Part 11: Physical appearance + insecurities + confidence


Quick vocab lesson if you didn’t read the first post about nice guys:

“Safe” – Predictable, caring, very nice guys who you know will drop everything to be with you, eager to please, very sweet. The type of guy you’d want to have a family with – good father, dependable, doesn’t cheat, etc. The type of guy who often ends up in the friend zone.

“Unsafe” – It’s about being your own person. Not being needy, being independent, being self-assured, making your own decisions, and not caring so much about what other people think about you. Someone who doesn’t need a lot of validation from others and has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.


Let’s talk about physical appearance. I’m not going to say that looks aren’t important. If you’re a good-looking dude with a nice body who dresses well, you’re going to get more attention from women. Attractive women also get more attention from men, that’s a no-brainer. But here’s the part where I say, “Looks aren’t everything,” and I absolutely mean it. I’ve come across a few guys in my life where I have thought, “Not if you were the last man on earth and I was the last woman and the future of the world depended on us.” Guess what? Who cares what I thought. These guys were still getting women. And not just women, but attractive women. I saw it with my own eyes.

Some of these guys did not have nice-looking faces. Some were way shorter than average. Some were overweight. Some had uni-brows. Some were a combination of all that. It did not matter. These guys did not have difficulties with women. You know how sometimes when you see a couple together you’re like, “How in the world did he get her?” Yeah, I’m talking about those guys.

Right now I’m remembering this one guy who lived in the same dorm as me in undergrad. He looked about 15 years old, like someone who started puberty but never finished. Think Anthony Michael Hall from 16 Candles. Yet, he always had this girl on his arm. This girl was very sultry/sexy, and sort of reminded me of Lara Croft. That was one of the times when people who saw those two together would be like, “Huh?” Again, who cares what they thought. This dude had a girlfriend. Pretty much a live-in girlfriend, since she was basically with him 24/7.

Okay. So how do you become like one of these guys if you yourself are not the best-looking guy in the world? You probably think I’m going to say be confident/unsafe/etc. right? Well, yeah. Do all that. Always. Women are attracted to men who are comfortable with themselves. I’ll add a few more things though, to be more specific for this topic. This post is supposed to be about physical appearance, but the root of it is really is about insecurities, which is a core reason why people aren’t as confident/comfortable with themselves as they can be.

We all have insecurities. All of us. Some of us are concerned about our physical appearance, about not making enough money, not being intelligent enough, not being a good enough daughter/son/employee/student, not having a big enough dick, not being a fast enough runner, or whatever. One of the differences between people who succeed in life and people who don’t do quite as well is how they deal with their insecurities.

I believe there are two ways to deal with insecurities. Option 1: Do something to change the status quo, or Option 2: Accept your insecurities and live your life. The worst thing you can do with insecurities is to let them take over your life. They will cripple you.

Examples: You don’t like the way your body looks. You think your arms are scrawny or you’re getting a beer gut. What can you do? If you follow Option 1 and change the status quo, you could decide to go to the gym and/or drink less beer. If you follow Option 2 and accept things, you could say to yourself “Yes, my arms are scrawny. Yes, I have a beer gut. But it’s not the end of the world.” Then you stop actively thinking about it. Carry on with your life, scrawny arms, beer gut and all.

Another example: Let’s consider a guy who is on the shorter side. Let’s call him Greg. Greg is 5’7″. He knows he’s short. Everyone knows he’s short. He could worry about his height all day, make self-deprecating jokes about it, use it as an excuse as to why he can’t get dates, bring it up over and over again in conversation and just be completely obsessed about it. Or, he could do Option 1, put some lifts in his shoes to add a few inches, buy some longer pants, and be done with it. Or, let’s say Greg doesn’t have the patience for all that. He decides to do Option 2, accept his height, take on a “who gives a fuck” attitude and get on with his life.

Yeah, he knows he’s short. Who. Cares. It doesn’t have to define him. It doesn’t need to be brought up all the time. If he keeps talking about it, other people will catch on that this is something that’s on his mind, and *they* will start having it on their minds. So then instead of “Greg, that dude who’s really into guitars and majoring in econ who’s kind of short,” it’s “That short guy Greg.” Do you see where I’m going here? You don’t *have* to be the token short guy. Honestly, no one gives a fuck. People might joke about it, yes, but people joke about everything. Don’t take it personally and people will get over it.

Someone once told me something I thought was very wise. “You teach people how to treat you.” Now what the hell does this mean? It means you exert influence. You are not helpless in life. Other people will react to you and the vibes you give off. You help shape another person’s perception of you. In this example of Greg, he is “teaching” other people not to perceive him as just “the short guy.” By not giving a fuck and not making a big deal out of it, he is “teaching” other people that they should also not give a fuck.

How do I know anything about insecurities and lacking confidence? I used to have many, many insecurities and I used to be an incredibly self-conscious person. Some insecurities were related to growing up in a place that was not crazy about Asian people, which made feel like being Asian was a bad thing. Now when I look back and think about myself during that time, I’m like, “Wow, that’s crazy. Other people influenced me into thinking that being Asian was inferior.” Yes, they did, and it *is* crazy, but that’s what insecurities can do to you. The root of other insecurities were things to do with my mother, who liked to compare me to my friends and say how she didn’t understand how it was possible to give birth to someone who had so little going for her.

When I graduated from high school, I decided to do Option 1 and change the status quo. I got the fuck out of the city and also moved away from my mother. After doing this, I became a much happier and more confident person. Sometimes you can’t do Option 2 because the problems are too large to accept. It doesn’t matter which one you choose to do, what matters is you do *something* about your insecurities, or the root of your insecurities. Do not sit around idly and complain that life sucks, that you’re not smart enough/attractive enough or whatever. Do something to change up your life or truly accept yourself for who you are. You’ll become more confident as a result.

Here is another example of an insecurity I used to have where I did Option 2: I didn’t finish college until seven years after I graduated from high school. I’d spent a few years traveling, growing up, and finding myself, so I was a few years behind. I preferred to keep this information to myself unless specifically asked, because I didn’t want people to make assumptions about me. Guess what? Of the people I did tell, no one gave a shit. Seriously. It was my own insecurity, of somehow feeling like taking longer to finish college made me “less” than the other students. After realizing that I was really the only person in the world who cared, I stopped giving a shit too.

There is no shame in finishing college later than other people, or being shorter than the average guy, or buying pads for your girlfriend, or whatever your insecurity is. It’s exactly just that: *your* insecurity. People are so wrapped up in themselves and their own thoughts that they really don’t pay attention to you as much as you might think. And you know what? Yes, you will come across assholes/haters in life. Let’s say I told someone about the college thing and they were like, “Wow, it took you seven years after high school to get done with college? That’s super long. You must be dumb or something.” If someone said this to me, I would be thinking, “Wow, this person is a dick,” not “Damn, yeah I must be dumb.” People who are assholes are just assholes. Ignore them. Don’t take it personally. Live your life. Being comfortable with yourself, the way you look, the way you *are* – these are all signs of confidence. It’s very attractive to all people, not just women. Insecurities will fucking drag you down. Don’t let them.

Okay, so let’s get back to linking physical attractiveness with insecurities. The one thing the puberty-dorm guy and all the other guys I mentioned had in common is that they were very confident and comfortable with themselves. They didn’t let their looks define them. By giving off a vibe that said “I am who I am and I don’t give two shits about how attractive you think I am,” they were “teaching” others to also not judge them on their appearance. They were confident. Unsafe. This made them attractive to women. Some of these guys had crazy amounts of confidence, honestly, to the point where they were arrogant, which is not attractive to me at all and probably a big reason why I put them in the “last man on earth” category. Obviously, not all other women are turned off by those traits, because I would see them with these guys.

Do not aspire to be arrogant, but do aspire to be confident and more comfortable with yourself. Think about your insecurities: Things that make you uncomfortable about yourself, things that make you self-conscious, and things you don’t like to talk about with other people. Think about the things that are holding you back in life and things you would like to improve about yourself. Write them down. Decide if you can apply Option 1 (change the status quo) or Option 2 (accept things as they are), then fucking do it. Change or accept, but do not do nothing. Then see what happens, not just with your opportunities with women, but in every aspect of your life. Good luck.

6 Responses to “Part 11: Physical appearance + insecurities + confidence”

  • g Says:

    Good post!

  • Jason Says:

    Good post. I’m also Asian, male, 5’7″ and had a huge amount of insecurities from high school throughout college.

    I’m 24 now and exponentially more confident than I used to be. I had several revelations throughout the last few years and one of the best things I did was to push myself outside of my comfort zone socially and to never have preconceptions of people on first glance. I would force myself to make small-talk with cashiers, bank clerks, the cable guy, etc. This was something I never did before, and after a year I got more comfortable and feel like I can talk to almost anyone.

    Basically I think all it comes down to is pushing yourself constantly to let go of your ego, and to make a habit of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Be yourself without expecting anything in return, it’s okay to be a polarizing person and have people that don’t like you. The ones that really do like you for who you are, are the ones that are your true friends.

  • to the dude above me Says:

    Good post but I feel like I got more from the comment above in its few short sentences. I get the feeling that everyone recognizes that insecurities are a common human denominator. Its the mindset to approaching them that is the most difficult. Thanks to both authors because I got a great deal out of this.

  • David Says:

    Thank you so much for writing these posts. I’m 23, have a cool job, 6’1″, swim an hour every day, and think I’m pretty attractive, but I still give too many fucks. Your post about logic really was…logical! Women have always mystified me, and because of that I tried way too hard to show them how caring and nice and blah blah blah I am. Again, thank you ma’am.

  • Tyler Durdin Says:

    Saw your profile on OKC and now subscribing to your blog.

    This is gold.

  • Chris Says:

    A lot has been discussed about confidence and settling insecurities (Also love the safe/unsafe chart). Most examples you’ve given are about being confident and comfortable in your own skin in response to actions and different situations. If you’re meeting a girl for the first time or still very early on – such that she knows you exist, but you don’t throw yourself at her to logic her into liking you. How would you display your confidence with limited situations to attract her when you’re on an acquaintance/just-met basis (since you probably won’t be buying pads or getting hit on by gays any time soon). Stay cool and calm? Slightly curious? What kind of body language would be ideal?

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