The Ghost in Your Head

A ghost has haunted the thoughts of every red-blooded male ever born. Some men wrestle with this ghost more than others—but it’s inherent in all of us. It’s why we love sports, why we tell stories over cold beers, it’s why we are who we are as men. It’s the ghost of validation.

It’s the spirit that emerged from our insecurities before even knew we had insecurities. We don’t know why we want validation—we just do. Like a ghost, the craving appears sporadically and frightens us with what it wants us to do. Or maybe it doesn’t frighten us at all, instead leading us to think poisonous thoughts or make really bad decisions as we remain oblivious to the invisible ghost driving us.

I know because I’ve been there. I’d say 82.3 percent of the poor life choices I’ve made over the past 27 years have come as a direct result of succumbing to the ghost of wanting validation from other people. In dating, this ghost is especially insidious—and ironic. It haunts us like this: Men chase women to gain respect from other men.

Check Yourself

Don’t be one of those men-dependent men. Those men don’t make anyone happy. Not themselves. Not the girls. Not even the other men they’re trying to impress. So save yourself from an epic dating fail by taking honest inventory with THE CHECKLIST.

  1. I sometimes act more aggressive and engage in “PDA” (public displays of affection) if I think my friends or bystanders might notice.
  2. I find myself mentioning a girl I’m seeing even it’s completely not relevant to the conversation—double check if it’s bringing up something she does that involves her hotness. (Example: “Speaking of which, did I tell you that Michelle’s a model?”)
  3. I sometimes exaggerate or leave out details when telling friends stories about going out to meet women. (Uncheck if the exaggerating doesn’t make you look “cool.” Example: “Some girl threw a drink in my face and kicked me in the balls!”)
  4. If anyone takes pictures of me and an attractive girl together, I routinely check Facebook to see if the pictures are posted online—double check if you also immediately tag them.
  5. If I were to write a “report” on a dating advice forum about an interaction I had with a woman, I would title that report something that emphasized the hotness of the girl. (Example: “FR: Pulled the Hottest Girl at the Party”)
  6. I feel uncomfortable or jealous if I’m on a double date and my date is less hot than the other girl.
  7. I sometimes intentionally cock-block other guys if they are doing well with a woman I secretly want.
  8. If a friend of mine hooks up with a really attractive woman, I forget to congratulate him or I do so and then immediately tell a story about an awesome hookup I had.
  9. If I’m talking to a guy who doesn’t know me well, I feel better if he thinks I’m good with women.
  10. I sometimes “demean” or “AMOG” other guys who try to hit on my date—double check if I feel a pang of satisfaction if the guy backs down or shows me respect.


Let’s face it: these are private feelings most men have had at some point. I certainly have—how else do you think I even envisioned this article? However, I’d like to think I now exercise some control over the ghost that lurks within.

We don’t know why we want validation—we just do. Like a ghost, the craving appears sporadically and frightens us with what it wants us to do.

My hope in creating this checklist is that that you, too, will be able to identify pangs of validation-craving. If you can do that, you can eradicate those pangs. Ghosts flee from the light of understanding. Reread the checklist and pay special attention to the checked boxes. Remember: those are the moments when the ghost comes to haunt you. If you can remember that, you can make it disappear.

When the ghost disappears, you can have more genuine, more rewarding, more awesome interactions with women. That, ironically, will win you the validation of other men. Not that you care anyway.

  1. Why exactly is it wrong to feel good about myself if I make a man who’s rude enough to interrupt me while trying to steal my date and I happen to make him lose his status and walk away with his tail between his legs?

    The other things I didn’t check (meaning I agree with you). But if an asshole tries to make me lose my status in front of my girl, not only does he get his comeuppance, but the girl will be even more attracted to me. I have every reason to feel great about that, no?

  2. @ David, I have a completely different take on that. When guys try to hit on my girlfriend (as they often do), I sit back and enjoy the show. If someone has popcorn, I’ll grab a bag and tune into the best show in town.

    I actually give guys who hit on my girlfriend PROPS. I don’t feel threatened by them at all and I leave it up to my girlfriend how she wants to handle the situation. In my experience, THAT makes women much more attracted to you because she sees you’re NOT jealous and you trust her.

    I don’t know, if a guy is acting like a complete tool or clown, you’re in your right to own him, but otherwise I think it just reeks of insecurity. But again, it’s just my opinion. Best, Rob

  3. Very true. From my own personal experience you’ll end up being less attractive to women the more time (and effort) you devote to trying to impress other men.

  4. It’s amusing how the start reminds me of the beginning of The Communist Manifesto: “A ghost is haunting Europe…”.

  5. @J, I can too. It’s not something to be ashamed, but to watch out for in the future. Like I said in the article, once you realize you’re doing it, you’ll stop yourself and remember your true motivation: to get babes.

    @Brandon, exactly. It’s the sort of “inner game” no one teaches but actually makes a huge difference. Instead people are advising dudes to do “affirmations” lol

    @PUA Hate, haha I absolutely agree. It’s unfortunate the sins of the gurus get passed along to their followers. They see these gurus bragging about dumb shit and doing the aforementioned checklist, and they think it’s “attractive” when it’s really just weird and creepy.

    @Kubrick, lol erudite reference 😉

  6. I couldn’t agree more with this list. I find this problem of “cock measuring” as I’d like to call it extremely prevalent in the PUA community, and one of the main reasons why i avoid that scene.

    Check out my blog for some pick up lines to use on asian girls (if you’re into that sort of thing – random internet reader who made it all the way down to this comment)

    and thanks job judge for routinely approving my comments which often encourage people to check out my blog – assumeattraction.com

    for anyone who hasn’t read 4Elements of Game— get it, you might just date hotter girls ; )

  7. This is the problem i’m having and I don’t know if it’s because I necessarily want to impress the guys i’m with, but I’m more successfully sargarging if i’m with guys doing the same. If i’m by myself not at successfully..

  8. Alright Rob, another great post, does not really apply to me though, didn’t check one on your list though…….. I only cock block people I DONT like. (or don’t know)

    My favourite joke is waiting for the moment the guy has to go to the bathroom, then doing a walkup or if the girls is potential mother for my children and the guy aint going anywhere, I do the walkup walking into the ladies bathroom.

    Captive audience if she’s sitting down with her knickers around her ankles, girls very rarely complain if you are telling them how beautiful they are, normaly the guy they are with will not have noticed you walk into the ladies or does not have the front to follow you in there.

    Not on Facebook,

    If my mates like someone and they are shy, I icebreak it, then walk off

    Dunno what “AMOG” is

    “If its not worth stealing, its not worth having”

    Hot girls always have orbiters, klingons or BF, just coz someone is in a relationship, does not mean it is a good one!

    30 Something Cyber Squatter
    http://www.monstermunchmoney.com

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