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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.17 – On Being A Man: Whose Advice Should You Listen To?

On Being A Man: Whose Advice Should You Listen To?

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains that advice should be relevant and practical.

  • David Tian Ph.D. suggests people to test out the lessons and training they have received to check its effectivity.

  • If it’s an important area of your life, David Tian Ph.D. says it’s important that you test it for yourself.

In this episode, we talk about male self-help, who to trust in the Masculinity Movement and who are the good authority figures.

[Intro music]

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

[Fade music]

Welcome to episode 17. We’re in the second month now, pretty cool. Question coming from the Facebook group. I’ll just call him V-man. V-man asks, “What do you think about the impact of typical male self-help groups or even female groups, for that matter? In theory, these groups seem like a good idea because there are a lot of important issues to discuss regarding masculinity and femininity which don’t get addressed elsewhere or get addressed poorly.

On the other hand, the people who join such groups tend to be more confused or misguided about masculinity and you end up having a gathering of people bouncing off each other and going down the wrong path. E.g. PUA groups hiding behind some lofty mantras. How would you suggest that someone looking to explore these issues, navigate through the mine field of potentially negative influences disguised as the key to masculinity?”

All right, deep question. In the comments, we actually discussed – I interacted with him personally and a couple of the other guys jumped in on what specific examples are of these male self-help groups that he’s got in mind. So we got some specific examples there in the Facebook group. If you want to see what those specific examples are, just join the Facebook group and scroll down to find this question and you’ll see them there. Just in the interest of kindness to these other groups, I’m not going to name them specifically here.

Also because, my knowledge of these specific groups are – or some of them – are limited, some of them I have much better knowledge of. But I’m not going to address any of these groups specifically. If you have a specific question, I can – like if you want to know what the specific examples were or are, just join the Facebook group, okay? You can scroll down and find it.

But just in general, to answer this question – because the question itself is, “How would you suggest that someone looking to explore these issues of masculinity and femininity, how would you suggest they navigate through the mine field of potentially negative influences disguised as the key to masculinity?”

He particularly has in mind the PUA groups that are now becoming more like male self-help. I’m honored that you would ask me, V-man. I’m assuming that if you’re asking this question to me that you’ve rightfully judged that we are a good source of training or lessons about this or information about masculinity.

I would say the easiest answer is to just test it out. So whatever advice these other groups are giving you, whatever lessons or training or ideas they’re giving you, test it out. All of these ideas should be applicable. They need to be relevant; they need to be actually practical.

So you’re coming to this because you want to see some practical outcome in your life and if the ideas, if the advice, if the lessons, the training gives you those practical benefits that you’re looking for in your life then that’s a good source. Then keep going back to that.

As long as it keeps giving you what you want in terms of the benefits then just keep going back to it and get more benefits. In other words, if it works, then it’s good. If it doesn’t work, then it’s not. The advice should have some practical pay-off.

For instance, a lot of these male self-help groups, they give you advice on raising your testosterone. Like the ones that V-man has in mind. If you go through it, does it in fact raise your testosterone? I personally tried a whole bunch of natural means because I’ve dived into that world, explored that as well. And a lot of those didn’t.

In fact, it just ended up giving me more pimples or something or it made my face really oily or whatever. Some other side effect and I found it just didn’t work for me. It’s my life and if it didn’t work for me then I’m not going to do it. I’m not saying maybe those things aren’t good for others. Maybe it worked for that guy who tested it but it’s not working for me. And that’s the most important thing – try it out for yourself because if it gives you the benefits, if it gives you the results then that’s all that matters for you.

If you become a teacher then it has to matter that it works for other guys. I’ll even give advice to other guys that didn’t work for me, personally, but that I know has worked for many other guys. So if I have reason to think that it would work for that person, I’d give the advice to that person. If you’re coming at this just as a consumer of the advice, trying to get the benefits from it then just try it out and if it works come back to it.

Some of these other groups that came up in the discussion are really new AAGs. So you end up having to get naked in the force with other men. I’ve never done that, I have no desire to do that, I don’t know if it’s going to work, if it gives you the desired benefits. Maybe if the ends justify the means, maybe that’ll work. I haven’t tried that myself and I don’t have any interest in it. In other words, whatever advice I give you as well, try it out. If it gives you the benefits then keep coming to it. If it’s not working for you, try something else.

Put it to the crucible of practical tests. Just test it out. Just test it out for yourself. So that’s the best advice I can give you, that’s what I do. I test out everything. I test it on myself and if it works on me, I try it out on some other guys. If I see it work among a big sample of my client group then I’ll test it out on others and continue to grow that. It’s just training and testing, training and testing, split testing, A/B testing, whatever, right, just test – experiment. The scientific method – it’s the same thing about deciding which authority figure to trust. Never trust anybody blindly. If it’s an important area of your life, it’s important enough for you to test it for yourself.

So there you go: how to know who to trust when it comes to masculinity. So a great way to know who to trust is to get to know that person -the authority figure, better. And a great way to get to know me is by joining the Facebook community we’ve created for Man Up. Click on the link below or next to the video or whatever and join the private Facebook group where I’ll be interacting with you personally. I’ll be reading everything in there and you can up-vote the questions you want answered. Until next time – man up!