Show highlights include:
- Why using the “right” words and phrases ruins your chances with romantic partners (3:05)
- How your beliefs sabotage your success with women (3:46)
- Why sending her flowers every week will doom your relationship (5:05)
- What a fire-engine red Ferrari says to women (and why you might want a blue sedan instead) (7:52)
- Why trying to “demonstrate higher value” represses your true self (10:27)
- The addictive, short term “solution” that many men rely on — but it only ramps up your neediness (15:10)
- How to identify if your behavior comes from a place of neediness (18:11)
- Watching the clock before you text her back? Why this mistake destroys your success with women (21:13)
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform:
Apple iTunes Podcast:
Note: Scroll Below for Transcription
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.
David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m your host, David Tian, and it is my great pleasure and honor to introduce you to this episode on one of the most important, if not the most important topic for any man who is trying to improve his attractiveness to women.
It is the number one biggest and most important factor in whether a man is attractive to women or not. This one factor trumps all the other factors when it comes to being attractive to women. If you have it, it will sabotage anything else you think you’ve got going for you. It won’t matter how much money you have, how good-looking you are or how high your status is. If you’ve got this, then it will sabotage anything else in terms of your attractiveness to women. [01:03.0]
Conversely, if you don’t have it, then you will be as attractive as you could possibly be in your personality. It will be the number one most important factor when it comes to how attractive you are. On both sides of the equation, if you’ve got it, it will sabotage everything else. If you don’t have it, it will max out for you everything that you could have going for you in terms of your personality, and then anything else you have on top of that is just going to be icing on the cake because this is by far the most important factor.
Okay, are you curious about what this is? It’s not STDs. This number one factor when it comes to your attractiveness is your level of neediness. Your level of neediness. Now, you’ve probably got that by the title, but I just wanted to build that up. Let’s get at this neediness from a more indirect way, just to give you a bigger background and context for it in understanding why it’s so important. [02:02.7]
In the first episode of this podcast, we went over the “just the tips” myth and that’s my funny way of putting it, which is this myth that all you need are tips, that all you need are these dating tips, this dating advice, and that the vast majority of dating advice, if you were to Google “How to attract women” on Google or if you were to search this on YouTube or somewhere, what you’ll find is mostly tips advice. Here are the seven tips to do this and that, or three ways to slide into her DMs, or something along those lines.
Now, I know this myth is pretty widespread because of how many millions of views this type of content gets and it’s really sad that the majority of people are sucked into the lazy way out of things and, in fact, these are not just ineffective, they’re actually dangerous. I covered that in that first episode. If you haven’t seen that or listened to that, go and get that. [03:00.7]
But that’s the “just the tips” myth and what it does is it also reminds us of how so many people are focusing on the wrong things when it comes to trying to be more attractive to women or trying to improve their dating lives or their relationships. They’re focused on the superficial external factors, such as what to say or what to wear, or what you’re doing, and they completely ignore the much more important factor of what you’re feeling.
What are you feeling at that time when you were trying to parrot these words that you got from this YouTube video or how are you feeling when you’re texting this message and reply, right? Then, part of what you’re feeling is what are the thoughts that are swirling around in your mind, including all of those self-doubts or those insecurities that are haunting you that are going to, in the end, sabotage any efforts that you put into what you say or do, because what’s actually happening is your neediness is going to sabotage whatever tips you get. [04:09.7]
So, not only are very likely are those tips going to be ineffective, but even if you could pull them off, the fact that you haven’t done that already, that it wasn’t just an easy “Oh, I’ll just plug and play here, and just whatever the tip is, I’ll just implement it immediately.” There’s some difficulty in implementing the tip means that there’s something deeper underlying it, which will be your core insecurities and will point at your core neediness, and the neediness is what will sabotage any efforts on the superficial, external, outer tips, tactics, strategies, that kind of level.
Another way of approaching this is the “do more” trap. I’ve covered the “do more” trap in more detail in the pre-launch videos leading up to when I opened my course “Invincible”, which is the best dating skills course in existence. Obviously, I’m biased, but it’s called “Invincible”. You can get it as part of the “Platinum Partnership” as well. [05:05.5]
The do-more trap is all about the fact that, the more you do, the less attractive you are to her, and it’s a trap, and that most men fall into the “do more” trap because in order to win her attraction or liking you, in order to get her to like you, you have this achiever or pleaser mindset, which is that you’ve got to do stuff to get her to like you.
With the context of the “just the tips” myth and the “do more” trap in mind, you understand just how pervasive neediness is among men and that some guys are able to cover over their core neediness by hiding it, using tactics or tips, or strategies for a short period of time by putting out a kind false self or a persona and, in fact, not then being able to form real connections because they’re not being their true self. They’re just connecting with women based on hiding this core insecurity or they’re core neediness that they have. [06:11.5]
With that background in mind, I’ve got three points here that are going to get into what neediness actually is, why it’s so destructive to your attractiveness and, finally, what you can do about it.
Now, you might have heard women say that the most attractive thing in a man is his level of confidence and what they’re getting at is the same factor as the one we’ve been looking at in terms of neediness, just that confidence is the positive spin and positive aspect of neediness in this context.
What do they mean by confidence? It’s a specific type of confidence. It’s confidence in himself. What sexually attracts women the most to men is his level of confidence, how sure he is that he can handle whatever challenge life throws at them. It’s the confidence that, no matter what happens, he’ll be okay, that he’ll be able to meet his own needs. [07:07.0]
In a 2020 study published in a Tier 1 scientific journal, I collaborated with researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California, and universities in Singapore, five research teams in total, and it involved testing the effectiveness of my dating-skills training materials on almost 250 women in two different continents.
What this five-year study found was that just by watching my dating-skills training courses, that it would increase a man’s attractiveness or effectiveness as results with women in dating scenarios by 311% on average. This was pretty powerful.
The study also showed that confidence separate from social status or social dominance was the most important factor leading to a man’s greater romantic desirability and leading to a woman’s desire for further contact with the man, with the subject. [08:11.0]
Right, so social confidence was found to be more important as a factor leading to attractiveness than status or dominance. It’s well-known in the psychology research literature that social status is measured by wealth and access to resources, but a man’s wealth and access to resources, or his perceived wealth and perceived access to resources, they are only incidentally tied to his attractiveness, because there are plenty of cases and you probably know plenty where a woman is sexually attracted to a man who is not wealthy and does not have access to abundant resource. Instead, the most important factor, as the studies have shown, of what sexually attracts women the most is his level of confidence, how sure he is that he can handle whatever challenges life throws at him. [09:00.0]
Conversely, the opposite of social confidence, neediness, is the greatest killer of attraction. The more needy a man is, the less attractive he is to women. Why? Because neediness conveys that he requires others to meet his needs for him, that he’s unable to meet his own needs himself.
The fact that neediness is the most important factor was something that was pointed out to me about a decade ago by my friend, Mark Manson, so I’ve got to credit him for that, just drawing attention to this overwhelmingly important factor of neediness. What we’re going to do here is dive deeper into what neediness is, give some examples, and what to do about it.
I’m sure that this is not the first time you’ve heard about how important neediness is to attractiveness and there are plenty of pickup artists and red-pill guys and internet dating gurus who teach about how to get rid of your neediness. Unfortunately, they don’t understand the roots of neediness, the reasons or the underlying reasons for neediness. Instead, they simply try to hide it or mitigate it, or manage the symptoms of the neediness, and that leads to, simply, repression. [10:16.0]
Outward symptoms of the neediness that they’re trying to repress or pretend like you don’t have include—so, here are some examples of how to know whether you’re needy—you might spend hours memorizing or practicing pickup lines or routines, or coming up with stories, in order to impress women or avoid rejection. In the old pickup parlance, this was referred to demonstrating higher value.
Okay, so an obsession about demonstrating higher value is another symptom of neediness, but just even just spending a lot of time and effort into impressing women and avoiding rejection, that is a symptom of neediness that’s coming out of core insecurity. [10:59.5]
Here’s another symptom of neediness. Exaggerating or straight out lying to women in order to impress them. It also can be seen in this obsession with being alpha, which seems quite popular these days, especially among the bitter red-pill group, advice like trying to take up space or some other B.S. tactic maybe you’ve learned on those alpha-male internet websites in a bid to appear more alpha or appear more dominant.
Another symptom of neediness is calling her too many times in a row after she flakes or simply doesn’t call you back, or you’re afraid that she’s ghosting you and now you’re obsessed about checking her phone. It could actually be calling her too many times. It could just be texting her really long texts in response to her short texts or texting her many times in a row.
It could just simply be racking your brain to come up with something clever to say, and this could be in person or it could be trying to craft that perfect text response, desperately hoping it’ll help her to like you more. [12:02.0]
It could even be simply trying to get a better body, make more money, drive a flashier car, rent a bigger house, or improve yourself through self-help courses, in order to impress her or impress other people or win their approval, or even just to get revenge or generate their envy, or to simply get girls to like you more.
This is one of the reasons self-help overall is pretty toxic, because it’s driven by core insecurities, and instead of diving deep into the original sources of the core and securities, instead, they actually just help you to repress that core security more, the core neediness this more, by trying to make you better, make it more perfect in a bid to become worthy, to be good enough, to be enough. [12:53.1]
It’s conditioning you in the same pleaser-achiever mode to go out and win her approval, and only when you are able to do that, do you finally give yourself permission to love yourself and accept yourself fully. This is just heaping on repression on top of preexisting repression.
So many of these symptoms that I’ve just listed out are exactly what many viral YouTube videos, Reddit posts and social media posts recommend, but these attempts to hide or deny or suppress these symptoms of neediness actually make things worse by adding another layer of falsity and toxic repression.
That’s their first point, “What is neediness?” Now getting into the second point of “Why neediness?” Why is there this neediness? Where does it come from? [13:49.0]
Do you struggle in your interactions with women or in your intimate relationship? Are fear, shame, or neediness sabotaging your relationships or attractiveness? In my Platinum Partnership Program, you’ll discover how to transform your psychological issues, improve your success with women, and uncover your true self.
Get access to all my current and future online courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership today at DavidTianPHD.com\\Platinum.
Neediness is the result of unmet needs. Let me repeat that. Your neediness is a result of your unmet needs. Okay, so the only surefire way of dealing with it is by meeting those needs or getting those needs met. It is not by denying those needs, because in so doing, in denying or hiding that you have needs, that is simply a palliative. It is simply a short-term, temporary way of hiding that you have them. Like I said, it’ll come to bite you in the ass later. It’ll sabotage all of the effort that you end up putting in out because of your neediness. [15:06.1]
So, neediness is the result of unmet needs and acute neediness comes from unsuccessfully attempting to get one’s needs met by something outside oneself. In the short term, we might be able to stave off our feelings of neediness by using others or using external circumstances to meet our needs. For example, by getting enough or the right kind of girls to like us, or getting the grades, the promotion or whatever material goal we’re aiming for, or maybe winning the respect or admiration of the people that we’re desperately wanting it from.
But that only satiates momentarily. Eventually the high fades and our egos need another hit or our core insecurities, which we still haven’t addressed, crop up again and we require new confirmation that we really are as attractive or smart, or rich or capable, or respected or admired, or whatever narcissistic measure we need here. [16:07.7]
Until we get that reconfirmed, we’re just as needy as before, and every time we get it, we end up needing it more and more, and needing it more often and needing more of it more often. That’s how addiction works and it’s no different when it comes to addiction to this kind of narcissistic validation, and this “is” the achiever’s curse.
Again, notice that working hard at learning pick up or learning dating skills, or even working hard at self-help or personal development—all the time and effort that you invest in books, online courses, boot camps, training events, personal coaching, those big pump-up live events, and all of that, all in the hopes of changing himself into the kind of man who can attract the type of woman he wants? That man ends up actually displaying and feeding into, further compounding his original neediness, because it reinforces the core insecurity that he is not enough, and that he’s not worthy of love or connection, or approval or acceptance just the way he is. [17:15.0]
This does not mean that there’s anything inherently wrong with learning any of these topics or these skills, or these areas of knowledge and practice, and I hope you’ve experienced the joy and pleasure of being fully immersed in a flow state while engaged in deep learning. It’s something you do, even if you weren’t being paid for it and even if you didn’t get the results in the end, because just losing yourself in the process of learning is, in itself, intrinsically satisfying, intrinsically rewarding and empowering. You’d have done it anyway.
If you’re listening to this, you probably are on that path. You’re doing these exact things I’ve been describing in terms of investing in yourself to become better at these areas. There is a way in which improving yourself and learning is obviously a good thing and it’s obviously not coming from a place of neediness. [18:11.0]
How can you really tell whether it’s coming from neediness or not? You will feel that the experience of learning is very different when it comes from a place where you’re in flow and it’s intrinsically enjoyable, and you’d have done it anyway regardless of the results, versus different energy to it where this striving is coming from a place of being strained or forced, or relying on discipline and willpower, and taking that a harder approach that’s more characteristic of the day-to-day experience of the achiever. [18:47.7]
The neediness isn’t found in the hard work itself, of course. It’s in the mindset or the presuppositions or the emotions that he’s approaching them with that to some degree he’s ashamed of himself, that shy, awkward, stupid, fat, lazy, or whatever thing he’s ashamed of that he currently feels that he is and wishes desperately that he could leave behind him forever, so that he could finally become his ideal powerful self, a self that is his childhood comic book fantasies, I don’t know, like a brave, suave, strong genius who is worthy, especially of the admiration and respect and love of his fantasy woman.
Unfortunately for him, the only women who cannot see through his narcissistic fantasy and the toxic shame propelling him to project it so anxiously with so much desperation are exactly those women who are similarly weighed down by their own toxic shame and working desperately hard in pursuit of their own narcissistic ideals.
When we’re unable to meet our own needs in ourselves and others are not naturally meeting our needs for us unlike when we were babies, then what happens is we develop coping strategies in a bid to get others to meet our needs for us. [20:07.7]
There were three main coping strategies that we as children adopt and, mostly unconsciously, then carry from childhood into adulthood. You might have heard me go over these before and I’ll just mention them here.
The pleaser of which the achiever, the joker and the nice guy are variations.
Then the rebel and some achievers are rebels as well, not just achiever pleasers, but also achiever rebels.
Then the third is the recluse, the one who withdraws, the hermit.
Those are the three main coping strategies I’m going to be getting into that, these coping strategies and the different variations on these later in a different episode, but, for now, I just want to point out that the way to resolve and cure, to overcome your neediness isn’t with further repression of trying to earn your way out of it or to earn your way into hiding it, or to cover over it with tactics or techniques or implementing dating tip, or to try to pretend to be somebody else that you are not, trying to pretend to be needy when, in fact, you’re just in denial because you really are needy. [21:13.2]
A common example is a guy who gets the advice of “don’t text her within this amount of time,” and the whole time he’s feeling incredibly anxious and desperate and needy, and he keeps checking his phone, but because the dating tips say don’t text her for whatever it is, 24 hours, then he’s got that 24-hour clock ticking and he’s relying on that and then he texts back. Then when he decides what to text often, he will then leak out his desperation and neediness.
But imagine he copies and pastes from some other guy, right, and so that guy who he copied from isn’t needy when he devised the text. He sends across a text that, on the surface of it, is not needy, and so she feels like, Oh, he’s not needy, but, in fact, those whole 24 hours or however long he was waiting, he was incredibly needy. He covered over it. He hid his neediness by using these tactics. [22:06.0]
Guess what? Eventually and pretty soon down the road, he’s going to run out of copy-and-paste texts and copy-and-paste things to babble when they meet in person when he’s parroting some other guy’s lines or telling some story, and his increased heart rate and anxious symptoms will come up and he’ll blurt something out or she’ll just notice his heart rate or maybe his breathing is a little shallow or that he’s just not relaxed because he looks tense.
All of those are symptoms of the underlying neediness and so many guys are just trying to … it’s sort of like instead of getting a real six pack in dealing with the underlying issues of why you’re unhealthy, you just tape over your stomach a picture of a six-pack, and you can actually do a version of that online with your photos online. Maybe you put a fake photo that’s not even you—it’s like a bait and switch on your Tinder profile—or you could also just Photoshop your photos. [23:05.2]
That’s what guys are trying to do. They’re Photoshopping their personalities by relying on tips and tactics and strategies that they’ve gotten off some internet dating guru or whatever, instead of going to the underlying issues and actually looking at what’s there and what’s driving this anxiety, this nervousness around women that they like, and it’s their core insecurities and their core neediness.
The only way in the long run permanently, the only lasting solution to this is the therapeutic one, but all these other areas, these other places are giving you strategies of repression. They’re teaching you how to be what you’re not. They’re trying to get you to cover over or hide your core insecurities by having you just mimic the words or behaviors of a man when he’s not feeling needy, when, in fact, if you’re feeling needy, that’ll just actually make things worse. That’s adding more repression onto pre-existing repression, right? [24:06.2]
That’s like Photoshopping your personality and that’s actually going to make things harder in the long run for you to be successful in a relationship, for you to find the right woman for you, and it will be especially hard for you to find peace and happiness and fulfillment for yourself because you’re adding more toxic shame onto pre-existing toxic shame. Right?
The message in your unconscious is actually that the way that you are isn’t good enough and it’s so not good enough that you’re going to have to go and borrow somebody else’s personality to hide your true self and, in fact, that’s not your true self. That shy, awkward, nervous you is not your true self. It’s a part of you that has unmet needs and only you, your higher self, can fully meet your needs in a reliable, consistent way over time. [25:02.3]
The solution, the therapeutic solution, is to learn to meet your own needs and that’s what we’ll be covering in the next episode.
Hopefully, you now understand what neediness is, why it’s so all-pervasive and also so destructive to your happiness and to your attractiveness. Then you can, hopefully, now understand why all of those other dating tips, videos, and content out there are just adding more repression onto repression. Instead, the way to do it is to cure this or to overcome it or to resolve the issue, to heal and grow out of the neediness isn’t repression, obviously, but it’s a therapeutic or series of therapeutic processes.
Okay, so those are the three points we covered just now. It’s super important that you’ve just learned this because, like I said, this is the number one factor in whether you are attractive to women and the number one factor in what will sabotage your attractiveness to women. This is the most important, the single most important thing that you can learn now to get you started into understanding why the therapeutic process and the therapeutic processes are so important. [26:09.4]
Now, I made this discovery the hard way, in the sense of I actually got good at the tips, the tactics, the strategies and techniques, and so on, and that actually made it harder for me to actually go down the therapeutic road later on, because what I did was I got really good at techniques of repression.
I got good at developing personas, which now I’ve developed them so fully that I’ve discovered they’re full-on parts of me that are very valuable and they were just trying their best to get our needs met, but they were doing it in dysfunctional ways that only became obvious later on. Because I was so good at covering over the toxic shame and the core insecurities that I didn’t even notice that I was also even just tricking myself, and that’s the case for a lot of guys who aren’t yet ready for the message here in the Masculine Psychology Podcast. [27:01.0]
To be at this point, you need to be epistemically humble enough to realize that you don’t have all the answers and that all these other guys don’t have them, that the obvious answers aren’t the right way to go either. But that’s why default is there and I totally get it, the default being, I don’t really have a problem. I just need some tips.
The “just the tips” myth—I totally bought into that for years and then I needed another several years to heal and grow from all of those layers that have accreted by all those layers of repression on top of what I already had in my twenties and earlier, and then in my thirties where I was getting good, really good at pickup and dating and all that—required that I take on and develop these other personas. That actually made things worse because then I had to undo that as well and then get to know those parts as well and so forth.
You can skip all of that and just go straight to the therapeutic process and that’s better, because you don’t want to get stuck in years of creating these narcissistic cycles where you’re hoping desperately that you can hide the core insecurities, the core neediness. That’s not you anymore because, Hey, look, I instituted these dating tips and they worked, and I got women to like me and when women like me, I feel good about myself. [28:10.7]
That’s dangerous because then you’re on a high. You’re like an addict who is on a bender and you’re not going to listen to reason. You’re thinking to yourself, I’m not an addict. Look, I can totally control it, while you have your tenth drink in a row that night or something.
It’s only when that alcoholic or the addict hits rock bottom the next morning or many mornings later and it’s undeniable, but by the time he reaches that point, he has probably destroyed a whole bunch of his days in life, and as it might have had irreversible catastrophic consequences.
It’s important that you, if you’re hearing this now and this resonates with you, that you take it seriously because you don’t want to go down the wrong road because it’s actually going to make things harder to go down the right road. It’s literally like you’re going down the wrong road and you’ve now got to backtrack down the wrong road back to that fork in the road and go down the right road. [29:05.4]
The longer you go down the wrong road, the more you’ve got to backtrack when you realize it’s the wrong road. Save yourself all of those years of pain, and I know that even when I say that, many guys still won’t get it. I’m here. These episodes will still be here and, hopefully, you will understand that and then you’ll go down that therapeutic road.
What happens is, as you’re going down the therapeutic process, then you’ll naturally and much more effortlessly feel attractive, because what happens is when you remove the neediness, the formula is the less needy you are, the more attractive you are, and that’s amazing because you’re not doing anything more or you’re not like earning. It’s not like you have to go out and earn more money or learn more lines, or do more approaches or anything, because those are all just surface level and often don’t work and actually lead to further danger.
In fact, what you’re doing is you’re removing neediness and it’s just an obstacle in the way of flowing. It’s like some kind of dam and you removing the dam, so that the water can flow, right, you removing the obstacles to your inherently attractive self. [30:11.1]
As you cure your neediness, as you are able to meet your own needs, then everything just comes out naturally and the thing that comes out naturally is your attractiveness. This is, by far, the best way to do it, by far, the best way to become attractive, but that’s just a side effect of the much more important main goals of discovering your true self and learning to meet your own needs for love and connection, and significance and so on.
Okay, in the next episode, I’ll be getting into detail on how to do that, how to meet your own needs.
Okay, so if you liked this episode, please share the link with your friends or anyone who you think would benefit from it, and if you really liked it, please rate it and review it on the iTunes podcast. That really helps with the algorithm and with just getting the message out to more people.
Thanks so much for listening. It has been my great pleasure to lead you through this and I look forward to sharing with you in the next episode how to meet your own needs. David Tian, signing out. [31:10.4]
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