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Classic line: “She should like me for who I am”

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I have friends right now — guys in their early 30s — who haven’t had a relationship in years. They want one. They’re ready to meet somebody. But they haven’t really met or touched a woman (even her elbow) in years.

Women don’t really get this since they don’t have this problem. So the natural thing is to say, “Ugh, what’s wrong with them?” But these guys aren’t freaks. They look normal, they have good jobs, and they can hold a conversation. They just missed out on the early dating scene and now their being single has become “a thing.”

Back in the day, when I used to offer unsolicited advice that everyone ended up hating, I suggested they check out a course on meeting women. Like learning how to be charming, etc. Pickup without all the “bang her tonight!!” stuff.

You know what they said? (Remember, these were guys who hadn’t met/done anything with a girl in YEARS.) “I don’t want to have to change myself for them. They should like me for me.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

You want them to be this height, this body type, this kind of personality…but you’re not willing to improve yourself?

Notice that they confused “improving” with “changing.” (The elephant in the room, the question I didn’t ask, was, What if the current YOU isn’t really the most attractive?)

It’s like delusional home owners who insist their house is worth $2.9mm, even though their best offer is $2.2mm. The market doesn’t lie.

Isn’t it weird that guys will get new clothes, buy bottle service, or get new colognes…but we rarely think about improving our personality? (For women, same thing — makeup, new clothes, fancy hair care products — but the idea of investing in ourselves to improve our personality and charisma is totally insane?)

This is a classic invisible script: “I don’t want to change. They should like me for me. If I do ___, I’ll change and I won’t be the same person.”

And this manifests in really interesting ways:

  • “I don’t want to be rich. Life isn’t just about money, Ramit. I don’t want to be the kind of person who has to drive a BMW and stay in a Four Seasons.”
  • “If I start making more, my friends will think I’m a dick.”
  • “If I start dressing better, my friends will make fun of me and call me gay.”

Which is why I love this question from one of my readers, Teresa:

“What is the difference between changing yourself for the better, and losing your identity of who you are now? I don’t want to become “someone else” to get ahead. I don’t believe conformity is the answer. I am uniquely different, and I want to keep those qualities that I value dearly.”
–Teresa

I recorded a quick video to share my thoughts on changing (“improving”) yourself. I think you’ll like it. Nothing to sell, nothing to promote. I just want to share what I’ve learned about this with you.

In the comments, tell me ONE thing you were afraid of changing. What were you afraid would happen? (That your friends would think differently of you? That your family would disapprove?)

Share your stories. This is fascinating stuff.

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[…] Classic line: “She should like me for who I am” is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich. […]

Ryan Stephens
2 years 9 months ago
Like the guy in your first illustration, I used to get “friend zoned” a lot in my first couple years of college. I watched a lot of my college baseball teammates (see: cocky assholes) have a *lot* of luck with women so I did what any Ramit disciple would do (before I knew Ramit), I started testing things. At first I started trying to purposely be an asshole (how’s that for improving yourself?), but what I realized is that I was mostly just being an asshole and it was off putting. It was a classic example of “trying to hard”.… Read more »
Jen
Jen
2 years 9 months ago
In my late teens/early twenties I wanted to try some different sports and outdoor activities, because I felt like I was too sedentary and it was unhealthy/I looked & sounded like my grandma when I got out of my chair after computing for six hours. The thing was, my social group was decidedly geek. We feared the sun. We bonded over our implicit hatred of cheerleaders and football players. We drank soda in our basements and grew beards (okay, Texas has no basements and my XX chromosomes prevented the beard thing, but you get the picture.) Alas, although my personality… Read more »
Dave Grant
2 years 9 months ago
Great post Ramit. Having a background in psychology, I am sensitive to the scripts I have playing in my head, but am not the best at changing them. While not related to girls or my body image, I have a paralysing one when it comes to business. I was at a retirement seminar with a client this week, where about 100 of my ideal prospects showed up. We were all there to learn more about the pension system they are all in, but I was also there to meet new people. One lady had a question that the presenter couldn’t… Read more »
Anca
Anca
2 years 9 months ago

Beautifully honest. “I actually don’t deserve to be successful so there’s no point trying to be.” No one stands in our way more than ourselves.

Prescott Perez-Fox
2 years 9 months ago
It seems the question here, as in many businesses, is a balance between product and marketing. Sometimes, a great product exists with no marketing (such as a great guy or girl who never leaves the house), and sometimes the marketing is great, but there’s actually nothing there beneath the surface (like someone you’ll meet at the club who has nothing to say.) And it could be somewhere in the middle, where there’s a general mismatch. I think you hit the spot that change doesn’t have to mean abandoning your true self. Improvement and evolution are always welcomed. Learning new skills… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years 9 months ago

NoFap. Tell your friends to google for it, nofap.
Seriously it is a problem. A problem for a whole lot of people. Why make changes when you can live a fantasy life online?
Dude, nofap.

Warwick
Warwick
2 years 9 months ago

Ramit
Very good video. Rather than an “extreme reach barrier”, I see it as a psychological defence mechanism. The subconcious thoughts in this moment for this person goes “hhhmmm, is this a criticism of me, wow I better respond to protect myself. hhhmmm what have I got, ahhh, it’s an impossibly big thing for a ‘normal’ person, like me, I’ll use that one. Then I can still feel SAFE”

If they had more emotional strength/security/quotient, they might be able to say, in response, “Wow that’s great, good on you! Maybe it’s something I can try…”

Troy
2 years 9 months ago

Well put Ramit! It’s funny because I just wrote about this (http://troydelaney.com/cilifestyle).

I think to be willing to improve, people must:
*Keep an open mind
*ALWAYS continue to learn
*Experiment with EVERYTHING – See what works for you (link to My21DayX)
*Challenge the saying “That’s how I’ve always done it.”

John Shea
2 years 9 months ago
You know I used to struggle with this myself, after having been with and dated more women than most of my friends it all more or less comes down to making the changes needed to adapt. You don’t need to change yourself but rather start adapting to make yourself a better person. I honestly would say to anyone struggling with dating, the best scenarios happen when you least expect it. You cannot just sit back and do nothing but If you work on yourself, work on becoming more confident, consider how you dress and focus on making yourself a better… Read more »
niokie
niokie
2 years 9 months ago

Im afraid of success and responsibilities. Even though every day I wish I could have more. Be smarter more organized.i dont know how to play the corporate game.and climb the ladder….im doing SOMETING WRONG!!

Becca
Becca
2 years 9 months ago
So weird but true. I’ve been trying for years to lose weight. Read and reread ‘Fattitudes,’ great book about the psychology of weight and weight loss. Realized yes I am afraid of no longer being me. Decided I could ‘allow myself’ to lose 10 pounds which would make me healthier and more attractive but not a totally different shape. (Like the guest postthe other day — set a boxed-in goal and don’t worry about what comes next.) Set foolproof goal of losing 10 lb in 5 months. After 3 weeks, realized I had lost 9 lb. So pumped I couldn’t… Read more »
Becca
Becca
2 years 9 months ago

Victoria, I don’t like to advocate brutal honesty, but rather deep honesty, and deep understanding. That’s my one quibble; your comment was great and really resonated.

Victoria
Victoria
2 years 9 months ago
Brutal honesty is the key, Since childhood I was always the big kid – taller & chubbier than everyone else. Then once I hit my teenage years, chubby changed to fat because how I ate and exercised didn’t change. That magical growth spurt or quickening of the metabolism that was supposed to fix it all never came. So whenever I had to choose, I found myself thinking “Skinny girls are shallow. Pretty girls are slutty. All natural girls aren’t appealing (thinking never shaving, no make-up. frizzy hair, natural deodorant that doesn’t work etc). But fat girls are funny. So I… Read more »
Gar
Gar
2 years 9 months ago

I’m tearing up a little.
You’re a brave person for posting that. I’ve been ‘used to a certain kind of sadness’ for too long. Just figured it out too.
I hope that your sense of humor and truthfulness helps to take you to wherever you want to go.

Becca
Becca
2 years 9 months ago

That’s an awesome quote, very profoundly true.

Re my own strategy — I’m trying to sidestep a barrier, rather than put lots of effort into fighting it directly. I think a year of being 10 lb lighter and in 5x better shape will help that barrier melt down significantly, all by itself.

Eleanore Strong
2 years 9 months ago
One thing I was afraid of changing was putting my writing out there for the benefit of others. I’d always talked in conversation about the life lessons I’d learned, but most of my family and friends didn’t seem that interested, and they were also dubious about my ability to turn it into a business. So I never put it out there in a bigger way. My family is really supportive and loving, but they also have very specific ideas about what success means, and they don’t always like the way I phrase things. So I guess on some level I… Read more »
Clare Shuttleworth-Richardson
Clare Shuttleworth-Richardson
2 years 9 months ago
I used to downplay what I did for fear of being seen as a braggart or ego-maniac. And also so as not to outshine my siblings so they didn’t feel bad that they weren’t achieving as I was. But the reality is that I am really good at what I do. And a few years ago; I thought “sod it” (because I’m English) and realised that downplaying myself wasn’t helping anyone and why should I be afraid to be awesome? So I stopped apologizing for doing well and began to take ownership. Whereas I honestly believed that actions speak louder… Read more »
sara859
sara859
2 years 9 months ago

I was afraid of changing my appearance, including losing weight. I was brought up to think that vanity is a bad thing, so didn’t spend time n money to look my best. Now I work out weekly, buy brand name clothes n makeup, and generally try to stick to a higher standard. Some friends are not supportive of these changes, they’ve made comments about the price of an outfit or amount of weight lost. It drags me down, but I am not doing this to please anyone, I am doing this to be the best me I can be.

Paul Higby
Paul Higby
2 years 9 months ago

Afraid of trying for a better role or position – why? I know what I’m doing; I’m unsure of what I haven’t done, and don’t want to fail!

And JUST READING THIS, I realize that my fear of failure has caused me to fail!

M
M
2 years 9 months ago

Love your video on this topic. To add another element, over time change will occur anyway, so you might as well make the effort to steer yourself in the right direction. If you don’t try to socialize, you will gradually isolate yourself more and more. If you aren’t actively taking care of yourself via diet, exercise, and healthy habits, time will take a greater toll. You move forward, or drift back. Your choice.

Laetitia
Laetitia
2 years 9 months ago

Good article, even though I don’t agree with “Women don’t really get this since they don’t have this problem.”!

Silvino
Silvino
2 years 9 months ago

I also don’t fully agree with “Women don’t really get this since they don’t have this problem” Laetitia, I think that women do have the problem but I also think that, even if the result is the same: lack of relationships, the way of approach each problem for men and women it’s completely different.

Laetitia
Laetitia
2 years 9 months ago

Ok, maybe a difference would be that women having this problem at least get approached by some guys: those who see in them the perfect candidates for a one night stand or a rebound. How rewarding is that? 😉

Silvino
Silvino
2 years 9 months ago
I’m not sure if the problem is about be afraid or just not buy it. For example, about meeting girls (problem I had), you can find very good stuff from Neil Strauss, Mario Luna, Mystery… when I started to read this ideas, which I’ve never had ever imagine I did it with an open mind, I tried something and it worked. However, some friends just didn’t buy it (and still they don’t) even if I was improving my skills in their face I think is clear that all of this is quite irrational, so maybe it is just fear and… Read more »
Michael Leading Horse
Michael Leading Horse
2 years 9 months ago
First year of HS I got picked on by a bully then summer happened. By coincidence a jackie chan movie was on when I was mad about the bully so I started thinking “martial arts”. But I didn’t want to be one of those weird… ya know, “karate guys”. Basically the Cobra Kai stereotype. I wanted to be Jackie Chan but I could also tell that took a monumental amount of work and I’m lazy. So I started with a book. I skipped any hard things and settled for 2 wristlocks that the book said could be effective with “very… Read more »
Becca
Becca
2 years 9 months ago

Love this story. This reflects Josh Kaufman’s guest post — make a modest goal that won’t threaten your identity. Fulfill your commitment and then reassess.

Al
Al
2 years 9 months ago

I was afraid of changing to a new career as a writer after being in IT for so many years. I thought my wife would not approve, so I’m making the change gradually.

YOHAMI
2 years 9 months ago

love you man.

MP Singh
2 years 9 months ago

I used to be a gym freak and so happy about my fitness. Last two years I have been out of gym and now I have this big mental block of getting back into my gym routine. I have even put on weight and excuse myself from going to gym every day. I desperately need to get out of this block.
Love your work.
-MP

Laetitia
Laetitia
2 years 9 months ago

I’m afraid to casually talk with people, give my opinion and even more to promote myself.

I’m afraid I would:
1- get too emotional if someone plays upon my insecurities
2- become unnatural, and, yes, lose part of my identity, because I’ve always acted introvertedly.

I’m starting to try and challenge myself little by little because I know these are toxic fears ; as an example leaving comments on a blog is a big deal for me 🙂

Jeremy Delancy
2 years 9 months ago
The ONE thing I was most afraid of changing, was ME!!! I was sickly for most of my life and therefore always afraid to take risks until I accepted that everyone dies at some point no matter how healthy of sickly they are. I read my first self-help book (The Magic of Thinking Big) and have never looked back. I still have fears and doubts especially when it comes to dating but that was another area where I improved by reading and learning from Stephen Nash (How To Get A Girlfriend). Ramit there is a certain hypocrisy that the “She… Read more »
Marjorie
2 years 9 months ago
This is a tough one! For the times, I’m relatively anti-technology. I still use a flip phone, do not text, and do all my quick communicating via email. Why? Because I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a restaurant and watched with disbelief as a bunch of people who have chosen to be together ignore each other and gaze transfixed at their iPhones. Of course you can’t walk down the street without seeing people–kids, adults–walking along, ignoring the life that goes on around them and staring at the freaking phone! The worst thing is seeing little ones… Read more »
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[…] of them posted this gem of a post titled “Classic line: “She should like me for who I am”” and it’s the inspiration for […]

Luisa Lopez
Luisa Lopez
2 years 9 months ago

You are spot on on how both sexes have the mindset of I’m not changing. I know what I bring to the table so I want to know what do you offer me? I was afraid to change my easygoing nature while at work and demonstrate that I can be assertive and get the job done. I’m working on that now and find that what I’m really afraid is I won’t be liked

Kristen
Kristen
2 years 9 months ago
Hey Ramit, great post. I was afraid of being noticed. I grew up thinking it was a bad thing for some reason. It was painful for me to speak to audiences at work. My supervisor was a bit of a perfectionist, which put more pressure on me when presenting to groups of persons. Still, I was determined to excel. I took a public speaking class and threw myself at lots of work activities where onlookers were present. Now, I’m doing a lot of outdoorsy things and even entering a triathlon at work! I realized how much of a hindrance I… Read more »
Tara
Tara
2 years 9 months ago

If I leave the “middle class”, my highly-educated, incredibly hard-working, humble and thrifty family will deem me as no longer one of their tribe, extravagant, lazy, and perhaps even criminal. But how do they think I’ve been paying to come home 3 months a year, work 3 months in our home-based NGO businesses as a volunteer, keep going for more degrees and education? It’s time to graduate from middle-class AND still be humble, hard-working, legit, and a conscious spender. They do keep me accountable, though!

E. Parks
2 years 9 months ago
When you said “Extreme Reach Barrier” and explained how we play out the least desirable outcome we would want as a result to changing something about ourselves, everything you said started to “Click.” The one thing I realized I needed to change was how I thought about networking, and “Selling” myself. It is still a work in progress, but the biggest things that ran in my head before an event was that I have to go be “fake” and that people saw me as scavenger trying to get a job. My “Extreme Reach Barrier” was that I would become the… Read more »
Sameer
Sameer
2 years 9 months ago
This is something I’ve struggled with for a while now. What comes up for me is, “why am I changing X part of myself JUST so women will like me more? Isn’t that kind of pathetic?” But thinking about it a little more, what if I came across a girl who used to be 20 lb overweight, but decided she should get in shape to attract the type of guys she likes? Would I fault her for it? Of course not. Ramit, I really liked what you said to the effect of, “this isn’t changing who you are — it’s… Read more »
Ileana
Ileana
2 years 9 months ago

Fascinating WAO I love you Ramit

Fiona
Fiona
2 years 9 months ago

I was afraid of speaking out, when l didn’t agree with another’s actions (that were affecting me). Tolerating unacceptable behaviours. I’ve learnt (am learning), that, in order to value myself, sometimes, it is necessary to speak out.

E
E
2 years 9 months ago

Ramit – great post. Seeing how you can improve and change habits and skills while maintaining your core ‘you’ helps !

James H.
2 years 9 months ago
I was afraid of giving up my regular gaming time. I enjoyed the company of my gaming buddies, for the most part, and fretted about losing touch with them. That I had a fairly small social network in the first place didn’t help. Did you notice that qualifier in the last paragraph? “For the most part.” I started trading in “gaming Saturdays” for “job search/creative work Saturdays,” which came with some pangs of loneliness. I’ve since found a six-figure job in a big city, though. The move meant losing touch with a lot of gaming buddies. It also served as… Read more »
Akshay Nanavati
2 years 9 months ago
Hi Ramit. Thanks for another great video. Love the way you bring the responsibility for change back to ourselves as opposed to expecting it to occur elsewhere. My biggest struggle with change was getting over my life of drugs and joining the Marines. When I got caught with drugs in school, I blamed the school, my parents, the world, everyone. Finally, just like you said, I realized that improvement had to come from within me, not outside of myself. I was afraid of changing because I did not know what I would do with myself if I wasn’t hidden in… Read more »
Miel
2 years 9 months ago
Great post! I couldn’t agree more, and it is amazing to me, particularly in retrospect how one (including myself) tries to argue against what is possible. I was completely convinced that I was the weight I was, with a few pounds more than I would have liked, but working out 3-5 times a week already, I was convinced it was what it was. After having lost 35 over the course of year (with the help of WeightWatchers) and keeping it off for the last two years, I see now how achievable change was and how resistant I was to seeing… Read more »
Arbaz K
2 years 9 months ago

Hey Ramit, that was really an awesome post.
Of course woman should like us man for the way we are and not because we pretend to be someone else. I am not that experienced in things regarding women but I try to be as natural with them as I can.
And thanks for the video in the post, that was amazing too 🙂

Santi
Santi
2 years 9 months ago

Thanks Ramit and Ryan Stephons!
That was quite helpful to take some actions. I will share my actions and results soon!

kalpana
kalpana
2 years 9 months ago

nice post..
i m afraid of responsibilities and poverty. i m very concerned about i might get misunderstood by boys while dating..

Eric
Eric
2 years 9 months ago
I was afraid of hiring a personal stylist. However, the value Jodi has provided goes beyond hand picking my outfits: 1) Super quick and effective trips to the mall twice a year. This limits my time in a place I dread (the Houston Galleria) and allowing me to enjoy my weekends with activities I enjoy. 2) Provides confidence in my wardrobe to “let my best self shine through” as Ramit quotes. She knows my style and budget to accomodate accordingly. 3) Gave me her brutally honest opinion about my current clothes and the impression I make. This led to a… Read more »
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[…] week I’ve been reflecting back on a post I read on I will teach you to be rich.  The topic was regarding the classic line, “She should love me for who I am”.  Ramit shares […]

Yadgyu
Yadgyu
2 years 9 months ago
I am a bit saddened that so many seemingly successful people have such great paralyzing fears and barriers. I see many kind, intelligent, and helpful people being treated badly by themselves and others. I decided a while ago to be somebody different. I realized that my modesty and intellect were barriers. Once I started speaking up about things, even if I didn’t have a great deal of knowledge, I felt better. The weird thing is that people started liking me for my personality and stopped caring about me being modest and intelligent. I lost some friends along the way, but… Read more »
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