Mindfully Masculine: Personal Growth and Mental Health for Men

Can You "Win" Arguments With Your Partner?

November 06, 2023 Mindfully Masculine Media LLC | Charles & Dan Episode 104
Mindfully Masculine: Personal Growth and Mental Health for Men
Can You "Win" Arguments With Your Partner?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Every time you have conflict with your partner, you make a choice whether to fight *against* the person you love, or fight *alongside* the person you love.

The way you win an argument with your wife or girlfriend is to get on the same side as quickly as you can, and join forces against the problem. In this episode, we'll discuss how to see the perspective of the woman in your life, how to understand what she may be feeling, and how you can both get on the same page to tackle life's challenges.

In our chat, we shed light on the perils of 'nice guy syndrome', and the implications of covert contracts. From the importance of understanding our emotions to maintaining a sense of humor in difficult conversations, we unpack the intricacies of gender dynamics, emotional communication, and anxiety in relationships. 

As we conclude, we offer fresh perspectives on how to navigate and enhance your relationships. We challenge some of the positions of the author of "Atomic Attraction" and attempt to elaborate on the importance of engaging with a partner's emotions in a way that adds value. We underpin the significance of not expecting others to take responsibility for our emotions and discuss different approaches to testing in relationships.

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Dan:

Good morning Charles.

Charles:

How are you? Well, Dan, thank you. How are?

Dan:

you, I am also well. I think I need to come up with a new response. I'm kind of getting tired of saying well all the time. But yeah, I'm doing well, considering.

Dan:

I've been trying to get my circadian rhythm back on track. I'm reading a book dedicated to circadian rhythms and it turns out that it's not just based on light and our sleep cycle. Ok, organ has its own circadian rhythm that is independent of like. There's a master circadian clock in our brain and organs operate differently on a different time scale based on different triggers. So, for example, some of our organs that process food, they don't operate based on light. They base their processing on when you feed it food. The first time you take a bite of anything is basically what starts and triggers and activates that circadian rhythm for that organ. So most likely deliver because it does a lot of the work when we're eating. But other organs that are involved with digestion and metabolism and things like that, so the sleep are sleeping is definitely triggered by light, but individual organs are triggered by food and so there is an optimal circadian rhythm for when we're eating as well. I'm coming to learn, so I've been learning about that, trying to make some adjustments, and it's been.

Charles:

It's been a little bit of an adventure so far, so yeah, Are you still waking up in the middle of the night and eating food because you're hungry?

Dan:

Yeah, I am, and that's one of the things right, but he does he does talk about in the book. He does talk specifically about how to kind of counteract that. But it's basically just you drink water and suck it up basically for about a week and then you should start to not get hungry anymore because you take your body about a week to to make those adjustments. But something he does talk about is that it's the first bite or sip it is considered a trigger for for eating. Does water count? No, water does not count, but black coffee does count, yeah.

Charles:

OK, I read that before.

Dan:

And what he says is because of the caffeine, right, it could trigger it. You know, it alters your metabolism, right? So my next question is what about decaf coffee? But anyway, I'm going to stay away from both of those. And so he says when you, when you're doing these fasting windows where you do like a 16, 8, you know, and you're doing some some intermittent fasting, it really is not, you're not really doing it. If you have a cup of coffee in the morning between, let's say, nine and 11, and then you don't eat till 11., you think, oh, I'm fasting, so 11. No, he's like ah, your body responds to that, and that was a little enlightening for me.

Charles:

So, you know, I would, actually I'd be curious to see if one could make the argument and again, this is based on me not knowing anything, but just intuiting things. I would think, even if you start your day with a glass of water, if it's really cold water, that might be something that your, your body, could respond to, because it's like OK, something, something not of the body, is now in the body and now the body has to react to it, whereas if you're, you know, if you just have room temperature water or slightly warmed up water, I would think it would be less impact than a glass of ice water.

Dan:

You know what I mean, possibly, and probably and it probably you are right, I would guess in I would agree with you in certain ways. So he also says you shouldn't adjust your medication to be in like that, that fasting window or not.

Charles:

He says, that doesn't count. You know the oh OK.

Dan:

So I think he's specifically talking about. So, so which kind of? Yeah, that doesn't line up, because caffeine isn't, you know, a carbohydrate, protein or fat, and neither is something that also might stimulate your body Like cold water or yeah, right, so regardless.

Charles:

I feel a lot of matter. All or some supplements correct Would have a pretty big impact on your body, right? Yeah, any, any pill. That I mean it's your liver's job to process pills. That's why you know it's referenced often that taking a lot of whether it's Tylenol or Advil or whatever can be bad for you because of the impact it has on your liver, which is why I mean it's counterintuitive. But, like, people who inject heroin die less often than people who take oxycontin, what I did know yeah, I mean, yeah, people who do, people who get a good oxy habit going where they're doing like 20, 30 pills a day is just destroying their liver. That makes sense. And so, yeah, if you're just, if you're just going, you know, heroin right into your vein, you've got other problems and health concerns to deal with, but killing your liver isn't one of them.

Dan:

Interesting and the liver is so important for everything. Yeah, it's crazy. So what he says is the scientific evidence, and they studied, I mean, thousands of different people. This is all done scientifically, and he had the backing of, like, the National National Institute of Health and and some really big, you know, government agencies to help fund his studies, and so what they found was that the benefits in terms of metabolic health meaning, you know, losing body fat, losing, losing excess weight, energy levels, improved sleep focus all that started when you restricted your eating to 12 hours, which isn't.

Charles:

That's not that's not super strict. No, yeah, 12 hours is most people could pull off 12 hours.

Dan:

Right. And he said every time you cut that down by an hour so you go down 11. Right, you double the benefits. You go down to 10. Holy cow, you double the benefits it's exponential from 12. He said from 12 to 8, it's exponential. You double the benefits every single time, from 12 to 8. After that, after that, it's not that much of a difference after 8. But you know, so that's huge. So a lot of people get crazy with like that. You know they do the 24, or you know 22 or whatever, like the OMAD. You know six, six hour one. But he says you these, they saw the greatest bang for your buck at a 16, eight window, interesting.

Charles:

But that is a little tougher to comply with the 1212.

Dan:

Right, absolutely, but what he said was most people don't really you know. When they interviewed them and they've he's got an app at my circadian clockorg OK when you can basically log everything that you're doing You're sleeping, you're eating, you know all that Stuff and and from there they can kind of figure out, are at where you know. They have some some back end research that they look at some of these people and what they were saying was that a lot of us think that we are only eating for 12 hours a day, yeah, and he's like no, most of us are eating for every waking hour. We're putting that that we're putting something biologic in our mouth.

Dan:

Correct, right. So he said I mean, even you know last, you know, even after you, like your brush your teeth or whatever it like, you might get a handful of nuts or a sip, a sip of juice or a sip of coffee first thing in the morning, like all of that counts as you're not. You're activating your problem, right? So the problem what happens then is with the reason why it's an issue and why it's it really affects your sleep is because your body's supposed to be cooling down as soon as you eat. Your body has energy, and now it warms up, and so now you're affecting all your sleep processes, your release of your hormones, your melatonin, all that stuff from from eating. So it's like three hours before bed you should, should, not be eating anymore. Interesting, it includes yeah, water is OK, but yeah, so I'm. I'm looking to fix my sleep and get rid of some of these bags in the right eyes, I can hardly see him.

Charles:

Yeah, I can. I can see my much clearer than yours. I don't know, man.

Dan:

I mean yeah, yeah, yeah. You know what was great when, when we, when we weren't on YouTube, you couldn't see him at all. It was true, yeah.

Charles:

YouTube kind of brings him out a little bit Versus 1080p HD. Yeah, I had heard that it changed the, the hair and makeup quite a bit when, oh, when TV started to go into HD, especially for, like, local news anchors and stuff like that, they had to put a lot more work into it Because when you're on what were TV like old standard TVs, they were like 240p or 360p resolution. They were pretty low and so with you know, good lighting and stuff like that, you know you could, you could get away with some stuff. But then everybody switched to HD and now it's like, ok, we've got a yeah, and people notice, people were like, yeah, the, the news anchors don't look as good as they used to. Because there you go.

Charles:

Well, yeah, maybe when you saw him in person, they were never as so oh yeah that is as attractive as I thought right, I get to go out in public and nobody even recognizes me. Yeah, so I am. I'm getting ready to dive into a new book because I'm having some upper back pain right now and I can't think of anything that I really did to cause it, other than just, you know, some long commutes in the car. But you know I it's hard for me to give that all the credit for Dude did somebody just walk 20 miles, like in one?

Dan:

Yeah, that's true, you know, one on one clip. Yeah, yeah, dude, I would guarantee you. I guess that could have an impact. Absolutely, absolutely, so all right well that helps or hurts your, your, your mental state of mind. I mean, for me, having that explanation would make me feel a little bit better, you know like you're just getting old.

Charles:

No, I don't think it's that I'm going to explore. So Howard Stern, one of our fellow broadcasters. Obviously he's not as successful as we are, but he also has a little show.

Dan:

Keep working, Howard.

Charles:

And he had chronic back pain for a long time and then got had it vastly improved by Dr John Sarno, who wrote a book called Healing Back Pain, and his, his take on it is basically it's about your emotional state, it's about being angry, it's about being sad, it's about being distracted, it's about and and the tension that you hold in your back. As a massage therapist like to tell you the one potential way to alleviate that is through, essentially, some mindfulness and looking in on your, on your internal states and seeing what you're, what you're feeling, what you're dealing with. And so I'm going to try that before I mean I'll probably go get a massage too, because that never hurts, but I'm going to, I'm going to dive into this book a little bit and see if there's anything there or if it's woo, woo nonsense, which you know I'm always on the guard for that.

Dan:

I was about to go to the woo, non sense route, but then I thought about it and I realized that a lot of times when I'm, when I'm stressed and I've been told this from dentists is you kind of grind your teeth and it's, it's, you're squeezing your muscles and, without even realizing it, like in your jaw. So, of course, why wouldn't we be? If we have some little, if we have some sort of stress going on in our lives are a little bit tense, I mean, the whole, the whole word tension right Is, is we feel like we're squeezing our body. So, yeah, man, I could absolutely see that that would be an essential part of if just being stressed out, like not even being upset about something necessarily.

Dan:

But a busy week, right, you've had a pretty busy week. I mean, you were driving, I mean, and that's the things, yeah, you're also doing some driving back and forth between here and you know St Pete, which are, you know, long drives, and then a busy schedule on top of that and you know, juggling things and being concerned about it. Yeah, and this time of year, with all of the events going on, yeah, it's, even if they're fun events, it's something to add to the plate, something to bring us to think about process. Yeah, so yeah, actually let me know how that goes. I bet you that's going to help. Yeah, the massage won't hurt either, but yeah.

Charles:

Yeah, I got the, got the audiobook downloaded yesterday and I'm going to dive into it and try to do it with an open mind and not bail on it too early if it gets a little too woo-woo, because I mean, obviously you know your mind and your body are connected in ways that we don't understand yet. So it's not like this is well Jupiter's in retrograde, so that's why your back hurts. It's not that level of woo-woo. It's like, okay, the things on your mind could be affecting the way your mind and your nervous system engage your muscles and that could be the cause of pain. I mean that sounds completely reasonable to make.

Dan:

I mean it makes perfect sense. Look, you know, thousands of years ago, when we were out in the wilderness, you know hunting for animals and or being hunted by animals, our brains, if we weren't concerned about or thinking about being hunted or hunting, which activates hormones, fight or flight for us, the people who didn't think about those things, they're the ones that got eaten, right, or they're the ones who didn't eat, yeah, yeah, and so we're descendants. We've got the genes from the people who are hypersensitive to outside noises, to things that are, you know, would basically cause stress in our bodies, of course, you know, and to the hormones and our muscles. Yeah, absolutely. So I think this is going to work for you, if you, you know, I don't. When you say, I mean, keep an open mind to it and guess too woo-woo, I guess it depends on how he, he, he attempts to help you relax, right, like maybe, maybe, maybe, just whatever meditation, whatever meditation book you go, like a go to for you might be another option if this one is too woo-woo, you know.

Charles:

Yeah, I don't think it's going to be. I feel like there's a good chance that it's going to be pretty balanced and it'll probably have you do some exercises, I would imagine, where you, you know, make lists of the things that might be bothering you and see them written down on paper and you know stuff.

Dan:

Yeah, I mean is it absolutely works for me, yeah writing.

Charles:

Writing things down is helpful in almost any domain, so I'm going to give it a shot and see see how it goes. Cool, I will, probably. The other thing I've noticed is this upper back pain and while the hike could be a factor and and the stress of the hike, not just, you know, the actual putting one foot in front of the other going for walks does, does tend to loosen me up a little bit. Not super long walks, not like you know 10, 15 mile walks, but if, yeah, just going and doing a lap around cranes roost or a lap around the mall or something like that. That'll often shake some stuff loose.

Charles:

Where I have noticed that when it hurts real, like the last time I heard it, whereas like, okay, I clearly just injured myself, I was deadlifting with bad form and my and it hurt way worse than it does now, and my response to that was okay, I'm just going to lay in bed with a heating pad and put some you know CBD, like super high end flex, all Ben gay type stuff on the back and just take it easy, relax. And and that was it actually made it worse. It was the just not moving at all made it way worse.

Dan:

I remember that yeah.

Charles:

Then just getting up and going for walks.

Dan:

So the other thing that you told me was that you aren't doing your normal morning walks or haven't been consistent.

Charles:

I haven't been consistently yeah.

Dan:

Yeah, and that absolutely could affect it. The other thing you told me was you carried a pretty heavy fanny pack that you, you, you got such a fight. You kicked it off the plane, but but you weren't, and, and even though that was maybe kind on your hips, that's going to affect everything.

Charles:

Yeah, I mean, your spine is just, yeah, the kinetic chain. Your spine is very susceptible.

Dan:

So, yeah, man, I think you, yeah, you just got to give yourself a little time to rest and try to get back into your old, your old routines a little bit.

Charles:

Yeah, but that was I mean. That was. The hike was October 1st, so just having these symptoms show up 10 days later seems a little suspect. Oh.

Dan:

OK.

Charles:

Yeah, I don't know. All right, it could. It could be. I mean, the the drive is a factor to. I should probably get a lumbar thing to put on my mattress.

Dan:

You're talking about upgrading your mattress too, so I don't know, like, if you've got like a little divot in the middle there or whatever You're notice one you've been talking about. I mean it's on your mind, so there's got to be something going on, because you talked about you know with you know when I was getting mine, yeah, so yeah, I think I'm going to.

Charles:

I think I'm going to go back to the first one that I got from my camper, which is all memory foam and gel and stuff, the, the springs, you know, they're the hybrids. Nice for some things, but the upside of the quality of the sleep on the for me at least, for the, for the memory foam and the gel mattresses offsets any of the other benefits.

Dan:

And they don't. You don't sleep too warm on a no foam.

Charles:

No, I like when the ones I've gotten, where they have that top level of the gel infused stuff. Ok, that does seem to get the job done. Oh good, and I think the one that I had also the the actual cloth cover around the outside was made out of bamboo or something Nice. So there, yeah, they're, they're implementing some technology to help the hot sleepers. And, man, it has been great.

Charles:

Recently. I've been getting a little too cold at night because, you know, the AC hasn't had to work so hard to cool down from how hot it gets during the day, because we've had temperature slightly lower than than they've been all summer. Obviously, I think the high the other day was 82. And so when I turned my ear all the way down, it got. It got nice and cold where it was so cool. I didn't want to get out from under the covers, which is perfect for me. I love that, all right. So let's see what else is going on.

Charles:

I did a big closet purge last couple of days and dumped off a bunch of clothing at Goodwill last night, and so I'm I'm trying to minimize even more the the stuff in my camper and trying to boil things down so that it just makes laundry days easier, makes cleaning up easier, and I was. I had so many, even like t-shirts like this that I was just barely ever wearing. Okay, I notice I tend to. I like the, the Heather Gray's, the whites and the olive, and I'll wear all those first, get all those dirty first, before I move on to the other colors. Yeah, so I was like, why am I just, why am I keeping these other colors if I clearly don't like wearing them? And so I just cleaned out everything, every t-shirt that wasn't either Heather Gray, white or olive. I just donated all of them. That's smart.

Dan:

Yeah, I know that. You mentioned that. I tend to do the same thing with with black and red, yeah, and, and once in a while I'll do blue. This is my crazy blue, and then I'll get really nice and do green. After that, though, but I've got all these other colors in my. I'm like, oh, I like the way the shirt fits, I like the way it looks. Let me just get it in every color, and then I just never end up, yeah. Yeah, I like the I'm a little wasteful.

Charles:

I like the trick of turn all of your hangers in the opposite direction and then when you take something and you use it and then you launder and put it back, you put it back with the hanger going the other way and then after a couple of weeks you look at all the stuff that you haven't touched and you're like that's the stuff I don't wear.

Charles:

That's stuff I don't need, I'm on board, I'm doing that, and they just donate everything and then you just, you know, set whatever time works for you, whether it's two weeks or a month or six months, I mean, everybody's going to be different. But yeah, if you, if you see that hanger is not moved in whatever amount of time, you know, because of my small space for me, I'm pretty strict If I, if I don't wear something in two or three weeks other than very seasonal stuff, obviously, like a heavy coat, but if it's, if it should be a normal part of my rotation, but I'm not using it as a normal part of my rotation. It's going by by, and so I got rid of a couple dozen items last night. So now I'm free to order a new Aviator Nation polo shirt in the color that I want. Good, you know, one in, one out, or 30, 30 out and one in whatever.

Dan:

Hey, that's. That's great If you can do it that way with only one in. Yeah.

Charles:

Yeah, All right, so we're. We're going to dinner tonight in a new place for your birthday. I'm excited for that bovine steakhouse. I haven't decided what I'm going to get yet, whether I'm going to get a steak or man steak houses. My go-to recently has been getting a steak or some sort of seafood salad at a steak house, Because they make some pretty serious salads at steak houses and when you get some protein added in there. I'm going to Season's 52 on Sunday and they have that ahi tuna salad that I got last time. We went with Curt and Richard and Leslie and them and it was real tasty and I'm looking forward to getting that again.

Charles:

And so yeah, we'll see what they have at Bovine. They've got a tempting salad. I might do that.

Dan:

I might do that as well. I've been incorporating more salad leafy greens into my diet just to try to get a little bit more bulk and fullness feeling from yeah.

Charles:

Iceberg lettuce is great for that, yeah absolutely, absolutely. I try to avoid the iceberg, I just I know it's not very, it's just, it's like nothing. I mean, I don't find it gross, it just feels like I'm not eating anything. I mean, yeah, no, yeah, romaine is definitely my preference, or some other more, I'll do spinach.

Dan:

I'll do spinach too. I like spinach. I want the darker greens and things like that.

Charles:

It just yeah, I just oh, remember that cheeseburger and paradise salad. We got it out riggers.

Dan:

That was nasty, that was excellent.

Charles:

That was excellent. Yeah, yes, salads with protein. That seems to be my go-to these days. All right, let's get into this wild book. Today's chapter is never use logic to fight emotion. We'll never change emotion or perception by Edward DeBano. Um, I got to say it, man I I don't think this guy is crazy about women.

Dan:

Yeah, a lot of the stuff that he presents is presenting women acting like children, not like adult women. A ton when, when, in some of these case studies, I feel like it's. These are outbursts that I remember seeing as a kid, like from my little sister, but like as in a, like a woman. I don't know if these still happen Now again.

Charles:

I haven't dated every woman on the planet.

Dan:

So I mean, you know his experience. Again, we really shouldn't invalidate it, you know. But at the same time it's a little bit hard to swallow. It's that some of the times they seem really extreme.

Charles:

Yeah, I mean, I will invalidate it.

Dan:

I will say Um if you won't, I will.

Charles:

Validating experiences is, uh, one of the things I'm best at. If you ask the right people, um, I'm working on it. It's true, it's completely accurate, but I'm working on it. But no, here's. Here's what I'll say. Uh, I think the fact that you and I do not get into relationships with women who sit at a fancy restaurant and call us a dummy or an idiot, that's not just because we're lucky. You know what I mean.

Dan:

Yeah, Are you complimenting my picker?

Charles:

Is that? Is that the first one? Your picker has plenty of problems, but one of them is not picking women that call you an idiot. All right, I'll take it. I'll take it all day long. Um, yeah, I would say that. Uh, you know, if, if you're a guy and you constantly find yourself in relationships with women who are behaving like the women in these case studies, then you may need to take a break from dating or write a book and make millions at all, that's $1.

Dan:

Well, maybe 1,000 or hundreds of dollars.

Charles:

We don't know how many of us sold or what kind of deal he got. Um, but yeah, I would say it's, it's a little. I mean, again, I don't know, maybe guys are dealing with this kind of behavior. But if they are, I would say that is mostly on you that you're letting people like that into your life, not on you know, I need to learn how to manage the behavior of these insane women.

Dan:

So here's you need to manage your own behavior. Here's the other thing. The way, the way he's describing some of these scenes to me is like if you were in a restaurant and one of these scenes happened, the entire restaurant would know about it, I feel.

Charles:

Right, and I go to restaurants a lot and I don't see this.

Dan:

Correct Me too, that's exactly what I was about to say is like and and we've been out in public quite a bit and I have never seen that you know or heard things like that. So, yeah, how, how common is that? I think maybe the idea is, you know, if you ever want to get interviewed by us, you know you better not listen to what I said I know, I know A month.

Charles:

He's not going to want to do that interview.

Dan:

So I mean, you know, I think it's just he's he's using an extreme point, extreme example, to make, to make some of the points that he's trying to.

Charles:

But it's not even just the case studies, Like there's one part that says the more you attempt to reason with a woman, the more she'll resist Another sentence. A woman doesn't care if she's right or wrong, she only cares about how she feels.

Dan:

Okay, well, that that's all right. Yeah, I don't agree with that.

Charles:

And, yeah, I, I. I find I find him to be generalizing in a way, both generalizing women and generalizing situations where, look, if, okay, there are situations where and then this would be true for a man as well as a woman If you've been triggered, if you've been activated, if you're upset about something, then, yeah, you may get to a point where you don't care if you're right or wrong. All you care about is the negative feelings that you're struggling with. And but then again, it's, it's also. You can't just say a woman doesn't care if she's right or wrong, she only cares about how she feels in the present. I mean, if a woman you know is a successful business owner and she's in charge of making payroll and getting business done, and then, you know, you go to her and say, hey, I think it'd be better if we did this instead of this, and she's like I don't care what you say, all I care about is how I feel. I mean, that's that's painting with a cartoonish brush.

Dan:

Yeah, yeah, I think. I think the problem here is he's, he's swinging. So I think a lot of people are coming from one extreme. Excuse me, men are coming from one extreme in terms of the perspective, in terms of feeling frustrated at times when they don't understand and don't know how to communicate effectively, to really understand, and also don't have an ability to read the room so much and just try to understand. Hey look, you know she's upset about something. Now is not the time to reason your way out of it or play Mr Fix it. Sometimes and a lot of us do that I mean, I'm absolutely guilty of playing Mr Fix it.

Charles:

Oh, me too.

Dan:

And not just in relationships. But I mean, that's what we do for a living right. We fix things so. So that's our default, you know. And and of course, nobody likes to feel uncomfortable and upset, so we want to fix that immediately too. So what?

Dan:

I think the I'm not saying he's right, but what I'm thinking is, again, I like to figure out why he might be doing things, but he's, I think we're all coming from one Mr Fix it perspective and what he's trying to say is look, here's another extreme example it's too far to the extreme where Oman doesn't care about anything other than her emotional stain at the time, which is inaccurate either most of the time. But just kind of a hey guys, don't try to play Mr Fix it, try to be there and and and you know, and he gets into that in the next chapter a little bit but try to put in a bad way he talks about, like kind of mirror her emotions. But I think the idea is just kind of, you know, try to present like a calming presence and just kind of you know, just just listen, you know, just kind of be there rather than get into the weeds, because I feel like I know when I've done that in the past. I end up making a woman or somebody who's emotional could be, you know, like my little sister or whatever you know, or or another, another guy, whatever Instead of getting into the weeds I don't.

Dan:

If somebody did that with me, I would. I would feel frustrated because I'd feel kind of almost stifled because you're asking me logical questions and I haven't fully processed my emotions yet. And then to then take me out of that mode of where I'm processing and like letting things go and letting things out, I see I could. I could see getting frustrated with the person who's trying to to, you know, get me out of that state. When I'm not fully ready to be out of that state, it makes sense Am.

Charles:

I am I rambling a little bit, I'm sorry. No, it makes sense. I mean it's also in the context of you're one of these fucking Libras who's got to make peace with everybody and it's so annoying. I know we're the worst. I mean it is possible that the that the guy says stuff like this because he's bad at his job or he's a bad person. I'm not saying those are true.

Dan:

Yeah, those are also possibilities. Absolutely, I'm giving that's fair.

Charles:

It could, it could not be like, well, maybe he's just trying to approach it from this new one thing, maybe, maybe, maybe he's a decent author, a good psychologist and also a shitty person. I mean, that's a possibility too. Sure, sure, sure. But cause, when you know a woman doesn't care if she's right or wrong, she only cares about how she feels, it wouldn't cost that much more to print this book for him to say when, in a highly charged emotional conflict, a woman might not care if she's right or wrong. But he chose not to say that because he felt like the way he said it was good enough.

Charles:

And so I mean you, you can use logic and reason. If you and your wife are deciding what school would be best for the kids or whether whether to refinance your mortgage or something, you don't need to go into that discussion thinking, okay, so she's not really going to care what the best thing to do is, she's only going to worry about how she feels about it. So I've got to figure out a way to manipulate her emotions so she'll agree with the thing I want to do, and I think that's the product. That's what comes out of reading books where authors talk this. That's the way. Yeah, fair.

Dan:

Okay, I could see that perspective.

Charles:

So it's too sloppy. He, he, he should, he should be more careful about it. Okay, so let's get into the dumb case studies. Okay, so the first one a couple's having lunch and the gal kind of goes silent and doesn't really she's something's happened and she's not interacting at the level that she did before. So the guy's like did I do something wrong? She just gives him a look. Why don't you just tell me if something's wrong, I don't want to talk about it. Talk about what. I'm fine, don't worry. Of course I'm worried. You're obviously upset about something, otherwise you wouldn't be acting this way. Please tell me what's wrong. I hate to see you like this. See me like what? Like you are now sad, unhappy. So he just keeps going.

Dan:

Right, and that's that's. That was where I got the idea of this guy in this case study. Yeah, he's poking her and going tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me. And it's like, yeah, she's not ready to, she's not ready to communicate.

Charles:

I have been right there and I will tell you a hundred percent it is not because I cared about what was bothering her, it's because I felt uncomfortable with or threatened, or threatened, like maybe I did something, maybe she's mad at me, maybe she's going to leave me, maybe she thinks I'm a bad person.

Dan:

Oh, absolutely, me too.

Charles:

Now it's coming out of fear.

Dan:

It's not coming out of care for her. Like oh, absolutely not, it's care taking, and that's interesting because that is like a nice guy syndrome where it's a covert contract. Oh, absolutely, you aren't being who you truly are, right. Instead of going, I'm scared. I did something like if you came to her and go, I scared, I'm scared I fucked something up or I did something wrong. That's the truth, right? Or or Lord, that you're going to leave me. Of course, we're never going to say that.

Charles:

Right, I mean yeah.

Dan:

But but then that's so, I think yeah.

Charles:

It's I want to. It's interesting, it's really interesting. It's two things I want to know what's going on, and I also want to get you over how you're feeling, right out, because it's I'm not comfortable with it. So if I can just fix this problem immediately, then I solve both of those things. You're, you go from sad to happy and I go from insecure to secure. So now I'm going to ask you what's wrong, as many times as I need to, so that you can say this exact thing is what's wrong, perform this action to fix it and then this situation goes away and everything's fine. That's a great formula.

Charles:

Yeah, it's too bad that humans don't function that way, right? Uh huh, yeah, so I I definitely I get where this guy's coming from, and it's so much easier to see it in other you know even fake people in case scenarios, case studies than it is to see it in yourself. Because, yeah, when you're in the middle of that and and you're like I don't think I did anything wrong, and part of it is, I mean, the selfish part of it is, this is unfair. I'm being subjected to her negative emotions and I didn't even do anything to deserve it.

Dan:

Right, and so there's and or I was not informed of something that I've done. I may have done something, and this isn't fair because you didn't tell me about it.

Charles:

Yeah, and so, and then we go into that mode where we've gotta we've gotta ease this anxiety, and I mean anxiety is really it's the theme of. I mean, pretty much every negative thing that happens in a relationship is the cause of somebody's anxiety. Yeah, one partner, or both partners, are feeling something they don't wanna feel, and then they're trying to deal with it in the way that they do deal with it, based on the tools that they came out of their childhood with, and it often ends up making things worse, not better.

Dan:

Yeah, yeah, I think a lot of it for me is just not being afraid to communicate and potentially tell people exactly how you're feeling about things. That's not a skill set that I was really taught or honed until I got a little bit older. You need to feel like you're gonna be okay no matter what happens. No, absolutely that is what you really. For me, that's the mindset is yeah, even if I do say these things and it's the absolute, vulnerable truth I'm gonna be okay. And even if, worst case scenario, my primitive brain comes up with all these terrible scenarios that might happen, if I say these things I need to come back to, I'm gonna be okay no matter what. Yeah, and the more I do that, the easier it is for me to have those conversations and to communicate doesn't mean it's always easy, but it does get a little bit easier.

Dan:

And then the next thing I think of is my presence in this environment. Am I bringing value, or am I taking value Right and part of the, and how can I bring value? Does that mean I'm there to listen? Am I there to bounce ideas off of, or am I let's just kind of read the room a little bit what would be the best thing that I can do right now and a lot of times me feeling uncomfortable is not the relief of me. Feeling uncomfortable is not how I should be bringing value Right. Right, that is taking value Exactly, and that's something I need to figure out. How to do on my own is deal with that uncomfortableness and once I realize that's my responsibility and it's not from I, need to pull that from somebody else. Well, why would somebody else want like who's already maybe upset? They don't have the capacity to necessarily give and be generous with their energy or their thoughts.

Dan:

Right nor should they have to Correct and so and I'm not doing anything, I'm not holding up my part of that relationship if I am taking when they need, or vice versa.

Charles:

Yeah, and I've been guilty of that too when you're having a conflict with a partner because of something that's bothering them, that they bring to you, and then you make the fight or the issue like no, let's make this about something that I'm upset about or I'm offended by, and then that will reduce the I mean, we'll still spend a couple of miserable hours in a fight with each other and that sucks, but at least the anxiety of feeling like I'm to blame for something no, I'll accuse you of something, and then I won't feel so anxious about being the one that caused this here's something I just thought of.

Dan:

Okay, I think, a reason why sometimes arguments escalate to the point of where people are physically doing things, either to each other or throwing things, yelling yeah, action relieves anxiety. Physical movement relieves anxiety. Our fight or flight hormones ramp up Our energy level, like glucose and glycogen gets released from the liver. Our bodies have all this extra energy that needs to be burned off. So you combine these emotions that we've got with all this extra energy. I think that's why a lot of arguments end up to be physical altercations, or just not even an altercation, but just a lot of Right.

Charles:

Just physically acting out in some way too.

Dan:

And that, and so when you watch somebody do that, it looks like they're really upset and then that ramps up your emotions a little bit more and makes you more anxious, and that increased anxiety just kind of builds on each other from each other. And so I think that's interesting. Maybe I don't know if anybody recommends this, but when you've got, when you're arguing with somebody, go for a walk with them and try to and I know I'm more creative when I'm walking, but maybe next time there's a really bad argument it's let's go for a walk together and just do the discussion while we're walking, while we're doing something physical, and maybe that would help bring down some of that that anxiety as well.

Charles:

Or certainly go for the walk by yourself.

Dan:

Oh for sure right.

Charles:

Take the break, and then which is? One of these, the lacking skills in my toolbox was being able to take a break from a conflict, and again it's like, when that insecurity kicks in, it's like, no, no, we have to fix this now, or else who knows what horrible thing could happen. So, no, no breaks, we have to fix this right now. And where? Yeah, taking the break and going for the walk would certainly.

Dan:

So let me ask you did whenever you were having some of these arguments and you got a sense that the other person wanted to take a break. Did they ever like communicate that to you, or did they just walk away? No, perfectly, they say hey let's take a break and then go away, or was it just like they just walked away?

Charles:

No, for the most part it was perfectly communicated, and I was still like, no, we have to solve this now. Okay, well, that's on you then.

Dan:

Yeah, it was definitely on me.

Charles:

No, if anybody was to initiate a break by just storming off, that would be me.

Dan:

Okay, that would have been something I would do not my partner, and when I was younger, same thing I didn't, you know, and that would drive some people nuts and as well as should. It would drive me nuts if somebody did it to me, but all I needed to do was, I think, if I could go back and read my mind Just announce your intention.

Dan:

Just say, yeah look, I need a break. I'm coming back to this, but I just I didn't have the mental whatever to even think of doing that at the time and it just drove them nuts and it made them much worse.

Charles:

Oh, absolutely, because now they're chasing me. This episode is already telling me I need to. In addition to the back pain book, I need to read Dr Julie's book again. That book is so good and it's been a few months since I've really I've done a deep dive into it. Or maybe I'll just re-listen to our episodes of the podcast where we covered it and then I don't have to read it.

Dan:

There we go.

Charles:

I wonder what would take longer. But yeah, her, yeah. Why has no one told me this? Why is nobody or no one told me this before? Nobody, Nobody, yeah. Why has nobody told me this before? Yeah, that is the number one mental health self-improvement book that I recommend to everybody.

Dan:

And she's got some great bits on Instagram too.

Charles:

Oh yes, her Instagram is extremely valuable Very entertaining the props that she used. The props are great.

Dan:

I love her props.

Charles:

She's amazing. I love her. Okay, so let's. One thing he does say is that the woman. The moment a woman gets upset or pulls away, a flurry of thoughts rush through a man's head. His analytical brain goes into overdrive, asking the same question over and over how can I fix a situation and make this woman happy? And his answer to that is correct. The short answer is you can't fix her and you can't make her happy. You can't make people anything, and the whole idea of how can I fix someone is a huge red flag. When you look at your partner as someone who needs to be fixed, you're on a countdown to miserable breakups already.

Dan:

I mean I think a different way to approach this is replace the word fix with support. Right, so how can I support this person? And to me that's more of a a kind of a back and forth type of word. I mean, I know it's probably not. The end goal is kind of the same. I just like the word support better. I don't know, maybe because I was in IT for so long. You know, in IT support, I feel like it's more of a two-way conversation when it comes to support, because you have to find out. You have to ask hey, what's going on? Like, what do you need right now? Like that it's a discovery. You're being curious, you're coming from a curious standpoint rather than an assumptive. I know what's wrong, I know how to fix this kind of thing.

Charles:

Yeah, and one of the things that Corey Wayne talks about in his book, which is really good, and I like I forgot.

Charles:

It's been a while since I read his book 3% man and I sort of minimized how much he goes into relationships, where the first part of his book is about, you know, meeting women and getting dates with women and things like that. But he spends a good chunk of the probably back third of that book on okay, now, once you're in the relationship, here's how you don't screw it up. And, yeah, when a woman comes to you with a problem, whether it's, you know, a fight she got into at work or something you've done, he encourages you to keep drilling down on. Tell me more, you know, how else did it make you feel? How did you react to that? How did you feel about that? And just constantly, until she runs out of things to say your job's not done, digging in and that, yeah, I mean people just want to feel like their experience is valid and legitimate and we use our words to do that or we use our words to take that away from people, and those are much better questions.

Dan:

How do you feel about that? Because in the moment when we are feeling something, that's something we can identify, more likely rather than what's wrong, right? So in this scenario where it might have been one of the other case studies. What's wrong with you if you can?

Charles:

work what's?

Dan:

wrong with you if?

Charles:

you can work.

Dan:

Yeah, but even just the, even if you leave out the with you part, what's wrong? That is almost offensive in and of itself because it's almost assuming well, you shouldn't be. You're almost invalidating Exactly.

Charles:

I'm just having a human experience where I've got some negative emotions about something. It's not wrong or right, and you've turned it into right or wrong.

Dan:

Yeah, that's a trigger.

Charles:

Wrong is a trigger word, for sure it is. And again I'm trying to think about it in terms of how I've probably used that incorrectly before and also how I would feel if somebody said that to me. You know, if I was really frustrated about something, or me and an important client or a business partner or something, the relationship wasn't going well and it was affecting my mood. And somebody was like what's wrong as opposed to hey, it looks like you're going through something. Do you wanna talk about it? Yeah, you know, that would be so much more valuable than just what's wrong.

Dan:

Or what's going on. Yeah, Just yeah. You don't wanna feel judged A lot of less.

Charles:

Exactly.

Dan:

And you certainly don't wanna start out. You know your first interaction is coming from a place of judgment.

Charles:

Yeah, that's a great point, Cause, yeah, what's wrong does turn an issue immediately black and white. Okay, so what's going on right now is wrong, so there must be something that's right Now. How do I move you from wrong to right?

Dan:

And that person could be upset because they've already been wronged.

Charles:

Like they were a victim of by you or somebody else.

Dan:

Correct, right. And now you're like yeah, yeah, like yeah.

Charles:

You're calling their reaction to that Uh-huh, yeah man.

Dan:

Yeah, come ask questions guys. Yeah, Besides what's wrong.

Charles:

Okay. So here's the two strategies he recommends to dealing with this. The first is to remain indifferent to a woman's emotions, no matter her emotional state. I disagree. The second is to mirror her emotions and diffuse her negative energy, and when he defines mirror in the next chapter, I disagree with that too. So I think both of these are shitty ideas.

Charles:

Yeah, yeah, that's not so. Let's talk about the first one Remain indifferent to a woman's emotions, no matter her emotional state. I don't know, indifference has a very strong negative connotation to me, and I don't see reacting to someone who's upset with indifference being the thing that's good for her or for you or the relationship. Yeah, I feel I know what he's trying to say here, I think, but again, I disagree with the way he's choosing to say it. I mean, and honestly, the terminology of mirror is the same thing, because you could think of the word mirror like okay, if your woman is upset and crying or pissed off at you, mirroring that means okay, well, I'm going to get angry, I'm going to start crying and I'm going to get pissed off at her. That's what mirroring is. So don't do that Right, but don't be indif, you know. Don't sit there stone faced either I think there are. You can engage emotionally with her in a way that does not make things worse, it makes things better.

Dan:

So yeah, I mean, I think both of those options kind of show his perspective on what you talked about, which was you kind of hinted at. That which is to me it's protecting your own. In his case, I feel like you either mirror or you stonewall or indifferent, and that doesn't necessarily help the situation. All it does is protect you and your own feelings by doing those things, I would agree Right, and it does nothing for her. It doesn't add value, it doesn't make you a better man or partner in that relationship. All it does is kind of protect yourself. And so my thought here and that kind of lines up with a lot of the other things that he puts in this book is it sounds like he's been hurt quite a bit and a lot of times. I think the way he phrases things sounds like it's how do you protect yourself from getting hurt?

Dan:

Yes, that was Rather than being a good partner.

Charles:

Yeah, and again, I think I said it last week or the week before. It's like man I just I like it when he talks about you should wear red shirts because women think they're pretty. I mean, that's the kind of stuff like I'm on board, let's talk about that stuff. I can't find any fault with that.

Charles:

Careful of that halo effect, right, but yeah, in the back part of this book it does seem like he treats relationships as a zero-sum game where you know there's got to be a winner and a loser and if she does this, then you do this so that you can constantly maintain the upper hand. Yeah, and I don't know, man, that doesn't seem like that's the way forward either. So again, contrast that with what we just said about Corey Wayne's book, the 3% man, where it's like you can, okay, remain indifferent to a woman's emotions, no matter her emotional state, or you could engage curiosity, yeah, you could engage gratitude, you could engage confidence, like you know. Yeah, we'll get through this, we'll figure this out, this is going to be okay, and I think all of those emotions are far better than indifference or turning her state back on her.

Dan:

Yeah, I think both of those I mean all three of those potentially could end the situation, but I feel the ways he's suggesting are it's going to take a lot longer and there's going to be a lot more conflict and ultimately things may not actually get resolved. But yeah, I so I think, being curious to me that's more solution focused rather than just letting, kind of letting things happen, versus helping guide things in a direction that is beneficial for everybody.

Charles:

I mean, another option that you have too is you know, particularly if she is upset and behaving in a way that you know crosses some of your boundaries, you know she's saying rude things, or you know throwing things around the apartment or whatever it is, you do have the option to say, okay, look, you're struggling with something. Right now. I don't have the ability to stay here with you in this, so I'm going to take a break and then I'll see you in an hour, I'll see you tomorrow. We can talk about what's bothering you and see if we can work our way through it. But I mean, you don't have to.

Charles:

If she's doing something that you have a moral or ethical problem with, where you feel like you're being mistreated or you're being, you don't have to jump into curiosity. That may be asking too much. I've been in situations where it's like, okay, I'm not going to be able to pull that off, I'm just not, and so in that case, if you can't share positive emotions like curiosity, optimism, confidence, then maybe it's time to ask her that break and just say, look, you're dealing with something as a result of what you're dealing with Now, I'm dealing with something, and if we stay in the same room and deal with it together. I don't think good things are going to happen, so I'm going to take a break.

Dan:

Yeah, and the key there is that you communicated that before you took that break Exactly.

Charles:

Versus just walked away.

Dan:

And so the next chapter he talks about just kind of storming off and really he kind of the guy in that scenario brings his level of communication down to hers in terms of maturity level, and I think that's the whole. I mean, the name of the chapter is Mirror Her Emotions. But I don't agree with that approach either.

Charles:

Yeah, and God it does. Yeah, I am definitely and I speak from experience.

Dan:

That's why I say it doesn't work.

Charles:

I'm seeing this book in a new light as we're going through it in such detail where I mean the very first sentence of this chapter on Mirror Her Emotions is. Any man who's been in a serious relationship knows that women frequently pull away and create problems for no reason.

Dan:

Yeah, that's a bit much.

Charles:

I only say that's inexcusable.

Charles:

I mean again, I don't find Corey Wayne to be perfect. I disagree with things that he says, but he says whenever guys come to me and say, man, I just you can't understand women. It's impossible, you can't understand them. They're just two. And Corey's like no. Once you understand their core motivations and what's important to them, then all of their behavior is completely rational. And I would say that's true for everybody. That's true for men, women, dogs, cats, children, everybody. If you understand what it is that motivates them, then their behavior makes sense all the time. And to say the throwaway cliches and platitudes of like, oh, men will never understand women, it's like OK, well, you're not really trying, are you? That's lazy, exactly, yeah, it's like oh, I'll never understand calculus, I'll never understand physics, because, honestly, I'm too late. I don't want to put the work in. I could, but I don't feel like it.

Dan:

So then turn around and at some point it needs to be motivating enough for you to take the effort to figure that out, to get uncomfortable, to spend the energy to listen to our podcast and to read some of these books and figure out that calculus, because it's going to be worth it for you.

Charles:

Yeah, and if you're flushing enough valuable relationships down the toilet because you don't know how to act, then maybe at some point that will provide a motivation for you to get your shit together. Yeah, or call a plumber. So yeah, I mean, I do not believe that I have ever been in a relationship with a woman who caused problems for no reason. Right, I have been in relationships with women where we had problems for reasons I didn't understand, but to just say, you know, oh, she was. She felt too safe and secure, she felt too comfortable, so she decided to start a fight, so both of us could feel shitty for a couple of days for no reason whatsoever. That is such a I don't know. That seems like a child's approach to relationships. Like, does he actually believe this or does he just say it because it moves books? I don't know. That's a great question. Let's get him on the podcast. I don't think I would want to talk to him.

Dan:

I don't know if you'd want to talk to you either, if he listens to one one episode.

Charles:

Okay. So in this case study it's basically one girl, two guys, as many of them are, and in the first example she gets annoyed with him because he is asking her, inquiring about her health, because I guess she wasn't feeling well, and he's asking if she felt better and it clearly seems to be a sore subject for her that she doesn't want to talk about. So she gets frustrated that he is sort of continuing to drill down to try to get information on her health status, which I know that that can be a per even in a relationship. Your own health, your diet, your exercise, the way you feel on your period I mean, those can be deeply personal things that women just don't feel like talking about sometimes.

Dan:

Yeah, yeah. And something else to think about too guys is and girls do, I mean is that other person. If they're not feeling super secure with you, know their health or their body, that's going to affect the way they interact with you physically too. They may not be comfortable being naked with you or you touching certain parts of their body because they feel a little insecure about it. Even for you, though, you might think, oh, hey, look, no problem, you know, your stomach looks, looks great to me, I don't care, it's a little soft or whatever. But for that person you have no idea what they're going through mentally and that will then shut. Don't fight it, don't you know? Don't just try to compliment your way out of it. That's never going to work, no. So again, it's just kind of be mindful, read the room, be curious, yeah.

Charles:

Yeah, yeah. Andrew Faradbee talks about that in one of his books where he he mentions two of his friends and how both of them had partners who who weren't feeling good about their bodies and they responded to it in two different ways. Where the one guy was, he tried to compliment her out of her feelings, and that is not the way to do it. Where the second one, you know, said something basically along the lines of hey, that sucks, I know what. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and not be happy with what is looking back at you and I think you look great. But I get how you're feeling and just what do you need? Right?

Dan:

So right, mr Fixit, versus supportive.

Charles:

Right, right, yeah, so, anyway. So this guy, the first guy, gets cut loose because I guess she didn't. She didn't like the way he was feeling, and then the next boyfriend asked her how she's feeling. I'm fine, you sure. I said I'm fine, relax, I was just making sure you're okay. Well, don't, it makes you sound stupid. Again, who are these women that are reacting this way? Wow, I don't think they exist. I don't think so either, and this is again a setting at a fancy restaurant, or at least a decent restaurant. Fortunately, the guy in this story has seen this kind of behavior before, so he's so this isn't a one and done.

Dan:

This isn't like an anomaly.

Charles:

Apparently, a lot of women Well, I don't know if he's seen this behavior in her or he just keeps picking women that behave this way.

Dan:

Well, it sounds like his pickers a little off.

Charles:

So he gets up from the table, gives her a smile and says you'll get the check right, and then turns around and leaves yeah, so then he's mirroring her emotions.

Charles:

She gets up and yells where are you going? And he says I've got stuff to do. And then she says are you mad at me? I didn't do anything. And he just says see you. And crosses the street and leaves and then, and then they get into a standoff about you know who's going to call or text the other one first. And finally she gives in because this guy has done exactly what you're supposed to do, according to the author. Yeah. And she apologizes and asked if he's okay.

Charles:

And again, I would. I would rather be alone than have to come up with solutions to a relationship like this. I would rather not be with her, I would rather not be him. I, yeah, I would rather. I would rather be be me and alone than deal with either of these people on a regular basis. Yeah, this is just. I don't get it Okay. So how would how? How should this be handled? Number one I. When she says I'm fine and takes a sip of her coffee, he doesn't need to say you sure. He could just say okay. She says she's fine and leave it there. That's one option. When he does say I'm sure, or he says you sure, and she says I said I'm fine, she snapped. Then he tells her to relax, which is also.

Dan:

Which is like you're being yeah is is you're wrong for, for right, right, that's. That's what that is. Just get a snap out of it.

Charles:

Right, because saying I said I'm fine in a tone is not optimal, but it's also not I don't know that it's it's worthy of telling someone that they need to relax. You know what I mean. So I would. If somebody snaps at me and says I said I'm fine, I think it's better to say okay and then just leave it there and not say relax, I was just making sure you're okay.

Dan:

Because then you're not reading the room, you're not realizing by you asking that question made it worse, exactly Like her tone and my follow up.

Charles:

Is what caused this response, right? Not that she has no responsibility, obviously, correct, I just understand. Okay, I asked her once. She replied that wasn't enough for me, so I followed up and now I'm getting this. So this is not, this is not a topic that she's comfortable discussing, right?

Dan:

So so I'm not going to keep doing what I did, because I'm going to get what I always got which is escalating and making her more upset, so take a foot off the accelerator.

Charles:

Yeah, and then it makes you sound stupid.

Dan:

I mean in a way so let's, let's, let's go with her shoes. Okay, yes, that is a bit of a harsh. However, that could just basically go again. Maybe in this scenario, the woman is saying do you, do you not see what you just did Exactly?

Charles:

Yeah, right.

Dan:

If you missed that you just like, made me more upset and now you're continuing this behavior. You are stupid because you're not seeing this, so obvious to me right, Stupid to you that you can't see this.

Charles:

That's a rude way for her to say you're not hearing me.

Dan:

Like perfectly said yeah, exactly yes.

Charles:

So the question is and this is this is a test that I would often fail, which is okay. So, if you have that realization in the moment, which is difficult, but let's say okay, she has just told me in a rude way that I'm not hearing her. Should I focus on the fact that I'm not hearing her or should I focus on the fact that she was rude to me? What am I going to make this conversation about now?

Dan:

Oh well, in the past it was that she was rude. Yes, because now? Because you're wronged.

Charles:

Now this is about yeah, this isn't about how sick or well you're feeling. This isn't about me caring about if you're feeling better. This is now about you are rude to me and I've got to get my pound of flesh. And yeah, I mean, you know, maybe stick her with the checks a better option than that but barely yeah, that's.

Dan:

And again, when I was younger, same thing. It would be about then who is right, like now she's wrong for treating me that way. Now it's about who's wrong or right. And at some point somewhere down the road I learned that you should be focused. Whenever there's an argument you should be focused on, don't worry about the details, because you're going to remember things a certain way, she's going to remember things a certain way and there's, there isn't. Unfortunately, you've got no videotape most of the time to go back to, to review, to see who's wrong or right, but it doesn't make sense. You know, focus on the solution, not. And even if, even if everything that other person said was completely inaccurate, let it go. That's not going to help you get to that solution. So if you're both are focused on creating the solution, it's a little. You know, it takes a lot of that tension off of the words that are used. Oh, I meant I said this, but I meant that, right, you know, sometimes people have different meetings for words than you do. Oh boy, yeah.

Charles:

Yeah, I can. I can remember hardly any subjects of fights that I've had with you know, I can't remember the topics of why did I have a fight with her about? You know this, that or the other. I remember how I felt, I remember how I made her feel, but I do not remember what the topics were that we got in the fights about, at least most of the time. And there's a couple, you know, big ones, that I can remember what it was about, but for the most part, what you carry with you is the way you felt while you were going through that conflict, not the, not the thing that you were arguing about Right Now.

Dan:

I have something that I, you know, one of our listeners had said we're not being vulnerable enough and sharing enough for our own back story.

Charles:

I doubt anyone will say it about this episode. Oh good, Good.

Dan:

Hey, hey, we're responding to our feedback. So I lived with a woman this was probably 20 years ago, maybe, maybe 15 years ago where communication was not either of our fortes, and so she was living with me and one day she yelled at me for leaving crumbs on the counter and was upset about other things, but that, I feel like, was the straw that broke the camera back. Sure, yeah, turns out it was her crumbs. I know it was her crumbs, because I hadn't like used the kitchen or whatever, for, you know, for a couple of days she finds these crumbs blames me for it.

Charles:

I am immediately thinking about how I would react to that situation, and so of course I'm like they're not my crumbs.

Dan:

And she's still like, basically, you know, it didn't really matter. And so I knew I was in the right and we didn't end up talking for we lived together. We didn't end up talking for like two weeks Like we would Jesus. So she, you know, she had a job out of the house. I had a job in the house, but we went to the same gym and like we'd go to the gym separately and pass each other in gym and not talk to each other.

Dan:

And I remember specifically like being on a step mill and she'd like walk by and we just kind of caught each other in each other's eyes and say anything to each other and we were like committed boyfriend and girlfriend and yeah, we'd been together for like a couple of years and it was just it was who's going to. It was an ego based thing, it was who's going to apologize. Because I felt like this whole thing she just kind of blew out of proportion and made up. And it turns out it was probably something and I don't even remember who came to who first. I think she actually may have come to me and said I don't like fighting with you and I immediately like I don't like fighting with you either, because I was just after two weeks. We were just so exhausted from ignoring each other, living in the same house, and it was just all I needed to do was just come and just be a little bit more curious. And it probably never would have gotten to that if I had come from that perspective to begin with.

Charles:

Yeah, I, yeah, man, I'm, I'm, I'm responding to a lot in that story, which is yeah, I can sit on your face, you're. The first part was, I mean the the worst, the worst parts of me react to the fact that they were her crumbs, like as, like victory, like yes, now I, now I can really get her under my thumb, now I can really put her in her place. And that is not a part of me that has served me or the people that I love in any way, but boy, it is.

Dan:

It is always there, and and how appropriate that they were crumbs right and, in this scenario, right.

Charles:

Literally these were Very poetic, right, yeah, and so that was part of it, but then no no ants, no bugs.

Dan:

By the way, it was just crumbs on the counter.

Charles:

So yeah, but that, and then the, the anxiety of of being with somebody for multiple weeks and and keeping that hostility going and we slept in the same bed too. Oh my God, I cannot imagine how shit. I don't think I would have the will to stick with it that long I would. I would break down and try to use some sort of a I mean in all honesty, probably some sort of a non vulnerable olive branch that I could try to weasel my way out of this uncomfortable situation.

Dan:

In all fairness, you know, I was a nice guy up into that point, meaning I had a whole bunch of covert contracts.

Charles:

I'm sure you did yeah.

Dan:

That didn't get fulfilled Right. I think it was a part that I never communicated about, so that's why I was holding on so tightly to these crumbs.

Charles:

I get it. Oh yeah, that is heavy man. I hope I hope I never find myself in a in a situation like that. I hope I can.

Charles:

Uh, yeah, and part of it is, you know, I mean, I think one of the strategies for avoiding being stuck in a relationship where those kinds of things happen is you got to have resources in your life, whether it's friends or your men's group or your therapist where, you know, the first day or first few hours after that standoff has started, you got to be able to unload to somebody and say, and not be ashamed and not be ready to be judged or made fun of by them, to say, man, I just had the stupidest fight with my girlfriend over some crumbs on the kitchen counter, and now I feel like both of us in a reposition where we're not going to, we're not going to budge, and this sucks. And then your friend, your therapist, your men's group can say, okay, I've been in a situation like that too and it does suck, and if you want to try something, you could try this and see if maybe you could, you know, bridge the gap. But oh God, I can't.

Dan:

You know, and I think part of the reason why I.

Charles:

Do you remember talking to anybody about it when you were going through it?

Dan:

No, yeah, I know, and unfortunately the other things that led to that standoff were never addressed. We never brought those up. It was just I'm tired of fighting with you, I don't want to fight anymore. It wasn't. Hey, we should talk about what led to this, the two week fight over the crumbs.

Charles:

As miserable as it is, is less miserable than how you think the conversation could go about the real problem.

Dan:

And part of that for me, I realize, is because I wasn't used to regularly having those types of conversations. Right, I had no idea Exactly how easy or difficult it would be, or even have the skill set, to be able to recognize and tap into my feelings and communicate those in a healthy way, because it's just not something that I practiced.

Charles:

Yeah, I mean, think about it. It is easier in however you define easier. It is easier to have a multi-week fight about crumbs than it is to have a difficult, uncomfortable conversation about why sex or money or the way you're raising your kids is not meeting your needs and it needs to change. I mean, Jesus, those are all three of those just off the top of my head are miserable things to get into. I mean they shouldn't be. If you've got a healthy relationship and you guys can do talk about things, you should be able to handle that. But if you come out of a house that I came out of, then starting those conversations and having them in a way that doesn't lead to everybody hating everybody else is pretty tough.

Dan:

And again, I think it helps if you go in with that mindset of let's find a solution to the things that I'm concerned about the money, the sex, whatever that looks like and you're focused on creating a solution together and not on who's wrong or right or who should be feeling a certain way or not feeling a certain way, or you made me feel by doing this and not taking responsibility for your own emotions or a lot of things to think about.

Charles:

Yeah, there's another quote in here after the case study, where he says expressions of frustration and anger will only pour fuel on the situation as the woman comes to realize that she now has power over you and your emotions, which again I mean, he makes it seem so Machiavellian, like there's some sort of everything's a power game with him. And, yes, she, if you react with frustration, anger, she will realize that she has power over your emotions and that will bum her out. She will feel badly about that. She will not feel like, yay, now I got him by the balls, I can make him do what I want to. It's oh no, I'm dealing with something that's difficult and now he's just revealed that he doesn't have what it takes to deal with it either. So now neither of us can be in control of the situation, and there goes my safety and security right out the window.

Dan:

Exactly exactly. It's more about okay, well, you've just lost as a partner, in terms of your value, what you're bringing to that relationship In this, moment yes, absolutely.

Dan:

Right. You basically have shown her the value she thought she was getting from you and in terms of safety and security, and that I'm able to manage your emotions as well as her emotions and make her feel better. That's not there anymore. So there's a couple of things that come up there. It's not that, oh, I'm not getting something out of the relationship. It's oh, he's a different person than I thought he was, and that then contributes to feeling anxious and insecure and not knowing who this person is. Now her safety is threatened again because you don't know what you, you're not a known object, who, what she thought isn't what you are right, correct, and so that can be scary too, and while I don't consider these situations to be a deliberate test, where a woman is trying to test you for fitness, it can turn into a test if you fail it.

Charles:

So I mean the idea is, I mean women do not share their deep and troubling emotions with men that they know won't be able to handle them.

Charles:

They avoid.

Charles:

If you're in a woman's life and whether it's because she friendzoned you, because you're attracted to her but she doesn't see you that way, or whatever, she is not going to share the difficult emotions with you that she is not certain you would be able to handle.

Charles:

So when you're in a romantic relationship with a woman and she comes to you again whether it's something you did, something she experienced with her family, work, whatever, and she's upset and she brings that to you, her expectation is that you will be able to handle it. And then, when you don't handle it, when you react to her state with frustration or anger or something that's not helpful, or I mean yeah, I mean frankly, I think weakness is a good word to use in this case Emotional weakness where you let it rattle you, you let it put you in a bad mood, you let it affect your ability to relate to her, then her attraction to you and her sense of safety and security is going to take a hit, and there are only so many of those hits that can be taken before she comes to the realization of, okay, this relationship is not what I thought it was.

Dan:

Yeah, and the first step is you've to learn how to handle your own emotions first oh, absolutely Before you can start taking on the burden of somebody else's. So, guys, when they say I think that's one of the best pieces of advice where people say, hey, like if you just coming out of a serious relationship and you broke up with that person, take time to work on yourself, I think a lot of that probably comes down to also learn you know, learn who you are again, but the same point by yourself, but the same point get good at managing your emotions and your life on your own before you then get involved with somebody else, Because then you really can't. If you weren't healed and you aren't able to handle your own stuff, how are you supposed to add value to somebody else unless you're not, unless you're gonna take Right, and that's not fair, and I'm a Libra.

Charles:

Sure are All right. So let's stop there for today. I think we've covered both his positions and our responses to them in pretty good detail. The next chapter is women always test, and he goes through and mentions a few different kinds of tests and how men pass those tests, and I suspect I will have some issue with what he believes is not a test, what motivates those tests, how to pass those tests. I suspect I will disagree with much of what he is going to present and I look forward to it.

Dan:

Why are you gonna start disagreeing now? I mean, you've been so supportive up at this point.

Charles:

I like to get my disagreements in early. I'm a disagreeable person, Dan. So, yeah, I will say that testing is required by every person in a personal relationship who is planning on investing in the other person. There will be testing because it is too expensive to invest in the wrong person and it's way more expensive for women than it is for men, because if you get pregnant by the wrong guy who doesn't have what it takes to protect you and the kid and provide the resources that you need, that is a life-ruiner where, as we've said before, with guys, if you get the wrong woman pregnant, it's not so easy now as it was 100 years ago, but if you get the wrong woman pregnant, you just leave town and go start a family somewhere else.

Charles:

And that has been the way and for most of human history, that men would deal with. If they decided that I got the wrong woman pregnant, I'll just go, I'll just book it and leave town. And again, that's the naturalistic fallacy says that, oh, just because something's natural, that means that it's okay. That's not okay, but it's also naive to not look at. That's the way that people behaved for most of our time together, and so we have some of those tendencies built into us if we don't get them under control.

Dan:

Yeah, and then we would certainly go down to rabbit hole history. I don't wanna go too long, but in terms of unconditional love, a lot of times that we just assume that the partner that we end up marrying, that means you're gonna be loved unconditionally no matter what you do, and you don't need to necessarily quote, unquote, prove yourself so anymore. And a lot of times that comes from we're loved unconditionally, sometimes from our parents and then In most cases yeah.

Dan:

Yeah, and then we just assume, well, once we have a partner, that's gonna be the same thing, and that's not accurate. And I think I've made that mistake where I've like, oh, you're my girlfriend, oh, you love her. The one the job, yeah Right, I don't need to prove myself anymore, I don't need to work as hard anymore, and that's probably why most of my relationships haven't worked out.

Charles:

Right, but when you yeah, when you love yourself and you love someone else who you spent all that time with then in a healthy person, I would argue that that spurs additional growth that motivates you to constantly be improving yourself. And when it's not working that way, it's because there's some piece of the puzzle that's not what it's supposed to be. Yeah, All right, good talk, Dan. I will enjoy getting into the chapter on testing with you next time, and we will continue to cut open our sternums and put in the rib spreader and let people see what's underneath.

Dan:

All right, I'm all about. It sounds good. All right, talk to you later. All right, have a good one. Thank you.

Circadian Rhythms and Fasting Windows
Mind-Body Connection for Back Pain
Upper Back Pain and Lifestyle Changes
Gender Dynamics & Emotional Communication in Relationships
Communication and Anxiety in Relationships
Communicating and Supporting in Relationships
Contrasting Approaches to Understanding Women's Emotions
Navigating Relationship Communication Challenges
Focus on Solutions in Arguments
Managing Emotions in Relationships
Chapter on Testing Discussion