Ep. #60 Why Nice Guys Are Actually Nasty Guys with Dr. Robert Glover
So all of this attention on this idea has not really helped many men or women understand it. It's poorly explained, if at all when it is discussed. And depending on who is talking about it, they push a different idea of what it actually means.
As a consequence, most people don't have a very clear idea of what it means, and its usefulness as a concept gets lost. Worse, it becomes detrimental with you trying to avoid being nice at all, and that can really start screwing with the good and positive parts of your personality; and your confidence, self-esteem, and inner game can really suffer to.
So today is clean up and clarify what a nice guy really is, and importantly, investigate why the nice guy, in fact, is not really nice at all. He's pretty nasty underneath. Once you understand this, any confusion about whether you are being too nice to women will be cleared up. More importantly, you will be able to look at yourself and see if you have any of those nasty nice guy qualities that need some attention and work.
The guest today is Dr. Robert Glover. He's the man that originally popularized the idea of the nice guy back in the year 2001. The New York Times has called Robert a psychology guru. He is the author of the best selling book No More Mr. Nice Guy, which was published back in 2003. He is a certified marriage and family therapist of 30 years experience and has been working on helping men specifically with the nice guy dilemma for over a decade. He also has a lot of his own personal life experience to share, having been married twice.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- Robert's background (04:05)
- Becoming a better 'picker' and 'ender' in dating (05:52)
- Robert's past dating experiences and becoming aware of his own dating approach (09:30)
- What has become more important in life in terms of dating and relationships (13:37)
- Being a nice guy: how it is shaped by your past (18:46)
- Explanation of the nice guy syndrome (20:25)
- Unconscious behavior of being a nice guy (24:44)
- Is there a question you can ask yourself regarding nice guy behavior patterns (26:04)
- Nice guy character traits are actually negative, even nasty (27:55)
- Compartmentalizing your desires and interests to validate your actions (29:10)
- Breaking away from the nice guy syndrome by finding safe people you can reveal yourself to (30:50)
- When nice guys are manipulative and dishonest (34:10)
- Understanding passive aggressive behavior (35:27)
- The Victim Puke: Elliot Rodger, repressed anger, and mental illness (40:05)
- Are pickup artists fueling the negative side of nice guy syndrome? (48:50)
- Actionable steps to take to start stepping out of the nice guy syndrome (54:12)
- The process of consciousness: becoming an accurate and non-judgmental observer of yourself (58:42)
- Robert's best experience with a woman (1:02:53)
- Recommendation for high quality advice for life, dating, sex, and relationships (1:06:03)
- Top three recommendations to help men get better results with women as fast as possible (1:07:26)
- Current and upcoming projects (1:08:15)
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- No More Mr. Nice Guy: Dr. Glover's book about the nice guy syndrome and learning to love yourself, having a passionate life, and attracting the love you want.
- Elliot Rodger and The Nice Guy Syndrome: Article from Dr. Glover's blog.
- The Way of the Superior Man (David Deida): A spiritual guide to mastering the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire. Recommended reading by Dr. Glover.
- David Deida: Dr. Glover highly recommended reading David's book (see above) and attending his workshops.
- Your Brain On Porn: Gary Wilson's website for those addicted to porn. Recommended by Dr. Glover for people addicted to porn.
- How Internet Porn Can Damage Your Inner Game and Sexuality: Dating Skills Review podcast episode 40 with Gary Wilson.
- Meetup.com: Dr. Glover recommends this website for creating groups with similar interests, activities, and support.
Books, Courses and Training from Robert A. Glover
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan] Hey, Robert, I have to ask this. Are you an Alice Cooper fan?
[Dr. Robert Glover] As much as anybody who grew up in the sixties and seventies is I suppose.
[Angel Donovan] When I was actually Googling you preparing for this and doing some research, I came across that song. I actually knew that song, Alice Cooper’s No More Mr. Nice Guy. I have to thank you actually, because you actually sent me on this little nostalgia trip.
I checked it out on YouTube and then it suggested some Guns and Roses, and some Metallica, Iron Maiden. I spend the rest of the day listening to that stuff, which is pretty cool, because I never do that.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Your welcome. And, yeah, probably when I was doing a lot of radio interviews after the book came out, I’d say probably at least 30 to 40 percent of the radio interviewers would always lead with Alice Cooper’s No More Mr. Nice Guy with the interviews. So I’ve heard it many times, believe me.
[Angel Donovan] You know what we’ll do for this one? We’ll put it in as well, just for the start--just for you.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I love it. I love it.
[Angel Donovan] It is a cool song. What we like to do first in these interviews is get a little bit of background on you to see who you are, and learn about you--what you’ve done in your life. How old are you at the moment?
[Dr. Robert Glover] I am 58.
[Angel Donovan] Great. I think that entitles you to be the wisest so far on the podcast.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I love it.
[Angel Donovan] Where do you currently live and what’s your lifestyle like?
[Dr. Robert Glover] My lifestyle is I live half the year in Seattle Washington in the summer. It’s my home town. It’s where I grew up.
Then I live six to seven months in the wintertime in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.
[Angel Donovan] Which is amazing. That’s a great system you have there.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I love it. It’s working beautifully. This is early June, right now as we talk and I just got back to Seattle. I love both places.
[Angel Donovan] You get the best of both worlds. What is your dating situation like today?
[Dr. Robert Glover] I have been dating. I don’t know if that’s the best word for it, but I’ve been with the same women now for five years. It’s an interesting story how we met, so I’ll probably tell you that at some point during the interview.
I was married for a total of 25 years to two women, then got divorced and split in 2002 and then went through about six, seven, eight years of pretty steady dating. When I got divorced, I realized I had to learn how to date if I was going to find more appropriate women to spend my life with.
[Angel Donovan] Your second marriage finished in 2002 you said.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yeah. I split in 2002. When I got out of that marriage, I realized I’d been married to two women for 25 years. I probably should not have dated either of the women more than three dates at the most. Yet here it was 25 years down the road, so I kind of had one of those aha moments when I split when I realized okay, I got to work on two things in my life.
Number one, I got to work at being a better picker. I got to learn how to actually date and pick women that are good matches for me. But I realized, perhaps more importantly, I had to become a better ender.
Being a good ender can cover a multitude of sins if you’re not the best picker. And if you think about it, you’ve dated a lot. We’re never good pickers when it comes to first meeting a person, because you have to date them to actually get to know them.
Once you actually get to knowing them, if they’re not a good match, you better be a good ender so you can move on and increase the possibilities of finding women that are a good match for you.
[Angel Donovan] I think it’s one of the hardest things, selecting women. It’s one of the things I think a lot about these days. I’m very careful when I’m meeting a new girl and I take some time to think about whether I want to contribute a year, or two years of my life and go down this path.
It’s a big investment when we’re thinking about our lives.
[Dr. Robert Glover] It is, and as I’ve learned and as I tell people, you can’t really get in if you don’t know you can get out. That's something really in my own self when I started dating, not only did I have to learn a lot of dating skills. It sounds like I went through a process very similar to yours to realize after the end of a relationship, I had to learn how to date better, so I really studied it.
I practiced it; basically became a researcher of going out there and testing what worked. But really, bottom line I kept coming back to, I had to be a good ender if I was going to be able to take that risk of, as you say, investing your time in a person. Because whether it’s a one and done coffee date or a woman you date three or four times, or a woman you sleep with a couple times, or a woman you date for three or four months and realize she’s not the best long-term fit--it. Doesn’t matter what the situation is. If you cannot end well, you probably won’t ever really take the risk of getting in and if you do get in, you often stay stuck way too long, like I did in both of my marriages.
[Angel Donovan] When you say you’re a good ender, that means being able to observe and see that the relationship’s not good for you, and having the insight, basically the perspective, that this is something you should stop, first of all. And getting out of the emotion and the passion and whatever else could have been holding you inside the relationship. And also having the courage to make that decision, is that what you mean by that, or did you mean something a bit different?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Well, all of the above really, because what I realized is that the most successful people in life at any endeavor were good enders. You’re going to get into a lot of situations in life, one way or another--you fall into it, or you make a choice and you get there. And at some period of time, you realize okay, this isn’t a good fit for me anymore, whether it’s a friendship, whether it’s a job, whether it’s a house you live in or a place you live.
Successful people can very consciously and in a very timely way say it’s time for me to make a change. Sometimes it’s a small change, sometimes it’s a big change. But I’ll go back to what I said again.
You really can’t get all the way into something--relationship, a job--if you don’t know you can get out. Part about being a good ender is a state of mind. I’ve dove in with some women before where I said okay, I’m just going to dive all the way in this, see where it goes and knew I could do that because if it wasn’t going well, I knew I could make a timely, conscious decision and in a very clear and loving way, let the woman know it wasn’t working and I needed to move on.
But if you don’t know you can do that, like I said, you can’t dive all the way in, and if you do get in, often you stay way too long.
[Angel Donovan] Thanks. That’s a very interesting perspective we haven’t had on the show before. I picked up on something you said. You said with both of your first wives, you shouldn’t have gone past the first three dates. What specifically do you now see that you should have seen in those first three dates, and should have said, okay, this isn’t the right girl for me, or relationship?
[Dr. Robert Glover] I’ll answer that question specifically, but let me give you a general answer first. The general answer is I was never a good dater. My typical way of dating a woman is either just have a crush on her and do nothing, or if I did like a woman, I would usually just find ways to hang around her, kind of like going back to high school or college days where I would just try to find a way to sit next to them or spend a little time with them. Hopefully, they would see over time I was this really good guy and they would want to date me.
Now that’s a really slow process of actually making anything happen with dating. It is all I really knew how to do. What would happen, and this is true for so many guys I work with--I’m a marriage therapist, by the way. I’ve been a marriage therapist for 30 years.
My experience is with most people, men and women alike--I think we’re primarily talking to men here--most men, if they get with a woman and stay with her, usually the reason they get with her is she’s not too bad looking, she seems to have some interest in him, pay attention to him, and at some point, is willing to have sex with him. Now, that’s actually a pretty crummy foundation to build a really, healthy, vibrant, exciting, long-term relationship, but that’s the way I did it. If a woman if kind of not too bad looking, if she seemed to like me okay and eventually wanted to be romantic with me, well, that’s what I picked.
That was my dating approach, like most people. When I did meet both my first two wives, the situation I was in is kind of like they weren’t women I would have just picked if I was consciously picking. They were more like situations I fell into.
With my first wife, it was on a rebound my sophomore year of college after having an up-and-down relationship with a borderline personality woman I’d fallen in love with my freshman year. She was a friend of my roommate. We just went out, and I wasn’t all that attracted to her, she wasn’t all that exciting, but I kind of just wanted someone to hang out with because I was getting over a break-up.
Looking back on it, from a conscious dating point of view, I wouldn’t have dated her because I wasn’t all that attracted to her and she really wasn’t all that interesting, but she was a nice person. My second wife was married when I met her, so that was probably a really good clue that I shouldn’t have gotten involved with her. One of the things I found out about myself through that process and a couple of others is that I am amazingly attracted to unhappily married women.
I’ve come to find out, through conscious dating, that’s my story because my first love object, my mother, was an unhappily married woman who I thought I could rescue from the bad man she was married to. One of the things I found out through--and I like to use the word conscious dating--was to become a good observer of what I’m unconsciously attracted to in women. I’ve had to make some very conscious decisions and it’s helped me become more aware, more alert when I actually meet women.
I still find I’m really attracted to women who need some kind of helping and fixing. I’ve just learned to be aware of that.
[Angel Donovan] That’s very interesting. That connects directly with just our last podcast. We spoke to guy called Jason Gaddis and we were talking all about affairs and cheating and where it comes from, and talking about how it’s often coming from you’re dynamic, so it’s interesting that you brought that up. Did that relationship end with either you or her having an affair?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yes. Actually, my second wife, like a said it began as an affair. We were both married when we got together. I did have an affair early in that marriage and that’s why I started going to therapy. Then, yes she did have an affair towards the end of it. Then I stuck around three more years.
I had other reasons for sticking around, like kids were involved. But yeah, on both of our parts there was unconscious stuff going on there, for sure.
[Angel Donovan] Very interesting. What has become more important to you in recent years, in this area of your life compared to before?
[Dr. Robert Glover] In terms of dating and relationship? Well I think the biggest shift as I’ve gotten older and probably as I’ve done a lot of my own recovery work, is that I would say the lifestyle I live in general is actually more important than the actual dating and relationship aspect of my life. As I said, I’ve been with a woman now for five years, but the way I phrase it and what I tend to teach men is I encourage them to do what I call work on their great cake of a life.
For me, a great cake for me, and this seems to be true for a lot of men, includes the ingredients of pursuing my passions--and that’s why I live in Mexico part of the year. That’s why I do what I do in my business. I love my job. I love what I do.
I never dread any of it. I love waking up and getting up and getting to do what I do in working with guys. It involves pursuing your passion. It involves spending time with men, which is something I found with a lot of guys I work with, especially once they get caught up in a relationship with a woman. They tend to neglect that aspect of their life.
But our ancestors, our male ancestors, spent the majority of their time working, hunting, gathering, fighting with other men. So being with men is an important ingredient of the great cake. I believe regular strenuous exercise is an important part of that great cake. Again, our ancestors lived a very challenging physical life. It’s wired into our DNA.
A fourth ingredient is just leaning into challenge. To every day get out of your comfort zone and do things that challenge you. In my experience, when I’m living that kind of life, I feel full, passionate, vibrant, energized.
Then, what I encourage men to do is then add a great woman as the icing on that great cake. Again, as a marriage therapist and in my own experience as a guy who’s been married twice, is that whenever you make a woman the cake of your life, or even one of the key ingredients, it’s always going to go flat. The best way I know how to say that is create a great life and invite a great woman, or great women, into your great life.
One of the patterns I’ve found with so many men I work with, and this was true for me, is whenever I was trying to figure out how to fit into the woman’s life, how to make her happy, how to come connect with her, that never works out well. Live a great life and invite the woman into your great life. One thing I can tell you is that my girlfriend, Gerri, regularly communicates to me.
She’ll send me an email. She’ll text me. We live together most of the year, but part of the year I’m in Mexico and she’s not. She regularly lets me know how much it turns her on and how attracted she is to me that I live a passionate life and that I’m helping men and changing the world.
She’ll say things like “Your dudes really love you. I like that about you.” She likes that I’m helping men live a better life and she likes that I’m changing the world. Find a woman that is turned on by your great life, how you walk the planet, instead of you figuring out how to go turn her on by fitting into her life.
That’s what’s different in how I go about things now.
[Angel Donovan] That is a very positive basis for a relationship, and for you as well. If you got someone supportive who respects your goals and supports them as well, that’s going to be more helpful to you. I always think of relationships as teamwork. Often I’ll tell my girlfriend “We’re a team.”
[Dr. Robert Glover] I tell my girlfriend that all the time that we’re a team. It actually took her a while to figure that out, because as a lot of women growing up in our culture, they’re actually not used to being part of a team. They often become kind of controlling because they have to. They want to get things done. They just have to go get it done.
I really encourage men to have a vision for their life, for their relationship, for where they’re going, and to invite a great woman to come be a part of that team and have a vision for how the woman fits in there and how the two of you make each other’s lives better. One of the things I often say is that a relationship should lighten your load, not add to your burden. I also say that you shouldn’t have to give up anything that’s important to you to be in a relationship.
If you have a clear vision of your life, you can also present that clear vision to whatever woman’s in your life and invite her to come be in that life in a way that benefits both of you.
[Angel Donovan] I like the way you put that. It lightens your load. One of the easiest ways to know if a relationship is working or not is to think about is your life enhanced or is it heavier? Do you fell more drag, most resistance?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Exactly. And why would you want to do that? Why would you want to invite somebody or something into your life that creates chaos or drama or extra burdens? Why would you do that? But we often do, again because of those unconscious patterns we have of how we select people and then how we co-create, unconsciously, relationship patterns with them.
[Angel Donovan] Today’s topic is the nice guy, which you’re very well known for. The first question is were you ever a nice guy yourself?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Oh yeah. If you looked up nice guy in the dictionary, you would have seen my picture. And I thought that was a good thing.
I grew up with a father who was kind of moody, critical, angry--kind of the king of the castle. My mother waited on him. Everything revolved around him. My mother even told me and my brother that she was raising us to be different from our father, to be that nice guy who was considerate of women, which is a fine thing.
But, I went from the extreme of my father, which I’d put in the category of the asshole jerk, to over-being the woosy doormat, of doing everything I could to try to please women. And I also grew up in the sixties and seventies with a lot of the angry feminism that blamed men for all the problems in the world. I’d listen to women complain about the jerks in their lives.
I was bound and determined to be that good guy that women would like and value and want to be with. Like most nice guys, even though that doesn’t work real well, especially in terms of attracting women and creating healthy relationships, you don’t know anything else so you just keep trying harder. And like some people that have been in the news lately, it can lead to a lot of rage and resentment towards women, all the while you’re trying to be a nice guy to get their approval.
[Angel Donovan] Today, I think we hear this a lot everywhere. We hear it in the magazines. It’s in the mainstream media, this concept of a nice guy and women not being attracted to nice guys, and so on. But I think it’s not really very clear.
One of the things I think is nice about your work is that I think there is a lot of detail to what is this nice guy stuff? What is it all about? What is nice guy syndrome--this is what you call it? What would be the typical behaviors associated with this syndrome?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Let me give you a little bit of the foundation of it and we can talk about specific behaviors. Fundamentally, the nice guy syndrome--men that are walking the planet trying to be quote a nice guy typically don’t believe they are okay just as they are. Usually, this is based on a belief system we internalized as children, usually very inaccurately, from various experiences--either feelings of being abandoned as children, neglected, inconsistency from our parents, anger, addiction.
It could be any number of things growing up. We internalize an emotional belief that I’m not good enough. There’s something wrong with me.
Many people walking the planet do this, but then we all develop different coping mechanisms to deal with these uncomfortable beliefs that we call shame. Shame is the sense that I’m fundamentally flawed and unlovable in some way. So we develop coping mechanisms, and everybody does.
For the nice guy, their coping mechanism is try to become what they think other people want them to be in order to be loved and liked and get their needs met. They walk the planet with this unconscious paradigm or road map that I’m not good enough. I have to become better and not let people see the ways that I’m flawed.
Nice guys work with three real unconscious covert contracts, what I call them. Covert contract number one--they’re always an if then proposition. If I’m a good guy, then people will like me and love me, and in the case of dating and mating, the people I desire will desire me back. That’s covert contract number one.
Covert contract number two--if I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask. Covert contract number three--if I do everything right, or maybe at least hide the fact when I make mistakes, but if I do everything right, then I will have a smooth, problem-free life. There’s some problems with the covert contracts.
Number one, the nice guy usually isn’t consciously aware of them. Number two, everybody around the nice guy is totally oblivious to the contracts. Number three, they just don’t work. They don’t reflect the reality of the world.
Being nice to people doesn’t make everybody like you. Giving to everybody else doesn’t make them want to give back to you, and we don’t live in a smooth, problem-free world. Nice guys are typically out there trying to please people, get approval. They tend to avoid conflict. Then tend to hide a lot of things about themselves--anything they think that people might judge or see negatively.
They’re not particularly honest. They don’t make their needs a priority because they typically think everybody else’s needs should come first. They walk the planet in really a fairly dishonest, unintegrated, unauthentic way, all the while thinking they’re really good people, and if people just get to know them, they’ll find out how good they are.
But, if you’re hiding things about yourself, seeking approval, you’re not going to be honest. You’re not going to tell the truth. You’re not going to say what you really want. You’re not going to let people know if they’re doing something that bothers you. You won’t have any boundaries.
Nice guys actually tend to be fundamentally not nice, and because of their passiveness and their seeking of approval, our approach to women, dating or mating doesn’t work very well. If you’re trying to please a woman and get her to approve of you, you’re not doing anything at all that will spark any kind of interest or what I call emotional tension in her. That’s where a lot of guys strike out over and over again with women.
Because they don’t do anything to create an emotional tension that can lead to attraction, attachment and passion from women, it just reinforces their belief--oh, there’s something wrong with me and women can see right through me and know that I’m a loser. They either become very avoidant or, when they do approach women, they do it so passively it just reinforces the whole paradigm when the women don’t respond very well to them.
[Angel Donovan] That was a great overview. One of the things you mentioned at the beginning was that this is unconscious behavior, so if one of the guys is fitting into this nice guy syndrome that you described, he may not know it himself, or is it more likely that he doesn’t actually know it?
[Dr. Robert Glover] It could be both, because I’ve met plenty of nice guys, and I was in that category, who took pride in being a nice guy. I would tell you that. I’m a nice guy. I’m one of the nicest guys you’re ever going to meet.
I’ve met plenty of nice guys like that. And, yes, I’ve met plenty of men who were unconscious to the pattern, and it wasn’t until maybe enough women told them “You’re such a nice guy, but I don’t want to date you” or somebody gave them my book, or they just Google nice guy and come across my website.
Yes, I get emails, literally daily, from men that said “You know, I wish I found your book years ago, because I thought what I was doing made sense until I read your book, and then it just hit me. I now know why that isn’t working for me.” Some guys, when they find it, it’s just like a two by four upside the head--they see themselves.
Yet, there are other guys--I’ve had plenty of guys tell me somebody gave them my book, or they picked it up and didn’t read it for five years, didn’t make sense to them. Then they picked it up again and thought “Oh, yeah. This is me.” Sometimes we’re ready to see it. Sometimes we’re not.
[Angel Donovan] Is there question that someone can ask themselves which will help to enlighten them to this?
[Dr. Robert Glover] That’s a good question. I like that one. Probably, you could begin with “Am I happy?” That might be a good place to start, because most of the people on the planet--and this is especially true for nice guys--go seeking happiness outside of ourselves.
That might be a good place to start. If you say “Well, actually I’m not as happy as I’d like to be,” maybe ask yourself a few questions from there. Am I trying to get people’s approval to be happy? Am I avoiding certain things in life, and that’s leading to my unhappiness?
One of the things I’ve found--if you’re spending a lot of time seeking other people’s approval, you’re usually not doing the things that empower and inspire you. What I’ve found is that approval seeking and passion usually don’t go together very well. It’s hard for a man to be happy in life if he’s not pursuing his passion.
[Angel Donovan] There’s probably a pretty straightforward question you can ask yourself relating to that. Am I worrying about what others are thinking? When I’m doing stuff, am I thinking about them instead of thinking about what I’m doing?
[Dr. Robert Glover] And that’s a great place to start. Am I seeking other people’s approval? Am I afraid of rejection? Am I afraid of upsetting anybody?
If you can answer affirmative to all those cases, what you’ll probably find is you have a high state of anxiety. That’s another thing to look at. Look at your anxiety levels.
One thing I’ve come to realize about nice guy syndrome is it’s fundamentally an anxiety-based disorder. We are out there trying to manage people and situations in an attempt to manage our internal anxiety. Even if you’re noticing a lot of anxiety in your life, that’s often a clue too that you’re trying to seek approval and manage your life rather than live your life.
[Angel Donovan] What I find interesting about the nice guy syndrome, and you’ve already brought up some of these character traits. You were talking about some of the character traits of the nice guy is that the way you described the nice guy, he really doesn’t sound nice at all. In fact, kind of nasty would be a pretty good definition.
Some of the traits I saw that you have is manipulative and dishonest, passive-aggressive, full of rage, controlling, manipulative, secretive and dishonest. That’s quite a lot of traits right there. There’s a pile of real negativity there. Could you talk a bit more about that, how it comes out and how it’s related to this?
[Dr. Robert Glover] That is such a good point. I hit on that on really strongly very early in my book, No More Mr. Nice Guy, stressing that all the while--and probably, I know for me, I had very good intentions. My intention was to be a good person.
But what happens is that nice guys tend to compartmentalize so much of ourselves. For example, because we don’t tend to have very good boundaries because nobody ever taught us to set boundaries. I was in my thirties in my second marriage with a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy before a therapist every showed me what boundaries looked like.
It’s like “Oh, you mean I can tell people no? I can tell them stop? I can tell that bothers me when you do that, or I can remove myself?”
[Angel Donovan] What does compartmentalize mean?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Compartmentalize means where you can take contradictory pieces of information about yourself--we’re all complex. We might be a happy person one day and maybe an angry person at another time. We can take some of the information and put it in these airtight containers in our unconscious and because they’re in separate compartments, we can almost keep them separate.
I’ll give you an example. I work with a lot of nice guys that have pornography addictions. Many of the men with pornography addictions also are fairly religious. I grew up in a fundamental religious church, so I get it. Because you believe that your sexuality is bad, or other people with think you’re bad for being a sexual person, you repress it. You put a lid on it and you push it underground.
Then, because we’re wired to be sexual creatures, it finds a way to get manifested and because we’re trying to put a lid on it and not let anybody know about our sexual desires and interests, it comes out in kind of dark, underground ways.
[Angel Donovan] So there’s a hidden, kind of dishonest aspect of the character you’re bringing up.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yeah, that’s one of many ways it can get manifested. But that’s an example of compartmentalization. You might have an elder in the church who’s there leading this good, exemplary life, all the while he’s addicted to pornography online that nobody knows about. He can do them both by keeping them in compartments and not looking at them side to side very often.
If you look at them side to side, you then have a crisis. The crisis says “Wait a minute. This is inconsistent. I’m inauthentic and I should do something different.”
[Angel Donovan] Does that mean, in this situation, that I have to be okay with telling my girlfriend or being open about the porn subject?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Well, here’s where I suggest you begin, because one of the key themes in my book is that to really break free from nice guy syndrome, you have to surround yourself with safe people that you can reveal yourself to. You can let them see every aspect of you--your warts, your flaws, your imperfections, your dark side, your impulses, your past behaviors. In that safe environment, have a mirror to have feedback that you’re okay.
You’re an average human being and everybody else has those same kinds of behaviors, and thoughts, and impulses, and desires, and it doesn’t make us bad. If we can be conscious of them, we can choose how to act on them and manifest them in our life. I highly recommend, and I did a ton of this--men’s groups, 12 step groups, therapy, your minister, your best friend.
Find safe places to reveal you. Because remember, the nice guy believes he’s fundamentally unlovable. To bring that out in a safe place, get feedback that you’re just an average, normal guy. Then I’ve found it is much easier to then just reveal that to the people closest to you whom you’re actually the most afraid of them possibly judging you or leaving you, which might include, of course, a girlfriend or a partner.
[Angel Donovan] That’s an excellent piece of advice. It sounds like a very easy first step for someone to take if you’re been in fear of revealing several aspects of you. You really have to start somewhere. But it’s essential to find a safe person because imagine if you have a friend or a buddy who like to put you down a lot, or who isn’t okay with himself.
If you tell him “Man, I think I’m addicted to porn,” he’s going to make fun of you. That’s going to be the first thing he’s going to do, and that’s not going to help you at all.
[Dr. Robert Glover] At least that’s what we’re afraid of, so we won’t reveal it. If we’re afraid of the reaction--that’s why often when I work with guys, they go “Should I tell my wife, should I tell my girlfriend that I’m looking at porn?” And I’ll say “Yeah, eventually, but let’s work on this for a little while. You practice opening up with safe people.”
I’ll even have guys show me, for example, the porn they look at. And we’ll just look at it together. And we’ll talk about it like we’d talk about cars or sports, or whatever, to take the shame out of it. As you release the shame of this stuff that we’ve labeled as bad--“I’m a bad person for this”--it gets easier to begin revealing that to safe people.
One of the things I tell people consistently, going back to creating attraction and attachment with women and the emotional tension that’s needed for that--one of the best ways I know to create positive, emotional tension with women is to be an honest, authentic transparent person. As soon as you start hiding stuff from a woman to get her approval, or not bringing things up, you start killing the emotional tension in the relationship and the woman will start losing interest in you, and maybe have to create what I call negative emotional tension--the nagging, complaining, flirting with your best friend, the sighing, the withdrawing. Being honest is such a crucial aspect of living an integrated life and creating healthy relationships.
[Angel Donovan] There’s a lot of other negative traits here we have. I just wanted to work through them a bit. You said the nice guy is manipulative. How does that work?
[Dr. Robert Glover] If you think about it, if you’re a man and you don’t think your needs are important or what you want is important, and everybody else’s needs are more important, and if you don’t believe you can just come out and say “Hey, will you do this for me?” or “Hey, I can’t go with you to your friend’s party because I have this other thing planned.” If you don’t believe you can do that, you have to subtly try to steer people to do what you want--and again, the covert contract.
What you might do is say “Well, I’ve done all this for you. Then you should be doing this back for me.” Again, nobody else knows the contract exists. You do have to kind of subtly steer people and manipulate them to get them to do what you want them to do, instead of just saying “I’d like to do this” or “I’d like you to do this..”
[Angel Donovan] Because you’re afraid of being direct.
[Dr. Robert Glover] We’re afraid we’ll get a negative reaction if we’re direct. That usually, again, goes back to childhood when we did say no or “I want…” or “I’m going to...” we got a negative reaction to it. We learned to hide what’s important to us, which again, makes us not only manipulative, but fundamentally dishonest, because we’re not telling people the truth about what’s important to us or what we really want.
[Angel Donovan] Ok, another one is passive aggressive.
[Dr. Robert Glover] That’s a good one. That’s probably one that people have a harder time getting a handle on because it is a fairly unconscious behavior. The examples I noticed about me, especially when I was in relationship and resentful towards my wife, usually because I didn’t have good boundaries and I was tolerating things I shouldn’t, and because I wasn’t good at asking for what I wanted.
I think the affair I had in my marriage was passive aggressive. It was an unconscious indirect way of getting back at my wife. I would put her down in public and I’d say “Oh I was just teasing” or “It was just a joke. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
But yet, I did things that exposed her in a vulnerable way or hurt her feelings. That’s one of the things I learned to start paying attention to as I became more conscious. When I kind of made biting remarks towards somebody or was kind of snappy at them, or did things that hurt their feelings, I would immediately step back and ask myself, “Am I angry about something? Am I holding back or repressing something that I haven’t either been conscious of myself or haven’t let them know about? So, that’s the passive aggressive behavior.
[Angel Donovan] The whole point of that tends to be that you’re holding something inside that’s repressed and it can come out in either weird ways or subtle ways you were talking about before, or it can have these tiny little explosions, like you get irritated with someone.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Passive aggressive behavior is always a manifestation of something that you’re holding back--you’re angry, you're resentful, you're rageful, and it may be towards a specific person. One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of men I work with is that a lot of men are resentful and angry at women in general. They have a generalized rage at women because they think, “I’ve been the nice guy but you women have loved me back. I’ve done my side of the contract. You haven’t done yours.”
Here’s this interesting paradox of a lot of men out there trying to get the approval of women. All the while, they have rage at them and actually their rage comes out in subtle, indirect ways all the while they’re trying to be a nice guy and get women to think they’re a good guy. It’s one more way that works against nice guys in trying to get what they want, especially in terms of relationship.
[Angel Donovan] You can see there it’s undermining your personality. It’s turning you sour from within, which is always a negative dynamic. You could just imagine how it’s sucking your energy and the way you’re describing it here, it sounds very, very negative as a dynamic.
[Dr. Robert Glover] It is very negative. That is one of paradoxes of nice guy syndrome. While you’re trying to project this positive image to people, there often is a lot of negativity very close beneath the surface that manifests itself. Again, because nice guys can be so compartmentalized, we won’t even realize how bad we’re hurting the people we’re close to who we want to love us and like us.
I’ve had so many women tell me--and my ex-wife used to tell me this--they’ll come into my office and say, “Everybody thinks my boyfriend, husband is such a nice guy. They all say ‘Oh, you’re so lucky to have him.’”
But I’ve had countless women say “But they don’t know him. They don’t know how mean he can be. They don’t know how bitter he can be. They don’t know how vindictive he can be. They don’t know how passive aggressive he can be.”
It does tend to get manifested towards the people we’re closest to because usually, from using our covert contracts with them, and us believing we’ve done our side of it but they haven’t done their side of it. Over time, that resentment grows like bricks into a big wall. Eventually, it either comes out passive aggressively or in the form of what I call a victim puke, where we just blow up and just unleash everything that’s been stored up. Then we feel like a total shit for doing it, and then we go back to trying to be nice and get their approval again.
[Angel Donovan] I read about the victim puke. Very well engineered wording there. You can actually see what’s going on there.
Before this interview, I read your latest blog article. It really resonates with this victim puke and this negative topic. It was about the Elliot Rodger massacre. I wanted to pull out a couple of the quotes for us to discusst that you wrote.
The first one, you said “Rodger’s vengeful and homicidal rants represent a nice guy victim puke on steroids.” You’re saying he’s got all of this repressed anger for a very, very long time and you think that’s what helped to result in this explosion. In some ways, you see this is similar, but did you feel like that was that kind of reaction?
[Dr. Robert Glover] There’s two pieces, and I just want to make clear, and I do this in the blog article. A lot of his rants and his resentment and frustrations are things I’ve heard from countless nice guys and I’ve said myself. But I’m very clear in the article that something was broken.
He was mentally ill in some significant way, because you can be resentful as hell at somebody, and maybe even have some kind of revenge fantasy, but you don’t get a weapon, or your car, or sharp objects and just start randomly killing people because you’re resentful. There’s a broken brain aspect to that. One of the things that I see though, without going too far down this road--and for example, a lot of the young men who have gotten weapons and killed groups of people, especially in the United States in recent years, whether it be a theatre, or school, or whatever--most of them are isolated men who have patterns of nice guy syndrome, of trying to be the good guy and get approval.
But yet, many of them still don’t know how to fit into a peer group. I’m going to venture a guess that most of them probably don’t know how to connect with women and most of them have not been able to probably have sex. I don’t think that’s what breaks their brain. I think mental illness can be manifested--it can be--we don’t know.
We don’t know what creates that severity of mental illness. It can be genetic. It may be environmental, but there is this common theme of feeling victimized by women--that I’ve been the good guy. Women have all said they want a nice guy. I’m nice to them. They don’t want to take their pants off for me.
It just fuels in a ruminating way inside a guy’s head where he replays it over and over. I promise you, the more you replay this victim mentality, the more rageful and resentful it will make you, which creates a real powerful paradox inside of a person’s head that you want the love and affection of the very objects that you have such rage towards. It can create a lot of craziness.
[Angel Donovan] I totally agree with you. It’s definitely mental illness. I really felt like it was important to show the audience despite the fact that some in the media have linked this to pick-up artist sites and dating sites and other things like that, but they’re kind of missing the point that this guy was definitely most certainly mentally ill. Just because he had some particular interest in that, but I also wanted to expose the wording, because it is pretty extreme. I wouldn’t expect you to say this was reflective of a typical guy with nice guy syndrome. I’m just going to read it back for you and can you explain how it might differ for at least someone who is not mentally ill.
Rodger, in one of his videos said, “You think I’m unworthy of you. That’s a crime I can never get over. If I can’t have you girls, I will destroy you.” “You deny me a happy life, and in turn I will deny all of you life. It’s only fair. All of you girls who rejected me, looked down upon me, treated me like scum while you gave yourselves to other men.”
“I hate all of you. I can’t wait to give you exactly what you deserve--annihilation.” A guy who might have a bit of nice guy syndrome--what kinds of things is he going to be saying as it exists in his head, because this sounds very extreme.
It’s got destruction words like “annihilation,” and “destroy you.” These things I would expect to be on more of the mentally ill side. It might be just in the kind of words, but the perspective is the same. How would you put it?
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yes. Again, I said his victim rant was on steroids, and that was the mental illness aspect of it. To put it terms of more of what I experienced in my own life and what I see in the men that I work with who have the resentment and frustration. Number one, there’s a generalization.
For example, a guy has this covert contract that maybe he’s not conscious of. If I’m a nice guy--and he’s the one keeping score. He’s the one that marks up--“Hey, I’m a nice guy. I smiled at this person” or “I don’t cheat on my taxes.”
Basically, it’s a mythology we create about ourselves that we believe “I’m nice.” We can be as compartmentalized as hell, like I said, with lots of examples of where we’re not doing nice things, but we don’t keep that score. We’re not very objective scorekeepers.
Just even having this general viewpoint “I’m nice, therefore, women should be attracted to me” and maybe we talk to some girl we have a crush on, and maybe she already has a boyfriend. She’s telling us all about maybe how he’s a jerk to her, and we keep trying to be nice. She keeps going out with the jerk, and we go, “Oh, can’t she see what I nice guy I am?”
She doesn’t even know we’re interested in her. Guys will talk about being put in the friend zone. I tell guys women don’t put us in the friend zone. We put ourselves there.
We go take this passive indirect approach to a woman and think that magically--and here’s a piece that a lot of nice guys have with women--we have a lot of magical thinking. That Magically, because I’m a nice guy, she magically should find me attractive and want to be with me without me having to take a risk.
[Angel Donovan] An essential ingredient of attraction is your desire. We’ve talked about this before on the podcast quite a few episodes back, with people like Robert Green, with David Tien--that’s kind of his specialty. If you’re not showing your desire for the women, it’s very difficult for her to feel some strong attraction to you as well. It’s a reciprocal dynamic that takes place between you.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I agree a hundred percent. That’s why I tell guys you need to show up with your sexual agenda intact. For example, if you’re talking to a woman, because eventually you hope you might see her naked, but you repress that desire, that information from her, what’s there to turn her on?
But back to the piece I was saying about the rage. There’s a lot of generalized rage. Maybe a guy has played this nice guy role with two or three women, became basically--I call it a girlfriend with a penis. She tells him all of her problems, but doesn’t have interest in him because he hasn’t projected his desire, or risked or been bold, or led in any way.
Because that doesn’t work out a time or two, and because we see pretty women that seem to have so much status in our culture--and they do. Pretty women get status just because they won the genetic lottery. We start feeling resentful.
Okay, I do all the right things, but yet I can’t get what I want. Just because this woman’s pretty, she gets everything she wants. We start having this generalized resentment towards all women. If you read some of the responses on the blog I wrote, you still see that coming out--of guys still blaming women for their experience in life, whether they’re blaming feminism or this or that, it’s women’s fault.
[Angel Donovan]It’s a lack of taking responsibility I always think.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Completely, completely. The problem is I found--this is what I was doing, this is what so many men do--they keep doing the same thing over and over again that doesn’t work and keep expecting different results. It’s their problem. They’re not doing what works, but because women don’t respond, they blame the women for it.
Then there’s a generalized rage and resentment. Sometimes it gets more specific towards a specific woman or category of women. Again, the paradox is if you feel rageful towards a class of people that you would like to desire you, odds are you’re not going to show up in a way that’s going to even give them a chance to find you interesting.
[Angel Donovan] You’re communicating all sorts of things that’s not going to be good.
[Dr. Robert Glover] A shitload of meta communication coming out there that you’re not even aware of. One of the things I do encourage guys to do is if you notice any feelings of rage and resentment towards women, go back to that safe place and start talking about that and take ownership that they are your feelings based on your projections, and that not every woman walking the planet is responsible for what you’re feeling inside.
[Angel Donovan] One other quote I wanted to look at on that blog was about pickup artists. This quote was “Many pick up coaches and gurus prey on insecure or vulnerable men, selling them magic and making them more obsessed with and rageful towards attractive women. They target the most attractive women and fan the insecure narcissism of scoring as many prizes as possible. Meanwhile, these coaches and gurus take their disciples’ money and turn them into nothing more than “geeks with techniques.”
Discuss this. Scoring is about getting as many women as possible I guess. It’s like saying “I should have a score of a hundred or--
[Dr. Robert Glover] We could spend a whole podcast on this subject. Let me say this. When it comes to the pick-up community, two observations. Number one, I think they do some good work, because if they can take a guy who is insecure, shy or anxious and doesn’t have skills, and get him out of his comfort zone and teach him some skills to actually approach and talk to women, that’s a good thing. That’s a plus.
And, a second thing. I think the pick-up community--and from what I’ve read, you’ve had early experience with it--I believe in many ways, the pick-up community has matured since it’s earlier days. In it’s most basic form, pick-up is often really just about scoring. It’s an ego thing.
I found a really pretty woman and I got her phone number - Boom. I have status now. I scored.
It has nothing to do with being real, being authentic, being who you are, learning how to communicate with a woman, learning to set the tone and lead in a positive way. What happens for a lot of guys is--I use that term--they become geeks with techniques. They still don’t have any social skills. They still don’t really know how to connect with a person in an authentic way, but they’ve got these little pick-up routines, whether they be negs or poll questions or whatever--you know, magic tricks.
So many of the men I work with grow up believing in fantasy and magic. They grow up playing Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Game. They’re into World of Warcraft and video games and Lord of the Rings. They love fantasy and magic.
When these pick-up artists teach them there are these things you can do that magically and instantly make every woman attracted to you and want to take their clothes off, that’s bullshit. I think that is preying on men who believe in magic and who will go throw money at wanting to find out how to get all women to like them. There is nothing on this planet that will make every woman instantly like you.
That does not exist. But, yet, because of a lot of men’s belief in magic, true belief in fantasy, pick-up artists can take advantage of that. Then it just leaves them feeling more frustrated and more broken. “Yeah, I guess there is something really wrong with me that all women aren’t instantly attracted to me.”
[Angel Donovan] You touched on a couple things and you made some really good points. The way I see it is--as you know I was a pick-up artist many years ago. That’s kind of where I started learning back in 2001.
As time went on, that’s become less a part of me, or less of my motivation. Like magic bullets, definitely--something we like to emphasize is there is no magic bullet. I’m glad you brought that up because it’s a community of over-exaggeration sometimes.
It’s a community where some people have big egos, so that’s where the score comes in. Sometimes, in the forums I think people will get into this dynamic where they want to talk about their scores. It’s kind of like seeking approval from others. It goes back to your nice guy syndrome.
There are some negative dynamics, but there’s also a lot of positive stuff as well. People learn all sorts of great stuff. We’ve had some great people on this podcast who have a lot to teach and it’s useful stuff. It’s very positive and it’s very helpful as well.
It’s this big melting pot of good and bad. I guess every community is. In a way sometimes, I feel that it’s a pity it’s got the name “pick-up artist.” It’s called the pick-up artist community. If it’d had been just give a different name to start with, we might be looked at in a whole different light. Of course, there will still be its bad parts and its good parts, but I think most communities have those.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I agree. One think I say about pick-up--maybe they could have called it “Here’s how to walk up to women and start a conversation.”
[Angel Donovan] There you go.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I say every pick-up approach has one thing in common. You actually have to do something. You have to go interact with a woman.
If somebody can teach other men how to walk up and interact with women, that’s a positive thing. As I’ve said, the main issue I’ve had with it all along is it is usually about walking up to and approaching the most physically attractive woman you can see because that boosts your ego, and that seems to be an underlying theme in what I’ve seen for a lot of pick-up.
But a lot of it works. A lot of it is based on psychology of what really does work. Again, without that emphasis of oh, this will make every woman instantly attracted to you. That does not exist.
[Angel Donovan] The magic bullet does not exist. It all takes work and effort. That’s the secret--hard work.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I’m a big fan of work and effort.
[Angel Donovan] Let’s go back to putting into practice--say I think I have some of this nice guy dynamic going on for me. What kind of steps can I take--practical actions that will get me out of this? The first point was finding some safe people in your environment that you can actually show your real self to so you can start taking that risk of putting yourself out there and feeling more comfortable with it basically. What other kind of things can we do as first steps or maybe later steps in order to start working out of this?
[Dr. Robert Glover] That’s a great place to begin, and it is where I’d recommend is finding safe people. One thing I’ll say as a caveat. I’ve probably been working on my nice guy issues for 20 years.
I’ve done a shitload of men’s therapy groups and I still see how they pop up because I think they’re pretty deeply ingrained in my emotional brain. I approach all of this as a way of just becoming more conscious in general, not that there’s some end point I’m going to get to. It’ll help me keep living a more conscious life.
Find safe people to reveal yourself to. A second thing is, find a way to connect with men. A lot of nice guys I work with tend to either be loners or they seek the approval of women. Go out and create connection with men. Find a way to do that. That can be an ongoing process and really challenging for a lot of the men I work with because it seems like a lot of nice guys maybe have more fear and resentment towards men than even women, so work on that issue around men.
Work on being an honest, transparent person. That’s one of the first things I realized in my own nice guy recovery, of how dishonest I was about so many things--just the stuff I left out or didn’t tell or didn’t reveal about me. Work on being an honest person. That can be an ongoing challenge for nice guys.
I had to start learning to listen to that voice in my head that said “Tell it this way” or “Leave this part out” or “Don’t bring that up.” Then I’d to the opposite. I would tell the whole aspect of it, not just part of it.
Another important piece is learning to make your needs a priority--learning to say “I want…” “I’m going to…” “Will you do this for me?” And often for example, I’ll often give guys a homework assignment of three times a day, asking somebody to do something for them that they can do themselves.
That’s excruciating for nice guys--to actually ask people to do things for you. But if you think about it, how can we receive the abundance of life and how can we receive good things from people if we’re uncomfortable receiving. Ask people to do things for you.
Surround yourself with people that actually want to help you get to where you want to go, that want to help be a part of your team and be a part of your life.
[Angel Donovan] There are many ways to get in contact with these kind of people. I don't know about you, but I find that anyone who’s into personal development or self-help would be more of a safer person, as you described them. There’s lots of places they can find this today, I think.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yeah, there are so many places. There’s not a right way. Surround yourself with people who are also on some kind of journey of self-discovery. Twelve step groups can be a good place for that. Even if you're not an alcoholic or a drug addict, there are a lot of different kinds of 12 step groups.
There are a lot of online forums where people are working on issues, whether it be like Your Brain on Porn or things like that.
[Angel Donovan] Right, from Gary Wilson.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yeah. I’ve got an online forum on my website, drglover.com. Therapy--if you’re religious, maybe a men’s group in your church. Meetup.com has various groups of people around any subject. Consciously find ways to put yourself around other people who are growing and wanting to know themselves better and live a more abundant, productive life.
[Angel Donovan] A couple of the other ones--maybe people aren’t going to think of these so much--are entrepreneurship, that whole area. You find a lot of people who are very interested these days in mindsets and self-development. You can find this in a lot of areas.
Anyone who’s willing to study and change, people who are going out and doing things. I guess you also think of charity and volunteering organizations. All sorts of people are getting out there and doing more stuff in life. I think you’ll probably tend to find safer people.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I think any time you find people that are getting out of their comfort zones and challenging themselves in any way, yes, those are people that are living conscious lives.
[Angel Donovan] Another thing I noticed was that self-observation and observation in general make up a big part of your recommendations. Why is that?
[Dr. Robert Glover] I really believe in the process of consciousness. One of the beauties of being human is that we have a pre-frontal cortex and we can be an observer of ourself Only four or five mammals can do that.
Most animals cannot observe self or their place in the world. They can’t really put the past in perspective or look to the future, or just observe their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. So that’s what makes us uniquely human and interesting.
I really believe no matter what kind of journey you’re on. If it helps you be a more accurate observer of yourself--especially if you can be a non-judgmental observer of yourself--just look at your feelings. Look at your thoughts. Ask yourself, "Are these accurate? Are they helpful? Do I need to work on these? Do I need to challenge these? Do I need to find support? Do I need to challenge myself? Do I need to get out of my comfort zone?"
That to me is the unique thing about being human. We can grow. We can evolve. We can reinvent ourselves. We can orchestrate a life that we’ll be proud of when we die.
It takes the ability to be an observer of yourself and especially, again as I said, in a non-judgmental way, to even observe your impulses, your dark thoughts--to be able to observe, for example like I said, I’m attracted to unhappily married women. If I can observe that without judgment, I don’t have to keep repeating that one over and over again, and I can notice when I have the impulse to start going down that road and go “Oh, wait a minute. I’ve been there. I know where it ends up. I can do something different.”
[Angel Donovan] I think observation is a key skill for any time of change, and this is all about change. It’s really something and that’s why I like that you bring that up a lot. I feel like it’s an actual skill set that you should focus on.
It’s going to help you see so many things, like the problem you just brought up where you’re repeating the same negative pattern and you don’t see it. These kinds of things, you’re never going to see them unless you become more observant and you’ll be stuck without even knowing it. That’s why I say it’s even one of the most foundational principles about improving this aspect of your life.
[Dr. Robert Glover] I really believe that probably any kind of therapeutic process or personal recovery. The bottom line is becoming that non-judgmental observer of self. That’s how we change as human beings is to be able to see ourself, accept ourself, and then consciously choose different ways of walking the planet--different ways of behaving in any given situation.
[Angel Donovan] A really unusual thing you say in your books--something that stood out to me was--plan a weekend trip by yourself.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Or move to Mexico. The reason that I say that--and there’s no one recipe that fits everybody. Usually what I try to do is find what makes somebody the most uncomfortable and then suggest they go do that. For nice guys, a really core piece is they often do have difficulty making their needs a priority.
They often believe anywhere from everybody else’s needs are more important or “I don’t have any needs” all the way to “I’m bad if I have needs. People will react negatively to me if I have needs.
We’re adults. We can’t expect anybody else to meet our needs if we’re not taking accountability for our own needs. Taking that weekend by yourself not only is a way of saying “I’m doing this for me. I’m going to go do this. It’s just about me. It’s not about anything else.”
It can also put you in a situation to have just a brand new adventure. You’re out of your comfort zone. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe you don’t have as many of your own defense mechanisms and your approval seeking behaviors.
Just go put yourself in a whole different environment and just experience it. Don’t try to make anything happen. Just go experience it. In a sense, it’s just an act of getting far enough out of your own comfort zone to have something new or interesting happen.
[Angel Donovan] Great. Thanks. There’s a whole bunch of practical steps you’ve pointed out there. That’s very useful. I really the like the podcast to have some takeaways like that.
I’d like to ask you one thing--a bit more about you as a person. What has been your best experience with a woman in your life?
[Dr. Robert Glover] My best experience with a woman.
[Angel Donovan] Something that stands out for you, kind of inspires you--whatever was something really special for you. If there’s something really super personal that you don’t want to share, you can talk about something else. I think it’s inspiring and motivational for the guys.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Here’s the thing that comes to mind, and it kind of goes back to what I said a little bit earlier about my girlfriend Gerri. I’ve had a lot of positive experiences with women as I started becoming a more conscious dater. I started meeting some really great women that really added great things to my life and helped me challenge some of my old beliefs about who I was as a person, and was I desirable, and was I a good person.
One that stands out, and I mentioned about how supportive Gerri’s always been of what I do. I remember probably we’d only been dating three or four months, maybe. She had spent the night at my apartment and I think it was a Saturday night.
I got up on Sunday morning and I was writing an online class at the time. I just had started doing that, called All the Way In--teaching men how to show up, be conscious in their relationships, set the tone, take the lead. I’d gotten up and I was sitting in a chair in my living room and Gerry was still in bed. She got up and came and sat down on the couch across from me. I had my laptop in my lap and she asked what I was doing.
She had just woken up and like I said we’d only been dating a very few months. I started telling her about the class I was working on and how I teach online classes and the stuff I’m teaching men about relationship. As I talk about it, as you can probably tell from listening to me, I get passionate about it. I get excited about what I teach men and how it changes lives, and how it improves lives.
I was kind of getting into that like I’m doing now. My hands were moving and I was getting excited telling her about the class and the unique things I teach. She just said, “You’re really handsome.”
It took me by surprise. I said “Well thank you. It’s probably just this baby blue sweater I have on. It looks good with my eyes.” She goes, “No. You’re really handsome.” I said, “Well I’m glad you think so.
She said, “It’s nothing to do with the sweater or anything like that. Just listening to you talk and hearing how excited you are and what you do and how you change the world. That just really turns me on. I just find that really attractive.”
We kind of went a step further at that moment in who we were as a couple, and a really saw a deeper piece of her and she saw a deeper piece of me. But it was validating for me. I already knew what I was doing was a good thing.
I already knew how I lived my life was a positive thing. To have a woman tell me that me living this positive, passionate life was a turn on to her--that she found me not only physically attractive in that space, but was really attracted to me as a person and as a human being. That still stands out in my mind five years later. That was a powerful, very moving, positive experience for me.
[Angel Donovan] That’s great story. Thank you very much for sharing that with us. While we’re rounding off now, thank you very much for your time today. A few more questions, just to round off.
Who, not including yourself, would you recommend for high quality advice in this area of life--dating, sex and relationships?
[Dr. Robert Glover] One of my favorites, and it can be a little bit challenging to get into, but if you spend more time with it, it’s really had an impact on me is David Deida. He authored the book The Way of the Superior Man and actually several other books. I highly recommend that to all men.
The first time I read it, I started reading it and I’d already written my book. A lot of guys had recommended it and I thought it’s got kind of a weird title. Then it dawned on me that maybe my book had kind of a weird title too.
I picked it up and started reading it. Even though it’s written in a very different style from my book, it’s like “Oh man, this is a companion to my book. This is my new bible.”
I got halfway through it and started thinking, “This is a little weird.” Then came back to it later and I get more of it now. I’ve been to a few workshops with him.
If you can go to a David Deida workshop, he’s probably one of the brightest men I’ve ever been around, and probably one of the best teachers I’ve ever been around. He can teach complex, difficult concepts in ways that you get it and I respect that highly, so I love David Deida.
[Angel Donovan] Great. Thanks--a great recommendation. I love his work too and it really inspired me when I read his book too. I’ve read it a couple times.
A question we also ask everyone is what would be your top three recommendations to help men get results as fast as possible with women in part of their lives and improve their lives as fast as possible?
[Dr. Robert Glover] The top three things. Like I said, number one, work on your great cake of a life. That’s powerful. You have to have something interesting to invite a woman into.
Another one I’d say is be bold. I tell guys that reward is won through risks. If you’re not going to risk anything, you’re not going to turn a woman on.
I’d say the third thing is be authentic. Be yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not, hoping a woman will like that pseudo-you. Be you and learn to like who you are because no woman is capable of liking you more than you like yourself, so be you.
[Angel Donovan] Thank you--short, punchy, high value points there. Robert, are you working on anything currently? Is there anything you’re excited about or any current projects in this area you’re working on that you want to talk about?
[Dr. Robert Glover] I’m working on two that really do excite me and they’re both going to show up as classes on my website in the next few months--one coming up in July of this year, 2014. I call it P-E-T, Positive Emotional Tension. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve realized about women.
They need emotional tension for attraction, attachment, and passion. Most guys when they meet women create no emotional tension because they’re trying to be nice and get their approval. Most men in long-term relationships quit creating emotional tension for women, so the woman, if she wants to stay attracted or attached to a man, has to create emotional tension, which is usually negative because it’s unconscious, or they go get the tension somewhere else. I’m really excited about that and I think probably will become my next book--how to create consciously positive emotional tension with women, whether you’re a single guy or in a relationship.
The other project I’ve really been observing a lot lately and creating a lot of notes on it, and I’m going to teach a course on that. I’m calling it The Ruminating Brain. It’s about a tendency that I find in a lot of men I work with.
A lot of women have it too, but since I mainly work with men now--a tendency to ruminate a lot and either spend time in the past ruminating about missed opportunities, past mistakes, regrets or ruminate in the present about how they look or what people are thinking about them, or judging themselves and measuring themselves, usually in a negative way, or ruminating about the future--what may go wrong, how the other shoe’s going to fall, how people may find out who they really are, and staying in a pretty negative state of ruminating over and over again. I’ve come to the realization that probably some of this is habit that was maybe learned in childhood, but I think a lot of it is probably an inherited genetic brain wiring, just like a tendency towards ADD or alcoholism, or a tendency towards how tall you are or what color eyes you have.
One of the things I’m helping men do is be the observer, not the believer of these ruminating patterns in their brain, and learn how to step out of them and redirect their mind and their thoughts, and use it in a more productive way. I’ve been really excited about this because a lot of guys walk the planet thinking they’re really defective because their brain keeps telling them they are. It keeps focusing on all kinds of negative things about themselves, and a lot of it is just made up or distortions.
[Angel Donovan] I understand this one really well. This is something I used to do many, many years ago when I first got into the whole pick-up artist thing and started this whole thing. I used to walk around and get in these ruminating cycles. I didn’t realize it until I started reading a lot about it.
I don’t have any of that--literally zero of that for such a long time now. Just to say that it’s great to hear you’re working on that. I know how detrimental that can be just your whole experience of life and not just this.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Great. That’s good to hear you say that and I’d like to ask you a question. Isn’t it interesting when you’ve broken out of that ruminating habit, but then something happens and all of a sudden you notice your brain ruminating? You go “Whoa, what just happened here? I haven’t been here in a long time.”
Unless you actually ask the question of what’s going on and use it as an alarm system of “Oh, something must be going on for my brain to go back into that old habit.”
[Angel Donovan] Right. Fear or something has just triggered it--something kind of big for you. Yeah. It’s this cool little detection system to tell you “Hey, I should be observing what’s going on here.”
[Dr. Robert Glover] Yeah, exactly.
[Angel Donovan] Thanks for that, Robert. That was a great additional tip there. Thank you for this.
It’s been great connecting with you on the podcast today. Thank you for all the advice you brought with you.
[Dr. Robert Glover] Angel, thanks for asking me to join you. You’re a great interviewer. I’ve had a great time with it. I hope this is useful to your listeners.
[Angel Donovan] Yeah. It definitely will be.
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DSR Podcast is a weekly podcast where Angel Donovan seeks out and interviews the best experts he can find from bestselling authors, to the most experienced people with extreme dating lifestyles. The interviews were created by Angel Donovan to help you improve yourself as men - by mastering dating, sex and relationships skills and get the dating life you aspire to.
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