Pain is not an emotion.

Bold statement, I know, but emotional pain actually comes from resisting the emotion that you consider to be painful.

In other words, it’s not the pain that’s hurting you, it’s the emotion you find painful. And only when you locate the specific emotion will you be able to achieve emotional resilience, endurance, control, regulation, and become an antifragile man.

Locating the specific emotion is obviously easier said than done.

But you’re in for a treat.

In today’s episode, you’ll discover how to make a simple shift in your thinking that makes you stronger as a result of your pain (or what you consider to be negative emotions.) You’ll also discover how to locate the specific emotion which is causing you pain.

Listen now!

 Show highlights include:

  • How thinking “it’s just pain” chokeholds personal growth and maturity (which leads to a vicious cycle of women not wanting to be around you) (5:57)
  • You’ll be able to heal and unburden yourself only when you specify exactly which emotion you’re feeling (7:23)
  • Debilitating anxiety before a date? Here’s why your “unconscious repression” forces you to become nervous and awkward before a date (11:07)
  • The effortless way to “flip-the-switch” and enjoy a pump at the gym (or approach women) (13:34)
  • How Elon Musk lives with inner conflict on a day-to-day basis (and explains why the myth of Genius doesn’t exist) (16:38)
  • You have philosophical parts, a part that loves to sing, a part that loves to be with your kids, and sexy parts. Knowing how to balance them is key for a happy life (22:05)

    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 now.

For more about David Tian, go here:

    Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:

For the program mentioned in this podcast episode, go here:


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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 David Tian, your host. In this episode we’ll be getting into one simple shift that, if you can make this simple shift, it will completely transform the experience of your life. This one simple shift that if you embrace it will lead to emotional resilience, emotional endurance, emotional control, emotional regulation, and even more, to being antifragile, which is even more powerful than resilience.

Being antifragile means to take something that would be destructive, some kind of negative stimuli, and use it to make yourself even stronger, and in that sense, it’s even more effective or more beneficial than just being emotionally resilient. But this one simple shift will give you all of that. You’ll be able to become stronger as a result of pain or what you consider to be negative stimuli. [01:10.7]

So, what is this one simple shift? Let me first back up and give you some context for understanding it. Over the years working with a lot of clients who are achievers, I discovered many commonalities in the problems they were presenting, including commonalities in how they saw the problems, how they experienced the problems. One of the most common lenses by which they saw their problems or their issues, or what they were going through, was the descriptor of the word “pain”, using that term “pain” to describe what they were going through.

I also saw this as in common with those who were not achievers. They also described the reality of what they were going through as pain, and every time when I asked them if it was physical pain they were describing, the answer was no, it was not physical pain. [02:03.1]

Now, I’m sure that if we looked closer at what was going on in their physical bodies, we’d be able to locate tension or some symptoms of the psychological pain they were going through manifested in their physical bodies such as tightness in the body, tensing of the muscles, aching, and shortness of breath. These are all going to be common physical symptoms, but they weren’t talking about that. They didn’t have that in mind as the thing that they called pain, because all of these men that I was dealing with were not physically weak. They could tolerate. If they were just to feel the physical symptoms, they were able to tolerate that level of physical stimuli.

The pain that they were referring to was emotional and psychological, and one place where the normal psychotherapeutic processes break down or don’t work as effectively for modern men is when they go to their vulnerable parts. That could be their inner-child parts. In IFS-therapy language or terminology, it would be exiled parts. [03:05.6]

When they go to their vulnerable parts, they get lost in what that vulnerable part is experiencing and they’re not able to have a bigger or higher perspective that brings courage and confidence and clarity. Instead, they’re blended, in IFS speak, or they’re overwhelmed or possessed by, taken over, identified with that part that is an inner child, a young child, mentally and emotionally, psychologically, and they are taken over by that child, and sometimes with their eyes closed, they become that child mentally in their brain. They’re accessing the neural pathways that they had that were active when they were a child and witnessing this traumatic event or formative event that carries for them a lot of pain. [03:57.4]

Now, of course, a child wouldn’t be able to understand what the emotion is that they’re considering to be painful. They just use a blanket term, which is “pain”. It’s just pain, and you hear this common refrain, “It’s my pain. You need to understand the pain. The pain,” and when you hear the description of the emotions that they’re feeling as just this blanket term of pain, you know that this is not their true self or the higher self. It is a young child part that they’re identified with, that they’re blended with.

Now, this is not to say that there is no emotional pain. Of course, there is pain. But in response to the question, “What are you feeling?” pain is an evaluative judgment of an emotion. That is, you are feeling some emotion or emotions and you consider those to be painful. Of course, you can have painful emotions, but pain itself is not an emotion. Pain is a characteristic or a quality of an emotion, but it is not itself an emotion. So, in response to “What are you feeling?” and a part says, “I am feeling pain,” that’s not the final answer. It is just, at best, this first answer is just saying that I consider whatever I’m feeling to be painful. [05:11.1]

Any emotion could be experienced as painful. Fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief, helplessness, those are commonly perceived to be painful. Believe it or not, for most people it’s going to be unbelievable, but it’s actually possible and mature and wise people are able to experience emotions without the attendant pain. That is, they’re able to experience anger or sadness, or fear or sorrow, or grief, without interpreting it as pain. Of course, those emotions can be interpreted as painful. Sadness can be painful for many people, but it’s the sadness that that person is feeling, not the pain. [05:55.5]

Why is this so important? Because if you just stop in your analysis of what you’re feeling as simply pain, you can’t do anything about it other than to repress it, because the attitude behind saying, “It’s pain,” is to say, “Take this away. It’s a bad or negative feeling and I don’t want to experience it.” As a result, the person has foreclosed the possibility of understanding himself and his parts deeper, and he has blocked further personal growth as a result and he has created the conditions for emotional repression, which simply pushes down the part that is feeling that emotion into the darkness, into the shadows, into the basement of your unconscious, where it will continue to exist and sabotage you later.

For achievers, this is often experienced in the form of inner conflict, which also, the state of inner conflict, they perceive or interpret as painful. So, the descriptor of what you’re feeling as pain, that term is unhelpful in understanding yourself and what is actually happening, the emotion that you’re actually feeling. [07:06.6]

Instead of saying pain or thinking of it in terms of pain that you’re feeling—“Understand my pain, the great pain that I’m in”—got it, it’s painful, whatever it is that you’re experiencing, but what is it that you are experiencing? That’s far more important. What’s the emotion that you’re actually experiencing? Because once you can specify the emotion, the actual specific emotion, then you can begin to understand it and while you feel it.

If there’s anger or sadness or fear, or shame or hopelessness, what you’ll need to do is to understand why that feeling is there. What is it that you fear, for example, and why do you fear it? And you’d have to ask that why question many times to get at the root of it, and only when you get to the origins or the sources of it, can the healing or unburdening happen. [07:59.2]

If you get lost in the, quote-unquote, “pain,” then you can get nowhere with it. Now you’ve just retraumatized yourself, because way back then in the original pain that this current pain is linked to, you didn’t have the supports or the bigger perspective. You weren’t able to arrive at a better understanding of what you were going through, and as a result, you just experienced it as pain and then you get lost in the pain.

Now, as a mature adult, if you want to help that part of you in your brain that’s stuck in that time in the past, stuck in that pain, you’re going to have to move beyond the mere descriptor of it as pain and understand what’s underlying it. What is painful? What is the emotion that’s painful?

Very often, the pain actually comes from resisting the emotion that is considered to be painful. It’s when you resist the emotion rather than allow it to be there and feel it fully. It’s when it’s the resistance itself that is painful. That’s why I’ve done so many podcast episodes on radical acceptance, because healing and growth begin from acceptance. [09:10.2]

If you’re resisting the emotion that you’re actually feeling, then that will be painful. It’s the resistance itself that is painful. No matter how severe the tragedy or trauma that you’ve experienced or are experiencing is, no healing or growth can come from resisting the emotion.

Now, a lot of people are scared of being overwhelmed by any emotion, whether it’s sadness or grief, or anger, because they didn’t know as children back then, they didn’t know how to handle those emotions. Have you ever seen a child maybe two years old who is so angry, or maybe is addicted to maybe some devices like a phone or something and needs to play the game on the phone or whatever? And he’s feeling this tingling sensation going through his body and he can’t resist. He needs it. He’s feeling that fix already. [10:02.1]

Or have you seen any kid just have a temper tantrum or have any kind of emotional meltdown? Because they don’t know how to physically handle that emotion in their body and they’re just taught to resist it, because that’s what their parents learned and they pass down that bad, ineffective approach to emotions that are perhaps not socially acceptable. They’re taught and modeled to shove it inside and keep it in, and told and taught that those emotions are unacceptable, and if they have those emotions, then they are unacceptable. As a result, they only know the path of repression, which is resistance.

Repression comes from resisting long enough, and when you resist long enough, it becomes unconscious. The resistance is still there, you’re still resisting the emotion that’s coming up, but now you’re not even conscious of it because you’ve been doing it for so long, and that becomes an unconscious repression and that’s where all the toxicity in your mental health starts to add up over the years, and now you have all of these downstream problems later in your life. One obvious example is debilitating anxiety when it comes to your dating life or for men when it comes to women. [11:14.0]

Now, here’s an analogy that I find quite helpful, which is physical fitness and physical exertion. There are some people who really enjoy running long distances, like a marathon. They love running 42 kilometers in a row and they wake up really early or travel long distances, or just go out of their way, to run for two to four or more hours, and they don’t consider this torture. They look forward to it. They love it. They get this runner’s high from it and they consider themselves that part of their identity. They consider themselves runners.

Contrast this with, imagine as a kind of torture, you were just forced to run for five hours, like you were a slave and you were being whipped by slave masters, and they wake you up early in the morning and start forcing you to run, and they don’t let you stop and you just have to keep running. This is considered torture. This is like a form of torture. [12:09.5]

Imagine a concentration camp where they made their POWs run for five hours straight. That’s a kind of torture, right? It’s the same activity. You’re running for five hours straight. I mean, I picked five hours because that sounds long, but I think the world record is two hours, which is just incredible, right? But 42 kilometers, so you’re forced to run 42 kilometers. Some people will willingly. They’ll pay money to do that. They look forward to doing that. They enjoy doing it, and the very same activity can also be considered torture.

Then take a situation that may be even more common, like just working out at the gym and squats and deadlifts and all that, right? Just pumping iron. And imagine somebody who is obese and doesn’t like physical exertion and is forced to do it by their dietician or their doctor or whatever, and they just endure it. They just go through the motions and they’re whining the whole time, and I see people like this in the gym. I don’t mean to pick on obese people. It could be people of any size, shape or whatever, right? [13:06.8]

They’re resisting the exertion, whereas people like myself and other fitness people enjoy it. We plan our whole days around the workout and the workout may not even be gamified. There are some ways of doing it where you gamify it, like in martial arts and there’s a challenge and it’s like a fun game, but there are some.

Actually, the normal exercises are just sort of repetitious activity and doing the movement almost for the sake of it, and if you don’t learn to enjoy the movement, or you might not even have to learn how to do it, you could just make that simple shift to embracing the feeling in your body of that burning in your lungs maybe from the cardio or the filling up of your muscles with blood. The same physical phenomena can be interpreted by some people as pain and others as an enjoyable thing. [13:58.8]

There was a time in history when the majority of the world didn’t have much knowledge about fitness, let’s say, in the 1970s and ’80s, and it was a small minority who actually worked out regularly at the gym. If you look at action stars in the past, they were a lot less buffed up, even in the same actor, in Hugh Jackman in the first time he played Wolverine and then in the last time. If you do a side by side, they look totally different, very different body types, because our consciousness around physical fitness evolved so quickly.

I’m hoping that that will happen, the same thing will happen for mental health, and you can see a lot of it is a billion, multi-billion dollar valuation for mental health apps or meditation apps, so that’s a promising sign, and then you’re seeing lots of content about mental health on Netflix and other streaming services, and hit pop songs being sung with lyrics about your therapists and all that. So, maybe in 10 or 20 years, it will be as widespread and understood, mental fitness or emotional fitness as physical fitness is now. [14:59.6]

But, hopefully, you can see how great of an analogy and parallel this is in understanding pain, emotional and psychological pain, and why pain as a descriptor is not very helpful for further growth and understanding, and processing and analysis of what is actually happening so that you can grow from it.

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.

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I’m very tempted to go to my third point, but let me just recap the first point. The first point was that pain is not an emotion. That is a myth that pain is an emotion and it’s an unhelpful descriptor. It’s far better to specify what emotion it is that you’re feeling that you’re finding painful. [16:15.8]

The second out of the three points that I want to make is to take inner conflict as a common example of this phenomena. It’s not even an emotion that that’s describing. It’s describing what’s actually happening. Inner conflict is often and commonly experienced as pain by high achievers, and I’ve found this, I don’t know why exactly, but this is quite common among the people that I work with in Silicon Valley or places that aspire to be like Silicon Valley or in tech, where there seems to be some kind of myth of genius, which is that a genius would make all of his decisions smoothly with no inner conflict at all and will just immediately see what to do and just do it with, I guess, no decision-making process inside, or if there is, it’s incredibly quick. [17:01.2]

That is a complete myth, and if you get to know more deeply those who are most successful, even in tech, you’ll discover that there’s plenty of inner conflict. I mean, one of the most successful people on the face of this planet in terms of money and tech and all that is Elon Musk, and Elon Musk is a great example of someone who lives with a lot of conflict. That is in no way an indictment or criticism of the man. All smart, intelligent individuals experience parts that don’t agree with each other. Whether you describe that as conflict or not is a value judgment, right? That’s an evaluation.

Let’s take one of the central claims of IFS therapy seriously. Let’s take IFS therapy seriously and that means that you have to take the existence of parts in your brain seriously, and each part is a fully developed personality. It’s its own personality, with its own wants and habits, and origin story and all of that. It’s got its own Big Five personality profile for each of your parts. [18:09.8]

Now, some of them might be more similar to each other. They definitely have alliances, some kind of grouped together because they’re rather similar, they have similar goals and they generally tend to work together, and some are polarized. That is, you might consider that to be a conflict, but they’re often on opposite ends of what to do with your time.

As an example of what I, on a weekly basis, need to do to negotiate within my own intersystem to actually be a leader of my own internal family system is to make sure that my warrior grouping of parts, the parts that love to work out, love to feel the sensation of the body and movement, love martial arts, love physical challenge, love pushing our limits, those parts need to get their fix. When my son was a newborn and that really tough time where I just wasn’t getting enough sleep because of the fact that we had a little baby at home who was sleeping every two hours and awake every two hours and that sort of thing, it was a challenge to get to the gym. [19:05.8]

Those parts understood that we had to take, that they had to take a backseat, and they were okay with that for that six months, and then when it stretched out to a year without any regular workouts where I could only sneak in a workout here or there once or twice a week, they started to get really impatient and they started to act out, and I had to be aware of that. Now, every week, I check to see. I just close my eyes and go inside and see if they’re okay with the amount and the intensity and the quality of the workouts I get. That’s something that’s important for me in my system, because if I don’t do that, they’ll act out and I’ll get that backlash later.

Similarly, I have parts that are more business-oriented, so they run a lot of my day-to-day activities or they enjoy my day-to-day activities, and I need to remind them that they have permission to relax and I need to prompt them to do that because their default stage is not to relax, but they need to relax or they’ll get burnt out. [20:00.0]

Then I have other parts that enjoy what other people consider to be fun, going out, having a good time, relaxing, kicking back, not thinking too hard, just being fully in the moment. Then I have a lot of parts that enjoy being present with my wife and my son, and they definitely need to get their time in. Time is limited. We all have the same 24 hours and I have to negotiate with them how we spend the time.

As an example, I had, at one point, over 20 slots for private-therapy clients. That was way too much. Many of my parts rebelled and sabotaged, and I just was unhappy and I was feeling frustrated, and I was kind of acting out and I was finding myself resenting some of my clients. I’ve since then, as a result, I noticed that, I listened inside and then renegotiated how we spent the time. Now I’ve scaled that down to 15 to 13, and soon to nine private-client slots.

I have parts that love to be creative and a big part of my mornings is writing, and I’m currently writing a book and I hope to make that a normal thing. I’m building out the course “Emotional Mastery” still. This is our second year as we’re continuing to add new content to this system, this program, “Emotional Mastery. [21:13.0]

I’m also doing lots of other content building for our online courses, so this is continually happening. As the business of the practice evolves, I’m listening to the parts that are engaged with it, which is a lot of them, and listening to their needs and what their priorities are and negotiating with that, and making sure they all know about each other and hear each other’s concerns, and that helps them to relax back and so forth, and most importantly, to have them feel that I’m there for them, that I’m there to help meet their needs, and how important they all are to me and how much I love them all.

What IFS therapy is telling you is that inner conflict is normal and should always be there if you’re intelligent and self-aware, because imagine that you didn’t have any inner conflict at all, or—I shouldn’t even use that word “conflict”—inner disagreement. If you didn’t have any inner disagreements, you would just be one part. You just have one part that wants one thing and you’d just be doing one. You would not have any variety to you, any multidimensionality to you. [22:19.0]

I still have parts that love to seduce my wife and get that the body language and the eye contact that I teach and then used to teach as the main thing in the dating coaching, and I have parts that love to do the philosophy. That was the main part of my career for over a decade as a university professor teaching philosophy. I still love doing that and I have to give them that fix, too, reading the philosophy, debating with people.

I also have parts that are empathic and really enjoy client work in therapy, and I have fun-loving parts that are just purely loving and just want to play with my son and my goddaughter. Then I have the sexy parts, too, which are connected to the parts that are seductive ones and love to spend that time with my wife. All of these parts need to get their time in the sun and get their needs met, and it’s my job to be able to lead them and to make sure that their needs are met. [23:14.2]

Now, these different groupings or parts disagree about how best to spend their time, but as a result of my leadership, I’m able to show them what the other parts want and have them introduce to each other and so on so they get to know each other, and then they’re able to arrive in an agreement. Just like a family would, right? You’re like a family going on a road trip and you’ve got this one kid who wants to stop off and get some Wendy’s or, I don’t know, some ice cream, and the other one just wants to keep going and the other one doesn’t give a damn because he is totally engrossed in his video games, and another one wants to sing songs, I don’t know. Right? You’ve got the kids who all want different things, and as the dad or the parents, you’re going to need to negotiate that.

You can throw into the mix all kinds of other family members who want different things, and you’re going to, if you love them all, try to find some way to satisfy them all and help them to negotiate and see what the others need so that they can come out of themselves as well, and that is a healthy internal system. [24:09.3]

Is there going to be disagreement? Absolutely, right? That’s part of why it’s so awesome, because you have different facets of yourself. I totally love the fact that I have a geeky, nerdy side that loves philosophy and jazz and things that most people don’t like, and maybe I’ve displayed some of that in my podcast episode choices for movie reviews. Then I have parts that really love partying and clubbing, and that’s a lot more accessible for a lot of people, and I definitely have parts that enjoy sex and that’s something that most dudes can relate to, and I love working out in martial arts.

These might be considered to be disagreements about how best to spend the time, but I love the fact that they are all part of me, and what you’re experiencing is inner conflict. If you were to see it as just an example of how different parts of you have different views on the same thing, then why would that be painful? [25:04.5]

Now, I can understand that the pain might be from the fact that you need to make some decision soon and there’s a deadline to it, and you can’t come up with the right decision. Smart guy, who is the CEO, if you’re the higher up in the business or in life you go, the more your financial compensation will get pegged to your decisions. Ultimately, the CEO is only just making decisions. He’s not doing anything else. The moment the CEO sits down at the keyboard and starts to type out an email, he’s already fucking up. He’s already doing something that he shouldn’t be doing, because there’s someone who they’re paying a lot less who can type out that email.

The CEO, if he was a really efficient CEO, his main job is to get all the data and all the information and all the people’s input, and then make the decision. He’s getting paid to make the decision. If you analyze how Warren Buffett, for example, describes his job, it’s just to do a lot of reading and then make a decision once or twice a year about buying a company or selling a company. [26:05.3]

Smart achievers who find inner conflict, I’m speaking to you who find inner conflict to be painful, if you embrace the fact that this is the skill, this is the challenge to make tough decisions, to think clearly about all the conflicting, what you consider conflicting, or just the disagreeing points of view, then your job is to take all that data in and then make the best decision given the time.

That’s actually what a good parent will do if they have kids who disagree with each other about how to spend the time or where to go. You’re constantly trying to make these decisions, which will always be imperfect to everyone, but no one is going to get all of what they want, but, hopefully, they’ll get enough of what they want in order to meet their needs. [26:51.1]

Notice that some people can find just the very fact of inner conflict to be painful, and that’s a result of not making that simple shift to seeing that inner disagreement is normal and healthy, and a sign that you are smart and self-aware and that you’ve got different aspects to yourself, different facets of yourself, and that actually makes you more attractive. It makes you more unique. It makes you more interesting, and it makes your life more diverse and gives you more variety.

Hopefully, with that example of inner conflict as being painful, except when you make that simple shift, it now becomes something that you can embrace as a positive, hopefully, you can start to see how that simple shift can change your whole experience of life.

I just want to point out also, coming off that analogy with physical fitness and training, that emotional health and emotional fitness is something you can train. You can actually increase your emotional resilience, and as I mentioned at the beginning, become even stronger as a result of stimuli. Actually, that’s what working out does, right? As a result of pushing up against resistance and going past the edge of your comfort zone, you’re doing micro-tears in the muscle, and then you rest, you recover, and then you grow stronger, you grow bigger muscles, right? [28:07.8]

That’s what being antifragile is. You put some kind of damage, but just enough damage that you can handle it and recover from it, and as a result, you get stronger. If you want to learn more about how antifragility works, there’s a great book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb called Antifragile.

In my old podcast called DTPHD Podcast, which you can find on my YouTube channel, I did an entire podcast episode with my friend, Henry Chong, on being antifragile. [28:35.1]

If you would like to increase your emotional resilience and develop emotional antifragility to be able to improve your emotional endurance, that is, your ability to endure emotions that you previously found painful or even now find painful, to be able to increase your threshold of tolerance for what you think are painful emotions and to be able to develop emotional titration—which I call titration, because that level of control to be able to turn off and on, like you’re titrating on a faucet, right? Like a tap. You’re increasing the intensity and you’re decreasing the intensity of the emotion almost at will like a dial, right? Like a tap, right? To be able to turn it on and off, and increase and decrease it. That level of emotional titration can be developed. It’s a skill—I have an entire program called “Emotional Mastery” that walks people through how to do it. [29:30.8]

Not only how to do it, but actually walks them through it, so that as you go through the program, you develop, just like a good fitness trainer would do for you in terms of your physical fitness, Emotional Mastery develops for you, as you go through the program, develops emotional endurance, emotional control, emotional regulation, emotional antifragility. [29:50.1]

These are all prerequisites for making this simple shift and making that your default view and approach to life, and of course, as a result, you’re able to handle these bouts of social anxiety or anxiety around women that I know has brought a lot of guys to my audience, to the podcast, as well as your intimate relationship, as well as your professional relationships. Even more importantly, they directly affect your happiness, your fulfillment on a day-to-day basis.

Just to recap:

  • The first point was about how pain is not an emotion, and seeing it as an emotion and just stopping your analysis as just “I feel pain” actually prevents you from growing and leads to repression.
  • The second point being using inner conflict as an example of how some people can interpret that as pain and others can interpret it as a really positive aspect.
  • Then the third being there, it is possible to increase your emotional resilience and antifragility.

I learned all of these the hard way. I remember what it was like to sit there, having your heart broken, punching the wall or pounding the ground or whatever it is, and just being so lost in your own sadness, wallowing in your self-pity, thinking there’s no point to living, and being overwhelmed with anger, but also sadness and longing and loneliness, and thinking that’s it and there’s no way out of this and this is pain. [31:20.7]

If you are there, if that describes you, I know you do not want to stay there. I know that that feels painful to you, but if you want to come out of that pain and see the deeper meaning of life, and to find happiness and fulfillment and joy in life, then the first thing you’ve got to do is to go beyond describing it as mere pain.

If you continue to get lost in the refrain of “It’s my pain, my pain. I need you to have compassion for my pain. I need you to understand my pain,” you get stuck at that superficial level of analysis of just calling it pain and thinking that pain is an emotion, then you will get nowhere. The best you can get is to, I don’t know, “Work out, bro,” and push it down deep and pretend like it didn’t happen, and the old pickup refrain of go sleep with 10 more women or something like that. All of that is toxic. Even achievement, throwing yourself back into the work, trying to succeed as a way of getting your revenge, all of that is toxic. All of that leads to repression. [32:21.6]

If you want to not take the road of repression and you want to take the road that leads to love and fulfillment and joy, you’ve got to first see what’s underneath the pain. What is it that you’re experiencing? The sadness, the grief, the loneliness, the anger, the rage. That’s actually what’s there, and that when you come to understand it, come to it with acceptance, accepting that that’s there and that that’s underlying the pain, and that that’s what you need to go to, not to resist it and wish it away, but to go to it, only then can it transform and only then will the burdens finally start to be lifted. [32:58.7]

Like I mentioned, I have a whole program called Emotional Mastery that helps you to do that, to develop that emotional resistance and that emotional antifragility. You can find it from my website on, just navigating through that. In the next episode, come back for that because I’ll be looking at specific examples of, for instance, how to do this with anger, how to do this with sadness, how to do it with fear. Come back to the next episode where I get more specific and I give you actionable steps to take.

Thank you so much for listening. If you like this, hit a like on whatever platform you’re on, and comment. Let me know, give me feedback. I love to see the feedback. Let me know what you thought of this episode. If this helped you in any way, please share it with anyone that you think would benefit from it.

Thank you so much for listening, again. David Tian, signing out. [33:44.0]

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