The Theory of Meta-Awesomeness

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Meta-awesomeness is when someone has the awareness that something about them is uncool, which then actually makes them cool.

SealOfAwesomenessFor example, the guy who can be a condescending prick who also makes fun of himself for being a condescending prick. Or the boyfriend who knows he can be insensitive at times and asks his girlfriend to help him be better about it. Or the girl who genuinely apologizes for being late and admits she’s a forgetful person and needs reminders. Or the football player who embarrassingly admits he enjoys ballet. Or the boss at work who knowingly thanks his employees for putting up with his irrational angry tirades.

The fact these people know the negative or unpopular aspects of their personalities makes them that much more awesome. It draws us closer to them. It turns their weaknesses into strengths.

A while back someone emailed me. They told me my writing sucked, my ideas were mostly stolen, and it’s amazing so many people read my site. I replied by telling him my writing still has a long way to go and I’d love to hear any suggestions for improvement he may have had.

I never heard back.

It’s an amazing trigger within human nature, the minute someone acknowledges their flaws, not only do we forgive them for it, but we actually come to like that flaw.

My girlfriend spends hours in the bathroom before we go out together. She openly makes fun of herself for it. For some reason, I find this adorable and not a nuisance.

I remember years ago going on dates to fancy lounges with beautiful girls and telling them about how I used to spend hours practicing video games to compete in tournaments, that this was the highlight of my social life in high school. Surprisingly, they became more attracted to me.

The self-awareness makes it cool. Knowing that you’re not always awesome counter-intuitively makes you more awesome.

There are two requirements to achieve meta-awesomeness: self-awareness and vulnerability:

1. Self-Awareness is the ability to reflect on your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors from a third-person perspective and then make rational judgments on them. For instance, a person who lacks self-awareness may get angry and punch his hand through a car window. Afterward, he will either be unable to justify his action or he will blame his action on what caused him to become angry — his nagging mother, his whore of a girlfriend, the money he didn’t save on his car insurance by switching the Geico.

A man with self-awareness would be able to take a step back and say, “Whoa, I got angry and lost control. This wasn’t worth it. I got blood on my new jeans. This was unacceptable. I seem to have anger issues. I need to be more conscious of my actions and emotions.”

The first man is a douchebag. The second is not, but he is not awesome either. He has a major flaw and you probably wouldn’t want to hang around him. But at least he’s aware of that flaw, and that’s the first step to achieving meta-awesomeness.

2. Vulnerability is being candid about who you are, not hiding yourself or trying to impress others, not covering up your flaws or weaknesses, admitting your mistakes, sharing yourself unabashedly. Vulnerability without self-awareness is little more than a verbal stream of emotional vomit. People who are vulnerable without self-awareness are seen as weak, whiny, childish and helpless. You need self-awareness to take responsibility for your flaws and problems, to incorporate them into your identity in a positive manner. Vulnerability with self-awareness gives others a crystal-clear access to who you are and what makes you unique and interesting.

Multi-Layered Emotions

If you’re able to achieve these two qualities simultaneously, you will introduce your psyche to multi-layered emotions. For instance, I can feel angry that someone else won an award that I didn’t, but then feel guilty that I feel angry about not winning the award, and then make the decision to forgive myself for feeling guilty about feeling angry.

That’s a Big Mac of emotional layers going on.

Here’s a better and more clear example of how this could affect your life. Let’s say you are in love with someone. But let’s also say you have a massive fear of abandonment and therefore unconsciously push away those who care about you and sabotage your own relationships. If you lacked self-awareness, then you would simply feel a love/hate relationship each person who became close to you — a significant other who you continually treat like crap despite the fact you can’t seem to stay away from them — meanwhile, you would have no idea why. You would feel trapped on an emotional roller coaster traversing the highs and lows of dysfunction together. Break up, get back together, blame them, love them, hate them, run away from them, run back to them, tell them you miss them, hate them again, run away again, etc., ad infinitum.

But a person with self-awareness would recognize this pattern, notice the being in love feeling, notice the fear of being in love, and notice the sabotaging behaviors caused by the fear of being in love. This is necessary if you’re ever going to turn your emotional baggage and neuroticism into a bonus instead of a penalty.

You could feel guilty about getting angry about being afraid of being in love. Multi-layered craziness, baby.

But what about the vulnerability? This self-awareness is nice, but if you’re unable or too afraid to express these realizations to your partner, then your partner will continue to perceive you as a neurotic, relationship-sabotaging (son of a) bitch. But if you work up the cojones/mammaries to tell your partner, “Look, I’m a bit of a headcase when it comes to commitment, and I only get like this because I like you so much. So I’m sorry if I push you away, I’m going to try not to, but just know that I have some issues and this is what usually happens.”

Boom, trust hits a whole new level. Intimacy through the roof. Sweet, sweet love-making squared. And not only does your partner respect you for sharing your problems with them, but chances are they’ll come to love that flaw as part of you as well. Meta-awesomeness at its finest.

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58 Comments

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  • Reply

    Leo Q

    3 months ago

    … of course it’s not that simple … but thanks!!

    Yes, sometimes acknowledging a character flaw is not the end of the world. And who knows? maybe our significant others have also similar issues they’ve been hiding, and now they’ll feel safer sharing them.

    Nice post =)

  • Reply

    jay

    3 months ago

    Boom. I think I’m in love. XD

  • Reply

    Noam

    3 months ago

    I’ve been developing self-awareness lately with therapy and meditation and am a lot more open about my past and ultra-insanity obsessiveness with pick-up/self-improvement prior. I do find a lot more people gravitating towards me. It’s interesting to hear some of the “theory” behind it.

    Also the abandonment stuff hits home. But Mark let me ask you, say you know you push a girl away once “the chase” is off… i.e. you get to know her, like her personality, then have sex with her and your attraction spirals down because you feel you’ve “gotten” her. I know this is going towards a misogynistic view and is kind of sad, but I’ve experienced it several times, perhaps mainly since I was trying to just fuck whatever I could. But even if you tell the girl this pattern you have (assuming you want to keep seeing her) and even if you are aware of this pattern and EVEN if she accepts it and doesn’t get repulsed by that, how do you get your brain to keep seeing the girl if it thinks “OK now I’m bored, this isn’t a challenge anymore”? This can ruin so many possible relationships!

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Re-orient what your idea of “challenge” is. I wrote a post years ago about “moving the goal posts back.” If you’ve labeled the ultimate in your mind to just have sex, then you’re going to have trouble sustaining any sort of relationship or empathy for these women. If you make the goal to find an amazing emotional connection, or hell, to even challenge yourself to commit to a stable and long-lasting relationship, then the sex will still happen as a bi-product.

      As far as that “I need to get away” feeling that commitment-phobes like you and I feel from time to time, it’s kind of like eating vegetables when you’re a kid. You know it’s good for you, so force yourself to do it anyway. The few times where I’ve consciously fought that unconscious fear in order to commit to a great woman, I’ve always been rewarded greatly for it.

      • Reply

        Kenji

        3 months ago

        Can relate to what both you guys said and have lost many a good woman to being a commitment phobe. Vegetables indeed. Top post Mark and thanks for bringing the salient question up Noam.

      • Reply

        Kenji

        3 months ago

        Mark,

        Now that we’re on topic, I also meant to ask: on the flipside, is there no way I’m getting a girl without her own baggage while I am carrying this amount of baggage myself? Specifically referring to the community-induced phobia of emotions and relationships talked about above.

        What I’m saying is it might take an almost perfect girl with few issues to not trigger my commitment phobia. But a girl like that would not put up with that bullshit in the first place.

        Should I lower my standards and settle with a girl that isn’t perfect and that has issues quantifiable similar to mine? Or try to work through these issues on my own till I can net the more awesome, more functional girls (which won’t give me relationship practice in the meantime though)?

        Serious question. Have been doing the latter and avoiding commitment for years. Gone through old emails and saw a few good missed relationships. Any input appreciated – Thanks man.

      • Reply

        Noam

        3 months ago

        Thanks for the input Mark, this is how I’m working on viewing my dating life in the future, though admittedly after a great deal of time in the PUA community it’s quite tough. And nice analogy to the eating vegetables haha!

  • Reply

    Liviu

    3 months ago

    Great article Mark. I have recently become a big fan of your writings…good job! And yeah, I noticed this “meta-awesomeness” a lot in other people, but never actually though of using it myself(even though I’ve probably used it unconsciously a few times, now that I think of it).

    And boy, “If you work up the cajones/mamarines” I am gonna still this expression from you! I cracked up laughing when I read it!

    So yeah, thanks for opening a bit my eyes and putting a smile on my face!
    Cheers!

  • Reply

    Chris

    3 months ago

    My favorite post in while, def in the top 5 fosho.

  • Reply

    Chris A.

    3 months ago

    High-level self-awareness is one of the main traits that separate us from other animals. As I read this blog post of yours, it does bring home the point that self-awareness is one of the most important traits a person can have. The ability to see your behavior from an outside perspective even without asking someone for an outside perspective. To be able to see how your actions produce a chain of consequences, some of which you may not even see or be aware of, and the emotional/psychological origin of these actions.

    I think self-awareness is likely correlated with high intelligence. That is one reason bigots are often seen as dumb. Perhaps it’s because they really are. Bigots from what I’ve observed have very low self-awareness levels, and they probably not highly intelligent either.

    • Reply

      Jack

      3 months ago

      I have to disagree with you here my friend, I feel like some of the most intelligent people are some of the LEAST aware, and this includes past me. :-)

      • Reply

        Chris

        3 months ago

        That would depend on your definition of “intelligence”. If you determine that somebody is intelligent, for example, due solely to their raw computational/logical ability, then sure.

        If you have a more well rounded view of intelligence which encompasses meta-thought, emotional awareness, social ability, as well as the traditional IQ test qualities; rationality, data accessing speed, linguistic ability etc etc. Then I think everyone would agree self-awareness is a CRUCIAL piece of general intelligence.

        Personally, I prefer a well rounded view of intelligence as it allows for more accurate thinking. Using specific terms for specialized subsets. If you can reliably solve extremely complicated physics equations, but you have daily temper tantrums and can’t connect with women you’re interested in, I don’t consider you intelligent. I consider you highly effective logically, but not necessarily generally intelligent.

        If you label intelligence simply computational ability for example, than to be consistent you would have to consider computers (or their programs) to be “intelligent” entities in some way. To think that way doesn’t have any utility. (at least until somebody designs a sentient computer.)

        ^^^Just me over-analyzing and spending 10 minutes getting my thoughts together for a completely tangent comment that will probably never get read. Yeah…I tend to do that a lot. :-)

        • Reply

          Jack

          3 months ago

          If it makes you feel any better I read it :-p

  • Reply

    Brett

    3 months ago

    I think the most charismatic and confident people take this idea to the next level by saying… “no way man… ballet is awesome!” And with an air of knowing ballet is silly they still confidently defend their position… even recruiting people for their cause… “We’re renting tuxedos, pre-gaming and then all going to the ballet Friday… are you in or what?”

    In otherwords, they know themselves so well, they embrace their weirdness to the max. When most people think these individuals would cave if they brought up such embarrassing evidence they embrace it with extreme confidence, throwing their “opponents” off balance.

    P.S. I don’t think that guy would have emailed you back either if you wrote him “Fuck You” as a reply.

    • Reply

      Danielle

      1 month ago

      GASP! Ballet is totally awesome!!!!

  • Reply

    Nicd

    3 months ago

    I think you have to know the people a bit already though before you get more respect. Also, I think it would depend on the people you admit to.
    If you start admitting flaws to people you just met, it doesn’t really work in your favor in my experience. Like when I tell girls that initially seemed interested that I don’t have much experience with girls, that I’m really afraid to take action because I fear rejection, but that I’m working really hard to improve this, I suddenly become a pat-on-the-head kinda guy.
    Also, there once was this girl that I was really attracted to, but then she told me about all her emotional issues and her troubled past. Maybe I’m a terrible person because of this, but my attraction towards her significantly declined.

    • Reply

      jay

      3 months ago

      I think that’s Vulnerability WITHOUT self-awareness: “Vulnerability without self-awareness is little more than a verbal stream of emotional vomit. People who are vulnerable without self-awareness are seen as weak, whiny, childish and helpless.”

      It’s unattractive, so I can’t blame you. Though, I wonder… How do we figure out if there’s “vulnerabilty with self-awareness” vs. an outright “vulnerability”? I mean, don’t you have to be aware that there’s something wrong with you (i.e, self-awareness) before you start admitting to it (i.e., vulnerability)? I wish Mark could expand this.

  • Reply

    Juan

    3 months ago

    Loved it!

  • Reply

    Dpm

    3 months ago

    Hey, very nice article.

    Just feel immensely disturbed by the low quality product advertising (Truth about abs). Might be a very successful affiliate product. But it’s a lot like mystery method/RSD products quality wise.

    All the best

  • Reply

    treylesnorth

    3 months ago

    Rollo seems to disagree

    https://rationalmale.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/sorry/

    It feels good, but who doesn’t possess the self-awareness to point out and knock down any and every flaw they have? It may seem others don’t and it may humanize you, but even the most irrationally self confident people must look at themselves in the mirror each day. Several girls have failed to appreciate my “meta-awesomeness”. Just wondering what you might think of the opposing viewpoint Rollo brings up. It’s one of the subjects I’m torn on.

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      I actually don’t think we disagree. He’s talking about self-deprecation and all-in-all ass-kissing. I agree that that is never attractive. It’s quite different than vulnerability and meta-awesomeness. When self-deprecating, you’re putting yourself down in order to gain a positive reaction.

      The difference is intention. One is trying to gain sympathy from a girl through self-pity, the other is merely being up front and honest about oneself.

      There is no “right” or “wrong” actions, only right and wrong intentions.

      See these posts for more clarification:
      http://postmasculine.com/a-note-on-vulnerability
      http://postmasculine.com/understanding-neediness

      • Reply

        Elizabeth

        3 months ago

        I’m glad you made this distinction. I always thought self-deprecation was just being able to laugh at/make fun of yourself. I never considered the intention behind the action. Thanks!

  • Reply

    Traindom

    3 months ago

    Right on! The self-awareness part actually happened to me today in class. I usually sit next to this guy in one of my classes. Today, I was waiting for him to sit next to me. I saw him with another dude and they sat elsewhere. I was taken back and maybe a little angry, but then I felt guilty about that. This happened in seconds. I did think about it later, but yeah, it’s pretty wicked.

  • Reply

    Lucas

    3 months ago

    Great post Mark! I have been cultivating my self-awareness for a while, and one thing that hit me recently is how I may have been pushing people away who care for me, mainly because I felt I did not have the same care (or better) to give in return. The angle I took to this flaw of mine is that for one I may effectively inspire some to want to give their affection to me (that’s awesome), and two that it might have been weird for them to see me turn away when they clearly had nothing but the best of intentions. What I’m exercising now is how to accept this genuine love and affection (and it feels good), and acknowledge that I’m happy to be loved. The sweet contradiction is that it has now become easier for me to also want to show my affection to those who inspire me to do so, not turn away. I say contradiction because in accepting others affection is that I learned to give it too. You have no idea how easy this extended inwardly to accepting the love I have for myself and also to give it to myself when I manage to inspire me through my absolute awesomeness. Cheers!

  • Reply

    gabe

    3 months ago

    The lucidity in this post is staggering.

  • Reply

    Treylesnorth

    3 months ago

    Specific points from the article linked above:

    “This is a direct manifestation of men being socially conditioned to recognize and acknowledge their weeknesses, and in confessing them they will become strentghs, and ergo, attractions (since they mistakenly believe that doing so will make them “not-like-OTHER-guys” and therefore unique). “You see? I’m really a sensitive, introspective guy willing to cop to his own character flaws, please love me.””
    And

    “I’m not advocating that guys never own up to mistakes or wrongs they do; you should apologize in given situations depending on the conditions and do so appropriately, however Self-Depreciation is another mental schema entirely. Humility is a virtue (up to a point), but it’s simply not a virtue that a woman you’re interested in will ever appreciate in the manner you intend, and in fact often conveys the opposite intent. Virtuous humility is no substitute for self-confidence. If you are already involved with a woman, she may develop a socially mandated sense of appreciation, but again this is only up to the threshold of you trading her estimation of your confidence for your ability to address fault on your part. When a woman delivers a shit test based on this, and a guy submits through self-depreciation it’s damage done that’s not easily undone. Admitting fault is not a strength that inspires women, it’s still about the fault. It may be the honorable, necessary, truthful thing to do, but don’t believe for a moment women will value you more in the confession of fault.”

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      1. I don’t think men are socially conditioned to admit their faults, I think we’re conditioned to hide them.

      2. I think most people aren’t aware of their own faults.

      3. I think men with Nice Guy Syndrome have been conditioned to seek sympathy and pity, but that is by no means all men. Again, it comes back to intention. See reply above.

      • Reply

        Treylesnorth

        3 months ago

        Just read both your comments. Like most guys who frequent these blogs, I’ve been doing tons of research. Article after article. I’ve attempted to rewire my personality
        and worldview to a point where I feel on the verge of insanity at times. I agree that it’s your intention–”not what you’re doing”, but “why your doing it” that’s the real issue. I’m told it’s that vulnerability or “realness” that I possess. I’ve never understood quite what people meant when they called me genuine or real. I just know I don’t want to lose it. I’m not sure. Seems some girls genuinely don’t get the difference between poking fun at yourself for the hell of it/knowing your shit stinks too/being open and honest as a strength and actually self-deprecating to gain sympathy. My experience with women is too limited to know if that translates to all females or not. I do know:

        I hate being cocky.
        I hate trying to hide flaws.
        I hate seeking sympathy.
        I hate not understanding myself or others.
        I hate talking shit about people.
        I hate dishonesty and self-deception.
        I hate hurting people

        I don’t want to lose any of that. I REALLY hate having all that virtue I love being torn from me and mischaracterized by a spiteful woman. I WILL doubt myself and question my intentions every step of the way without a woman’s help.

        I would actually be inclined to agree with YOU on all three of your points. I’ll be rereading the other two articles you recommended. I may hate seeking help or sympathy, but if what one’s doing doesn’t appear to be working… one should be smart enough to own up to it and seek out advice and help. Shit’s confusing sometimes.

        Thanks,
        Mark

  • Reply

    Mykel Cross

    3 months ago

    I thought the biformity of this meta-awesomeness is really insightful. I’ve wondered about what makes vulnerability attractive in some people and not others. Although, I think there’s a least a third and fourth components: Neediness and self-assuredness. You could still be unattractively vulnerable and self-aware if you are lacking in these other areas. It’s a matter of degree. Por ejemplo, a person who is vulnerable, self-aware, non-needy but NOT self-assured may be attractive to some people but not others. I think these other components are important as well. But, as always (see what I did there), your ideas are simpler and more marketable than mine. lol.

  • Reply

    tien

    3 months ago

    Every time you write you literally open up a new layer in me that I didn’t know existed and probably would’ve taken a long, long time to acknowledge. Props to another awesome post!

    • Reply

      Salaam

      3 months ago

      Wow, thats a fucking awesome thing to hear dude.

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Yeah, thanks for posting. Stuff like this makes my day.

  • Reply

    Ivan

    3 months ago

    You hit the nail on the head with self awareness, but this is a deep rabbit hole that you touched on. As most people are not truly self aware, when they hear something like this, they won’t understand… because they feel they already possess consciousness, that they are aware of themselves. When you learn proper self observation, which means learning to divide your self (attention) in two. Which means coming to the realization that you are consciousness itself and not what your consciousness identifies itself with (thoughts,emotions, moods, personality).

    With proper self observation, after many years, you will learn to see that you are not one single “I”, but hundreds of “I’s” all built from different likes and dislikes, and depending on the moment and circumstances different “I’s” will be speaking through you. This is how we rationalize anything. Problem is people all take them selves as one “I”. Which means they “are” whatever is going on in there inner space, and thus cannot observe themselves, there attention is completely taken, so they are unable to be aware of themselves from moment to moment.

    Other people are mirrors to ourselves, and when you learn to observe yourself passively and with out judgment which you can’t do correctly unless you have a proper understanding of your mind (you will always judge), you will learn to see all the the things you criticize about others in yourself. This starts the process of healing yourself and your relationship with others. You can’t condemn others for what you clearly see within yourself. You increase your consciousness. I recently wrote about this and it closely relates to what you wrote about. Check it out if it interests you. My whole work is this, on becoming more self conscious, helping you thus live in the moment, by learning to just “be”, then you see you and the moment are one, you are life itself. Keep up the good work Mark. Peace.

    “If you can’t psychologically divide yourself into two, meaning, an observer and observed side. You will be in a state of identification, which is to be unconscious, because you are under the power of your thoughts and emotions. You take them to be who you are. This is to live a life of reaction by being a slave to life and all its events. No actions spring from our own doing, every action is provoked externally. If you learn to sharpen your awareness, after much hard work on yourself, your thoughts and emotions become objects to you. Objects that you can observe with out judging and condemning. If you can reach this stage in self development, you will be on the road to really understanding yourself.” If you can’t psychologically divide yourself into two, meaning, an observer and observed side. You will be in a state of identification, which is to be unconscious, because you are under the power of your thoughts and emotions. You take them to be who you are. This is to live a life of reaction by being a slave to life and all its events. No actions spring from our own doing, every action is provoked externally. If you learn to sharpen your awareness, after much hard work on yourself, your thoughts and emotions become objects to you. Objects that you can observe with out judging and condemning. If you can reach this stage in self development, you will be on the road to really understanding yourself.”

    http://ivancampuzano.com/changing-myself-through-other-people/

  • Reply

    BUBBLES

    3 months ago

    You must be blossoming in some way in order to write this. The wanna-be pimp smell is almost completely removed in these last two posts. Congrats to all of us who are realizing this now.

    ….Being awesome was overrated anyway…

  • Reply

    jay

    3 months ago

    Hey Mark,

    Not sure if you missed my inquiry earlier:

    How do we figure out if there’s “vulnerabilty with self-awareness” vs. just straight-up “vulnerability”? I mean, don’t you have to be aware that there’s something wrong with you (i.e, self-awareness) before you start admitting to it (i.e., vulnerability)?

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Not necessarily. You can do a lot of vulnerable behaviors without being aware of them.

      • Reply

        Jay

        3 months ago

        Got any example you have in mind? Would like to hear ‘em. Thanks!

        • Reply

          Chris

          3 months ago

          How about the guy who loudly and annoyingly announces every trivial detail that goes on in his life? He’s putting himself out their, being vulnerable, but he’s not aware of being vulnerable.

          Occasionally he spews something and gets a useful response that helps him grow (if he takes it to heart), but 90% of what he says is useless for him and repels others.

          He’s just being how he’s become habitually, not at all aware of the fact that he’s being vulnerable.

          • Mark Manson

            3 months ago

            Yes.

            Whining is the obvious example that comes to mind.

  • Reply

    Jack

    3 months ago

    This post was meta-awesome. Oh no wait it was just fucking awesome. I have such a nerdrection right now its not even funny :-)

  • Reply

    TreylesnortH

    3 months ago

    Hey Jay,

    A little time on my hands today (boozing and hanging w/ friends). My iPhone notifies me of follow up posts to any blog I visit. Figured I may try to field your question. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had moments in the last couple years, while trying to “open up”, where it seemed I was watching myself talk without self-awareness. I’ve brought people under my roof who appear to do the same thing and I’ve felt disgust towards them, but mostly towards myself because I can identify. That old animalistic open flapping empty head talking under duress without self knowledge type of impression
    people give sometimes. I think the answer you’re looking for you actually already know and you are merely looking for confirmation.

    I’m reminded of some articles on a website called gettinbetter.com. Shari repeatedly talks about (among other things) how many people develop a habit of trying to THINK their way through life instead of FEEL their way through it. Therein lies the problem. I’m guilty of it.

    How can you tell the truly self-aware vs. the whining pity parties? Is that something that can be expressed or something you just get on an instinctual level? Their look, tone, verbiage, overall lifestyle. Regardless, I’ll try to verbalize it.

    Someone actually aware of him/her self eats, lives, breathes, and grasps the gravity of their semiconscious defects while simultaneously drinking in the beauty of the world. They are not bound by desperation
    or frustration. They ask for
    insight not for the sake of asking, but because they honestly want to make a better impact on the world and on those around them. They realize their shortcomings and are actively trying to eliminate them–not air them so others will tell them “that’s okay, you’re human” and go on with their lifestyles.

    In short, they’ve discovered an internal locus of control as opposed to external. They have a burning desire (however controlled) to be better.

    Perhaps I missed the point of your question (20 shots in at the moment). If I have, restate it and I’ll readdress. But I think I get ya.

    Jake

    • Reply

      Tim

      3 months ago

      I think you really nailed it Jake, particularly the part about having an internal locus of control. They are open about their weaknesses because they are trying to live with them as best they can; whether it’s by removing them or just accepting them and minimizing their negative effects while simultaneously not trying to hide them.

  • Reply

    linda

    3 months ago

    I always really wonder how on earth anyone could ever feel deeply attracted to me when I’m so ridiculously flawed. I *do* do a lot of what you mentioned in this post, but I joke about being way too self-referential even then.

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Depends if you’re doing it from a place of self-love or self-loathing.

    • Reply

      Chris

      3 months ago

      Insecurities are only unattractive when they’re hidden or unconscious.

  • Reply

    abhishek S

    3 months ago

    Meta awareness sounds philosophical like meta ethics. I could never thing of something and I can make fun of myself. I won’t say that about my literally farting habit.

    Those who cared to email you about your writing could be your biggest fans. I am safe on that account. I understand writing as an art and it’s for people comprehend. Interesting I would say your writing is. One good reason I like to read

  • Reply

    Gary Tse

    3 months ago

    This post is extremely relevant to me. I’ve been having self-awareness changes ever since I started getting into PU, but I still find that because I’m in a reality of scarcity, I often fall into cognitive dissonance about how I should be acting and thinking (being in an abundance mindset, letting go of outcome, etc.) and being emotionally stressed because I have to acknowledge that I do feel jealous, envious, and being desperate for sex or companionship from a woman.

    While the obvious solution is to take more action, go out more, and start getting into abundance (I’m doing so right now, more than before), I am secretly afraid that my natural scarcity-related emotions will embed many of my actions with hidden motives to feed the ego and engage in something darker – for example, a part of me has a hidden agenda with every decent girl I meet at the moment, and I become manipulative in the ways I communicate with them (sometimes too spontaneous for me to control).

    Any tips or opinions?

  • Reply

    Wang yi yang

    3 months ago

    Becoming “meta-awesome” isn’t the best reward from having self-awareness. It’s the ability to solve your problems now that you actually know what they are.

  • Reply

    Dulst

    3 months ago

    The idea of knowing your flaws well enough that they become positive is especially true for people like me who suck at dancing.

  • Reply

    krauser

    3 months ago

    I like the tongue-in-cheek arrogance with these layers:

    1. Openly talk about how awesome you are
    2. It’s obvious you know you are bragging, which is impolite and childish
    3. She knows you genuinely believe you are awesome, rather than that the bragging is an attempt at bravado to cover lacking self esteem
    4. You know that she knows
    5. She knows that you know that she knows
    6…. you know that she knows that…..ad infinitum
    7. And this all amuses you

    The WWE wrestlers in it’s 1997-1999 heyday were brilliant at keeping these sorts of self-referential injokes going. Just watch the promos from guys like The Rock, Chris Jericho and Steve Austin.

  • Reply

    Richi

    3 months ago

    Hey Mark I loved this and felt it sounded deep into how and what I am.

    I’ve always thought and discussed with friends how people can fall into two main categories.
    The aware (in various levels and shades) and the not aware.
    I think there is a third category, which I’d call the integrated.

    I am going to repeat a bit concepts you’ve already exposed.

    For instance, my grupo of friends, which I care and love, unfortunately also are people who blame the entire world, and situations, for their own unfulfillment, mostly with women. Said so, they developed misogyinistic opinions. This actually helps them to be very dominant, apparently, and they get more laid than I do. Though, none of them can seem to connect to women before finding some flaw in whatever these poor girls do.
    I see myself different from them, but I like them in other aspects. We friction when it cames to define objectives, and my awareness-flaw comes in that I can’t define how I can get along with people who are so different in some regard.

    Then the aware. I put myself it this cathegory, at least partially.
    Myself, I’ve always a double wooper of emotions going on. I sometimes envy those with such a direct perception of emotions, like they feel that emotion 100%, not the first layer 75%, covered by 25% reactive-secondary emotions about the former.
    Indeed, let me tell you a bit of my story. I ber you’ve heard it 1000times.
    I got a gf while in my mind I was following the playboy ideal. She lived very far, but we kept it going, for two years, meeting as frequently as possible. She ended up loving me, truly, sincerely, she was great. The feeling that she “happened” to me, that I did not choose the realtionship to start (link to your “happiness” article and to the feeling of control/choice as the basis of it), met with the inability to keep my barriers, made me struggle for months with myself. I loved her, still I hated her, since I saw her as a barrier to my freedom and objectives. I knew, it was all about me and the only solution was to be honest about my wants. Still, I kept looking away, giving myself excuses for not doing it. Paradoxically, I wanted with all myself to have her out of the way, still I was scared as hell she would leave me for knowing how I felt.
    I ended up leaving her, with a huge efforts, tons of regrets, never being totally clear, giving her a half explanation. I imagined my new-regained freedom to feel like heaven, but it did not completely, since I was not 100% honest when leaving her. Still, now I am integrating that inside me, accepting that I chose the best at the moment. I haven’t opened to her all of this, and I don’t know if it would be meaningful, since it’s so long I don’t see her, and it’s all gone. What do you think, would it free me of this little sense of guilt I still feel?
    Just to add to your casistic, I am an only child brought up by a divorced-caring-perfect-giving-100%dedicated-sacrificed mother. I see and love my dad, but he’s always been the “egoist” living only for himself, she indireclty states. It all sounds familiar, isn’t it?
    With other girls I meet and date, I always feel like it’s right to create a perfect romantic story with them, to show I care etc..and it’s wrong and damaging to follow myself and embrace them in MY life. This sucks, it makes me feel inauthentic sometimes, and clutters my freedom of being happy. I am working with it.
    The funny fact is that I know all of this about myself, I see it clearly as transparent water, I even wrote down my thoughts and AFTERWARD I recognize I knew it! Even so, I don’t know how to break this pattern, since it looks like it keeps repeating. I think I still lack some awareness. I have the feeling there is something stirring down beneath, and I cannot seem to handle it, or name it. Every time I ask myself “why” about all of this, it feels uncomfortable.
    How do you step beyond this?

    Last, what I define as the “integrated” is somebody who could be resumed ad a movie or book character. They have awareness of themselves, and direct perception of their emotions and motivations, even doubts are “directly” experienced. I know few people like that. They seem not self-conscious, still their actions have more fullness and purpose than anybody else’s. They are not disturbed by knowing who they are.
    My state is somehow that I know much about myself, still I cannot accept it. It’s like there is some chastizing emotion layering above my “dark side”. How do you work with that?

    I just finished Atlas Shrugged, that I discovered by reading your website. Best read ever. I’m stunned, it changed me for good. And the plot is compelling, every page is as alive as a thriller story, and the logic of all happenings is so neat and unbreakable. I’m advertising it around :D.
    Hank Rearden is the perfect example of the unaware, to the aware, to the integrated. Even being great already when “unaware”.

    Mark, truly, I don’t know the purpose of this manuscript of mine, it’s jsut some opening up, I felt I could share here like nowhere else. Maybe it’s a purpose in himself.
    Anyway, if anybody has got any idea, or wants to shed some light on this, too, I’d be glad.

    Ciao

    Richi

    • Reply

      jay

      3 months ago

      Richi, dude! I also ran into Atlas Shrugged because of Mark’s site…. and boy was I glad to have read it. XD

      I’m not too sure about Rearden being unaware. I thought he was “aware,” but he was lacking “vulnerability” (hiding his flaws).

      Oh, and if you want another book to read from Mark’s list, I’d suggest: No More Mr. Nice Guy.

      -j

  • Reply

    Richi

    3 months ago

    just as feedback, I though you intended “cojones” (balls) instead of cajones :D

    • Reply

      jay

      3 months ago

      How dare you correct the author! He intended to say “cajones” as he was referring to “drawers.” duh.

  • Reply

    TreyLesnorth

    3 months ago

    As far as the chastisement just above your dark side you were talking about, two related things came to mind:

    You can research Buddhist Mindfulness which has been adapted into a form of CBT called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

    I just finished a book called “The Shadow Effect”. A self-help book that introduces Freud’s/Jung’s ideas of those aspects of oneself that get labelled negatively earlier in life. You quarantine and pare off these “unacceptable” parts of you to cope, but they remain a part of you. They simply fall into your “shadow self”. This part is thought to be responsible for self sabotage, addictions, double lifestyles, etc… The idea is labeling a thought or feeling as bad or at all negative makes it stronger. Ignoring it also makes it stronger. The more you do it, the bigger the shadow and the less conscious and free you become.

    The book says the goal is not to become “good” which casts a “bad” shadow but whole and integrated–absorb the shadow aspects of yourself through acceptance and meditation. One exercise was as simple as when you notice an unpleasant thought or feeling simply say “I see you! You belong to me.” Don’t disown it or necessarily identify it as you, but acknowledge it as a construct of your mind. It gets heard, loses momentum, you remain conscious of it, and guess what? That idea/feeling “has friends” (as I think Robert M. Pirsig phrased it) waiting on the sidelines to see how you receive the first thought. More and more come to your awareness this way and it’s the same as ACT and Mindfulness. Lots of different ways to describe it.

    Think chess. You are not the White or the Black side. You are the chessboard holding the entire battle.

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