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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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54 Comments

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

  2. 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”. Honestly, which is sad, it was more effective than being “nice.”

    So I started iterating. That’s when I started to realize that my jock friends weren’t actively trying to be assholes, they were just aloof because they had so many options (not just women, but other social activities in general).

    How could I start teaching myself to be more aloof?

    A.) Become more busy (I already played a college sport, made good grades, drank a lot of beer, etc.)
    B.) Stop getting one-itis and focusing on *one* girl I liked. (This is kind of hard at a small school).
    C.) Create a mental model around already being in a fantastic relationship.

    I didn’t actively tell women this. I wasn’t out to deceive. I just told myself that no matter what happened at X party, I was going home to my awesome girlfriend that was waiting on me.

    I was essentially empowering myself to “just let things happen” instead of trying to force them to happen (see: don’t be a creeper). I instantly became more confident (women dig that) in that aspect of my life.

    I shared this strategy in full on Jenny Blake’s blog a few years ago.

    I continued to test and tweak this strategy (and many others) after undergrad and throughout grad school. Now I’m married to the woman of my dreams and everyone will tell you that I out-kicked the shit out of my coverage. That’s less to brag (okay, maybe a little) and more to say, “This works.”

  3. 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 and interests had landed me firmly in geekdom, my social circumstances made my case borderline at best. My family is rich and I always got invited to the cheerleaders’ and football players’ parties. I’m not overweight and I’m actually kind of pretty. Intensive over-socialization during my formative years means that I’m actually fairly socially adept. Basically I was afraid that if I became athletic and tan, I would turn into a sorority girl and be ostracized by all my friends.

  4. 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 answer, but one that I could. I approached the lady at the end, answered her question and she thanked me profusely. Yet, I didn’t give her my business card to follow on the conversation. I doubt I will meet this woman again and she has no way of knowing who I am.

    Why didn’t I give her my business card?

    I have narrowed it down to two things that run through my head – both viable reasons for me not following through:

    “What if she gets offended and rejects my advance?”
    “I actually don’t deserve to be sucessful so there’s no point trying to be.”

    BOOM! Both crippling scripts that sabotage me from growing professionally. I’m wokring on them slowly and hope to eventually remove them from speaking.

    Great work – keep doing what you’re doing!

    • 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.

  5. 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 and generally trying to “level up” should be the goal. If the values are solid, there’s nothing to worry about.

    But to answer the question, I must admit that I’m rather afraid to leave New York. That may sound odd, but I worry that even though I grew up in the area, I’d be better suited to another city. But I don’t look forward to the prospect of making new friends, being far from family, and in many ways “starting over.” This in addition to the odd feeling that everyone I know and grew up with will think me a failure if I can’t “hack it” in Gotham. I do believe that I’m outgrowing the latter sentiment, but it’s still a sort of fear of mine.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…”

  8. 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.”

  9. 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 person the right woman will come along.

*