PATRICE O’NEAL was an exceptionally gifted comedian. Referring to his standup as performances, he would prefer to improvise what he knew he wanted to talk about, adjusting it based on his own mood and the mood of the audience. As a result, his structure was haphazard and unpredictable, but the authenticity of it built a relationship between himself and the audience; a relationship where they were often at his mercy.
Jerry Seinfeld once said he never looks at the audience, instead preferring to focus on the noises, the rhythm, and sticking to the material he had in this head. Patrice was the opposite; during his standup, he didn’t just look at the audience, he involved them, he held them hostage to the uncomfortable conversations he wanted to have.
It would be easy to look at Patrice and say that his talent lay in his ability to improvise where other comedians would need planned routines; that he was just that funny. But this would miss what gave Patrice his real talent:
His unflinching honesty when it came to what he believed was the truth.
No matter who he was speaking to; man, woman, black, white – he said what he thought, and he said it unashamedly; often calling people out on their hypocrisies and exposing people to parts of themselves they weren’t aware of.
I remember when, in one of his radio appearances, a female writer called in to promote her book on how to train men to be better husbands – a book she based around applying the same techniques used in animal training. Barely seconds on the air, Patrice launched into her, saying:
“Urrrgh – that’s hilarious. Again, automatically I’m gonna tell you what the flaw is in your thinking: you don’t want to be the – the controller. That’s the thing. Women don’t want to win, you want a winner. You don’t want to rule the nest – that’s why you’ve never met a happy woman boss. You don’t wanna be there. You’re angry about being a boss. You want a boss. You want your man to be the leader. This is why it’s already flawed on a prehistoric level. Why – you don’t wanna run your husband. Do you know why running your husband is not sexy? Cause you don’t wanna be there doing it. That’s why it never works for a woman to run things – cause you don’t wanna – you look at your husband like URRRGHH – look at this bum letting me run his life. Phooey. You have a – you just have a loser for man.”
She left the call a few minutes later.
Now, I’m not here to debate the merits of Patrice’s argument (if you really want to know, I agree with him*), I’m just here to explore what it was he was doing. Which, in essence, was staying true to himself no matter what. No matter how uncomfortable, how confrontational, how alienating it was; Patrice stayed true to himself.
Whatever the subject matter. If he had a view, he said it.
In my article on Charisma, I wrote that being okay with potentially being perceived as unlikeable, and actually leaning towards that, was a hallmark of charisma. Instead of trying to please anyone, just shamelessly being yourself and expressing who you are with a take it or leave it attitude was essential.
Nowhere is this truer than in dating.
WHY MEN LIE TO WOMEN
If you’re a woman and you’re reading this, I think I need to reinforce to you the fact that men rarely tell the truth. We want to do it. But we don’t.
Instead, what we do is filter.
A common trait in people struggling with social anxiety is that they will be very conscious of what they say. They will be extremely picky about when they enter a conversation, how they enter a conversation, and acutely sensitive to how what they say will be received. Now, I don’t just mean received after they’ve said it, no, I mean how it will be received before it’s even been said.
They’re like the bad Politician version of themselves. What they say is essentially the pre-packaged, planned, and politically correct version of whatever they actually think – if you’re lucky that is. Usually, it’s just what you want to hear, regardless of what they think.
The reason for this is simple. They want you to like them.
Now you’re probably wondering “yeah that’s great, but what the hell does that have to do with men and women?”
Well with men, they almost always talk to women like they have social anxiety.
In fact, a man who talks freely around women is so rare, it may as well be a myth.
And the logic behind this makes perfect sense. When someone with social anxiety is altering their conversation, it’s to get someone to like them so they aren’t a threat and won’t socially hurt them. When a guy talking to a woman is altering his speech its also because he wants her to like him.
Can you guess why?
What is it that he could possibly want?
Whether you like it or not, a fundamental part of the male-female dynamic is that men want what women have, but women are the gatekeepers for what men want.
Part of the male psyche is always dedicated to winning what we want. Like one of those birds who builds a nest and does a dance, or a silverback who drums his chest the loudest, on some level, our actions are guided by the desire to charm or impress the gatekeeper into giving us what we want.
The problem with this, however, is that it sucks.
When you allow what you want from a woman to dictate all of your behavior, you’re allowing yourself to be driven by your neediness, your shallow baser needs, or your manipulative nature; but worse than this, you’re trading your self-respect for sex. Or in the case of relationships, love too.
Yes. Sex has become more important to you than who you are.
And on any level, relationship or single, placing sex (or love) as more important to you than who you are isn’t just a lack of self-respect, it’s an act of stupidity.*
THE MODERN PLAYER IN SEARCH OF A SOUL
The more you lie to a woman in order to get what you want, the more you aren’t just disrespecting yourself, but through that disrespect, you are making yourself far less likely to get what you want.
And the reason for this is blindingly simple.
And I don’t mean – big nose, bad teeth, small dick unattractive.
No, I mean your soul is unattractive. Who you are is just ugly.
In my article on the Fundamental Characteristics of the Attractive Man, I stated that the only trait that mattered was that a man developed himself, for himself. Not for her. That he built his life around who he is, what he wants, and who he wants to be. He accomplished his potential, he found his enjoyment and he went after goal, after goal, after goal, because that’s exactly what he wanted to do.
But this principle of developing yourself for yourself extends even further, in a way that is so essential it baffles me that I didn’t really expand on it. Here’s what I forgot to emphasize:
When you lie to a woman, you are using your own voice, your own words, your own expression of your identity, not for yourself, but for her.
On a fundamental level, this is the most unattractive thing you can do. It doesn’t matter how much you live for yourself, develop for yourself, and have fun for yourself; if your basic expression of your own identity, in words, is not for you, but for her, then you’re toast. You’re kablooey. Like some kid who acts tough only to come across someone truly aggressive; your attractiveness was an illusion that she will very quickly see through.
Your words are the expression of who you are. Before you do anything else with your life, the words you choose to communicate with, the words you choose to say, and the words you choose to stand by are the clearest representation of who you are, and what you firmly believe. Your words are your soul.
And it’s either attractive or unattractive.
It’s either for you or for her.
KILL THE POLITICIAN
Before you do anything else you have to fix how you speak. You have to start aligning your words with what you actually think and feel.
Not what I think, not what the news thinks, not what your friend thinks, not what will avoid confrontation, not what will get you laid and not what will make you friends, get you a promotion or make your parents love you; you have the say what you think and feel.
You have to find the Politician within your soul, put a .44 Magnum to his head, and blow his brains right across your frontal cortex until there’s nothing but your unfiltered voice blasting out like a guitar solo.
In words of the late, great Bill Hicks “play from your fucking heart”.
And you have to do this every time you speak.
Now, this might sound complicated, but it’s the method is actually very simple.
- You get in touch with who you are.
- You have to take the risk and just say it.
But as step one requires being traumatized, falling in love, breaking up, reading, questioning your values and all the gold of living that you naturally will have experienced to some degree already, I’m just going to say this:
The easiest way to start understanding who you already are and what you think and feel and believe is to start writing all of it down and exploring it. Get to know yourself by confronting yourself, and supplement that with the writing of people who have also done this; Freud, Tolstoy, Rousseau, Eliot, Levi, Frankl, Emerson, Dostoyevsky, Thoreau, Twain, Nietzsche, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Schopenhauer, Jung, and pretty much anyone whose writing has stood the test of time.
Because that’s what good writing is; identity – distilled and perfected. The more you do this, the more you will figure out the essentials of who you are. The only tonic that works better is trauma, and that’ll show up when it shows up. Just strap in and enjoy the ride.
Now let’s move on to 2) You have to take the risk and just say it.
I know countless people that practice meditation who are completely out of touch with their identity and words. They have almost nothing to say, and if you ask them any penetrating questions about themselves, they sit there with this airy look about them, eyes glazed over like a caught fish – what do they sit there doing? Have they attempted to think about nothing for so long that they’ve emptied their brain of all their merit as well?
The reason I find this ironic is that the single greatest way to murder your Politician is to develop presence. When you develop presence (read: the awareness of what is happening right now and what you are doing right now) you develop the ability to spot your own bullshit, and when you’re faking your own identity – i.e saying stuff to appease your boss, women, make friends – instead of saying what you actually think.
The more you learn to spot when you’re not saying what you think, the more you can start pulling the trigger and start saying what you actually think.
This is best represented by looking at the conventional patterns of behavior, and how they fit into your life and automatic behavioral patterns.
Friendliness, being nice, being agreeable, being a gentleman, being confrontational, expressing displeasure, expressing annoyance, silence, hatred, anger, sadness, laughing at misfortune, taking pity on someone’s misfortune; all of these are examples of typical patterns of your own behavior.
But here’s how it needs to work:
Don’t be friendly unless you want to. Sometimes, you’re gonna feel like annoyed, irritated, you’ll want to be alone. The same goes for being nice. You don’t have to be nice if you don’t feel nice; if someone’s fucked you off, tell them.
Don’t be agreeable unless you genuinely agree or get on with the person. This one is essential. If you don’t enjoy their company, if you don’t agree with what they’re saying, if you think they’re wrong, say it and voice your opinion. Yes this will be confrontational, yes this might mean you’re in the wrong sometimes, but yes this the absolute right thing to do. Back your own opinion.
Don’t be a gentleman unless you want to. Big shock but not every woman deserves to have the door held open for her. Hell, some deserve to have it slammed shut on their way out.
Be confrontational. If your opinion, beliefs, and values come into conflict with someone else’s and you don’t say or do something – why the fuck are you even alive? Why are you the spectator of your own life?
The same goes with displeasure, annoyance, silence, anger, hatred, black humor, empathy – if they are real within you, then you need to start expressing them. Don’t hold them back.
In other words: Never lie. Never pretend.
Because the more you learn to align your voice and actions with your soul, the stronger it becomes.
This is the pumping iron of spiritual strength. And when you’ve backed who you are long enough, and developed an identity, a will, and a soul that is robust and honest – then you’ve developed a strength that nobody can fake, and nobody can take away.
This is taking responsibility for your own inner strength and worth – your own personal power.
And in seizing your personal power, you’ve made the most attractive decision you can ever make.
*I’ve met many individuals who claim they’d be happy with this. But I’ve never met a woman who actually was.
*This is far from something I just see in single guys. No, I see this in guys in relationships even more. Because those guys aren’t just worrying about sex, they’re worrying about love as well. If neither of those needs is in a healthy place within you, then you’re sending the Politician to talk to your partner so much that you start to morph into the Politician.
I can’t think of a single guy I know who isn’t like this with their partner.
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