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Can You Have Compassion For Frustrated Guys Like Chris Harper-Mercer?

The Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon makes me angry, and like most people, my first thought is to take any kind of vengeance I can on the person responsible. Since Chris Harper-Mercer is dead, one way is to mock him, his views, and his situation in life.

I could look at his social struggles and laugh that yet another young, shorter (he is 5’9″), video-game playing loser (and likely Omega Male) living with his parents snapped. I could ridicule him for being an angry and creepy outcast who desperately wanted, but couldn’t get, a girlfriend.

cem8My twitter and Facebook feeds are ablaze with self-righteous men and women pointing out how pathetic and creepy he was, as they analyze and mock every single thing he posted on the internet, looking for anything they can mock and rage against that strikes them as weird or out of agreement with their own political, religious, and philosophical views.

But, isn’t that kind of treatment what helped make Chris Harper-Mercer the guy he was in the first place? Or even if he was legitimately mentally is (which is likely), is that the way you help another human being in that state?

There are a lot of young, frustrated men out there. They have been given very few social tools to function effectively in the real world. They “live” in fantasy worlds, whether it is a video game reality or as a “big shot” on a particular subreddit or internet forum, which has little relevance or connection to the physical world around them.

They have very little positive masculinity in their lives. Their dads are absent, or perhaps the type of dads who are never home, because they would rather work all day than stand up to their wives’ constant put downs or passive-aggressive behavior. Or, their dads are physically and emotionally violent, and prone to random outbursts of rage, which they take out on their wives and kids.

Like other human beings, these frustrated dudes have a strong basic need to be admired by others, and for a romantic relationship. Because of their total social cluelessness, they are always passed over for the fewer and fewer guys their age that actually are in shape and charming. It seems insulting to these guys that a football player who is failing half his classes can have ten girls pursuing him, while these frustrated guys have messaged ten girls and have gotten blocked or ridiculed for their (albeit awkward) attempts.

And, these guys believe the bad advice given to them regarding developing romantic relationships with women. They continue to “just be themselves” and they are met with “ew, you’re creepy” comments from women and ostracism and possibly even physical bullying from other guys. So, their friends and relatives say, “keep being yourself and a good girl will come around!” even though no girl has ever come around them voluntarily while they were “being themselves.”

So, when their most basic desire isn’t met, they become lonely. They become depressed. They become angry. They are told to express their emotions. When they finally express this sadness or anger to anybody who will listen (possibly over the Internet), their feelings are once again dismissed and mocked. “Just suck it up!” “Oh, male tears; that’s hilarious,” “No guy is owed a woman; you’re a creeper!” “Dude, quit being such a pussy.”

And then they start looking around for answers, because the lack of empathy and worthless advice from friends, family, and strangers has made them even more sad, angry, and lonely. And they often find “answers” in the darkest places. Places that encourage violence and hatred.

Most guys likely create yet another fantasy world around these places, and don’t actually do anything violent in real life. The only victim is themselves, as they go deeper and deeper into a horrible emotional place, hopefully to snap out of it at some point and realize what a bad existence being in a place of hatred and anger really is.

However, some guys do take it to the real world. And, the result is often horrific.

And then, after they act out, we dismiss, judge, mock, ridicule, and bully them all over again.

I am not defending the behavior of these types of guys. I am not even saying a woman should ever be forced to date or even hang out with a guy who creeps them out.

What I am saying is that we need to start having some compassion for frustrated young guys, and instead of dismissing and mocking their situations in life, actually reach out to them and help them, both emotionally and socially.

Baby boys aren’t born wanting to join ISIS, kill their co-workers, or shoot up Christians at a community college. Next time you mock or make fun of that awkward and lonely guy no woman would date, or no guy will befriend, maybe ask yourself what you can do to help him become a better person, even if it is simply showing a little compassion when the rest of the world is judging him.

I suspect most people will just continue ridiculing, mocking, and bullying, because that seems to be what humans seem to do. I’m sure some people will even get on me for suggesting a guy like Chris Harper-Mercer even deserved some compassion in life.

Why Is Dating Advice For Men So Horrible? (With A Very Horrible Example)

I recently came across some very horrible advice for a 35 year old guy who really wants a girlfriend, but has never had one. I have linked to an archived version of the original page, because I cannot support the column by linking to it. It made me realize how horrible advice given to single guys really is.

upset man

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

So, basically a 35 year old guy asks an advice columnist how to get a girlfriend, because he is desperate and feels like his life is lacking in this area. Also, he understands quite rightly that his options are dwindling for future relationships since he is getting older.

The response the columnist gives can be boiled down to:  you don’t really need a girlfriend, be yourself, and try online dating. I’m not joking. Read it yourself. But let’s not blame the columnist. It is probably similar to advice that guy has gotten his entire life (which may explain why he has yet to get a girlfriend).

So, we have a guy who, if we assume he started getting interested in girls around 15, has spent the last twenty years (7300+ days) unable to fulfill the most basic need a human being can have, and that is the advice he gets from an “expert.”

He gets told to suppress his most basic desires, continue being his same old self that hasn’t been able to get a girl for two decades, and go online, since clearly if you can’t get a date in twenty years offline, then magically you’ll be able to suddenly get one online.

In fairness to her, the columnist does suggest using online dating as a “test area” for developing social skills like talking to women. However, she must be unaware how competitive online dating is for men, and the horrible experience unattractive men have with online dating. So what she is basically telling the guy is to get online where he can “practice” by competing with hundreds of other men who are messaging the same girl he is.

This advice is a part of much broader trend, in which “experts” (along with family and friends) provide guys with horrible, ineffective dating advice, usually while also summarily dismissing any frustration or sadness they may have over their lack of a meaningful romantic relationship.

man plugging ears

Image courtesy of artur84 /

Let’s use as an example a 30 year old guy who really wants a girlfriend, but has never even gotten a date. He spends most of the day working a crap job, then going home and playing video games. He has the charm of a wooden beam, and is carrying an extra 50 pounds. His hygiene sucks, and he hasn’t bought new clothes in five years, minus maybe a T-shirt that doesn’t fit.

His family, friends, and “experts” tell him things like “just be yourself,” “join a club,” and “take up salsa dancing, because women like dancing.”

Yet, not a single one of his female friends or family members giving that advice would ever date a similarly unattractive guy simply because they met him at a salsa dancing event. And if they met a guy like that while attending a club meeting, they may say “be yourself” as a pleasantry, but they would be creeped out if that guy attempted anything even slightly romantically with them.

And, none of his male friends who actually get dates would ever suggest that their success is because they went to a salsa dance. They would likely refuse to “take up salsa dancing” themselves, even if they gave that advice to him.

And yet, this is the advice a lot of guys are getting. And, what happens is that guys who are sick of being single stay single based on all the bad advice they get.

Yet, there are scientifically proven things a guy can do to become more attractive. That isn’t the point of this article, but we base our books and this site on those things. However, most people dismiss the things that actually work.

They do this for three reasons. First, many people assume (incorrectly) you can’t change your personality. Second, they are often uncomfortable admitting what actually works, especially if it runs contrary to their particular life philosophy, whether it be their religion, political views, or a particular movement they adhere to that likely ends with an “-ism.” And finally, many people “lucked into” relationships because someone else did all the work for them (like a married couple who got set up by friends at work), so they may literally have no idea how to attract someone.

For example, let’s take the egalitarian advice columnist who is reluctant to acknowledge that the last five guys she dated were handsome and charming and that she rejected ten guys who were ugly and boring in favor of them. In her mind, she may have convinced herself that she just happened to have things in common with all the handsome and charming guys, and not the ugly and boring guys, so instead of facing up to reality, suggesting that a perpetually dateless guy could go to the gym and revamp his personality, she says “join a club” instead.

Or let’s take the Christian minister handing out dating advice. He can’t say to his parishioner, “you are boring and socially awkward with a job that is going nowhere,” because obviously that isn’t exactly Christ-centered advice, even though he gets interest from a lot of women (and became the leader of the church) precisely because he is charming and exciting with a high-status job.

Or what about the parent? Most parents quite rightly love their kids “as is,” and want to protect their kids from the emotional rollercoaster of love and romance. So even though a guy’s mom fell for the rebellious bad boy who was dominant in the bedroom, she isn’t likely to tell her thirty year old son to become that type of guy, so instead she continues to enable her son to be a frustrated manchild who still plays video games in her basement (even if she can’t name a single friend who would have fallen for that type of guy).

It is time to stop giving frustrated guys who need real and actionable advice pointless and ineffective advice that the advice-givers themselves would never try.

Men And Women Process Breaking Up Differently

man yelling at woman

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Add yet another difference to how men and women think and process emotions: men and women handle break-ups differently.

A recent study shows that women feel the pain of a break-up more intensely. They also experience more physical pain and ailments associated with a break-up.

Women, however, seem to get over the pain faster than do men.

The researchers speculate that women feel more initial pain because of evolutionary reasons. If a woman reproduces, it requires a lot of time and resources (9 months of pregnancy and even more time breastfeeding, etc). Thus, it makes sense her brain will create a stronger bond with a high value man (at least in evolutionary terms). However, since men typically compete for women (i.e., men have to approach and initiate), attractive women often have dating opportunities arise after a break-up with little work on their part.

Men, on the other hand, may pine longer, because while a single woman likely will have multiple suitors competing for her attention, a man may find that he is unable (and unwilling after a break up) to compete to get a new woman. Even attractive men may find themselves dateless after a break-up if they aren’t willing to put in the work to meet new women.

What Women Want (That You Don’t Have)

A recent study confirms what we have been saying from the beginning:  that men and women look for different things in a potential mate, and what women primarily want in a guy is status, as opposed to his looks.

Despite the cries of “men and women are the same” and “just be yourself and someone will come along” both common sense and actual science continue to say otherwise, which is that men and women are different, and there are things you can do to become more attractive.

happy couple

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

This is a very important study, since it shows mate preferences across 37(!) cultures, and regardless of whether the culture was liberal or conservative, guess what? Women and men were not only consistent in their attraction preferences across cultures and countries, but men and women look for different things in a potential mate (again something a ten year old can tell you that some academics seem to ignore). The study found:

Women look for men who are older, have status and financial resources, and are ambitious.

Men look for women who are younger and attractive.

Sociability, pleasing disposition, and common religious and political beliefs weren’t “sex differentiated.” This doesn’t mean these aren’t important. It is just there weren’t gender differences in their importance.

Most guys who need dating and social help think that simply being nice and hoping for the best will get them a date, while ignoring what actually works: bettering yourself and developing status/confidence (and even faking it along the way through body language modification, etc).

High Fiving Everyone You Meet

I tried to “high five” everyone I passed on the bike path while running yesterday. I didn’t videotape my run, but I did reflect on it afterwards, providing a few tips on what led to my success.

Why You Don’t Have Money

If you don’t want to wait to learn why you don’t have money, scroll down to the very last line. The answer is there.

Growing up in a middle-class Christian home, I often heard these sayings a lot, either from family, friends, or teachers:

“Money is the root of all evil.”
“Rich people are evil and must be stopped.”
“You can’t buy happiness!”
“I don’t have time to learn about money; I have my own struggles!”

i-love-moneyI can partially agree with all of the above statements. When some people get money, they can get pretty darn evil. There definitely are greedy rich people who put money over the needs of people. I know miserable rich people and happy poorer people. And, I have things in my life that demand my priority too, so I can’t learn all the ins-and-outs of money like a PhD student in economics.

However, the problem with the above statements is that they all show a basic aversion to money and chosen ignorance of making it. I know people who really need more money, who need money for things like house repairs, medical costs, transportation, etc, who have these attitudes. They wonder why they are always struggling.

Imagine if you wanted to exercise and lose weight, yet you believed…

“Health is the root of all evil.”
“Fit people are all snooty and bad.”
“Being healthy won’t make you happy.”
“I don’t have time to learn how to eat healthy and exercise.”

My best guess is with those attitudes, you won’t get healthy. And why would you? Your fundamental approach to the issue tells your brain over and over again that healthy people are bad, and having health is a bad thing and not worth caring about.

I am not saying changing your attitude about money is going to make you money. However, as I mention in all of my books, especially Say It Like You Mean It, every action begins with a thought, so you can’t take right actions if you don’t have the right thoughts.

Here is the thing. Rich people get rich because they care about money, and learn the ins-and-outs of it. You can criticize them as shallow all you want, but…

While you were learning all the stats about Ohio State Football (or any other major sports team), and spending hundreds of dollars to support them, the rich guy next door was using that time to learn about money and spend hundreds investing.

While you were memorizing and downloading every Metallica album, making them wealthy, a rich guy was learning about the music industry and approaching bands about how he can help them make money.

While you were watching every episode of Star Wars, spending hours debating about the canonical status of the various books, a rich guy  spent hours watching investing videos, and was debating with a friend about the best way to make money investing in the film industry.

While you were producing 10k tweets over the last year that basically told 100 followers what you were feeling at a given moment, another guy was writing a hundred short stories on Amazon that are now generating passive income.

While you were keeping up with the Kardashians, a rich woman created a brand of reality that others wanted to watch and is now getting her own TV show (which you will likely watch and purchase the merchandise).

So, here is the deal. While I’m not saying it is necessarily easy to get rich, if you hate money and the people that have it, and don’t make time to understand it, you are leaving money in the hands of the already-rich.

Why don’t you have money?

Because you don’t care about learning how to really make money and create wealth.

There are other things in life that matter. I agree. But if you spend your time focusing on gardening, music, football, etc, and don’t have time to learn about how money works and ways to create wealth, don’t be shocked that you have the greenest garden, the biggest MP3 collection, and the best memory for quarterback ratings at your local bar, but no money.

I hate MLM products. I think they are horrible ways to make money. However, people that try to sell them are at least breaking out of the mold of the “work 60 hours a week for someone else until I die miserable and poor before I can retire” mindset. Those people are at least trying, and I find sometimes that can be a good start to actually caring about money.

I started caring in 2002 when I needed to open a credit card. Nobody would give me credit. I learned everything I could about investing and money, and even got my license to sell stocks and bonds.

It wasn’t until 2010 that I started to get the vision of starting my own business as an option to get out of the “trade my freedom to work for someone else” mentality.

This has been a long journey that is still unfolding, but I have saved and made a lot more money that I would have otherwise not made thanks to my knowledge and interest.

So, start learning. One book that absolutely changed my view of wealth was Millionaire Fastlane. I highly recommend it as a book to get started.

The books below are also helpful:

Personal Finance For Dummies
Investing For Dummies
The Luck Factor
Wealth Secrets of the One Percent (as of this post, soon to be released)