Show highlights include:
- Why bending over backwards and being “nice” repulses women (and how they see through this charade like Swiss cheese) (3:54)
- The counterintuitive way getting more vulnerable helps you become more laid back, adventurous, and easy to love (11:12)
- How to unleash your inner child that’s holding all your pain and suffering to magnetize a romantic partner (12:15)
- The weird way acting like a child heightens your sexual attractiveness (12:58)
- The “Hold The Line” method for being assertive (without Hulking out or becoming anxious) (16:18)
- The 3-step therapeutic process for making dating and relationships as natural and effortless as breathing (19:40)
- The brutal truth about why nice guys get dumped and cheated on more often than anyone else (23:47)
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform:
Note: Scroll Below for Transcription
This is ThePodcastFactory.com
Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.
Welcome to this episode of the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m David Tian, your host.
In the previous two episodes, I covered the origins of the nice guy, the psychological genealogy of how the nice guy came to be psychologically, and we got into the family-of-origin issues, the pleaser versus reckless versus rebel strategies and how the nice guy is an outflow of the pleaser strategy, a kind of fixer mindset or mentality, and that this was a result of a parentified childhood and enmeshment, having your boundaries violated repeatedly, conditioning this fixer to come out. [00:55.3]
I did share a kind of cheat code way, a set of questions, to get at the root of the issue, and I also mentioned how one thing in common among nice guys, guys who are, by the way, nice because they’re planning or hoping unconsciously to trigger, through their nice behavior, reciprocation on the part of the other person, being kind in order to get behavior or treatment from the other person. It’s not being kind for itself, which distinguishes it from being good, but just a nice guy, and how that’s rooted in and very commonly connected to sexual shame, especially when it comes up in the dating context.
In the previous episode, the one just before this, I went into what a good man who is sexually attractive is like, and I covered five points that I’ll get into in even more detail here in this episode.
That’s the past two episodes and all of this is so that you can actually, through an ethical way, attract women, because I know that’s a major concern for a lot of guys these days, or at least the guys who write to me, because they find that a lot of the dating advice that they find and just when they look up dating advice to kind of subcultures that they come across feel unethical or feel kind of mean or nasty or angry. [02:17.8]
There is actually an ethical way, a way that is morally good, that you can be sexually attractive to women. I wanted to point out again this false dichotomy that nice guys buy into, whether that was forced on them or that was kind of brainwashed into them, that there’s this false dichotomy between being nice or being an arrogant, shallow airhead, like those are the only two options.
Either you’re nice to people in order to get them to like you back or you are this kind of jerk or douchebag, or like the bully at school who was getting all the girls but he is not a nice guy, not a nice person, not a kind person. He’s an arrogant, shallow airhead, right? Those are not the only two options. That is a false dichotomy and I’ve been covering that in the past two episodes as well. [03:05.0]
I’ve been pointing out that there’s another concept that’s different from nice. That is the one that people should be focusing on, especially men who want to have an ethical way of being sexually attractive, and for those who want to find happiness and fulfillment and love in life, that really the only way through to get that is by being good, by living a life as close as you can to goodness, by valuing the good, okay, and getting clear.
I mean, the first step is getting clear on what the good is, so that’s Step 1. I covered that in the last episode, but just getting clear on the fact that there is this difference between being nice and being good, and what we’re focusing on here is being a good man, not necessarily a nice man.
I mean, a nice man might also be like a kind of harmless man, in the sense of he’s harmless because he’s happy to bend over backwards to get people to like him and he’s harmless until he’s pushed too far, then watch out, right? Then all the resentment that’s been building up comes bursting forth in a kind of angry outburst, right? [04:12.5]
A lot of that is fueling this undercurrent, this nasty kind of bitter angry undercurrent that you find in sort of in the underground world of dating advice. That’s the Red Pill, MGTOW, incel, that kind of thing. I want to head people off from going there by just letting them know gently, there is another way.
Don’t bite into this false dichotomy of either you’re kind of this fake nice or you’re nice in order to get something, but you’re nice instrumentally to get people to treat you well. You’re nice to people who are nice to you or you’re nice in order to get other people to be nice to you, not because it’s good or that it’s the right thing to do, but because you trying to get something out of it and you’re trying to manipulate, using it to manipulate a reaction or response, and then you get angry or bitter or resentful when that response is not forthcoming. [05:00.8]
That’s one side of their dilemma. I guess they see it as a dilemma. Then the other side is being arrogant, shallow, an airhead, this thing that they reject because of their childhood. Maybe that’s what an incels call a Chad or whatever, that there are just these two options. But there is a way of living and being that is ethical, that’s according to moral values that are well-reflected on and thought-out, and that this is about goodness, moral goodness.
Okay, I also want to point out the nice-guy myth, the myth that bending over backwards for her will generate attraction. That’s just false, and if you don’t believe me, go and try it and see if you can prove it, prove it out. I’m not going to spend too much time arguing for that myth or debunking it because it should be, on the surface, obvious. I mean, if it’s not, you can just try it and then it will be obvious.
Okay, so in today’s episode, this episode, we’re looking at the “how”, how can we actually become good men who are sexually attractive? How does this work? [06:04.7]
Just like in the previous episode, it starts with values. If you’re not clear on what your moral values are, if you’re not clear on what the good is for you, then you’re not going to be able to move forward here. I mean, you could kind of come about it in a roundabout way and I think a lot of therapists try that. They skirt the moral issues to try to get you to access your higher self or compassion or something like that.
If you have strong intellectual parts like me, these intellectual parts will get in the way of that, because they’re constantly asking these questions of these higher-principle or first-principle questions, the meaning of life, that sort of thing, especially when you’re asked to be compassionate and all of that. These moral judgements will come in. I’m assuming that you are kind of like me and you have these strong intellectual parts. That might have been what drove you to listen to a podcast like this, and I thank you for that, by the way.
We start with values, getting clear on what your values are. You don’t have to have a well-worked-out moral system yet to dive into the therapeutic process and to move into the second step, but you’ve got to get started. You have to start questioning and reflecting on what is good for you. [07:12.0]
I’ve covered moral values in connection with long-term relationships already in Episodes 4–6 of this podcast, so I refer to that. Also, if you want a step-by-step guided process by which you can think about your values and what values you would like to adopt for the future, I have a process in my course, “Invincible”, as well as in my course, “Rock Solid Relationships”.
The one in “Rock Solid Relationships” is even more advanced because you’re also thinking about your partner’s values. You can work on that exercise with your partner if you’re already in a relationship, but it’s also really helpful and, arguably, even more helpful if you can do that before you get into a relationship, so you’re clear on what you’re looking for in your partner in order to make this match work, what values you would have in common, so that you don’t get suckered into the emotional-vampire values because you haven’t thought about them ahead of time. You are just seduced by her looks and her sexual chemistry, not noticing her cruel treatment of the less fortunate. [08:17.5]
Okay, that’s the first point. By the way, I have three points, in case I didn’t mention that. That’s the first point, getting clear on your values. How do you do that? You can do it through philosophy, study a philosophy—that’s a kind of explicit, conscious working through your values—or you can do it in a more direct way. Like I said, I have a process, a multi-hour process, that you can follow. That’s in “Invincible” in “Rock Solid Relationships”.
Okay, then we move on to the second point and this is building off the last episode where I laid out the “what”, so the question is “How do I get the what?” the “what” here being sexually comfortable, easygoing, adventurous and assertive. How can I develop those qualities in myself? Because those are qualities that aren’t morally bad and, in fact, can be very consistent with being morally good. [09:02.8]
You being more sexually comfortable, more easygoing, more adventurous, more assertive can actually help you do more good in the world than if you were sexually judgmental, uptight—see, it’s the opposite of adventurous—risk-averse, and you constantly let your boundaries get violated. Those are the opposite of those four qualities. Clearly, just on the surface of it, consistent with the morally good, to also be sexually comfortable, easy-going, adventurous and assertive. Let me say that differently. To be comfortable with your sexuality is that first one.
How can you develop this if you don’t have this already? Okay, the third point is going to get into a deeper process for it, but let me explain the end point of, or as you get further along in the therapeutic process, what will happen? In fact, let me move on to the third point because it will explain the second point. [09:58.1]
The third point is the therapeutic process. I’m just going to dive into the deeper answer. The third point is, how do you get these qualities of being comfortable with your sexuality, easygoing, adventurous and assertive? What the therapeutic process will do is to help you become aware of those parts of you that are holding a judgment or criticism, and have rejected or disowned those qualities in you.
We’re starting off with the assumption that you already have parts that have these qualities, and if you’re not exhibiting these qualities or if you’re not able to access them consistently or consciously or naturally, then what’s happening instead is that you have disowned the parts of you that have these qualities or exiled them.
The first step would be just becoming aware of the various parts of you that are running the show and those are going to be parts that are what IFS therapy—which I’ve introduced in other episodes, so I’m not going to belabor that now, but in the type of therapy that I think is the best overall approach to therapy, which is based on or has analysis of psychological parts and a higher self, so in IFS therapy—the taxonomy of this or the terms that they use to describe this would be these protector parts, these parts of us that are protecting the vulnerability, the vulnerable parts. [11:18.2]
The more vulnerable parts of us are the ones that are easygoing and adventurous, and fun-loving and free of shame. Okay, but those parts have been shamed and they’re in pain, and they’re hurt and they’re sad, and maybe they’re angry. The protector parts, specifically these managerial parts, are trying to manage those vulnerable emotions. They don’t want those to come out because they’re too painful, and when they’re overwhelming, then it’s just too much. We have these parts that kind of just keep it together and the ones that keep it together have a lot of stress because there’s a lot of psychic energy involved in keeping it together. [11:55.7]
Just becoming aware of those parts that are working so hard to meet your goals, to become better, to succeed, to get girls to like you, first of all, just becoming aware of them and if you can move into a kind of appreciation for all the hard work they’ve been doing …
… Then building a kind of relationship with them as a result, then allowing them to be able to relax enough and trust you enough to step back, so that you can get to know the inner-child parts of you that are holding the vulnerability and the hurt …
… If you can then unburden those parts of you that you’ve disowned, that you’ve exiled, these inner-child parts that are currently in pain and that we’re trying to stay away from that pain or feeling shamed, and if we can work with them to unburden them of those toxic beliefs and emotions that they took on from way back then as a result of their perceived trauma or their micro-traumas … [12:59.0]
… Then what you’ll discover is, as they unburden themselves of those toxic beliefs and emotions, that underneath that they’ve been holding all along these beautiful qualities, many of which are attractive and contribute to your sexual attractiveness, including adventurousness, because that’s a big part of childlike energy, right, this kind of innocent play and there’s a kind of adventurousness around like this.
It’s kind of like “Oh,” a curiosity, “Oh,” a creativity, “I wonder what’s around the corner,” this kind of adventurousness before the world got to you and you got all of these fears and stresses and worries about what other people think of you. Before all of that, you had, underneath it, this kind of childlike adventurousness.
We also, as children, have a kind of easygoing nature where nothing is a really big deal yet until toxic trauma, the stresses of growing up get to us and lay on us these burdens. But underneath it, the unburdened inner-child parts are naturally easygoing, naturally adventurous, and naturally inquisitive about sexuality. [14:02.1]
Before sexual shame came on, if you can unburden your sexual shame, you’ll notice that there’s already underneath it a healthy sexuality, kind of just a curiosity around it without any judgment from religion or some vestige of some old traditional thinking that was foisted onto you. But you don’t even need the intellectually-informed biological understanding of sex and how it operates in its role and in our lives, you can just even from an unburdened perspective, there’s just a kind of natural curiosity about it. Then there’s also a natural goodness to kind of natural sexual urges, right, that there doesn’t have to be this whole other layer of a sin and shame attached to your sexual expression.
All right so that’s all there underneath the surface after, and it will come to the surface once you unburden, basically removing the obstacles that are preventing the expression, the healthy expression of those qualities of being easygoing, adventurous, playful, and sexually curious and sexually creative, and just being creative, in general. Then, of course, assertiveness becomes easy because the thing that blocks assertiveness is toxic shame. [15:12.4]
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Now, as I mentioned in the previous episode, how nice guys often experience assertiveness is aggressiveness. They might have been on the other side of somebody being assertive in a kind of angry way, hey, it might have just been aggression, so they don’t even know what healthy assertiveness might look like and it’s relatively rare, I suppose, depending on what your social circles are like or what you grew up in. [16:15.8]
But assertiveness doesn’t have to come with anger and a lot of nice guys don’t know how to navigate that because there’s all those toxic shame that prevents them from even knowing where their boundaries are, and then even worse, not knowing how to assert their boundaries, how to draw the line, how to hold the line when someone is violating those boundaries, and then hold the line without anger, without urgency, without this anxiety attached to it.
Because nice guys were punished for being assertive early on in their lives and their own needs were kind of run roughshod over, and they were forced to take responsibility for somebody else’s needs, often the parent figure, so they were asserted on and had their boundaries violated. There was the opposite experience of healthy assertiveness. [17:02.0]
But now when these parts that have been shamed and had these burdens added onto them are unburdened, then assertiveness is easy and it’s almost effortless because all you need to know is we’ll get clear on what your boundaries are, and then it’s just a matter of speaking to them and holding the line there.
It doesn’t have to come with anger. In fact, it can come with compassion, because the person who is aggressive, who is trying to violate your boundaries, often is doing so out of pain. It’s often when you’re unburdened that it’s a completely different experience to be assertive. That’s sort of like combining Points 2 and 3.
How do you develop this kind of comfort around your sexuality and an easygoing, adventurous and assertive nature? You do it by the third step, which is unburdening and then integrating. We just mostly talked about unburdening there. Unburdening allows those qualities that you already have that are repressed, exiled, disowned in you to now come out and to have healthy expression, right, so it will feel natural and almost effortless. [18:04.4]
At first, it’ll feel kind of weird because it’s young parts of you coming out and they’ve been locked up in the basement, so to speak, for a long time, so at the beginning, it might feel a little strange, but over time, you’ll be able to integrate them into your system.
What that means is those parts that were previously critical that were trying to keep it together with stress or trying to impress others, trying to get others to like them by being nice, for instance, were just trying to appease or please people in order to get them to like you. Those parts look now at the vulnerable parts that they were trying to protect and they realize they don’t need to do that job anymore. Then they can relax and find new roles and there’s a whole process around that.
All of these parts of you will come into a new kind of harmony and alignment, and as they do so, you feel a greater integration and a wholeness to who you are, instead of this repression and this kind of splitting that we all have experienced before we go through this process, because it’s a natural reaction to not getting our needs met in healthy ways when we were young. [19:08.6]
Okay, so this unburdening and then an integration process of now these inner-child parts are able to come out with the guidance of your higher self. I didn’t even mention that crucial part of the process, but your higher self coming online, being able to superintend, guide, lead this entire process. Once that happens, then you have this harmony within, and then sexual attractiveness and dating and relationships become a lot more natural and effortless.
Okay, to recap, how do you achieve becoming a good man who is sexually attractive?
The first step is getting clear on your values, getting clear on what the good means and is for you, and what that entails in terms of right and wrong, starting with the good. I’ve covered again in Episodes 4, 5 and 6 the type of values that are necessary for successful long-term relationships, so you can start there. [20:04.2]
Then just mentioning, in “Invincible” and “Rock Solid Relationships”, I have step-by-step guided processes doing this for you of getting clear on your values and what they need to be in order for you to achieve and create the life that you want. Okay, that’s the first point.
The second point being that becoming comfortable with your sexuality, easygoing, adventurous, and assertive is already a natural part of who you are and it’s just that there are blockages.
Then the third point is that you can undergo a process, a therapeutic process, by which you unburden those parts that are carrying the blockages, these obstacles, these burdens, which are thought processes, behaviors, certain memories and meanings that we’ve attached to the memories, and we can unburden ourselves of those.
Then, once that happens, these parts come into new roles in your psyche and in your mind and who you are, and as that happens, they come into healthier roles. You have healthier expressions of, for example, your sexuality of risk-taking, and now you’re able assert your boundaries without anger. [21:09.2]
You’re a lot more laid back and easygoing because you have a bigger perspective on life and you’ve let go of a lot of these other stresses that were forced onto you when you were younger. You no longer have to be a pleaser or a fixer or a nice guy in order to get your needs met.
Now you have experienced a full integration of you, yourself, inside, and this is a therapeutic process. You can do this through private therapy. Often this means, depending on how severe your symptoms are, how severe your condition is, this could be several years of weekly therapy or it could be several weeks. Often I would recommend a minimum of 20 sessions, 20 weekly sessions to start, if you’re going to do it the private-therapy route, or you can do, and/or—this works alongside private therapy as well—my therapeutic courses. I’ve already mentioned “Invincible” and “Rock Solid Relationships”. [22:03.0]
Even deeper is “Freedom U”, in terms of it’s the most advanced therapeutic course. There’s a lot of self-guided Gestalt exercises and a lot of other psychotherapeutic material in there. That’s the biggest one. If you want access to everything, you can just join the “Platinum Partnership”, and you can do that alongside the private therapy or you can do that, many times and in many cases, as a kind of substitute for private therapy. Then you would only need private therapy maybe once a month or once every other week to start and they work together.
I just referred to all of that as therapeutic processes. Whether you do it with me or with someone else, it’s important that you’d take that seriously, that what’s needed here isn’t learning a bunch of words or lines, or getting revenge on women or continuing with the nice-guy strategy of bending over backwards to try to get her to be attracted to you. [22:57.0]
But what’s needed here instead is a therapeutic process to unlock, to access, and then to grow those sexually-attractive qualities that are consistent with moral goodness. Then, of course, the first point I made, thinking through, reflecting on, and getting clear on your moral values and what the good is for you.
Let me tell you a story quickly here about my client, Alan. When Alan first came to us, he was really broken up over his ex. His ex completely trashed his life. He was coming out of an emotional-vampire relationship and he was just in a lot of pain, but didn’t know it.
He was in pain because he was looking everywhere for a solution because what he had been doing for decades wasn’t working and had never had never worked, but it was now really clear that it wasn’t working. This was a woman, I think he was in a relationship for over two years with her, and she ended up shacking up with another guy. It was just this whole mess.
Then he thought he did everything for her. He gave her everything. You know that phrase that you often hear from nice guys who get dumped or cheated on, “I gave her everything,” and it comes from a place of this nice-guy perspective. [24:09.0]
I’m not blaming them for it. That’s what they knew. That’s what they learned growing up as the way you get affection and attention, and approval and love, really, that if you can appeal to or please the parent figure, then you will be rewarded, so it’s a kind of reciprocation, a kind of transactional relationship. He brings that forward into an adult intimate relationship where it doesn’t work because now we have sexual attraction as a part of that.
Most of you will guilt trip a good woman who, for whatever reasons, got suckered into a relationship with you and didn’t know you were blackmailing her emotionally this way, and now she might feel really guilty and stay with you out of guilt.
Now, if she’s a good woman, she’s not going to go cheat on you or lie to you when she realizes this about you. She will maybe even help coach you through it, like maybe suggest that you don’t need to do all of these things for her. I don’t know, she won’t cheat on you or lie to you, but maybe she will break up with you kindly. [25:02.6]
But often nice guys don’t attract good women. In fact, I would say they never do. Nice guys attract and have chemistry with the vampires. They’re sort of like you’re walking around like a victim, in the sense of you’re an easy target. I use the term “emotional vampire”, so that the nice guy is actually like the fresh blood. Because you’re wanting to please the other in order to feel good and the other wants to get you, extract value from you, because it feeds her ego supply, so you become a part of her supply, or narcissistic supply, if straight up narcissistic personality disorder at the more extreme level.
This is what happened with Alan, and recovering from his ex’s situation, thrashing about not knowing what to do, he’s thinking he needs to be sexier, but he’s going about it the wrong way. He’s doing it at the surface level, right? Then you might see this with a midlife crisis for some nice guys who only figure it out in their forties and they go and buy a convertible and they try to get a younger girlfriend who is just more of a trophy wife kind of thing, but she ends up being a gold-digger, that whole thing. This is a well-established trajectory for nice guys. [26:13.2]
Alan was in his early thirties, didn’t go buy a convertible and all that, but he was well on his way. Luckily, we were able to swoop in and help him here and walk them through all of that step-by-step process in rethinking his values, getting clear on that, and then developing through this therapeutic process, which he completely did not expect because it’s completely different from what guys think they need, because the way they’ve been trying to solve their problems and approaching their problems is purely intellectual and cognitive.
But when we get to the therapeutic, it’s not that way. It’s emotional. This unburdening and the integration of unlocking and accessing the parts of you that are comfortable with your sexuality, and being easygoing, adventurous and assertive, feels completely different and it feels so much better, of unlocking a lot more than those qualities, of unlocking love, joy, compassion, empathy, love for yourself, and being able to meet all of your needs yourself in yourself, not needing others to meet them. [26:13.2]
Actually realizing all of those for himself, he then embarked on a thriving dating life, and pre-COVID, he was dating a lot of women who are happy to date him casually, though they were also hoping, I suspect, that he would settle down with them.
But he was very clear on what he was looking for because he was stuck through most of his twenties in these sort of vampiric relationships that he just wanted to experience freedom, and he did a lot of travel, even more than me. I was really impressed, I was getting travel advice from him because he had really cracked the code on all of that miles and all that stuff, and just seeing how liberated he wasn’t how different he was, hanging out with him, how light and free he felt, and also backed up with actual physical geographic-location freedom. [28:03.8]
Now, during COVID, being with women that he’s in a relationship with and being able to isolate within a relationship with a partner and how satisfied he is with that, and still being able to make the most of that location-independent freedom, this is interesting, while still holding down his day job that is pretty lucrative. There’s a way to do that because they all went remote with COVID, so he was doing both, so it was pretty cool.
All of that freedom of mind, of freeing up all that psychic energy that used to go into bending over backwards to trying to get women to be attracted to him—without needing now to do any of that, without worrying and stressing about, How can I please her? How can I impress her? How can I do more for her so that she would like me?—now you’ve got all this room mentally and it’s this tremendous freedom, not just to be comfortable with your sexuality, be easygoing, adventurous and assertive, but now having all of these other positive qualities that may not just be purely sexually attractive, but also just feel really great and contribute massively to your life overall. [29:10.4]
Okay, so that’s Alan’s story. What’s your story? I’d love to hear from you, and thanks so much for listening.
If you liked this podcast, please share it with your friends and throw a rating up for us on Apple Podcasts, and don’t be a stranger, say hi, leave a comment and let us know what resonated the most with you.
Thanks so much again for listening. I’ll see you in the next episode. David Tian, signing out.
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