics, you do lots of mathematics – same thing.
But that’s one way to go. That’s definitely necessary. You need to practice. You need to get experience. Along the way, though, there are a lot of people who have the abilities and skills but they still lack confidence. And you look at the elite sports and you see that.
It comes down to a mental game; it’s not a physical game anymore. And a lot of people who are physically capable of doing the activity, of winning the game, they lose it mentally because they don’t have the confidence at that mental level. They don’t have the confidence at that level and there it’s a mental game and there it’s also partly to do with your physiology. Whether you stand and hold yourself and speak in a way that’s confident.
A great example – I don’t know how dated this’ll be when you watch it. But the first time Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo –Jose Aldo met McGregor for like a year, I don’t know how long, was just trash-talking him. Eventually, Aldo – you can tell when his physiology is defeated. As he walks up, never looks up, he just looks down the whole time, a lot of tension in his body. I think physically capable of winning but it comes down to a mental game at that level, when it’s just the top two people in the world.
So that’s confidence, as well. That’s a confidence that comes, not from the results and the experience, per se, but from the mental. And the mental through just things like your voice, holding yourself with your body, the way you carry yourself. Tony Robbins is a great teacher of that, the physiology of it. You should also look up the TED Talk by Amy Cuddy. But there’s a whole mountain of literature around that issue. Getting the experience and having the congruence, physiology and voice and the mental – the processes, the thoughts. So act as if you are confident and you’ll become it. So that’s confidence.
The other one’s shy. So I can do this quickly. So if you’re shy – you know I was an introvert. I’m still an introvert biologically. I draw energy by being by myself. That’s really what introversion and extroversion is; where you draw your energy from. So as an introverted person, I was naturally shy because I’m not excited when I’m around big groups of people. And I had to train, again. I had to train myself, get experience.
Starting easy and ratcheting it up. So you start small – build. So just saying hi to the barista or the 7/11 person or the taxi driver, just having a slightly longer conversation than I’m used to. Saying hi and just greeting people in the elevator, saying hi to the department secretary, just arriving a little bit earlier to the class and chatting with the other students – just little things that build up. And you build up this experience and social momentum.
Now you have to start thinking of yourself as not a shy person because if you still keep thinking of yourself as a shy person, you’ll never break through because it’s an identity issue. Same with confidence, you have to start thinking of yourself as a confident person. I’m a confident person but maybe I’m not feeling confident right at this moment but I am. You know, character-wise, I am a confident person.
I’m just not being myself right now. And that is how your unconscious mind, the 95% of your brain processes that are much more powerful than your conscious mind – the science is just catching up to understanding the unconscious mind, by the way. So that’s how your unconscious mind takes over for your own good. You have to start training it by giving it an identity. This is your identity: you’re not a shy person anymore.
You were previously a shy person but now you’re an outgoing, confident person. And maybe you feel shy at this moment but you’re not going to dwell on the shyness. You’re going to open up and say hi to this person you’re vying the power bar from. Something like that.
Now, I say the power bar because that’s the next thing. Chubby, there’s a whole billion dollar industry designed to get you not chubby. And unless you have some kind of medical reason for why you’re chubby, there is no excuse other than medical reasons. There’s no excuse for staying chubby.
If you don’t like being chubby – because I have friends who are way overweight but they don’t mind being overweight, so power to them. Again, it’s all in your head. This is the most powerful organ. This is how you control your reality. But if you don’t like being chubby then go and fucking fix it – go to the gym, get on your diet, stop being a pussy, stop whining, stop wishing the world was different because you’re lazy.
I’m going to assume you’re lazy if you don’t have any debilitating illness. But if you do, I apologize. There’s always something your doctor can help you with.
So let’s deal with that harder case. This is not his case but just for theoretical interest, the harder case where it’s because of a medical condition or maybe it’s a byproduct or a side-effect of some drugs he’s taking or something, some medicine. What do you do then? So now it’s about reframing – and, in fact, in the interest of time, I’m going to refer you to a talk I did at The 21 Convention in Australia.
And there I dealt with limiting beliefs and one of the examples I used was your fitness level, your being overweight or too skinny. Actually, in that video, I’m pretty sure I said, “If you can change it then go and freaking change it.” But if you can’t change it, then you go to the next step of the decision tree I put out there, where you start to reframe and condition you mind.
And here’s the other thing – because the last thing he said is he’s old, he’s over 50. Here’s what you’ve got to stop – for chubby, just go and fix it. I think for his case, he can go and fix it. For some other people, they’ll have to reframe it and condition. But for old, stop thinking of yourself as old. You’re old in the 30s where life expectancy and life span was like 50 something years old or less. Now, we’re getting it close to 100. If you live in Sweden, you’re close to 100, now. If you’re 50, maybe your life expectancy is like high 80s, right? Something like that. So you’re not old, you’re mid-life. Let that sink in for everybody.
There’s always people telling me I’m old. Screw that. I’m coming up to 40 but I’m in the prime of my life. I’m in better fitness and health than I’ve been in my entire life. I have more energy than I’ve had in my entire life. I sleep, on average, six hours a day. And I have accomplished a lot more than I’ve ever had before. I remember back in my 20s; when I’d just be lounging around, like struggling even to just get up. Now, with meditation, with managing my body, with my fitness levels, with body hacking, I have these energy levels and I’m double the age that I was when I was 20. It’s crazy. With medical advances and so on, old is a relative term.
A 50 year old person is young compared to a 90 year old person. So stop fucking referring to yourself as old. You’re not old. I have clients in their 70s. You’re not old. You’re 50. I’m not old, I’m 39. I’m not young, I’m 39. I’m just 39. Whether it’s young or old, it’s all relative. It depends on who you’re comparing it to. Get that fucking language out because that language itself is fucking up this part of your brain that you’re not in control of – the 95% of your brain that’s running your body, that’s keeping your heart beating, all that, the amazing part of your CPU that you have no access to. You’re not realizing it because of the way you talk to yourself. Listen to yourself talk. That’s self-sabotage, so stop.
The easiest thing in the world is just to substitute out words. There’s no excuse for that. So take out the word “old”. Just say your age, the actual number. Everything else is relative and subjective and is completely changeable. It’s all about how you look at it. The way you look at it is the simplest thing to change. It may not be easy because it takes mental discipline but it’s the simplest thing to change. You don’t have to go out and do a thousand reps at the gym. You just have to change the way you see something. It can be immediate. That fast. So you’re not old, you’re just 50 something.
Now, if you are old compared to the girls you’re talking to, that might be an issue. And I’m assuming you are. But you’re not old – just to throw that out there. So if you’re talking to girls who are 20, you’re too old – I think you’re in creepy land there, 30-year age difference. But then again, who knows? If we’re living to 100 and you’re in the prime of your life, who knows? Who am I to judge? If you’re in love, whatever, right? But generally, in 2016, that’s still considered creepy. I think if you’re old enough to be her dad, that’s getting creepy. At 20 years old, I sort of draw the line, personally.
A 30-year age difference – when you’re 70 and she’s 40, it’s not so big. When she’s 50 and you’re 80, it’s not so big. Versus, imagine, 10 and 40, that’s really wrong, right? So you can see, as you age, the differences in the things that matter the most, which is actually the maturity level, is it narrows over time. Because there’s only so much more life experience you got especially formative years up to your mid-20s, everything’s changing so quickly.
Every four years you’re in some new school, new experiences, you’re learning so much. And then everyone starts a job, they go on a career. I think that’s going to go by the way the dinosaur – like a job for life to some big company. But you get a job and you stay steady. Before when you’re a kid, you went like this in terms of your learning curve and then it just flattens for the rest of your life. And now you’re living to 100 and everyone’s getting depressed. But that’ll have to change because people will fight the depression like that.
But, you know, at 50, if you’re dating a girl in her 30s, you’re not old. You’re just right. So go to places where there are women in their 30s. That would be a better and more natural venue for you. Mid-30s and up will be very easy, I think. Because at that point, the maturity gap really narrows. I think most of it is the way you carry yourself, just based on the way you described yourself as chubby. You probably aren’t dressed right.
And women will all nod on this one. Because here’s the deal: If you think of yourself as chubby, probably – and I haven’t looked at any photos of you or anything – but probably, you’re overcompensating by wearing really big, baggy clothes, trying to hide your chubbiness. And that actually makes it worse. If you think you’re chubby, you probably aren’t picking out great clothes for yourself because if you were, that chubbiness wouldn’t be an issue. You’d just be fucking damn good.
So find somebody like your body type who’s just dressed really great. And you can just Google it now. You have the whole world’s information at your fingertips. Google that and find somebody that you can model, as far as their fashion goes. And now, with these billion dollar fast fashion brands, like Zara, you can emulate a lot of these runway styles for relatively cheap at places like Zara.
And you can get it tailored. If you come out to Asia and get stuff tailored pretty cheap and it’s pretty good tailoring. So dress well; don’t dress like an old man. Dress like a younger person. Don’t dress like a chubby man. Dress where the fit is contoured to your body and wear it with pride. That’s all really important. You’re now a confident 50 year old, currently working on his fitness, previously shy, man. That’s you. That’s your new identity. Carry it with pride.
See you in the private Facebook group. If you haven’t joined yet, go click on the link, wherever it is, click on the link. We approve requests on a regular basis. You can interact with me there personally and ask your questions to me personally. I live on your questions. This show is driven by your questions. So I look forward to every question that’s asked. I really value those. So get on there, give me some of that, give me your questions. I want to hear your questions. I’ll see you there, until next time – man up.