Man Up | Ep. 186 • May 23, 2017
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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 Asian philosophy 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. 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: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video I answer the question: What do you do when your girlfriend won’t admit her mistakes? Welcome to Man Up Episode 186.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hey. It’s David Tian, PhD., and for over the past 10 years, I have been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love. Welcome to Man Up 186. Here I am in Bali at our villa, a nice villa for two people, and I have a question here from the Man Up Facebook group, which you all should join if you click the link below. This is from Raoul [sp] and he asks a pretty complicated question. It’s three screens-long here on my phone. I screenshot the question from the group. So, I’m going to have to summarize it instead of reading it all out to you but I will read out parts of it.
“If after a fight you own up to what you feel you did wrong and if your girlfriend doesn’t, is expecting that a transactional relationship? I’m more so asking from a growth perspective as to, does she also see her mistakes or it’s always a power game for her? She usually likes to put most of the blame on me, but that’s probably a way of her dealing with her guilt. Is there something I can do about this? I don’t think it’s a healthy…”
Okay, so that was the original question and that’s a great example of how most of the time, when a guy asks a question, the solution is not actually in the question. That is, he thinks that’s the problem but it’s actually not the real problem, and that’s why he can’t figure out the solution, because he’s looking in the wrong place. So in the group… What happened to this? Okay, right. So in the group, Jeremy in the group asked him to elaborate, and [INAUDIBLE 00:01:47], very helpfully because then we find out what the real problem is.
“I was out with some female friends, and that made her very insecure. She told me she wasn’t comfortable with that and tried to tell me not to go. I held my ground and told her that she is just my friend” – I’m assuming this is the friend, right? – “and nothing more, and that she needs to trust me. She got very upset that I went and was sulking for three to four days.”
Okay, so that’s the big problem. I mean, that’s the first red flags about Raoul’s instability. And of course, when you’re unstable or you lack emotional maturity, you will project it onto others. That is you’ll say, “I’m not that bad, the other person is bad.” This is a cognitive bias at the most basic level, but especially in these deep areas of relationships and where there are a lot of emotions involves, it’s even more of a cognitive blindness. And this is a common thing where they see the problem outside themselves rather than inside. Of course, she’s got her own problems too, and he owns up to it later but he doesn’t know what to do about it, and that doesn’t enter into his question.
His original question was, “What if she is being transactional? What do we do here?” The issue is actually coming from their own immaturity. This might be a really short video if I just say ‘immaturity’, but hopefully I can unpack it for you. In our deeper courses that run 20 to 50 hours and longer, I can unpack a lot more of this at deeper and deeper layers of meaning. But in these YouTube videos that I constantly get these comments or emails and comments in the group of like, “Hey, make it shorter. Get to the point faster!” And part of the reason why I’m not getting to the point faster is because it’s actually quite deep and I’m condensing a lot into a very short amount of time; but also because people are looking for quick fixes, they just want to hear an answer for two or three minutes, they are not the type of people that I want to keep into the group. There’s a lot of other YouTube videos that can answer that. I’m into the deeper stuff.
This is actually really deep, this question. But at the surface level, the easy answer is, they’re just not mature enough. I’ll try to unpack some of the reasons, the ways in which they are not mature enough. Hopefully, that will help you, Raoul. He says, first of all, he went and sulked for three to four days. This is obviously a very immature reaction, it’s like a childish reaction, right? So he’s like, “Uuh, she hurt me! We had an argument!” And so, he goes off for three to four days and sulks.
He says, “I could detect that she is upset and I was trying to talk to her about it but she wouldn’t respond. Usually, we would talk after she gets off work. We are now living together, but in those three to four days, she was silent. After four days or so, she just told me that she has been upset, and as a result she was spending time with an office colleague after work – not because she likes him, but because he made her feel good and not feel upset.”
Okay, so obviously, this is her immaturity coming back and he rightly interpreted it as such, I think. I don’t know her personally and we don’t have her side of it, we just have from one side, but it seems reasonable to conclude that she is hurt and she’s lashing out in a reciprocating way.
“I know probably that it’s just an immature behavior on her part as revenge to get me upset like she had been, but at the time I got angry because I was trying to get her to talk every day to fix the issues. Whereas meanwhile instead, she was spending time with a colleague behind my back, and that she told me only after three to four days of doing so.”
So normally, when a guy like this, who has very little emotional control, or emotional management, or emotional regulation, has low emotional regulation and little emotional awareness of why he feels these things and instead sulks for three to four days instead of processing them and letting the emotions out. Usually, when he says, “I want to talk to you girl”, it usually means “Let’s have a reasoned argument, a kind of debate, a logical argument about the issues; and here is my perspective, here is my three points. What are your counterarguments? Let’s look at that.”
And of course, they’re both biased in all of their… They’re not truly logical, but that’s the danger that the school system has taught you, that you are an ultra-rational being, and this has been in the academy, in intelligencia right up until the 80s and 90s. We used to think that we were just calculating machines and we didn’t have feelings or feelings weren’t important; or feelings just got in the way of pure rationality, and that’s just naive and wrong.
A lot of people though of my age, 30s and 40s – and 20s, because they’re still not being taught the importance of emotions in any school system, really, I think. No one has ever gotten a core course in psychology as far as I know in any public schools, or even in any universities. So, it’s very normal for him to say, “Hey, let’s talk it out.” And he hears this stuff on Oprah, or Dr. Phil, or something like communication is everything.
Yeah, a particular type of communication, a communication that is actually about emotions and why you feel what you feel, what’s behind that and the reasons why you feel these things, and not arguing with each other about who is right or wrong, but that’s not how people work. That’s not how the average person works. The average person is immature. I don’t care how old you are. You’re not going to have a successful relationship unless you have a very high level of emotional immaturity, and no one has had that support group. I mean, the support network; the teachings for it. There’s no education system for it. So, it’s understandable that most people have no idea how to have a successful relationship because they have no training for it.
Just like most people don’t know how to parent well, and I get to benefit off that in the sense of like – other people are fucked up because of their childhood. Well, they’re not fucked up. That’s the wrong term. They’re immature. They haven’t grown out of it, out of those coping strategies, and we need to show them how to do that – we as in myself and people like me. So, this is fine. These is just normal adults, right? But that’s the reason why more than 50% of relationships tend to end up with separations, and especially as we age, we live longer, it’s harder to maintain that for the length of time. So, this is a bit normal thing. I’m not like shaming anybody and saying they are immature; I’m just pointing out a fact that they haven’t grown to a certain level, another level, of emotional regulation, and awareness, and understanding other people’s emotions and their situations.
Here he is. He is in the situation where he wants to have a talk with her, trying to get her to talk every day to fix the issues. And in terms of just the old pick-up advice of like, “Women get turned off by having to force this rational, logical decision from them.” It’s very much the opposite of passion and attraction. Attraction is an emotion, it’s a feeling, and you got to go with the feelings and stay at the emotional level. And so far as that’s true, which is true in terms of attraction and passion, what Raoul is doing here is killing the passion.
Neither do you have connection here nor do you have passion as a result of your insistence on trying to talk out the issues. Instead, it’s better to think of feeling out the issues. You should feel out the issues. You should feel with each other. You should emote with each other rather than talk, like forcing them to talk. Talking will happen as you emote, but the emotion comes first before the talking. Emotion comes before the rationality when it comes to relationships.
“I have poor emotional intelligence”, he says. That’s great. I mean, the fact that he’s aware enough of that, that’s awesome. “And so, I got really angry.”
Okay, this is what I mean by poor emotional regulation. So, his surface level of awareness is, “I don’t understand emotions” and because of that he doesn’t know how to control them or regulate them. And so, the natural thing is to get angry or sulk, right? Angry and sulk because of the dominant emotions he is displaying here. “And at the time, I asked her if she was cheating on me.” Woah, okay. So he goes from sulking, sadness, self-pity to anger, and then he goes back to sort of self-pity but in a more aggressive self-pity of like, “Are you cheating on me?” because of his deep insecurity that stems from long time ago into his childhood, and he has never understood why that’s there and has never processed it.
I take guys through an over 25-hour course because that’s how long it takes to actually do these issues justice. I’m not trying to get your money or anything, it’s just that it takes a lot of time for us to do that sort of work, and a lot of it is live. It’s a live course. It’s not just a bunch of recordings. Everyone is going through it the same pace, so they’re on the same module, so I’m able to jump in there and answer the questions at the same time live, and so on, right?
Anyway, that’s what he needs. It would be even better if he had ongoing counseling to support all of the work that he’s doing here, or what he’s trying to do. Okay, alright, “I asked her if she was cheating on me and made the big mistake of even messaging one of her friends to find out.” So afterwards, he realizes that this was a big mistake, but at the time he’s just this rash guy just lost in his feelings, as is she in her insecurity; he is acting out of his deep insecurity; she’s acting out of her deep insecurity; and so, what we have are too people who are deeply insecure trying to have a secure relationship, which of course will never happen. It will never succeed.
When I say there’s two immature people and they will never succeed in the relationship, one of the things that will sabotage them in is the insecurity on both people’s parts. And the thing is, you think you are not insecure when you win. Like, you’re making a lot of money now, you’ve got girls or whatever it is that you consider to be your source of validation, something outside of yourself, of course. And when that is coming at you, you feel good. You feel on Cloud 9 or this will continue for years and years as it did for me.
And for every success you have, you get that ego boost and you think you are awesome. But in fact, it’s deep insecurity because your ego, your validation, your strength, your sense of self-esteem still rests in these things outside your control; when you no longer have them, you collapse and crash, and now you realize that you are actually deeply insecure, and that’s why you are so desperate to get those things. So, a lot of the world, they valorize people who have money, and status especially, and people who have money and status look at that like – the 3% of people or the 1% of people who have those things look at people who are striving to get these and put these things on a pedestal.
You know, they used to talk about putting the pussy on the pedestal; now, we talk about putting the status on the pedestal or putting – what are the other things that are elusive to people that they sell their soul for? Money, status, and things like that. So, it’s the same sort of thing. At some point he thinks, “I’m perfectly secure and ha-ha-ha.” You’ve got these female friends. I know if you ask them that, he would never admit to it because he’s not self-aware enough about it, but that’s okay.
I mean, I’m talking to other people who are watching this, right? And then of course, when that gets attacked because she withdraws her attention and affection for three to four days, he sulks as a result. And then he comes back – and then she comes back with revenge, he fights back with, “Are you cheating on me?” And so, the whole thing escalates and falls apart. Okay, and then he goes a step further out of his deep insecurity and his fear – insecurity always comes from a deep fear – and the fear is that you are not good enough, and that you are not good enough to be loved.
And so, that will then trigger. That’s like the foundational fear that all human beings share. And it comes out of our human condition. I go into that in other videos. I’m going to try to make this as short as possible. And then Raoul then lashes out and asks the friends of his girlfriend whether she is cheating on him. Let that sink in for all the normal people out there, or ‘normal’ as in mature people that’s definitely above average. So, all of you listening/watching, you understand how egregious this is.
“And that was it. The entire situation post that has only focused on how dare I message her friend and accuse her of cheating, everything else is forgotten.”
Yeah, right. So, this is quite egregious. I understand why should we freak out about that, but you’re dealing with a girl who is insecure, and maybe you’ve given her reason to be so. I mean, you seem like a status grabber, deep status insecurity. And you know, that’s not that deep. Actually, based on just what I’ve said in this video, he’s posting in other places in the group. So based on other posts, you can see how it’s deeper than just what he’s saying here. So, I understand if you think “David’s jumping to conclusions” or something, but the issue is still however deep that insecurity is, he’s obviously insecure at some level.
That would make her insecure, actually. Because when you’re insecure as a man, you’re going to try to put your self-esteem into these other things. And at some level, she will see that that’s happening. We all feel this, right? She definitely doesn’t see that consciously. You can tell from her own responses. And now, they are just acting out of their insecurities, and of course, she is feeling like – she should feel insecure in you, Raoul, because why is it so…
This is another question he posted in the group about having female friends, but he is very much keeping these female friends around to give him validation, right? He’s still struggling to see that, but I’ve been there many times and I know many people who do this. It’s okay; the fact that you have female friends tells you you’re cool, you’re attractive enough, you can connect with them. And they’re also, also for females, having male friends. And so, it’s like a safety net, in a way, right? So, you’re not completely alone. Raoul’s deepest fear, as he’s said in other posts, is the fear of being alone, of being left alone; that there is no one there to love him, and to show him validation, like he’s got no friends.
It’s an understandable here. I mean, that’s a fear that any human being would have, but it’s also a fear of coming out of insecurity of the fact that they would leave you, and then you would sell your soul in order to keep them. So, if they turned out all to be people who couldn’t see the value in you and they left you, but you’re not comfortable with that, right? You do whatever it takes to get them back, right? So your sense of value and self-esteem is outside your control. So she feels insecure about you meeting up with these girls, even if it’s just for ego stroking, and then it all flips around because your deep insecurity gets triggered. Now, she throws it back on you because you messaged her friend and accused her of cheating.
“Okay, a couple of days later, I apologized to her as friend as well as to her that it was wrong on my part to message her friend.” Great, a couple of days later, he tried to make it right, awesome. That’s the best you can do really, at that point. You should’ve done it earlier a couple days later, “But now that’s it. I think she’s still upset.”
Of course she’s upset. She’s an insecure, immature girl. “And now the whole focus is on how dare I text her friend. It seems like she’s putting all the blame on me and made that the biggest issue.” He started the whole thing off trying to meet this female friend, and the girlfriend gets jealous, and then he sulks, and then she goes off and says, “I’m going to go meet my guy friend” and gives the same rationale to him.
He then gets insecure and gets triggered. Is this interesting? It’s the same rationale, the same excuses, but of course he thinks it’s for revenge. The only reason he would get insecure at that point when she goes to meet the guy friend is if he went to meet the girl friend unconsciously out of self-esteem issues, out of insecurity, out of “I’m going to keep this girl, sort of – there’s some sexual tension there, keep one on the side just in case”, or just having female attention gives him that validation. And then that’s…
Because if he’s not doing anything bad at all, he would not suspect her doing anything bad, and he would be really turned off by this girl’s reaction, but he’s not, because it’s understandable for him. Why? Because that’s his reaction when that happens. So, if she goes off to see her male friends, he gets insecure; so insecure, in fact, that he’ll message her other friends to ask about whether she is cheating on him. Are you guys following this? Hopefully.
So you see, it’s reciprocating. This is just basically two very insecure people who don’t see it and aren’t dealing with their own insecurities, and just using each other to trigger each other’s insecurities, and then creating this drama. So, no matter what relationship he gets into, Raoul is going to constantly create this dynamic. And in fact, he’s going to be attracted to girls who are like this because they mirror it back to him. A secure woman would be really repulsed by his behavior. She would probably have just like said, “Raoul, we’re not right for each other. Good luck, and I really hope you feel better soon” and that’s it.
A mature woman would say that to him, and maybe give him a card for a good therapist – but she’s not. She’s just going to fight and get him into this vicious cycle of insecurity and this backlash of reciprocating revenge, and he gets sucked into it as well – of course she does. He created it, in fact he started it.
Okay, so he doesn’t see that the issue is actually their insecurity. He thinks it’s about admitting mistakes. It’s not about fucking mistakes, dude. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s about, why did these mistakes happen? That’s what you need to understand. Most of the time, when I get a question, it’s like this surface level; and when people click on a random YouTube video – and I’m not targeting random YouTube views. Notice how we don’t have a lot of comments here because I’m trying to funnel everybody into Facebook.
I don’t like anonymous comments on YouTube. There’s a lot of cowardice on you. No disrespect to you guys on YouTube, but if you’re not on the Facebook, I don’t really respect you that much. Get in the fucking Facebook group if you want my respect, but we don’t give a fuck about the views or about the thumbs up and all that shit. Those are all vanity metrics, as they say. So anyway, most people on YouTube are looking for surface-level answers, and we need to stop click baiting so much of our titles and make them deeper. Maybe I’ll do that for this one, so that people who are looking for deeper-level answers will get more attracted to the longer-form videos.
And that’s one of the issues with Raoul here, and that’s normal. Normal people do this, right? He doesn’t see the underlying issues that are causing all of this drama that are coming from insecurity; not from like, “Do we need to admit our own error’s to each other?” It’s not about admitting error or admitting mistakes. Everyone makes mistake, and of course you got to admit them when you find them, but it’s why did those things happen? If you don’t figure out why they happen, they’re just going to keep happening up here.
And if you’re at the surface level underneath, and you’ve got this rotting root, the branches will always die. So, you got to figure out what the root problem is. And then he’s already getting into it because Raoul’s been in the group for a little while. He says, “On a side note, I need to work on my EQ and build up my emotional intelligence. I try taking up meditation, but that is…”
Okay, so great. I applaud you, Raoul, for saying that. That is exactly right. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to teach that. It’s not like you can just lecture to a guy on emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence has to be given or has to be earned or developed emotionally. That’s why all of our courses aren’t just lectures or videos directed at you. They are tracks, sort of like NLP/hypnosis. They’re basically a therapeutic meditation, where a guy guides through – people – women can use it just as well – through visualization and using their face, voice and body as well to speak to their unconscious, and to start to rewire, reprogram their unconscious mind at the emotional level.
It’s not just up here. It’s got to be changing here. That’s the problem. Everyone is up here. Raoul is up here. That’s the problem. He’s got to get down here and to develop the emotional. School and wherever else you learn most of your shit has not taught this to you, and that’s normal. I haven’t seen a single school system that does deep work in psychology. In Canada, where I was raised, it happened in literature class, where we read Thomas Hardy, and Henry James, and Shakespeare; these are great instructional tools for teaching psychology, and a lot of schools have gotten rid of those to make people employable.
And then by the time they actually graduate from school, all of those school skills that they’ve learned have become obsolete. It’s a sad thing. Don’t give up the humanities. Finally, he says:
“I’ve tried taking up meditation, but that isn’t helping much. Maybe because it’s just been a week.” Okay, yeah, I’m not going to make fun of you, but I should. It’s just been a week. But here’s the thing, whenever I hear people say – and just to end-off on this, whenever I hear people say they have trouble with meditation, I then ask them, “How do you know whether you’re doing it right?” A lot of people, I think, are doing it wrong, and that’s because they’re learning it off an app or something.
I learned it from an actual human being. It’s Vedic meditation, so based on a mantra. And from there, I branched out into learning other areas, but that’s after a year and a half of just doing Vedic meditation, using a mantra. This is a transcendental meditation, it’s a kind of Vedic, TM. TM can be expensive. I think it’s 1,000 bucks to learn it, but I’ve done a Man Up episode with my meditation teacher, and you can go to him and it’s cheaper to learn the same technique.
And there, he clarifies for you over the course of four days all of your misconceptions about meditation. That’s the first thing. The second thing is, how do you know it’s working? So, a lot of guys, I think, are just sitting there with their eyes closed and daydreaming. How do you know you’re not just daydreaming with your eyes closed instead of meditating? How do you know that?
Well, I get no commission on this whatsoever, but what I use is EEG headband device. It’s just basically a portable EEG, and it measures your brainwaves. It’s specifically measuring your theta waves on this app that they’ve got. It shows you when you are in theta. Sometimes, I fall asleep in the middle of meditation, if I just didn’t get enough sleep, like three or four hours and then get up early and meditate before I have coffee. And what you’ll see is, I’m in deep theta for like 10 minutes, and then I go up into the active, more neutral area as I’m falling asleep.
Because when I sleep, my mind is actually quite active. I have dialogues and all kinds of plot lines I guess when I’m sleeping, versus in theta. The one reason why being meditating gives me so much more power and energy, and emotional regulation than just sleeping. So, for me, a 20-minute strong meditation where I’m in deep theta state is as restorative physically, physiologically in terms of energy, as an hour and a half or a two-hour nap. Anyway, that’s just to throw it out there. You’re probably not doing it right, Raoul, but I don’t know. I’m not there when you’re doing it, but I think you’re not doing it right.
Raoul, there you go. Just to sum it up, the question is: How do I get my girlfriend to admit her mistakes? And you don’t because if you force the apology, it’s useless. What you need to understand is at the deeper level, it’s driven by deep insecurity; these jealousy issues, this drama, it’s driven by deep insecurity which is based on fear. So, if you understand that it’s based on fear, the fear of loss, the fear that you are not good enough to be loved, then you are on your way to get into the solution and fixing the problem.
So, there you go. That’s a recap. Thank you so much for your patience over the last month. I’ve only put out a couple videos over the past month because we’ve been launching 10 Weeks to Freedom and Rock Solid Relationships, Masculine Mastery. All of those courses are conducted live, especially 10 Weeks to Freedom is live every day. Every time I do it, I think, “Oh, it’s no big deal” but it is. It’s a lot of work. So, it’s been taking up a lot of my recording time. And then on top of that, we have all the other administrative work. I’ve been hiring a bunch of new team members and so on, and a lot of work.
And live events, a lot of live events we’ve been doing. So, anyway, thank you so much for following. We’ll be putting out more and more videos back to it with Man Up, and thank you so much for following. Join the private Facebook group. I’ll see you inside there, as I mentioned. David Tian, signing out. I’ll get some water. David Tian, signing out. Man Up!