If you’ve spent any time on Reddit, and let’s face it you probably have it open in another tab as we speak, then you might have heard of a certain subreddit called The Red Pill. Spoken of in either hushed tones or in furious diatribes, TRP has become famous in certain circles as the dark heart of internet misogyny.

Their essential ideology is a mix of pickup artistry, self-help, and the pure unadulterated rage of men who can’t get laid. The core theory of The Red Pill is that women are “hypergamous,” that they’re incapable of unconditional love and are only interested in men to gain status. According to the Iron Rule of Tomassi #6, “Women are utterly incapable of loving a man in the way that a man expects to be loved.” TRP’s solution is instead of getting mad, to get even by becoming the sort of ripped, rich, Nietzschean superman who will make all those girls from high school regret not jumping his bones when they had the chance.

While a lot of this stuff will sound fairly ridiculous to any well-adjusted person who’s had an actual conversation with a woman, the fact is that the heart of The Red Pill is self-improvement. It’s about becoming the sort of man women want to be with…albeit, with the end goal of some bizarre sexual vengeance on the whole of womankind. But if you can get past all that stuff, you can find some nuggets of wisdom you can integrate into your own life without becoming some roided-out, Alpha-bro douchebag.

  1. It’s All About the Tangibles

lessons from the red pill

We all grew up watching movies about a bland, nice guy protagonist who meets a girl and gets her to fall for him with virtually no effort required. This phenomena has since been titled the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. According to veteran reviewer Nathan Rabin, “the Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”

This sort of wish-fulfillment has become so engrained in our culture, that a lot of people grow up subconsciously thinking that their soul mate will just appear one day and sweep them off their feet, no matter how…unconventional…they look.

Some of these people receive a rude awakening when they realize that dating is really, really hard and that no one will be into you if you have nothing tangible to offer. The Red Pill is all about the tangibles, the fact that looks, money, and grooming matter a lot more to most people than how “nice” you are.

It’s the sort of thing that’s easy to get mad over, as though the whole of society tricked you into playing a game you had no idea about. However, once you learn the rules of said game, you’re in a better position to play.

2. Lift Weights

the red pill lessons

While often made fun of for their insistence that weight-lifting is the only valid form of exercise, TRP certainly aren’t the first to suggest that a healthy mind needs a healthy body, or mens sana in corpore sano as Aristotle wrote.

In addition to the obvious health benefits of not being a fat sack of lard, exercise can play an important role in ensuring your mental wellbeing. As I’m sure many of you know, exercise releases endorphins that flow through your body causing a sensation that’s apparently not unlike morphine.

More than that though, it gives you a sense of control over your own body. It’s sort of the thing where you see tangible improvements as you go along, giving you a real sense of progress.

3. Diversify Your Interests

the red pill lessons

Now, even TRP admits that you can lift all you want but that won’t mean jack squat if you’re a boring lug. As /u/needless_pickup_line writes in his excellent guide to becoming interesting, “the majority of us are terrible. 90% of women are basic bitches whose lives revolve around Netflix, wine, shopping, and naps. But we often forget that 90% of men are fuckboys who have no vision beyond videogames, televised sports, smoking weed, and trying to keep their dicks slick.

I highly suggest you check out the link above, but to summarize, you need to become a well-rounded person. The sad fact is, unless you’re dating a super hot cosplay chick, most women don’t care about videogames and anime. You want to become the sort of person who can talk to anyone about anything, who never lets the conversation die because they always have something to say or a story to tell.

However, becoming that sort of person takes effort. Read books, learn new things, go to another country or go on an adventure. Force yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s just stuff anyone should do.

4. Become the Best Version of Yourself

life lessons the red pill

“Be confident,” might be one of the most overused expressions ever coined. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not advice. Advice has a component of actual instruction, “be confident” is a slogan.

The Red Pill isn’t about confidence per se, nor is it about “being yourself.” It’s about pushing yourself physically, mentally, and socially to become better than what you were. When you’re a neckbearded nerd, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of self-loathing. To feel that you were born broken and that it’s never going to change. The Red Pill was born when some of those neckbeared nerds decided to use all that anger and resentment to force themselves to evolve, if only to stick it to those girls who exiled them to the dreaded Friendzone.

Look, I’m not arguing it’s a healthy perspective. Any ideology predicated on the idea that half the human race lacks self-awareness is problematic. There is some truly grotesque, misogynistic shit on TRP, which is to be expected in an echo chamber filled with angry men justifying their rage with debunked evolutionary psychology and made-up jargon.

Ultimately, the best advice on TRP comes from Neil Strauss of The Game fame, “what most of us present to the world isn’t necessarily our true self: It’s a combination of years of bad habits and fear-based behavior. Our real self lies buried underneath all the insecurities and inhibitions. So rather than just being yourself, focus on discovering and permanently bringing to the surface your best self.”