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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.29 – How To Compete With “Alpha Males”

How To Deal With Alpha Males

  • David Tian Ph.D. gives advice on what men can do when there are guys who try to push them around.

  • David Tian Ph.D. shares how men can respond when they encounter men who are trying to be an “alpha”.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells men to not compromise their standards and just know when to walk away.

In episode 29, I’m going to talk about how to deal with guys who out-dominate you in front of girls.

[Intro music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Fade music]

Hi, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 29 of Man Up. And I’m going to be answering a question from the Facebook group, the private Facebook group and it’s from Tim. Tim asks – it’s kind of long so I’m just going to paraphrase it, “What do you do when guys butt in to your conversation and tried to out-dominate you or try to put you down especially if they’re more physically imposing or have a few friends – a few of them together against you. And if the guy is already friends with the girl then the girl would feel socially obliged to talk to him and is easy for him to keep me out of the conversation. Women are not attracted to guys unless they can handle themselves when they’re challenged.”

Okay, cool, great question. Basically, there are two parts of it. First is what do you do with dominant guys who are trying to duel with you, I guess, right? Butting in to your conversations and push you out. But then also if there’s a girl involved, how do you handle that?

Let me handle the first question. So when there are guys trying to push you around or whatever, you have to decide why you’re there. In this context, it’s about getting the girl. But just in general, if you’re standing in line at the Starbucks and some dude starts edging you out or something, you just need to hold your own. Just politely respond but don’t do this – don’t smile and like, “Hey, man. What are you doing?” Because when you – you must keep your communication consistent so show that you mean business by just keeping a businesslike face. Now, I know this is a problem with an Asian -I think Tim is an Asian living in Asia – because there is a lot of two-facedness in traditional Asian culture.

Which is this – and here’s a great example. You know the movie Last Samurai with Tom Cruise? And the woman whose husband he killed in battle, he ends up living at her house. And so there’s a scene where she goes to her brother, who’s like the leader of the village or whatever. And she’s like saying she can’t stand Tom Cruise’s character, she wants him out of the house, it’s so disgraceful and then Tom Cruise stumbles in and she’s just like, “Oh, hi!” And she’s like really smiley and all that to his face but meanwhile, she’s saying really, obviously, bad things.

Now this two-facedness is kind of like hypocrisy. It might serve a function within society, traditionally, but for man-to-man communication it’s, generally, not a good idea. So get used to this, if you’re an Asian living in Asia, get used to speaking in a businesslike manner to people.

So it’s not mean, it’s not out of control, it’s not aggressive, it’s not angry. It’s simply businesslike, where you just state your business without smiling but without frowning. It’s just – this is the way things are. So that’s usually where Asian guys lose because they don’t know how to communicate without either going to anger or without just being push-overs. So just state it in a dominant voice. Sort of like a forceful voice and a voice that can be heard. Just state what it is that you want. “Excuse me, sir. You’re stepping on my feet.” Or, “I need to stand here.” Or, “I need to go there.” Just state your business, businesslike.

So that’s step one, just being able to state your business in a businesslike manner. What if there’s a girl involved? Here’s the deal. I’m assuming, based on the context of that question, you’re trying to get this girl. And these guys – the issue would only be – if these guys are butting in on things, just remove yourself from the situation because you just don’t want to be around douchebags.

Like, if the guy’s a douchebag and you don’t need to be there, then don’t be there. Don’t spend time with douchebags. If she’s friends with these douchebags, then that tells you all you need to know about her. Why are you chasing a girl who accepts in her friends groups guys like that? Because that just shows that she has low standards and if you adapt and if you try to attract her and you bring yourself down to her level, it’s just all bad. It’s just bad, all around.

It’s great because, in fact, that tells you a lot about her. So here’s the deal. In Man Up, we’re not – it’s not pick-up. It’s not like, “How to pick-up any girl anywhere” and totally lose yourself in getting validation and approval from women. Fuck that, right? So instead, what you should be doing is know who you are, know what you stand for, know what your values are and figure out how to have a happy, fulfilled life.

And one of those is don’t compromise your standards to chase women who have lower standards than you or who invite guys into their lives that clearly are not cool, upstanding citizens of the world. If those dudes are acting that way and she’s not only allowing that but she’s comfortable with that because she’s friends with them, she’s allowed them into her circle – gone. Just walk away, just walkout, just exit. “Nice meeting you.” – gone. It’s as simple as that. What are your standards in life? What are your values? Know those and everything becomes so much easier. In fact, everything is hard unless you know those things.

I actually have a course dedicated just to helping guys, walk them through step-by-step, a process in determining their own life values and also finding their life purpose – this is actually really deep – and finding their life passions and purposes. So it’s a course called Invincible. We only open it up once or twice a year. If you’re interested, go to, go to products and you’ll see in the dropdown menu: Invincible, click on that, get on the waiting list. At the early notification waiting list to get on Invincible and we only open it up a couple of times a year.

And no matter what, you must join the Facebook group to ask me your questions or to get interaction with the other guys on there. It’s really awesome. Click on the link, join the Facebook group and I will see you in the Facebook group. In the meantime – man up.