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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.64 – Can You Approach Women In Public In Asia?

Can You Approach Women In Public In Asia?

  • David Tian Ph.D. tells us it’s imperative that men learn to be articulate and be able to communicate their feelings in a controlled manner.

  • David Tian Ph.D. emphasizes that men should also learn social intelligence.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. shares how being skeptical, not taking action, and having limiting beliefs will hold you back. Skeptical until the end and not taking action, not trying it out, afraid to try it out twenty times, limiting beliefs like up to here.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 64 of Man Up, I answer the question of, can you approach women in public places in Asia?

[Intro Music]

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

[Music Fades]

Hey, its David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 64 of “Man Up!” and this is a really important episode. I never rehearsed the answers. You might be able to tell that like when I go on long tangents. I don’t rehearse, I just look at it, press play and go. As I was looking at it before I press play, I just realized the guy, Kevin, who asked the question, he came to last night’s preview event in Singapore.

So, hey Kevin, nice to meet you again. I didn’t know this was you. And he asked a question… That preview event, I hadn’t done a preview event in like a month and a half. I usually do them once a month, maybe two a month back to back. And then I had done a lot of travelling. In that month and a half went to four different countries. Two different continents… and I forgot! I forgot what reality is like for the majority of men in Southeast Asia.

And I would venture to say East Asia but I know really, really well. That’s my top market, Southeast Asia. And into a more limited extent of men in the west, but what was I doing that six weeks, I was hanging out with my friends – my peer group – my team. Working with my team. Being at the Mastermind.

So those are my clients…those are my top end clients. Super successful guys. Guys who started, like thirty years old, seven companies, IPO’d three of them. Guys who just get shit done and of course those guys know what real value and they’ll pony up for the best value like twenty to twenty-five thousand-dollar Mastermind program that year. I’m not joking, I say it, I remember looking at the preview event, I just happen to casually mention that and the guys are like “uh…”, like “yes!”. That’s the difference between them and you. It was almost… it got me frustrated and I was wondering why am I frustrated?

Let me read the question to you and you’ll see. Okay so, here we go, here’s the question. I’m going to read it in its entirety because just the tone of the question is instructive. “Hey guys, let me try to post a question. I recently watched the video of the dramatic direct opener…” and that’s the secret video number one.

If you go to, our main site, and just put your email in there and that’s the first free video you’ll get. It’s a ten-minute demonstration of a way to begin a conversation with a woman that is, if it’s sincere, is the most versatile opener. You can use that opener in almost any setting. Okay, so that’s the opener.

Was filmed in Singapore and it’s been taught in Singapore since I’ve moved to Singapore. It’s been taught in Singapore for over eight years. Understand that as the context. When you watch that video, it’s in Singapore, on a Singaporean girl and it has been taught in Singapore for over eight years and has been tested with over five hundred live clients in Singapore in the past eight years.

And tested all around the world as well with tens of thousands of successful students. That’s the facts. You don’t want to believe it, that’s your problem. But those are the fucking facts. So let me read the rest of the question and you can understand the frustration.

“I watched this video on which a gentleman…”, that’s me. I don’t know if you realize that. I mean like there’s some socially awkward guys, like dude, that’s my profile, to where I’m responding. I’m the gentleman. Why don’t you just say, “you”. Please talk to me. I’m the one who’s managing the page. I know it’s like bizarre to people and a lot of coaches don’t do this. They won’t spend the time to get to know you to actually do the work and I understand that.

Almost all the coaches that I started out with when we started out ten years ago coaching have all become internet marketers – pure internet marketers – where they just sit there with their computers typing away. They don’t actually do any in person coaching anymore. They haven’t for 5, 6, 7, 8 years and they’re still raking in tens of millions of dollars. I know! They say to me “David, what are you doing still coaching?

What are you doing making these videos every day? That’s insane!” I’m not going to do that. So they say that. So yeah! I know it’s hard to believe but I’m really putting myself out here for you. I’m really fucking slaving for this. I really believe in this! This is actually my life’s mission! Believe it or not. Okay, so I’m actually reading this, responding to it. That’s me. It’s not just a gentleman, it’s me. You’ll see, you understand the context when I read.

“A gentleman just walked up to a girl and used the DDO”, that’s the opener, “to start a conversation and the opener is a variation of a compliment opener”. I’m not going to give it to you, the opener. Just go and put your email in there. You’ll see it’s a very simple opener. Three sentences tested over and over and over for over ten years.

Especially in Singapore. It’s actually, almost completely optimized for Singapore. Just so you know! Kevin, is not from Singapore, I found out. And by his last name, it’s an Indonesian name. So maybe that’s the thing, he’s like “hmmm” it is interesting because Singaporeans, when they watch it don’t ask this question.

You know, but I still get it, sometimes. And I know that majority of the guys are thinking this, they watch the free videos. They think this and then they don’t take action, they don’t go forward. That’s incredibly frustrating to me because this is after all my life’s mission. But I get it. I get it. Okay anyway, let’s finish the question. I find this funny. Just my reaction to it is funny.

“What do you think of applying this to a real life situation in Singapore. For example, when I’m on the MRT bus, hawker centers, food courts, and queues at the ticketing”. This was designed for that. “When I tried to imagine it, it would be super awkward”. That’s why you suck! “And I think the girl, especially Asian girl will feel awkward and pressurized.” Gee! Who is the girl in the freaking video! She’s a Singaporean girl in case you can’t figure that out.

I think… maybe with Snapchat now, we can do live demonstrations but then it would be basically encouraging guys to just go pick up chicks and there are enough of those. There are droves of dudes in Singapore according to my female friends on Orchard Road, and they are not my clients, they are not my students and I would never condone that. It is incredibly unnatural to do…but hey, I respect it. You got to start somewhere.

So hey, I don’t want to feed that because it’s already happening. I think it’s good to just get some basic experience. Holy Crap, that is a gigantic wasp. They might bite me while I’m on camera. Holy Crap! Okay (laughs)… try to ignore that. Man up (laughs)! “And I think the girl will feel awkward and pressurized”.

When he tries to imagine it… and this is great… because this is a common characteristic of guys who don’t get pressured in life. They just try to imagine things without going and doing them. So he did come to last night. And I found out, he did it twice. He did it twice. I mean on two different women. He did it once with two different women. Attempted the three-line opener, which lasts thirty seconds, so he devoted one minute to it, and then concluded “Nope, it doesn’t work!”.

I don’t have anything to say to people like that.

“I think ideally, the DDO, should be applied when there’s more privacy. It’s hard to meet a girl in a private-public area”. I don’t even understand a private-public area. You mean a public area where there aren’t that many people. “If there’s even such a place”, he says. And I met him. And he seemed like an intelligent guy.

I’m going to assume he’s an intelligent guy, this is a show for intelligent people after all, and “private-public area” is there such a place? Well, let me just suggest some places. Like a Starbucks. Like a shopping mall in off peak hours. Like the streets, which is why all those pick up guys are on the streets. The streets other than weekends are going to be relatively empty. Actually anytime on the streets or shopping malls of Singapore off-peak. Peak would be weekends, during the daytime or when people are rushing to work or coming out of work. So anytime between 9am to 12noon. And then from 2pm to 4pm, those are going to be off-peak. And pretty much everywhere’s empty and that’s when I do my shopping.

“So what do you think of applying this method to a real life situation in Singapore?”

So I’ve repeated over and over. This is… this has been tested five hundred – over five hundred times – easily over five hundred actually. Because each of those five hundred, has done it at least ten times. Just to get used to saying those words in a controlled manner. Being able to articulate and communicate your feelings in a controlled manner.

Being able to handle your nerves that comes from practice and getting used to those feelings. And getting used to those words. I have nothing else to say to that. The answer to his question is yes. It has been done and proven. For over eight years. If you ever have any doubt, just come and see me live, you know where to find me.

That’s pretty good right? That was pretty good. It was like an ultimatum. I’m going to answer a second question. I probably will never see him again because he’s going to get all offended but I don’t mind.

“Hey man, here’s me with another question. ”And here’s a guy who is, this is the keyboard jockey. The guy who likes to ask a billion and one questions before he takes one iota of action. Wait, let me apologize. He approached two different women… his whole life. “Here’s me with another question”, he says. “Recently when I came down for breakfast down my office building, I saw a hot girl stranger eating alone in the food court nearby. She’s wearing a workout outfit most likely she came from a gym nearby and had her breakfast after the workout. I thought it would be great if I could connect with her over our meal. But there are two problems.

One, I noticed her only after I sat down on a random table which was quite a distance from her. Number two, I do not know what to say. It would take about ten minutes to finish the meal and thus I do not know how to keep a conversation going for ten minutes with a stranger over food. In the end I just finished my breakfast alone and did not do anything. Need your suggestion, David Tian.” Okay, wonderful! I’ll handle the same question, it’s an easy one.

Every one of our academy members, every single man who joins our membership’s program can do this. He sees a girl sitting down the food court and wants to meet her. Done. That’s like level zero point five in our live event and training. He doesn’t believe me, you don’t want to believe me, that’s your problem. And I’ll address this. I will address this later on, just let me handle this question. Okay, so question number one, “I noticed her only after I sat down at another table which was quite a distance from her”.

Great! So this actually, the dramatic direct is perfect for this. Just go over to her after you finish your meal or an opportune time whenever you want to. You can stop in the middle of your meal if you want. And that would actually be more sincere. As soon as you see her, and you clean out your teeth of food, okay. Rinse out the food in your teeth.

Walk over to her calmly, slowly and a controlled manner. Not like…but controlled. And get her attention then tell her,“Excuse me, I saw you sitting here. And I just wanted to come over to tell you I think you are…” and then insert the adjective that you really feel. Okay? Whatever it is and put a big broad smile and exude warmth and make sure that that’s sincere so it sounds sincere if you were to say that.

You could say you’re beautiful or gorgeous or whatever the fucking thing is. That is just mimicking what a cool person would say honestly. I’m not getting you to lie, it’s not a routine. It’s just these are the words you should be saying to express the feelings that you’re having. But because you are so nervous and full of anxiety, those words don’t come out properly. And because you’re not as articulate as you’d like to be.

Therefore, you should just rehearse that line so that when your nerves take over and you feel too anxious. It won’t matter because you have rehearsed that line and you can go into auto-pilot and you just say the words that you really feel. That’s all this is. So get doing it. It’s as simple as that. So go and do it.

Now ideally at the food court, a better opener or a better way to begin a conversation is if you see her before you sat down. Just walk over and ask her “is this seat taken”. And then if she says, “no it’s not” just sit down and introduce yourself. Just say “I got a quick meal”. Make her realize you’re not going to sit around for the whole meal. If she doesn’t feel comfortable but just say, “I got to chat on this quick meal, I don’t like to eat alone”. You can just say “I don’t like to eat alone. Tell me about you” and smile. Warmth! Like you’re really interested in her. Not just to fuck her but to actually find out who she is. I’m assuming that that’s true. So there you go.

Now the second question though is much more difficult because he says “I do not know what to say to continue a conversation for ten minutes with a stranger”. That’s a major problem if you as an adult male, twenty whatever you are, twenty-five-six years old cannot have a ten-minute conversation with a stranger, you cannot succeed in 2016 unless you’re like the most brilliant coder of all time. Even then, you’re not going to have to manage people. I think people skills are way underrated for how far they get you, how important they are in the modern world.

You owe it to yourself to step the fuck up and learn social skills. Learn social intelligence. Learn how to have a ten-minute conversation where you’re interested in the other person and know how to have that. If you don’t know how to have that, you know where to find me. If you’re on the internet watching this go to fucking and step the fuck up!

That was pretty good too right? Like… serious? Showing a little bit of emotion there or two wasn’t I? Showing some urgency. Okay, that was pretty straightforward and I answer that now. Here’s the bigger broader issue. Like I was very frustrated that night. It was like… I was wondering why?

I don’t really care, why am I so frustrated about this. All frustrations come from some kind of fear and I realize I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get through to him and because I wasn’t able to get through to him, I wouldn’t be able to get through to the other guys in the group and I also was afraid that I wasn’t able to get through, period, to guys who weren’t already ready. Well, look, I realized… even there’s skepticism… there’s skepticism about whether it works but a lot of it is just about cowardice. Just go and try it.

What I tried over ten years ago, there was no support compared to what we have now. There was like a little forum “ASF” it was like some cheap-o, clunky forum with guys I’d never met just knowing them on the internet. And they said something on the internet. They said it worked for them and I’m like “well, I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ll go and try that twenty times.”. Because that’s what the forum guy said. Try it out at least twenty times. Because maybe your delivery is off.

I mean there could be so many variables that could be off. Just try it twenty times until you can say, maybe, that doesn’t work for me. He hasn’t even done that. It’s not just skepticism. It’s also cowardice. But let’s deal with skepticism given the benefit of the doubt. Even really cool guys like I think are awesome life coaches like Tony Robbins, there’s still tons of skepticism. Among my friends, before we went…before myself, before I went to him.

I think it’s partly because of this infomercial background. But you’re like thinking he’s promising the world, all this power and all this. How is he going to deliver it standing in front of this five thousand people. You know, you pay three hundred bucks, five hundred bucks or a thousand to get to that first four-day event. It really can change your life.

A lot of other things, like HIIT training – high intensity individual training – a lot of people are still skeptical that that works versus steady state cardio for burning fat. A lot of people are still skeptical about cutting out carbs if you want to cut fat out of your body… like if you want to get lean. A lot of people are still skeptical about a lot of fitness things, I mean, kettle bell workout, functional workout. A lot of people are still skeptical about so many things that are basically… like meditation.

A lot of people are still skeptical about meditation. Actually that’s a great example because that’s on the cusp where there are very ardent supporters of it, advocates of it and then there are those who really reject it and there are lots of those that are undecided… just try it! You know the barrier to entry on that is really low. Just try it. Yoga, a lot of guys haven’t given that a shot.

Just try that for flexibility and mobility. I mean there are so many things that most of the world is skeptical about. Now here’s an example I want to give, earlier adopters in technology, and this is something that Kevin will understand,  something all the tech nerds will understand, I read statistics the earlier adopters as far as the overall market, so out of all the people in the potential market who might buy your product if your Apple or something, half of them aren’t even going to buy it.

Alright, so once you hit complete market domination, maybe twenty percent won’t buy it. So you knock out those people. You’re not even going to talk to those people but you’re going to knock that out. And then you have the earlier adopters, five percent of that segment, who will buy anything you put out. You want to have the raving fans, you go to them and you preach to them.

When Apple’s making their Apple watch or the first iPhone, let’s go to that because a lot of people know the iPhone’s awesome. 2007 when the iPhone first came out, I was already picking up lots of chicks, the iPhone came out and I was like “oh my god… god!”. And I didn’t see the potential in this device. But I was used to pressing seven four times to get to “p” or “s” whatever. But anyway, people started getting an iPhone, I wasn’t an earlier adopter in that but one of my friends was.

He bought that curved one, the generation one iPhone when it first came out. The earlier adopters, five percent. And then there’s going to be in the different phases. So then, after the early adopters, there’s going to be the midrange adopters. They’re going to be twenty percent or so of the market is going to buy the next generation.

And then the next set would be the thirty to forty percent will buy. Finally, the third generation they’ll finally, or third or fourth or fifth generation late adopters…And then there are no adopters, they just never pick it up. They just never get with it. You see this now with a lot of disruption technologies. People who are on the cusp, or at the edge… cutting edge of advancement.

And I think what I’m dealing with now, part of my frustrations to help other guys understand this is that if you’re my friend, you are an early adopter for social intelligence in psychology. I mean I would force you to be if you weren’t already. I just hang out with people like that. And then when I come down out of the clouds, listen to people who are late adopters it’s really annoying. Because I mean, I’m sort of the purveyor of that product too so it’s very annoying.

But I have to realize that. Look dude, Kevin and people like Kevin. There are many, the majority of the people in the world are going to be like that. Skeptical until the end and not taking action, not trying it out, afraid to try it out twenty times, limiting beliefs like up to here. Limiting beliefs all the way up here preventing…I can’t imagine it so I won’t do it! That kind of bullshit.

You’re going to be way behind the curve. So far behind the curve it is ridiculous. Now I was filmed for a documentary two days ago on interracial dating in Singapore, I’ve been meeting guys who have been creating products for interracial dating and interracial mixing in Southeast Asia.

There are startups working on that, interviewing me. Some of them are my friends and they’ve been noticing that as far as the physically attractive women in Singapore, the majority of them have either dated or are currently dating expat men. I mean, I count as an expat man so I’m in there. But also of course, the more visible ones who are white or some other color and I know, man, because I’m on the ground. You see my friends who are local Singaporeans, they are earlier adopters for this technology.

They have no problems just walking up to girls and just talking to them. They challenge each other for fun. They’re not even pick up artists. They’re just social guys. And plenty of Singaporeans, residents who grew up in Singapore but went to international schools are incredibly confident and very suave.

Nineteen year olds or whatever just because of their privileged background. And I feel for the guys who are the majority of people and guys in Singapore who have so many limiting beliefs around shame, public shame, giving a shit about all these faceless individuals, nameless individuals, they don’t know them personally, would think about them, to shame them and the incredible weight of that.

Now whenever I talk about this live, the guys turn off, I can see it. They switch off. And the amount of therapy that I need to do with them takes just three hours even to get to the point to get them to admit this. And that’s why it’s very frustrating. I don’t have the time to baby you. You’re a late adopter. I can’t preach to late adopters. I can’t market to the late adopters. I can’t speak to the late adopters. It’s incredibly frustrating.

However, we do provide this forum. It’s a lot easier for me to turn on this video, flip it on and give this video than it is for me to put on three hours like I did last night babying you all the way through the end and seeing in your eyes that it’s going to take another twelve hours to baby you to get you to the point where you’re going to try out just talking to new women. Not women from your social circle but women that you see in Starbucks, on the street. Someone you want to get to know in the gym where normal guys who go about their day would just go up and talk to her because he wants to. That’s your right as an individual in a free country like Singapore.

I mean, it’s not as free as the US but it is a free country. You can talk to whomever you want. If you’re polite and civilized about it. And that opener, “excuse me” is incredibly polite, “Excuse me I saw you standing here and I just want to come over and tell you I think you are …” Big compliment! Make her feel good.

If she says she has a boyfriend, say “oh is he here?” And then you say to the boyfriend, respect the boyfriend, “You know you’re a lucky man. Pleasure to meet you both. Have a great day!” Simple as fucking that! That’s what normal people do. That’s what normal people who are early adopters that I hang out with who are my friends. And again, if I’m speaking to this segment. Even the guys who stepped up from one-on-one coaching because I coach every week on Skype guys all around the world, they rock it. They are awesome!

I’m never going to speak to the lowest common denominator. I’m always going to be speaking as if… to the most intelligent guys. And we’re out of focus again. So there you go. Now Kevin, I’ll speak to him specifically, thank you for allowing me to use you as an example, alright.

Knowing you as a man, you’re going to step up, you’re going to man up, you’re going to take those criticisms to heart and you’re going to show me that you’re better than what I thought you were. Aren’t you? Aren’t you?? Alright man, so join the private Facebook group. I love to hear from you, I love Kevin for asking that question and for now, man up! I’ll see you in the next episode. Join the private Facebook group and ask your question there, interact with me personally there. Until next time, Man Up!