My introduction to the “manosphere” and the various “red pill” principles was probably quite similar to yours.

I was frustrated with the lack of sex and women in my life so I read some “pick-up” books. Then after a bunch of shitty nights out, I finally made some progress.

After that point, I think, we all start to take our own paths. Some men get obsessed with their newfound validation and dive deeper and deeper into the art of seduction. Others give up and revert back to “beta bitch” mode. And some embrace a lifestyle of total self-improvement.

I’ve had many friends and comrades on this path that have filtered into each of these three paths. Personally I got obsessed with the “pick up” culture for a bit, before refocusing and integrating women as just one component of a new self-improvement driven lifestyle.

I don’t mean to preach, but I firmly believe that this is the “middle path” that all men must find for themselves. And it’s far from a narrow, well-defined path. In fact, I think this progression of “over-exposure” to a particular thing before retracting and applying it in moderation is an inevitable part of success.

I did it with women. I did it with fitness, too – developing a borderline eating and body image disorder in the process. And while that’s clearly not a good thing, it supports my theory that I personally need to go all in at something to get a good feel for it before I can integrate into my life in a healthy fashion.

Not to get off topic but I’ve done it with various habits like meditation and career jobs as well. But the lessons that I learned from my immersion into the manosphere are some of the most valuable I’ve ever learned. Here are the top five…

1. Most people are extremely insecure

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The majority of men and women crave validation

This is probably the biggest realization I had while going out and trying to get better with women.

On one hand you start to see that the confidence of most women is extremely fragile. Why do they take so many goddamn selfies? To get “likes” that reinforce their longing to look good. And when you’re trying to attract more women into your life this realization alone will bring you success.

When you know that the girl you’re talking to is longing for your validation, despite any bullshit she might be saying, it gives you all the confidence you need to drive the interaction wherever you like.

On the other hand, when you swallow the red pill you’re faced with the brutal truth that your own confidence is also extremely fragile. After all, why are you going out so much and putting so much effort into trying to get laid? Because it brings you validation, of course.

On some level you don’t feel validated or manly if you’re not getting any ass. And it’s not until you’re able to take a step back, recognize this, and stop worrying so much about getting laid or having a girlfriend that this insecurity diminishes.

2. People only change when they want to

This is true for yourself and your friends.

You don’t get better with women until you admit you suck, learn what you need to do to get better, and then go do it. And this takes a lot of time and effort. You have to want it badly. The same goes for changing careers, starting your own business, or building muscle.

It can be very frustrating when your friends are content with their mediocre lives – working a shitty job, getting laid once a year, or remaining overweight – and this can wear down on you. It doesn’t matter how much you try to make them “see the light.” It doesn’t matter how easy it is to build muscle or get laid… They won’t even begin to change until they genuinely want to.

3. Women like sex too

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The question is “will it be with you?”

Society grooms us to think that men are the ones that want to have sex. And it conditions us to feel guilty about this and “tiptoe” around the issue when dealing with women. But it’s all bullshit.

It wasn’t until I hooked up with and dated a handful of women until I was able to internalize this belief. But after you’ve hooked up with girls that are legitimate freaks, there’s no denying that women fucking love sex…

Probably more than you do.

Between the popularization of 50 Shades of Grey, the fact women can have multiple orgasims, and our shared desire for validation by the opposite sex – there’s no question that she probably is “that type of girl”.

4. Haters gonna hate

You can’t be friends with everyone. But it’s an undeniable trait of the “nice guy” to try to avoid hurting feelings, and then doing everything he can to make things right or convince other people to like him when he does.

Since I’ve branched out from the norm, publically published a lot of material on my views, and started to live my own life, I’ve had to deal with a lot of criticism and bullshit. Whether it’s from an uninitiated friend who questions my morals, angry commenters below this article, bad reviews on my books, or a butthurt blogger—“haters gonna hate.”

It’s part of life. People aren’t going to agree with you. People aren’t going to like you. It may be based on a fundamental difference in their beliefs, or it might be because of an underlying insecurity of theirs that you’re bringing to the surface. Or they might just be jealous.

Whatever the reason, you got to be comfortable living with the hate and not trying to make everyone your friend. Sacrificing your principles to appease others will only create incongruencies in your character – and make you seem weak to everyone else.

5. There’s no “right” way to live

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There’s no proper way to build relationships or careers

When it comes to dating, you have guys who swear that you MUST NOT enter a LTR until you’re X years old in order to have a successful life…

When it comes to career, you have guys who swear that you MUST quit the corporate world in order to live a fulfilling life…

When it comes to fitness, you have guys who swear that you MUST get as big as you can in order to be a real man…

It’s all bullshit.

I’ve done the LTR. I’ve also done the dating many women at once. I’ve done the 9-5 job. I’ve also done the location-independent lifestyle. I’ve bulked up to near my genetic potential. I’ve also gotten in “fighter” lean shape.

There’s no right answer. You can be happy and successful doing any of them. Do whatever the fuck you feel like doing. Don’t follow some “guru” approach just because. Try out different things and see what works best for you.

Read More: What I Learned From A Weekend Of Forgetting The Red Pill