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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.
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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The deeper reasons why some men have trouble, escalating with women
In episode 43 of Man Up, I’m going to be talking about the deeper reasons why some men have trouble escalating with women.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up.
Hi, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 43 of Man Up. I’m answering a private email question from Tim. And Tim asked the question of: He has trouble pulling the trigger, so to speak, when he’s out on a date with a girl. Can’t get sexual, can’t get physical or can’t get the kiss. And I asked him in the follow-up whether he knows how to kiss a girl, like the mechanics of it. He’s like, “Yes, I know how to. In fact, I know how to do it smoothly because I took your course,” whatever.
The problem isn’t the techniques or what to say to build sexual tension or to make it smooth or whatever or to set the environment, the setting, so it feels romantic. But the problem for him is that when the time comes, he has too much anxiety around what’s going to happen in the actual act, I guess, and he doesn’t move forward. He doesn’t pull the trigger, he doesn’t take action.
After further probing I found out it’s sort of like a problem, in general, in his life. When it requires stepping outside his comfort zone, he doesn’t really do it. He’s very much in his comfort zone, he’s been in that, and now he’s in his early 30’s. That’s an overall life problem that he needs to address.
But also, it came up that he didn’t want his parents to know that he’s learning about bettering himself or even just learning about female psychology. I asked him – he’s been to a Tony Robbins event – “What if he went to see a Tony Robbins– “ Like, “When you did, did you tell your parents?” He’s like, “No, I couldn’t.”
It was interesting because there is – so, the background is he’s an Asian person, born and raised in Asia, still living in Asia, in the same country he was born and raised in – that there is this lack of understanding around psychology. And in fact, psychology is so important that if you’re in the Humanities and Social Sciences in university, you should – if you’re not doing a major in Psychology – you should at least do a minor in it.
You need to understand how humans think and feel; how humans tick. If you’re in the sciences, you really need to understand psychology because you’re not going to get it anywhere else. At least if you’re in Literature or Philosophy, you’ll get some Psychology.
If you’re in History you’ll have to understand basic psychology. But it’s better to get it a more rigorous introduction to it and actually take it in Psychology. Even just doing undergraduate level degree in Psychology won’t get you that far, actually, but it’s a start.
It’s not even so much just knowledge of Psychology because that’s readily available. Not just in actual formal courses but one of the most popular sections in bookstores or book sections on the internet – because there aren’t really any bookstores anymore – is Psychology. When you look at self-help, which is a big in the book industry, a lot of it is psychology or pop-psychology or unempirical or dumbed-down psychology. It’s not so much lack of knowledge of psychology; it’s a lack of respect for it.
A lot Asians in Asia, I would even say many people around the world, are still stuck in the 1950s. You know, pre-postmodern times. This is really a legacy from the enlightenment period that we treat ourselves as sort of Brains in a Vat or we treat ourselves like robots; like we don’t have feelings. Or the feelings that you have aren’t allowed to be expressed because they’re somehow sub-human, in a way.
Like you’re not supposed to be talking about your feelings, you’re not supposed to have any psychological phases. You’re just supposed to be, basically, a math robot. For Asians, this is like, you do math, you do your fucking engineering, you get a job and you go and do that job and you have no problems. That’s their idealistic, weird view. That’s not even idealistic because that sounds like a shitty life. But that’s it; you’re not supposed to have any psychology in your life.
This is retarded; retarded in the most retarded sense of the word. I don’t even understand because I do this for a living. I coach men in improving themselves, understanding psychology, understanding female psychology. Understanding, most importantly, themselves and masculine psychology and the whole morass of that field, that’s completely underserved in the academy, and applying it to their lives.
And feeling empowered and getting confidence and moving forward and getting power in their lives, being able to understand their own feelings. And then, through that, bridging into understanding other people’s feelings and being able to optimize your life because now you understand feelings because really, feelings are life – otherwise, you’re literally just a robot.
It’s fascinating to me because when I was going through my Ph.D. in America, the university actually subsidized your clinical therapy if you wanted to. At the time I started, the first time I ever went into a clinician’s office – a therapist’s office – was with my wife at the time and we were doing couples counseling.
That didn’t work out too well. But what was cool was here’s a human being sitting across from me, whose sole job it is for that hour is to just listen to me talk. And if you’re a good therapist, you’re not supposed to give prescriptions, like do this or do that. You’re just really supposed to listen and facilitate self-enlightenment.
So the bullshit therapy you see on TV – like in the TV show, Entourage, it’s pretty bad. The therapist isn’t supposed to give you advice, so to speak. A good therapist is there to help you, to facilitate you, discovering for yourself, which means it’s a long term thing.
In coaching it’s different.
Coaching is different from therapy because as a coach, you get results fast. But coaching is less effective if the person is not open to change. That’s why often I screen out potential people I would work with in person because I just don’t have the time to lead you through a self-discovery process that a therapist should be taking you through. Once you get through the therapist and you’re mature enough to come to me, then I can coach you.
Often, I’ll be testing clients early whether they’re amenable to coaching or whether they just need a therapist who will coddle them, in a way, and just stroke their ego so that they’ll open up and be vulnerable. But that’s most people and it’s great to do that even if you’re getting coaching especially if the university is subsidizing it.
After a while, I realized, heck – if you were to pay cash at that time, it would’ve been $120, $150 an hour. And the university was subsidizing it to the tune of 15 bucks, co-pay, per session, so I’m like, “Why wouldn’t I do this?” Even on a grad student budget, it’s amazing.
And then I was going out to bars and these really successful people who owned businesses or were law professors or just really like, in the eyes of the world they’re really successful people, they all had therapists. So it dawned on me when I just mentioned something about my therapist at this to me and they’re like, “Oh, tell me about your therapist. I’ve had this-“ The four of us around the bar, we’re sharing stories about our therapists.
And it was pretty weird because that was the first time I realized that all successful people have coaches in all areas of their lives. And many successful people have therapists because why wouldn’t you get more help in the one thing – the mind – that gets you all the results. You’re not a robot, thankfully. You’re not a computer that you just program.
People who don’t understand that, like the old generation who think that psychology is some source of shame or something, you have to X those people out of your life. Or isolate them in terms of your mind so they don’t affect you because this is everything. Psychology is everything. If you ask yourself, “Why do I want to make more money?” It’s really because you think it’ll make you feel better in the end.
You’re trying to make more money because you want to get these things. You want to get these things or these experiences because those experiences or those material things, you think, will make you feel better. They’re going to make you feel good. You want to feel good. That’s really it. That’s the first rung on the ladder then you can look for meaning in life and so on.
But first, you just want to feel good. Why do you want a girl, dudes? Because you think that if you get this girl then you’ll feel better. It’ll make you feel good. Even single masochists – in the end, it makes them feel good to feel pain. So everyone’s just trying to feel good. And you notice that everything’s driven by your feelings. So the faster you understand that and respect it, the faster you’ll get success in everything else you want in your life. And the faster you’ll see how ridiculous some people are who don’t respect the power of psychology.
A big part of Tim’s problems in pulling the trigger is because of his shame around sexuality. And the only way he’s going to ever deal with the shame around sexuality, is if he respects the psychology around it. Why he feels this way and the psychology around sexuality.
If he doesn’t respect the psychology, he’s not going to get anywhere, ever. He’s always going to be in the closet, under the rug, in hiding. And that’s just shameful. Anytime you have shame is weakness. It boggles my mind, still, to this day that there are people who don’t understand psychology. I mean, don’t understand the importance of psychology. So respect that.
If you want to take things to the next level, you can always come to one of my events in Singapore or sign up for one of the – I’ve created many free video courses that you can learn about. You can get all this information at our main website: auratransformation.org. So, as always, join the private Facebook group. You can message me in person in there. I always prioritize every interaction there on that group when it comes to this show. So go join the private Facebook group. You can also find out more about what I do at auratransformation.org. All right, until next time – man up.