The piece is called “Six Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person” by David Wong and it’s been viewed nearly 24 million times.
Today, I want to take those (five of those) six truths and apply them to your love life. I may not be the most original writer, but no one is better at turning anything into a dating metaphor. 🙂
1. The World Only Cares About What It Gets From You
Feel free to substitute the gender of your choice for “the world.” Men and women constantly complain about being single, and, in particular, complain about the opposite sex. “Men are so shallow.” “Women are such golddiggers.” Well, guess what? Complaining about it doesn’t accomplish much of anything.
Your value in dating depends on what you OFFER to your partner.
Your value in dating depends on what you OFFER to your partner. If men want thin, warm, and easygoing partners, it sure helps to try to be thin, warm and easygoing. If women want men who are generous, successful, sensitive and communicative, it sure helps to be that way.
If you’re a female PhD who can speak 4 languages and remodel a kitchen yourself, you are certainly very impressive. But unless he’s looking for a dissertation on the Russian Revolution, a translator for trips to Portugal, or a general contractor, those things provide little value to men. Thus, your “being a catch” is really based on whether men value what you offer to them. And vice versa. All those older men who complain that younger women don’t want them don’t seem to understand that it doesn’t matter if you think you’re a catch for being rich and stable. She’s looking for a man who doesn’t look like her Dad. Case closed.
2. What You Produce Doesn’t Have to Make Money, But It Has to Benefit Other People
Wong did a great job with this in the original article, and he actually talked about dating. Nice guys complain that women like assholes, but never considers that those assholes are providing something that women want. Confidence. Competence. Uniqueness. Excitement. Sex appeal. Those are the things women put up with from assholes that you’re not providing.
Same goes for women as outlined in this famous blog post. Your boyfriend benefits when you make his life easier. How do you make his life easier? You ask him about his day. You laugh at his jokes. You accept him as he is without constantly complaining and micromanaging. You trust him implicitly. You appreciate the many things he does for you. You give him your time, your energy, your admiration, your body. And if you do those things, it doesn’t matter if you’re thin or fat or rich or poor or educated or uneducated – your behaviors are now a benefit to your partner.
3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don’t Do Anything
Says Wong, “In my non-expert opinion, you don’t hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don’t do anything. Not even you can just “love you for you” — that’s why you’re miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life.”
Yeah, that’s the harsh part of the 6 harsh truths, but he has a point. Any time someone comes here to yell at me (for being mean to men, for being mean to women, for being mean to you), it’s usually misguided. I’m sometimes snarky or sarcastic in my writing, but my advice is not “mean,” anymore than it’s “mean” to fire someone who isn’t performing at his job.
You want a different result? Do something different. Don’t complain that the rest of the world is unfair to you.
People come here because what they’re doing ISN’T working. I offer advice on how you could do it better. There is never any reason to shoot the messenger. If you don’t like the advice, it just means that you would rather do things your way – the same way that you complained wasn’t working. It’s like you’re burning your hands on the hot stove and I say, “Stop touching the hot stove! Use a glove!” and you say, “But I don’t want to use a glove! Don’t tell me to change!”
You want a different result? Do something different. Don’t complain that the rest of the world is unfair to you. If you ever find yourself in the “men sucks, women sucks, online dating sucks” crowd, the problem is with YOU, not with the rest of the world.
4. What You Are Inside Matters Because of What It Makes You Do
“How many of you are walking around right now saying, “She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting person I am!” Really? How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can’t read your mind — they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?”
Men who drink beer and play video games. Women who horde cats and dogs. Men and women who work sixty hours a week and travel 20 weeks a year. Men and women who are relentlessly negative about dating, relationships and the opposite sex.
Why would anyone want to be a part of that life?
You may be a good person inside – I’m inclined to think that you are – even my most bitter detractors. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a good person who believes in God, loves her family, and is generally ethical. All of your goodness is irrelevant to someone who has to deal with a partner who is too busy or bitter to provide warmth, joy and quality time.
If you’re the CEO of your own love life and nobody has committed to you, you haven’t created a company where anyone would want to work full-time.
5. Everything Inside You Will Fight Self-Improvement
I’m going to just give you Wong’s text here. I couldn’t say it better myself.
So even now, some of you reading this are feeling your brain bombard you with knee-jerk reasons to reject it. From experience, I can say that these seem to come in the form of …
*Intentionally Interpreting Any Criticism as an Insult
“Who is he to call me lazy and worthless! A good person would never talk to me like this! He wrote this whole thing just to feel superior to me and to make me feel bad about my life! I’m going to think up my own insult to even the score!”
*Focusing on the Messenger to Avoid Hearing the Message
“Who is THIS guy to tell ME how to live? Oh, like he’s so high and mighty! It’s just some dumb writer on the Internet! I’m going to go dig up something on him that reassures me that he’s stupid, and that everything he’s saying is stupid! This guy is so pretentious, it makes me puke!
It’s incredibly obvious to me that love is real, love is worth it, and that there are best practices for pursuing love.
*Focusing on the Tone to Avoid Hearing the Content
“I’m going to dig through here until I find a joke that is offensive when taken out of context, and then talk and think only about that! I’ve heard that a single offensive word can render an entire book invisible!”
*Revising Your Own History
“Things aren’t so bad! I know that I was threatening suicide last month, but I’m feeling better now! It’s entirely possible that if I just keep doing exactly what I’m doing, eventually things will work out! I’ll get my big break, and if I keep doing favors for that pretty girl, eventually she’ll come around!”
*Pretending That Any Self-Improvement Would Somehow Be Selling Out Your True Self
“Oh, so I guess I’m supposed to get rid of all of my manga and instead go to the gym for six hours a day and get a spray tan like those Jersey Shore douchebags? Because THAT IS THE ONLY OTHER OPTION.”
And so on. Remember, misery is comfortable. It’s why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.
Also, courage. It’s incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don’t create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.
It’s so much easier to just sit back and criticize other people’s creations. This movie is stupid. That couple’s kids are brats. That other couple’s relationship is a mess. That rich guy is shallow. This restaurant sucks. This Internet writer is an asshole. I’d better leave a mean comment demanding that the website fire him. See, I created something.
Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create — be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship — you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they’ll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.
Just remember, they’re only expressing their own fear, since trashing other people’s work is another excuse to do nothing.
Read our article comments — when they get nasty, it’s always from the same angle: Cracked needs to fire this columnist. This asshole needs to stop writing. Don’t make any more videos. It always boils down to “Stop creating. This is different from what I would have made, and the attention you’re getting is making me feel bad about myself.”
Don’t be that person. If you are that person, don’t be that person any more. This is what’s making people hate you. This is what’s making you hate yourself.
And this is why I preach positivity. This is why I run man-haters and women-haters off the boards here (while still allowing them to express their narrow, small-minded opinions.) This is why I have a happy marriage and surround myself with other happily-married people. This is why I have thousands of success stories and more emails than you can count. This is why this site had NINE MILLION readers last year and why I’m starting a podcast and YouTube channel this year.
It’s incredibly obvious to me that love is real, love is worth it, and that there are best practices for pursuing love. The fact that I have to continually bring this up is the only thing that’s surprising to me. So, in 2016, let’s try to see the big picture.
If you’re single and reading this blog, it’s because you need to change something. Choose different partners, give the opposite sex (or the same sex) more of what THEY want, open yourself up to a new way of doing things instead of complaining that things aren’t working the way they are now.
I challenge you to do just that and to insist on looking inward for success instead of casting outward blame. Yes it’s harder, but it works much, much better.