Man Up | Ep. 182 • March 24, 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 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: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video I answer the question: When your woman thinks you’re dumb. Welcome to Man Up Episode 182.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hi. I’m 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. And here I am in Bali, on the balcony of our suite here at The W.
It was raining a little bit earlier, but the sun is setting. It’s not too bad right now. Usually, it’s this pinkish hue, but I like how there’s some blue still on the sky. You can see the color is changing.
What’s really nice is waking up to the sound of the ocean, or in fact sleeping to the sound of the ocean. You can hear it from inside the room.
So, I got a question here from the private Man Up Facebook group. This one comes from Francis. So, if you haven’t joined the group, click the link, join the group, see you inside there.
Francis asked a very long question, and the challenge for me right now is trying to summarize it for you. I’m not going to read out the whole thing, but I’m just going to get started reading it out and see how we do.
“Hey David, I really appreciate all the videos you have posted, and it has made me think and reflect on how to improve myself.” Awesome, great to hear. “I have a question for you and for all the Man Up men out there.”
Okay, so he is engaged. And the things that concern me is that his fiancée has a tendency to outsmart him and do things more efficiently than he does. “I really do appreciate all the help that she has given me. But when I don’t do things as quickly or as efficiently as she would like, she thinks that I’m wasting time or that I’m too slow of a person.”
Okay, so he says he’s trying really hard. He’s trying to pick things up quickly, trying to be smarter, and be more efficient. But she’s three years younger than him.And when she was younger, she had to work as a teenager, helping her parents out, opening up restaurants.
So, she had to learn a lot about the business side of things, much more than he did, and he says he led a relatively average teenage lifestyle in the US. Just like having fun on the weekends, and doing homework and that sort of thing.
So, he’s more sheltered than she is, he says, and she had to grow up faster and experience life and mature faster. Also, I would add that she’s a female and usually in their 20s, even up until the 20s, females still are generally mature faster than men do, especially in sheltered environments like middle-class America.
Okay, and he says she really never got to live life like a regular teenager. Fast forward years later, they met through an online dating website in New York.
I didn’t mean to laugh there, but I did. Okay, so she always had that push forward, work hard, think quickly mentality. However, before meeting her, he was in a good position in his life where he had a stable job and had his own place to live.
Part of the struggles that he had before was suffered from low self-esteem. He wanted others to love him and have confidence in him even when he didn’t have confidence in himself. As a result, it forced him to start off on not such good footing with his career. Anyway, let’s fast-forward through this.
Okay, so two and a half years ago, he met her and he believed her to be the girl of his dreams, the woman he is planning to marry.
When we fight, he says, it has been mainly about a few things. So, she is bugging him about these things. She is picking fights with him on these facts, on these points.
“The fact that I’m not making enough money,” she makes more than him. “I’m not as good as being a problem-solver as she is, plus she make some valid points as to why she can solve some issues better. I’m an occasional slow talker because the right words don’t always come out of my mouth, which drives her crazy, not in a good way. And I’m the one that tends to make more stupid mistakes compared to her.”
“Therefore, it makes her feel like she can’t rely on me as a future husband.” Okay. She mildly jokes about this. She says, “Just be smarter. Don’t make stupid mistakes.” And then his question is, “What are some suggestions you would take to help me improve myself, or ways to help her believe she is not marrying an intellectually dumb person?”
Okay, Jeremy, who usually gives pretty good advice asked him a bunch of questions, and his answers to those questions were quite eliminating. His answers to those questions are… Okay, let me see if I can summarize this.
“She’s usually the one that brings up the money issue. When we originally got together, I was behind on finances.” He’s not in debt anymore. “But when she gets pushy about how much or how little money I spend, I start to get defensive.” Okay.
“She has said that she can’t rely on me on multiple occasions, not just during our engagement. Most of the times, it’s because I screwed something up and she gets upset when I make mistakes, especially when she sees me making the mistake. When she is joking, I get the feeling that there’s some shade of truth behind it.” Of course there’s a shade of truth behind it.
“She’ll say something like, “I wish I was with someone that makes more money” or “I wish you didn’t have these problems” in a mild and light-hearted manner.” That’s pretty mean, actually. Because she’s joking about it, you can’t actually retort or respond seriously. That’s why it’s actually quite devious, so she can always say, “I was just joking. Why are you taking this so seriously?”
When obviously, she’s being passive-aggressive here. “In our arguments, we don’t connect right away because I spend too much time trying to figure out how to resolve the issue.” This is a normal male failing. “And I become quiet for a little bit and then try to talk in a way that would try to calm her down.”
So, you end up having to manage her feelings. “When our fights happen, you’re right, I do have this sense of insecurity. Sometimes, I’ll speak my mind and it’ll get me into a bit of trouble.” Speaking your mind should never get you into trouble, except that you also are passive-aggressive.
You’re holding it back trying to be better. And then when you finally get the courage to speak to her, it comes out probably out of control with some bitterness, and that gets you into trouble.
“And when I’m not giving her the words of affirmation that she’s looking for, she says that I don’t know how to make her feel better.” Okay, now she wants you to make her feel better as well. “I don’t say that I’ll become smarter or make more money, but I will say something like, “I understand where you’re coming from, and I’ll make improvements based on things that I can control.””
“When we’re not fighting about my finances, we’re fighting because we’re either not thinking on the same page, or because I made mistakes when the issues are relatively simple to take care of.”
Okay. I asked two more questions as a result of this. I asked him about his mother and I asked him about whether he was raised by strict parents.
So, his answers were, “As a teenager, my relationship with my mother was stable. I wasn’t rebellious”, he says, obviously, and I’ll say why it’s obvious for whom it is not obvious like Francis later on.
“But I was very obedient to whatever my mom asked me.” Gee, you think? “To do when it came to helping out around the house, I did it without questioning. I didn’t have any quality conversations with her. Normal Asian parent. She told me things to not do so that I can be a good kid. I had very good grades, but then struggled with my grades when I got into college. As a teenager, the bottom-line for my parents was that it was either I get good grades or I was grounded.” Okay.
“So, I studied well enough to get the good grades. Also, I was raised by Chinese parents with a Christian mindset so I’m not really the conventional Chinese upbringing.” I argued that the opposite, the Christian mindset is the traditional Chinese upbringing. Both are conservative and hard on people.
“In addition, I did not have any older siblings, just a younger brother who is seven years younger.” Okay, great. He’s curious as to what, as to where the questions are going here. I think it’s quite obvious for those who are more mature in the Man Up group, and for those who are watching, for those who are more mature. Obviously, Francis is the type of person who, at this age in his life – I’m assuming you are late 20s or older – are used to being bullied.
You are used to being verbally abused. You are used to people telling you, “You’re dumb, you are not good enough, work harder, think harder, be smarter.” You are used to getting that.
That’s why when you get it from somebody like that, you don’t feel disrespected, you don’t feel slighted, you don’t feel like that was rude.
You don’t feel like there are other things about you that are good, that are valuable, that are worth loving.
And instead, you beat yourself down. The only way you would accept this behavior from a fiancée is – I mean, a fiancée means somebody who is really close to you, who you have now entered into a bargain, into a contract, that you will spend the rest of your lives together.
That’s about as close as it gets. So, you have accepted into your life a fiancée who is abusing you verbally.
The only way that you would put up with this, not just put up with it, but embrace it, is without the thought of, “Where the fuck do you come off, saying this sort of thing to me? Why don’t you appreciate these lovable qualities about me? My kindness, my compassion?” That’s one of those things that have been recurring over and over in this video, guys asking questions, from a very Nazi viewpoint.
Nazi as in guys who look at the world based on money, and status, success, and basic shit like that. How smart you are, how fast you are, how strong you are, how much money you have: basic things that are like superficial shit, instead of goodness, compassion, kindness, love, how good they are to people, moral issues.
And instead, it’s amoral issues. You might as well be Hitler. Hitler was smart, he was powerful, he had money. And if he wasn’t physically fit himself, he was in control of a fucking army.
Deal with that, right? So, on that score, Hitler wins. Hitler is better than you are on that score. But none of you guys give a shit about compassion, or goodness, that’s why you suck.
And that’s why David Tian says ‘fuck you’ even though David Tian says, “I love you too for joining in the group, thank you very much.” But David Tian says ‘fuck you’ because you’re basically Nazis. But you don’t know that you’re Nazis yet. America is basically Nazi world. They just won’t admit it. They think they’re the good guys, when really, they’re pretty much the same. They just won the war.
But it’s not as bad because they’re not racist. That’s pretty much it. And because they won’t champion sub-humans, which is awesome, okay.
But I think nowadays, we’re far enough away from emancipation and things like that, where that debate no longer happens, plus recent events have made this debate going back to the old meritocracy of superficial metrics.
And so, Francis being used to being beaten down on superficial metrics.
He is used to being told, “You are not smart enough, so work harder. You are too slow, you are too inefficient. So, it’s your fault. It’s your fault and there’s no good in you except for this”, and you’re used to taking that shit.
Well, look. Obviously, there’s a pattern here and obviously you must have been taking those for years for it to not even occur to you that this is actually not just disrespectful.
I did a whole other video on disrespect. But also, to realize that there’s no love in this relationship. She is looking down on you. She is spitting on you. Maybe even physically, you may not know it.
You may not even notice this, but it will just get worse. Bullies get more empowered the more you give in. And here you are, she’s saying, “You’re stupid.” Okay.
And you’re taking it and you’re like, “How can I be less stupid?” That’s the wrong approach. “Fuck stupid, that’s a label that’s completely useless. Tell me what I did wrong and I will correct it in the future.” There’s no reason to continue the bullying beyond that.
And if it’s that important to her, then tell her to fucking man up or woman up and find a new man. Clearly, the things that he has, Francis, the things that you have and the value that you present currently in your life right now, which are just as good as being smart…
Okay, because Hitler was fucking smart. So, it’s just as good as being smart. The value that you have in your life right now, she doesn’t value that.
So, she is with you for other neurotic reasons, for her own background. You’re with her for neurotic reasons from your own upbringing. I went to your parents and it seems like the pattern is quite evident.
You were not a rebel, you didn’t say ‘fuck you, mom.’ You were more like, “Okay, mom. I’m going to try really hard and get good grades, because that’s the only way you will not ground me, and that’s the only way I can get your approval.”
You’re pretty fucking used to this. Most Asians are. You know how easy it is for a guy like myself to fucking bully an Asian guy? All you got to do is shame the shit out of him for being stupid.
It’s so easy. I don’t even mean to do when it happens. I just say, “Dude, what were you thinking?” And his eyes go blank and he really has no retort. I literally want to know what you were thinking. It’s not like I’m shaming you.
I want to know what you’re thinking, because only when I see your work, so to speak, it’s like math, I need to see your work, only then can I know where you went wrong in your reasoning.
But so many guys I noticed when I asked them, “What were you thinking?” Think that’s a fucking insult and they shut down. And I’m like, “Okay, that must have been a way that your parents or teachers shamed you as a child, but I’m actually asking you for a real reason, for information that I need.”
But this is just another sign of shame. So, Francis, you may not know this. You probably don’t. You don’t know this. I know you don’t know this.
Now you do, but before you didn’t, you and your siblings, and all over your friends I would say, most of your friends safely I can say, are suffering the same fucking thing when they got beaten down, verbally abused, as children, as teenagers, by schools.
This is probably in the context of school teachers, parents, because this has to do with your intelligence. You’re so used to this that you fall into a pattern. This is called reenactment. It’s called repetition compulsion.
You’re compelled to seek out that dynamic, the relationship dynamic that you’re used to. This is the one. And so, it feels so comfortable for you to be in a relationship with somebody who looks down on you for your intellect, and tells you to be smarter, and you work really hard to be smarter. That’s the dialogue that’s already occurring inside your head.
That’s the only way you would accept it and that it would feel comfortable for you like this for you to put up with it. And not just for you to put up with it, but for you to embrace it and propose to it… That’s the only fucking way, because this is your neurosis. What you have to do here is:
Unless you want to have a completely disastrous relationship and marriage, and then fuck up your kids because your kids are going to repeat the same pattern.
They’re going to see their daddy getting bullied and verbally abused by mommy, and they’ll think that’s normal. They’ll either take the mommy’s role or the daddy’s role in their relationship, and you’re going to fuck up your kids.
So, unless you want to do this, what you need to do is sit down with her and say, “Right now, I don’t think you and I are a good match. You clearly want something more or different from myself. I need something different.” And I know it’s really hard. That’s going to be the hardest part, but you got to start there.
And then what you got to do is go into therapy. You got to go into counseling, to explore why you have so much shame that you can put up with this kind of treatment of yourself without questioning it, without it bugging you. And you can start with Invincible. That will get you your balls back.
I’ve said that many times in these videos. You got to get your balls back. Francis, I think your balls are so far up your ass, I think you’ve lost them. Invincible will help.
But I think that advice already is too hard for you, so just – before you get your balls back, just break off. I mean, I guess this is going to take balls for you to do that. Fuck.
But you’re not going to get your balls in this relationship. They are already gone. You probably don’t even know where they are. But once you can get away from her, the balls will start to grow back. And the best way to do that is to go to Invincible. I know it’s a plug for my own thing. What can I say? I’m proud of this. It’s an awesome program.
But in addition to that, the long-term growth will have to come through therapeutic coaching and therapeutic counseling. So, Invincible is a good start.
It’s a great jumpstart to kick start that growth process, growth of your manhood. But also, really what you’re looking at is you need to get back to your shame issues and start processing where that came from, and then grow out of that.
That means that you’ve got to go back to those trauma points and emotionally confront them. For future programs that are coming out as of this point of the filming, coming out pretty soon, but aren’t out yet, but Invincible is always the best starting point at the moment anyway.
I especially recommend it for you. So, a quick plug for my program, but I would say a good counselor or a good therapist would be a great way to go on this.
Of course, that would be like 200 bucks an hour or something like that. If you can’t afford it every week, maybe your employer can cover it or subsidize it.
But if you can’t afford it, you could probably do it once a month or something. In which case, you really need to get Invincible if you’re only going to counseling once a month.
But once a week counseling, I highly recommend. So, there you go, Francis. For the guys who are watching, let me do a recap:
If your wife, fiancée, or girlfriend, keeps putting you down, and she is obviously not happy with the way you currently are… I mean, we’re never 100% happy with our partners. That’s just life. But we have to accept the way they are now. I mean, we prefer if they change, but we have to accept the way they are now.
We do not require them to change, otherwise stop that relationship. It will not succeed. So, you should only enter a relationship with someone that you can accept 100% of the way they are now.
And maybe hope that they would change down the road, but you have to 100% accept the way they are now and be willing to live with them the way they are now.
If she’s continuing to beat you down and verbally abuse you this way – I mean, you’ve already put up with so much. Your balls are already gone.
So, you got to break that off. If you find this happening to you, the bigger issue is how have you been putting up with this for so long? What is it in your past that has enabled you to feel so comfortable with this dynamic of being beaten down, and being bullied, of being verbally bullied and abused, that you would consider this to be a normal thing, that you would even propose to it?
That’s a bigger question. So, that’s the advice on Francis. A long question.Thank you very much for Francis for sharing so much and opening up.
I hope that this really helps you. It’s a tough message. I get the benefit of being able to deliver it like this, but I know it’s actually a really tough message. It’s really tough to hear.
We are here for you, to help you along that journey of getting your balls back, and becoming happier and fulfilled, and a whole person again, and uncovering your true self.
There you go. Join the private Facebook group. Click the link, join the group. I’ll see you inside the group.Until then, I’m going to catch the sunset, the rest of it, and get some food.
Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!