MetaThe Five Stages of Red Pill, and how to read r/TRP textposts (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by feelinglazy

I'm probably not the first person to observe that taking the red pill is a gradual process, and that the loss of illusions, like any other loss, initiates a grieving process.

But it's worth pointing out that psychology's general "five stages" model of the grieving process applies to TRP.

  • Denial: "Women aren't like that! They're people just like everyone else! Treat them all as individuals, and you're sure to find the right one!"

  • Anger: "WTF! Bitches are all like this! They have no honour, no loyalty, and they don't really love anyone but themselves! Fucking cunts!"

  • Bargaining: "If I work real hard and learn all the pickup moves, then at least I'll get laid."

  • Depression: "Getting laid by shallow, obnoxious women has become dull and unrewarding. And there's no sense looking for a unicorn. Maybe I'll just be MGTOW for a while."

  • Acceptance: "Women aren't bad. My expectations of them, and theirs of me, were based on faulty premises. They are creatures of instinct, just like I am... but of different instincts. If I learn what those instincts are, and teach them about mine, we can develop realistic expectations of each other and get along just fine."

If we really want to understand what gets written here, in its proper context, we need to understand that most "Red Pill Theory" posts will belong to one of these five stages. Each stage has value, because to reach a later one, you must go through the earlier ones. And, as in grieving, the progress through is seldom linear, smooth, uniform, and one-directional.

But to understand each post in context, it helps to mentally decide which stage it belongs to, and read it with that in mind.

This is why concern trolling and tone policing have no place here. Not because extremism is our banner (we have no banner, we are not a crusade), but because venting, discussing and understanding anger is a legitimate part of phase 2. Saying that women aren't worth hanging about with, even for sex, is part of phase 4.

If I were to say "don't be so angry" to someone who comes here to say "all women are bitches and whores", then I would be interrupting his process of coming to terms with the loss of his illusions. It would be far better for me to tell him that his feelings are important (because feels actually sometimes are important), and that his anger is not bottomless, and that it will eventually run dry.

So when I read a text post here, some red pill theory, some rant, I just say to myself "stage 2". Or "stage 3". Or "stage 5". And then I continue reading. Because they are all useful. Even if I am (mostly) over my own anger, understanding other men's anger helps me, because it teaches me more about where the disconnect between reality and our expectations occurs.

But to anyone who doesn't understand that TRP posts come from different stages of the process... well, a lot of what's written here just isn't going to make sense.

[–]feelinglazy[S] 111 points112 points  (8 children)

I'm reposting this because it's such a cool post that helped me a lot when unplugging. This is the healthy mindset to take when swallowing the red pill. I don't know why it's not in the sidebar.

Credit goes to /u/Whisper for the post.

[–]Senior ContributorDemonspawn 48 points49 points  (3 children)

Was just about to ask that..

Upvoted. The original needs to be sidebarred, honestly.

[–]Dunkh 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Or stickied for a weeks then sidebarred.

[–]NSA_web_spider 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It should be near the top of the sidebar. It's a critical to understanding the sub.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's one of the best pieces on the red pill reddit. It's just true. Men come on here already angry and frustrated as it is. When they read RP truths it's only natural to be more pissed off. Then some guys come to a place where acceptance happens.

They say to themselves I've been acting like a beta and they find out that they can become alphas with some work on themselves. Either they do it it or don't but at least they won't let women take advantage of them anymore.

At least they have something to work with and fall back on. Eventually they come to realize that the system is the way it is to make people stronger. To help people evolve. Women have to evolve too.

Men have always been the rational group and with that have the more potential and inner strength to grow. Women it takes a bit more. Unfortunately for many of them it happens when they hit the wall. Men get it better because we are faced with lots of adversity early in our lives that we can pull it together.

The pain and ego reality checks are for our own good. Those who evolve past it are rewarded and also given more and more to work for. Because we never stop evolving. There is no point where one says yea I've done it all. There are always more fears and more challenges to overcome.

So I would say that the stages are endless. But the five you have are more than perfect for a guy coming into TRP after being plugged in for so long.

[–]OneTouchHowMuch 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for this post, I've been feeling step 4 - had a lot of fun sexual escapades lately (threesomes, multiple girls in same night, etc..) but had some slight ED during some moments when I stopped and thought about the reality of TRP that I think had to do with some post-TRP sadness.

This guide is helping me through it.

[–][deleted] 66 points66 points

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[–]cruyff8 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Also, be a comrade and come back once in a while after you've finished your phoenix-like rebirth at stage 5 - come back and share a few words with those still making the journey.

Further, as has been pointed out in the original (paraphrasing), you can go backwards, too.

[–]ubercoolhipsterguy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There was a post on here earlier about how some self-proclaimed "stage 5" people just read the sub briefly, nod thier head, and move on. In contrast, earlier stages cling to every word and feel strong emotions (anger, depression, outrage) and are therefore much more likely to contribute.

[–]cruyff8 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I did see that, thought I'd saved it as well, but, alas I guess I didn't do so. :(

[–]c2wAccount 4 points5 points  (0 children)

A lot of truth to this, but I still like reading. I get a lot of value out of general advice from like-minded men. Not many places like that left in the world...

[–]Ojisan1 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Almost nobody posts here at stage 5

But thankfully, there are those blessed few endorsed contributors who do post. Otherwise this place would be a case of the half-blind leading the blind.

Even though it may be infrequent, it's the highest quality posts that they generate which keep this sub useful and pointed in the right direction.

[–]∞ Mod | RP Vanguardbsutansalt 26 points27 points  (1 child)

I think it's time for this to be stickied once again given our rate of growth.

[–]Senior ContributorDemonspawn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would suggest putting the original on the sidebar. It's one of those posts that is universally applicable and I consider it a "must read" for TRP.

[–]nugboots 48 points49 points  (3 children)

This is also relevant to responding to TRP, not just reading it.

Posts don't appear out of the void. Behind each post is a man choosing (very deliberately) to share a part of himself with this community. He trusts us with his emotions and is willing to entertain feedback. That means you may be able to help him by:

  • Diagnosing his stage - What can you deduce about his thought process from the content of the post and his subcommunications (language, etc.)?

  • Diagnosing his needs - Does he just need a place to vent and receive sympathy, or is he ready to move to the next stage?

  • Determining what you can offer - Can you reaffirm that his emotions are valid to give him support (if necessary)? Do you have experience or insight that can help him develop as a person?

TRP is not just a place to learn. It's also a place to help.

EDIT: Thought I'd give an example of the distinction between a need for support and a possibility of development. If you saw the following post:

Fuck TRP! You're all a bunch of jerk assholes who take advantage of women and break their hearts!

It'd be easy to think "they're in the denial phase, so let's convince them that women love jerks". However, this is probably an unnecessary response; they're so angry because they're already being forced out of the denial phase somehow (they've clearly realised jerks get laid) and it's tremendously discomforting. You'd only make that worse.

A better response is to empathise with them (I know how you feel man, women are confusing!) and show them commonalities with TRP rather than differences of opinion. They'll appreciate the empathy and stick around.

If the post read more like:

TRP is bullshit. It only works on vulnerable girls with low self-esteem, who latch onto your confidence. It won't work on a genuinely happy girl who doesn't need your "value".

Then the tone is pretty much asking for a counterargument, and you've got a better chance of moving them to the next stage. Basically:

Don't respond just to spout TRP, so they can "take it or leave it". Tailor your responses to help others most effectively. Sometimes that means just being empathetic, instead of listing TRP theory. Either way, figure out why a man would make that post and adjust accordingly.

[–]TRP VanguardWhisper 8 points9 points  (1 child)

This is also relevant to responding to TRP, not just reading it.

Posts don't appear out of the void. Behind each post is a man choosing (very deliberately) to share a part of himself with this community. He trusts us with his emotions and is willing to entertain feedback. That means you may be able to help him by:

Diagnosing his stage - What can you deduce about his thought process from the content of the post and his subcommunications (language, etc.)?

Diagnosing his needs - Does he just need a place to vent and receive sympathy, or is he ready to move to the next stage?

Determining what you can offer - Can you reaffirm that his emotions are valid to give him support (if necessary)? Do you have experience or insight that can help him develop as a person?

TRP is not just a place to learn. It's also a place to help.

TRP exists because masculinity is devalued in our culture. Women have, deliberately or not, gotten us to turn on each other crab-bucket style. TRP is us pulling together to help each other survive.

[–]MEpicLevelCheater[M] 5 points6 points  (0 children)


[–][deleted] 11 points11 points

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[–]Dr_Acu1a 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Don't forget that this is a continuum. I was in acceptance, managed to get a high quality woman by bettering myself and working game that I learned and practiced over the last year, then lost her because I still haven't perfected it over the long term. Slid back into depression stage for a couple months and am just now coming out as my errors have made themselves more obvious. It's always a work in progress

[–]Black-Pill 2 points3 points  (0 children)

When I hit the SMP 30+ years ago I did not have any trouble getting women to have sex with me. What did happen, was that I got into a constantly repeating cycle of going between the Anger stage and the Depression stage. Finding RPT and TRP, reading the posts, the sidebar and the outside blogs has gone a long way in breaking that cycle and getting me into the Acceptance stage. I still have a lot of work to do but I believe that I am really starting to grasp the Zen mind set that is talked about so often in the community

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You'll find out, hopefully sooner rather than later, that in this thing we call life, there will always be a small amount of shitty people, but on average, most people will be chill, normal people just like you trying to make it through it all with their flaws.

[–]srsly_forever_alone 2 points3 points  (5 children)

I'm very in the anger phase, but I don't think I would be if I didn't Reddit as much, as the reason I'm pissed is because I watch TRP theory play out endlessly on a sub I'm very invested in. Daily I witness women invading and destroying male spaces, acting like children, refusing to think outside their own false frame of reference, shaming and attacking men, screeching about "misogyny", the list goes on. It's difficult to deal with online...the thought of dealing with women like that in person...? Hard not to conclude "fuck them, they're all terrible cunts." Do you all recommend going into monk mode while in the anger phase? Saw a post here about the first step after swallowing the pill should be monk mode.

[–]camelCasettes 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Absolutely, go monk mode. You will not regret it.

Focus on yourself, cut out all the distractions, and find a lasting sense of contentment that can't be shaken by external annoyances.

[–]laere 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This here. After absorbing the main tenants of TRP, reading a lot of the core books, and sidebar material I would then take a break from the sub for a while. I personally took a few months off.

It helped me greatly see women for the instinctual humans they are. You can't change nature, you can only understand it and adapt to it. The anger phase is short for some and long for others, just don't let this sub rule you completely. Go out and experience the world with the knowledge you gained here; experience is everything.

[–]c2wAccount 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Going monk is a crutch. Try to move on ASAP.

Ask yourself how you would deal with a racist or communist or whomever you disagree with. You can't really ask the world to accommodate to you.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)


What is this?

[–]Johnny10toes 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I read this again recently on rpw and realized I may still be in bargaining. I could have sworn I went to acceptance.

[–]Venkas 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I may not be an old timer or endorsed, but I like coming back here and being part of a community who cares about the male gender. I engage with the group, answer questions and help out others. Very fun for me.

[–]Devonmartino 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You know, this is a good post. Earlier this week I saw some posts on here that were textbook examples of Stage 2, and I thought to myself, "Damn. Why am I still subbed here? I know that many women are W, society X, we're still expected to Y, nice guys finish Z. But although I subscribe to much of the psychology of TRP, I can't knowingly back any sub that supports "All women X, fuck women because Y, you have to treat women like Z." I even saw some post recently that referred to women as livestock! But posts like this make me happy to know that it's not representative of TRP to do shit like that.

[–]chrisindub 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I think a lot of us get stuck for decades or more on the bargaining/depression stages.

Once you learn that with patience, self-improvement and learning the game, you can have as many girls as you want, it becomes how we live.

I was stuck in and out of that paradigm for 20 years.

Only when I reached 40, did I change my strategy and target successful women who would be someone to start a family with.

About half of my friends who are true TRP OGs, I don't think ever will shift into the last stage.

They love chasing girls. They will still be doing it at age 50-60. Is that scary?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)


What is this?

[–]chrisindub 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah. If you are feeling good abt it. Then that's all that matters, I think.

[–]flexiblehold 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've realized over the past month or so that I'm in a heavy bargaining/depression phase, even though intellectually I accept the reality of the pill. I just bring this up to point out a guy's mind can be ahead of his emotions, it's one thing to digest the pill through the schema of the logical brain, it's another to navigate all the psychosomatic, brainwashed, socially conditioned emotional responses we have to women, in spite of our enlightenment.

[–]makesomewyrms 1 point2 points  (0 children)

what could be very nice is to tag each post with a stage and add a filter.

[–]Zachar1a 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For me, the bargaining phase came before the anger phase, and with me it was more like, "Well, some of this game/red pill stuff is useful when you first meet a woman, but once you go on a couple of dates with her, you don't need it anymore. You can just pick and choose to use some of it."

In other words, I thought I could just bargain and negotiate which parts of it I chose to accept. Haha. Then came the anger phase, lol.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Wow. Awesome post by /u/Whisper. Each one of these steps puts into words things that I've tried to comment on when I've seen posts that fall into them, but says them more succinctly.

I always say "women are women, don't make value statements" but the language in "Acceptance" says it SO much better.

[–]makethemwant 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's funny how the actual words and phrasing used can make one post so much more valuable than another.

Like right now, I'm using words somewhat carelessly. Someone else could say the same thing as this in something like 3 words and manage to inspire much deeper levels of insight.

Posts with this level of quality are inspiring.

[–]Evska 2 points2 points [recovered]

I've been angry since I got here. What do.

[–]Senior ContributorRedPope 1 point2 points  (4 children)

You'll find this quote in the sidebar:

Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.

You have good reason to be pissed. Don't try to suppress it. Let yourself be angry. We were lied to by those we trusted: friends and family, teachers and government. It is normal and healthy to feel upset by this revelation.

But it will eventually pass. You'll realize that most the "liars" were really just fools, repeating the same bullshit they'd been taught. It is hard to hold a grudge against the ignorant, so you will slowly forget or forgive them, and the anger will subside. When it does, the next stages will come naturally.

Finally, always remember that TRP is an applied philosophy. You have to take these lessons and use them in your every day life. Theory is not enough. Get out into the real world. No one gets better by reading about medicine.

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points

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[–]Senior ContributorRedPope 0 points1 point  (2 children)

It is OK to be angry at the people who lied to you. But I suspect you're also angry at yourself. You were the fool who believed their bullshit.

It is easy to forgive yourself for being fooled. Everyone, everywhere, RP and BP -- we all get got. It is unavoidable.

However, once you've acknowledged your mistakes, it is impossible to forgive yourself until you make a change. Running is great, but it is solitary. If you want to be happy, you have to get out into the world.

Getting out doesn't mean hitting the club. Fuck that scene, nothing but cokeheads and drunks. Find some activity that exposes you to strangers. Meetups, clubs, networking, volunteering, whatever. Find a healthy way to socialize.

Yes, you need to exercise, but you also need to meet new people. Study them through a RP lens. Let them see the new you. Funny, charming, and stoic. Internal validation is the goal, but only a fool neglects the power of external reinforcement.

[–]kalstate 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I second this.. After moving to a new city, my recent social breakthrough was to join some community art classes. I basically get to socialize with dozens of people from all age groups at my chosen pace. If I want to be quiet, I just work on my art. When I'm feeling chatty, I look for the other chatty person/people in the room and we talk about anything and everything.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

There is a dissonance among men:

On one hand, they maybe just swallowing the pill and be at stage 2 (Anger)

But then on the other hand can re-iterate to anyone that asks why Red pill is great like he read it from a textbook...

Yet he's still angry, which means he's still in denial.

[–]disposable_pants 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This post isn't saying that the only way to fully understand TRP is to make it through all phases; it's saying people are going to interpret the material differently at different points in their lives.

[–]makethemwant 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for taking the time to re-post such an important bit of text. This was really well laid out.

And yes, this should definitely be in the side-bar. I almost wish this was the very first thing I read when I came here.

[–]anothercarguy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depression: "Getting laid by shallow, obnoxious women has become dull and unrewarding. And there's no sense looking for a unicorn. Maybe I'll just be MGTOW for a while."

The other option which many incorrectly do is go back to beta; that drug of approval furthering the cycle (I know I did). Key is MGTOW to go to Acceptance.

[–]kinkade 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Great and much needed post

[–]RPMan1 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I disagree with some of what you wrote in the "acceptance" stage.

Why would a woman care to learn about anything you teach her about your instincts?

Why would a woman care to or want to develop realistic expectations? Most women, most humans, want to have it all and will go for that as long as they believe it.

[–]crosenblum 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think your dead on.

But some of us like myself, have just given up totally on getting any women.

So how does this help us or empower us?

[–]let_terror_reign 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Actually it seems to me like anger phase is with people in general. I'm having a zero tolerance for bullshit esp with women and bpers. Is the second one a common occurrence?
Most of them are ego driven babies who can't handle the truth and aren't mature enough to handle responsibility. Makes me want to go into monk mode from ALL people.

[–]1ErasmusOrgasmus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't think the phases are necessarily distinct and clearly divisible. I feel like I'm 40% anger phase, 25% bargaining phase, 25% depression phase and 10% acceptance phase. It's confusing as fuck at times.

[–]GuidoBandito 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel I'm in a pseudo-depression/anger/acceptance stage. I'm more amused with it all anymore and find myself not interested in the thought of dating women.

That's not to say I don't find them attractive or don't want to have sex, but they have become less of a priority in my life almost to the point of not even needing them except for work or a friendly conversation while other services they perform are done (no, not prostitution. Medical services, massage therapy, bar tending, etc.).

And no, I don't think of all women as bitches and whores. But they truly are all children to varying degrees. And it's here that I find myself trying to learn how to deal with adult children without being condescending, which is not constructive to the overall process either.

I'm watching a friend of mine go through the process of dealing with a woman that is constantly pushing him away and he's bouncing around like a good little BPer. No matter what I try to tell him, he's not giving up. It's this behavior I see that makes me sad. Yet, still amused. These RP things happen. In many ways that are unique yet oddly identical.

One day, I'll move on and just be in acceptance but for now, I'm actually enjoying where I'm at and taking in as much as I can to really absorb RPT and be a part of something actually greater than myself. And mainly continue to not be Mr. Nice Guy, which has been a big part of all my relationship failures in the past.

Once you understand that RPT is about accepting who you are and trying to just be a better you by seeking your passion in hobbies/activities with not needing others acceptance, you will be in a similar place I'm experiencing and begin to enjoy your own company which will put you in a place of greater peace.

Good luck and welcome to the club of real men!

[–]1raceAround126 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think I'm more somewhere between 4 and 5.

I do tire of the one night stands. Shit, never thought I would say that. But I never say no simply because I'm still in the making up for lost time phase. I just want to fuck as many different women as possible.

But every so often, a girl or two wanders through my space who I can actually relate to and get on with on a non sexual level.

I have found though, women respond explosively to the friend-zone. While men accept it, still keep smiling and trying to change the girl's mind, the women can go batshit insane on you!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Acceptance can still equal MGTOW which is not exclusive to avoiding women or not dating as is so often falsely characterized on these forums.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depression stage. checking in. But seriously i hope i will come to a steady and calm view of reality, someday, somehow. Also thanks for this post a good reminder to get emotions like anger under control and realise that it's counter productive.

[–]Bleakjavelinqqwerty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For me, there was 10 minutes of denial and then straight to stage 4. I've been stuck there for over a year. Hopefully will improve.

[–]JimProfitLeninist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The fifth sounds like a PUA and doesn't help anyone. Why should we encourage of society of serial killers and sociopaths? That makes no sense at all.

One, three, and four are all varying degrees of cucks.

The only acceptable answer is two.

[–]cmiovino 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Cool, I'm in the bargaining phase. Probably even just getting out of the anger phase.

It's funny how true it is. Same with the 5 stages of grief. They're spot on.

[–]1jb_trp -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

I think I'm in depression. I just met a cute doctor who was in town for the weekend with her girlfriends. I went back to her place and fucked her in the ass. She wanted to get her girlfriend to join, but I was tired and just wanted to go get a shower and some breakfast. Yawn.

[–]awzor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's more like acceptance when you only want as much sex as you need to satisfy needs and don't care about any more. It feels so empowering.

[–]the_red_scimitar -2 points-1 points  (10 children)

Okay, and while I agree, how is this post not tone policing, itself?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (8 children)

Tone policing involves calling out a specific poster on their tone in an attempt to silence his/her point of view obliquely (i.e. make people focus on the form and not the content).

This is just a very long-winded way to say "know your audience".

[–]3savoryprunes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

...and this reply to a valid question (though easily misconstrued as a cynically rhetorical question) is the perfect example of what OP is writing about. Good question. Excellent reply.

[–]disposable_pants 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i.e. make people focus on the form and not the content

More specifically, tone policing is saying that bad form = bad content, or "that's ______-ist therefore you're wrong." It's not just focusing on the form over the content; it's saying the content should be ignored because of the form.

Comments will occasionally pop up on here about someone's tone being overly angry, or confrontational, or so full of profanity and emotional language that it distracts from the point at hand. These comments aren't tone policing so long as they don't insist that those stylistic shortcomings automatically mean the post must be incorrect.

[–]the_red_scimitar 0 points1 point  (5 children)

So, a post saying, for example, that complains generally about new users being inexperienced, acting stupidly alpha, etc., without naming a particular one, is not tone policing?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

No, that's just passive aggressive bitching, in an attempt to increase in-group status, by people who can't be bothered to address the problem directly... the problem being that individual's attitude.

If you want to change a posters attitude, educate them (taking into account what the OP said about knowing your audience) from the position of trying to elevate them, not TRP, not the manosphere or whatever ideological clique you call home, and certainly not yourself as "more alpha than thou".

Check out rationalwiki for more info.

[–]the_red_scimitar 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Thanks. The definitions I find would include my example, so perhaps there are colloquial variations. I think using vague terminology, and at the same time, either requiring or forbidding it, is just a recipe for confusion and wrong decisions.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's why there are formal logical fallacies ;).

Tone policing is just ad hominem, but particularly focused on the opponent's affect and emotions.

[–]the_red_scimitar 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ah, that last sentence gives it some clarity.

[–]guccichicken -1 points0 points  (0 children)

You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. Saved.

[–]Master2u -1 points0 points  (0 children)

These are the stages that one goes through when they treat women like meat. You can still be a dominate controlling male but still show respect to the opposite sex. Have some class boys.