14th of September 2015

Helping Joe, Episode 31


In this special episode of Helping Joe, Tucker and Charlie talk with Joe about changing the direction of this podcast series. They go over Joe’s recent successes (ex. Joe made a female friend) and his increased emotional health and happiness over the last 6 months. And because he is now dating multiple women, they have to set a new goal for him or fix another important part of his life.


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Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:

Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe

@Beginning – Great email we got from a smart MG fan who listens to Helping Joe

Here is the email that Tucker talked about in it’s entirety and he made some solid points which we talked about here:


I have been listening to the Helping Joe series, and it has largely been compelling and informative. But the last few episodes, it has been a disappointment, and the podcast no longer seems like it’s going anywhere.

My frustration comes from how you guys are handling Joe. You have concluded and pointed out again and again that Joe’s biggest problem is that he is way too critical of himself i.e. the monkey fight. But in the last few episodes, Joe has come in with, in his view of things, good news, but it immediately gets brushed aside to instead talk about things that Joe is doing poorly so everyone can shit on and judge him instead.

As an example, in Episode 27 , Joe comes in as confident and as happy as I’ve ever heard him to talk about the best date he has ever been on, but instead the conversation is quickly changed to why didn’t Joe try to analyze more if the girl he was on the date with enjoyed it as much as he has and brought up doubts about how well the date really went. This was done after you guys had got on Joe for bearing too much of the responsibility of previous dates such as when he went to a bad comedy show with Harry Potter tattoo girl and Joe beat himself up mercilessly even thought his date enjoyed the night. This whole exchange and others like it recently, such as last episode when Joe had an awkward, but hardly catastrophic, sexual experience with a girl he brought back his place, are making me feel this podcast is turning into Bashing Joe instead of Helping Joe. Joe has made tremendous progress since the podcast has started, and the recent issues he’s bringing up would not have even been possible 3 months ago since Joe was seeing so many fewer women and having much less sex, and yet without that context, listening to the recent podcasts would make a listener think Joe was backsliding into old habits instead encountering new problems as a results of his success.

My big fear about the podcast is that if you just keep ripping Joe, not only will the podcast not be worthwhile to listen to, it will only reinforce Joe’s biggest problem, and when it’s all said in done, the original patterns of behavior and self-image Joe has of himself will largely not change. I think this dynamic is also affecting his ability to make friends and build a social network, probably Joe’s second biggest issue, and there are a couple other things bothering me, but this is already long enough. I have gotten a lot out of the podcast, and I will continue to listen to the podcast since I still have hope it can get better, but I felt I needed to give my feedback.

Tucker is pretty honest about how the podcast has been off the last few weeks because I’m doing a lot better in multiple areas and it’s like, ok now what?

“The first set of things we had to deal with, we got past… You now have a method and process to meet and date women.” – Tucker

Yep and he mentioned that I’m still a 2 out of 10 which is probably right. I could be doing a lot more to meet and connect with even more women. Maybe we can take that and use it as a new direction of the podcast, new places, new mating markets, get to a 6 out of 10.

@4:00 – We reflect on good stuff I got going in my life now

Socially with friends and with women this is the best I’ve ever done ever in my life.

This wasn’t overnight. Like Tucker mentioned it took 6-8 months to get to this point, but yea I had something going on every night of the week with different friends or girls I was dating, which I’ve never really had so that was pretty fucking cool. Joining improv was huge for this I think in so many way.

And I’m much more happier than I was before and I have a lot more awesome days where I’m doing fun stuff with cool people, which is great.

“Let’s stop for a second and acknowledge that the stuff we told you and your work has worked. If you wanted to stop, we could stop.” – Tucker

@8:00 – New goal or new direction of Helping Joe

Before we get to this we go on a tangent about Tucker’s investment in Deep Eddy. When it works out for you, being an investor is fucking awesome. He sat on his ass for a few years and probably made millions of dollars.

“We accomplished our first purpose, all of us together. We crossed the finish line.” – Tucker

@11:45 – I used to be a workaholic and avoid social activities and dating

I talk here about how I made up work I thought I had to do to avoid feeling lonely or getting rejected or taking risks to meet new people. For a long time that’s what I did, especially in NYC. Over-working was a bad habit, rationalization, excuse not to go out. Always said I’m too busy or I gotta do xyz. I regret doing that because I missed out on a lot of cool stuff and many cool people.

@12:30 – Brene Brown book event with a female friend

I went with a great female friend from improv. She’s awesome and invited me to this event. It was a nice talk, most of the stuff she said I remembered from Daring Greatly.

“This a 180 turnaround.” From how I was when we started, haha.

I still can’t believe that happened at Vino Vino. It made sense that he would say that. I’m in there a lot with different girls and he’s a nice + funny guy.

Tucker got a little ahead of himself being excited about my remembering the details here.

I think the reason I remembered everything so well was because this just happened the night before. But yea I was able to remember a lot more, and he doesn’t have to yell at me to stop characterizing, which I was pretty bad at in the beginning.

“This is what happens when you have a feeling of social support. You don’t have that constant over-riding fear in your mind of ‘Be right!’ You’re not fighting that.” – Charlie

“Joe shows up in Austin, no friends, no women, not even prospects, and now the manager of a busy restaurant says to other people, ‘This dude comes in here every week with women.’ … amazing but think about how ridiculous this is.” – Tucker

@17:30 – I interrupt Charlie to add something before we move on

I thought they were kind of exaggerating but looking back on this, yea they were right. I would have had that same instinct to add that bit here, but I wouldn’t have interrupted Charlie. I just would have stayed quiet and let the moment go and be a little annoyed about it later.

“That shows confidence, social intelligence, and empathy. If you want to know why small talk matters, look at how he’s interacting socially. High levels of social intelligence, empathy, confidence. That’s what women are reading in small talk.” – Tucker

“It’s totally true.” – Charlie

Before I was on the Mating Grounds and before I moved to Austin. I was in Ohio listening to the show and I called in with a question about small talk. Here’s the episode, damn near a whole fucking year ago:

I’ve gotten used to hearing my own voice by now but when I first listened to this Q&A, I cringed at how I sounded, just so lethargic or depressed. My favorite bit of this is the first thing Nils says at 5:15

He also made a great point: “This guy doesn’t sound like a fun or happy person.” Haha for the most part, he was right.

@20:00 – Tucker points out 2 big things that mattered with my change here

1) How to identify and connect with your emotions and the emotions of others. How to connect with people.

2) How to build and maintain a social support system. How to make friends

“I spent 4 years in fucking therapy so 6 months [to get here] sounds like a breeze to me.” – Tucker

“The easiest gains come at the beginning (law of diminishing marginal returns), but I could set you free into the world and be confident that you could keep going and do well. Whereas before I was nervous having you on because I didn’t think this guy was fixable. 80% of it is desire and I wasn’t sure you actually had that.” – Tucker

This was a cool compliment. The other guys they had in here to do something similar never panned out. They all quit. I didn’t.

I’m also nervous here about being “set free into the world” because the accountability and support I think has been so critical to me actually doing stuff. I had someone to report back to each week who was going to be pissed if I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. If I leave, I won’t have that and I’ll slip back into old habits/patterns I think.

“You have a social support system that you did not have before. You’re not alone any more. Between 20-50% of guys who listen to this podcast, their biggest problem is being alone.” – Tucker

@23:30 – They ask what I think about how guys can improve and I kinda just ramble here

The RSA Animate video / talk I mentioned here.
My point was that a big % of guys spend 10,000 playing video games. If you do that alone, by yourself, like I did, that fucks you up.

What worked for me: Taking improv classes with a new group of people. This was great for so many reasons…
Proximity, meet once a week, together
All working on the same goal, there for the same purpose (have fun, meet people, get better)
Fun group of people.
Practiced and worked on all these skills. Got better at talking to people. Developed a skill.
Made friends

“If you can’t buy accountability (coaching), join specific groups that meet at specific days/times… There’s a million groups.”

@29:00 – In defense of video games

“Playing video games can be an easy way to connect with friends. E-sports is blowing up.” – Tucker

In groups, yea they’re right it’s cool and fun for sure. But by yourself, not good. I was socially feral for most of high school and my first year of college because I think I spent way too much time, like 2-4 hours a day playing video games by myself.

They were awesome games and I loved them but I just spent way too much time alone.

There was even one time when my older cousin had a party at my house during the summer and I stayed in the basement the whole time working out and playing video games, mostly playing video games. So weird.

@30:00 – New goals and direction for the podcast … bars?

I was thinking of new mating markets, going to bars and getting good at bars. I hate feeling incompetent with women at bars and not having fun at bars. We dive into why that might be a bad goal for me.

They both had “mixed feelings” about this which was interesting. Tucker broke down the difference between being good with people and being good with picking up women:

“It’s not a great place to effectively pickup women. Tons of competition, girls are more guarded, it’s just harder. It’s totally normal to feel anxiety in those situations. It took me a long time to get comfortable talking to anyone at a bar… I think the group stuff is the way to go long-term.” – Charlie

“We went through what you want to do here and we realized that it was a hollow goal. Men see being able to talk to women as a mark of masculinity or a level they want to it that they think they need to. I was very good at it… There’s a reason I had to spend 4 years in psychoanalysis. It’s because I went so far down this path. It’s not evil. The further you go down that path the harder you make it on yourself to have the life that you have now with friends and a social network.” – Tucker

Yep… I feel like a pussy (too self-critical) when I see hot girls at bars and don’t go talk to them or say anything.

“I had amazing times with my friends at bars, but there’s a price to pay for that. The price is usually deeper, more meaningful friends and connections.” – Tucker

“Here’s the confusion. If you want to be good talking to people socially, that is a different goal than being able to be really good going to bars and picking up women.”

“For guys with low social intelligence, a guy getting a lot of ass and a guy with a lot of women around him look the same. They are different.”

-Socially skilled, people person has to develop empathy and emotional skills is one thing.

-And meeting women at bars and going home with them, is another thing that is predicated on some emotional dysfunction (not crazy).

But they look the same to someone (me, many guys listening) who hasn’t experienced either

“If you go down the [long-term] path, it necessitates you connecting with yourself to connect with other people.”

“I was the best at finding women who were into short-term mating and displaying the traits they need to see to fuck me, which are totally different than being good with people. They look similar to guys who don’t know anything or don’t understand what’s going on, like pickup artists.”

“Being comfortable at a bar is different than going to a bar to pickup women.”

New goal idea: Getting me social comfortable to be able to go to places outside my comfort zone. I don’t know if this is worth listening to though.

@48:00 – Hell for Tucker is going out to bars alone

For some reason, I don’t know why. I thought they meant that for my goal, I had to go out to bars just at my own whim by myself, which would suck.

“If you wanted to construct a hell for me, it would be going to bars alone every night for the rest of my life.” – Tucker

Sad part about this is that some pickup guys give lonely dudes advice on how to go out and pickup women at bars alone. Google it and you’ll find it. I won’t link it here.

Even sadder is that I used to follow some of this advice and read those blogs or watch those videos.

Another goal idea: I want to date hotter women or more high-caliber women.

This wasn’t a good idea for a few reasons. One of them was pretty funny:

“That to me seems like a worse goal, less measurable than getting good going to bars. Unless you want to bring in pictures and we can argue about how hot a girl is like some douchey closeted homo. “She’s hotter! No she’s hotter! Let’s suck each other’s dicks. Ok.’” – Tucker

@50:00 – What do you really care about in your life?

The writing / journaling exercise I did was from Episode 27

“I don’t have a story or a direction of where I’m going in my life.” – Me
That was really hard to get that out because I’ve written about this in journals to myself, but I’ve never told anyone about this.

“There are 3 things to life: how you relate to yourself, your relationships with the people you love, and the things you do that matter to other people.” – Tucker

“In the West, we think of identity as tied to work or career… What job or career or piece of work are you going to do? That defines your story. In most other parts of the world, it’s family. Family defines story. In America, it’s work.”

I’m not sure where this is going to go, but it is exciting and a little scary.

@57:30 – New girl I went out with

We talk about my room here. She was very surprised that it was so clean which was funny




“She said that we weren’t going to have sex.” – Me

“You know she’s saying that to herself because she’s really into you.” – Tucker

I thought she was serious and wanted to wait or didn’t have sex on first date, but yea I think he’s right. It makes more sense that she was saying that to herself.

“Everything everyone says and does is ultimately about themselves for the most part. If you assume that, you are going to be right the majority of the time.” – Tucker

Witty to replies to “We’re not having sex tonight”:

-“Oh thank god. I have a 3 date rule and girls always get mad at me.”
-“Who said we’re having sex?!”
(Trump her rule, go over it.)

Dinner with her having fun…

The room they seated us in had 3 paintings of nude women

I teased the server about this. Pretended to steal them.

Compliments in bed

“You are more attractive than you look in your pictures.”

10x said I was sexy or attractive. She ran her hands down my chest and abs and just blurted out “Oh my god” REMINDER: Oh, this is why I fucking working out and do push-ups every day. I don’t know what my body fat % is but I’m decently cut up

@1:02:00 – Why I should think about doing the 5 Minute Journal again

Charlie brings up a good point here:

“It’s daily a commitment to yourself to start and bookend your day saying thanks to yourself and thanks to life, which gives you all these moments for free… If you don’t acknowledge this stuff, you just forget it.” – Charlie

“It’s a choice to commit to love yourself and love your life.” – Charlie

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