For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has helped hundreds of thousands of people from over 87 countries find happiness, success, and fulfillment in their social, professional, and love lives. His presentations – whether keynotes, seminars, or workshops – leave clients with insights into their behavior, psychology, and keys to their empowerment. His training methodologies are the result of over a decade of coaching and education of thousands of students around the world. Join him in this special seminar series as he explores deep questions of the psychological bases for mating in the modern world. Subscribe now.
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Shame, Narcissism, & Growth for the Nice Guy Fixer
David Tian Ph.D. emphasizes the point that it is better to lose the girl being your true self than to get her being your fake self
If you have difficulty talking to women, you may have approach anxiety. David Tian Ph.D. shares how you can overcome this.
Dr.Tian explains the impacts of narcissism and how to get over it.
In this talk, David Tian Ph.D. tells us what skills we need to learn and how to approach learning.
I’m going to repeat this phrase that I’ve said before but I think it needs to be hammered in: “It is better for you to lose the girl being your true self than to get her being a fake self.” Let me repeat that. It is better to lose the girl being your true self than to get her being your fake self. Let me try that again. It is better to lose the girl being your? True self, than to get her being your? Fake self. Right. The reason why a lot of guys aren’t able to get girls, or attract a woman being their true selves, is because they don’t know who their true self is, and that’s a deep, deep thing that I’ll unpack over the period of hours. And this is the sort of thing you would take weeks in therapy discovering.
But that point is the narcissist’s point. So, what I’m not saying is that anybody who learns how to talks to women is therefore a narcissist. After all, I have a little free course called How to Start a Conversation With Women. There’s nothing wrong with learning conversation skills. There’s nothing wrong with learning negotiation skills like at a Harvard MBA course on how to negotiate. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with teaching your child how to speak to an adult or how to be polite and say “Thank you” and “Yes, ma’am.” There’s nothing wrong with any of those things.
How hard is it though for you to say “Thank you” and “Yes, ma’am”? It becomes a narcissistic issue when you have to be somebody else. I’m not going to fight you if you think that it’s just a skills issue. If it is, then please just take that route. Come back to me in six months when you realize you suck at it still, and then you’ll be more amendable to what I’m saying here. But my message is really — this is the last time we’re going to speak to pick-up artists. This is the last time because I’m tired of it.
Look, I’m not willing to — I don’t give a fuck about — I’m fighting you guys. If you want to persist in just learning more shit and think you need to cram more shit to memorize it, and that’s your problem, or you need to get a cooler jacket, or you need to get a fuzzier hat, or you need to, I don’t know, spend more money? Because the normal thing is to buy more bottles at the table and get some flashy sparklers and that’ll draw all the attention, and that’ll get you all the chicks? Well, then, please, by all fucking means possible, please do that and then you’ll catch up.
But you know, it’s sort of like telling somebody who has never been in a firefight not to go to a firefight. Like, what’s the big deal? You got to go through it first, so — But what was I saying before? It is better to lose a woman being your true self than to gain her, get her, get the girl, being your false self. Let that sink in what I am saying. I’m not saying that you’re a narcissist just because you want to have sex. I want to have sex. I like sex. Sex is a good thing. It’s not sex that’s the problem. It’s never been.
If you’re led with sexual desire, you’d actually be more attractive. It is the fact that you think that the way you are right now isn’t good enough. And here’s some symptoms that I’m going to repeat myself again. The symptoms are, you go blank. Why do you go blank when it’s a hot girl when you don’t go blank when it’s anyone else? Or why do you have all these other symptoms? You’re not able to implement the techniques I told you about.
All of yesterday – well, in the previous video, I said there is a small percentage of guys for whom it is not a narcissistic issue: it is simply a skills issue. And they just need to learn the skills. That’s the guy like I gave an example of, my friend Henry, just picking it up quick, never having to talk about it. He skipped half the boot camp because he doesn’t need it anymore because he already got it. You know that it’s a narcissistic issue when you have difficulty implementing the tips, implementing the advice, implementing the pink elephant, standing up, back broad up and breathe, whatever those techniques are that you’re trying to learn.
If you have any difficulty, anything more than like two out of 10 approach anxiety — like a little bit of anxiety where you speak to somebody new that you care — who you care about a little bit, is always going to be a little bit of anxiety. But to the point where you actually have it more, that it makes you go blank, or — that’s a neurosis. That’s a sign of deeper trauma. And look, I have been, for the past year and a half, trying to get people to go to therapy.
I’m not a therapist. I have no affiliate relationship with any therapist. I get no commission off of any of these referrals so I’m doing it for you. I ain’t doing it for me, and I guess I’m doing it for me to make my life easier because it’s important that you get something out of what I’m telling you. And so, when you do that and you come back and say, “Hey, it’s good.” Then that’s good for me. I’m not doing it. That’s not how I make money. But for the whole time I’m saying, “Get a fucking therapist.”
But look, if you’re pre-therapist, if I’m still convincing you of that argument, well, every fucking Man Up episode, the past 50 episodes, have been me saying get a therapist. Everything I say here, every fucking slide, every fucking pause is a ‘get a therapist’. How do you get over narcissism? You got to get self-awareness. How do you get the self-awareness?
So, here’s the thing: You don’t even know why you go blank. You just think you don’t know what to say. You fucking know what to say. I give it to you for free. It’s free. If you ever doubt it, go to auratransformation.com or .org, go to davidtianphd.com, enter your email. You can always unsubscribe. Just go to the bottom. There’s so many idiots who write to me, “Please unsub.” I get six a week. It’s right there. Click it yourself, but I’ll click it, its alright, then I won’t report spam at least, right? So, okay. But like, sign up, you get the free courses, that’s all you need to get laid. Okay?
Actually, that is all you need. I have many clients who all the knowledge they have is right in those free courses, and that’s all they needed to sleep with 20-something girls and whatever in a couple of months, or a few months. That’s all they needed. You don’t need more skills. And then you think, “Oh, it’s just conditioning. I need conditioning.” It is. You’re right. You can condition. I have a whole course called 10 Weeks to Freedom that’s all about conditioning. We just get you and we do it even better than what you think, but we use graded exercises, and you level up on these exercises every week. We lead you through it live. Every day, live. Okay? It’s a pretty time-intensive course so we rarely do it, but we’re finishing one up right now. I think we’re on week seven of the 10 weeks.
And we walk you through it. So first, you start just asking for time and directions, and then you graduate eventually to walking up to people and making them laugh. You give out a two-dollar bill or a one-dollar bill, and then you just work your way up to shouting out loud and all these other things. And then you start actually talking, interacting with them. It’s a progressive desensitization. It’s like working out, progressive overload. Can you do it that way? Yes. If you go with me, I can make sure you won’t become neurotic as a result.
But the normal way to do it is — you’re basically enforcing this belief that you’re not good enough the way you are now. And if you did it the natural way, which is where you got therapies, you get over your insecurities, so you weren’t so embarassed or ashamed of the fact that you even went blank. Any feeling or thought that you have is sexy and awesome. I don’t give a fuck. Any thought that you have is the thought that you have that you need to put out. That’s what you’ve got. That’s all you’ve got. That’s the true you. Well, as true as you can get at that moment, right?
So, whatever you’re really thinking. But what all I’ve been pointing out is, the PUA goes and gets somebody else’s thoughts, somebody else’s actions and stuffs them in his head and says, “Let me be that guy now.” This is multiple personality, this is splitting off; it’s trying to be somebody else to get the pussy. There’s nothing wrong with getting pussy, by the way. I never attack that, ever. I have lots of sex. So, what happens is the moralism comes in. David, you must be just a preacher conversative Christian — are you kidding me? I’m as liberal as fuck, man.
So, don’t misinterpret. Everything I’m teaching is very subtle and it’s so easy. And look, it’s so easy to misunderstand. And look, if you don’t believe me, I don’t care. Go and do it the other way and then you’ll learn the hard way that I’m speaking the truth and you’ll come back. But I have no interest in convincing you. I’m not a sales guy. I’ve tried that. I suck at it. I have enough self-awareness that I know I suck at it, so I’m the teacher.
The first step is self-awareness: to be aware of the underlying reasons why you have blanks when you talk to girls; why you have approach anxiety in the first place. It’s not just evolutionary. There are a lot of evolutionary things that we get over, so we’re going to — Hey, Jon, let’s make another Instagram one out of this. There’s a lot of evolutionary things that we get over. For instance, our fear of heights. It makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary perspective why we’d be afraid of heights, right? Right. Because if you were up there 100,000 years ago, you’re probably going to die real soon. How the hell did you get that high, right?
So, okay, if you’re looking at a cliff like this, it’s supposed to be pretty scary because if you make one little slip then you’re dead. So, you should be scared. And yet — we’re all scared of that, and yet I go to rooftop lounges and bars all the fucking time. You know, I love sitting right at the edge. I got used to it. It didn’t take that long. Now, some of you have debilitating fear of heights, and that is an issue that you can work on with a therapist.
But most of us, all of us, actually, have, if we’re normal human beings, have a fear of heights. And we all normally have a fear of snakes, and yet if you go down to the zoo all the time there’s somebody with a snake thing and you just put them around your neck. It’s probably not the zoo. You see that at Clarke Quay, as like, you know, a gimmick, right? And you can get over your fear of snakes.
Now, there are people who have a debilitating fear of snakes. And again, that could be a therapeutic issue, something underlying there. How did you get traumatized by the snake? Or it triggers some other trauma that’s related in their mind to that fear. But we all have fear of heights and yet we got over it. It wasn’t that hard, right? Who still has a massive fear of heights and won’t go to Altitude Bar here? I thought so. You can get over it. Then why is it so hard to get over your fear of talking to chicks? It’s not just a conditioning issue.
Trust me. I do a 10 week course on it so I can condition you through it the whole time I’m giving you the inner game to back it up, to understand the mindset of why, how to be confident. And a lot of it is constantly repeating the same things to them. It doesn’t matter what she does. I don’t care what she did. I don’t care about her response. They keep reporting her response — we don’t care about her response. It’s not for her. It’s for you. It’s for you to work on yourself. That’s all.
And this is only going to make sense if it’s also supplemented by understanding the mindset. But even then, it’s much better actually to just understand the underlying issues for why you’re insecure, why you’re so insecure that you go blank. And if you don’t like the way you’re living your life, which is your issue, because of what you’re doing is Monday to Friday you’re in Quant Land, right? And then it’s just a simple switch. And if it’s that simple, the only way you’re going to overcome it is by just warming up the social muscle of your brain, your social brain, which I think you’re capable of.
You’re seeing right now, speaking to me in this group, right? Quite a social person, that you should be able to speak quite fine. And there should be no reason why you can’t think of something to say, except that the thing to say to that girl in the club is a dumb thing to say because she’s dumb. Okay? And then basically, the skills you’re asking for, the skills of being somebody else that you are not just to get sex. So, if you hold out long enough and you search long enough, you will find somebody, some woman, whose personality will be such that you won’t have to change your personality.
And if you look long enough, you’ll find one who is physically attractive. It might take a long time depending on how nerdy you are. Or you can start to develop your personality. But the reason you should develop it is because of a growth in that you want to do that. So then it should be very natural. I’ll give an example, let’s bring it home, make it more practical. Let’s say you don’t like your job but you’re taking the job because you’re used to doing shit you hate to make money. I know that’s not your case but let’s take that example.
And when you talk to a girl, all you have in your head is boring ass shit that you’re not even proud of talking about and that you’re not into anyway, you’re not passionate about anyway. So, your mind is blank because most of the day, you do stuff that you don’t care about. And then you end up going home and just vegging because you’re so depressed at how shitty your job is. And then somebody, your friend says, “We should go clubbing.” And he makes you his wingman.
And you go to the bar and you have to wing for him. There’s this girl and she has nothing in common with you. Okay? So she watches The Kardashians all day. She’s a model who loves pink butterflies. That’s her thing. And she’s like, you have no connection with her. And so, you’re just like having to fake the way through the conversation to wing for your buddy. The whole time, you’re being fake. And so, maybe you’ll just do your best for your buddy and that’s a noble thing.
But let’s say you really give a shit whether she likes now. Like, that matters to you. And the reason — if you want to grow, the problem is in this interaction with the girl. The way to grow isn’t to take on a new self. The reason why there’s difficulty right now, is during the week, you’re not your true self. You’re your prostitute self. Alright? You do something for money. Something you hate for money. So the thing to do if you want to grow is to find a new career, find a new workplace, or you know, you quit that job and get a better one, or get a better one and then quit that job, or you move into a new career. You know, or whatever. You find a new way to spend your 9 to 5 Monday to Friday in something that you actually care about and that you love, or at least that you’re very interested in.
That’s growth. What happens when you need the girl again? Sort of like Superman, you know. The movie when he got beat up at the beginning, and the end of the movie, he came back and beat them up. I don’t know if you remember that one. As a little boy, I was like, “Yeah!” This is Christopher Reeve’s Superman, by the way. That’s how old I am. All these guys are like, “Huh? I haven’t seen that one. I just saw Justice League.” Anyway, which wasn’t bad, actually. I think I went in with very low expectations, but I enjoyed that one.
Actually, superhero movies are very good teaching devices. So, let me reiterate these lessons here so that we don’t have any misunderstandings. I’m not against sex. I don’t think you’re a narcissist because you like sex. That’s just obvious so let’s get that out of the way. Sex is good. In fact, if you led with a sexual desire it’d be more honest. I think the part of the problem is that you don’t lead with a sexual desire and you pretend like you don’t have them, because you, whatever, shame reasons. That actually is more dishonest. So, sex is good.
In fact, I think I’m much more liberal on sex than almost any one here. Well, I don’t know all of you guys, but — The second one misunderstanding is I’m not saying that engaging in the act of talking to new women — Alright, so cold approaching is simply starting a conversation with somebody you don’t know. That’s just a very innocuous thing: starting conversations with people you don’t know. It seems like a good thing to learn, right? Dale Carnegie 101, right? And it shouldn’t be that hard. And in America, so I’m filming this right now in Singapore, so in America, it happens all the time.
I get talked to all the time for no reason at all standing at the bus stop waiting. And they start talking to me, asking not just like about the weather but about, like, my views on things that are quite personal. But it’s quite normal. That’s a good thing, actually. It helps to socialize you quick. So, there’s nothing wrong with that, and you can learn that. And it should be pretty easy to learn. That’s why I brought up the fact that most of the Americans I seem to meet seem to be pretty decent at that; just small talk kind of stuff, or that they know that they ought to be able to do that as an adult.
That’s not what I’m attacking at all. There’s nothing narcissistic about learning how to make friends and influence people kind of Dale Carnegie, you know, 101 conversation skills. In fact, if you look at my old material, Limitless, Desire System, as Dale Carnegie. But for sexual attraction for women, and you can learn it as fast as you learn Dale Carnegie, then great. You would be, probably, the type of person who was like the 3% of my clients who picked it up really fast and didn’t need to actually get much coaching. They just need to be instructed or taught what it is, and they go out and apply it pretty easily.
I’m not referring to that group. By the way, there is a confound. You can be also in that group. Like, I was in that category. I think I picked it up really fast, but I still had core neediness issues that were not addressed. And so, there could be a confound there. Even if you do pick it up — it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition. So, the final group that I’m speaking to, let’s make that clear who I’m actually speaking to here: the person who has difficulty implementing the conversational or any kind of pick up-related advice, tactics, strategies, methods.
It could be — I gave lots of examples. It could be happening at the opening where you have approach anxiety. It could be in the conversation where you go blank. Instead of asking, “Why would I want to be in a conversation with this girl?” Instead of asking that, because then, in order to be in a conversation with that girl, you’d have to change who you are. You change your personality and be interested in other things, you know, just to get sex from her. Whereas the more direct and honest, the more honest thing would be just to lead with your sexual desire and you go direct. You actually lead with that instead of faking.
It’s very fake to pretend like you’re interested in her personality when you’re not. And I’ve did that for years on lots of women. So, if you’re listening, if I ever rolled my eyes — None of you are laughing. Let me finish the joke. If I ever rolled my eyes at you, that was a sign. Okay, so laughter, okay because you’re probably like, “Oh, shit.” Yeah. Like, a lot of bimbos in the club. And I know like they have — some of these girls have very difficult jobs in finance or whatever. When they go to the bars and clubs, they seem like they’re so bimbotic and so materialistic. I think they just are materialistic across the board.
So, what did I do to get that? I pretended like I cared what they were talking about, and I really worked hard to develop an interest in their whole Kardashian thing, whatever the fuck that they used to care about. I can’t remember all of it now, and all of their inane play, their juvenile, childish play to make conversations with them. So, I basically took on a new self. It was this player self: fun, happy-go-lucky. I completely disregarded the fact that I’m a pretty deep thinker, and I really love philosophy, and I care about things like classical music. I think those are — and jazz is a dying art form. I care about this stuff. I care about the meaning of life and the purpose of life, and I care less about what flavor of macaroon — Actually, I love macaroons so that’s a bad example. But you know, the superficial stuff.
Let me repeat again: It is better to lose the girl being your true self than to get the girl being a false self. And for years, I became a false self to get the girl. So, I’m speaking from personal experience and I’ve seen the effect that this has on my clients. They get laid, a lot, some of them. And yet, I still see them asking me these questions about meaning and purpose because, after all, we didn’t actually address any of that. And in fact, none of those relationships that came out of that were lasting and fulfilling.
And a lot of it would just be, if you just wanted sex, you should’ve led with sex. There are slutty girls out there who will bang it up with you and then not have any attachments. And if you’re a guy who just wants to bang girls with no attachments, and you don’t have game — Let me bring out the different possibilities. You want to bang girls with no attachment, just casual sex, and you’re good at game. Great! There’s no problem here. Like, if it comes naturally to you and you just go up to girls and say, “You are gorgeous. You got to come home with me tonight.”
And she’s like, “What? Are you kidding?” “Oh, is that too forward? Let me dress it up for you: I love your dress.” Like, and he’s just like, whatever, right? He just doesn’t care. He’s rolling — and she can reject him. It’s a free world and she’s like, “Get away from me!” And you’re like, “Alright, have a good night. Your loss.” And goes on the next one. Great. Power to you, man. It was easy for you to do it. Great. I got no problem with that guy. He’s actually being one of his selves and he’s not putting on a new false self in the process of learning pick-up.
There are very few guys like that, and you’re probably not one of those guys watching this right now. You’re probably too busy partying it up. Okay, so there’s that. And then there’s another type of guy: the guy who just wants to bang a lot of girls casually with no attachments and who sucks at game. And for him to learn it — you have to know — to know whether you’re that category who sucks at game or good at game, you have to go watch enough material to get the tips and then try it out.
And if it’s hard for you, if it’s difficult for you to learn game, then in order for you to learn it, you’d have to take on a false self to be actually good at it. Not just getting a little bit results where you just work up the courage to talk to her, but to actually be really good at it where it flows smoothly. You’d have to put on a false self, a false self with new beliefs. You know, you get rid of your old limiting beliefs and replace it with empowering beliefs that leads you to sex as the outcome. You change the way you move, the way you talk, the way you walk, the way you use your eyes, the way you dress.
And a lot of you guys don’t even know, but most guys in the world suck at all of those things. You have to get good at those. In fact, they suck so bad, they don’t even know that they suck. And for the guys who’ve done their makeovers, remember, it’s hard to remember. Like, when the first day when I’ll be like, “You cannot wear that. That’s horrible.” And you’re like, “What? What’s wrong with this?” And this war that happens. Luckily, I discovered these fashion styles and I just threw them at you, and so then you listened. But before that, it was, like, pulling teeth.
So, casual sex, okay, fine. That’s your world. That’s your values. No problem. And from an evolutionary perspective, I see nothing wrong with that. So, go for it. And if you’re good at it, it’s not about putting on a new false self, you’re just learning some tips and tricks and implementing them. And it’s quick, easy, and it should be quick and easy, as easy as learning how to say “Thank you” and “Yes, ma’am.” That’s pretty easy. But if it’s difficult for you and you want casual sex, in order for you to get through this process to actually succeed and internalize these principles, you’ll have to put on a new personality.
That means, a personality, a coherent personality, a coherent identity. That means not just a new body language; eye contact, tonality, fashion, new words, new thoughts and beliefs, new emotions. On top of that, a new lifestyle. All of those things have to come together. You have to be a new person. But this person won’t be — I know you’ll hope that this is your superhero and you’ll step in to that person. “I am Wolverine” or whatever, the Wolverine of pick-up, whatever it is, right? But in fact, you’re just putting on a new false self. And the faster you realize that, the quicker you can get out of this trap.
But I’ve been talking about the vicious cycle, how you’re just setting yourself up for failure. And then there’s another possibility: that you don’t want just casual sex, that you actually want a relationship. And again, I guess you can have the other two. So, you want the relationship, but in order for you to get a relationship with the type of girl that you’re pining for, you need to — it’s hard for you. Like, you’ve read all of this stuff. I don’t know. You’ve watched a lot of how-to videos on YouTube, how to pick up chicks, or how to get a relationship, how to get a girlfriend. I know that’s a very popular SEO search term, ‘how to get a girlfriend’.
So, you’re looking for that information. You got all the info but you can’t apply it. Okay, now that guy, in order for him to apply that well and get success with that, he’ll have to become a new false self. Okay, so then the warning about narcissism applies again. And then, the final one is, I guess, the guy who naturally finds the girl and doesn’t have to change anything about himself: just learn a few things like open up to communication skills and all that.
And that guy is great too, obviously. That’s great. And as far as the Rock Solid Relationships course which currently — well, Lifestyle Mastery might compete for my favorite course that I’ve made, but I really love Rock Solid. And there are some guys in it who went into it and found really deep things about themselves and their wives. Not that one guy has multiple wives, but like themselves and the wife that they have, that have improved their marriages.
But some of them, they just wanted communication tips. Well, actually, nobody wanted that, just some random reviewer said “I’d prefer that there were more communication tips.” And I’m like, dude, why are you going to the ex-PUA world for this? You should go to the foremost expert on relationships like John Gottman and The Gottman Institute, or Harville Hendrix and the Imago Relationship Therapy Institute. Just go to a fucking university where they teach marriage counselling. Go there.
And the problem with all of those is, in order to do that, to benefit from that work, you have to sit down at the table with your wife, and you do questionnaires, and you ask each other questions. Fuck. If you’re willing to do those exercises where you’re sitting across from each other, you’re already saved. You’re already alright. I’m dealing with people who aren’t even willing to sit down at the table together. That’s pre-therapy that I’m working at.
But if you just wanted those communication tips and tricks, that’s when — they will only work if you’re already at the therapeutic level. That’s what I would say to that last group. If it comes easily to you, then why are you watching this? You wouldn’t be here. Or maybe you’re going to recommend it to your buddies, so thank you. Alright, so I just want to put that out there as a caveat for everything we’ve covered so far and then we’ll move into the next video. So, this will be nice excursus. I’m not sure where we’ll put it in the series but it’ll go in there. Alright, so I’ll see you in the next video. Thanks for watching.
Okay, welcome back. So, we took a little tangent and clarified some misconceptions. Those are very helpful. I’m going to maybe see if I can put those at the beginning of the series. So, I’m not sure exactly where you’re going to watch them. Or maybe we’ll put them here. So anyway, so we’re moving on from where we left off before the break, and we went into — now we’re getting into how to fix the fixer. Fix the fixer. By the way, a really great phrase that I want to keep repeating: It is better to lose the girl while being your true self than to get the girl by being your false self. Cool, so we’re all in the same page.
So the first step to getting to the point where you are your true self, and putting that out there and being vulnerable with it, is self-awareness. In other words, you have to be aware of the various defenses that your unconscious is using to prevent you from being vulnerable and actually being your true self. So, all of us have developed coping mechanisms to not open up and to instead present a front, present a persona, is actually the term — to present some version of ourselves that we think will get acceptance and approval. That’s normal. Everybody does it.
However, if you think that part of you that you’re presenting is the real you, is the true you, then this is the basis of the neurotic life. The first step is being aware of all of what’s going on in you, all of the various mechanisms that you have, and defense and coping mechanisms. This is self-awareness, and this is the theme of the entire series: self-awareness. I’m trying to help you be more aware of yourself and what’s going on internally and in relationships.
The second is now that you are more aware of yourself, to be more accepting of yourself: self-acceptance. So, the first step is self-awareness, the second step is self-acceptance. This is where you own your perceived faults and weaknesses and you make peace — so you own your perceived faults and weaknesses. And in many cases, I think that there are actually no real faults and weaknesses. For instance, you might think that a fault of yours is that you eat when you are sad, and therefore that’s how you became obese, to give you an example.
And in fact, the eating, the compulsive eating, isn’t a weakness per se, it is a reaction that you’ve decided. It’s a coping mechanism to deal with the fact that you’ve been so sad, because it’s a way of comforting yourself. And that action of comforting yourself is a good thing. It’s a positive intent. It’s just that the way that it played out was harmful to your body. So, you just have to find a new way of comforting yourself that doesn’t have bad health consequences.
That’s all. It’s not hating yourself for stuffing more food into your mouth. You’re trying to soothe yourself because you actually had a lot of other negative pain or some other things going on in your life that have caused you to seek comfort that way. So, that’s an example: first, to own the faults and weaknesses, to see them for what they are, but also to see them for their intent. And almost all of our parts actually have positive intent, and that’s a really important message.
In addition, you need to make peace with your past. That’s a really hard part. And one really great thing about Rock Solid Relationships is that there’s a whole module. And in fact, everything up to that module is building up to it where we help you revisit your past through accessing your unconscious. And it’s probably the most powerful — I don’t know, one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, guided meditation that I’ve created. I might even do that for you guys this weekend if we have time, where we revisit the trauma of your past and make peace with it, and then grow from it.
And a big part of this is letting go. No matter which strategy you took, the rebel, the recluse, which is — I found out guys generally don’t know what recluse is. Hermit. Whether you’re a hermit, or the rebel, or the achiever, or the pleaser, right? Whichever one, all of them will get healed when they let go. They let go of the pain. They let go of trying to win it back. They let go of the cycle of how they’ve been getting love. You got to let go. And in fact, again, in Rock Solid Relationships Module 3, there’s an entire guided meditation on helping you let go of all of these things that you’re burdening yourself with.
And ultimately, you can do all of this if you see things in a different way. So, I begin Lifestyle Mastery with the lesson about Gestalt insight. You can think about it like this now on this video of — you ever see those black and white pictures that, if you look at it — Oh, there’s this one with — it’s a drawing of a woman turning, like, to her side like this. But if you look at it differently, it’s an old hag. It’s sort of like that. That Gestalt insight of when you see it originally as — if you’re one of the 80% who first see the girl, and then if you look harder you begin to notice that it actually could look like a different way, the old hag. That process of seeing it differently is the process of self-awareness, where you’re like, “Oh, woah. That’s what was happening.”
And you lean into that rather than resisting. And there’s actually a small percentage of people who can’t see one or the other. That’s sort of what happens when people refuse to be aware of what’s going on in their selves no matter how much they’re explained to. And if you embrace that process of seeing the other side, this is what it’s all predicated on. And there’s a great book by Ryan Holiday on this whole thing which is The Obstacle is the Way.
So many times we see challenges not as challenges but as problems, as obstacles, instead of seeing them as, “You would not have gotten this better thing. You would not have grown if you have not gone through that obstacle.” So in fact, you couldn’t have avoided the obstacle and still have gotten the growth. The obstacle is the bridge across. When you start to see that, you see all of the past trauma as the bridge: all of those past traumas are the way forward of how you grow.
So then, you embrace your traumas. And now, all the bad shit that happened in your life that you’ve been repressing and suppressing now become your power. So, a great example of this is actually Tony Robbins, because he talks so much and he talks a lot about how his mom abused him in some ways, but she did love him in other ways. He totally understands her whole psychology, and so he’s able to accept it. The more you understand your psychology, the less bitterness, and resentment, and hate that you have for anybody.
And no matter what they do to you, because you start to realize why they’re doing that and their whole context. Anyways, so his mother, for whatever reasons, would say — accuse him of lying and then pour bath soap down his throat. And that story — of course, when it was happening, that really sucked, was quite traumatic. But now, he’s able to use it as a story, but he’s actually able to claim it as the source of his power because he went through that. Now, he is stronger. You couldn’t have been stronger without going through that, and then you’ll be thankful for those things. You’ll actually be thankful for those experiences.
The ex who betrayed you, the girl who friendzoned you. Every time your heart got broken, if you did it the right way with self-awareness and self-acceptance, you’ll be thankful for every single one of those experiences because they actually wore the conduit to make you stronger. That’s the path to strength: the obstacle is the way. Ryan Holiday loves these historical examples, a lot from the military. I think this book would appeal to dudes. It’s very popular among professional athletes. Anyway, I highly recommend that book. But these are grand examples. I want to bring it down to your day-to-day life, the obstacle is the way.
And this principle that if we never work on our core issues, our core issues will continue to keep working on us under the surface. Let me repeat that, really hammer this one home. If we don’t work on our core issues, these include insecurities, shame, trauma. All of these are related. If we don’t work on our core issues, they will continue to keep working on us unconsciously under the surface unseen. So, you can ignore them as you have your whole life. You can repress them as you have your whole life and then try to get on by, well, conditioning, by learning some lines and trying to…
Actually, conditioning is the best example because you’re going to have to do — repeat that behavior hundreds of times to condition yourself to do it. And we can condition all kinds of people to do all kinds of things, can’t we? So if you’ve read any of the Cialdini in terms of social psychology research, you would’ve known how to condition people. It’s not that hard, actually. If you know about the Stanford prison experiment, Zimbardo, that’s a really great example. But also, the POW camps, what they make them do. They’re very simple things like writing an essay to defend the enemy’s side, right? And by the time they let them out of the camp, they’ve all turned these guys. These are examples of conditioning.
Here’s another example of conditioning: using a shock collar on a dog, let alone a human. But you know, you can condition a dog to stop barking. And in fact, this is an issue that came up for us this week. Not you guys, you’ve been buying that shock collar for yourselves, but we have a little puppy with us here. He’s a little tiny chihuahua, he’s like 1.5kg but he thinks he’s a fierce guard dog. He’s the cutest thing. So, any time somebody walks by the apartment, he just goes [NOISE] and he growls at them. It’s really cute.
And so, my wife is used to having big dogs. They’ve had — her parents used to groom dogs, and train them, and all of this other stuff on the side. Anyways, she’s used to having the bigger dogs, and the bigger dogs you do not want that to happen because that’s very scary and it could get out of control, and they could rip the house apart. So, you get used to poking them, like, poke them in the neck to stop them. But I didn’t know any of this stuff. I have never been trained on how to train dogs. So, anyway, the dogs, I think it’s the cutest thing, so I’m like — I know it’s trying to guard me, so I’m like, it’s okay. It’s okay, I’m here. It’s okay. I see it. Okay, you can calm down now.
And then, you know, he’ll be like, “Don’t you see it? Okay.” And then he trots over. But then my wife, who is used to bigger dogs, she’s like, “Don’t do it that way. You’re rewarding him for barking. You should just poke him like this in the neck.” And so, I’m like, “Oh, okay.” And so, I watch her do it. And then after about two weeks of this, she noticed he stopped barking. It was actually the time we went to The W and then we’re like, he’s not barking anymore.
And then we go back to the original apartment and he’s not barking anymore. And then, like, you just conditioned him how to be a guard dog. And then he’s like, this is not his nature. And so, he’s like, you can see he’s like — okay, fine. And this is something fine. If you don’t want the dog to bark, that’s how you can — you can actually put a shock collar on him. Every time he barks, it just goes bzzt. That’s what we put on — they put on one of their other dogs who was abused in a puppy mill before they got him. And so, she’s very antsy.
But if we were to continue to condition this guy, he would not be his true self, his true dog self. So, I’ve talked about this in other contexts, that there are archetypes that are woven into our DNA, actually, Jungian archetypes that are just like — if you were to raise a wolf, steal it from the wild and put it in your home, and it’s never seen another wolf in its whole life, when it gets big enough, it’ll probably go out in the yard and start howling at the moon. Why? Because that’s what wolves do. There are some things that you do as humans. We have these masculine, feminine, those are examples of archetypes. Those are very simplistic ones, but this dog has a dog nature.
The dog nature is to be — it wants to be a guard dog and takes pride in it. You can punish it and condition it out of that behavior. But now, you’ve just conditioned it now — with the dog, you’re like, yeah, you know. And here’s the — I wanted to address this. One come back or counterargument would be, “But, isn’t that just part of growing up? Learning not to bark?” Okay, so I’ve heard that before, and have I addressed this? I’ve heard it before, and I found out that the guy who was bringing up this counterargument has kids. And he’s like, this is just what you did, you just tell the kid, you know, like, slap him.
Dude, you slap your kids for — ? Yeah, sometimes, they start screaming, and they get rambunctious and you just got to slap them. I’m like, this is 2017 now, right? Like, dude, what are you doing, man? He’s like, “This is part of growing up.” And I’m like, “Your dad slapped you too, right?” Yeah, okay. Yeah. And so, the neurosis is passed down from generation to generation. It takes somebody very brave to stand in the breach. Because when you stand in the breach, you say, “No, I will not pass down the neurosis.” You’re basically making a statement to your parents that “You didn’t parent me the way that would’ve been optimal” and that’s not a mark against anyone. It’s very difficult to parent.
And then you’re also saying — you’re basically being this shield for this child of all of your — well, many of your — like, the generation before you. You can condition yourself to do it. You can condition yourself with the shock collar and all of this — and it works. I did that. I did it on myself. I still do it and I catch myself about it. So, it’s easy for me to condition myself and do a six-pack, by the way. What does that mean? It means deprivation. That’s what it means.
If anybody’s ever had a six-pack who’d normally would gain weight knows what that’s like. You just got to eat a very restrictive calories while working out really hard. I mean, if you’re in your early 20’s, it’s not hard for you. I mean, I’m 41. My last six-pack was like a year ago. That was like before I eat — early in the morning, after I did my thing, and I could just, like, you know. There you go, right? Now, I realized that that is actually — this discipline is actually good for me in the long run.
This is a good time to make another point, and we’ll probably have to end and not get to this, but part of the neurosis of the achiever is — There’s a phrase that’s going around now in the man world, in the men’s development world, which is actually quite small, actually, which is something like ‘discipline leads to freedom’ or something like that. That’s a statement that comes from the military or a military background. I totally understand that. In fact, that’s the old generation. That’s my dad’s generation. That’s what I grew up with: discipline leads to freedom. Yeah.
So, wake up. Once you get used to waking up early in the morning, you’ll have freedom! Right? But the whole time, you’re warping a personality. There are always consequences to personality transformation in this way. The military is not known for original creative work like brilliant works of art or music. If you are a military man, I really hope you’re disciplined. We’re counting on you to be disciplined. You’re the guys we’re looking to to be disciplined, so that makes sense, but I really hope that you enjoy this.
When you enjoy it, it’s not discipline anymore. There’s no willpower. You can still call it discipline, I guess, because other people will say, “Wow, you’re so disciplined.” You’re like, “Yeah, I like waking up early. I love the smell of napalm in the morning” or whatever, right? “Yeah, I’m a badass, yeah.” Right? That personality we should pay him triple and have more of those guys. But if you take — Lester Young was a very famous tenor saxophonist, jazz player. He was one of my favorite saxophonists. He was just so loosing — I don’t know. You could hear Lester Young playing right from the first note. He had a special tone.
And then World War II happened. They conscripted him. World War II ended. He came back out. All of his albums after that sucked. It wasn’t because he didn’t play. They let him have his horn and all that, but they disciplined the shit out of his creativity. I’m not saying anything bad, but the military is not known for producing artists. I just want to put that out there. If you want to lead your family like the military, well, expect to see the consequences. If your kids are going to grow up to be boxers professionally and make millions of dollars, that’s a great route to take, actually.
I think there’s quite a little bit of creativity, but there is creativity, obviously, when you’re a strategist. You know, a military general and you’re at the top. But the military generally doesn’t encourage painting outside the box, right? So, when you’re in that context, discipline is important. It’s life or death. But when you’re a painter, you really hope you don’t have to need that much discipline. You hope you’re doing it because you love it and then it’s not discipline, it’s just routine, habit. Those are good.
But discipline means you have to exert extra pressure and effort to get there. The achiever does this all the time, and I’ve been living my life mostly like that. I used to have a poster above my bed all through high school and through half of my undergrad, and it was a Bible verse. It was — I’m trying to remember now, trying to wipe it out of my memory. It was from Proverbs. What was it? “A little sleep, a little slumber. A little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a bandit, and scarcity like an armed man.” I looked at that, I’m so sleepy. Okay, now I’m fine. Get back on there. Get back on there, and that was the story of most of my teens and into my early 20’s.
I know what that’s like. I love the military, by the way. I love watching war movies. I love MMA. I love it all, but there is something, a big part of you that is lost when you focus on conditioning versus finding the thing you love, what you love about it, and doing that thing. One of the things that you love is that girl’s body, because you think that if that girl gave you approval and the admiration back, you’ll finally feel like you’re enough. That’s the deeper issue.
And if you just think that you need to learn a few lines to spark attraction, that is so fucking easy. That’s already in millions of free videos — I mean, thousands, at least, of free videos on YouTube. I’ve made them. They’re all out there. What to say is the easiest. In fact, none of those are necessary. If you truly do just love yourself, if you’re completely self-aware and completely self-accepting, then you can say whatever is in your mind. The reason why you have to have an external thing, a book, an e-course or whatever to put stuff into your mind and mouth to say, is because for some reason, the things that are already naturally occuring in your mind are unacceptable. They don’t work, or you go blank, which is obviously a sign of neurosis.
Don’t give me this whole shtick about how you just need to learn some skills. Try it, then. And if you have difficulty, you can condition yourself like I have. Thousands of approaches it will take. Well, it depends on how, you know, your starting point. It might just take hundreds. But if it doesn’t come easily, it’s going to come hard. I’ve never seen anybody who just can get it, become a master out of just sort of doing it, and they were really bad at it before and had a hard time.
So, you really need to dedicate that time to do it. And when you come out of it, if that was you, if it came hard for you — if it was difficult for you, it didn’t come naturally for you and you went down the route of conditioning, I know exactly what’s going to happen. I’ve seen hundreds of cases with my own eyes, thousands of cases I’ve read about, and by emails to me and ones I’ve read about or heard about through the grapevine or read about on the internet, and then of course my own fucking life. And I’ll tell you: It doesn’t change anything. You’re going to have a failed relationship.
The best case scenario is you learn some skills. Like, many of you know cases of this, right? They learn some skills. Like, out of 10 out of 10 skills that they could’ve learned, they learn 3 out of 10, 30% of the skill set, and that was good enough to get a girl that in their estimation is a 7 1/2 to them. Like, overall, including personality, and looks, and all of that, she’s a 7 1/2. Alright? Great. They’ll settle for that because that’s better than being alone for them. So, they stay with a 7 1/2.
A year and a half later, passion’s gone and she dumps him. And then, why? Well, because the underlying problems were never resolved. Just like I started with, he has a wound and he papers over the wound with a Band-Aid solution, pure palliative. He thinks the problem is that he’s bleeding, and so he just covers up the blood and thinks he’s fine now. And then he goes out and does strenuous activities, alright? So, you’ll find out sooner or later that I’m right. Maybe that’s an arrogant thing to say.
I would like to also just point out before we end this section that I am sharing — one of the reasons I took so long to get into this is because of intellectual humility. I mean, I’m only 41. I’ve been in the academy. I know how long it takes to really know a field, but Gary Vaynerchuk emboldened me with a whole document instead of create a motto. I’m documenting my journey. Maybe if you see me in three years, I’ll have a more evolved view. Even just looking at my material from one year ago, I see how I would change a few things, or quite a few things.
So, all of that as a caveat, but this is where I’m at. This is where I’ve seen, and I do this for a living, and I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now. Over nine years in Singapore. I think in total, coming up to 12 years, which is insane. Where’d the time go? In the mean time, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook. Fuck. Alright, so I’ll see you in the next video. We’ve covered a lot: narcissism, shame, why the pick up artist route ultimately will lead to failure unless it comes easily to you, in which case, power to you and you’re probably not watching this. So, that’s a good quick summary. I’ll see you in the next video.