3 Minute Monday – Neediness, Attraction & Kafka

3 Minute Monday

Hi friend,

“Neediness occurs when you place a higher priority on what others think of you than what you think of yourself.

Any time you alter your words or behavior to fit someone else’s needs rather than your own, that is needy.

Any time you lie about your interests, hobbies, or background, that is needy.

Any time you pursue a goal to impress others rather than fulfill yourself, that is needy.

Whereas most people focus on what behavior is attractive/unattractive, what determines neediness (and therefore, attractiveness) is the why behind your behavior.

You can say the coolest thing or do what everyone else does, but if you do it for the wrong reason, it will come off as needy and desperate and turn people off.” — Mark Manson

Turning people off is definitely not optimal.

I like turning people on as much as the next guy.

But there’s an even bigger price to be paid here – your own self-worth.

Imagine a world in which you’re unanimously adored by millions, but you hate yourself.

Are you happy? Is it worth it?

Now imagine a world where you’re disliked by everybody, but you love yourself.

I propose that self-love-you would be happier.

Because ultimately, in some taoist, roundabout way, the reason we want validation from others is to give us a good enough reason to validate ourselves.

If you compromise yourself in order to gain favour with other people, you’ll know.

Even if you think you’re not keeping score, your subconscious is.

And given that you’re the sort of person who listens to Modern Wisdom, you probably keep score a lot more accurately than is typical.

How do you expect to have faith in yourself if you can’t even keep your own word?

The issue is that we sacrifice the thing we want (self worth) for the thing which is supposed to get it (validation).

Prioritise yourself.


I do a podcast which has had 90 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Dr Sarah Hill – the psychological impacts of hormonal birth control on women’s psychology and its social impacts. Beyond fascinating. Don’t miss this one.

Rob Henderson – one of my favourite writers returns to talk about male-male aggression, competition, status seeking and attraction.

Douglas Rushkoff – billionaires are buying up land in Alaska and New Zealand to protect them from a coming apocalypse, Douglas wanted to find out why.


Men sometimes know what women want better than women do.

A study showed men and women videos of a number of men.

The women were asked to rate how sexually attractive they found them.

The men were asked to rate how likely it was that each man would win in a fight with another man.

Researchers then tracked the number of sexual partners that the videoed men had over the next 18 months.

The women’s attractiveness rating had zero correlation with the number of sexual partners.

The men’s formidability rating was both strong and significantly correlated with how many women the guys slept with.

So, how tough a guy looks to men is a better predictor of sexual success than how attractive he looks to women.

This finding has been replicated in other studies too.

It suggests that women’s attraction to men is mediated heavily by how formidable other men judge those men to be.

As Jordan Peterson says “women can sit back and let men battle it out, then see who emerges victorious”.

h/t Rob Henderson

The Peter Principle.

People in a hierarchy such as a business or government will be promoted until they suck at their jobs, at which point they will remain where they are.

As a result, the world is filled with people who suck at their jobs.

Kafka Trap.

A Kafka trap is a fallacy where if someone denies being x it is taken as evidence that the person is x since someone who is x would deny being x.

If someone is accused of something, and if they defend themselves then it’s considered proof of their guilt.

It lumps together people who genuinely are not guilty of a perceived offence in with people who have committed the perceived offence and are trying to escape punishment.

Imagine a totalitarian government were purging its political opponents and someone denied being an opponent of the government but the government decided that since an opponent of the government would deny being one that person must be an enemy of the government.

Or, hypothetically, an author who claims that all white people are secretly racist and suffer with white fragility, then decides that any denial of the racism is evidence of their white fragility and complicity in racist superstructures.


Choose window seats on busy flights.

I’ve war-gamed this a lot over the summer while sat on planes and have come up with a definitive answer.

Having the window seat provides two clear advantages.

Not being disturbed by other passengers getting up to go to the bathroom.

Control over the window blind (sometimes blindS if you get lucky).

Both are crucial for sleep and general peace.

Now you do lose arm-width on the side closest to the window, but you also lose that in the middle seat, and the benefits outweigh the costs.

Big love,
Chris x

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4 huge guests coming on the show before the end of the year. Pepper your angus.


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