Identity Crisis



Below is a response I gave to a guy I was counseling and I thought it sufficiently insightfull to post here in regards to a pretty common topic that comes up here. I think you’ll agree.


 Rollo, is it possible to identify with women without compromising yourself?


If it is a conscious effort on the guy’s part, no.


You bring up a good topic though, obviously when I refer to ‘identifying’ with a woman, this could use some explanation. What exactly is ‘identifying’ with a woman? The root of this word is ‘identity’, meaning who you are and what characteristics, traits and interests constitute your individual personality. ‘Identity’, in a way, is a pretty subjective and esoteric term – kind of like trying to define what art is – it can be argued that ‘identity’ is what you make of it. While at university, my field of specialization in behavioral psychology was personality studies, and I can tell you there are a lot of theories and interpretations of what constitutes identity. However, one article that is agreed upon almost universally is that identity and personality are never static and are malable and changeable by influencing variables and conditions. A very pronounced illustration of this would be soldiers retuning from combat with post traumatic stress disorder, a very identifiable and verifiable form of psychosis. These men are changed individuals and their identities are altered from the time they were subject to the psychological rigors of warfare to returning back to a normalized life. Some have the resiliencne to adjust their personalities back to a somewhat norlamized state, others sadly do not. Yet in each case the change was influenced by conditions and environment.


Likewise, most young men are subject to their own set of personal conditions and environments, and their personalities and identities reflect this accordingly. The guy who’s naturally “lucky with the ladies” is going to reflect this in his identity. The young man who doesn’t receive regular female attention for whatever reasons is going to manifest this condition in his identity. The guy who is focused on his own ambitions is going to reflect this in his own personality as well, but for all, when conditions are such that they feel deprived of certain experiences in their own life, this creates a conflict between a former identity and the altering of, or forming of a new one to meet the need for this experience. Couple this with the natural chemical/hormonal deisire for sexual experience and you can see how powerful an influence deprivation becomes.


Far too many young men maintain the notion that for them to receive the female intimacy they desire they should necessarily become more like the target of their affection in their own personality. In essence, to mold their own identify to better match the girl they think will best satisfy this need. So we see examples of men compromising their self-interests to better accomodate the interests of the woman they desire to facilitate this need for intimacy (i.e. sex). We all know the old adage women are all too aware of, “Guys will do anything to get laid” and this is certainly not limited to altering their individual identities and even conditions to better facilitate this. It’s all too common an example to see men select a college based on the available women at that college rather than academic merit to fit their own ambitions or even choose a college to better maintain a pre-existing relationship that a woman has chosen and the young man follows. In order to justify these choices he will alter his identity and personality by creating rationales and new mental schema to validate this ‘decision’ for himself. It becomes an ego protection for a decision he, on some level, knows was made for him.


This is just one glaring example of this identification, but thousands more subtle ones exist that men (and women) pass off as social mores and contrivances. The guy stuck in the ‘Friend Zone’ who got the LJBF (“lets just be freinds”) line when he attempted to become intimate with his target, will happily listen to her drone on for hours on the phone in order to find out how better to alter himself to fit her conditions for intimate acceptability. He will readily “change his mind” about even his own personal beliefs if it will better fit what he perceives as her criteria for compatibility with her. This is the compromise of identity – to fundamentally and voluntarily alter one’s own personality to achieve the acceptability of another. When we are directly and overtly faced with this sort of challenge to our beliefs we naturally recoil – you are your own person and would resist were your employer or parents to tell you how you should vote (political belief), but when it comes to personality and sexual/intimacy interests, and done voluntarily it’s suprising to see the limits of what men (and to an extent women) will do. Men will entertain the idea that a long distance relationship (LDR) is a desirable arrangement even if intimacy has never occured because the potential of that intimacy is perceived. These same guys will espouse every reasoning they can conceive as to why their “relationship is different” and that they ‘believe’ that “love conquers all” only to come full circle when he or she ‘cheats’ or breaks off the relation and the man comes back to his prior (though he thinks new) understanding that LDRs are in fact a bad prospect. His identity changed and then changed again to accomodate his conditions.


However, it’s not that he never truly changed or had the belief in the first place. Were these guys to take a polygraph test at the time they would indeed pass when asked if this was what they actually accepted as truth. Men will do what most deductively solves a problem and in this he is only following the tenants of pragmatism. “I need sex + women have the sex I want + I must discover what women want to give me sex + ask women + women want X = I will do X to get sex and alter my own identity in order to better facilitate X.” It should be this easy, but that’s rarely the case since more often than not women are unaware of what X really is, or X is subject to constant change depending on her own conditions.


Now, after all of this, is it possible that a man and a woman may in fact share genuine common interests? Of course. You may indeed find a perfectly beautiful woman that enjoys Nascar or Hockey as much as you. You may find a woman you’re attracted to who genuinely shares your passion for deep sea fishing. It’s not uncommon to share common interests, it’s when you alter your interest to better facilitate a connection that you force it. Making this determination of genuine interests and created interests is the hair that needs splitting. I’ve personally counseled guys who have literally changed careers to be in a better place to proposition a girl they fancied. I know men who’ve moved thousands of miles to live closer to women who’ve never reciprocated their interest in them, yet they continued to attempt to identify themselves with her. I know 65 year old men in 40 year marriages, who even after intimacy was resolved years ago with the woman, are still attempting to identify with their wives because they’ve internalized this identity compromise as a standard means to getting sex from her. Her expectations of him have become his identity and at 65 this mental schema has become so ego-invested that no amount of shedding light on his conditions will ever convince him anything to the opposite.


The most ironic thing about this ‘Identity Crisis’ is that the least attractive thing to most women is a man who is willing to compromise any part of his identity to placate to her, much less a wholesale sell out of it. Women are naturally attracted to that masculine independence as it represents a very strong cue of security and the potential to provide that security to her (and any children she may have). Women don’t want a man who’ll “do everything she says” because this sends the message that this man can be bought with even the prospect of a sexual encounter. Why would that indicate anything more than insecurity and a lack of confidence? Women want to be told “No”, and constantly test a man’s resolve to say this to her (i.e. shit testing) in order to affirm that she’s made the right choice (even in marriage) of a guy who’ll put his sexual impulse (knowing full-well how powerful it is with men) on hold to hold fast to his own self-interest, beliefs and ambitions. It covertly communicates to a woman that his goals and determination trump her one power over him – her sexuality. That is the man who is the PRIZE, the ‘great catch’, the male to be competed for with other women.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

58 comments on “Identity Crisis

  1. I get the point that most betas complain about game being faking attitudes and denying their true identities even when that’s what they have actually doing the whole time. However, as an omega, I would like to see a guide on how to defend your traits without failing flat while trying. I’ll put an example:

    Alpha badboy does something rude like smoking indoors and talking with supreme disdain about others. He breaks rules, ginas tingle.

    Omega man wears an oversided T – shirt and shorts. He hears gossip about women disliking his clothes: “screw with etiquettes, I wear what I want”. He breaks rules, yet he gets to the bottom of society and celibacy.

    From a rational standpoint, dressing well is beta in the sense that is done solely to please women, yet it helps getting women. I suppose there is no contradiction, yet I don’t really know why, or how.

  2. Yep, nailed on the head.

    The other part of this is the soulmate thing. Guys dream with a girl possessing N attributes, so they try to possess these attributes themselves, to be her other half, worthy of her, etc. Guys become the girls they dream about.

  3. omega on the rise:

    Alpha breaks the rules because the rules are his bitch

    Omega breaks the rules because he´s inadequate

    Its not about the action itself, its about the context. Women get tingles when the alpha breaks the rules because of what it means and says about the guy

    Keep dressing omega-freak but add a large dosis of FU and social dominance, speak out louder, be internally chilling, and see what happens

  4. For all its mastery of the social scene, game commentary doesn’t emphasize self-mastery enough. The sex-on-the-brain presumption is constantly in the background of pick-up advice, and that leads to the contradictions described above.

    The Tao of Steve (first half) is required watching for all men. His second precept, “Eliminate your desire” encourages self-mastery in a way most pick up “gurus” fail to emphasize. I’m not a devotee of the genre, so maybe some PUAs do? Either way, it is not the major theme it should be.

    It’s okay for the bait and switch, I suppose: come for the advice on how to get laid, stay for the reconstruction of your manhood. If this is the case, then PUAs will have to grapple with stage two of the reclamation project better than they have. Advisers like Roissy have no answer to, “Okay, I’ve improved my game and it’s paying pussy dividends, now what?” except “Go get more pussy.” Not only is that inadequate, insufficient, and immature, it doesn’t get to the bottom of why men are so interested in discussions of this nature reflected in the popularity of the “manosphere.”

    P.S. Love the thematic pictures. Visual cues make a huge difference on blogs. They help your readers internalize the material much more readily.

    1. Self-mastery must be a key component of a man’s journey up from beta. This topic is usually called “inner game,” or here, “identity.”

      The most ironic thing about this ‘Identity Crisis’ is that the least attractive thing to most women is a man who is willing to compromise any part of his identity to placate to her, much less a wholesale sell out of it.

      It is only an irony if a man fixates on his desires, stokes them, and attempts to tailor them to a woman’s — the default mode of the beta, and the last thing a recovering chump clutches onto in his rise out of servitude. Not only can women see through that level of “game,” they have a sensitive instinct for detecting it even when they fail to articulate the precise cause. “He’s just, I dunno … creepy” or “Aww [pity frown], how cute of him!”

      You can’t “compromise” a manly identity consciously and hope to have any success. The major mistake is identifying with her at all. Sympathy is a womanly trait. Be a man first, and you will act manly, and acting manly will do all the attraction work for you. The moment you attempt to consciously micromanage your affect, you have stepped into the “uncanny valley” of trying too hard, and the seams start to show. Everyone senses it: “There’s just something artificial about that guy.”

      The iconic scene from Get Shorty encapsulates this zen state of complete indifference:

      […both edited like shit, but the two together captures the full effect, including the key explanation: “Look at me. I’m thinking, You’re mine. I fuckin’ own you. What I’m not doing is feeling anything about it one way or the other. You understand? You’re not a person to me, you’re a name in my collection book, a guy owes me money, that’s all.”]

  5. @ Omega rising,

    I don’t think its necessarily about the clothes but moreso the attitude. An Omega guy may be trying too hard (hence wearing what he wants even though he knows it is not necessairly within the realms of what is considered normal or acceptable or even attractive) and come off even more Omega b/c he is further pushing himself into the corner by wearing clothes that say he is *really* trying hard to be unnattractive.

    but if your attitude and confidence were in line, no matter what you wore, at worst you’d be somewhat fun-loving or excused b/c people or women find it kind of endearing.

    Think of people like Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill. They are IMO more on the Omegaish side ofthe coin but who wouldn’t love them? There is something about them that does make women want to put up with them – despite them being more on the omega side. They dress really bad but their confidence is fun loving and somewhat secure in their omegafied personification. They would be less likely to be talked down by women for wearing the clothes they wear b/c they are really not trying to impress women either way.

    The fact is you are dressing badly to break the rules to mirror alphas who do this, so you are CONSCIOUSLY trying to hard.

    Does that makes sense?

  6. You should definitely not agree with everything a woman says or try to fit your personality to hers even if it forces you to be “fake”. Not only will it make you unattractive to most women, but you will also not give them the chance to get to know YOU. I don’t want a man to refect my personality back to myself, I want to get to know HIM. Or else how will I ever see if I like him? To me, even saying “I’m doing all this fakery to get women” is better than pretending your fake personality is natural.

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  11. Relating to a woman and trying to see things from her perspective is good game (use it to your advantage), but changing oneself to match her identity is not.

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  14. Ugly and/or out-of-shape women are also terrible with this identity crisis phenomenon. They will go on and on about their education, salary, car, fancy career, or how “strong” they are, but all they are doing is projecting what they want in a man onto themselves. None of those things are bad for a woman to have, but that’s not what we look for in women. Subconsciously they know they don’t measure up physically so they create an identity projection in an attempt to make up for it.

  15. spent time with a Guru who was quite steady in one thing only, if life as most people experience it is only an illusion, then make it the best illusion you can. Only always be aware that you are acting. Stand back from the performance. Enjoy the performance, but know that it is just an act.

    I see the same advice in this post Rollo. GobSmackingGood!

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  17. I tried liking different music, going to different bars and hanging around people I did not enjoy being around, just so I could identify with her. I thought if I could identify with her we could develop a connection. At the time I did not know that the connection, or attraction, is not a choice and that attraction has an expiration date.

    A great post, Thanks for sharing this. -dcl

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  24. I’m late to the party but better late than never in this case. I learned how to identify with women very early on and it damaged me greatly. I grew up fatherless and raised by a single mom who had a strong attraction for bad boys/Alpha males. So strong was the attraction that even the regular physical abuse her and I received from these guys wasn’t enough to break the spell of Alpha attraction. My mother and her friends were a sad sorority of battered single moms who although they bemoaned their state would never ever entertain the notion of leaving because, as stated in another post, they preferred to cry over an asshole than a boring Beta. You have never heard a woman enjoy sex with an Alpha as much as my mother did as many times as I did as a boy. However, as I was a child I had no context with which to understand anything except that these men were bad and that I wouldn’t be them as an adult. You see, unlike adults children are not paralyzed by intellectual considerations. They do however grasp reality through instincts which are in many ways deeper than the malleable nature of intellect. My oath to not be like those guys along with social conditioning made me into a MegaBeta. I was the protector, the friend, the counselor and the white knight. I was also very lonely, rejected and cheated on. I was very good looking, fit, intelligent and a hard worker. Growing up in the projects and ghettoes of Brooklyn and PR gave a surface Alpha aspect but once you peeled that back it was Beta down to the DNA. I was a good looking doormat; attractive at first glance but you still wipe your feet on it anyway. So what changed? It took until my forties and having my heart ripped from my chest three times and much involuntary celibacy to stumble upon Game. It has been a difficult, ongoing but immensely rewarding challenge to accept that all that I knew and was self defeating and to go from that to day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment doing the hard work needed to become a Man in the true sense of the word. Thanks for this blog and your work. It’s best to get them while they’re young but even an older man like me can still change for the better.

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