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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.39 – How To Get Respect From Other Guys

How To Get Respect From Other Guys

  • David Tian Ph.D. talks about how male to male communication can be confusing.

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains why some men are very competitive.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells men to learn and understand male to male communication.

David Tian: Boom! Stop! Alright, man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. in the Man Up episode 39. I’m going to talk about how to get respect from other guys.

[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 Man Up, episode 39. In this one I’m going to be answering a question that was sent to me privately. It’s quite long so I’m just going to basically paraphrase it. It comes down to: when he’s hanging out with his guy friends – he’s moved to a new town, new guy friends – and they tease him a lot. He finds that – they’re cool guys so he wants to still hang out with them because he learned from me the importance of – in my earlier videos – your peer group and you know the old, like in the self-help circles, the rule of five.

You become the average of the five people you spend the most times with or the five people you look up to the most. So he wants to hang out with them but they rib him a lot. He’s from an Asian background, just his background information on him. Asian background, raised in Asia, doesn’t know really – and these guys are actually Asians but they were raised, like me, in North America. So he’s asking about what he should do to make sure he doesn’t get taken advantage of or to get respect, basically. He wants to get respect from other guys.

So, here’s the deal. It’s interesting from a sociological perspective. There’s probably some research on this, in linguistics or something, about how male to male communication is just as confusing sometimes as female communication is to men. I’ve been living in Asia for over half my life now. And from what I’ve seen, everywhere in Asia that I’ve gone, it’s not just a Western thing to rib each other, to tease each other as dudes, to challenge each other among friends. I see this just as much in common among Asian guys in Asia as I do among Western guys.

You’ve got to take it and step up. There’s something about male to male communication – especially the guys who are leaders, who are good with women. I’ve noticed that, like 95% or more of the guys who are really good with women, who are attractive sexually to women are also the type who, when they communicate with their guy friends, do a lot of teasing. Just good-natured ribbing, making fun of the guy a little bit. Just some challenge the guy. It’s quite common.

Just the other day I heard a good guy friend say, he’s like, “You know I can get you fired, dude.” And the guy was like, “Don’t do me any favors, man. You think I enjoy hanging out with you? Dealing with your shit, dealing with this?” You know, throwing whatever at him. And he’s like, “Yeah, yeah. Fuck you, man.”

And then they just went off and played some more ball. That’s how guys talk to each other. Instead of saying, “I love you, man,” which is, for among heterosexual males, it’s kind of strange. They say, “Dude, I fucking hate you.” And then they hug, maybe. So understanding that is as weird as watching some certain kinds of female communication from men.

And if you’re not used to giving it back, in terms of banter with other dudes, if you take yourself too seriously and you can’t joke about yourself then you’re just an anal retentive, tightwad – well, tightwad’s the wrong word – anal retentive guy who isn’t – you’re not easygoing enough. It shows a lack of humor. It shows a lack of being easygoing. it shows a lack of adventurousness. It shows a lack of standing up for yourself, most importantly.

One thing I’ve noticed among guys is that they love challenge. Alpha males love competitiveness. They’re competitive. They love the challenge. They like to compete. Their competition isn’t personal, usually. You beat a guy one-on-one at basketball and he’s not going to take it personally, he’s going to see it as a challenge. In fact, you want guys around you who will challenge you. Strong men only really want guys who would challenge them. They don’t want yes men or anything like that.

I think what’s been happening is not so much of an Asian-Western cultural gap. It’s that, dude, you’ve just been hanging out with weak, push-over, yes men types who take themselves too seriously and have no sense of humor. So it’s good that you’re hanging out with them. One thing, I’ve been reading Michael Jordan biog, the biggest one. That’s something he valued in his friends a lot. In fact, in his teammates he would always pick on a guy at every different practice. At every practice, pick a different guy, whatever and just go at him verbally as well as on the court.

And what he’s hoping to see is this guy will step up and dish it back and that’s when Michael Jordan respects him. Because if you’re going to just rollover and take it, you’re actually not dependable as a man, as a wingman, as a friend, as a comrade in arms. If you’re going to go into battle, you don’t want the guy next to you to just drop his guard or whatever.

It’s the same with women. Women want to ally themselves with a man, they want to marry a man, they want to partner with a man who will stand up for himself and for her and her family because if you can’t even stand up for yourself, you’re not going to stand up for her when push comes to shove.

This is just going back to evolution again. So there it is. It’s good that you’re hanging out with them, you should listen to some of their comebacks and try to parrot those, variations of them. I think that they will find that funny and respect that. Expect the ribbing never to stop. Expect it to go up a notch every time and that’s a sign of their respect of you. If they’re still hanging out with you and inviting you out and stuff, that’s all the sign you need that they like you enough. And then if they start stepping up and teasing you some more, that’s also a sign of respect.

Actually, not so much respect but of affection. They’re only going to tease you if they have affection for you. Otherwise, they just wouldn’t even bother talking to you, at all. It’s a sign of brotherly affection when you wrestle each other down, verbally or physically.

Alright, so there you go, some deciphering of male to male communication on Man Up. And again, I think this goes back to this age old question of: What is masculinity? And that’s something I’m going to be addressing more explicitly as the videos go on because I’m getting a lot of questions about what does masculinity even mean.

Men all over the world, of all ages and cultures are completely confused about what it is. It took me – I’m coming up to 40, not quite a year from 40 now, almost exactly. It just taken me, like what, half my life to really get clear on it and it’s still a learning process. I’m going to be addressing that more as we go on.

Send me your questions. It could be about – some guys were asking on the Facebook group if we can ask questions about self-development or improvement or whatever. Yes, by all means. It doesn’t have to be just about women and girls and dating and stuff. I will share whatever I can and answer as many questions as I can. All right, so in the meantime – join the Facebook group, join the Facebook group. Click on the link. We approve requests everyday. In the meantime – man up.