27. September 2016 Sam Ryter

Why assholes are attractive (and why you don’t have to be one) (8min read)

Unavailability makes things attractive and a whole generation is playing the game. Being assholes, playing hard to get. The game of impressing others. A game that can’t be won.

Relationships and Love are a big part of my work and coaching. Last week, in an enrolment session, I heard a statement, which gave me a big urge to write about it.

“Sam, I think I have to be a bit of an asshole so that women like me.”

I can resonate with that. I personally went through the exact same belief a couple years ago. And it held me back from speaking my truth and being myself.

It’s a game not only men play. Women do so too. But by having this belief, we dig into a rabbit hole that doesn’t bring us anything we truly need and want.

In this article I’d like to share with you where this belief comes from, how it affects your life, our society, and I’d like to share with you my story and what I’ve learned while playing the game of ‘trying to impress’ others – the game that only can be won by giving up.

Why Assholes are so attractive

When I use the term asshole, I simply want to refer to us, men and women, when we try to play ‘hard to get’. We all do it sometimes and I belief there is nothing evil behind it.

It’s then, when we try to put on a mask in order to appear more attractive to others. Please forgive me that I didn’t come up with a better word to describe the human behaviour of trying to impress others.

The reason why assholes are so attractive is simply because they appear less available. An asshole is someone that doesn’t care. He or she is independent. Autonomous. He or she doesn’t need you. I also use the word asshole for those who are hard to get.

It’s a simple law that we can observe everywhere in the world. As soon as the availability decreases, the value of something increases.

How being an asshole affects our happiness

Now, a whole generation tries to raise their value. If it’s in their dating lives or even in their jobs, everywhere where people don’t feel fully safe.

We don’t even dare to look into each other’s eyes. Because we could be perceived as weird. We don’t dare to ask honest questions, because we could lose something.

We live in a world where we rather try to impress each other than actually following our truth and express ourselves.

Because we are afraid.

It’s a prison we live in. A prison we lock ourselves into. We have cultivated a belief about other human beings, which lets us be afraid to step up to who we truly are.

I was there. Deep down in this rabbit hole and I know that we all have the choice to get out of it.

Naturally people try to raise their value, when they don't feel comfortable with themselves.

Naturally people try to raise their value, when they don’t feel comfortable with themselves.

My asshole years made me learn about myself and life

I would like to share with you my story. Because when I look back a couple years ago, I found myself following the same patterns as most people go through once in their lives: I tried to play the game of ‘hard to get’. So that women would like me.

What I’ve found behind that wall was a deep insecurity within me. An insecurity, if I’m really enough for this world.

Early in my life I got into self-help. Especially when I was a martial artist, fighting in South East Asia, I felt I had to dig deeper into it. I experienced my mental and physical limits, and I tried to find a solution.

The outside-in solution

I felt empty. And I had the belief if I had women, money and fame, everything will be alright.

We are all master-manifesters and if we truly want something, make the steps towards it we can create it. We are all magicians.

I got the stuff I desired. I learned to be an asshole, because some people told me so. I learned to impress others. I manifested what I thought would make me happy. But it didn’t.

I want to apologise for all those people I’ve hurt, while playing this asshole role. Please know that it was my insecurity. I was avoiding myself. I didn’t like myself. It had nothing to do with you.

It took me years to actually write about it. Wow, you can’t imagine I’ve been on dates, where I was solely focussing on getting laid. Because it made me feel more masculine. It gave me the validation I couldn’t give to myself.

I’m grateful to have experienced it and that I’ve been able to evolve out of it. It brought me to the place I’m sitting now.

And I would like to share with you what I’ve learned while being an asshole. Because I truly believe, that if we would open our eyes we would see that we don’t have to be assholes to be loved. The world would be a better, more honest place.

1. Assholes never experience fulfilling relationships

You might have had experienced ‘success’ in being an ‘asshole’. In fact many people do so. It can make you appear more attractive. But it’s so important to become aware of the why?

Why do you need to be more attractive?

On our core, we all search for love, appreciation and connection. And that’s what we all have in common.

Playing ‘hard to get’, will give us a short-term high, but will never let us connect to another person until we don’t put down this mask.

That’s a fundamental reason why the relationships, based on that fear are never fulfilling.

Already coming from a place of fear and needing to be attractive, is the wrong approach.

It takes away our fullest and truest presence. The greatest gift we can give to others. And to ourselves.

2. People don’t love assholes, they love what’s real

We just love when we feel someone is real to us. We can feel it. We trust automatically.

We are sensitive human beings, and even if someone says the right words, we can sense if something is coming across real or not.

Have you ever had this sense of: “I don’t know what it is, but something about this guy is wrong.”

We are most appreciated when we truly can be ourselves. I love to take kids as an example, they don’t judge, not others, and not themselves. They are just open. They express themselves. They are lovable.

Now, we don’t have to be childish, but why not being real? Because people love people – But only then, when they can see that the the other is also a human being.

By trying to play ‘hard to get’ we avoid what makes us most lovable and attractive. And that’s this incredibly powerful, loving, energy field around us.

By being ‘assholes’, we rationalize and we lose the compassion towards others. A compassion that is so important in order to connect with each other. A compassion that is needed to connect deeply with each other (If you’d like to go deeper into the topic on how you can create deep connections, please check my latest post for Menprovement.com: http://www.menprovement.com/establish-deep-connection/).

3. I was an asshole to myself

The biggest realisation I’ve made, by thinking about ways to impress the others, to raise my ‘value’. To appear more attractive, I avoided who I really was. I was an asshole to myself.

I didn’t accept myself for my flaws. And I tried to cover it with a mask of insecurity. No trust, no faith.

The way I, internally talked to myself was destructive. “You’re unworthy, you don’t deserve that…” and so on.

The way I treated myself was a way of complete non acceptance of who I really was.

I believed that if I had someone I would feel better. An illusion. Because lasting sense of completeness, love and joy, always comes from the inside-out and not from the outside-in.

Why we don’t have to be assholes

I believe the ‘asshole’ stage or the ‘hard-to-get-games’ is something we all go trough once in our lives. Some experience it more intense, some less. But I truly believe that once we acknowledge ourselves for our flaws, we can step up to the next level.

There’s a way out of that, because I don’t believe in a world where we have to play games we don’t really want to play. I believe in a world where we can be free. Where we can express ourselves from the heart. Without holding back.

I believe in a world where people stop doubting themselves and start creating. It takes a lot of courage. And it takes small steps of action, to become more and more honest with what we actually want from life.

At the end of the day, I realised, that we can all have these external things in our live like money and other stuff, we can get short term highs, and proof for the ego ‘that we are good enough’. But I also know that there is a deeper level of fulfilment. I know that I want to experience love, freedom and deep connection.

For that there’s only one way: To open myself up, to be vulnerable, to be myself. To accept my flaws and instead of trying to take from others, focussing on what we can share.

[Video] Why assholes are attractive


How do you resonate with this article? What thoughts are coming up for you? Please leave your thought in the comments.

Inspire others

So  much knowledge is being held back from sharing. Because of fear. But you could actually inspire others and help them to move forward. If you like this article and if you find it helpful for others, please share it and inspire your friends. Thank you!


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Sam Ryter

Sam Ryter is an author and professional coach. He helps people to create deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others, the world and themselves.

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