Neediness sabotages your attractiveness. Many people already know this, but they don’t understand what causes neediness or how to reduce it in a healthy way.
Instead, they take an unhealthy approach and pretend they don’t have any needs. But this creates even more neediness.
Here’s the truth:
Your neediness stems from one fundamental problem. And once you obliterate this, you can harness your natural attractiveness.
In this episode, you’ll discover the fundamental cause of neediness and how to eliminate it.
Listen to the episode now and unlock your true attractiveness.
Show highlights include:
- The dangerous “earn myth” that’s sabotaging your love life (3:23)
- The counterintuitive way improving yourself becomes a toxic trait that cripples your life (4:59)
- How relaxing and doing nothing opens more career and relationship opportunities than hustling 24/7 (9:33)
- Why becoming less needy instantly boosts your sexual attractiveness (and how to become less needy) (12:23)
- The real reason why your physical attractiveness isn’t as important as you’re making it (13:22)
- The “Twin Terrors” problem that’s the fundamental source for your neediness (18:29)
- The subtle “Existence Value” mindset tweak that helps you harness your natural attractiveness with ease (44:02)
Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:
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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 am David Tian, your host.
In this episode, we’ll be diving into big issues. We’re going to be getting into neediness, core insecurities, worthiness, and value, as well as many others and it’s all so that you can discover how to become naturally attractive, and how, in fact, you already are, at your core, naturally attractive—and what that means is however you feel and whatever you’re thinking, and however you want to express yourself, whatever form of expression comes naturally to you, will be and is naturally attractive. [00:55.6]
Then there is some icing on the cake. You get your fashion down. You get to improve your fit or whatever, and that will help like adding extra toppings on the cake. But the actual core of it, who you are, your personality, it will already be naturally attractive once you understand what we’re covering here and in the next couple of episodes.
I start with that point about being naturally attractive because I know a lot of our listeners, and maybe you listening right now, have found me as a result of searching on the internet for advice in dating or attraction, but even more important than any of that, than any dating or attraction issues, even more important is your happiness, your fulfillment, your experience of peace and joy in life, and your discovery of unconditional love for yourself and from yourself. [01:54.0]
When you focus on the bigger picture, when you focus on the bigger issues, when you have your eyes on the bigger prize, your overall happiness, fulfillment, joy in life, then those questions of attraction and dating become moved. They all get solved on their own automatically and that’s part of what it means to have a naturally-attractive personality, to be naturally attractive.
All of that can be yours if you take to heart what I’m going to reveal in this episode and in the next couple of episodes. I’ve actually covered most of these topics in other ways in previous episodes, topics such as worthiness and insecurities and neediness. If these topics are of interest to you, and they should be if you’re listening to this, then I recommend going through more of the episodes in this podcast. [02:50.0]
These are sort of running themes throughout the podcast so far and part of the reason is that they’re so fundamental and I’m responding in many ways to listener questions and feedback for the type of questions and topics, and the type of answers that you’re looking for that keep coming up. I’m going to be actually coming at these issues in new ways, as well as introducing some new concepts that will hopefully help to shed light on the whole thing overall.
I’m going to start off just with also pointing out a myth that I’m seeing coming up over and over and over and it’s really hard for people to shake, especially achievers, and this is the myth of earned love—the idea being that we, as achievers, are so used to earning anything really, especially rewards approval, attention, grades, trophies, any kind of accolades, any kind of significance, and we feel like if we don’t earn it, then we don’t deserve it, that it has to be earned, that we have to do something to earn it, more importantly. That’s to really cash out that sense of earning. We have to do something to become worthy of the thing that we’re trying to get. [04:06.7]
When it comes to attraction and dating, you might think that it’s really just about sex and there are a lot of shame-based people out there who judge and take a moralistic stance on guys who are just trying to figure out dating, especially on the male side of it, and not recognizing and not appreciating how much effort so many men are putting into becoming worthy, becoming worthy of the woman that they pine after, becoming worthy of sexual attraction, becoming worthy of significance.
Ultimately, what I’m going to cover here in this episode is that what almost all guys are really after in this area of trying to get better with dating, what they’re really after isn’t sex or isn’t short-term hookups. What they’re really after is actually the sense of being worthy or good enough for love, and that even from the beginning of pursuing a personal development, self-development, self-help, of becoming a better you, already that’s pure and it’s laudable and it’s great. [05:13.5]
Okay, so just trying to improve yourself, if it comes from the place of “I enjoy improving myself and I would like to spend my time in this way”, go for it. But very often that soon turns into, and it might have been from the very beginning, a toxic motivation of having to be your best self, needing to be your best self, because once you can finally become this ideal self, this, quote-unquote, “best self”, then you will be worthy and enough and significant enough to earn the love of the woman that you’re pining after or your ideal, your ideal woman, that only when you are your best self are you going to be good enough for this woman, this ideal woman. [06:00.0]
You can see already, hopefully, if you’ve been following my podcast and have listened to other episodes, how dangerous this is, because, obviously, if you are with a woman or partner who only loves you when you’re your best self, then guess what? She doesn’t love all of you. She doesn’t love all of your parts and she doesn’t love you all the time.
Of course, if we are our best selves, it’ll be relatively easy to attract others and to feel worthy of love because we’re our best selves at that moment. That’s not a mystery. The trap is thinking that unless you are your best self, you’re not worthy of love so then the self-help journey becomes this toxic pursuit of becoming other than what you are so that you can finally get the thing that you’re really after, which is love, attention, approval, affection, significance, by being something other than how you are right now. [07:00.7]
I know how tempting and enticing and how intuitive it seems for many guys, especially achievers, when they get that message in self-help that says who you are right now is just not good enough. If you just accepted the way you are right now and you thought, Oh, way I am right now is enough, and they never actually really specify enough for what, and the big picture is enough for love, but then that gets conflated with enough for my paycheck, enough to keep this job, enough to get the A, and those are all very different things.
To the achiever here, it’s just one thing. He has conflated them all, being enough, period, whether it’s for the paycheck or the A, or the woman. To the achiever, this is the way that he approaches life and answers all of the questions, which is go and earn it, work really hard to get it, to be worthy of it, to deserve it, because, otherwise, you’re just going to be a lazy bum who just vegetates on the couch and watches Netflix all day, because, in fact, that’s actually what the achiever wants to do. [08:01.6]
When you ask the achiever, If you didn’t have to take charge of this job of working so hard to get love and approval, and affect and attention, what would you rather do instead? the first answer is always rest. Then it’s always like, If you finally become good enough, what would you want to do instead, now that you don’t and have to work so hard to become good enough, because you’ve made it, what would you do? I’d go retire on the beach and finally enjoy life—and that’s the achiever, what the achiever really wants.
Notice that that’s the thing that they’re most afraid of because they’re repressing the parts of them that are overworked, overtired and exhausted, or if they’re not repressing them, they’re working them really hard and repressing the exiled parts or excelling the vulnerable parts that really just want to be present and enjoy life, and if there’s that much fear around if you were to actually believe truly that you are enough right now for love, then that would mean you’d end up quitting your job or being a bum, or not working so hard at this career you’ve chosen. [09:05.6]
Then that’s a sign that you’re in the wrong career, that you are not finding fulfillment, that even if you were to succeed in whatever goal you’ve set in terms of this career, making a ton of money and then cashing out, whatever that is, that is a sign that you won’t actually be fulfilled at the end of that. Even worse, because you’re not enjoying the process and you’re not intrinsically motivated to do it—because there’s a part of you that’s so afraid that if you were to remove the toxic requirement, the whip on your back, if you were to remove that, the stick that’s pushing you forward, if you were to remove that, then you wouldn’t do it—then, very likely, what that means is you’re doing the wrong thing. You’re spending your time doing the wrong thing, because human beings are all motivated intrinsically to do something. Even just relaxing, that’s a thing. Achievers suck at relaxing. Even that’s a thing. [09:59.7]
But, eventually, if you just sit there and relax long enough, you’ll get bored and then you’ll want to do something else, and that “something else” is the clue to what actually brings you and your parts a lot more joy, meaning and fulfillment. But you’re not allowing room for that, to explore that, to discover that for yourself, because you’re beating yourself so hard on this other road and applying all this discipline and willpower in that direction.
If this is an interesting topic for you, I’ve done a series of podcast episodes already on this for achievers and for a specialized case of achievers, entrepreneurs, so I recommend that you go through the previous podcast episodes.
I’m just bringing this up because it’s related, in case you haven’t listened to those episodes already, and just pointing out the myth of earned love, how dangerous and pernicious, and enticing and intuitive it will appear to achievers because this is their MO in life, and also the lie of being your best self as being required to be worthy of love, to be enough for love, that if you can finally be your best self, then, ah, then you can relax, and that’s a big trap. [11:11.8]
We’re going to start there, just noticing that there is this myth of earned love, and I’m going to be explaining how and why this is a myth as we go through this episode, and just pointing out that I’m actually going against almost all self-help. I can’t think of any actual self-help that’s not psychotherapy, just self-help like classic life coaching, which is aimed at you becoming your, quote-unquote, “best self”.
If you just understand that innocently, it’s fine, right? It’s like getting in the best shape of your life. That sounds great, if you want to, if that’s something you want to do because you enjoy it. But if you’re doing it, becoming your best self or trying to be your best self, all the time working on yourself, if you’re doing it because you believe that unless you’re your best self, then you’re not worthy or enough, then it’s toxic. [12:02.3]
Okay, so I’ve got three big points I’m going to be covering in the rest of this episode, and the first, I’m going to be starting from the vantage point of attraction because I know that’s why a lot of you guys have found me, so I’ll start there. Then I’ll be connecting that to the bigger issue of worthiness.
The first issue, the first point is how to become naturally attractive and I’ve covered this in other episodes in terms of neediness, so I’m just going to review, hopefully, really quickly here, that your neediness, the level of your neediness is inversely proportional to your attractiveness as a man, your sexual attractiveness as a man.
That particular formulation comes from my friend, Mark Manson, so I’ve got to credit him for that, really a succinct and handy formulation. He has since abandoned that wording to go with a more common word of confidence, but I actually think neediness gets at it more accurately that, again, your neediness as a man is inversely proportional to your attractiveness as a man, so that the more needy you are, the less attractive you are, and then conversely, the less needy you are, the more attractive you are. [13:14.3]
Ultimately if you were to bring your neediness down to zero, you would be at your maximal attractiveness in terms of your personality. On top of your personality, there are the physical, outer or external manifestations or factors when it comes to attractiveness, but those become very easy to implement or to adopt or to make the changes, once the personality is non-needy, right?
Then it’s just getting a fashion makeover, staying on top of the trends, getting in shape and that sort of thing. That becomes relatively straightforward and not even really necessary for you to be sexually attractive. Those help, but the core of it, which is your personality, which is really what is triggering the sexual response. It’s not just the physical, unless all she wants is just a bang, but if she actually wants some interaction, far more important than the physical appearance when it comes to an interaction with her where you’re talking and forming some kind of emotional connection. [14:14.5]
Especially when it comes to really passionate sex, there’s going to be a kind of dominance-submission dynamic there in passionate sex, and that’s personality that would bring and drive that. That’s personality. She’ll have to supply that as a fantasy in her mind if there’s no actual communication.
But even your personality comes across through your sub-communications, your facial expressions, your micro-expressions and so forth. Personality just rules the day on this, and then it’s just icing on the cake to add in the fashion and the fitness, and those are the two main actually external factors, fashion and fitness.
Your path to becoming naturally attractive is going to be focused on reducing your neediness as much as possible, and that’s a beautiful thing because if you can just hone in on that one factor, it’s the one big thing, the one big thing that makes the biggest difference, then it simplifies everything for you. [15:10.4]
Now the big question is, how do you overcome your neediness? How do you bring your neediness to zero, which brings up your attractiveness to the maximal amount in terms of your personality? The best way to look at neediness—and, by the way, I’ve done and dedicated an entire episode just to neediness, so this should be in the way of review—your neediness comes from a lack of meeting your own needs and we have legitimate emotional needs, such as needs for certainty, security, uncertainty, variety, play and spontaneity, significance and connection, and, of course, of love.
Okay, so we have legitimate human emotional needs. The question isn’t whether we have needs, so the way to become non-needy is not to remove your needs or, even worse, to pretend as if you don’t have any needs or to try to trick yourself to thinking you don’t have any needs, which is what pickup artists and Red Pill and all that do. They just act as if they don’t have these needs. But the right way to do it and the healthy way to do it is to actually fulfill your needs, to fulfill them in yourself within your own control. [16:17.0]
Okay, that’s neediness and I could say a lot more about how to do that. I’ve dedicated a whole other episode to it, so I’m going to just move on, but that’s just to bring up neediness. Then what is another way of cashing out neediness? When we’re needy it’s because, ultimately, the greatest human need we have is for love.
Imagine you have all the other needs met in your life. In fact, they don’t even have to be needs. Imagine you have all of your other desires in life, including your needs, except for love. You have all the money. Also, when it comes to needs, you have security, and so you have food and shelter, and you have connections, so you have friends, you are connected to nature, all that stuff. It feels great. You’ve got connection. You’ve got your significance met so that—now we can really blow this out of proportion—you’re famous. You’re a celebrity. Everywhere you go, people give you free meals and, I don’t know, free rides and free sex and all that. [17:12.5]
You have all the sex you could ever want, right, all the foods you could ever want, anything your heart desires, except you haven’t got love, right? You’ve got everything else, but not love. If you’re in your twenties, you might think that’s great. In your twenties, you probably will have a heyday with this, so enjoy it. At some point, though, you realize how empty your life is without love.
Okay, then on the flip side, imagine you have your need for love fulfilled at a 10/10, but you don’t have much of the other things. You have enough to stay alive, but maybe you’re in a war zone and there’s complete uncertainty there and you don’t have security, and all the other needs are not being fulfilled there because you’re constantly being bombed or shot at, but you’re with the person or people that you love the most. You can actually find great meaning in that life in a life just fulfilled by love. [18:11.4]
In terms of psychology and psychotherapy, all of the needs that we have that are legitimate, emotional, psychological needs have underlying them, supporting them, the more foundational need of love. This is what I call the twin terrors. You have these needs, but underneath them all, more fundamental or more at the core, or at the core, really, are the twin terrors, the fear that you won’t be loved and the fear that you’re not enough. You can bring them together to see the ultimate fear, the fear that you’re not enough for love, and that’s the strongest understanding or the strongest meaning for that concept of enough. “Am I enough?” “I don’t feel like I’m enough. I don’t feel like I’m worthy.” Worthy for what? [19:01.8]
It’s important to cash that out and I will be doing that later in this episode, but, ultimately, it becomes that the one that has the biggest oomph, the one that has the most emotional impact, the one that is the strongest driver for action and the strongest motivator is being enough for love. Not so much being enough for the paycheck or for the trophy or for sex, but being enough for love, and that is the ultimate problem.
Then there’s one last layer you can go that, if you’re not enough for love, then you have the fear of death that you will die, and in psychotherapy, if you follow this far enough with each part, the ultimate fear is actually death, that if you’re not love, then you will die. This is literally true of us when we’re born. It’s actually likely a pass-down in our DNA. It’s part of who we are as humans that we have this fear of death that drives our seeking love, and that’s why if love is not experienced, if love is taken away from us, it feels as if it were like death. [20:06.0]
Now, if you start from the bottom, from the foundations, and you build your way up—in other words, you start from the twin terrors. You start from the fear that you’re not enough for love and you fulfill that, so that let’s say you experience that you are enough for love that you believe a hundred percent that you are worthy of love—then the other needs above it, security, your security is met. Maybe not material security. Maybe you still don’t know where you’re going to get your food in shelter, but your security psychologically is met, because, psychologically and emotionally, the security that we have the need for comes from the need for love.
If you’re a hundred percent secure that you are worthy of love, then that actually is met, and then the material becomes relatively straightforward to get. Now I will go and find, devise a plan to go and get food in shelter, and then you’re calm and you’re not emotionally triggered by it. The thing that emotionally triggers you, that fear ultimately is that means that you’re not worthy, you’re not good enough and ultimately not good enough for love. [21:10.0]
Then you can follow it all the way up all the way up to meet your needs for significance and worthiness and so on all the way up to the point where you are able to meet your needs. Because your fundamental need is love, then you’re able to meet all of your other needs, including significance and connection and so on, because you know that your need for love is met.
And how do you meet your need for love? Okay, so this is the topic of other podcast episodes I’m going to be covering. I’m going to be covering that also in this episode and the next episodes, but the only way you can fully meet your own need for love is in yourself. All other factors, or all other sources, I should say, of love are outside your control.
If you’re looking to another human being to meet your need for love, not only is that a kind of toxic codependency ultimately, but it’s also an unreliable source because human beings are just like you and I. You and me, right? We are fickle. Sometimes we’re in a good mood and sometimes we’re not. This is not within our control. [22:13.4]
Only you and your higher self, “your” higher self can fully meet “your” need for love. Once that’s happened, then and only then will you be ready to enter into a relationship and have it go well, have it last, have it be successful. In fact, that’s the minimal requirement. If you’re not able to meet your own needs for love in a relation for you, you’re not going to be able to meet that, get that need for love met consistently in a relationship.
Over time, that demand from your wife or your partner, or maybe the demands you have on your wife or partner to meet your need for love, will be so onerous on the other person, that’s really too much for any other human being. I mean, it’s already so much for a parent to bear, though a parent is shot full of hormones that it makes it very natural for that love to occur. [23:01.5]
This is actually the best way to learn what unconditional love feels like, to be a parent or to love a child, because it is a kind of pure unconditional love, not mixed in with sexual desire, lust, significance and all this other stuff, though plenty of parents botch that as well.
But our worthiness is the problem that we don’t feel worthy where fear—we don’t feel as if we are worthy, that we’re good enough for love—that is at the base of the neediness, and if you can address the worthiness issue, you will automatically address the neediness issue, and, therefore, you’ll address the attractiveness issue and that’s the beauty of it. [23:39.7]
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Once you’ve honed in on the factors that make the biggest difference, the difference that makes the difference, which is the neediness, then it opens up the gateway into discovering why psychotherapy is so important for attractiveness, why psychotherapy is so important for dating and relationship success, because what is the most important factor is neediness that comes from a lack of meeting your own needs.
Ultimately, the greatest need is the need for love, and that has to do with our insecurity, our core insecurity that we’re not good enough for love, so we’re not able to meet it naturally. [24:56.3]
But if you are able to address the core insecurity that you’re worthy of love, then everything else gets taken care of. Then your neediness goes away because the greatest and fundamental need is met, the need for love, and that you believe fully that you are worthy and enough for love. In fact, not only you, but everyone is, because we all are worthy of love for the same reason, because we exist.
I just want to read out for you this great passage from the book, Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm, an eminent psychotherapist, and this comes from Page 39 on my addition.
“Unconditional love corresponds to one of the deepest longings, not only of the child, but of every human being; on the other hand, to be loved because of one’s merit, because one deserves it, always leaves doubt; maybe I did not please the person whom I want to love me, maybe this, or that—there is always a fear that love could disappear. Furthermore, “deserved” love easily leaves a bitter feeling that one is not loved for oneself, that one is loved only because one pleases, that one is, in the last analysis, not loved at all but used.”
Ultimately we are worthy of love just because we exist. That’s enough to be worthy of love. [26:19.4]
Then you might object. No, I don’t want to just be worthy of love in general. I want to be worthy of love from that girl at the bar or the office, or in my class or on the street, that I’ve been eyeing or whatever, right? That it must come from someone specific that you have in mind.
But actually you’re thinking of it in the wrong direction because you’re not going to solve the problem of unworthiness generally, in yourself, not enough for love, by only being worthy of one person out of 8 billion people that that person deems you enough for love. [26:50.7]
But if you were to understand and fully believe and have that conviction that you are enough for love universally, that you’re enough for love, period, then any specific instantiation of that in a particular judge, that one woman that you’d like to attract at the bar or on the street or whatever, that you are wanting that from her, and if she doesn’t see it in you, it’s not actually a mark against you. It’s simply that she is unable, for whatever reasons at that point in her life, to notice your worthiness of love.
Now, this is why it’s so tricky when guys think, especially younger guys—I get that a lot of the audiences in their twenties—younger guys, it’s very difficult for them to understand what it’s like to love unconditionally someone else and not the think of a romantic love, because romantic love is tied up with sex and intimacy and sexual desire, and automatically you can start to see why this messes things up and it’s hard to tease out the love component of that, which is at the core of it. [27:59.4]
But it’s like if you were to see a child, a baby, a newborn—those are the easy to see as innocent subjects of love—that maybe you don’t love that particular infant that you see in the photo or the video, but that you wouldn’t argue that this infant is worthy of love, in general, or love, universally, or love, period, that this child is worthy of love.
Maybe you don’t love the child, but that doesn’t mean that the child is not worthy of love and that, in a way, you’re kind of hoping that somebody will love this child, and that if no one loves a child, maybe you’ll step in. You’ll notice that, if you are mature, that love flowing from you for a helpless child who has been abandoned comes very naturally or more naturally than it would for, let’s say, an adult woman who you find sexually unattractive.
Notice now when you add in the sex component—and this is the second point of love universally versus love specifically, and love in terms of sex and bringing the sex element in there—a lot of men confuse their need for love for their need for sex, and biological sex is for a lot a need. [29:05.8]
That is a need and I know that in very conservative, especially in religious circles, they deny that this is a biological need, but it’s obviously a biological need because without this need, our species would not propagate. If you assent to anything in evolution or just biology, as it is studied and practiced as an academic discipline or a research discipline in the 21st century, you must notice, and it makes a lot of sense, that there would be a need to procreate and you feel this need. If you’re listening to this, you very likely feel the need for sex.
If you’re not meeting that need on its own, separate from your needs for intimacy, love, connection, friendship, approval, significance, which are all wrapped up in romantic and romance, romantic love, which isn’t, strictly speaking, love per or say, but it’s just this whole package of needs that are being addressed in an intimate relationship. But sex is one of the biggest ones, especially for men who are younger who have not been meeting their need for sex. [30:13.4]
Now, there are plenty of ways to meet your need for sex apart and separate from needing to be in a relationship. For some men, it would be very helpful if you could get that need for sex met separately so that it would be easier for you to see, to notice the need for love buried in there, because you could have all the sex you want and still have an empty life, a life without love, because sex then would just simply be a physical act.
A lot of guys are like, Yeah, that’s what I want. Okay, go for it. I really wish it upon you all that you could have as much scheduled sex, sex without emotion, as you want, and it’s very unfortunate that this is not the case for many men. If that’s primarily what you’re after, then you really shouldn’t be listening to my material. I’m not helping you very much with that anymore. I mean, some of my material, especially in the dating skills, has helped men get lots of casual sex. [31:07.5]
That’s not the aim or the thing that drives me and has never really been, and if that’s what you’re after, then I’m not for you right now. Maybe later, hopefully later when you have satiated yourself on the need for sex or can, theoretically, see the end game of that because you’re having enough of it and how empty that is, and then now you want something deeper and then all of this will make a lot more sense for you.
But sometimes it is just a need for sex, especially for teenagers, but even for teenagers, that first love, the first love relationship, the first girlfriend that you were attached to is devastating, because not only is it your first real sexual relationship, very likely, but it’s also now mixed up in your first intimate relationship and all of that is with no reference experiences, no reference points, so it’s just all in. It’s normal for achievers and nice guys to be completely devastated over that first real relationship. [32:03.8]
Then there are those, I’ve met more and more of them over time who come to me for work, who have chosen the rebel route for getting love and their needs met from the parent figures, and the rebel route often comes with kind of avoidance-attachment strategies. The closer you get in terms of intimacy, the more you start to pull away and avoid. But there are many.
I think the standard, it seems, is a kind of anxiousness or anxiety around attachment and that’s connected to the achiever because the pleaser-achiever will generally be an anxious attachment or have an anxious attachment style, whereas the rebel-achiever will have more of an avoidance attachment style.
Many of us have both, both a rebel and a pleaser achiever, both parts or sets of parts within us, because it just gives us more routes to achieving, and whichever one is dominant, you’ll feel that more at that moment whether it’s avoidance or anxiousness and you can have an anxious-avoidant attachment style, which is sort of like the worst of both worlds. [33:03.2]
In a teenage relationship, it is nuclear because there’s no reference points for this and it just sort of overwhelms all the time towards the breakup period, but at the beginning of it, the honeymoon is one of the biggest highs because this is all new and fresh.
That’s just an example of how people conflate the need for sex and the need for love, and this continues all the way through adulthood for many men, except they just repress their need for love because of toxic masculinity, the machoness, right? There’s a kind of like a locker-room macho masculinity, leading towards, and on the persona side, when they’re around other dudes, leading with just saying, All I want is sex, because that’s cool and it’s macho and then you don’t have to be vulnerable.
But ultimately when you get attached, when you catch the feels, what is that? That’s something like love, and sometimes and often it’s wrapped up with our need for significance, because, especially for achievers, if you believe that if you get this woman who you look up to in this way, this sort of ideal woman, then that means you’ve made it. That’s your need for significance that you’re trying to meet. [34:12.8]
It also is your need for connection because maybe you’re just lonely and you want a companion to come along with you on romantic trips, meals at romantic dinners, and going with a dude to a romantic restaurant just doesn’t cut it, so there’s a companionship need or a connection need.
Then you also have a need, ultimately the most important one, which is the need for love, and when that’s not there, then just having companionship and sex and significance met leads to a kind of empty relationship where you have a kind of best friends or a friendship, where you are using each other for an ego boost or validation, and this is often what happens in PUA relationships, and then kind of snuck in there but most important at the core is your need for love, which doesn’t actually get met. [35:02.0]
Then you become more and more desperate to have that need met and then you force the issue, and this is where your neediness really comes out, because, ultimately, your need for love is not being met and that’s your strongest need. At some point, that neediness bursts out of you in the relationship, maybe in the middle of a fight or maybe multiple fights over and over and over, and the dam bursts and you go for broke and it totally destroys a relationship.
It might happen in you or it might happen in her, or it might happen in very likely in both of you if you stick it out over time and you don’t understand the underlying dynamics and then you don’t get help around them, because what ultimately is at stake is your own need for love and your own lack of belief and conviction that you are worthy of love just in who you are. Not through things that you have to do or the facade that you have to create, or this persona that you’ve got to live up to or these achievements that you’ve got to go and do, but just because you are you and who you are.
Again, addressing the achiever objection and there are many achiever objections to this, but one of the most common is “but if I believe I’m enough in who I am, then I’ll just be a lazy bum and never get anything done,” and if that’s your fear, then you really need to reconsider your career choices and what you’re spending your time doing. [36:14.0]
Now, this leads into the third and final point, which is about the danger of conflating different kinds of value. A lot of people are confused about how to use or how to understand these terms in English of value, worth or worthiness, and enough or being enough, and conflating different types of value in their mind and combining them all into one—economic value, social value, mating value, human value—but in their minds, they don’t distinguish any of these. [36:47.1]
When they hear this psychological truth that you are enough or I am enough, they have these achiever parts that are reacting against that because what they’re thinking of or what the achiever parts are thinking of in terms of “enough” is not just human value, but some other thing, like being enough for the A at school or being enough to be the captain of the ball team, or being enough to be selected for some other whatever it is, the team, the college admissions, the scholarship, whatever it is.
There’s a valid point there that there are different types of value, and depending on what type of value you have in mind, you may not be enough. A few years ago, I made a short video with music behind it and got our video editor to do some cool effects and things like that, and it was a short video and the message basically was that you are enough without having to do anything. You are enough just in who you are—with a caveat, as I say in that video, that we’re not talking about being enough to win the Olympic gold medal or enough to be worth a billion dollars, or if you’ve not created a billion dollars of value in a capitalistic system. We’re not talking about that kind of enough. We’re talking about being enough for love. [38:06.0]
As I’ve been arguing for in this episode and in many other pieces of content I’ve made, that’s the most fundamental sense of worthiness that the twin terrors, being afraid that you’re not enough and being afraid that you won’t be loved, or ultimately being afraid that you won’t be enough for love, is the ultimate sense of enough or worthiness, or having enough value.
What I’m getting at in terms of being enough for love is that there’s nothing else you can do to earn it. You have it or you’re worthy of love just by existing, and as are all humans. But notice that there are different kinds of value. There’s economic value, and in the capitalist system, in the ideal capitalist system, your value would be directly proportional to the amount of value you bring to others. [39:01.3]
This is a point that is lost on most academics. I spent many, many years in academia and I can tell you that most academics, especially in the humanities, don’t understand this point. They think it’s some great travesty that they aren’t being paid more and they look at professors in the business school or those in business and saying or thinking to themselves, I’m smarter than them, I should be paid more, as if the world works like high school does and that the smarter you are, the more money you should automatically get, just like in school when the smarter you are, the higher the grade you should get and the more scholarship.
They think, The world should be organized like my school was organized, and they don’t understand that the average university professor before being forced to go online because of COVID was teaching in-person classes of five to 15 to 25, I mean, in a seminar style or in a lecture style, maybe 100 and that’s it. [40:00.8]
There are a few professors who are giving classes to hundreds in an auditorium, but those are in the minority, and even a few hundred, which is huge, especially in the humanities, versus if you are able to bring more value to more people, for instance, by going online, you could reach tens of thousands as I have in one broadcast or in one Facebook group, or hundreds of thousands as I do through my mailing list or my friends who have audiences of millions.
I’m small potatoes compared to many of my friends and their reach, and they are and we are had stated roughly in proportion to our audiences, and especially compared to the average university professors as I was for many years and being in academia, teaching as a graduate-student instructor and so forth, compensated in proportion to the amount of value we bring to the world. [40:56.4]
Even if you are a life-changing professor to 15 students in your class, you would have 10X reach if you were a life-changing professor to 150 students and just continue on with that, and instead realizing as professors that you are many of them compensated through taxpayer money and others in private universities through donations, and in this ideal capitalistic system, the amount of value you create is going to determine how much value you get in return. If you want more money, create more value, and that’s economic value under one interpretation.
You may completely disagree with my understanding of capitalism and how value is created and proportional compensation, and that’s fine, but we can both agree that there is such a thing called economic value. When it comes to being enough for love, we’re not talking about that kind of value. We’re not talking economic value, just being clear. I just gave it as an example, one way of looking at economic value that makes sense to me. [41:59.4]
Another type of value is social value, and this is one that pickup artists and Red Pill guys, and just people who focus a lot on thinking of attraction and dating focus a lot on. Social value. How much value you bring to other people in terms of entertainment value, in terms of your use to them.
A club promoter would have high social value in the nightclub. A club owner would have even a greater social value in the nightclub. An attractive woman, a model or models would have generally higher social value than the average club-goer. The person who is a big spender will have higher social value and economic value to the club, and so forth. That’s social value. You can argue that celebrities have much higher social value as a result of being a celebrity than a non-celebrity.
Then there’s mating value and there has actually been quite a lot of research around mating value and this is a term from evolutionary psychology, psychology of mating. You can find this in university textbooks, the breakdown of mating value. [43:03.8]
You have high mating value if you have or have many of, or have to a greater degree than average, the features or qualities that someone would value in a mate. That’s a high mating value and that really comes into play when it comes to attraction.
The unfortunate thing is a lot of people conflate all of these different types of value into their one concept, in that one use of the term “value” or “worthiness”, or “being enough”, when, in fact, none of those types of value, economic value, social value, mating value, whatever other value that you could think of—military value or value to your athletic team or something along those lines, athletic value, sports value, whatever, so different types of value—because all it takes is for you to have value is that somebody values what you’ve got or doesn’t value it, in which case you have negative value. Right? Economic value, social value, mating value, those are all examples of different kinds of value. [44:02.5]
What I have in mind is the value by nature of just being human by existing, existence value. But I’ll go with human value, sort of like human rights. You have these rights just as a result of being human. In the case of human value, you have this value of being enough for love, being enough for love. Not being enough for a billion dollars, not being enough for the Olympic medal. Being enough for love. That’s what I’m referring to when it comes to being enough, but that is the most important sense of it.
This is such a central point, the danger of conflating different kinds of value that I’m going to expand on in the next episode, but for now, just pointing out that there are these different kinds of value and it’s really important. It’s essential and necessary that you distinguish between them, and to realize that when it comes to being enough, what I have in mind and what is the most important sense of enough is being enough for love, which is the ultimate human need. [45:03.7]
Okay, so just to recap, we started with attraction. We looked at the twin terrors of the fear of not being enough, the fear of not being enough for love, and how that was at the root of our neediness. Another way to look at neediness is our core, having core insecurities, the insecurity of feeling that you’re not enough, so that worthiness becomes the ultimate problem, and that if you can solve that problem of worthiness, if you can meet that need of being enough for love, then that will solve all of the downstream problems or issues.
Eventually, if you start from the place of being worthy or enough for love at a 10/10, then what that will dictate is that all of the other needs will get taken care of, the essential human needs, including all of the core insecurities and neediness that come up in attraction or dating, so that you’ll be naturally attractive because you will be non-needy and you will reduce your neediness to a zero out of 10 because you and yourself have the conviction already that you are enough for love, that you’re worthy of it. [46:09.8]
Then it becomes an easy matter if you already fully believe that to be able to meet all of your other needs of security and significance and so on, because all of those will get taken care of when you are able to feel fully at a 10/10 that you are enough for love.
Then, because of that, the second point comes into view of being enough for love, in general or universally, and not focusing instead on being enough for love from one specific human being, but that you’re enough for love, period, that you’re enough for love just in who you are.
Along the way, I mentioned the myth of earned love and the related myth of being your best self as the ultimate thing, and that both of those myths, the myth of earned love and the trap of aiming at being your best self as a way of earning that love, it’s a trap because what you’ll get in the end is not actually love. [47:10.7]
But it’s a trap because this can occupy your entire life in the tragedy of a life that has lived in the hopes of, finally, when you finally can be your best self—which, theoretically speaking, can never actually be actualized because you can always get better tomorrow—but delaying your happiness and your sense of satisfaction, and this sense of loving yourself because you have to earn it by being your best self, is a tragic trap because it’s a trap that never ends and could continue to the end of your life, and you end up wasting your life.
Then, finally, the third point being, noticing the danger of conflating different types of value. I gave as examples, economic value, social value, and mating value. I mean, there are many of other types of value, but what’s at stake here, in the way we’re talking about earned love and so on, and the twin terrors and neediness, is ultimately being enough for love and the result is being enough for love or the basis of it is just simply being human, existing. I’ll call it, for now, human value, though there’s probably a better term for it. [48:16.0]
Now, if you don’t take these lessons to heart, if you continue to persist in trying to earn love and trying to be your best self as a way of earning love, then that is a trap that, as I said, will continue to the end of your life because trying to be your best self is a life-consuming process.
If you’re waiting for that to happen before you can say to yourself truly and with conviction that you are enough for love, if you have to become your best self for that to happen or if continuing to strive and achieve in order to be worthy of love, then this is going to be a trap that will consume your entire life. [49:00.0]
Even the love that you do get, the bits of it that you think you have, it will sabotage the relationship’s intimacy, what you think is love, because, ultimately, you’ll still be trying to get this thing and it will elude you. You are going to push it further and further away, because the fundamental neediness and those core insecurities are still there driving things, and it’s like a toxin taken into the body and being rotting, just rotting from the inside. You don’t notice it until it consumes you, so you don’t want that.
You want to invest in yourself now by taking these concepts seriously and you owe it to yourself to really think more deeply about what I’m sharing here, on the chance that what I’m sharing is true, and if you need further incentive, this is the path to becoming naturally attractive, to actually realizing your own natural attractiveness coming from bringing your neediness down to zero, because you have the rock-solid confidence and conviction in your own worthiness for love, and taking care of all of your needs as a result of taking care of that fundamental need, that core need. [50:10.0]
Then it can just be a natural way of being and everything else will become natural for you in terms of attractiveness. Without it, everything else is a struggle. It’s just hard work, and even if you get the thing that you think will make it work, it won’t, because, ultimately, you still don’t believe that you are enough for love without having to go and earn it.
Okay, I’ve gone on long enough. I’m going to be getting into what to do about this and also getting into what human value is, what it means to say that you are enough for love and why. Why would you be enough for love? What’s the basis of it? I’ll be going into that in more detail in the next episode and to show you also how to have that rock-solid conviction for it. Come back to the next episode.
If you like this, please share it with anyone that you think would benefit from it. We also would appreciate a rating on Apple Podcasts, that helps a lot, and any feedback at all on this episode. I’d love to get that from you.
Thanks so much for listening and I’ll see you in the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [51:11.7]
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