The Three Most Dangerous Words You Will Ever Hear

"Just Be Yourself"

If you are a young man in Western society- hell, any modern post-industrial society- those three words are probably going to do more to damage your prospects for future happiness, financial security, and sexual success than any other trite catchphrase in the entire lexicon of the English language. They're that bad.

I was recently reading up on an old favourite post of mine by The Private Man called "Mom Was Wrong: A Personal Narrative", and it set me off thinking of the tremendous damage that this simple set of words has done to me over the years. It ain't pretty.

My case is a bit unusual relative to a lot of Manosphere bloggers. As I've previously written, I grew up in a very stable, very happy family. I am extremely close to my mother and father, and my little sister is both my most beloved (and simultaneously most annoying) blood relation and my dearest and closest friend. Until fairly recently, I also enjoyed strong and close links with my cousins in my home country and with my larger extended family.

So you would think that, coming from a stable family like this, the words "just be yourself" wouldn't do any damage.

You would be so wrong.

The Right Advice for the Wrong Time

You see, the phrase "just be yourself" comes from a time that no longer exists. It comes from a time when the roles of men and women in society were distinct and very clearly separate. The man's role was to be the father, the provider, the breadwinner, the head of the family. The mother's role was to raise the children and keep house. With a simple and effective power structure like this, it didn't really matter if a bloke was a bit nebbish, a bit weedy, as long as he had a track record of being a good provider. A man could get away with having very little game and could still expect to marry a decent (and by today's standards reasonably attractive- i.e. not porkified) woman and raise a stable family. (Just how stable and happy that family would be is open to question; in my experience, even in the good old days, Gamma males were treated with near-open contempt by their wives.)

Game, once you strip away the terminology and jargon, is about masculine confidence and strength. Because game is an aspect of the Eternal Truth, a social structure that is built on those truths by definition results in men whose innate lack of game is compensated for by a society that still puts them in a position of leadership- the natural and most comfortable place for all but the most Omega types. Thus, as long as men were expected to lead and women were expected to follow, Beta, Delta, and even Gamma men certainly had far fewer difficulties back then in securing lasting happiness than they do today.

The More Things Change...

This rather happy state of affairs changed radically as women became ever more empowered and started obtaining educations, professional qualifications, and high-flying careers. Rather quickly, the established order was upended as women began acting very much like men. And as any anthropologist knows, the moment this happens, the existing stable tribal order quickly breaks down and socio-sexual polarisation becomes normal. Essentially, Alpha women will seek and mate with Alpha men, which will happen regardless- but Beta and lower-ranked women will also seek to mate with Alpha men until their shortcomings become so painfully apparent that they are forced to settle lower down on the socio-sexual hierarchy.

This rather radical transformation leaves Deltas, Gammas, and lower-ranked males with very few options, if any. Such men are faced with a very unpalatable set of choices:

  1. Resign themselves to a life of celibacy;
  2. Attempt to snag women who are worn out by the carousel in the (often vain) hopes of settling down and raising a family, well after said women have passed their years of peak fertility;
  3. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"- attempt to ingratiate themselves with feminised (not feminine) women in a rather pathetic version of Stockholm's Syndrome.

Note that all three of these choices rely on a man sticking to the "tried and true advice" of "just be yourself". In other words, just be a nice, dumpy, out-of-shape, non-threatening guy who lacks confidence and is intimidated into subservience by men (and women) of higher socio-sexual rank. For these attributes are the very definitions of Delta, Gamma, and Omega males.

It's not hard to see where this leads. The result is a massive negative feedback loop where men are forced out of the sexual market place by their own inability to change and by the realities of female hypergamy. The often-delusional state of mind created by female hypergamy results in women of low to middle sex rank overlooking men who would otherwise be good matches for them in favour of aloof, indifferent jerks (read: Alphas).

A Personal Narrative

The JBY trope did considerable damage to me during my high school and college years. In my case the damage was magnified by the fact that I am by nature a very deep introvert, and by the fact that by the time I graduated from high school I had lived in 4 different countries; forming roots or ties of any kind was, and remains to this day, extremely difficult because I always think, "what's the point, I'll be leaving soon anyway". As a result I spent my high school years fat, out of shape, anti-social, and committed to nothing other than books and studying.

Things did not improve in college. Even though I discovered a love of hard exercise and got into pretty damn good shape, I was not (and never will be) a male fitness model by any stretch of the imagination. I was raised to be studious and hard-working, and I carried that with me into college. I was also raised to be a gentleman around women, and my father never taught me anything about how to act around women- mostly because he himself never had to learn either. I never made moves on any of the girls that I liked in college. Ever. (Yeah, I was that big a pussy.) And as the years rolled by, even as I watched one girl after another that I liked hook up with other men, I never made the connection between my own lack of confidence and the advice (from mum, of course) to "just be yourself".

I still have not shaken off the damage done by this "advice", given to me by everyone from my parents to my teachers to my acquaintances from high school (it would be a great stretch to call any of them friends). Even today, given a choice between going out and meeting people, and staying at home and reading, I'll take the latter. Every single time. Because I'm "being myself", of course. As you can imagine, this hasn't done my social life any good. I vividly remember walking back home on Friday after a particularly bad day at work on a very hot and very sunny evening and being hit like a hammer between the eyes with the realisation that, in this country at least, I don't really have any friends. (While this isn't strictly true, it might as well be, because all of my closest friends live at least an hour away from where I do.) When that thought struck me, all I could do was stand frozen in place and think of all of the time I wasted for all those years when I could have changed myself and thereby changed my destiny. It wasn't an enjoyable experience.

It's not just my personal life that has been damaged badly by this advice. My professional life was severely damaged too. I thought that if I just worked hard, kept my head down, and occasionally went out for a drink with colleagues, everything would be fine. That was before the biggest financial meltdown in history occurred 6 years ago. Since then I've been laid off twice, both times for very sound economic reasons, and both times I've found new and better things to do in a relatively short time. But until quite recently, I never really made the connection between my lack of success at work and my lack of focus and drive.

Undoing the Damage

Game, yet again, is about confidence and mastery. If you don't have confidence, if you don't understand your purpose in life, if you don't know yourself, then you don't have game. It's that simple. Game is about honing and refining the masculine strengths of any given man until he has it within himself to get what he wants with the resources that he has.

Confidence doesn't come from being yourself. It comes from being better than you are. It comes from the desire to learn, to improve, to become more than just a man. It comes from knowing who and what you are, and then seeking to improve those aspects of yourself which are less than exceptional.

In my case, I know my purpose in life: to solve difficult technical problems, and to teach those around me. I am extremely good at both. But I also know my weaknesses: a propensity to laziness in my personal life, a willingness to let personal relationships slide, and a certain lack of ruthlessness when it comes to the women in my life.

So, if you're looking to undo the damage caused by so many years of bad advice, and in particular if you happen to be a deep introvert (like me), then here's how and where to get started:

  1. Get in shape. In the words of Pavel Tsatsouline, "chain yourself to the squat rack and call me in a year". Go hard, go heavy, or go home. Supplement your workouts in the gym with martial arts, such as Krav Maga.
  2. Eat right. Eating Paleo is easy, delicious, and a natural way to massively boost your testosterone and strength levels with relatively minimal effort. Your body will thank you for it.
  3. Practice life skills such as driving stick or shooting guns. I love driving, for instance, but in this country apparently no one has ever heard of manual transmissions. This annoys me no end, for I started with a stick shift and greatly miss that feeling of control that comes with it.
  4. Learn day game, or at the very least start with online dating. I know that Roosh and other masters of PUA disdain online dating, but the fact is that you'll be rejected just as brutally- often far more so- online as you will be in person. Rejection toughens you up, makes you stronger, and ultimately makes you outcome-independent.
  5. Never stop trying to improve your mind. Read obsessively, compulsively, on any subject that interests you. I'm never without a book within easy reach.
  6. Your mission comes first, but you have to figure out what that mission is before you can put it first. Spend some time every day analysing the various things that you have seen and done. Anything that does not contribute towards success in your mission should be discarded or ignored, ruthlessly and relentlessly.
  7. Sex is fun, sex is great. But it's not the end-point of the game. It's just a waystation. The true endpoint of the game, if indeed there is one, is when you can look in the mirror and say, "I know myself, I know my strengths, my limits, and my desires. I have mastered myself." (That point will probably never come, but you can get pretty close.)
The truth of the game hurts like hell. But if you're willing to endure the pain, and you're willing to work on improving yourself and your life to get what you want, then the rewards are great, and they are waiting for you.


  1. It's funny, for me personally it took "just being myself" to finally have consistent success with women. It's a long winding story, but can be summed up reasonably well by one incident:

    I had been set up on a blind date by a woman I had been casually sleeping with. She had a colleague at work that was single and looking. Her advice was to me was "just be yourself and it should go great". It didn't go as well as I was hoping and then next time I saw the woman who set me up she said "Wow you sure screwed that one up. She told me that you were very nice but not what she was looking for right now. What the hell?" I gave her a puzzled look and she replied "You aren't nice. You're polite. There's a huge difference. I told you to be yourself and it sounds like you weren't. Had you been yourself, you wouldn't have spent more than 30 minutes in the restaurant...just like our first date if you recall. After I leave, compare those two dates and you'll see what I mean."


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