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For 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.

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When Should You Talk About Yourself?

In episode 52, I answer the question: When should you talk about yourself?

[Intro music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up.

[Fade music]

Hey, it’s David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up, episode 52. And we’ve got a question here from Nate. It’s a very long question so I’m going to just summarize it for you. It’s a multi-part question. So it’s a very long report about his sort of interaction and date with this girl.

So he’s a college kid and the girl he’s met is also from college but she’s in a different college. Or, actually, it’s the same college but different campuses, so different satellite campuses and hers is an hour away. So when they first met, it was friends of friends kind of like a party. And it was really flirty both times.

So he was saying things like, “Want to make out?” And just, like, with a funny face so it’s just funny. She liked that and they did that both times, making jokes, cracking jokes really good. So she agreed to meet up and he made a false pretense to drive an hour out to her – already a bad sign – but then, they met.

This is a dangerous situation when you’re going to invest upfront that much of your time and effort in pursuing a woman. You better know she’s the right one. And you just didn’t have enough information, Nate, to know that, to do that. So I would’ve been very careful about doing that – but that’s for a different video. We’re going to address the first thing he says about the date.

He says, so while they were really flirty and everything when they first met and they were on this date and he took her to coffee. And he says, I tried to talk about myself as little as possible and make her feel good about herself but I think I overdid it. Yeah. It’s not just that you overdid it; it’s the fact that you did that, at all, that’s bad. So I’m going to try to keep this video short, because the last one was really long, and just focus on this one point about when should you talk about yourself.

So, a lot of people think that – I think that’s because they might have read something from Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People – which rightly pointed out that if you want to be interesting to other people, you should be interested in them. And that’s a very important point.

But while you’re interested in them, you should also be expressing who you are. Otherwise, if you just ask about the other person and all they’re doing is talking, that’s a fine thing, except if they don’t know anything about you, really. And that’s the biggest problem.

I think some men, and people, should get in the habit of talking at the personal level.So here’s the rule of thumb – here’s another rule of thumb: when you’re in a conversation, especially with somebody you’ve just met, don’t talk about things in the abstract, third person. That’s really boring. You might as well be an android, like a walking computer, otherwise.

Because if you’re just exchanging information, which is the way that most men talk because they want to keep it asexual, non-sexual. And they just talk about other stuff, like the football team or whatever – but even then, if they’re really into it, they’ll talk about their own views.

But men think that to be polite they need to talk about something other than themselves. And here’s the problem. So if you sound like a Wikipedia entry because all you’re doing is talking about other things, you’re not going to be a very interesting conversationalist because it’s not personal, it’s not about you.

Not so much that you talk about – like you’re bragging about yourself. You never want to be bragging. But you want to be expressing your opinions and your view points, your likes and dislikes, your hobbies – just use the words “I”, “me” or “my” when you’re having a conversation.

So instead of saying, “Donald Trump is a horrible candidate.” You say, “My view is that…” Or like, “Paris is a great city.” Don’t say that. Say, “I found Paris to be great.” Or, “When I went to Paris it was…” Then it’s suddenly much more interesting on a personal level.

So if you want to have a great date, if you want to make a great impression on somebody, if you want them to like you, if you want somebody to feel a connection with you at any level, it has to be at a personal level. Because you’re a person, so to make it personal, you’ve got to move it from abstract, impersonal and move it up to a personal level which is where you’re going to be expressing your own views and your own feelings and your own thoughts about things.

And you’re going to use the words “I”, “me” or “my” and “mine”- first person pronouns. That’s a great rule of thumb. If you ever get stuck, just start the sentence with “I”, “me”, “my” or “mine” and then just say what you were going to say after that. It’ll just flow. To make logical sense, it’ll just flow. It’ll be great.

So, when is it right to talk about yourself? Don’t be bragging; don’t be trying to say stuff to impress another person. That’s what you shouldn’t do. What you should do, though, is express your views and relate to people when they talk about – because you mentioned here you guys talked about music and food, that’s great. But don’t about it in an abstract sense of like, “What do you like?” “You like EDM. Why?” And it’s always focused on her. You want to relate to that. So she says that she likes EDM, say, “Cool. I…” and then share your views on EDM.

If you ask her what’s her favorite food, she says whatever, pizza, whatever, you say, “Oh, wow,” and you might ask her what kind of pizza, whatever. And then you say, “My favorite food is…” and you express for yourself. Because you have to keep it equal, otherwise – well, first of all, otherwise, she’s going to feel like the conversation is too one-sided and so it feels boring.

But it’s also going to be boring because there’s nothing about you for her to like. You like girls because they’re physically attractive – just to put that out there. But for a girl to like you for more than your looks – and I’m assuming, just based on what you say, you’re not like a hot male model. For a girl to like you for more than your looks, you’ve got to express your personality. You have to show something about you and your unique self for her to like.

So there has to be something there for her to like. She can’t feel like she’s talking to a computer, like she’s talking to Siri. Don’t be Siri. So start your thing by relating to what she said – this is very important, this is Dale Carnegie stuff, too, okay – relate to what she says, don’t just be asking her, interrogating her. Relate to what she said. And you can use, as a rule of thumb, use the first person pronouns “I”, “me”, “my” “mine”. That’ll start you on the right track. So if she says she likes X, Y, Z food, you ask her why or “Where’s the best place to get that food?” And you say, “Cool. I want to try that. My favorite food is…” Whatever it is and for whatever reasons, it reminds me of whatever.

So speak about yourself. That’s going to get people more connected with you.

So, join the private Facebook group. Click on the link, join the group. We approve requests on a daily basis. Interact with me there. I look forward to seeing you on there, until next time – man up.