Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now, here's your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.
David: Welcome back to the Masculine Psychology podcast. I'm David Tian, your host.
In this episode, I’ll be revealing why neediness is the most unattractive trait in a man, why women are turned off by needy men, why women feel neediness as the biggest turnoff in a man? This is such an important idea, such an important concept, such an important principle to grasp that I’ve made multiple episodes exploring why neediness is that important. It's the one most important factor. [00:50.3]
In fact, it's the one thing. If you just focus on this one thing and this one thing only, neediness, and eradicating it or overcoming it, and healing and growing from it, if you just focus on this one metric, this one thing, neediness, then it will fix 99% of your dating problems, 99% of your problems with women, 99% of your attraction problems. It will fix 99% of the things getting in the way of your happiness and fulfillment and joy in life, and of experiencing love on a consistent basis, unconditional love, of feeling like you are enough, enough for love, and of worthiness of significance, of even fun and variety, and excitement and spontaneity in life, and of growth and of contribution and deeper meaning in life, just this one thing. If you focus on this one thing, neediness, it will lead you to fixing everything else naturally as a byproduct of addressing neediness. [01:50.4]
Now, when it comes to trying to get better with women, most guys focus on the wrong things. Here are some examples of the wrong things they focus on. A lot of guys focus on trying to be more physically attractive through fitness or fashion, or at the extremes, plastic surgery or steroids.
A lot of guys focus on trying to make more money and flexing with the money they make, and other guys or a lot of the same guys trying to make more money are also trying to increase their status and show off their status, thinking that money and status, and being physically attractive and having a six pack, and wearing the right bling clothes or driving the right car, and all that stuff, that these outer external symbols, as well as their status and money and resources and all that, they think that will be what will solve their dating problems and their issues with women.
Now, don't get me wrong. Being good-looking, having a six pack, dressing well, dressing in a way that accentuates your physical attractiveness, having more access to resources, more money, knowing how to use the money well, having higher status, all of these things can help to make you more attractive, but if you don't have the one thing, then none of those other things will matter, and the one thing is non-neediness. [03:09.5]
If you have neediness, it will, in fact, pollute, sabotage, destroy, undermine, any of the other things that you think will make you attractive. You can be the best-dressed, best-looking guy, but if you're needy, you're unattractive. You can be the richest guy, and this is what happens a lot in the clubs, the richest guy is trying to flex with his money and he's needy. It'll just undermine his attractiveness and it'll just invite girls to use him because they sense how needy he is. The same with status. You can have high status and be needy.
I've done a whole other podcast episode, walking through all of these different arguments the guys trot out for what will make a guy attractive, and I show that, one by one, that if you add neediness into that mix, it just undermines and sabotages the whole thing that the guy is unattractive no matter what else you throw in there, if he's got neediness in there. [03:58.8]
This applies also to game or social intelligence, or having that kind of socially-savvy knowhow of manipulating people or something like that, like tactics, strategies and methods, the kind of cheats and hacks that guys go on YouTube to find that, back in the day, used to be put out by pickup artists, now it seems like mostly put out by-- Pickup artists aren't trending as much anymore. I think it’s now more by Red Pill, this kind of bitter, resentful, angry attitude towards women, in general, and seeing it all as a kind of game that you've got to crack and it's us against them, and the whole project, the whole thing, the whole enterprise of game, and these tactics and strategies and methods. All of this is needy to the core.
All of that is devised as a way to cover up and compensate for and cope with the intense neediness, these needs that these guys themselves don't know how to meet on their own, so they're going to manipulate. They're going to trick. They're going to hack. They're going to cheat their way through it hopefully. They're hoping to hide their neediness because, at some level, they must sense that that is unattractive, but then, eventually, the ruse is up. The women detect it. They can smell it from a mile away anyway. Actually, any mature person can. [05:12.7]
But for these guys, they're thinking game will save them or social intelligence or social dynamics, psychological strategies will protect them and it won't. All of that is infected through and through with neediness. Any woman who has been around the block, so to speak, and just has any experience with men will be able to detect that from a mile away, and any mature guys will be able to see that, sniff that out, and we shake our heads because it's sad. Actually, we can feel the pain that is motivating this.
Then there are, of course, those who are on the other side, who judge it because there's a part of them that wants to do this, and that's their shadow and so there's that reaction to it, a lot of it in the cancel culture on the left, but also any kind of moral judgmentalism that comes with it. [05:59.0]
I understand all of these options because I have availed myself of them all already, and for years, they might have worked for me covering up my core neediness, but, eventually, it caught up with me. It will always catch up with you and it will always prevent you from experiencing lasting joy, happiness, fulfillment and, of course, love, especially the only love that's real, which is unconditional love. All of this will be blocked by the fear and the insecurities that are at the base, the foundation, of the core of neediness.
Okay, the big question is why. Why is neediness so unattractive to women? And it might just seem obvious to you, because maybe you've imbibed enough pop psychology and you just have a kind of conditioned yuck reaction to it, but it's a fair question. Why would neediness be more unattractive than, say, being poor or being of low status, or being physically ugly? Why would neediness be “the” most unattractive thing? [06:59.8]
Okay, let's do a quick science lesson. It starts in evolution, the way that we and the entire world and all living beings came to be. Women evolved to be attracted to the mates that would bring the most survival and reproductive value to them, and reproductive value tracks survival. They'd be attracted to the mates, the man who could ensure his own survival, her survival and the survival of their offspring. That's survival value and the man who could produce offspring who would be able to do the same, to be able to reproduce and spread their genes and ensure the survival of their offspring.
Now that you have had a really quick recap of the basic principle of evolution, there's another concept introduced, in case you didn't understand this, which is evolutionary lag. That is the amount of time that is generally required when a mutation that's advantageous for survival and reproduction is introduced into a population, and how long it takes for that mutation, that new feature, to spread widely enough so that the vast majority of the population would have that. For Homo sapiens, that's somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 years. [08:13.6]
In other words, women's mate preferences, what they're attracted to in a man, what they're naturally attracted to in a man at an unconscious level, is based on what would've been optimal for them 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. Okay, so that's evolutionary lag. This is the reason we don't have natural defenses for pizza or against Krispy Kreme donuts, or chocolate cake or any of these modern food inventions, because they're too recent for us to have evolved defenses against them.
If you want to know what women have evolved to be attracted to at an unconscious level, you just need to figure out what would've been most advantageous to women 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, to be attracted to in a mate to ensure her survival and the survival of her offspring. [09:03.0]
So, 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, there were relatively few human beings walking the face of this earth. Most human beings, most Homo sapiens, lived in small groupings, often as small as 10 to 15. In the next grouping of Homo sapiens, it was relatively far away. It was a lot more like in a rural situation. After all, these were hunter-gatherer times.
In her home or immediate area, her tribe or village, it was largely just comprised of relatives, maybe two or three nuclear families grouped together. If she wanted to mate with a man who was not a relative, she'd have to venture out onto the Savannah, for instance. You can imagine a woman venturing out, gathering food as hunter-gatherers do, and going to the nearby watering hole, literally a watering hole or maybe a waterfall or something along those lines, a place where there is vegetation and food, and it's that sort of thing. [10:02.0]
While she's there, maybe she runs into a man who's also out gathering or maybe hunting for food. There they are and they have minimal clothing and minimal jewelry and any other kind of signs to show what their resources are like. Now, back in those days, we didn't have refrigerators. We didn't have refrigeration. We also didn't have banks or anywhere that we could easily stockpile possessions or assets, not that there were many possessions to stockpile back then.
If you did make a big catch, you hauled down or hunted down a large animal, so large that the meat would ordinarily if you could eat it all, if you could refrigerate and eat it, it all could last you weeks. But because back then the preservation technology was not very advanced, you couldn't preserve the meat for very long, so it was counterproductive to spend a whole lot of energy hunting down an animal whose meat you couldn't consume all of and would go bad after a while. So, there was already a disincentive to accumulate a lot of resources. Then, on top of that, you couldn't show, you couldn't bring all that you had in your cave along with you out into the Savannah. Literally, physically, you couldn't do it. [11:19.7]
Now imagine there was another man who just sucked at hunting, but it wasn't because he was physically incapable of it. He just wasn't very smart or maybe he was lazy or maybe not very industrious, and maybe he was the type who would, when someone else in his village of 15 or 20 people hunt something big downhill, come along and eat the leftovers or his portion of it, but he doesn't drive the hunt, and so there's this guy out there in the Savannah, too.
The female now has to try to tell the difference between the guy who is a good hunter and has good hunting skills, and the one who doesn't. Let's just assume it's not obvious physically, and when it comes down to it intellectually or emotionally, or just through motivation, it won't be a physical difference, so it's not visible right away. [12:11.8]
Because the guy who does have a lot saved up in his cave can't bring that along and there's no photograph to show her or there's no fancy car or, I don't know, watch or something like that so she can't tell, so what's a woman to do? How can she tell which of these men will actually have higher survival value, who will have a better chance or more likely to ensure his own survival as well as hers as she meets with him and their offspring’s survival? How can she tell?
This is why, to the chagrin of many disgruntled men who don't understand how attract works and don't understand emotions or psychology, they wish that it was a lot more straightforward, because the promise that they got when they were kids or teenagers was that if they worked really hard and made a whole bunch of money, then the most beautiful women will want to date them. [13:05.3]
If they do actually succeed in just accumulating a lot of money, what they'll attract with that is gold diggers or women who will use them for shopping sprees. The women won't be sexually attracted to them just because of their bank account. If it were the case, then at the bars, we would've developed this practice of literally just opening up your bank account. You would just open up the app on your bank and show it, and that would be it. It would be a done deal.
But women aren't evolved to react to that. Instead, what they've evolved to do is to deal with the situation 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, where on the Savannah, in order to decide between different men, you have immediately if he's a leper or he shows leprosy. That one's obvious, but, otherwise, if it's just a lazy man or an unambitious man, or an evil or deceitful or manipulative man, given that there's relatively little difference, in the Gini coefficients it’s relatively small back then, and on top of that, the guy who would be able to accumulate more in his cave on a more consistent basis, you wouldn't be able to tell right away because you can't just go to his cave and look inside because you met out in the Savannah.[ 14:14.8]
Now women have to evolve. It would be in their best interest to have evolved a detection mechanism, a way of telling which guy is more likely to have higher survival value, to be the type of person who will more likely ensure his own survival, as well as her survival if she mates with him, and their offspring’s survival.
This is where neediness comes in. Now, the example I gave of two guys, let's say they're from the same tribe. If she observes them long enough, she'll notice that one of the guys submits or acquiesces or supplicates himself to the other one, and that's a sign that within their tribal grouping, the guy who's supplicating has lower social status and that's a sign that he probably is not as good of a hunter or is not as good of a leader. And what do we call this supplication type of behavior? It's neediness. The one who has less survival value is needy towards one who has more in this case, so that's how she can tell which of these two males has higher survival value and which one would be more beneficial for her to meet with. [15:18.8]
Okay, now, what if they aren't from the same tribe? What if they don't know each other? So, you can't just observe one guy supplicating to another. What has she got to go on? Now it's about how he interacts with her and how he might interact with another male, a male stranger he meets on the Savannah. What is she observing? She's observing his behavior as a clue to his mind. She's observing his behavior as a clue to his psychology, his mindset, what he's thinking and feeling, and what she's looking for is whether he's needy. [15:52.0]
Do you struggle in your interactions with women or in your intimate relationship? Are fear, shame, or neediness sabotaging your relationships or attractiveness? In my Platinum Partnership Program, you'll discover how to transform your psychological issues, improve your success with women, and uncover your true self.
Get access to all my current and future online courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership today at DavidTianPhD.com/Platinum.
Because the man who is truly confident that he can survive and take care, not just of himself, but of his dependence, won't need to pretend and he won't have any neediness. He's able to meet his own needs. He's confident in himself that he's able to meet his own needs. This will be displayed in the way he talks, the way he walks, even his eye contact, the tone of his voice, all of these different sub-communications, micro expressions, etc., and that's what women have evolved to look for, to evaluate, to suss out, to judge whether a man is a good mate, whether this would be a good alliance to create with this man versus another man. [17:12.3]
Now, the man who might be a good actor or a liar, or manipulator or deceiver, who is good at hiding his mindset, that he's actually a freeloader in his own tribe or whatever, there are men like that. It's up to her, it would be good for her, right, to be able to tell the difference, and so over the thousands of years, women who have successfully made it and their offspring survived and, for 50,000 to 100,000 years now, they are our ancestors and we are their descendants, it would stand to reason that these women would have evolved really good and very natural, automatic, unconscious neediness detectors, neediness detectors that they don't have to try very hard to turn on, and this helps them weed out the obvious cases where a man is needy. [18:01.0]
Then there are these more marginal or borderline cases where there's a player who pretends like he's not needy, and that's actually what pickup artists do. They emulate a man who is not needy through behavior and his words, and so on, and in this way, they bypass women's neediness detectors because they are mimicking the outer behaviors and trying to, in a way, condition themselves to adopt the mindset, the thoughts and feelings of a man who naturally is not needy because of his own confidence and his own ability to meet his own needs.
Hopefully, now you get it. This is a perfectly rational explanation from an obvious example of just understanding what society was like 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. The “out on the Savannah” example I first heard from Mark Manson, and then following up on it in just researching historical anthropology and so on, it plays out. [19:00.7]
This was the situation, back then, when we didn't have a big difference in possessions and it really came down to character traits, personality traits, qualities in a person that would predict whether this person would be more likely to succeed in hunting and gathering, and in protection and in survival, and have what it takes, both psychologically and physically, and emotionally and intellectually, to be able to take care of himself and his family.
That's what would've been in the best interest of a woman to have evolved to detect, to optimize for, to be able to detect as quickly and as accurately as possible which men have higher survival value and are not bullshitting. They're having to detect, a bullshit detector. [19:45.8]
If a guy just says a whole bunch of stuff or he has the mere appearance of having high survival value, maybe he has stolen some jewelry, some seashells that are pretty from the neighboring tribe or something like that and so he's wearing them. He might be able to trick these women that he meets out in the Savannah or at the waterfall or the watering hole to trick them into thinking he's the type of guy that they can count on and that he's the type of guy who will be good at the hunting and the gathering, and the protecting and providing, and has the emotional health to stick around and take care of his dependents, which she would be once they mate and have children together.
She's got to be able to detect which one of them is the real deal and which one is just bullshitting, and that's where this neediness detector comes in, because neediness is something that we leak through in all of our different sub communications, and now this is the second point.
The first point was just explaining the evolutionary story so that you understand why this would've evolved as a detection mechanism in women. The second point is that neediness isn't just what most people or pop psychology or pop culture or Hollywood romances make it out to be. It's not just texting her too much or waiting by the phone for her to respond, or back in the day, leaving lots of phone messages on her answering machine or the modern equivalent of that. [21:15.0]
Those are obvious signs of neediness, yes, but the more pervasive, prevalent and ubiquitous signs of neediness that are there no matter what you're doing, but instead are just a reflection of how you're feeling, and whether you're able to meet your own needs and whether confidently that you're able to meet your own needs—your own needs for security, for significance, for play and variety and spontaneity, and love and connection, and growth and contribution, and being able to know your own limits and boundaries and all of that—to be able to meet your own needs for acceptance.
Whether you're able to do those all on your own and how confident you are in those are displayed through what researchers call sub-communications. These are nonverbal cues or tells. There is also a whole science around micro expressions, which are facial expressions, and they also include body language, too, but they're most commonly referring to facial action units and which of these facial action units are being expressed. [22:18.0]
You might have heard of the groundbreaking research by Paul Ekman on facial action units and micro expressions, and these sub-communications of how we're communicating to other people nonverbally through just the way we're standing, the way we're talking, the words and phrases we choose, the sound of our voices, the rate at which we speak, the pitch at which we speak, obviously our eye contact and our facial expressions, our smiling or not smiling and all the different types of smiles, and then our gestures, the way we cover ourselves with our hands or don't cover ourselves, whether we are standing straight or slouched over, whether our chin is up or chin is down, whether we're looking down at the ground or looking straight into the eyes of the person, and then, of course, all of these different muscles around the eyes which are very difficult to control consciously. These are all tells. These are all cues. [23:08.6]
Now, if you're a world-class liar or a world-class actor, you might be able to hide how you're really feeling and thinking, but even the best actors practice in the most common style, which is method acting, where you are supposed to be able to tap into some parts of yourself that actually really feel and think what this character is and, ideally, you enter into the mind of this character—you inhabit this character; you become this character—and that's the easiest way because then it becomes natural, then you don't have to force it or try through conscious control to show or express some kind of emotion. If you feel it, you can just trust that it's coming through. There's also the signs of mirror neurons, how people, at an unconscious automatic level, have evolved to detect how somebody else feels. [24:00.2]
This is all such an important point that I'm going to devote an entire episode to it, how neediness is all pervasive and it's not just through the more obvious things of waiting around your phone for her to reply. I'm going to devote a whole episode to that. I'm going to move on to the third point now, which is people ask for a neat and tidy definition of neediness. I like this one which is about needs.
You're needy when you're unable to meet your own emotional needs, and the more you're able to meet your own psychological needs, the less needy you are. Mark Manson has a good way of putting it, which is that you're needy when you place a higher priority on what others think of you than on what you think of yourself. I like to put it as you're needy when you care more about what others think of you than what you think of yourself.
To recap, in this episode, we looked at the one thing that makes the biggest difference, the most unattractive trait in a man, and, conversely, the most attractive thing you can do, which is to focus on your neediness. I mentioned how most guys focus on the wrong things, like how they look physically, their fitness or their fashion, or how much money they have or how much status they exude. [25:12.4]
The worst is when they spend a lot of time focusing on game or developing social intelligence, using tactics or strategies or methods, and it would be far more efficient and far more effective if they just focused on meeting their own emotional needs so that they can drop, they can reduce, decrease their neediness, because the neediness will sabotage any other good stuff you’ve got going for you.
There's no question that it's better than not to be fit and have good fashion, and to have more money and to have higher status, and to have social intelligence. All of those things help, but none of them are definitive. None of them are a deal breaker. None of them will overcome your neediness and neediness will sabotage any and all of those things. [25:56.3]
When it came to neediness, we looked at why neediness was and is such an important factor, why women would've evolved a mechanism for detecting neediness as the main way in which they suss out how they evaluate or judge whether a man is good mating material. Then we also looked at how neediness is so pervasive, and I mentioned I'm going to devote an entire episode just to that point, and then very briefly, we looked at a good way of defining neediness.
Now, I know that neediness is such an important factor because I, for several years and arguably for my whole life before that, ignored neediness. I didn't even know about it as a thing besides just not being too invested in a girl, the typical guy dating stuff, but I didn't understand neediness as such an important factor that women would have evolved to recognize it as “the” most important factor. As a result I wasted, I spent a lot of time focusing on the wrong things on game, on social intelligence, on tactics, strategies and methods, on getting myself to look physically better on the outside with fashion and fitness. [27:03.8]
Along the way, I thought the money doesn't hurt, but of course, game is supposed to supersede all of that as well as status, so I focused several years just upping my game, thinking that was the thing that would take me over the top, no matter how rich this guy is or how high status he is or how good looking he is. I got so good at game that I didn't notice my underlying neediness. I actually got so good at it that it blinded me to it. I got so good at covering up the core neediness that was in me.
Like I said, if you're good at adopting the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of men who are not needy, you can trick yourself, and if you trick yourself, you can trick others, because what others are looking for is whether you believe it yourself. If you are very confident in it, they're just going to default to just giving you the benefit of the doubt, and the problem here is that there are a lot of guys who might have become good at game or developed social intelligence who think that they're okay, but actually they're still needy and I'm going to be devoting an entire other episode to that. [28:06.5]
But I discovered that the hard way when I hit the limits of game, which is where I was still unable to meet my own needs for love, connection, and significance and acceptance, because I was dependent as a player on women's reactions to me. If I was getting good reactions from women, I was very confident, but when I wasn't or when I was betrayed by a woman that I put a lot of chips onto, in other words, a relationship, a girlfriend who then cheated on me back then, and in a very public way and so sort of rubbing it in my face, further destroying any kind of validation that I had gotten from her liking me, and then me having to then go out and generate attraction to feel good again about myself, and then, finally, sensing how needy all of that was, and finally get my shit together to turn to take seriously psychotherapy and clinical psychology, and exploring dozens of psychotherapeutic approaches and methods and finding the best ones. [29:05.5]
That is what I do now with the therapeutic process that I take men all around the world through so that they can meet their own needs, find that happiness, joy, fulfillment that they're looking for, that they're hoping that they'll get as a result of achievement and status, and getting girls to like them and all that. But if they're able to just meet their own needs, they're able to get that pot goal at the end of the rainbow, then they won't need the rainbow anymore, and so many guys are stuck on the validation trap, which blinds them to their underlying core neediness.
If you can't see that in yourself or maybe you have inklings of it and that's why you're still listening, then come back to the next episode. Hold out hope. Keep looking. Listen to that still, small voice that tells you there are times when you're needy when you're down, because you're not able to meet your own needs and you're dependent on people liking you or people responding well to you in order for you to feel good about yourself. [30:01.2]
All of that, those are all signs of neediness, and right now I'm appealing in a kind of bait and switch, benevolent bait and switch, to the fact that if you're listening to this, maybe you want women to like you. The benevolent bait and switch is I get you listening to the message with dangling this carrot of this will make you more attractive to women. In fact, it's the one most important thing that will make you most attractive to women. But more important than making you more attractive to women is that this is the only road to your own happiness consistently, to your own fulfillment, love, joy, discovering true, real, unconditional love.
Compared to that, attracting women pales in comparison, because you do not want to be the guy who invests tons of time and effort into building up game or social intelligence, or just devoting yourself to making money or climbing up in status, all in the hopes that you'll be able to attract more women or be more attractive to women, because all of that is not true and it's just setting you up for a bigger fall. [31:01.7]
The more time and effort you invest in the wrong direction, the harder it will be when you finally realize it was the wrong direction, because more energy will be required to turn that ship around and the farther back you will have to go back to that fork in the road to go the right direction. Get ahead of that now. Listen to that still, small voice, these inklings that you're having that there's an underlying core neediness that's not being met and that that's the biggest thing, and pay attention to that.
Invest in yourself in that way in meeting your own emotional needs, because all along the way, it'll feel amazing. You don't have to wait to feel amazing. You don't have to wait until the end to feel amazing. That journey of learning how to meet your own needs is fulfilling right from the get, investing yourself in the right way so that you can find in your own life, in your own self, that unconditional love, acceptance, fulfillment, joy, happiness, that sense of significance and worthiness that you're hoping will be at the end of the rainbow of searching for it through validation from women or having women like you or be attracted to you, or the money, the status or whatever it is, whatever other thing it is that is not meeting your own needs. [32:14.5]
I learned all of these the hard way and I can't wait to share with you more in the next episode. If you like this one, let me know what you liked about it. Let me know if you have any thoughts about it. Hit a like on whatever platform you're at or a rating, and please share this with anyone that you think would benefit from it.
Thanks so much for listening. I look forward to welcoming you in the next episode.
This is ThePodcastFactory.com