In light of the recent tragedy and it's links to lonely men and broken society, here's my take.
Those of you who have been enjoying the holiday weekend, you might have missed the very disturbing story coming out of Santa Barbara. A 22 year-old man named Elliot Roger went on a killing spree Friday night shooting and killing 7 people. The reason he did it? He hated women.
He was a virgin. He felt like women didn't like him, so he took out his anger on innocent people. He was also a member of a forum called "PUA Hate."
PUA Hate is basically a site for socially challenged men, who hate anyone who does well dating women. They also hate anyone who seeks dating advice, and they hate dating and relationship experts like me who try to help these men out. PUA Hate is one of the most negative sites on the Internet and they should close it down.
For years, myself and a lot of my colleagues have spent countless hours, helping men overcome the anger they have, and the frustration they have about not being able to meet women. Most these guys are actually really nice. A lot of them are sweet, gentle guys. They just have so many social hang-ups and fears about the opposite sex. Then there are the few whose frustration eventually turns to anger and then hate!
Spend 5 minutes on that website and you'll see the level of anger some men have. It's because we living in a culture right now that's so disconnected from one another that loneliness can run deeper than ever. Every day I get thousands of emails, and I read about the social frustrations on people. It's not just men either. It's men and women of all ages.
Every day when you walk around you'll see women buried in their iPhones, never making eye contact with a man. Here's the perfect example from the other day. I was in an elevator with 3 women. Each one of them was staring down at their phone. None of them spoke a word to the other, even though they were friends. Don't get me wrong, men do the same thing, but women seem to break through that barrier where most men can't.
The day after I was sitting in a restaurant, and the woman next to me was engrossed in Facebook. She made no effort to acknowledge the world around her, just waiting for her to engage in it.
What happened in Santa Barbara is absolutely tragic and disgraceful, but it's a sad sign of the times. We live in a very frustrated culture right now. Unless you know how to post a great profile on an online dating site, if you can't take an amazing photo of yourself, and if you can't write an impressive introduction email to the man or woman of your dreams, people will ignore you. On apps like "Tinder," there aren't even any words. On Tinder, you show your interest based on looks alone.
We don't talk to each other anymore. Every day I look around and see people ignoring each other. It seems we're all hiding behind technology, all the while hoping and praying we'll run into somebody special. Society is frustrated right now, and technology is making it worse. We've always had shy guys. We've always had guys who get frustrated trying to meet women. But technology now makes their search even more frustrating.
In the "old days," these guys would go out on a Friday night, and maybe face 1 or 2 rejections. Now women can reject them hundreds of times a day. They'll face rejection on OKCupid, they'll face rejection on Tinder, and they'll face rejection on Match.com. To make things even worse they'll also have fun taken out of them on Facebook for a picture they posted!
These men are frustrated and sites like PUA Hate do nothing but fuel the fire. Take a look at some of the online forums and read the comments full of anger, hate, and resentment. I even see it on my own personal website. I can see the frustration in these guys messages. Even after they buy a product, some will ask for a refund after 24 hours saying it didn't work for them. They want a magic pill to make women suddenly love them. They're desperate.
In Santa Barbara, one of these men was pushed so far over the edge he snapped, and innocent lives were lost. When I heard the news and watched his video on YouTube, I thought to myself, "This is why I do what I do."
I want to help people past all their social anxieties and frustrations. I want to give them hope, but until society changes it's ways, things won't change. We need to become open and friendly again. We need to smile. We need to get off our phones. We need to start talking to strangers. We need to stop hiding. We need to support each other. We need to stop judging, and if we're not interested in someone, let them know with kindness. We need to learn that its OK to ask for help.
Some men are so egotistically driven they won't even look for dating advice. Some of these men even make fun of dating advice, yet they desperately need it themselves. They won't even try, because they are too afraid of people judging them. So many guys I see come on my seminars, and they are so excited to be getting help, yet when I ask them if their friends know where they are, they shudder. The thought of people knowing they're getting help with their social anxieties terrifies them. That's what makes this story so chilling to read.
I honestly believe is this young kid had got some advice and help through his anxieties, none of this would have happened. Men need to stop thinking advice is for the weak, and realize it's actually for the strong. Those who seek advice are the most successful in life. Those who learn from others don't have to make so many mistakes. I remember going to a business seminar once. Everyone in the room was making a minimum of $1 Million a year. Some were making nearer $10 Million.
One of the guys there said something that stayed with me to this day. He said, the key to his success is a simple 4-letter word — help. If you have social anxieties, get some help. If you want to know how to get your business off the ground, get some help.
It's time we put down our phones, stop running from help, and start connecting with each other as humans and not faces on a computer screen. Otherwise I fear the tragedy in Santa Barbara will be the first of many.