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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their dating and love lives.
Once a nerdy, skinny professor of Asian philosophy who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned dating and life coach. Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, including AXN, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore. Formerly a professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Tian is actively researching, speaking, and publishing in the areas of philosophy and psychology.
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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David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video I answer the question: How to handle disrespect from other men? Welcome to Man Up Episode 177.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, PhD. and this is Man Up!
Hey. It’s David Tian, PhD. and for over the past 10 years, I have been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love. Here we are as the sun is setting in Bangkok, at this beautiful courtyard, at The House of Sathorn – which is right next to The W.
This is actually, I think, owned by The W Hotel I lived in for about three months when I first moved to Bangkok. Great area. You can see – I don’t know if you can see from the umbrella, but there’s the MahaNakhon right behind this umbrella. And I got a question here from the private Man Up Facebook group. I got to open this up here.
Okay, alright. This one is from Eloi. He says, “Question, how to respond when you’re with your girl, elbows locked, walking together down the street, and a fool openly hits on her and disrespects you by saying: “Dump him and come check this out.” The bigger question would be, how to handle when someone, man or woman, disrespects you, and when it challenges your masculinity/confidence?”
He gives some backstory to it. “This happened one evening with a now-ex, the guy was a restaurant employee who was advertising for the…” Okay, skipping that. The guy says, “Hey, why don’t you dump him and come eat with me?” Or something like that. “We, my ex and I”, he says, “were both in a happy mood that night, so it was a complete surprise. When I heard that, I stopped for about one second, thought about it, and then just decided to keep walking forward, and basically, I didn’t let that shit ruin my mood that night.”
“But it kept me thinking afterwards, and even to this day. She obviously was caught by surprise, and so she looked at the guy when I paused for that second. I felt disrespected, obviously, by the asshole, and something similar had happened before from another relationship.” Okay, so there’s a lot of assumptions here. I’m going to keep going to the question.
But before I forget: There are a lot of assumptions. He seems to think that there’s such a thing as an objective disrespect. There’s no such thing as a disrespect, objectively speaking. Disrespect only exists in your mind. It’s a completely subjective thing. If you don’t interpret it as disrespect, there is no disrespect. It’s not like – this, this is something, but disrespect is not a thing that you can point at.
It’s not there. It’s only disrespectful if you think of it as disrespectful. Anything can be construed as disrespect if you construe it as such. It could just be – woah, that was disrespectful. This could be disrespectful if you interpret it as disrespectful. You keep saying it over and over like this.
A fool openly hits on her and disrespects you by saying, “He’s not disrespecting you.” Maybe and he’s trying to disrespect you, whether you actually allow it to disrespect you is simply a matter of whether, in your mind, you interpret it as disrespect. Why is this happening? Because Eloi is insecure about his masculinity, about his self-esteem, his worthiness as a human being. He is easily slighted and easily disrespected.
This is one of those things that most of the guys who are looking to learn pick-up are this way. They are weak as men, so they are very sensitive to how other men and other people treat them.
They’re looking for other people to look at them well, to be impressed by them, because only then will they feel good about themselves. Their self-esteem and self-worth does not come from inside, it comes from outside. And that’s why it’s so disrespectful, or they interpret it as disrespect when somebody says something that could be, for him, interpret as disrespectful.
I’ll give you an example. This guy said, “Dump him and come check this out” or “Hey, why don’t you dump him and come eat with me?” Or something to that effect. Imagine if a three-year-old boy said that. If a three-year-old boy said that, just playing around, or for whatever reasons three year old kids say things, would you feel hurt? Would you feel disrespected, dude? I really hope not.
I really hope if a three-year-old guy walks up, a little boy walks up to your date and says that, you’re not going to be like, “You fucking disrespect me.” Or like – “Oh my god, I can’t believe you disrespect me.” But you know what? Now that I’m saying it? You might. You might, man. There’s some guys who are so insecure about their masculinity, they be like, “Dude, Dave, what do I say when a kid – I can’t be rude to the kid, so like–”
It just occurred to me. You probably would interpret it as disrespect. Let’s take a 1 1/2 year old kid who is just learning to speak English, how about that? And he’s saying this, would you feel disrespected? I really hope not. So, this is one of those situations where – to me, it’s sort of like, if any guy comes up and says that to me…
If it’s a little kid, right? You’d laugh, right? And you’d be like, “This kid is so cute! Kid, where did you come from?” And he’s like, the kid’s trying to be a player, trying to front and stuff. I think it’s just really cute and it’s funny. Or maybe I’m annoyed by it, maybe because it’s interrupting my conversation, so I’ll just sort of ignore it, you know?
And that’s it. That’s the same mindset I take if another guy were to come up and say that to me. It would just register about the same as if it was a little kid, and he says those things. I wouldn’t feel disrespected unless I allow myself to interpret it as disrespect. And in the cart right over here – I heard this point from stoicism, which is that if you take a third-person perspective on your situation, how would you feel?
In this case, I think you would still say, “Oh, that person is being – Eloi is being disrespected.” But many other guys, many other people, human beings, mature enough, that if they step out of their body and they look at the situation, they think, “There’s nothing to be sensitive about.” But in your case, I think you would just interpret it as sensitive all around.
Because this is what you also said. “I felt disrespected, obviously, by the asshole.” No, it’s not obvious. I wouldn’t feel disrespected. Disrespect is purely in your head. It’s easy for you, Eloi, to feel disrespected by the slightest thing a guy says.
And you’re allowing that to happen. You are the one who is causing the disrespect. You are causing it in your mind. It’s only being triggered by certain words outside in the real world.
The actual disrespect is happening in your head – just to make that really fucking clear. There’s no disrespect – except for the disrespect that you allow. You are the cause of the disrespect. There is no other disrespect out there. There are only words that are being said. You have to interpret it as disrespect in order to feel disrespected.
Okay, so I’ve had this happen before from another relationship. It seems like a pattern in your life, so I wanted to hear, what is the best move? Or what do I need to be working on? Okay, great, excellent.
I push back a little bit in the comments to your question, and then you start to show quite a bit of self-awareness, which is excellent. But let’s see. The ex said, as you walked away from that restaurant, “Hey, what did that guy say something about dumping you to go to the restaurant?” And I responded saying that the dude was just being an idiot, and we resumed to enjoy a good night.”
Great, great response. “I feel I would’ve responded totally different if I wasn’t having such a great mood.” So, you’re basically mood-dependent and you’re like, “But objectively speaking, he disrespected me, so what do I do?” There’s no objective fact about this. Disrespect only exists in your mind.
And you say, “As a masculine man, I wasn’t sure what exactly to do. And obviously, with these types of incidents, I really dislike…” No, it’s not obvious. Maybe among you and your shit-ass peer group, your fucked-up peer group. And this is the reason why you think it’s normal, that it would be obvious.
But it’s not obvious to me. It’s not obvious to the guys who are rocking it. “Obviously, with these types of incidents, I really dislike when I feel that people are disrespecting me.” The key here is that you feel that. That’s where the disrespect lies. It does not lie in other people or what they say.
Okay, so side note. “The ex turned out to be a fucking massive cheat. I found out about it last year, when she finally said she wanted to break up to do her. I had to pry it out of her whether there was some other person in the picture, and then I got her to tell me the truth that she had been cheating for over a year with other people.”
“Obviously, I’m still working on letting it all go and move completely forward. I had to pry it out of her, and then I got…” Okay, yes. “Obviously, I’m still working on it.” Great, so you’re going through the break-up recovery courses, excellent.
“But as you can see, there’s definitely some anger there in terms of how to handle disrespect. The disrespect is still an issue that I realize I still need to heal.”
Okay, this is what you need to watch. There’s a video that I did as part of the Awakenings launch, and in it I talked about narcissism. Right now, and you, and almost all pick-up artist guys, or guys who get into pick-up, or game, or learn how to get better with women, are coming at it from basically a narcissistic point of view – neurotically narcissistic. Double M, baby.
Neurotically narcissistic, where basically you’re so concerned about yourself, you’re thinking about the whole world in terms of yourself. You’re interpreting the world in terms of yourself. How are they treating me? Do they look at me with respect? Am I impressing them? It’s always you. It’s always concern about the self. That is narcissistic.
That’s a narcissistic psychological pattern of thinking. It’s neurotically narcissistic. Whether it’s at the level of disorder, I don’t know. I don’t know you that well, but it’s definitely a neurotic level of narcissism, where it’s hard for you to break out of it. In fact, you think it’s so normal. You think everybody thinks this way. “So obviously, it’s disrespectful.”
You say things like that. It’s not obvious, dude. It’s not obvious to me, it’s not the way I think. It’s not the way I interpret the world, so it’s not obvious. It’s obvious to you and your fuck-up peer group.
Okay, so I push back a little bit, just with a simple question, “Why is this a concern for you?” I asked. “Do you get this feeling frequently?” And you said you do get it frequently. And then you say, “I just figured out the underlying lesson here: Don’t let other people’s actions or judgments of you define who you are.”
“One part of the solution stems from wanting to model my actions by the strongest they can be, which involves learning and being around other strong male figures. The other part is my own self-image, it’s not as strong as it could be. And as a result, I tend to let these things get to me.”
Okay, great. Excellent. Great. “It also made me second-guess what the right or strongest move is to deal with scenarios where people will say or do things that one could take to heart as offense.” It’s just like when a little kid comes up and says stuff to you. It’s only offensive if you allow it to be offensive to you; if you interpret it as such.
“It’s about inner confidence and my own self-image.” Yes, excellent. “Yes, there’s also a part of learning how to best model my actions, but the foundation is simply to develop a strong, self-confidence and self-image. To reprogram my mind for strength and success, still…”
“I would have to admit that handling the feeling of people disrespecting me is something that I have to learn to deal with productively.” Great, so I hope that I’ve shed some light on your narcissistic thought patterns that are leading to this. So, it’s narcissism, lack of self-esteem, lack of confidence, self-worth, and all of that, and it’s creating these narcissistic thought loops.
Get inside the private Facebook group. I go in a lot of detail on that in the lead up to Awakenings. And as I’ve said, I’ve realized Video 1 of that on the YouTube channel and on our website.
So you can watch that first. It’s about 50 minutes, it goes into quite a bit of detail on – actually, it’s really an introduction, but a detailed introduction to narcissistic thought patterns among guys who are struggling to be better with women.
And it’s only disrespectful if you interpret it as such, and that’s it. So, all of these guys who are concerned about shit tests, and all of those other people challenging you, no. There’s no such thing. As soon as you start thinking about shit tests, you’ve lost. You have lost, alright? And I’ve said this in a previous Man Up video, but still.
Some of my friends who have been dating coaches for over 10 years themselves, guys I started out with, I still get emails from them sometimes in their mailing list group, talking about shit tests, “How to handle shit tests.” It’s so sad.
Hopefully, we’ve grown out of this by now and realized just how narcissistic those thought patterns are about shit tests, about people testing us, about all of that shit, about disrespect.
There’s no such thing as people testing us with disrespect unless we allow ourselves to interpret it as such. So, fuck passing people’s tests. Fuck any of that shit. Stop playing fucking games with people. You do you. In this case, that means you got to figure out why you have self-worth in the first place. Think on that question.
I have a lot of videos coming up on that, and I’ve just shot one. I’m going to be shooting this and inserting this earlier into the Man Up playlist. So, it’s kind of interesting retroactively, or retrospectively in time. But I’m referring to that one. There’s going to be another series of videos on self-worth, why it is that you are enough, and are you enough for love, and so on.
So, Eloi, you got to review those videos, because that’s at the root of this. But you know, narcissistic thought patterns, the fact that it’s subjective and not objective: whether you’re being disrespected or not, and your self-worth.
Alright? So, I leave you with that. The sun has set. So, it’s getting pretty dark here, and we’re going to have to have some of these drinks. So, it’s David Tian signing out. Please join the Man up Facebook group. That’s where you can interact with me and you can ask your questions there. You can see Eloi’s question, and all the comments that are in there as well.
A lot of good guys on there giving answers to things, so I’ll see you inside the private Man Up Facebook group. Click the link, join the group. I’ll see you inside. It’s David Tian, signing out. Man Up!
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“Man Up” Show (Ep. 193) – Fixer Mindset, White Knight Syndrome & Nice Guys
“Man Up” Show (Ep. 192) – Whose Fault Is It? Yours Or Hers?