Man Up | Ep. 228 • March 1, 2018
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or over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their dating and love lives.
Once a nerdy, skinny professor of philosophical psychology who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned dating and life coach using therapeutic methods. Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, including AXN, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore. Formerly a professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Tian is actively researching, speaking, and publishing in the areas of philosophy and psychology.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man,” is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in The Man Up private Facebook group and answers based on his experience Coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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David Tian, Ph.D.: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. And in this video, I answer the question: Should you act more alpha? Welcome to Man Up Episode 228.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D., and this is Man Up!
Hi, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. And for over the past 11 years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain happiness, success, and fulfillment in life and love. And welcome to Man Up episode, I think it should be 228. I’m in Bangkok. Anyway, let’s get into the question.
I got a question here from the private Man Up Facebook group. This one comes from Bryce, and it’s long-ish. I’m not going to read the entire thing, but anyway, let’s get into it. I want to give as much of his own words as possible so you get the context and you can hear from him.
“Okay, quick intro to my situation. Married 18 years, dwindling sex for the past several years.” That’s normal in marriages, not good, but normal. In other words, that’s most marriages.
“Financial struggles, settling on a job, no career or financial plan. Wife recently said she isn’t attracted to me due to my lack of confidence/I was a different, more confident person when she married me.” So, Bryce is losing his confidence because he’s struggling financially and he has no career or financial plan. Well, fix that.
Anyway, I have a whole other course to help you fix that. It’s called Lifestyle Mastery, but that’s not the question he’s asking. He’s asking about, “How do I get my wife turned on?” So instead of addressing his confidence issues, he’s just like going to ask a different set of questions.
So he says, “I read these books”, and he names a couple of books, “And I told her I’m making some personal changes to become a better man. She says she doesn’t want a romantic relationship with me right now because she doesn’t want to slip back into the relationship we had before, i.e., obligation sex, comfort sex. So, I’m trying to listen to my inner masculine voice of confidence, courage, and testosterone and act more on that rather than the cautiousness that usually sends me into withdrawal, video games, and victim puking.” I’ve not heard that term before, victim puking.
“It’s tough to find the ideal balance in this early stage.” So, like, he’s trying to find the ideal balance between an inner masculine voice and a cautiousness voice. There’s no balance, like withdrawal, video games, and victim puking, whatever — I think that sounds bad. So, all of that’s bad, so why are you looking for a balance between your loser self and being a better person? There’s no balance. That’s part of the whole thing.
He’s wishy-washy. There’s so many guys who live a wishy-washy life. I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t understand them very well. If you are leading a wishy-washy life and you can let me enter your brain, then maybe I can understand that and I can help you. I deal with achievers. I deal with people who push themselves to the brink of exhaustion and then find themselves unsatisfied with life, but their problem is that they don’t work hard.
I mean, that’s in your control. Work harder. So, anyway. If you don’t know what you want to do with your career, then try lots of things until you find something that you’re good at, and that you enjoy, and then double down on that. I don’t know, man.
Anyway, current issue: “I spent most of the afternoon reading these books, like the Married Man Sex Life Primer.” I’ve never heard about that. He’s reading about alpha, bad boys versus beta, nice guy traits. He’s taking notes, making long-term personal plans to improve himself to be more alpha. Okay, that sounds good in principle.
“Later, my wife comes down to dinner before heading out with her sister for the night. She’s looking sexy af, though not slutty. I can’t decide if I should act on my feelings and follow the alpha path of taking her into the other room and throwing her on the bed, or respecting the fact that she said that she doesn’t want an intimate relationship with me right now. I feel like making the wrong move in either direction will cause me to lose her, but then an alpha wouldn’t care about losing her. I believe the reason she isn’t attracted to me is because I lacked the alpha traits, mostly in the bedroom, but also in my career and hobbies, things that couldn’t be fixed with a one-time aggressive sex move. I feel almost paralyzed until I feel like I’ve made…”
Okay, so the whole freaking question is about him being half-assed, right? Wishy-washy, paralyzed. He’s in-between, trying to find a balance between being a loser and getting shit done. There is no balance. Just get shit done. I don’t understand this mindset. I would really like to learn this mindset. Like, I know a lot of guys suffer from loserness, and I want to learn about it so I can figure out why. I think at the root of it, from all that I’ve seen over the past 11 years, most of it has to do with therapeutic issues.
So, all of you could really, really, really get a lot of benefit and getting moving on in your life if you have therapy. Because what’s holding you back is doubts, insecurities, a lot of weird voices in your head that are telling you you’re not good enough, you can’t do it, etc. Those are all coming from your formative years, your teenage and earlier years, your childhood. You can only really get those rooted out and taken care of properly, thoroughly, and in a lasting way, in a healthy way, in a mature way, in a way that actually will lead to lasting happiness if you do it in a psychotherapeutic way.
So, I have courses that lead you through that. I know therapy, for a lot of the guys that complain that they can’t get therapy, one of the biggest complaints is that it’s normally 200 bucks an hour or something like that, so I get it. You want to be in the position where you can commit to weekly therapy, if you’re just staring out, you want to do weekly for like six or eight weeks, so that’s whatever. That’s going to be 1,200 to 1,800 bucks.
I have courses that can help you through that instead, and that will be better than just six weeks of therapy. But if the finances aren’t an issue, then I highly recommend that you get therapy. So, you can Google “David Tian therapy” because I’ve done lots of others videos on why you should get therapy, what are the best ways to go about finding a good therapist, etc.
So, Bryce, I’m going to first say to you, instead of fucking reading these stupid ass books, like the Married Man Sex Life Primer, reading about alpha, bad boys versus beta, nice guys, that’s not helping you at all. What’s preventing you from taking action and being a real man isn’t knowing whether you should stand up straight and whatever the fuck else alpha, bad boys will ‘take up room’. That’s what they tell ‘alpha, bad boys take up room and they touch people.’
That’s all true from the outside, like you’re a fucking laboratory person, like, “Oh, he touches people.” And that’s true. But if you’re just faking it, then you guys have all seen that, right? The guy who is pretending to be cool and he’s actually really awkward. Why? Because his mind is fucked up. His thoughts, emotions, are fucked up, and he’s just trying to pretend, dress them up, can’t take them anyway, you know what I mean, right?
He’s like, “Yeah, this is what an alpha, bad boy would do.” Or what he’s going to end up doing, if he actually tried to follow through with this thing about the alpha thing. He’s like, “What an alpha would do is pick her up and throw her on the bed.” And he’s going to be like, “Hahaha!” He’s going to be all awkward as fuck because it’s not congruent with his mindset. He doesn’t have the thoughts and feelings to back it up.
So, I used to teach this sort of transformation, like taking a nice guy, beta guy. Basically, a wishy-washy, indecisive, non-assertive, and all of that, by the way, in psychology is rooted in shame. So, I’ve done a whole series of lectures on that connection between the nice guy and shame. Go look it up. Toxic shame, nice guy. Oh, Practical Psychology for Extraordinary Living is the name of that series, kind of a wordy series.
But anyway, you can do it from the outside: picking people up, or taking up room, standing up straight, talking in a certain way. But if you don’t have the mindset, the thoughts and beliefs to back it up, then it’s not going to work. I used to teach it in terms of outside in and inside out. Outside in is you put on the exterior, the clothes, the body language, the posture, the movements, the lines, what you parrot out of your fucking mouth, and you try to do the voice. You do all that the outside in. That is really, really difficult.
It’s not just difficult. It won’t work unless at some point while you’re faking it on the exterior, and the interior kicks in. So outside in only works as long as it can lead you to inside out. Inside out is the only long-term fix for this type of personality transformation, where you’re used to being indecisive, non-assertive, wishy-washy, and you want to be, instead, bad ass, get shit done, assertive person acting without shame, or without toxic shame.
The only way to do that in a lasting way, in a permanent way, in a way which is effortless because it’s who you are, is by becoming it. So, the person who will never succeed in his route, in his journey to become a different type of person, like going from nice guy beta to alpha guy, or whatever that is, is if he’s doing it from the inside out.
So, yes, putting on the clothes, moving in that way that you read about in the stupid books, about what an alpha guy would do, are all non-alpha things to do. Like, a real alpha wouldn’t care about any of these things. But the fact that you’re still in a beta mindset but you’re trying to do alpha exterior is going to sabotage, in the long run, all of the alphaness that you’re trying to become.
And until you adopt the mindset of the alpha, which is what you’re trying to do — and by the way, this is the same for all acting. Because what Bryce is trying to do is act. He’s trying to act in the role. It’s like he’s been assigned a character in a movie or in a play, and that character is alpha bad boy, but it’s very different from him. How does he act that role?
Well, you’d have to study the role. Obviously, and that’s what he’s doing. What would it look like from the outside? But any good acting school or acting teacher would tell you that looking in the mirror and trying to act is a horrible way to learn how to act, to learn that character in that role. So, what should you do instead? Method acting has you go inside the character, inside the thoughts and beliefs and adopt those emotions. So, that’s the way to go. That’s the inside out.
That’s the only sustainable way to do it. Okay, so I’ll take the video here. So, we’re going to wrap up here. This is episode 228, I believe it is. We’ll see you inside the Man Up private Facebook group. Click the link, join the group, see you inside the group. David Tian, signing out. Until next time.
Yo, okay, so quick addendum. I’ve been getting a little of feedback from guys who are — well, there’s maybe three comments that I usually address the dude, it’s the dude’s fault. That’s obviously not true if you watch more than a few videos of the Man Up. There are quite a few where I call out the woman, well knowing that the woman won’t be watching the video. So, I’m pretty smart, I mean, I try to be smart about it.
I’m addressing Bryce. Bryce’s wife is not going to be watching this, probably, and so I’m just helping Bryce to do what he can do, what’s in his control. So, what’s in his control is not the fact — it is this alpha versus beta obsession. But definitely, Bryce, you’re falling into the nice — you’re suffering severely from White Knight syndrome. You think it’s all your fault and that you should be able to fix it. Your wife is taking advantage of that, by the way.
I’ve made quite a lot of episodes on White Knight syndrome, so go just look that up “David Tian white knight” or “David Tian nice guy”. It should come up. And one thing I wanted to point out, you wrote, “Later, my wife comes down to dinner before heading out with her sister for the night. She’s looking sexy af, though not slutty.” And this is after, obviously, she has already said that she doesn’t want to have sex with you anymore, “She doesn’t want a romantic relationship with me right now.”
So the fact that she’s going out for a night out in the town with her sister, dressing up — if she’s not cheating on you yet, if she continues doing that, she very likely will pretty soon. So, I don’t want to say that it’s all his fault. If you want to assign blame, she’s not being a supportive partner. She’s being a bully. She’s taking advantage of your Nice Guy syndrome, taking advantage of you as being a fixer, whether she knows it or not, but that’s what’s happening.
In a way, you’ve allowed this to happen. What I don’t want you to do is to swing over to bitterness, and anger, and fully blaming her. You’ve got to take control and take responsibility for what you can control. But one thing you can control is to stop second-guessing yourself all the time about whether you’re alpha or not because that’s the wrong set of questions. What you should be asking is, “Who do you want to be and what thoughts and feelings should you be having, and how do you get there?” The right way to do it is to uncover your core insecurities, why you have them, heal from those by doing grief work.
And like I said, when I started the episode, psychotherapy is a great way to do that. I also have courses. I’d recommend, in my catalog, the course Masculine Mastery and Rock Solid Relationships. That’s a bundled course and I cover all that alpha bullshit. I cover all that in the proper way in Masculine Mastery. So, I just want to add that on. And Bryce, power to you. I think you should sit down with your wife and give her a talking to. And if she’s not going to be supportive, then you need to start making contingency plans for worst-case scenarios.
That’s a very alpha thing to do, by the way. So, walking away, very alpha, and thinking about what to do when the going gets tough, again, very alpha. So, fuck this whole thing about, “What would an alpha do here?” Just do what you want to do and start thinking about your thoughts, and your beliefs, and what thoughts and beliefs should you be adopting? Instead of putting it on from the exterior, put it on from the inside out. In other words, get the interior of the type of person that you want to become instead of just reading up on what an alpha would do.
Read up instead on the thoughts and beliefs that you ought to have and that you’re trying to have, and figure out why you don’t have them naturally now. That’s the first step to going forward. Again, I’d recommend psychotherapy and my course Masculine Mastery. Anyway, for all of you guys watching, join the private Facebook group. Click the link. Join the group. I’ll see you inside the group. David Tian, signing out. Man Up!