Episode 124 – Surviving a Major Depressive Episode – Jennifer Gerlach

In this episode I speak with Therapist Jennifer Gerlach about getting through a Major Depressive Episode.  We talk about the tools and steps necessary to get through the tough times that come with Divorce.


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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Joining me today is Jennifer Gerlach. Jennifer, once told us a little bit about yourself.

Jennifer 0:26
Sure. So my name is Jennifer, I'm a psychotherapist in St. Louis, wrote a book called The recovery and, or the cycle, the Kosis, and mental health recovery workbook, and enjoy helping people.

Michael 0:40
Nice. So I found you, as I do with most of my guests on psychology today.com. And in that, on there, I found an article or a blog that you wrote about major surviving, I think it was called major depressive episode. Yeah, so I always like to define things. So let's start with that, what is a major depressive episode?

Jennifer 1:04
Sir. So you can think of three types of depression, you know, over here, we have regular sadness, which we all go through here. And there, you moving forward a little bit, we have heartbreak, you know, something happens that really messes with you like a situational depression. And that's pretty, that can be pretty bad. And then on the far side, we have a major depressive disorder, where it's the most severe type of depression, a clinical type of depression. And with that, usually will find that we're not enjoying things as much as we used to. And it might be hard to take care of yourself, it might be more difficult to sleep more difficult to eat. And it really impacts every aspect of your life at that point.

Michael 1:44
And is, so a depressive episode, is that, could that be experienced and all? Like it like all of those, each one of those three? Or is that only in a major depressive disorder? Or? Yeah,

Jennifer 1:57
usually a major depressive disorder, you know, with a situational depressive, or heartbreak? Sure, that can be episodic, but the major depression, we're really looking at a clinical level of depression.

Michael 2:09
And is there anything I know, you sort of mentioned it, you know, where you're, you can't, you know, sort of, get I'm paraphrasing here, but you can't really get excited about anything, you know? Is there a were a sadness and or a situational depressive can turn into? And if so, what's the what are you looking for, as a clinician to diagnose someone with with something that's a major depressive episode? Yeah,

Jennifer 2:37
so a situational depression can certainly have a lot of those features. With a major depression we're looking at once the situation changes, you're still feeling down, or the depression is getting to a point where it's affecting your quality of life, and it's affecting your ability to handle the situation that's causing you to feel so down. With a major depression disorder. Typically, there's some genetic component, not always, but it's a little more severe and a little bit more long lasting than a situational depression.

Michael 3:09
You say long lasting, so we're looking at like, if it's two weeks, two months, two years, like what's the sort of guideline?

Jennifer 3:15
Yeah, the tricky thing about a major depressive episode is it can be anywhere from two weeks to several years, you know, the two weeks is the minimum for the diagnosis. But some, you know, folks will have it for a few months, some folks will have it for a few years. Some folks will have it almost for a lifetime. But even if you have a consistent major depressive episode, you can still recover, you can still have a good quality of life, it just can take a lot.

Michael 3:41
Yeah, well, and that's what we're gonna dive into sort of the steps that you can take when you're when you are having this, you know, a major depressive episode. And you cover I think it's nine of them. And so let's dive into those. What so step one is, and I've scribbled this stuff, and probably paraphrase, so if it's not exact, please correct me. Number, the first point was know that it will not always be this way. I mean, that's when you're in the thick of it. That's really hard to sort of wrap your head around, but that is true, right? You can there is there is another side of this. Shitty I'll call it tunnel, right?

Jennifer 4:19
Yeah, absolutely. So when you're in the thick of a major depressive episode eight can feel like you're gonna feel like this forever. And that's one of the tricks depression uses because when it feels like you're gonna feel like this forever can feel very hopeless. But that lowest point that's as low as you can get once you get to that lowest point it's only up from there and so keeping in mind that this is not have to be how it will be forever. That can help you get through.

Michael 4:45
Yeah, that's it. Like I said, it is tough when you're in the thick of it, but it is true. So I'm hopeful that you know, the reason I wanted to do this episode is because for me for many reasons, maybe some selfish wants to but if someone is listening to this podcast, and maybe they're not Have a good day, a good week, a good month good year, but but suddenly things take a turn for the worse. Or if they're starting out, they can come to this episode and listen to this and get these things and tools and steps to help them get through this. And obviously, you know, the first one is to know that, it's, it's gonna be okay, it's not going to be like this forever. So that's an excellent point. So the second one is one that I sort of champion all the time. And that is asked for help. And I want to get a little bit specific. But let's, let's just cover that ask for help. What does that mean? Yeah,

Jennifer 5:34
so there's two types of help type of help you get from your support system, your friends, maybe a pastor or an old mentor. And that's extremely important. The second type is sometimes we need clinical help, sometimes we need to talk with a therapist or a doctor, if it gets to a certain level or, you know, say we've had major depressive episodes in the past and something has helped, you know, there's no shame in reaching out for that.

Michael 5:57
Yeah. And some of that help, I think, is I think it's important to find a professional for sure. I think support groups, like the one I run on Facebook is important to, you know, people that are in it with you, you know, the group I run is for divorced men. So there is strength in numbers in a way there is some comfort in not feeling alone. But one of the also important aspects, as you said, is clinical help. And we're talking about talking about that a little bit. And it sort of bleeds into this next point, which is keep asking, I think it's really important that and you kind of mentioned this in the blog about finding the right therapist, it's just because someone is a therapist doesn't mean that the right therapist, right?

Jennifer 6:43
Absolutely, absolutely. So sometimes we try to check in with somebody, you know, therapists be really nice person, and you might have a really great conversation with them. But if you don't feel a strong connection, or if they don't have the tools to help you with a particular issue, they might not be the right fit. And I think that most of us therapists are well aware of that. And so when somebody's like, hey, like, I don't know, if this is working out, we don't take a pencil that will help you find someone that you do click to with, because ultimately, we want you to get better. We want you guys to thrive.

Michael 7:13
Yeah. And so that's something you've had to deal with, then you've had someone come to you, or maybe you have you ever pointed it out and say, you know, I'm not sure I'm the right fit.

Jennifer 7:21
Yeah, absolutely both. But I do and a lot of therapists actually offer this, as I'll do a consultation, of course, your client, and that first consultation will tell us a lot about whether we're a good fit, but sometimes we don't realize right away, and if it's not a good fit after a month, you know, hey, that's cool, we'll help you find someone else, you know, and hopefully, it's not time lost. Usually someone will gain something from that time. But, you know, I think that we all have the capacity to relate different people to different levels. And fortunately, there's a variety of different therapy approaches and, you know, therapists personalities that people relate to,

Michael 7:55
is that something that's taught in therapy school or college or whatever, when you're going to be a therapist? Like, is that something? I would think that keeping your own mental health in check has got to be an important I mean, it's important part of life, it's got to be a huge part of being a therapist, is that something that's covered? When you when you went to school? Oh,

Jennifer 8:13
absolutely, absolutely. So our professors talk to us a lot about self care, I talk to us a lot about you can only take people where you've been. So a lot of therapists, they might not tell you their whole story. And, you know, that's because it's about you, they're not going to dive into their own divorce or their own depression or whatever. But most therapists have done a lot of healing on their own. And most therapists are also seeing a therapist themselves, or they're doing some other work on themselves are doing journaling, they're exercising, they're taking time to reflect and meditate and to build themselves so that they can be the best for the people. They help. Me

Michael 8:48
sorry, again, like I said, before we jumped on rabbit holes appear, because the attention span of a rabid dog. So the other, you know, mean, like I said, it's keep asking, right, so sometimes, especially when you're depressed, you can you can go to a therapist, and you don't feel like it's the one or it doesn't work out or whatever. And then you can get depressed and not and be like, Oh, it's you know, it's nothing, nobody out there assists in, you just gotta keep that mentality of, you know, I'm going to find the right one, right. And it's not always easy to have that mindset. But it's really important, I think, in life in general, if there's something you really want sometimes, I think as Randy Pausch said, you know, brick walls occur, and, you know, you got to find a way around and we're through them. And I think therapy is just like dating. You can't settle you know, you gotta get one.

Jennifer 9:40
Yeah, you know, I could think of five different excellent therapists in the area, and it might be five very different sessions that they offer. So it's very individualized type thing. You know, five very different approaches five very different personalities, you know, the offices are going to look different and those little things might make a difference. You know, sometimes it might be that the therapist has a dog in the office or If you guys can relate over something small, or it might be the therapy approach, you know, the type of therapy that therapies using, yeah,

Michael 10:05
we're gonna get into some of that a little bit because you mentioned some, I don't want to dive down that rabbit hole yet, but I'm curious all the different modalities and like, you know, that stuff fascinates me. But the next point was seek meaning. Let's really get what what do you mean by that? I mean, I know I know what you mean, but but let's expound on that. What is what does that mean? What is seek meaning me? Yeah.

Jennifer 10:25
So it's very difficult to deal with suffering, when it feels like it's pointless. Seeking meaning can be finding meaning in your suffering, or finding meaning in the small things that might mean just going outside and looking at a multicolor leaf. And, you know, taking in the beauty of that, or having a conversation with somebody you're close to and enjoying that. I know, when we're feeling depressed, a lot of times, things don't feel meaningful, and we tend to withdraw, and to get through the process. So we want to try to do the exact opposite of that. So even if it doesn't feel like it would be meaningful, doing it anyway, try it anyway, saying that this matters to me, so I'm gonna do it.

Michael 11:02
Yeah, I, that's that's a tough one, I think, especially when you're going through a divorce. And if you lose, oh, obviously, you'll lose some, sometimes their children no matter what. But I think I think it's important to look at what meant something to you before the divorce. And I know, obviously, people will say, Well, you know, that my marriage? Well, that, you know, you can't look at that, because that's, that's no longer there. But perhaps it's, you know, the, you know, the connection you had, and you want to find that again, right? You know, there was meaning in that connection. And I do believe that. You know, I don't, I'm not really, I don't have the belief that there's one for one person for everyone. I just think that's nonsense. You know, I think I think people are compatible in different ways. But I think that you can have a connection with with another person, the same that you had with with your ex wife, I really do believe that I and I know it takes time and effort and energy and all that kind of good stuff. But I think you can even because if you go through this process, and you really examine yourself and what went wrong and what you did wrong, and the compatibility issues, maybe that were there, you can then find someone who just kind of fits you better. And and especially if you know yourself better than you, you kind of know what you're looking for, or what would work with you. But I think that it can be important to try and find the meaning. That isn't too far from the meanings that were before. So if it was your kids, and you've seen them half the time, you could focus on the fact that oh, you know, I only see him half the time or whatever it is. Or you could focus on I'm going to enhance and hone in on that relationship as best so I can have to find the meaning there. But it can be really, really difficult to find hope, right? I think that's meaning is sort of similar in a way, right? But find that hope when you're going through something like this, but it is important. For sure. The next point is look for little good things. And Dr. MC McDonald, I don't know if you're familiar with her, she wrote a book called unbroken. She talks about tiny little joys and I think this is kind of what you're talking about. It's these, these small things. And again, you mentioned earlier like the color of a leaf, it's it is hard to find these things, but they are there it is important to try and find the littlest things when everything seems in general and your life seems terrible. It is possible to find these little things can you kind of talk about like what you sort of what how you approach that or what kind of framework or like thought process you use for those for that sort of practice? Yeah.

Jennifer 13:39
So this is literally the very smallest of things that can be standing under porch during a storm and just feeling what that storm is, like, if you enjoy storms. If you don't, that might not be for you. It might be taking a drink of coffee and just enjoying that, you know, just saying, Hey, I'm having this coffee right now. And that's all I need to focus on right now. It could be bigger things too. But we want to start with the small things because when we're feeling depressed a lot of times that capacity to enjoy things gets a little muted and it's almost like practicing and building that habit back up and saying hey, I can still I can still enjoy things even for five seconds drinking his coffee or even for you know, 10 minutes of watching the storm. I can still be here and enjoy life.

Michael 14:25
Yeah, it's it's really tough. But but it is it is possible and I think it certainly is necessary. When everything seems bleak. You really it is about I say this all the time. It's about intention. Like I don't want to be like this. I think some of us sometimes I see this a lot guys sort of get mired in this muck and depression and here's here's a bit of a rabbit hole. How much of getting out of depression is intent and effort. Like isn't that isn't that A huge poll. I mean, I think that's anything like, right if, if you want to stay depressed, if you want to stay feeling like a victim in some in some ways, you're you're, then you're gonna stay there. Right? You have to make the intent you have to and I know that's hard but like it is it is not going to change otherwise. Right?

Jennifer 15:18
Yeah, I think that having that intent and will to come through depression is absolutely essential that hope is essential. It's not always enough. But it's important to take the first step. And sometimes that does mean getting extra help, it does mean reaching out to a therapist or a doctor or, you know, reaching out to your support network again, or, you know, switching up your circumstances. And it might not be just you, but it has to be you initiating those steps. So that has to be you having the hope and will to say, hey, I want to get better. And I'm going to do everything I can to get better. And it might be really difficult right now to do those things. But I believe that it will pay off.

Michael 15:56
Well, and we talked about hope. And at the other point, you talked about look for success stories, I think this is this is if there if I had to boil it down to one reason why I started this podcast is that is to give hope to give success stories, and it's littered throughout these 123 or four episodes like it's there you can see it. I think that's if there's, if there's if I had to boil it down to one, one of these points, I think is maybe the most important is really is that one? Because if you can, my theory is if you can see that someone else did it even one one person one time, then then that means it can be done because we're all human right? When there's no one. Certain people have certain skills and whatnot. And I'm not talking about running a marathon here, I'm talking about getting out of depression, surviving a divorce. It is. It is possible, right? I mean,

Jennifer 16:50
absolutely. And I think that it can be helpful, you know, we have so much at our fingertips these days with the internet, both for good and bad. But you know, I think it can be helpful sometimes to hear stories from other people who gotten through depression, it can also be helpful to think about a close in your life, who maybe have overcome things themselves, most people have been through something. And considering what helps them get through that, you know, considering that, it probably wasn't an easy time for them at first, but they did get through it and taking a little bit of their hope and using that to light up your world. That can mean a lot.

Michael 17:24
Yeah, I think it's so so very important. Another another important part. Another thing that I'd like to stress is your next point, which is refuse to isolate. That's, that's a tough one for men, especially for men. How important is that in sort of a depressive recovery process? How important is it to get around other folks?

Jennifer 17:48
It's extremely important. Depression thrives on isolation. In fact, a lot of mental health disorders, even like schizophrenia, with isolation, loneliness will deteriorate. But depression is especially sensitive to that. So you're right. Like, it makes sense after divorce, or when you're feeling depressed, and especially you're dealing with both, you might not want to be around people at all, you might think I'm not going to be good company. Now, they're not going to be around me anyway. You know, I'm not going to enjoy myself, why would I be around anybody. And it can be very tempting to isolate. And it's so important not to, because if you do isolate, the depression just gets worse. And those thoughts just kind of tend to confirm themselves. And you can feel more like, Oh, I'm bad company, I shouldn't be around people. And it's just a spiral downward. But sometimes on isolating yourself is difficult. Sometimes it's just going to a coffee shop and being around people and not engaging with people at first, or it's just having a five minute conversation with somebody on the phone or, you know, maybe even like an Internet support group, you know, things like that, you know, doesn't have to be, you know, a three hour day with your friend at the amusement park or something like that, you know? Yeah,

Michael 18:57
I think again, it's it's one of those things that yes, it can be difficult, especially for men. But if you want to survive this, I shouldn't say that if you want to recover, maybe it's the right word or move past I'm not sure. Then you got to do some of these things and, and not isolating is one of the one of the bigger ones. The last one, I think it ties into a lot of these is remember your, your reasons for life. And so I think this kind of ties into, you know, searching for meaning and those kinds of things. And I think, you know, if even if, you know, I know, there's a particular gentleman, he's popping in my head, he went through a divorce, and then he lost his mother not too long ago. And I think about, you know, and he was very close with her took care of her at the end of her life. And I think, think about this gentleman and I think about how maybe he could see it as his reason for living has gone right. His marriage has gone I'm not sure about his I don't think he had children. I could be wrong on that. But then his mom passed away. He was very close with I think He could look at that and be like, I don't have a reason to live. But I think I was thinking about this because I lost my father when I was 22. So I know the pain of that. And I was very close to my father, he was my biggest supporter, I wouldn't be in life where I am, it wasn't for him. So I think about not the fact that he's gone. And that does suck. A lot. Sometimes, you know, especially when you're going through something and your biggest supporters and they're but then I think about what would he want me to do what he wants me to give up? But he want me to, to cash it in? I don't think so. And so I think, again, he taught me we talked about looking for researching, searching for meaning searching for the reasons searching for tiny little joys, or, you know, the little things and, and I think if you search hard enough, regardless of the situation, you can find something.

Jennifer 20:45
Yeah, absolutely similar reasons for living change. You know, if your kids aren't in your life, now, they might still very well care if you're going to be on this planet in five years, you know, when that when they may want to be in your life, when they have that opportunity to do it. Sometimes we find meaning and hoping that in time we will find a meaning. So it might not be like, Okay, today feels meaningless. But tomorrow might not. And I'm willing to take steps to move towards something that I want to rebuild the life that I want. Sometimes we take meaning and you know, like you were describing, you know, people who have been close to us who've given us messages, and we carry that on. There's a rainbow of different meanings people can find. And you know, if you lose one, it hurts deeply. It's incredibly difficult. I never want to underestimate that. And there can still be other meanings and hopes for the future.

Michael 21:34
Yeah, I don't. I think there's a danger with like self help and positive psychology and stuff where it sort of minimizes the hurt in the pain. And I never tried to do that. Yeah, and I don't want to sound flippant, and like, Oh, you just got to set the intention. I know how fucking hard it is. It's really, really hard. But what what are your alternatives? Right? stay where you're at? I don't have any interest in that. I don't I don't, I just don't, I don't want to be miserable and lonely and scared and hurt and angry and all the negative things the rest of my life, I just don't, because not only you know, when we're talking in the context of divorce, and not only does it mean that, you know, she did what she did, and not that I didn't have fallen. And clearly I did. But she also then continues to screw up my life in a way, right? Because I let it I let her and her words and her actions and her lifestyle dictate mine. And I just don't have any interest in that it's. And so I understand it's not none of this. None of this is easy. As I say all the time. I don't do episodes on brushing your teeth. That's a pretty simple thing, right? We got that one covered on how to brush my teeth. This is hard stuff, but it's not impossible. So we talked earlier about about therapy and the importance of it finding a good one. One of the things you mentioned in your blog post was acceptance, Commitment Therapy. I don't know what that is. But it sounds cool. What is that?

Jennifer 22:55
Yeah, so acceptance commitment therapy is a more modern type of CBT. It involves really clarifying what is meaningful to you. And moving toward the other parts of acceptance commitment therapy are, you know, considering how you define yourself, and the person behind your eyes, a lot of times we have these labels we attach to ourselves. But those labels aren't us, we're the human behind our eyes. And that's a difficult thing to wrap your mind around. But it'd be really helpful when we have some of those labels change. Part of it is also changing your relationship to thoughts. So when we're feeling down, a lot of times negative thoughts are pretty automatic. And it's kind of difficult to just positive, think yourself out of something, or make the negative thoughts go away. But how you react to the negative thoughts? So do you act on them? Or are you able to say, hey, here's an old story that's coming up, my friends don't want to be around me. I've told myself this story over and over for years, and I'm gonna notice it comes up and I'm not going to act on it, because it's not gonna help me out anyway. It's not gonna move me toward the life I want.

Michael 23:58
That sounds pretty awesome. I've never heard of it, as it's fairly new. It's

Jennifer 24:02
been around for a few decades. But more recently, more people are getting trained in it. And I would say in most areas, there should be some therapists who are trained in acceptance, Commitment Therapy, it's pretty, pretty common, but it's not as common as like cognitive behavioral therapy or a person centered therapy.

Michael 24:21
Yeah, so it's, would you say it's sort of adjacent to just regular psychotherapy? It's very similar.

Jennifer 24:28
Yeah, yeah. It's a type of psychotherapy. So you can think about psychotherapy as this big umbrella. We usually just call it therapy. But really, there's many different types and many different ways of going about it and accepting them in therapy is one particular variety

Michael 24:41
of what have you What do you typically if you don't mind, what do you typically practice? And have you dealt with a divorced client and what did how did you help them? Sure.

Jennifer 24:51
So I do a whole bunch of types of therapies. I like acceptance commitment, therapy, compassion, focus therapy. I do a little A bit of a type of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization reprocessing, which involves rapid eye movements to help us process traumatic events, kind of mimicking REM sleep is really cool. Yeah.

Michael 25:11
But if I understand that correctly, it takes your traumatic memory and brings it to the present. So you can sort of address it and deal with it. Is that Is that how it works?

Jennifer 25:21
Exactly, exactly. Bring it to the present, and then helping you work through the areas that you've gotten stuck. So that it's still there, but you've processed that you can move forward. And maybe that event had changed how you saw yourself, and now you see yourself in a more healthy way again, or how you see the world in a more healthy way. Again,

Michael 25:39
yes, about, again, Dr. McDonald talks about this about sort of taking these things and putting them in the correct files, a lot of times traumatic stuff, especially you don't know where to file that, because dramatic is not the happy folder file. It's not the, I don't know, accident or whatever, it's, you don't really understand it. So I ordinarily know where to put it, your brain doesn't know where to put it. So I think this stuff sort of allows you to process it. So you can put it somewhere so you don't have to continuously let it bounce around your brain. Is that sort of a good layman's term of, of how to deal with sort of trauma?

Jennifer 26:12
That's excellent that that's perfect description of EMDR. And sorting through trauma. It's, it's complex, and we can also simplify it.

Michael 26:21
Yeah. So then So have you ever you had a divorce patient that someone came to you because they're going through a divorce? Oh,

Jennifer 26:29
absolutely. Yeah. Oh, it's so common these days. And and sometimes it's the parents, sometimes it's the kids. Sometimes it's a whole family. And, you know, I can tell it's an incredibly painful thing for everybody involved. Typically, every story is a little different.

Michael 26:49
Yeah. Yeah. Is there? Well, I mean, I guess because every story is a little bit different there is there. Like if someone comes in just an individual? And they're going through situational depression, because of divorce? Is there a? I guess, it probably depends on the person, but is there like a go to modality that like, I'm going to do this one with this person? Or because of this? Or is it? Do you determine that based on your consultation, all that kind of stuff?

Jennifer 27:15
Yeah, honestly, depends on the person in front of me and where they are. But regardless, I think the first part is just listening to them and giving them a space to tell their story. Because with the divorce, there's usually many, many events. It's not just one event, you know, it's not like somebody just got robbed in a parking lot. You know, there was everything in the marriage that led up to the divorce, you know, that sometimes there's the aspect of introducing the divorce. So maybe they were served papers, or, you know, certain protective order or you know, something significant, then there's the court system that sometimes there's a custody battle, and it can be a lot, it can be a lot. And I think just having a space to tell that story and be heard, is the first step in psychotherapy. And then we can go from there, if they need EMDR, we can do that. They need acceptance, commitment therapy, we can do that. But, you know, first and foremost, it's a human in front of you, you know, and you just want to hear them out.

Michael 28:08
Yeah, I just, I'm just thinking about, you know, how difficult sometimes it must be to to, because I see I have a, like I said, At Facebook group is 7000 men, I see the pain and the suffering. And it's, I know, it's very difficult is that, again, this is sort of a little bit of a rabbit hole a little bit personal. But is that is that how difficult is that as a therapist at times to like, deal with other people's issues? Like it must be? It must wait sometimes. Yeah,

Jennifer 28:37
you know, we are humans, and I care about people, you know, so when I see somebody and they're hurting, it affects me, you know, especially when I see teenagers or kids hurting, you know, I, I love kids, you know, and what I found is, you know, I have my own rituals, you know, somebody leaves, you know, a lot of times I'll think to myself, you know, may they be happy, may they be healthy, may they be peaceful, may they be safe. And that's one way of sort of letting go. But I think every therapist finds their own strategies of, you know, coping, some therapists, swim, some therapists, you know, rage in the vehicle with the heavy metal music off, you know, everybody's got their own thing. And I think that's very much encouraged. I know a lot of therapists love art will do their own either visual art or musical art, but we all have ways of coping because we are, you know, we're compassionate people typically. And, you know, we care about you guys. We do think about you guys between sessions. We might not call you up and be like, Hey, dude, how's it going? You know, that inappropriate? We think about you guys and you know, we have our different ways of dealing.

Michael 29:43
Does it ever feel limiting because you can't do things like that, like, Hey, how are you just checking in?

Jennifer 29:50
You know, I found that within reason. I can typically melt things so I can do what I need to do as long as I'm within My code of ethics, so say there is somebody I'm meeting with. And it's not a point where I'm going to try to get them in a hospital or something. But I know they're going through a really hard time. Maybe I know that say, Wednesday is a significant day for them. They're not going to come in for a session on Wednesday, but we say significant day for them, you know, to say, Hey, can I call you at like, 8pm? Yeah, for my clients, you know, after you're finished with your day, can we check in for like, 15 minutes? And if they say, yes, that's perfectly fine. You know, and we do that. But yeah, I think that there are certain limitations, the therapists role I, I couldn't usually invite, you know, I couldn't obviously invite a client to dinner or, you know, things of that nature. But, you know, at the same time, I think that that's good. Because if my therapist invited me to dinner, I don't know how comfortable I'd be talking to them as, as a therapist anymore. They'd be a friend, you know, so we do have to have some boundaries.

Michael 30:45
Is there is there again, this is definitely rabbit holes, but I love this stuff. Because I feel like I missed my calling in life. But is there ever a time I'm sure there is where you're like, if you know, where you want to be, like, just do this, like just leave this person or whatever, like, quit that job. But you but you can't, right? I mean, isn't there isn't that? I guess it's sort of a two parter. Like, have you ever had that? And then you can't really do that. Right?

Jennifer 31:09
Well, is she complicated? So with the types of therapies I do, I'm much more concerned with my clients values and what they want to move toward, than what I think is a good idea. So yeah, that was that must be so tricky. Yeah. In 90% of the cases, you know, I'll just reflect it back of, you know, hey, what kind of life do you want to live? You know, is this pulling you toward that? You know, I might use trickier questions like, you know, when you turn 100, and you have a birthday party, and it's going to be somebody that's really close to you, who you've lived your life, to that point exactly as you want to live, and they say something about you, what would they say about you? And is this moving you towards that like things of that nature, but very rarely do we get to give instructions, I will sometimes ask for permission to give advice. And I'll say, Hey, I have an idea here. And I don't know, if you want to hear my idea or not, it may be offensive to you. And if it is I'll apologize. But would you like to hear what I have to say? And then that way, if the person says yes, there's sometimes I will give a little advice here or there. But I'm very reticent to do that. Because ultimately, I don't know all things. And I don't know their situation, to the degree that they know it, or their life goals or their values. And so I might think, oh, gosh, I would not want to work that job, I would leave that job, that boss is just taking advantage of you. I might think that in my head. But I always know that. At the end of the day, my knowledge is just based on what they tell me and it's limited. And there might be a very good reason that they're standing up their job that I can't wrap my mind around yet.

Michael 32:41
Is that is it, a part of it? Getting them to think what you think, like, but leading them to it? In a way it sounds? It sounds manipulative, but it's not what I mean, you know what I'm saying? Like, isn't it like, you can see something that's very obvious. And you just want to get them to see that too. And then you sort of, but you can't just say it right? So you have to lead them, right?

Jennifer 33:03
I think in most cases, we're still looking at what the client values, but there are times where I might think, hey, like your friends want you around, you know, your depression telling you they don't, but they do. And in those cases, I might ask, you know, certain open ended questions that could lead to a Guided Discovery if your friends want you around. There are exceptions, you know, say I'm talking to a teenager, and they're wanting to run away from home, or, you know, they're wanting to steal somebody's vehicle or something like that. In those cases. Yes. You know, in those cases, yes, we're gonna be talking about the consequences of that assumption, and, you know, the risk reduction, but most often, it's more questions, it's more Guided Discovery, considering what's valuable to the client, which may be different than what's valuable to me. And it may be different than the conclusion I would have come to if I was in their shoes.

Michael 33:51
So I'm gonna ask you two more questions. One is, again, provide a little hope here. Have you had a let's, let's stick with, you know, the demographic Have you had a male client going through a divorce that you were able to see come to the other side and be okay.

Jennifer 34:09
Yes, I've had several, you know, because of my allegiance to their confidentiality, I can't Yeah, of course, tell their story. But I have seen people who have been at rock bottom and seeing them come back up. You know, it happens every day. You know, it's a challenging thing. And I think every single one of them would have said, Hey, I don't know if I'm gonna get out of this. And they do. They do.

Michael 34:34
The last question I asked everyone is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just beginning his divorce journey?

Jennifer 34:40
Yeah, so if you're dealing with depression along with this, that makes sense, because this is a heartbreaking type of thing. I don't know exactly the circumstances that led to divorce. You might be feeling all kinds of things I don't know. But whatever you're feeling, it makes sense given your circumstances. And you will get through this you can get through this you know, there are supports out there including Professional supports if you need.

Michael 35:02
Well, thank you so much for doing this, especially on a Sunday morning. I really appreciate it. Yeah, how can people find you to get in touch? If they're in your area? Are you taking clients? What's the best way to sort of have to reach out and get older? Yeah,

Jennifer 35:17
so best way to reach out to me is that true story counseling.com. And I'm on the Illinois side of the St. Louis area, and I am taking new clients. So if someone's interested, feel free to reach out.

Michael 35:30
Awesome. Well, thank you again, so much for doing this. I really, really appreciate it. Gladly. Take care. Thanks. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019, I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it in my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

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Episode 123 – I F*cked Up, Again – Solo

In this episode I provide a small update and I cover how to handle fuck-ups when they inevitably occur.

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Michael 0:05
what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into

Michael 0:19

Michael 0:21
Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 123. This is going to be a solo episode and I'm going to cover a few different things, but the main topic is going to be fucking up. More specifically what to do when you do fuck up. Before I get to that, I want to cover a few things. I've been trying to I think you may notice I'm not sure that have been trying to put these things out every Tuesday. That didn't work out this week, I was in a little bit of a funk. And I'll kind of talked about that a little bit. So

Michael 0:55
I was seeing someone for a little bit.

Michael 0:58
Three weeks ish. It was going pretty well. And but I did see some red flags

Michael 1:09
that I was very conscious and aware of. But I guess I maybe hoped that there would be a way to sort of, you know, resolve them or certainly handle them address them. Again, you know, back to some of my earlier episodes lately, in some of my struggles is been, you know, sort of having difficult conversations. And the win here is that I had a difficult conversation, I spoke my mind about a particular red flag. And it didn't go well, this particular person, and they ultimately ended it, but I think the catalyst was me addressing this particular red flag, I'm not going to go into too much specifics. I think that's probably enough. But it did it did suck it. But I gotta say, Man, the work fucking really does pay off because, yes, it sucked. It wasn't a pleasant experience. But a bounce back much, much quicker. Obviously, only three weeks isn't into there wasn't a lot of time to get attached. I mean, we I genuinely liked her physically, she was very attractive. But it wasn't, you know, a long term, obviously relationship. So there's, there's, that's probably part of it. But the other part of it is just the being mindful of where I was at and taking steps to move on and move forward. But the you know, not only is it the victory, is there a victory there? You know, clearly being able to bounce back, when you're rejected is a victory period. I don't give a fuck what it was. That's a victory. But the real victory, I think is in speaking my mind, and not ignoring red flags. And not only is that there's there the payoff and doing the work in those two things, right, being able to not only talk about a red flag, but identify it. And also then when something ends to be what again, not long term, so it's perhaps not apples to apples in terms of how difficult it can be to move on clearly, especially in a very long term relationship, but but just the ability to move on period and to see it differently, to see it not as a rejection, although it did initially, but to see it as an opportunity for growth, and I'm going to get to the meat of this fucking up is a huge opportunity for growth. So you know, it's not just those two things, that that's that's those are victories. Those are good things. But it's, it's the it's the self worth you gain from doing the work to be able to point out or talk about or address a red flag and not just sweep it under the rug, because she was very attractive and the sex was that if you do the work you won't be so desperate to be with somebody was it great to have someone to text every morning and every night? Yeah, it was pretty fucking cool. Was it awesome to have someone to have sex with that was super attractive? Yes, it was pretty fucking awesome. But did did it? Was it everything that it could be? No, not no. And therefore when it ends, I can go well, a wasn't perfect and it wasn't everything that I had hoped it would be and more importantly You know, be I'm, I'm, I'm going to be okay. And I'm worthy of getting something that I want. Now there is a danger I think for myself for sure of being too picky. But I don't think that was the case here. I don't think it was it is me being protecting myself by being super super picky? I don't think so. I think it was a legitimate red flag. And if you're in the discord server, you know what the fuck I'm talking about. If you really, if you're listening to this, and you're not in the discord server, if you're if you're trying to work on yourself to be a better man to $5 a month, I don't really think is a lot to ask. And there's some some changes are going to come up in the future. And we've been kicking around some things me and some of the other fellows in that group, about about some changes to the discord server, but it's God sakes, it's worth $5 a month. Anyway, I'm getting off track but so but but it did throw me in a bit of a funk for a couple of days. And so that's why this was delayed. But but I'm good now. It I was basically we I pointed out my my red flag that I brought up my red flag on the Saturday and by Monday or two, I guess yesterday, I guess it was Tuesday, she sort of ended it. And it's Wednesday. So I mean, I was in a funk. On Sunday and Monday, because I had I addressed this red flag and I can tell that it affected her she didn't like it. She didn't feel like I could see it coming in a way. And but again, that's not a bad thing. You know, ultimately, the rejection was was really rooted in me standing up for myself and saying, you know, I don't, I don't really like this thing here. And not about I mean, it was about her, but you tried to say it in that way. But you may not I probably could have handled it a little bit better in terms of the way that I brought it up. But long story short, I fucking did bring it up, it led to a rejection and that's, I'm fucking fine with that. And now initially, it was like, I wasn't doing cartwheels. Can't do cartwheels anyway, but, but I wasn't, you know, super happy. But, you know, again, reflection, work distance time. They allow you to see things in a and being able to get out of fight or flight and trees and fallen and they laid allows you to see things logically and logically, this red flag wasn't going to go away. It just wasn't no matter how hot she was, or how much fun the sex was, that red flag wasn't, it was clear to me, it wasn't gonna go away, she didn't see a problem. And that's fine. That's her, let her do her thing. It just didn't fit with me and my values and my expectations. And I'm gonna get I'm gonna get to expectations too. So anyway, I'm good. And and I am feeling very positive about how the situation was handled by myself. So fucking kudos to me. And again, it's really about the work paying off. So but sometimes, we don't feel so good about things, particularly our fuck ups in our mistakes. And I posted this, and I mentioned this, I think, in a couple of episodes recently, and I certainly certainly posted about it on my Facebook page, Michael rose divorce coach fucking up is your best opportunity for growth and for learning. And that's how you have to start looking at these things. Instead of saying oh, I fucked up again and beat yourself up. It's really more about saying oh, I fucked up what can I learn from it? And I know that's not easy because we we get in these these loops these these neural pathways get grooved into our brain and we fuck up we have this loop that says it's because I'm a piece of shit. Well fuck all that. So instead of doing that, and this isn't this isn't easy. This is the work right here you go okay, I did fuck up. I'm not a piece of shit. What can I learn from it in every time you fuck up, it might take you two days to get to that mindset and might take you a week. But eventually it'll get less and less and less than less. If you keep practicing it in all of this stuff, all of these things moving on you know, dealing with the holidays, dealing with her dating, dealing with missing the kids these all these things all take fucking effort to overcome. You can't just sit around and hope that it gets better. There are something Yes, things get better with time. I suppose that is true. But if you don't do any work, then when those things hit you again, then you're going to be faced with the same feeling same emotions and no way to really deal with them. So anyway, so you fucked up. Okay, step one is you accept it and you say that yep, I fucked up. And by the way, if you see me Looking down here, I took fucking notes on this one for once.

Michael 10:04
Because I think this is an important topic and two, I wanted to sort of hone out what what am I doing lately, that has helped me with these fuck ups that I've had and that I've made not this stuff with the female, some other stuff? And what have I been doing? And how can I hone it in and make it a little better even. And you're gonna probably hear episodes in the future where I do it a little differently. That could be anything from moving on to letting go to depression episodes, etc, etc. You know, again, that's the work you're constantly not constantly because sometimes you got to take a fucking break and just enjoy life, man. But if if you're always trying to find ways to get better you will. And that means some things that you do now will be different than when you do them in the future. So I reserve the right to change my process. So the next step in this process is by now there is a process called the Five why's you don't always have to use five, it might take two, it might take 10. I don't know. But you keep asking why. And I think the important thing is when you you get to the root of it, but but the root of it is typically how you felt. So how you felt dictates your actions typically. So let me let me read let you go through this, and then go back with examples. Let me do that. Let me just go through the steps. And I'll go back to the example as best I can to find something to allow us to go through these steps. And we can go through together here and you can kind of understand what I'm saying so, so get to the root get to your feeling about the fuckup. Again, this will probably go a lot better once I start using an example. But bear with me. The next thing I know this shit sounds woowoo or weird or whatever. But for fucksakes Checking in with your body. What was your body feeling when you fucked up? And I know that's hard. And it's nuanced. And it's practice. And it's why does it matter? Well, that matters because your body reacts in certain ways to your thoughts. And so if you can hone in on what your body is, this isn't easy, but it's it but it also gets you out of your fucking head too. And allows you to stop beating yourself up or examining everything because I'm definitely an over thinker over analyzers. So this allows me to go okay, break time, what was my body feeling? And if I can start honing in on this, then when I feel those feelings in my body, I can identify better what I was going through, so Oh, actually, I was fucking embarrassed right there or whatever. So check in with your body. It's fucking important. And then check your expectations. Did you check your so you get your root cause and then you balance that against sort of like what your body was feeling or what you were feeling? And then check it against your expectations. Do you feel it? Were you feeling embarrassed? Because you expected someone to treat you differently? Expectations are a gigantic, important part of I think life in general. And I don't mean the negative sort of you know, what does it What's that stupid fucking saying? It's not stupid, but I don't know kind of I really don't like it. It's, it's expect the best. expect the worst prepare. Prepare for the worst expect for the expect the best or whatever. I think that's what it is. I don't like that. Because I don't want to want to expect the worst. I just think that's I think that's so protection airy. I don't want to live shielded, I understand. Nobody wants to get hurt. And we got to protect ourselves in certain ways. But I don't want to expect the worst. Fuck all that. So anyway. So check your expectations and see how they align with why your feelings are hurt. You know, some of them were they hurt me because I felt disrespected. Well, why do you why are you disrespected, why expected that person to not do that thing or whatever. And we all know, come back to this a lot. You can't control anybody but you then the next thing to do is to check your root cause or you root problem with your attachment styles and your love languages. See if there's something there that doesn't jive or, or, or gives you more of an understanding of why it is that you were you're feeling the feelings you're feeling which is you know, hurt rejection, etc, etc. Those things and see how that bounces off your attachment style and your love language, languages. And for God's sakes, if you don't know these things, go find them. It's not hard to figure out your attachment style. And it's not hard to figure out your love languages, there's quizzes you can take. There's quizzes that are part of my program that you can take that will will spell these things out for you. And for fucksakes. Trust the quizzes, I mean, find a good one, take a couple of you want but don't if you get a result you're like nah, that can't be right. In you keep taking the tests, different quizzes or whatever and you get the same fuckin answer. Just Just accept it. Sometimes, we don't want to admit certain things about ourselves. But if we keep getting the same fucking results when we're trying to figure some things out, well guess what, then that's the answer. So and then then the last part of it is Rhian that, go through the scenario again and see where you can go differently. It's all about learning to handle these things differently, so that you don't fuck up. Or if you do, it's not as severe or you understand it better. And eventually you eliminate it's a process for sure. And part of that process is absolutely trying to reenact it in your head in a way that allows you to handle a difference. So let's go back and try and get some sort of example. So the other day in the group someone posted, I'm not going to name names the about that an argument with their son, and I think it was over a dog or something. So let's sort of work within that sort of framework. It could be anybody but let's say a child. You yelled at your kid, because you had an argument with your kid, and you said some shit you didn't want to Okay, so why did you do that? Okay, so I yelled at my kid, and hurt. And now he don't talk to me. Right? Okay, so that's your fuckup is, uh, yelled at the kid. Why did you do that? Well, I was angry. Okay, well, why are you angry? Well, because He disrespected me. Why do you think He disrespected you? Because I expected him to take the dog for a walk. And he didn't do that. And that made me mad. Okay, so he didn't meet your expectations. So why does that make you angry? or upset? Why did that make you yell? Because it's, it's hurtful because I expected him to, to do what I asked. And why does that bother you? Because because it's disrespectful. And what is about being disrespected? Well, it if you really look at this stuff, you could say, well, it bumps against my self worth. And it makes me feel like I he didn't respect he doesn't respect me because I'm not respectable. Like it's, you know, you know, it's a it's a deficiency thing. And so again, I'm getting ahead of myself, but you want to look at your attachment style in your love language is to try and sort of tie this shit altogether. So okay, so you felt disrespected, let's call it that you're you're in. And I think you actually should go deeper than that. So you were hurt by his. Because I think it's important to to get to the feeling your feelings are important. I felt disrespected, he hurt. He hurt me. A disrespect is a form of hurt, you know, he hurt my feelings because he didn't respect what I asked him to do. So I got pissed and yelled, do you want to yell? No, you don't. Okay? So the root causes is you felt hurt by his lack of respect. Okay. So you've asked a bunch of why's now in this in this moment, try and figure out what were you feeling? I know this is tough. But in your body was your jaw clenched? Did your face flush? These are all important clues. Again, this allows you to just take this take the time to even step out of, of your, your sort of ruminating and all this kind of bullshit that we all do. We all do. By the way, I am fucking really guilty of it. It allows you to get out of that and start thinking about other things and it soothes you, it calms you down. And then again, it allows you to sort of focus on something other than the frustration and hurt the the, you know, being pissed, being pissed at yourself, why did I do that? I'm such an asshole, etc, etc. And again, it also can give you clues to the next time you feel that potentially a flushed face, you can go oh shit, I'm feeling really disrespected right now. And then you can you can better understand yourself and then take steps to correct. And so now take that, that that route, that He disrespected me and take it against your expectations. My expectations are that I asked him to do something, he's going to do it and it's a fair expectation. But you can't always expect people to do what you want him to do. You just can't. It could have been maybe he had a bad day and you just don't even fucking know about it. It could be maybe he was sick, you know, and he didn't talk about it or you know, it could be many, many things. We really don't know. It's hard to climb in someone else's head. So your expectations. While they're not wrong, you expect someone to do something that you ask. It's just a clue that maybe if you adjust your expectations, I really want him to do that. And then you can have a conversation. Well, why didn't you do that as I've never been okay, I just forgot data guasha going on. Okay, or whatever. And I know that this sounds that's a lot more simple than some of these because when we're amped up, these conversations aren't gonna go that well. But that's all part of understanding where you're at. Okay, I'm frustrated and feeling flushed, I gotta walk the fuck away and calm down so I can have these rational conversations later on. When the fight flight freeze or fallen isn't occurring. And I'm in a logical thinking brain and I can I have a decent conversation. Okay, and so then we also want to look at I think it's really important to look at your attachment style and your love language. Now in this context.

Michael 19:59
I don't know that it exists. actually applies, but I still think it's a good analyzation to make. So perhaps you thought you think when you're disrespected it, it goes up against your attachment style, which is very anxious. And so if someone disrespects you, then that means they don't like you. And that causes you to have that anxious attachment. Right? And it's it that can lead to again, hurt feelings, which can lead to anger. And sort of same love language, right? If you know that, you know, words of affirmation is your thing. Then, you know, if him him not saying to you, Hey, Dad, I'm not feeling well, I can't do this today. That's also another clue like, hey, next time, buddy, just let me know. And I know this probably, I don't know what it is. But it might be making it really fucking complex, but like this fucking complex. And again, what am I not doing? In this moment, right now, I'm not having an argument with somebody and making another mistake. I'm analyzing it to prevent it. And understanding myself is a key to that. And so then lastly, we reenact it. We go, okay. I asked him to do that you didn't? What could I have done differently? Okay, well, certainly get out of this situation. If you're angry and arguing, yelling, stop yourself. Remove yourself from the situation again, reenact this shit in your brain, like you do anything your brain doesn't know the difference between you thinking about something and and actually occurring. There's studies that show this. I didn't pull any, any up, but go find it. And so if so, then you reenact this in your brain and you say, Okay, I asked him to do it, he doesn't do it. I get angry, I walk away, I calm down and go back to him later on. I try to understand why didn't he do that? In maybe there's something that you know, maybe he's going through something. And again and again, but you it allows you to have a good conversation with someone that can further the bond. Having good logical conversations creates a bond yelling and arguing through hurt feelings doesn't accomplish any fucking thing. But additional hurt feelings. So this is the this is the framework that that I've been using, not to this degree, to be honest with you, I really sat down and really thought about this one. And what are some ways that could expand what I'm doing? I was doing more doing that the whys. Why did this happen? Why did I do this? Why, why, why, and then trying to reenact, but I think it's really important to tie these things into your how your body is feeling. And again, I know it's different, and it's weird, and whatever, just fucking try, just keep trying until it can make some kind of sense. And then expectations, I think expectations are important. And if you have certain expectations of someone, then set that expectation set that boundary and say, Listen, boy, son, I really, it's really important that you do this, if you can't do it, just let me know. You know, obviously, if he ultimately doesn't do it, then you have to enact some kind of consequences. And those can vary depending on how you want to handle it. You know, from, you know, obviously the the relationship in terms of Does he live with you as the old? Or is the older as a younger? What can you do? What kind of consequences can there be, you know, if he's a teenage boy, you can take his phone or video games or what the fuck ever. But at least if you, you set the expectation and make it realistic, then you're not going to get pissed if it doesn't get met. And or if you had that expectation, and you say if it's not met, this is what's going to occur again, you're protected from protect his right, we're but you're the likelihood that you're going to have an argument that can be lessons because expectations and boundaries are set. And so you there's nothing to argue about. Sorry, kid, I told you, if you didn't do that this is going to occur. Again, there are many, many different problems and issues and fuck ups that we face. And it's, it's possible that this particular scenario doesn't apply to your current fuckup. Or to many of your fuck ups. I don't know, maybe you drink a lot. And there's a lot of layers to that. Maybe you yell a lot. Again, there's many, many layers to these things there's childhood. Can these fucking neural pathways the way that we've always done things are honed in from from, you know, much younger age. And so there's lots of reasons and lots of things that affect us. And it's not always possible to analyze every single one of them, but we can get some general themes. And the theme for fucking up is like a segway. This is an opportunity for me to learn. And that doesn't mean that you're going to learn it right away. It doesn't mean that you're going to correct the mistake from now until the end of time that you'll never do that again. You might it's possible. I can tell you that If you don't do this kind of stuff, and then maybe there are other ways find your own fucking way. That's one of the things that I stress to anyone that has been so awesome and gracious to pay me to coach them is my way might not work for you, but get just get in the fucking mindset that I'm gonna find a way that works for me and try some things. I think that this is a pretty good framework for dealing with fuck ups. But it might not work for you, you might say is checking in your body is bullshit. Okay, that's cool. I'm good. Fuck, I mean, don't do it, then I think that's a mistake. For further, the least reason is that it allows you to take a pause and stop ruminating and focus on something other than the fuckup itself. That makes any sense. So I think that's all I got. So it is Wednesday, the 22nd of November. Tomorrow is obviously Thanksgiving. And tomorrow will be the third anniversary of this podcast, I am going to do I think at least one if not two chats tomorrow in via zoom in the divorce support for men group. I know this is a very short notice. But if you're in the group, you're probably already aware. I'm gonna have some folks sign on to and join me and we're just going to chat and I'm gonna record it and probably put it out. I'm going to do one at 11am. Eastern tomorrow. And I'm going to do one in the evening as well, I believe because the one in the evening, I think is going to be a little bit more about the celebration of the third birthday of this podcast. I, part of me wants to do some reflecting right now. But I think I'll wait. But it is. I mean, three years. I was trying to find and I'll probably again, I'll probably bring this up tomorrow night. But I was trying to find the percentage of podcasts and make it to three years and I couldn't find any data. I know that I believe the one year mark only like 20% make it to one year I think or something like that. There are fuck ton of podcasts out there. And if you look, you'll see a lot with, you know, 10 episodes, two episodes 20 episodes, it's it's, um, it's not I think I've been pretty fucking transparent throughout this journey. And it's, it's not always easy to keep doing these things. I mean, I feel like I've got my seventh window, or whatever I do have, I'm speaking to a couple folks about coming on to psychologists to different episodes. One is dealing with depressive episodes. And fuck, I can't remember what the other one is. But and there's a few other folks that I still haven't ironed out dates and details. I also have not going to say exactly, but I've been talking with another podcast that has a huge fucking celebrity on it. That I'm super excited. We've had a couple different conversations and it sounds they've said let's do it. We're trying to hone out exactly when that is probably sometime in January, January it will be recorded. But I can tell you if you're my age is guest definitely. I hope this future guests definitely you will, you will know who that is. And, and they can speak to this topic and I'm fucking excited about it. But I don't want to say too much because I don't want to jinx it, but fucking I am excited. I hope I hope it works out. I'll keep you all posted. I think you probably just see it pop up. But hopefully sometime in January. I'll get it recorded and you'll see it. Anyway, so I think that's it. Thank you so much for listening. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach out. I also lastly, I will announce later tomorrow night that the new pricing for my coaching program, I'm only going to take two clients maximum and that is not some salesy bullshit. It's simply a matter of capacity, I don't have the capacity to do them more than two at a time. And so I'm going to, I'm going to set new pricing and talk about sort of how that's what it's going to look like. It's going to be a little bit different than the program but the program still sort of going to be the foundation of it. Because there's a lot of good stuff in that program. I mean, I just they're they're things that helped me and I'm gonna continue to do episodes on the program too. But you'll hear all about that I tomorrow night. So

Michael 29:59
I'm going to say Happy thanks Giving because you might not hear this till tomorrow or, or maybe after, I don't know. But Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Thank you so much for listening. As always take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Thank you so much for watching and or listening, says my separation in July of 2019. I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it in my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please visit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

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Episode 122 – Children & Divorce – Dr. Erica Ellis

In this episode I speak with Dr. Erica Ellis.  We cover some aspects of how to deal with the Divorce process if you have children.


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Michael 5:44
Joining me today is Dr. Erica Ellis. Erica, you've been on the show before so we're just going to jump right into this. How do you tell kids that a divorce is happening? And so I guess this is sort of a two parter. Does the age of the child make a difference in how you tell?

Dr. Erica 6:02
Well, first of all, great to be back. It's been a while and that's great. Great to see you. You know talking to kids about a divorce might be the most important conversation you ever have with them. Because in so many ways, it's going to lay the foundation for everything that's going to happen going forward. People could do this conversation really well. And and set a tone for the whole divorce and what happens afterwards, or they could do it really poorly and create a nightmare. And unfortunately, I've seen it go in that direction. And I'll give some examples of things not to say but but again, the goal is to is to create a positive foundation and based on that, the first thing that I think is so important, if at all possible. Is that the parents do this together. And that can be really difficult if it's very contentious and conflictual between the two people. But I think sitting down together with the kids with this conversation basically says we are still here together as your parents, were still going to be working on your behalf. And you could count on that no matter how hard it is. So doing it together is really the ideal and if at all possible to make that happen. It's hugely important to not lay blame on each other. And this is where I see the mistakes happening. You know, if your mother hadn't been sleeping with Joe, we never would have been getting divorced. Or if your dad wasn't such an asshole or so mean or such a horrible parent, this never wouldn't be happening. That may not be an immediate need for you. But it is going to be devastating for your kids. And it's going to start things off in a way that the kids are going to be stuck in the middle and they will be stuck there forever. So trying to do it together. Trying not to lay blame, you know, to say something like we don't love each other anymore the way a mom and dad should, or you've noticed that there's more arguing going on in the house. And if we're not happy, you guys aren't happy. And because of that, we've decided to split up and get a divorce. And to speak to your the second part of this question. Clearly the age of your kids matters, right? I mean, a younger kid is not going to understand it in a way an older kid is and often I will suggest to people, if there's a big age difference, talk to your kids separately. You know, like if you have a four year old and a 12 year old, it's a very different conversation. So I think it's really helpful to do it separately if there is a big age range and then talk to your kids in an age appropriate way. You know, you know little kids you could you could say you know, you know you've had friends that you might have arguments with and you're not getting along anymore and you decide that you don't want to be friends anymore. Sometimes that happens with Mommy and Daddy's you know and they're just not getting along and they they they can't live together anymore. In the same way. You can't be friends with somebody. So, you know you tailor it at the level that a kid could understand. I think that timing is super important. Also, you know, parents often say like, what's the perfect time to tell my kid there's no perfect time. But it's kind of that Goldilocks thing like you don't want to you know, not too little not too late. You know you want to there is kind of a sweet spot. And I think if you tell your kids like six months in advance that we're getting divorced and then you're together for six months before anything happens then you actually make a physical split. There live. Everyone is living in this limbo, right. They're always waiting, wondering when is it going to happen? I think if you tell them the day before your somebody's moving out, that also doesn't give them enough time to process it and be ready. So I usually say to people like a month. I mean, obviously it's not in stone, but you know, four weeks gives kids time to process it, to ask questions to try to understand it to come to terms with it. But it's not too much time to be sitting with it. You know, I also get the question, Should I do it? You know on a Friday night, as opposed to a Sunday afternoon? Yeah, I mean, you know, if you could give your kids a couple of days to process it before they have to go to school. That's great. You know, if he could do it, you know, at some point that there's a there's a long holiday weekend, you know that there's even a little more time before they have to get into their life. Again, you know, I think to be sensitive to to giving them you know, time to process it. I also just did this blog about you know, should you wait till after Christmas, right? It's kind of timely now. Right. And, you know, actually January is the month that that parents adults most seek out a divorce attorneys because they tend to wait till after the holidays. But you know, in terms of the timing of that I would say if you can't do the holidays in a peaceful way, and it's going to be a hellish last memory of holiday together. Do not stay together for the sake of the children. Tell them before and have separate celebrations. If you could do it in a peaceful way, and you know, it's not constant fighting, then wait and give your kids one last, you know, peaceful holiday. So I think there are all kinds of you know, timing issues. about this. But

Michael 12:15
what about the scenario where you're the one that is shouldered with telling them or? Yeah, I guess it'd be your you're the one who you know, Mom splits that splits. How do you handle that? What do you mean I know you don't want to bad mouth the other party, the mother? And then you know, in the case of my audience, but or the majority of my audience, but what do you say like what do you say if mom splits

Dr. Erica 12:47
and you don't have the opportunity to sit still get to sit together and talk about it? Correct? Yeah, I mean, I think in that situation, that the biggest challenge is not to bad mouth for mom. Right. But I think if if the mother is still somebody that's going to be in the kids lives, you know, you want to try to protect that relationship and not you know, the kids are going to be devastated enough that the mother has disappeared has split. Right. And, you know, I think you could acknowledge to your kids how hard this is. Wow, I you know, I wish we were able to have this conversation together. But you know, mom isn't here. So I'm going to do the best I can to explain this to you. You know, we haven't been happy things haven't been good. And maybe the way things ended hasn't been the best. You know, I think you could say that rather than you know, I can't believe the the horrible way your mom has handled this. You know but to acknowledge the pain of what they're going through, without lowering yourself to, to being in the position of bad mouthing her because they see they see what happened, right? They're gonna, they're gonna draw their own conclusions. If you draw that conclusion for them. They're gonna get angry at you.

Michael 14:07
Yeah, yeah, it's it's a tricky sort of line to toe. But I think the truth always comes out. Usually, you know, in various ways, but it always comes out it doesn't. I think it's worse if it comes from you. Right? Let them figure it out. Especially you know, whether even if it's when they're adults, eventually they're going to figure it out and see the evidence and put the pieces together. And so it's not upon you, I don't think to to point out what will become obvious anyway.

Dr. Erica 14:38
I absolutely agree. Because if you do, they're going to be resentful towards you. Right? If they if they figure that out, which it's not hard to figure out if mom's disappeared, right. But it's still their mom and they, they are going to be defensive if it comes from you. Yeah, sure. You know,

Michael 14:58
so once you get that piece done, there's obviously the question of dating. And, and I want to first approach it with a question of how long before you're dating someone, should you introduce your children, and then we'll get to some of the other Messier stuff but that one's a pretty easy one a seemingly easier one than some of the other scenarios what how long before you're, you have a person and you've been dating, what period of time before you introduce the kids?

Dr. Erica 15:27
Well, I think the the basic rule should be that kids should not be introduced to new significant others until that relationship, and we can talk about how you define it, but until that relationship is long term, and and committed. Because the last thing you want for your kids is to have multiple people coming in and out of their life when it doesn't work out. For you. Right. You know, you're dating somebody, and you know, you think it's going well, and like a month in you're like, Oh, I'm ready for my kids to meet them. And then three months later, you're like, yeah, that's not really what I thought it was gonna be. And now the kids have another loss, right? There's so much instability that they're already dealing with, with, you don't want to give even the slightest chance of them having to deal with more loss. So, you know, I mean, people say how long is that? You know, is it is that six months? Is it a year? I mean, some people put that in there, you know, divorce decree is a stipulation, right? You know, you have to wait six months. But to me, it's it needs to be long term and it needs to be committed, and there can't be a revolving door of people coming in and out and I also suggest that you don't start introducing new people until you're actually divorced. Like, kids, especially older kids who understand that, like, wait a minute, you're still married to to dad, like why are you dating somebody else? And people don't like that. That rule. You know, because often marriages end because there's somebody else in the picture. They're anxious to have that new person in their kid's life. But I think I would be super super cautious about bringing somebody in before the divorce is actually final. And it's also going to infuriate your ex, which is only going to further antagonize any relationship that you still have and further compromise any ability for the two of you to co parent right. So we're trying to maintain that relationship as much as possible, hoping that these you know the parents are able to go forward in some positive way. So I think the tight the slow piece is super, super important.

Michael 17:58
So let what if you're the other side of that equation, and mom is churning through guys, I'm not saying it to be antagonistic or you know, it happens, but it happens. So what do you do to provide stability or, you know, how do you how do you handle that?

Dr. Erica 18:17
Well, I think that you don't handle it by telling your kids Oh, I can't believe your mom is doing this. But she's got another she's got another boyfriend. You know, I think the one thing to remember is, one is enough like if only one of you does things in an appropriate way. One is better than not. Right? So because the mother is doing that. Don't take that as permission for you to do that. And I think that often happens, right? But she's doing it so what the hell you know, I'll you know, I'll introduce the kids and at least you have an opportunity to be a role model for doing something more appropriate, rather than lowering yourself to the same level of how your ex is doing it. Right. Yeah, so I you know, I think at all costs to avoid the bad mouthing to at all costs to avoid lowering yourself to the same level and and be a role model of better behavior.

Michael 19:21
Can we talk specifically about what what happens to a child when you badmouth the other parent like what what is that like, as specific as we can get? Everyone's different and all that kind of stuff in every scenario and gender and age and all that, but what what is it that occurs in a child's mind? That is damaging when you badmouth the other parent?

Dr. Erica 19:42
Yeah, I mean, that is such a great question because everybody says don't do it, but you know, maybe really understanding what what the potential damage is. I think the damage is that it's an absolutely impossible situation for a child to have to choose between two parents that they love. And when a parent is bad mouthing the other parent, they either need to accept it as truth. And then they're, then they then they feel like they're angry at the other parent for what, what they're being told they did, right? Or they don't believe it's true. And there's the risk of the parent who's giving them that information, being angry at them. For not accepting it. So they're in this no win position of no matter what they do, one of their parents is not going to be happy with them. And it's the most impossible choice for a child to make when they have two parents that they love. And two parents that love them. And bad mouthing puts them in a place asking them to keep secrets puts them in that place. Right. You know, this is another scenario of what how people often do like the dating introductions wrong, you know, they'll they'll keep running it every time the parent goes somewhere with the kid. This woman shows up right like, oh, look, we ran into Mary again at the mini golf. Or we ran into Mary at the ice cream and and, you know, the, the dad doesn't say, Oh, this is my new friend. It's like, Oh, what a coincidence that she keeps showing up, right? But but then the kid has this information. The kids are not stupid. They're like, Oh, I wonder who this woman is. I wonder if this is dad's new girlfriend. And then they're like, oh, but do I tell Mom Can I you know, so, the kids become a secret keeper. You know, the parents are sort of inadvertently asking the kids to keep a secret. Or even sometimes, you know, the parent will specifically say, Hey, here's this is my new girlfriend. Don't tell mom. Like how was that? Oh, uh, when you're the kid like, what do they do? What happens when mom says, Hey, Annie, have you met any of your dad's new friends? And now what is the kid do? Right? If they tell the mom the truth, that's gonna be mad. Right? If they lie there the risk of mom being mad. Right? So they it puts them in these no wind positions that no matter what they do, one of their parents is going to be mad at them. And that's horrible. Horrible.

Michael 22:30
Yeah, yeah, I just it's makes me stop and think about how difficult it is not only not only for obviously the people that are going through it if it wasn't your idea, but but how difficult it is for the children. Like there's just there's no feels like there's no winning but I'm sure we'll kind of get to some sort of success stories and things of that nature. Or at least, you know, some of the positive maybe that can come from this but sometimes it just feels like a no win all the way around for everybody. And honestly think even for the ones that decided to leave like I think they think that it's a victory or success or whatever, but I don't think it's that simple. I think there's no winners, no divorce.

Dr. Erica 23:08
Well, it's never easy, but you could do it well, and you could do it really poorly. And, you know, if you do it well, there's a chance of that that everybody's resilience is going to pull them through but if you do it poorly, that resilience is getting knocked down every day. You know. And I you know, I love acronyms. Like I came up with this acronym for for the whole introduction thing and I came up with this thing that's called Stop s t o p p. Okay, so the first is slow. We talked about go slow. The habit the tee is tell your ex. Now, people balk at this right? Like why would why do I need to tell them so to their business? Well, you need to tell them for a couple reasons because it's gonna get the kids out of the position of having to lie. True, right? They could become an ally in helping the kids adjust. And they're gonna want the same thing or you're gonna want the same thing when they start dating. Right? I mean, if if the wife the ex wife starts dating, I would say 99% of the ex husbands are going to want to know, right? So I think you know, imagine yourself in that position, so go slow, tell your ex. The Oh is only share what's important. Like don't overshare there has to be a boundary between adult business and Kid business, right? You don't have to tell them every detail of every date and oh, well, you know, while you were your mom's she slept over like well the first P is when you start dating. Make sure you preserve quality time with your kids don't have every visit that they come over to spend time with you with the new girlfriend. Your kids will resent her. They will be threatened by it. They will feel like they're losing you. And you don't want to do that. And the second key is to be patient. Like you love this person. By the time hopefully you introduce the kids, but their choose a stranger to them. So give the kids time. Don't push it. Don't force it. You know, be patient that it's going to take time for a relationship to develop. So that's sto PP thing can be very helpful to just have a framework right? To go slow. Tell your ex only share what's important. preserve quality time and be patient.

Michael 25:48
Yeah, all challenges but all doable, right and all important. Because at the end of the day, you know, I think the most important thing is to preserve the children and their mental health as best you can. Obviously this is challenging, so why heap any more challenges on that said, sometimes the challenge is most often probably or the other side. And I've seen and heard, you know, I run a Facebook group for men going through divorce. There's seven. I have helped 7000 men in this group. So I see and hear a lot of different things. And you know, that's obviously one side of the story, but sometimes I see things like the ex or soon to be ex wife has a new boyfriend already. Perhaps because that that was what you know, was the wedge that led to divorce or whatever. And sometimes the young child will be sort of persuaded, pressured to call this new partner dad. And obviously this is done for nefarious reasons. Nothing good is coming from it. But when you're in that position, and let's say it's a I don't know a five year old, a six year old and they say Yeah, Mommy and my new dad or something of that nature. I haven't had that happen. My ex did date for a little while with someone fairly serious. That didn't work out. didn't break my heart any but what what do you what do you do in a circumstance like how do you obviously you don't want to Well, how do you handle it? I mean, there's things not to do but yeah, movie cover those two but what how, you know, what do you do?

Dr. Erica 27:30
Well, first of all, I that's terrifying, right? I mean, and it's heartbreaking for any parent to hear that. And, you know, I think I would tell every person who's listening to this, but the most important thing is to remember, no matter what your kid is calling some other person who just came into their life, that nobody is going to take your place. And that is such an important thing to hold on to. Right. I mean, you don't want anybody with that title other than you. But that title doesn't automatically produce the relationship that you have with your children. So I think that's the most important thing. To start with. I mean, obviously trying to have a conversation with your ex that's child focused, you know, not so much like, you know, what the hell is wrong with you for doing this and you know, being contentious about it, but let's talk about how confusing this is gonna be for for Sammy, you know, like, you know, to try to have that conversation and maybe also say, and what's it going to feel like for you when they start calling my new significant other mom. I mean, you know, hopefully you're not going to do that out of spite because that gets back to the one is better than none. But to sort of, you know, try to try to get it that perspective for your ex but, but just to talk about it from a child centered perspective like this is going to be so confusing for the kids. And to be able to, you know, to not to acknowledge that having a relationship with that person is going to be important for your kids and that you're not It's not that you don't want them to your kids to have a relationship with that person. Right and sometimes you don't, but I think it is important to accept that. It's going to be in your kids best interest to have a relationship with your ex wife's significant other, it is going to be in their best interest. It's going to be in your best interest to get along with that person too. Right. But you know, to be able to say this isn't about my not wanting your new person to be in Joey's life. I want Joey to love them and to have a relationship. But the dad thing is just it's really hurtful and I think it would be for you and I think it's gonna be really confusing for the kids.

Michael 30:02
Yeah, what do you say to the child like, what? What do you say? What don't you know? Don't do you say like, you know, I'm, I'm the only dad that you have, you know, Don't call him that. Like, how do you handle that? Well,

Dr. Erica 30:15
I think there's that's a really fine line. Because I think that's putting the child in the middle because their mom is telling him to do one thing, you're telling them to do another thing, then it's a no win for them. Yeah. You know, you know, I would maybe talk to them about like, what is what does that feel like for you? To be asked to call somebody else dad. And you know, if your kid says it's really hard, but Mommy wants me to do it. I might encourage your child to say, why don't you try to talk to mommy about that? And then I think if if you have any kind of relationship with with your ex for you to try to have the conversation in that non conflictual way, but as CO parents trying to say, our kid is struggling, what do we do? How do we make it better?

Michael 31:12
And how, how important is therapy for a child throughout this process?

Dr. Erica 31:18
Well, I think it could be incredibly helpful. I mean, honestly, I think every kid could benefit from it when their parents are going through a divorce. And even in this situation, you know, when the child says to the therapist, this is the most horrible thing. My mom's asking me to call her boyfriend, Dad, I don't know what to do. Now you'd have a therapist that also could talk to mom and say, your kids really struggling here, and this probably is not something that's fair. To them to ask them to call somebody other than their dad, Dad. You know, so you have there's another advocate supporting your child. So, especially if it's if it's a relationship with the CO parents are not working well with each other and can't communicate well with each other. Having a therapist involved can be so helpful to bridge that gap.

Michael 32:13
Yeah. So in a sort of same vein, if there is a lot of negative comments, you're sort of getting back channel. You know, mommy said this or you know, mommy said you can do this or how do you handle those types of things like what do you what do you say to negative comments that are coming in from the other side? How do you handle that?

Dr. Erica 32:34
Well, I think it's the same basic rules, right? You don't want to put the child in the middle by making some nasty comment about their mother. You know, you might say something like what's that like to hear mom say that like to give them good?

Michael 32:55
Yeah, sounds like being curious about their experience is really, really important.

Dr. Erica 33:01
It's super important. It's super important to give them a voice, to give them a place to share what it is that they're feeling. And then you could hopefully take some of that information as, as a good co parent and share that as opposed to you know, sending out a, you know, our family wizard message like, What the hell is wrong with you making those kinds of comments to Joey right. But to be able to say, Joey shared with me today that he feels really stuck. And hurt and upset when those kinds of things get said. So, yeah, I think I think that's a great way to frame it, that curiosity and giving your kids a chance to talk about it, and not lowering yourself to that same level. It's so tempting. There's so much painful emotions swirling around that our emotions get us to do and see things that end up before our kids, right.

Michael 34:02
Oh, yeah. I've been guilty of making not to this extent that extent. I don't think probably micro aggressions or whatever like micro comments. I try my best but I'm sure stuff leaks out. But yeah, it's it's hard. It's all hard. I mean, it especially like, like I said, if it's if it's not your idea what you're doing, it's incredibly hard. But the outcome of your children is paramount and I see that you have making I've made many mistakes for sure. Especially in the beginning. Oh, I was angry. I was very very angry. Yeah, I I tried not to attack or outwardly like like, you know, like specifically or whatever, but I am sure that some stuff came out of it for sure.

Dr. Erica 34:54
I want to be perfect. I mean, you

Michael 34:57
know, no one is I want to talk about something something just popped in my head. Things like parent teacher conferences. I do mind separate. As I started that initially, because I was angry and now it's just I just feel like that's my house and that's her house and you know, she's going to do things her way. I'm going to do things my way. But perhaps I'm wrong in that. What do you how do you recommend those types of things doctor appointments? Obviously, I try to be at all those. But I think specifically parent teacher conferences with schools. How do you think that should be?

Dr. Erica 35:31
Yeah, is that with kids? There are kids not their kids not there. Okay. You know, if at all possible, I think it probably is better to both of you be there and hear the same thing. Because I think there's always room when when you've had two separate meetings to have two separate interpretations.

Michael 35:55
And I think that just happened with me. So that's kind of Yeah,

Dr. Erica 35:59
and you could walk away with two totally different conclusions and plans about what needs to happen. So if you're able to and you're able to hear the same thing, I think there's some benefit to that. You know, if it's hard to sit in the same room together without you know, bickering with each other and making snide comments, which may be at the beginning for you, it was and it was, you know, about her, but for me, yeah. You know, it's probably better under those circumstances to not do it together. Right. But I, you know, I don't think you're damaging your children by what you're doing. But there's, like you said, there's that you just saw it happen. There's a danger of walking away with a totally different interpretation of what you heard and what needs to happen going forward.

Michael 36:49
What about birthday parties, things of that nature. Should you do joint ones can you do is it you know, I mean, I do we do separate but again, as time has gone on, you know, there's it's I think we've talked about my little one mainly she's nine talking about maybe next year, we'll do a joint one. You know, she she actually sort of brought it up and I'm okay with it at this point. I can be around her now and it's fine. In fact, she was in my own the marital home she left she was in what was it? Two days ago. I had to take my oldest somewhere clarinet lessons and she came and stayed with my little one because she was a little bit sick. So I'm past where I can't be around her. But But is that best practice so to speak, if you can, should you do those together?

Dr. Erica 37:42
You know what, I don't think it's necessarily best practice. I mean, if it's something that's super important to your child, and and you can do it in a way that's not going to be full of conflict. I think that would be great. I mean, I think the rule is always if if you're going to be exposing your kids to conflict, then you absolutely should not do it. Because the single greatest predictor of how your kids are going to fare is the amount of conflict that they're going to be exposed to. Right. So you want to minimize that at all costs. If you could do this together. Great. You know, if if your kids aren't asking for it, and you've kind of created your separate things, that's, that's fine. But there will probably be times that you will have to be together, you know, I mean, when your kids eventually get married, you know, or, or, you know, college graduations, I mean, there are times that you will be together and you know, I can tell you from my own experience, just you know, I went through this as a kid with two parents that hated each other and and never figured out how to work it out. My wedding was an issue, you know, like, and it was like 20 years after my parents were divorced. And they didn't want to be together. They didn't want to walk me down the aisle and they didn't want to sit with each other. That was an issue of who was going to be on the invitation. I mean, and then when my son was born, which was probably, I don't know, 25 years after my parents were divorced. I, I literally sent my father don't come to the hospital today because mom is here, and I don't think she's going to be comfortable having you there. Now that was that was so messed up for so many reasons that I was still protecting her. I still thought that was my role. I was taking one of their sides over the other like they both should have been there. And you know, I defended the you know, I was 30 hours and the C section but and I was still maybe delirious but that was like the craziest decision I've ever made. And it was because they never figured out how to be together in the same room. So is

Michael 40:03
that why you do what you do?

Dr. Erica 40:05
It is why I do what I do. Yeah. You know, it took me years in a therapists office to work through all the shit that they created for me. And I am committed and passionate about trying to help other parents not make the mistakes. Because my parents made them all. And they were loving, wonderful parents like they were great people. They weren't like narcissists or you know what I mean? They were they were great people. They loved us, but they there was so much pain by you know, in terms of how things ended. That they never worked on their own stuff. You know, they never healed really the all the animosity and pain just played out constantly. You know, every time I came home from college, it was like, you're gonna go to your dad's house. No, you got to come here. This is your wheelhouse, right, that kind of stuff as opposed to Yeah, you got two houses like go wherever it makes sense. I was 20 years old. You know, but I was still like stuck in the middle.

Michael 41:11
So that is it. No

Dr. Erica 41:12
mistakes that could take a lifetime to heal.

Michael 41:16
So I guess I mean, you know, you spent time working on it, you know, good, better and different. That was a position you were put in and then you've handled it. So I guess that that says that there are there are potentially good outcomes, like divorce. I guess maybe trying to give some hope to guys maybe even myself in some ways, because what I what I worry about more than anything, is that this is going to damage my children for the rest of their lives. And and I'm trying to do my best and I'm and I'm definitely you know, I'm getting better and I had a lot of failings early on but is is this? I mean, it sounds like you were able to work through some stuff but is this Can kids get up? Don't give up get over is the right phrase, but can they can they be okay after this or are they going to inevitably have their own relationship struggles and go through their own divorces and then Thus, you know, sort of perpetuate the pain?

Dr. Erica 42:19
Right? Well, I guess the best answer is, it increases the chances of them having long term problems. No doubt about that. But, you know, like I said, I got a lot of help, but I worked through a lot of that stuff, you know, and some, you know, children who go through a painful, contentious divorce may need help. And it goes back to your question, you know, is it good to have my kid in therapy? Yeah, because the help could start early on. But sure, there's hope I didn't my parents like screwed so many things up and I had a lot of challenges, but they were loving parents who I you know, I had that. You know, they were there for me in in so many ways. And, hey, I just celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary. Oh, thank you. So it's possible, right to go through all of that and still come out the other side and be resilient, but it makes it harder. And you could spare your kids a lot of angst and emotional turmoil by doing it. The divorce in a better way, doing it in a child centered way thinking about how is what I'm about to say going to affect them. You know, that it can't just be getting my needs met and expressing my anger. It has to be thinking about the impact that it's going to have on your children.

Michael 43:48
I want to shift a little bit. Again, things pop in my head all the time. In terms of custody, Ken, do you have recommendations or I mean, obviously, everyone shoots for 5050 but there's so many variations and you know we call me call to 235-279-4673 Jedi whatever. What is there and obviously age is a factor but can you speak to that you do those are recommended schedules that are our best?

Dr. Erica 44:19
Yeah, well, age is a huge factor right? I mean, I think the younger children need more regular contact with both parents. You know, like if someone would say that, well, we're thinking of doing a week on and a week off with our two and four year old I would say that's a horrible plan. Because a week for a two and four year old is like a month to a 10 year old. Right? So I think the age is huge. And the older the kids are, the more they're able to tolerate longer periods of time away, right. I honestly I beyond that. I think it's really important to take into consideration the realities of your life. Like, oftentimes, you know, parents are fighting for 5050 yet one of the parents travels all the time. So it's like okay, how are you going to do 5050 When you're gone half the time? Or you know, one of the parents is on call, like, you know, for a lot so I think you know, when making a parenting plan, you need to take into account the kids age, and the realities of your life and don't just get caught up in the it has to be 5050 Because that's what feels equal. But what's gonna actually work in your life and in the realities of your life, right. And, you know, if one of the spouses is a teacher and they're off all summer, you know, it makes sense for kids to to spend the day when the other parent is working with the parent, that's home. But But parents get kind of crazy about that sometimes, like, well, that's not fair. Right? Well, it might not seem fair from your perspective, but how about from your kid's perspective? Like, don't you think they'd rather be with one of their parents than in some, you know, daycare situation, if that's possible. So take that into reality into into account the realities of your life. And honestly, Michael, I think the most important thing about any visitation plan is that it's followed consistently. What whatever you establish, stick to it, whatever you decide is going to happen. Make it happen, you know, yes, stuff comes up and they're, you know, you can't 100% of the time. But you know, the kid you picture the kids sitting at the window and waiting for their mom to show up for a visit. And, you know, she shows up three hours late or doesn't show up at all, because the kid knows this is the time that mom's supposed to be here. That's devastating. Right? So whatever you agree to try to stick to it as much as humanly possible.

Michael 47:08
So for my own selfish purposes, I'm going to ask what at what age do you think week on week off as is ideal because I have a nine and 14 year old I don't think the nine year old was quite ready for week on week off and and because of my my work and my travel sometimes gets in the way and she's very flexible thank thankful Lord or Buddha or whoever Tom Cruise that she had she allows me to make up my time but it is it does become difficult from you know, from time to time. At what age is week on week off. Okay.

Dr. Erica 47:45
Yeah, I mean, probably for the 14 year old it is. Yeah. Oh, I think when they start to get to that teenage years, I would think a nine year old girl not seeing their mom all week would be really hard. But you know, there's also sort of intermediate steps right so you know, if you did one week on one week off to build in maybe you know, a dinner once or twice a week, you know what I mean? So I think there's there's ways when when the child is on the cusp of that starting to be okay, but might it still might feel like a little too long, you know, to just build something in midweek or you know, the mom could come to a soccer game and you know, and see the kid I mean, there's there's usually opportunities even, you know, if one parent custodian only has the kids sleeping at their house, you know, to see them at some point.

Michael 48:40
Yeah, that leads me to one more question. Then we'll get your final question and we'll touch on how to get in touch with you and find all your good stuff. Stuff like lessons, practices. You know, whatever it is piano, horseback riding, clarinets like, how, how important is it for, for parents to be at those things? Even if it's routine, like practice, like soccer practice or whatever? How important is it? Is it for me I feel like I've tried to be if I can be there, I'm gonna be there period. Like it's, that's just my that's important to me. But some folks think the routine you don't need to go to soccer practices. Now. You know, what are you you know, how do you view that?

Dr. Erica 49:37
Well, I think it it's the same for divorce parents is non divorced parents. You know, I think as much as parents can be involved and present and supportive in their kids. Lives, I think it's to their kids benefit. I think that's that's the way we show that we care and we're, we're concerned and we love them and we want to be part of their lives. You know, can we be there for everything now? But you know, I've had kids sit in my office and say, you know, my dad never cared about anything. They never showed up for a single game. And, and, and there's like a hole in their heart because of that, you know, so I think it's awesome. You do as much as you do, and I'm sure your kids. Kids feel that and you know,

Michael 50:23
I think so. I think so. I mean, I feel like there's never any comments like, Oh, you're you know, you don't come to this or you don't come to that. I feel like they see that, you know, I mean, I don't ask or you know, but I don't I don't ever get the sense that I get the sense that they're, they're glad that I come to all those things.

Dr. Erica 50:41
I can't imagine that they're not and if you have a parent on the other side who's bad mouthing you, but your kids have the evidence of what they see in reality. You know, you're you're leading by example. You know, if if the mother says, you know, your dad's a deadbeat, he never does anything with you, kids. Your kids know the reality. Yeah, true. Right.

Michael 51:06
Yeah, very true. I mean, that's why I feel and I assumed that that would that was the sort of, you know, that's the best practice but, you know, other folks have other opinions, but I always like to talk to folks like you that are, you know, you're trained, you're, you're, you're, you know, you'd have the knowledge and obviously the practice and that, to hear that from someone who knows what they're talking about means a lot more than some random person on the internet.

Dr. Erica 51:31
So, you're doing good Michael.

Michael 51:33
I'm trying I'm trying. So the last question as a no, no, it's been a while since you've been on but the last question I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man who's just starting his divorce journey?

Dr. Erica 51:46
Well, that it's not an easy process. It gets easier over time. And there are ways in which you need to take care of yourself, so you can best take care of your children and working on your own issues and not letting your own pain and your own anger get in the way is going to be the best gift you could ever give to your children.

Michael 52:10
Okay, I couldn't agree more. And I speak from experience that it's not easy but it is important to try and handle it as best we can. So how can people find you and you know get in touch with you and I know you have a I think you have a new website, if I remember correctly, and you have different programs if I remember correctly. How can people get in touch with you?

Dr. Erica 52:32
Yeah, so we've kind of rebranded over the last couple of years, and my website is now called to Healthy Homes T wo to healthy homes, which of course is the goal to create two healthy homes and the website honestly is chock full of so much information. There I put out blogs a couple of times a month. There are just pages and pages of of resources on there. In terms a lot of the stuff we've talked about today and way beyond that, like every kind of issue you can imagine. I've written something about so there's a lot of resources. And basically what I'm providing is all kinds of support in different ways. So I have parenting education. Classes. I offer help developing parenting plans, you know, rather than fighting it out with the two lawyers to sit with me, who is very child focused and trying to help the parents say okay, given our kids age and given the realities of our life, what's going to be in their best interest in terms of a parenting plan? So, you know, again, the one to one coaching, two to one coaching, you know, I do work co parenting work. So I'm just trying to offer a variety of resources to help people get through this in the best possible way and to do everything they can obviously my my greatest goal is to help protect the kids, but working with the parents to be better co parents is the best way to be able to help the children

Michael 54:12
agreed Well, I think you're doing an awesome service and and I highly recommend everyone check it out. Thank you as always, for doing this and doing it again. I really really appreciate it. We will definitely stay in touch and and and definitely have to do it again because these these questions and new things always come up. So thank thank you so much for

Dr. Erica 54:32
agreeing to do it anytime. All right.

Michael 54:34
Take care. All right,

Dr. Erica 54:36
Michael. He'd be well, you too. All right.

Michael 54:40
All right. Thank you that flew by. How long was that? That was almost an hour. Pretty sure when to stop recording recording stopped. Yeah, thanks again. It probably be two weeks. I've been back on doing them weekly but a ticket. Typically what I've been doing is I'll do an interview one and then I'll do a solo one and then I'll do an interview on I'll do a solo one because booking guests is really difficult sometimes just to coordinate schedules and as you can see, here I am in Virginia, but I'll definitely keep you posted and let you know when it's out and

Dr. Erica 55:19
you know, happy to do it anytime. It's

Michael 55:21
fun. Awesome. Yeah, it was a blast. Thank

Dr. Erica 55:22
you so much. All right, Michael, you take care of good to see you too.

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Episode 121 – My Anxiety & Changes Made

In this solo episode I talk about some changes that have been made and where I am with my anxiety.  I provide a few tips that have helped me recently.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host, divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 121. This is going to be a solo episode and I'm going to cover a few things, one being my anxiety, sort of where I'm at with that, and two being my coaching program. So let's start with the second part first, my coaching program. So for various reasons, I have decided to stop doing group coaching. I think, if I'm being honest, I just lost the capacity. To do that, I think I lost the ability to give my focus to folks that were in the group that were expecting my input and focus, I just couldn't give it even though they were done with the program, they still had expectation that I was going to be more involved in providing coaching and feedback and advice and support. But it really was, I've been stretched as you know, I've been stretched in since this new job started almost a year ago, actually, tomorrow will be one year. And my ability to provide guidance was was really limited. And I did hire someone, and he was a tremendous help. But that didn't really solve the problem, or it didn't provide what I think people expect it because it's my program and I'm the guy and I think people had expectations that I would be continued to even though they would have finished the program that I would continue to be providing all those things that I do when they're going through the program. And I think some expectations were different than mine and that cause some friction and stuff. But I think ultimately the bottom line is I need to stop doing group coaching and I'm going to shift for now to a one on one type of situation. So as as of right now, I'll only be taking on one max two clients at a time, we'll still go through the program, but there'll be a little bit more flexibility, there still will be assignments and videos and things that you'll have to do but it will be under a different format. I think I'm going to utilize Marco Polo, a little bit more than a Facebook group. And I may get back to doing the group coaching but it's going to require a change in in my work circumstances and that that may happen it may not but I'm still dedicated to providing support to people that really truly need it the people that are really in the depths of despair, or the people that are just lost. I think this way allows me to focus more on the people that are actively or you know, people that are really really in need of guidance and help and and haven't learned any tools or any skills that my program teaches so that's that you know, there was some missteps on my part in terms of ending it for sure. I handled it very poorly quite frankly and I'm trying to learn and grow from that and I've already had a positive experience with having a difficult conversation with someone and perhaps in the future you'll hear about that but I'm I'm trying to be a better man and I that that trying that fight that desire will never go away so and as I posted this morning if you follow me on Facebook I posted that you know essentially your your fuckup so your your greatest teacher and that's true you don't you don't learn as well. When you have a victory as when is as you do when you have a failure that is when you fuck up when you fuck up it gives you something to to analyze and look at and determine what you know where am I missteps here What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? You know, first you like I say often you define it what did I do wrong? And then you can ask why? And then the next question is you know how do I do it differently going forward? So that's what I've done and I'm going to continue to do I am a human being and I fuck up. And but I refuse to I mean there was some some initial you know a little bit of a down on myself a little bit but not Not, not much. It was more just disappointment and it needing to happen or Perhaps maybe it was, it needed to happen a lot sooner. That's almost assuredly the case. But I was trying to hold on to this little dream. But, um, but that, and also, I'm not giving up on that. It's just I'm taking a different course of action. You know, Adam, Adam, Adam Grant, sorry, Adam Grant talks about this. He posted about it a few months ago. And he talks about, you know, it's, it's not, it's okay to pivot, okay, to change, you're not giving up, you're just redirecting. And that's kind of what I'm doing with this. And so I'm going to redirect, and I'm going to focus on one on one coaching. I'm excited about that prospect. I'm going to have some announcements later in the month in terms of pricing and things of that nature. Just because it's sort of the anniversary of starting coaching, and it's also going to be coming up with third anniversary, this podcast, believe it or not. And that's fucking crazy to me. But anyway, you'll hear that next couple of weeks, probably on the anniversary of, of the podcast, but just know that, you know, I'm not, I'm not giving up, I'm not quitting, I'm just, I'm just changing a little bit. And I hope, at least at this juncture in my life, it's for the better, and allow me to be more. I don't want to say intertwined. But I think more therapists like, not a therapist, not saying that, but just more of that type of a relationship rather than a little bit disconnected. Because when you get too many people, and there's too many videos to review, and assignments and things of that nature. It can, it can allow, certainly allow me to feel disconnected to people into the province, to the process, but absolutely the people. So I think this is a good thing. Long story short, so that's that. Onward and upward. I say it all the time. And I mean, speaking of onward and upward, I want to talk about my anxiety. So I am doing very, very well. And I'm gonna kind of go over a couple of things I thought about maybe doing this is like just a solo, standalone episode where I just talk about what I've been doing what I've developed. Because as I said, I'm not just going to take this fucking thing lying down here, I'm going to try and come up with something that doesn't mean that I've cured my anxiety or any kind of that bullshit. But I have making a I put in a serious dent into my anxiety, and I'm in a much better place. So what did I do? What are the steps that I took to sort of face my anxiety sort of meet it? head on? Well, number one, honestly, to go back to the previous topic is I stopped doing the group coaching because I think that was a part of my anxiety, for sure. And so I made that decision. And I think that has, I've seen some benefits there. The other thing I've done is, it's really kind of a mindset thing. So every morning I'm doing I'm writing things I'm grateful for, I'm writing affirmations on I'm writing my strengths. Every morning, I had an alarm on my phone remind me to do this. I shouldn't say every morning every morning. And if I'm on the road, it is more difficult. I don't do it then because it throws my schedule out of whack. But every morning, I am home during the week, this is what I'm doing. And I feel like this is a benefit also listened to every morning a inspirational motivational type of video on YouTube. It's the same one. It's I could probably provide a link but it's basically it's not by Tony Robbins. But it's Tony Robbins speaking, someone else took something he did and put it into a into a little video. I think it's like 30 minutes long. So I've been trying to do that. I've been trying I've been doing that. And that's that's paid some some dividends. So small ones, it helps you start your day with my right mindset. It's not and it's not fake. It's not phony. It just it allows you to sort of get into a good headspace and start your day. So that is helpful. The other thing I'm doing is a really, really, really listening to my body. And when I feel the stress, I absolutely stop what the fuck I'm doing and I meditate I find a good meditation on YouTube and I take not long 510 15 Max minutes, and I meditate and I relax and i Calm the fuck down. The other thing I'm doing is I bought a smart ring and I highly recommend this thing. It's poorly named it's called ring con, which I don't know who the fuck named it but yeah

Michael 9:50
it's poorly named, but it tracks my sleep attracts my stress levels, my activity and it will it will show me where I'm stressed it and when And, and then that allows me to make some decisions as well. So okay, I had a really stressful that meeting was really stressful why? Why was that? Was I not prepared? Was it the person? How do I handle it differently? Again, being mindful being open and and taking a look at all these things that that is also been a benefit to me. The other thing again, I decided I was going to attack this, how do I deal with this? What can I do? There are a lot of reading and a lot of research. And I found that there was a lot of recommendations for magnesium taking magnesium for anxiety actually, is beneficial to help. And so I do that every night, I take, I can't remember the the milligrams, I probably should have wrote it down. But just do the research, go on the web and say, How much magnesium, how much and what type is there's two different types of magnesium? Do I take for anxiety? I think that has helped as well. You know, again, the research that studies the data, it's all out there, and it says this, this can be helpful. Is it like a cure all? Probably not? No? Is it a piece and component of all this stuff? Yeah, I think anything, any tool that you can pick up to put in your toolbox, I can do it, pick it up and try it. And I don't know that it's, you know, like I said, I don't know that it's, you know, the key component here. But I do know that since I started taking that since I've been doing all these other things, and I'm gonna get to the last one, the big one, things have been better, I feel much, much, much, much, much better. Not only do I have less panicky feelings. I also have learned how to handle it when I do. So this is the last piece and and for me, so all those other things sort of bring the volume down, I think to make it less likely that your cup is runneth over, you know what I'm saying so that it brings the levels down. But when sometimes those levels kick up anyway, stress happens, panic happens. So what do I do? So I developed this technique, I don't think it's anything earth shattering or rich, probably someone else does something very similar, but I do the following when I start to feel a little panicky. First is I take a deep breath, and I find something that I can see within my eyesight. And so right now I can see my laptop right there. And then I see that as Okay, I see my laptop and I take a deep breath. And then I find something else that I see I see a tripod over here, a camera tripod, again, I take a deep breath. And then I find something else that see the speakers and monitors in my studio. And then I take a deep breath. And then I listen for things. So what. So I do three, three things that I can see, next to three things that I can hear. So I can right now I can hear obviously myself talking, which, when you're by yourself, this is a little bit more challenging, but it's not impossible. I can hear the fan on my, on my laptop. When I move my arms, I can hear the little jingling of my bracelets. This this what this does, my understanding is it gets you out of fight or flight. It takes you out of that. That lizard brain and it puts you in a thinking brain. And then the other than to do that three times three things that I can hear for follow up I'm on an airplane. And this is where typically where it happens. But sometimes in a car to like like riding in an Uber or in a vaccine, it's a small car or something. I'm big dude. So I when I do these things in those moments that has really, really less than the last thing I do is feel so three things that I can feel, they can easily rub your leg and feel your pants or jeans, your sweat pants, whatever it is that you're wearing. And then could be your phone case could be your own skin like Oh, it feels really it's feels kind of dry today. But breathe in between each one of these. The breath is probably a big part of the key. The Press allows it, it allows you to pause, it calms you It soothes you. And then again, when you're focusing on things other than your nebulous, other worldly problems, and put you in, in in what's really happening in reality and in the present. It takes these stress levels and just knocks them down. I have found this to be really, really helpful. I have had a panic attack. I've had panicky moments or moments where I felt again, listening to my body where I could feel like maybe notice a tightness in my in my upper back maybe, you know or just being mindful of the situation like I'm about to get on an airplane. I'm not a fan of being like if I'm next to sandwiches in somewhere if I have a middle seat or whatever. If I know that this is coming up. I can sort of pre prepare myself, you know, this year You gotta be okay. You take amendment you fly in many, many, many, many, many times. Once you sit down once you get settled, go through your, your process, you know, your deep breaths, your looks looking for something, you're hearing things and what you can feel. And it has greatly greatly helped me. I am in a much, much better space in mentally, and I am very, very thankful for this. This isn't always easy to say. And if you're out there and you struggle with this, just keep working on it. But I'm very, very grateful for who the fuck I am. Because I didn't take this problem go, Oh, I'm off. It's fucked. I'm fucked. Everything's fucked this is I don't know what to do. Let me and this is not to say that medication is bad, but let me go run and get some medication. If you need medication, go fuck and get it. I'm not judging that. But I'm saying. Rather than doing that I decided, okay, what the fuck can I do to solve this problem? Now, that doesn't mean it's forever solved. I'm never gonna have another panic attack, I'm never gonna have stress or feel panicky doesn't mean that but I had a problem. And I said, How can I fucking fix it? And I have many problems. And I'm not done. But I'm a resilient motherfucker. And so if I can do it, anybody can do it. Just make it the intention. I'm going to do this. And I'm briefly talk about because I got a one o'clock meeting. I'll briefly talk about another victory, another moment of setting the intention. And that is I'm, I'm talking with someone and then I went on a date with someone and something occurred not a big thing. But but a thing that probably like that in the past, I would have ignored or or certainly, yeah, not talked about. But something occurred. Not a bad thing. I promise you eventually I'll get into the details, but I won't now. And I had a difficult conversation that I didn't really want to have, I just because I set the intention, I don't want to be a person who avoids things. Now, again, this doesn't mean that I've fucking fixed it, or I'm never gonna flake out again, in terms of not having a difficult conversation. But I set the intention, I don't want to be like this, I don't, I want to be able to face my fears, my, my worries, my anxieties, and do something about it. I'm not going to keep fucking just complaining about where I am and making no changes. So if you're out there, just set the intention, whatever the big thing is in your life that you're really, really struggling with, whether that be loneliness, depression, anxiety, whatever it is, just set the intention, I'm going to figure this out, and then read and listen to things and implement things. All of these problems that we have, they are all, I don't want to say fixable, because that might be a little bit strong, but they are certainly manageable. And we don't have to keep going through life. And having the same things continue to happen to us. We can make change, it is fucking possible. I don't give a fuck what anyone says People don't change bullshit. People that have the intention to change can change. And that's that's true. Every fucking human being. So take some, some joy, I suppose in my victories? Not not, you know, I haven't won the war, so to speak, I don't think but I've won some battles. And you can do the same. It just takes intention, and effort. And like my last guest said, perhaps some courage. So it's all God. This is a quick one. But I wanted to give you an update. I do have another one recorded with Dr. Eric Ellis. I recorded that one while I was on the road. I think I it again, if you follow me on Facebook, you seen that I posted a picture of the new backdrop that I got for the road for when I'm when I'm in hotels, so I can hopefully continue to record these things regardless of my work schedule. So I'm excited about getting one out. I thought it was a really good episode and it touches a lot. Well, it's all it's all about, you know how to deal with kids if you have them and divorce and how do you manage that? And how do you how do you navigated? And, and it's a good one, I think and it'll be out probably next week, this one will come out I think today the sixth of November of 2023. But it might might not be till the seventh, we'll see. So if you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach out you know how to find me at this point in and just don't give up. Onward and upward is something that I say and I fucking mean it. Until next time, take care of yourselves and take care of each other.

Michael 19:46
Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019 I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs I've taken all that I've learned and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com I look forward to working with

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Episode 120 – Social Skills & Conflict Resolution – Dr. Ron Riggio

In this episode I talk with Dr. Ron Riggio about social skills, what they are and how to develop them.  I also talk with Dr. Ron about my severe lack of conflict resolution skills.


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Michael 4:20
Joining me today is Dr. Ronald regio. Dr. Ron, let's just jump right into the ones tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Ron 4:45
Okay, well I'm a I'm a professor and I, I'm a psychologist and but I teach more Organizational Psychology around leadership and but I've also kind of an expert in nonverbal communication. That's how I started out and interpersonal skills social skills. So actually how I got to leadership is I was studying relationship skills. And then I realized leadership was a very complex relationship, right that we have relationships with our national leaders with our bosses. And so that led me into that kind of on a personal level. I've got two daughters from two different mothers. So I've been through that and then I have two stepkids so so I have some experience in that world, and I'm in California, and I've taught in all the California systems University of California, Cal State I'm now at a private liberal arts college Claremont McKenna College and, and I really liked the liberal arts atmosphere that broad learning

Michael 5:50
Nice. Well, it's, it's so you didn't say specifically, but it sounds like maybe you've been through a divorce yourself. Couple alright. So that I mean, it's everywhere. And I didn't know that prior. I mean, I'm not surprised right, because it does seem like it's everywhere, but and there's some of the things I think we may touch on too. We definitely going to have some rabbit holes here because I'm I'm experiencing some I'll say some leadership issues on my end all say failings, maybe even. And that's perhaps an avenue that we could explore. But before we get that any of that type of stuff. One of the reasons I you know, the main reason I had you on is is you wrote an article about social skills about loneliness and how you know, the, the need for social skills. And so that's what I want to talk about today. So as I like to do is define things. So let's first define what what are social skills and I think there's a few of them that we'll we'll cover.

Dr. Ron 6:53
Yeah, so, you know, think of this social skills. It's pretty complex. But it's basically people's ability to, to navigate and to, you know, behave in social interactions and, and that obviously relates to relationships. And let me kind of relate this to some things that are sort of more in the popular psychology press. So you might hear a lot about emotional intelligence and this idea that people can communicate non verbally they can communicate, you know, emotionally and that's, you know, unlike verbal communication, nonverbal communication, you know, we don't have words to describe it. And but that's a big part of connecting with people. So we connect it with people at the emotional level. And so that's one area, the area that I think doesn't get enough attention, you might kind of call it social intelligence. So motional intelligence is about the nonverbal side. Social intelligence is about the verbal side, and kind of understanding what's going on in social interactions. So I actually divided into the two sides although there's overlap. But if you think about skills, social skills, there's sort of just three basic ones. There's ability to send messages to communicate to other people to and at the emotional level that's getting our feelings out at the verbal level or the social level. That's really saying the right thing at the right time or carrying on conversations, that kind of thing. So, so expressing ourselves. The other side of that is like called sensitivity. So it's being sensitive to other people's emotional and nonverbal cues. So knowing that somebody's upset or or getting angry or in a good mood, and again, that's the nonverbal side, but that sensitivity is being able to pick up on those emotions, those emotional messages from other people. On the on the sort of verbal social side, that sensitivity is kind of reading other people being able to listen well to what they're saying. Extract the meaning, but in a social situation, it's also knowing about kind of how we navigate social situations, including relationships. You know, what it was sort of the, the unspoken rules, right? Psychologists call those norms, the unspoken rules, knowing what we call scripts, knowing how to behave in certain situations, and just simply, you know, you attend a wedding. There's certain things that you do at a wedding we know like what the script is, you know, on a first date, we know there's a script, there's things that you don't, you know, bring up, there's things that you might bring up that kind of thing. And then last is that ability to regulate all of this. So if we think of the emotional level, we need to regulate our emotions, you know, not fly off the handle. And at the at the social level, that regulation is kind of, you know, I worked with a couple of people and one of them coined the term savoir faire or the term Saba, knowing how to be being able to control yourself in a social setting, so that you behave in a way that presents yourself well, so think about impression management. So there's a lot going on there. But basically, think of it as expressing yourself. The sensitivity listening to other people, and then regulating and controlling your own behavior and so that that encompasses general social skills.

Michael 10:36
There is going to be some very large rabbit holes that we're going to go down because of my own personal situation. Okay, so but I don't want to get too far off track just yet. I'm gonna I'm gonna skip over this rabbit hole. But we're coming back to get there. Oh, yeah. So so how do you develop these things? And they sound sort of, I don't want to say abstract but in a way, right. Like, how do you and I struggle with this again, this is the rabbit hole. It's coming. I think, but I struggle with these types of things. How do you practice how do you practice on reading someone's emotional intelligence types, or, you know, reading someone's feelings like how do you I guess, let me go back to the first question is how do you develop these things first? Yeah, it seems it seems sort of nebulous, kind of, you know what I mean?

Dr. Ron 11:30
Yeah, it is. I mean, it is but here's the thing. So think about this. Anything you want to develop you want to become you know, you want to be buff? You know, you want to be in good shape and all that kind of stuff. And you know, it's going to take hard work and you're going to have to work at it over time. So that's the first thing you should realize that you know, that this to really become an expert at, you know, expert level of social skills really, you know, being able to impress people to navigate all kinds of complex social situations. It takes time right now, we've been developing this, you know, over our lives, but the first thing is to so sort of commit commit that this is going to take a lot of work. Okay. So let's look at sensitivity first. Okay. So if we're talking about the emotional side of the equation, right. We've got to be able to read people's expressions, and people are very good sometimes in managing their facial expressions, and you know, so we have to pay attention to those subtle cues. And so one of the things we do is just say, you know, become a watcher, people watcher, so spend some time you know, you know, maybe in a you know, in a park or something where people are interacting and see if you can read their their emotional expression, see if you can see what's going on. You know, a long time ago when that when I don't know if they're still popular but soap operas. I use where we used to train students to pick up on nonverbal cues. We used to have them watch soap operas with the sound off and then try to predict what was going on in the social situation. And if you think about it, that you know, people are overactive on TV or overacting soap operas, so it's actually a good way to sort of pick up on the cues and then you can kind of turn the sound on and test yourself you know, if you can see this like in movies you know, are these two people going to get together romantically? Is there going to be a fight you know, so, you know, working on those kinds of things and then doing in your everyday life. So, one of the things to be a good watcher and listener is you got to put your own expression on hold. And so you know, we always kind of want to talk or whatever. So let me give you an example. We're meeting somebody, it's a party or a social situation or whatever and you're meeting them. Very often what we do is we think about what we're going to say next, in this interaction. And what I'm arguing is, if you want to develop sensitivity, you've got to be much more of a listener, and much less of a talker. So you know, so you say, Well, tell me about yourself, and then you do what you do. You kind of interview the person and gives you a baseline on, you know, like, where they're coming from, and helping you understand. So paying more attention to the other person paying attention to the subtle cues, and then checking whether you're accurate, you know, so if you encounter somebody they seem to be a little distraught, say, you know, I'm picking up some cues here, that you're not feeling so well. So tell me about that. And then that helps you develop empathy. And empathy comes from that, that sensitivity that ability to to kind of read other people's people's cues. So so that's the way you have to approach it. If we talk about being a better at expressing yourself, so some people have difficulty expressing themselves, you know, being articulate as we say, you know, there's a lot of things you can do there are there are speaking groups, there are there's Toastmasters, there's these kinds of groups, where you get to public, you know, publicly speak and you know, and you can and the other thing too is be prepared. So if you're if you want to, if you're going to a mixer or something like that, be prepared have a few things you want to talk about beforehand. So you know, that works on your expressive skills. And then then the other thing too, is get some feedback, you know, you want to a lot of guys, so one of the sex differences in this, okay, so women tend to be more sensitive than men, okay? I mean, just as a group, right? They're better at picking up on emotions. Men tend to be better at controlling their emotions, right? Whereas if we think about it, that's the way we're raised. Right? You know, stop crying, you know, son, you know, take it like a man, that kind of thing. And so what we, over time, many of us, not everybody but But men generally, to control our emotions to control our emotional expressions. So one of the things you have to do is sort of stop that and start to you know, express your emotions a little bit and and you know, getting feedback really helps. So, you know, we hear this all the time you know, that your your significant other says, you know, you're kind of cold, you're kind of distant or whatever. So work on trying to, you know, put the put the feelings out there, you know, this idea of kind of like they say wear your heart on your sleeve, you know, you know, try to make an effort to, to do this and if you can't do it non verbally, you can just verbally do it and say, you know, in cash, I'm not feeling so good today, and I'm down because of this and, and overcoming that resistance to get letting your feelings out there because the only way you're going to connect with people is through through feelings is through feeling like hey, we're we understand each other at an emotional level.

Michael 17:17
So, I mean, it really is about I mean, I always like to make it simple because I'm a simple fella, but it's really about intention, right? It's like identification and attention. I have a problem in social situations. And a lot of so what I think a lot of men that are going through divorce deal with is their social life is in torpedo blown up Hiroshima, whatever the fuck you want to say. And so they don't know what to do and because they're there, they're left to their own devices. They're there. They have to go out have to but I mean, they're Yeah, in a way you have to go up by yourself like, I mean, obviously you can put up around friends and stuff but like it for a lot of guys, what happens is, like I said, things get blown up. And friends choose sides and suddenly they don't have as many options or you know, they don't have that comfort level of having that person with them. And so, so they just kind of feel lost. They don't know what to do, certainly in a social setting. Maybe in general, but certainly now that that's that's just them and so they have to you have to be set the attention right like I need to or maybe need is not the right word, but I certainly want to get out and be around people I can't stay in my house, my apartment or my whatever for ever right I have to get out and so, but I'm really but it makes me very uncomfortable. I feel very awkward. It's very weird. It's just me people are gonna think I'm weird. But if your intention is to get to heal, I think from this part of it, I think has to be to get out into social settings and be around folks. And so if you know that knowing that, then you have to set the intention. And and and work on it and do these types of things. Right. I mean, it can't it's not going to magically happen. So you

Dr. Ron 19:05
have to go out and try and practice you know, it's like it's like the gym membership. You know, if you never go to the gym, you're not going to you know, you're not going to build yourself up and so you've got to go to the gym, and the gym now is a social situation and you know, get yourself out there and you can start slow you don't have you know, you can start off at you know, find some group that you can identify with that's relatively non threatening. You know, I, one of my colleagues here, you know, she's always posting on Facebook that she has a book club, you know, and that's kind of a women women's thing, or it seems like there's more women doing that. But there's nothing wrong with having kind of, you know, joining a discussion or something like that. And that allows you that that practice right to practice things. The you know, the other thing too is start off slow and work on the sensitivity work on the listening skills. Don't feel like you don't necessarily have to participate and you can be straight with people. You can say, hey, you know, I'm going through a divorce. I don't feel really safe sharing a lot of myself but I'm here and I really want to learn from you all and I want to you know, experience it. And so I'm not going to talk a lot I'm going to really listen I'm going to I want to try to work on being a better listener. You can be straight with people. And I think that's the thing too. We're so concerned about our self image a lot of times and I think you got to have a little courage and say, Look, you know, people are going to judge you you can't do anything about that. But, you know, they it's not always going to be negative. I think people think you know, worst case scenario. And I think what happens one of the things we find when we do you know these these programs where we try to develop people social skills, we find that over time as they start to develop this they get a sense of what we call self efficacy, the belief that they can do it that they can perform in a social situation. And it's that confidence that really helps them and so you start to build up a con a confidence and, and so you've got to start off slow but a good way is to start off with the listening skills, the sensitivity skills, and then work on the expressive skills and you can do those in different scenarios. Like I said, you could join up speaking group like Toastmasters. You know, they said the number one fear of college students is public speaking which I find extraordinary because I'm at a college where we make the students present all the time. And you see it, they're way more confident. You know, when I was in the State University, I'm in a small college and we see these kids they are forced to do it because they're in small classes. But when I was in the State University, 150 people in a class, they're afraid to raise their hand and speak up because they're afraid they're gonna embarrass themselves. But you know what, 149 other people there. No one's gonna remember what you said. Yeah. So I think a lot of it is you have to get the mindset of feeling, a sense of confidence, a sense of security, that you know, people are gonna judge me but not gonna be the end of the world and probably, they're going to be more positive than they are negative.

Michael 22:19
Is it a matter of also perhaps, like having like, I think you mentioned earlier like scripts, like having something like, I'm going to talk about this and and and you know, focus on that sort of storytelling, or, you know, I guess storytelling is kind of the right way, right? You're kind of essentially telling a story. If you meet someone and they start asking questions, you know, you have a story to tell certainly. So it isn't a matter of would you would you recommend like somebody like writing out some things or what how does

Dr. Ron 22:47
Yeah, I think I think you would want to have a little bit, you know, prepared beforehand. Now, there's a guy that was actually good friend and colleague, and unfortunately passed away a few years ago, but his name is Bernie Carducci and he was an expert and shyness and one of the things that he did is he developed you can actually, I still think pick these up on Amazon. He developed pocket guides, like Pocket Guide to small talk, and it's just a few tips, you know, and you can probably find these things too. You can probably Google it, you know, but but that's a good strategy, have something prepared that you want to talk about and, and then the other side of it too, is that sort of that idea of knowing how knowing what to do. So you know, you want to assess your, your little pocket guide and say, okay, am I getting to personal care, or is it just a right you know, you want to sort of assess the level of of what you're doing, you might disclosing too much too quickly. You know, that kind of thing, because, you know, it is that is a common situation. I mean, but basically we develop relationships through showing more of ourselves showing more of our sort of authentic selves to people, but you can't just blurt it all out, right so well. So when I talked about impression management, I talked about this delicate balance between controlling your impression so that you make a socially acceptable presentation and being authentic, showing your your true self but not being like, you know, just laying it all out there. So, you know, it's, it's a little bit like fly fishing, you know, you want to just give them enough, you know, sort of out there but but don't don't throw the whole thing out, you know? Yeah,

Michael 24:38
yeah, it really is a skill, right? You really have to practice right? I mean, for some people it comes natural. I mean, I I feel like in general, socially, I'm fairly fairly decent. I don't mind public speaking as long as I know what the topic is, you know, someone were to throw me in a room full of people and say, talk about the solar system. I'd be like, yes, like planet that's,

Dr. Ron 25:01
that's the deal. Be prepared, you know. Yeah. But look, look, I mean, if that was the situation, you can turn that around, and they said, Well, you know, we're talking about the solar system, or you know, I mean, you say, Yeah, you know, and then you then you think of a bridge and you say, Well, I was here to talk about movies, but hey, maybe I can bridge that, you know, have you seen any movies that relate to you know, you know, did you guys see what's that? Well the Martian right or something like that. So I mean, try to make that connection so that you can bridge into the conversation. That's interesting.

Michael 25:39
Okay, so we're gonna dive into something and I, how do you I mean, you mentioned leadership. You mentioned sort of social intelligence and emotional intelligence, I would guess, and I speak from some really, really recent experience that conflict resolution is a huge part of leadership, correct? Yes, it is. Yeah. I am fucking really bad at it. Help Help me.

Dr. Ron 26:05
Yeah. Okay. Okay. So the goal of conflict resolution, think of this in in a conflict, you got two people with incompatible goals. Okay. And, and the idea is, we go into this in a competitive way, and we think it's going to be a win lose situation. You know, I'm going to win, or I'm going to lose. All right. Get rid of that thinking and think about this way. How can we get to a win win? Now win wins may be difficult, right? If you know if you're trying you know, you're trying to get a raise from your boss, you know, and the boss is saying, hey, financially, I can't do it. You're not going to get a win win because he doesn't want to spend more money and you want to get more money, right? And so, but when it comes to interpersonal things, we can sometimes get to a win win situation. And so that's your goal. That's the ideal. You get what you want, and they get what they want. All right. Now may not always happen, but don't think of it as a win lose situation because if the other person loses, they're going to have resentment. And if you lose, you're going to have resentment. So the next level, the Win win, we call that collaboration is compromise. Now compromise is a lose lose situation, but you're not you're losing at a much lower level. So each of you gets a little bit of your goal, but not all of your goal. And if you think of it that way, it's sort of a partial win, right? It's a, you know, it's not a win a true win, but you gave up a little bit of something too. And so I think that's the idea is to first come in with the mindset of, we've got to make this work, ideally, Win win, but at best compromise, how can we compromise? So I think I think partly it's the mindset. Now, you may encounter another person who is hell bent on, I'm going to win and you're going to lose and at that point, you have to say, hey, this doesn't work for me. And either you're going to compromise, you know, or you know what, you can start by saying the positive maybe we how can we make this a win win situation? They say that's impossible. Okay. How can we compromise because other than that, I'd say move away from that situation. If that other person is hell bent on making you lose, then you need to remove yourself from that situation.

Michael 28:40
So in my scenario, and I don't, I don't. By the way, I my last episode, I said I'm going to stop being so vulnerable. I think I lied, because I don't think I can do that. It's just not in my nature. So I want to because I feel like I had to protect myself, because I've had some hurts recently. And I know that there are probably people and I'm, I know I'm being kind of vague here but there. There are some folks that probably feel the opposite of what I'm feeling right now. In terms of they probably feel the way that I I feel and so my conflict resolution skills are I shut down and I go away. Right. And Mike my my my biggest issue is, is I can't have difficult conversations because I'm so afraid of, of words, hurting me because words do hurt. They hurt me. I'm a very sensitive dude. I know I'm six foot two bald tattoos but I'm a sensitive fella. And words hurt. And so I avoid words I assume and I know this is some inner child stuff outside of you around but I assume that a lot of it is I'm that that little fella if he can't take those words. I can't take that hurt. And so he tries to avoid it. I try to avoid it. And I don't know how to get past that. I don't know how to. I just assume everyone's good. ventually gonna go like Well, yeah, well you're a fucking idiot and your podcasts sucks and you're a moron and you shouldn't you deserve to be divorced. And so I don't want to have conversations. I just want I just want to walk away from it. And I know that that's not the right way to do it. I know that that hurts people's feelings. I know that probably led to my divorce. And I'm at least nothing I'm at least conscious and aware of it. But how do I get past that piece where I am just so afraid even have a conversation and these are not not with? Like if you and I had a disagreement, we could have a disagreement. I've had disagreements on this podcast, not many of them. I don't like to see my earlier comments, but especially someone that is, like close to me, or you know, I know fairly well. How do I get past having those difficult? Like, how do I how do you practice that?

Dr. Ron 30:46
Yeah. Well, I mean, the first thing when it comes to conflict is avoidance is is easy, right? I mean, we just avoid that. But we know that that's never going to resolve it's never going to lead to resolution. Right. So, you know, so the question is, so first, I mean, I think about courage, right? You've got to be courageous. And you've got to go out there you know, and I get it right. I mean, it's it's one thing to, you know, go out there physically and say, well, somebody he's gonna punch me in the face, but I can take it right. Right. But But now you're saying well, emotionally, the emotional punch I can't take because I have a sensitivity there. So first, I think you have to build up that, you know, the courage to say I'm going to take an emotional hit. And but I'm not going to let it you know, get to me. And I think a lot of that is to think of the worst case scenario kind of approach. I mean, a lot of psychologists talk about this, what's the worst thing that could happen the worst while your feelings get hurt, you know, but But and then play it all out and say, Well, what is that going to mean? Okay, well, I'm gonna hurt for a little while. I might have some resentment. But, you know, maybe I can get over the resentment and you know, so you have to kind of do that sort of worst case scenario. And what you'll find often is that if you picture a worst case scenario, what you're actually going to experience is far, far less than a worst case scenario. You know, rather than a major hurt, it's going to be a very minor hurt in the scheme of things. So you have to kind of do that. But I also think that one of the things that that kind of gotten into the last few years in the leadership realm is this idea of want to develop your character and part of your character is having the courage to go into these kinds of situations, these emotional situations and and do what needs to be done and take the hits. You know, the emotional hits, but realize that the other end you're going to come out stronger for it, you know, and build up that that that courage, that resiliency, that sort of emotional resiliency. And again, it's not easy, but you need to do it you need you know, because avoidance isn't going to help. And so you know about but the other thing too is, you know, a big part of this is perspective taking when it comes to conflict resolution, getting yourself in the other person's shoes and thinking about how they think about things and and and so that's the social level, what are they thinking? Well, they're thinking they want to win and they want to get this outcome and whatever. But then also put yourself in their emotional shoes and think about what are they feeling? What are they experiencing? And if they're experiencing this if they're experiencing threat, for example, I'm threatening to them. How can I be less threat? Right? So turn it around and say, Okay, I'm going to meet this person and understand this person. How can I get inside their heart, their emotions, and realize what's making them tick at an emotional level? And then how can I defuse that? How can I work on that? Right? And it's hard, I mean, but if you got the person you can, you can do that.

Michael 34:11
I think I get wrapped up in my own shit so much that I don't take the time sometimes to think about that. Like I don't consider other people's feelings because I'm so wrapped up by him and my own because I'm so sensitive and I'm so easy to hurt.

Dr. Ron 34:27
Yeah, well, then, you know, that's the that's what I've talked about that key to listening to the other person is we get so prepared. When we're in an interaction. We don't listen to the other person because we're thinking about what we're going to say next. Right. And you got to just put that on hold. You got to say, okay, um, you know, so think of it like, you know, you're the therapist. Or you're the counselor, tell me, you tell me more, tell me until you get enough that you understand it, because you can always share your side later. You know, so, so spend the time and the other thing too is, you know, it really works. So you know, we did this stuff with college students years ago and what we did was we worked with the guys on on enlisting to other people you know, getting in touch with the you know, the their partner's feelings the girl you know, this is boyfriends and girlfriends in college, you know, and the feedback we got after was, you know, the more I listened and the more i i was attentive to their emotional cues, you know, I got positive feedback. You know, my girlfriend said, Gosh, you become so warm. You kind of understand me, you get me, you know, you stopped being emotionally cold and distant, and then that was reinforcing to them. And then they did it more, you know, and so they got bigger gains, partly because they were getting rewarded from their partner, you know, so that's when you know, it's working when your partner says, hey, you know, you've changed in a good way. You know, now this is going to take time, it's not going to happen overnight or whatever. But

Michael 36:07
in terms of like, we were talking to leadership, and I felt like recently being being in a leadership position and being vulnerable. I felt like that was a misstep and a mistake, like in terms of like, I've coached men, I was coaching men the to get through this shit show that is divorce. And, and, and so that's sort of a therapist like I'm not I didn't wish I would have fucking I wish I would have went to therapy school and got got my psychology degree and all that stuff. But, but I went, I didn't and I was. So it's sort of like that sort of dynamic. And and sort of, I'm guessing sort of like in a professor role to like how vulnerable can you be in those roles and still expect a certain level of

Dr. Ron 37:01
prestige or Yeah,

Michael 37:04
because if I if I'm if especially a therapist, I would say more or or that we're a professor where it's like, you're you're like, guys, I don't know this problem is really tough or whatever, you know, that's the subject you're teaching and you're you're struggling with it. Like how much do you so I went through a program with it with a coach and I developed my own but the program I went through, the guy was very much above the fray. You know, he would lead meetings weekly, but he wouldn't dive into the daily nitty gritty. And I always felt like I didn't want to do it like that. I dove in, you know, and I started sharing all of my, my fuck ups and stuff, and I felt like, does that affect it? must affect perception. And I think maybe my expectation wasn't really getting into it here. My expectation was, I would have gotten the same level of support, and maybe it was given I just didn't see it, but I didn't feel like it. And then maybe I became resentful. I'm sort of getting off track a little bit here, but like, I guess, go back to my question, which is, how vulnerable can you be in a leadership position and expect to be seen as a leader?

Dr. Ron 38:13
Well, I think that again, it's that delicate balance, right? You have to maintain your authority or whatever you want to call it. But, but you can show vulnerability, and there's lots of research that supports this that that we want to see our leaders as human as caring about us, right? And you know, this goes back to the old thing they say by George W. He doesn't look much like a leader but he's the kind of guy you want to sit down and have a beer right? Right. Remember that? Yeah, sure. And so we want both of those things. We want our leader to be the you know, the strong, you know, person we can count on in a in a difficult situation, but we also want them to be personable, you know, and and gosh, I faced this as, you know, a faculty member, I'm supposed to be, you know, sort of positive role model. I can't, you know, I can't, you know, get get down and dirty or whatever, you know, or, or get too close, you know, you got to maintain that distance. But what I tried to do, and you know, is maintain that air of authority in kind of the classroom setting, but then encouraged the students to come one on one and there I can share things a little bit better when it's in a one on one situation. So, and you know, sometimes you can be straight with people too, because gotcha. I remember what to you so, when students go up to defend their dissertation, right, so this is they're going to become a doctor or whatever. We're, you get you have a panel of faculty members, and I remember this woman student going, God I walked into the room, and I thought you guys are going to eat me alive. You know, cuz I looked in you all look so serious and all that. And I said, You know what, that's our game face. You know? It's a test and so we have to have the game face. But think, you know, but we're not in our hearts. We're not that way. We want you to pass we want you to get done, you know, and, but don't just look at the surface. And so I think that's one of the things you want to say to people. If you're in a leadership role, or you're in a you know, I'm I'm doing this because of these reasons. I need to look professional I need to I need to maintain some distance. If you're coaching, I need to maintain that distance. Understand that. But I do feel for you. I do. You know, I talked about different kinds of empathy. There's a really good series of studies, that there's sort of really three types of empathy, empathy. Okay? The first is perspective taking. And that's purely cognitive. I get it, you know, you're going through a divorce, you're going to have negative, you know, feelings, you're going to feel hurt and all that, but I get it at an intellectual level. Okay. That's the that's just perspective taking and it's important, okay. Second is what's called empathic concern. Now I get it, I could put myself in your shoes and I could feel what you're feeling but I'm not feeling it right now. And that's what a therapist does. They they say, okay, I can get the wit you know, the distress you're feeling, but I'm not feeling distress. The third is what leads to emotional contagion. I'd literally feel your pain. And a third good therapist doesn't want to have that because they have to have that separation. But a good friend might have that and say, you know, kind of went through it too. But then they've got to move it away from that if they're going to be effective in counseling you back to the empathic concern. They've got to put their own feelings on hold, because what happens is, you know, think about it. If you go to a friend who's gone through the same negative experience, and you both start crying together, there's not going to be any healing, right? You're going to wallow in your in your misery, right? And so you have to get to that second level of I understand it, but to help you through it, I can't feel your pain, but I can understand it, and I'm going to help you deal with that pain. So you always want to stay in that level. Right?

Michael 42:15
Yeah, I I suppose maybe I wasn't ready, or I utilized the group in a way that I shouldn't have. And, you know, all I can do is learn and try and fix it and or, you know, be better going forward. But definitely the one thing and I'll go sort of go back to this a little bit. It's just this sort of my sensitivity, like, how do I get a thicker skin like because I feel like I'm incredibly sensitive. And like, I like that part of me in general. But sometimes it is not a strength. Yeah, sometimes it is a weakness.

Dr. Ron 42:49
Yeah, yeah. Well, I think you need to you need to, you know, work on that in terms of, you know, why am I why am I taking things so personally, why am I letting it get to me? And yeah, you do have to build up a little bit of a tougher skin you know,

Michael 43:05
how do you do that though? Like I people say that but how do you do like, I'm a man and I think I'll roll like this like you tell me the steps to take the instruction manual. I will I will actually read this one and I'll try it. Like what are the specifically and you know, I'm not I'm not gonna call you. Dude, I tried these. It didn't work. Yeah, like,

Dr. Ron 43:26
I mean, you know, I think in this case, yeah. That's where you you need to, you know, you need to like talk to a therapist, right. I mean, yeah, I've got this, you know, and, and I, I know you were well, anyway, I mean, I think, you know, it's it's okay to reach out for professional assistance. And yeah,

Michael 43:47
I mean, I have I have a therapist, but we haven't dove into this yet. It hasn't come up, right because I say this all the time. I was telling my buddy Chris this yesterday. It's like, if there was like a computer simulation program like a thing I could virtual reality and people would pop up in my life and randomly insult me and then I would be able to figure out how to navigate that shit. But that doesn't exist. And so these moments don't happen every day. Right? And how I just don't know how you practice something that's not seemingly not practicable.

Dr. Ron 44:18
Well, I think a good therapist would help you with that. A good therapist would say you know, okay, imagine this scenario. And this person says this hurtful thing to you and you go, yeah, that would really hurt. Why would it hurt and then they would work through that with you, and try to help you develop that. That so I

Michael 44:36
think that's what we're doing now. Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, thank you.

Dr. Ron 44:41
And, you know, the reality is, you know, what's the worst case scenario? You know, I don't know, man, a total fool of yourself. Hey, I'm a self calm. You know, it personally, I'm as self conscious as anyone else, you know, but you have to develop this, this ability to say, you know, what's the worst thing you have? So I embarrassed myself, okay. But I'm not going to die. I'm not going to I'm not going to be shut out of you know, you know, and and, and maybe you really offended or lead to an you know, some kind of breakdown in a relationship. And a friendship or something like that. You know, is it going to kill the friendship, you know, and you can always go to the person and say, you know, look, I did this. I think I wrecked our friendship. You know, and can you assure me that, you know, or can we talk about that? And you know, and you'll find out it wasn't that big of a deal person got upset. They thought about it. They're not going to, you know, it's not the end of the relationship necessarily. And if it is, then you want to say, well, you want to defend yourself and say it was that relationship we're saving if the person went off because I made one mistake. And hey, it's because of my own vulnerability. And if they can't handle my own vulnerability, then why the heck do I want to be associated with

Michael 46:02
Yeah, I think I you know, I just, I made some major. I know

Dr. Ron 46:05
it's hard. That's the thing. It's very hard to develop this. You know, I do a lot around leader development. And, and it's, it takes a lot of work to become a good leader, you know, and, in fact, the last book I wrote was, I did that during COVID. And it was called, it's called Daily leadership development. And it's What can you do? Just every day you don't like the idea is to put it on your, on your nightstand, read a page a day and say, okay, and because the end it tells you what can I do today to hone this leadership skill or to you know, to gain this piece of knowledge or whatever, and the idea is, got to do it. Every day, you know? So,

Michael 46:49
I, I always kind of fell into leadership roles, because I'm just going to be honest, I'm tall and white. So a

Dr. Ron 47:00
lot of people become leaders because other people look to them and say, Hey, step up. You look, you know, you're tall.

Michael 47:07
I mean, I think I mean, if you I know the average height for CEOs in America, six foot two, I'm six foot two. I mean, I'm not saying that makes me see you. I'm just saying I think that that's a component and I always felt like, you know, when I was a military when I went through boot camp, I was Sergeant Mattis master at arms, sorry, maybe fellas, mastered arms like that was a leadership position that I was sort of thrust into. And so it always sort of falls on my lap in sometimes absolutely positively because of my choices. Like I decided I was going to help people through divorce and I made that decision. And and but I hate fucking hate fucking up. I hate messing up. I hate this attorney into a therapy session clearly, but

Dr. Ron 47:52
I think I think a lot of that is is going through this process of learning that, you know, it isn't that bad. People make mistakes. We're human. And it needs to, you know, develop that resilience to say, messed up. I'm going to try to do better next time. I'm going to probably mess up again, but I'll always try to improve and look at it as you know, the sort of baby steps idea, you know, step by step. I'm getting better every day, you know, but But you know, and realize too, it's not this way. It's not a upward trend. There are times and this we know this from leadership development. My colleague who's a real expert in Leadership Development says if you track a leaders development, it there are times where they just dropped down to the bottom you know, again and then but then they have to work their way back up. You know, that it's it's not a straight upward path. It's peaks and valleys right peaks and valleys.

Michael 48:56
No, I'm certainly in a valley for sure.

Dr. Ron 48:59
Well, didn't get what I would say is work your way out of that figure out say, I'm not going to stay down here in this valley. How am I

Michael 49:07
know if you know if I'm not if there's a lot of things I am and I like a lot of parts of me and I am a resilient person for sure. I don't intend on not learning from this experience. And to be quite frank, I haven't learned enough from my divorce yet because this is one of the central reasons is I was unable to have difficult conversations because I'm fucking sensitive. And I don't want to get my feelings hurt so I'll just avoid and I need to fucking stop it. And I feel like I've made a lot of strides and understanding myself and and and I thought doing just just doing stuff like this like being vulnerable and being open and saying these things and you know, not just this topic, but many others that surround this divorce stuff. I thought that that was enough. Or, or maybe I'd hoped it was not I don't know, I just I felt like if I could just be open and honest. That that would be enough to sort of be a leader and to and to also heal because I'm expressing I'm talking but I haven't done enough of making fundamental changes of my personality. And I just, you know, and I hear you in terms of you know, I I think I got out sort of, I don't know get over it's such a I don't like the phrase but like I need to get beyond this, this fear of being hurt by people's words. Because that's it's not it's not embarrassment, or, I mean, I've said so many dumb fucking things on his podcast. You know, this is episode one. This is gonna be episode 120. If anybody wanted to take the time and comb through, I said some really dumb shit. I'm sure that so I don't care about that. But it's that it's that piece. Like I've had I've had people like, you know, people that that reach out negatively and like, you know, say really negative shit. That doesn't bother as much because I don't know them. It's the people that that are in my life that are able to just those words are like a you know a ship and

Dr. Ron 51:04
okay, let me give you an analogy. Okay, you know there are these guys that they work on their develop their six pack right their stomach muscles and they want to show you how strong their stomach muscles are. So punch me punch me in the gut. Right? You know, okay, what you're doing is you're you're doing the emotional equivalent of that. You're saying, Hey, I you know, punch me in the gut. Okay, but you haven't developed the this muscles to deal with it. And so your people have punched in the gut before you've developed your six pack to protect yourself. Right? And so that's really what you need to do. You need to work on developing that that thicker emotional skin and learning how and the only way you're going to do that is through cognitively reframing it and saying, I What's the worst you know, what's the worst things going to happen? You know, and get over that. You know, the hurt, make the hurt less, you know, because the guy getting punched in the gut. It probably still hurts, but don't do any damage. You know, and because he's he's got the resilience. And so it's always going to hurt a little bit, but it hurts less as you get stronger.

Michael 52:19
So I think I think you just I think you just called me out in the nicest way ever. You're right. You're right. You're right. I want to be somewhere and I sort of maybe I don't know, pretend is the right word. That's awfully harsh.

Dr. Ron 52:35
So I'll tell you something that that Bernie Carducci, this shyness guy taught me. He said, You know, there's really two kinds of shy people. There's people who are sort of so just really shy in a traditional sense. And they're the people who are over analyzing things. They're overly sensitive. They they don't put themselves out there because they're afraid of getting hurt. But if you don't put yourself out there, you're not gonna make any progress. Right? And so that's the deal and what they become is the social wallflower think of them at the big dance, right? And they're there and they're standing back watching, and they're picking out all kinds of things because they're so sensitive, and they're going, Oh, that guy is going to hit on that girl and you know, and boy, I'd sure like to go up and ask that girl to dance, but I fear the rejection. And it's that over sensitivity that's keeping you from engaging and going up and asking and the worst case scenario, they say no, get out of here, you creep. I don't think people are gonna go that far. But even if they did, what would it what would be the will that says something about how do you develop the resist resistance, their resilience? If they called you a creep that says something about them that doesn't say anything about you, because all you did was appropriately ask them if they wanted to dance, right? So you shouldn't feel you know, somebody oversteps on their side that's about them. That's not about you. And you got to develop that kind of thinking.

Michael 54:04
Yeah, and I do think that, you know, I wasn't the only one that made mistakes or I mean, I certainly you know, was the leader and I handled all very poorly but but there were absolutely missteps throughout it, but you know, as a leader, I there's some things that I you know, should have should have sort of nipped in the bud or,

Dr. Ron 54:21
you know, there's a truism about leader development leaders learn much more from their mistakes than they do from their successes. We do we do a post mortem, we do. You know, after review, when we fail. We rarely do an after review, and we succeed because when we succeed, we just think, oh, that's, that's normal, right? So the reality is, you know, you learn a lot more from your mistakes, but you can also learn from your successes. So do a post mortem for a success and say, Hey, that went really well. Why did it go? Well, well, because I said this, or I did that, you know. And so that's the other thing is really do these after action reviews and say how can I learn from this?

Michael 55:10
Well, I mean, that's definitely what I'm trying to do now. I mean, it's it's very recent, and so it's all sort of very, I'm not I'm not a religious fellow, but man, sometimes things happen and you go boy, that seems to line up like literally days ago and here you are being able to address some of these things with me and for me, and so thank you. I know that this definitely turned into a therapy session. But those to me are the good ones. That's why people listen, I believe it's because there is someone that can relate to what I'm saying 100,000% And they're gonna get something from this interview therapy session. That will help them for sure. Well,

Dr. Ron 55:44
you know, so let me kind of let me let me cuz you listeners might want some resources and things. And I think you found me through Psychology Today, right?

Michael 55:53
I yeah, I was I was thinking earlier on. I walked for lunch and I walked back and I was thinking, if psychology today.com Does ads, they really ought to contact me because I found that I nearly all of my guests come from psychology.com But anyway, yes, that's how I found you. Yeah,

Dr. Ron 56:11
so So what I'm at the stage of my career, where I'm trying to like I call it giving away the psychology right trying to you know, and so that's why I blog. You know, I do that I don't do this because you know, for the money or fame or whatever. I mean, I do it because I have a knowledge base. I'm trying to give it away the last book I talked about the daily leadership development book, I self published it purposely because I wanted to keep the cost low. I wanted to be out there for people. It's if you want to get the ebook which the day you can't put the ebook on your nightstand, but I guess you could put it into your phone and read it. I kept it at 999 which is as low as they'll go to anyone on Amazon. So the idea is I'm trying to get this, you know, what I've learned through this whole career out to people to try to help them because you know enough about what works and what doesn't work. Right. And so that's the point. And so if people are, you know, turn to a trusted source, I mean, I think I mean Psychology Today there, you know, there's some pop stuff in there and all that, but I think pretty much they've been monitoring things so you can find these these useful sites that can help you and so definitely, you know, it. It's like anything, it's like, I mean, I'm a college professor, you know, I tell the students you don't read the textbook. You don't prepare beforehand. You don't come with the right mindset of learning. You're never going to learn anything you can get through you can get Cs but you won't know anything. When you get out. You have a sheet of paper that says you got a college degree but you don't have any knowledge you know, so you know, you got to work at it.

Michael 57:56
Is there is there a book? I mean, besides, you know, the one you just mentioned that you wrote, is there another book that was really helpful in your journey or that you know, people have recommended for sort of having difficult conversations, conflict, resolution, that kind of stuff. Is there anything that you would recommend

Dr. Ron 58:12
Yeah, I think I think they're, well, there's not there's not a single book comes to mind. But I would say, go and look at these, you know, do read reviews of some of the books that you know, that'll help you you know, I'm more in kind of the leadership areas I you know, I think about you know, books that helped develop leadership you know, which is probably not not for your audience but but go out and investigate and some of that and you know, read a little bit and you don't it doesn't have to be a book. That's why I bring up the site today. They typically are your two to five minute reads. I mean, it's not a big investment. Oh, yeah. No,

Michael 58:50
I love that website. It's a wealth of knowledge. And it's provided me with many folks that I've interviewed. So as you know, the last question that I asked everybody and we'll get to, you know, where people could find you and your books and stuff. But the last question I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just beginning his divorce journey?

Dr. Ron 59:09
Yeah. So the first like, take care of yourself and take care of yourself physically, right. Do the right things don't you know, don't over eat, don't over drink, don't you know, physical well being but also mental well being, get your you know, and again, using the exercise analogy, it's going to take some work, you're going to have to work out you're going to have to work at it both the physical and the mental. Second, seek out support, okay, you don't have to do this alone. Whether that's professional counseling, and I think there's nothing better than professional counseling because these people are trained. Realize, though, you might have to shop around to find somebody who you're going to who's going to really help you. Or if you're a trusted friend, a trusted colleague, reach out to people and then the last thing is that motivation, get motivated. Don't, don't sit on your butt. You know, get motivated to make yourself better to work at it. realize it's going to be hard work. It's going to take some actual physical work like going out, joining us speaking group or whatever, or getting yourself out there into a social situation so that you can try things out. But you know, also maintain that motivation in your heart to keep keep getting better.

Michael 1:00:30
Dr. Ron, thank you so very much for doing this. Where can people reach you find you your books and anything that you do? Psychology Today?

Dr. Ron 1:00:37
Yeah, Psychology Today my blog. It's called cutting edge leadership but I talk about all this stuff. I don't you know, just stick with leadership. So, personal stuff actually might stuff on nonverbal communication gets the most hits and everything so often talking about that. So that's one way if they're interested, I have a website. It's a regio leadership.org. And I occasionally put up some of the blog posts there and that's also how you can get the daily leadership development book. Most of my rest of my books are pretty academic books. So they'd only be really for for an audience that was really seriously interested in the study of leadership. But you know, my daughter helped me with the daily leadership development book. She said, What's in this dad? I said, like everything I know, I put you know, it's, it's not a it's not a thin book. I know this is a podcast, but you know, yeah, it's a toll. But But, but it's in bite sized chunks. Okay. It's a page a day essential. Oh, wow.

Michael 1:01:43
Oh, that's cool. Definitely check it out. Yeah. All right. Well, thank you again, for doing this. I really, really appreciate it. You know, hopefully, we will do this again in the future. And I'll have a little bit. I'll have some growth to talk about. So yeah.

Dr. Ron 1:01:58
And feel free to reach out to me and keep me posted. How you doing?

Michael 1:02:01
I will thank you very much, sir.

Dr. Ron 1:02:03
Okay. All right. Take care.

Michael 1:02:04
You too. Bye. Alrighty, sir. I appreciate you very much. That definitely was a therapy recording stopped. Unfortunately, I can't pay you but I do appreciate your

Dr. Ron 1:02:17
time. That's okay. Like I said, I'm giving this away. You know, I mean, if we can reach some people and help some people, that's what that's what I'm

Michael 1:02:24
trying. That's, that's what I'm trying to do. You know. So hopefully we do. If I get any, you know, feedback, I'll definitely you know, send it your way. And, you know, hopefully we'll we'll stay in touch. Yeah, yeah,

Dr. Ron 1:02:34
let me know how you're doing. You know, so so give me the details. When were you divorced and, and

Michael 1:02:39
yeah, so it's been she left over four years ago. Okay. July 2019. Is when she left but the divorce process took forever. We actually weren't officially divorced until January of this year. And it's still not even 100% finalized because of a transfer of 401k. It's Brad. Sure. There's always there's always some little Wow. And she she told me she sued me because it wasn't that her lawyer couldn't figure out how to fill up. They sued me blaming me I'm like, anyway, so it was you know, it's been a while I went through I went through life coaching school. At the angry therapist, John Kim. He has his own life coaching school. I went through that I took a couple of different programs self help stuff, I read so many books and and I started this podcast and I you know, I thought I was in a really good place and for a long time I was and then I started a new job last November and it really has thrown me for a loop. And it's drained my resources might just end being a single father and just I'm exhausted and and I started

Dr. Ron 1:03:43
did you have in the relationship good to two, okay. So you deal with the kids right?

Michael 1:03:47
To nine and 14. They're both girls. That's, you know, they're great kids, but that's, you know, that has its own challenges.

Dr. Ron 1:03:55
Yeah, and then there are those who are child you know, 14 is definitely a challenging age. And so I you know, hey, I'm on my fourth marriage. Holy shit. Yeah. Like, I'm like up there with Liz Taylor. Right. But yeah, and you know, my first one was got married too young, you know, made a mistake, you know, and we set you know, and she's great. And, you know, that was million years ago. And I, you know, I was drawn to damage women, you know, to, you know, and so first one I had a daughter with her. I mean, the first one were the first marriage was more like a girlfriend kind of thing. But that one was rough. She put our daughter in between she was a narcissist, you know, he had an eating disorder at all and, like, you know, why am I drawn to them? My next one was I come to realize she's borderline personality like a textbook, where when she's warm and good, man, she's exciting as hell. That's what got us together. But when she goes to the dark side, and that I got PTSD from I mean, I literally at one point, she clocked me. And I told her to back off and you know, and I might, you know, broke my glasses. My face is bleeding. I called I said get away or I'm going to 911 She got arrested right for domestic violence. Right. Wow. bail her out. So I had some ups and downs. But that one, I still have PTSD. The other morning I woke up in a nightmare because of you know, so, you know, it's rough. I mean, it's fortunate, but I'm just saying that the deal is I've dealt with, with both of those divorces. I've married a wonderful woman now. We're great, everything's fine. And she helps me with a lot of this. But but, you know, he happens in my sleep or whatever, you know. And so

Michael 1:05:57
that's, that's the one that's the one topic I haven't addressed yet his dreams and nightmares and stuff, because I hear it all the time. And I'm trying to find someone that specializes in that stuff. It's been I wish

Dr. Ron 1:06:07
I knew somebody but you know, it's always shaky stuff, right? Because there's people who are kind of charlatans,

Michael 1:06:14
right, they're woowoo and put a crystal up your ass and take away my marriage or whatever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's tough man. It's and that's why I do this because you know, I I was suicidal for sure. Thankfully, I had a really really great friend who was also went through it and he has continues to this day to help me through any struggles I have. I run a Facebook group that's got 7000 men in it and then I started my own coaching group and that had a shut it all down. i I heard a lot of feelings. Walked away and because of a conflict i i think i i definitely hurt some feelings and there's some fractured relationships and you know, I'm I'm trying not to beat myself up. But it man is it's just I feel like I fucked up and I think it was probably doomed because of the job thing. I just I tried to hold on to it. I hired a guy to help me out he he went through my program and but he wasn't really trained. It was it was sort of a life preserver. And he did his best and he was okay and it just but it just I tried to hold on to it and I should have shut it down a long time ago.

Dr. Ron 1:07:24
Well, I mean, one thing is good, you know, try to get some resolution with that. You know, I mean, I mean you know, maybe it's a good mass apology and say, hey, you know, and admitting to it, and, you know, and then moving on, you know, because we made mistakes and you just got to move on from it. You can't you can't dwell, you know, the worst thing is rumination. Right? Yeah. I you know, I go How the hell did I get myself into these circumstances, right. I mean, you know, but But you got to you got to stop that you got to as much as you can. It's always there. Gotta stop it. And you got to say, you know, this is not doing me any good. I gotta move. Yeah.

Michael 1:08:02
I don't feel like you know, 100% I don't think it was all my fault but I definitely could have handled it better should have handled should, it would have been good if I handled it better.

Dr. Ron 1:08:12
What you learned and the next time you don't, don't you know, hopefully you learn you don't do it again. Yeah,

Michael 1:08:16
yeah. Well, I don't think I'll do like I said, I, I felt like I was so it was a Facebook group was a small and private one. I don't wanna keep it too. Long. But it was a small private Facebook group. And I would do live videos that was part of the process to you know, guys, you know, here's your assignment, come on and tell about you know, your Narrative Therapy assignment or whatever. And I would do the same thing. And so in terms of like, Oh, I'm struggling with this thing, and I'm struggling with that thing. And I think I feel like I brought myself down to their level and I don't mean that to sound like I'm above them, but you know what I'm saying like, Yeah, I think as a therapist, coach, whatever, I know, they're not the same. I'm not as all at all saying, but but I think I sort of lowered myself and I think when I did that I expected to support back and I think they didn't give it because they didn't either see that I really needed it or they didn't know how or the expectation was different. I don't know. But I became hurt. And I was like, Well, this is not I just doesn't feel like a safe place anymore. Because I feel like I'm saying things that I'm not getting support back. Instead, I'm getting sort of almost criticisms because there was one guy, he was my first paying client, and he was done with the program for months. And he would, he got very anxious because I wasn't replying to his comments or watching his videos or whatever. And it's just, some of it was he was annoying the shit out of me for another reason and some of it was just fucking busy. And he kept picking at me and picking at me and picking on me, and I just I fucking kind of blew up and just stuck and shut it all down instead of like having a conversation with him and say, this is you know, you need to stop this and that and this and that, but also, not for nothing. I'm I can't do this anymore, because I'm too. I'm too tapped out. Yeah,

Dr. Ron 1:09:57
well, that but you just you just did the analysis. You said you should oh, you should have done it one on one. You should have stopped that. But but on the other hand, you were taken on too much and Oh, yeah. Yeah. So don't have the, you know, the regret, sit and say, you know, I did this. It was a decision I made at that point in time. And this, you know, here's the positives, here's the negatives. Hopefully the positives outweigh the negatives because you don't have that ring around your neck, that burden around you

Michael 1:10:29
Yeah, well, that that's that's one of the positives. I don't have to deal with it anymore. But I guess you know, and again, I don't want to keep you I apologize, but I guess the only thing that I worry about is like what did I do any damage to this guy? Like Did I hurt him but in some kind of way? Yeah, but it's

Dr. Ron 1:10:45
water under the bridge. She can't do anything. No, that's true. I mean, unless you want to reach out to him and I wouldn't recommend that because it probably was not a great relationship with probably more his what's going on with him and going on with you?

Michael 1:10:57
Well, I definitely think that was a part of it. It was like it was like he was increasing his negativity towards me to get my attention. And I didn't give it I didn't give it and I was hoping it would go away. Right?

Dr. Ron 1:11:07
Yeah. Yeah, but when you have that many people, you're going to have an outlier. You're going to have he's going to, you know, not there's nothing you can do. You know, I mean, yeah, that's true. Think of it from a leadership. I mean, I we tell this all the time to leaders, you know, yes, you try to bring everybody in on the team or whatever. Sometimes you got to fire their ass because I mean, if you're not, if they just don't click, you're going to have problems and you got to get rid of the problems and you got to not have remorse and you got to pull the trigger on it. And that's that's part of the process, you know, because there are people out there who will totally disrupt things. And you gotta get over.

Michael 1:11:51
Yeah, I mean, what choice do you have, right? Yeah, sometimes Sometimes I hate that phrase. Get over it. But, but it's, I mean, what are your other options? Like I don't want to sit around all day stewing about this.

Dr. Ron 1:12:01
There's no good no good comes from that. No, good. Now, watch. Once you've analyzed it and learn the lesson. And you got the lesson. There's no you can't. You can't analyze it and find another lesson. Likely that's very unlikely. So drop it to the next thing.

Michael 1:12:19
Well, again, thank you. No problem.

Dr. Ron 1:12:23
Good luck with everything kind of keep in touch. Let me know how everything's going. Yeah,

Michael 1:12:27
well, and I'll definitely get your book and, you know, we'll definitely have you back on I appreciate you doing it.

Dr. Ron 1:12:31
Okay. All right. Take care.

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Episode 119 – Being Vulnerable & Setting Boundaries – Solo

In this episode I discuss being vulnerable and setting boundaries.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 119. This is going to be another solo episode, and I'm going to cover being vulnerable and setting boundaries. Before I jump into that, I want to do a little bit of housekeeping. I'll put it in the show notes for episode 118. But in case you didn't see that, or you don't get it, from wherever you're, you're getting this podcast, I had audio issues I had. Initially everything was fine. I mean, clearly I had audio issues. Initially, everything was fine. And then my camera died near the beginning of the interview, and that caused everything to crash. And when I rebooted everything and set everything back up, I forgot to check which microphone was selected. So it was either the camera microphone, or more than likely, I think it was a laptop microphone and my laptop's closed, so I didn't notice it on obviously, until until after. So I used a, Adobe has an AI voice enhancer, I think I can't remember what exactly it's called. But I use that and it changes my voice, but at least at least it makes it like you can hear it versus it being pretty, pretty quiet and kind of echoey. So it sucks. Maybe someday I'll have a whole studio with people and an engineer and producers and stuff. I don't know, hold my breath. But but maybe. But in the meantime, those things are gonna happen, unfortunately. Hopefully, if it were to happen again, I'll be mindful to check in make sure that I had the right microphone selected. So it's happened a couple of times. That was the first time it's happened with this new camera, where the camera just I guess it just crashed. I don't know. Everything just disappeared. So I ended up changing the battery in the camera. And then like I said, when I came back, I cannot I just missed that little sweet little bond just that piece. Let me let me talk about a few other things. I do want to talk about a little bit about my my Dr. Glover interview as you can, as I'm sure you heard it does get a bit testy. And I think there's a part of me that just I kind of knew going into that interview that that was a possibility. But I didn't expect it. around the topic. And this is my issue with a lot of these. And he's he's a good guy. It was a good interview. I don't agree with everything that he says. And I rarely push back. But I really, that's one of the things that I get tired of hearing about is child support screws, man child support screws, man. Yeah, true statement also screwed women. It's a shitty fucked up system it and there's no rhyme or reason to it. And also, you know, my general stance is I don't think men are getting screwed as much as they used to. Does it still happen? Absolutely. There are some folks out there that have a really difficult story. But I think more often than not, I see positives. And I would rather talk about those than the negatives because I think if you're starting this process out, and everyone tells you that men are screwed, I don't know how hard you would fight to, to maintain custody or to or to get sole custody. These things happen. You know, I've interviewed people so it's, it's not unheard of, and I'd rather talk about those positive things. Now, that doesn't mean that you can just sit on your ass and hope for those positive things to come. But I do think it's more beneficial to put out into the world the positive stories than the negative ones. And so that's why I kind of and the other the other thing, as I indicated with that interview is the other thing that really bothers me is no one gets a solution. They just pitch and complain about it. Okay, what's your solution? And if you don't have one, then then what are you doing? You're just you're just throwing red meat to people. But the one area and I won't spend too much time on this and it's not to knock him he wrote a best selling book. I haven't wrote a best selling book. So who the fuck am I to talk but the one thing about his book and one thing about the people that are sort of borderline red pill, I would say is is this they find a way to blame women for shit. Just to make sure that it's enough red meat to keep people interested in buying their shit. it he says that essentially there's a lot of nice guys because women raised us. That's just Crockett horseshit. First of all, I'm a Gen Xer. So a lot of us Gen Xers raised our fucking cells. So this skills and the tools that I struggle with today, my father couldn't have given me if he was home 24 puking seven, the world has changed, life has changed. And our society is just much more difficult and stressful, I believe, than it ever has been on all kinds of different fronts. And I think that is our challenges is learning new tools and skills to to deal with these things. Life is really fucking stressful. And I think it's a different stress than making sure you have, you know, crops in the field that, you know, provide a good yield. But it's, it's I think it's a much more all encompassing stress. And I don't know exactly what all the answers are, but I don't think it's because women joined the workforce and, and or, or women raised us, which, by the way, doesn't make any sense. Anyway. So at a certain point, women joined the workforce. And so then nobody was home. Right. And largely, we raised ourselves as Gen Xers. And then of course, you know, daycare became much more of a sort of a thing. And we were raised by other folks. So it's just, it's this way that these guys, and I'm not trying to knock the guy, again, best seller, not a best seller here. But it just, why do we need that piece of it, you can just say, we need more skills and tools as men, you don't have to throw that piece in there. That's just my view. But anyway, I assumed that that would be what would cause have caused some type of conflict between us. But I don't as you know, I think I don't bring people on for to have conflict. That's that's not my fucking purpose, not my point on my desire. But he did touch a nerve. So it is what it is. I think that's the only sort of housekeeping to discuss at the moment. I don't think there's anything else. So let's just dive into, you know, the topics at hand, you know, being vulnerable. And, and setting boundaries. Being vulnerable, I think is incredibly important in this journey, because you have to embrace these emotions. So that means you have to be vulnerable and you have to express it, you have to get it out. You have to talk to folks. It's it's an important and necessary step in healing. What I will caution you, and I hate to say this, normally, I'm not a very cynical man, at least I don't think I am. I believe that in general, people are good. However, I also think that in general, a lot of people are damaged by no fault of their own. And I think you're if you're watching this, you're looking at one or if you're listening, you're listening to one I think I'm a damaged person, in a lot of ways. Good, bad or indifferent. That's just a fact. I've been I've been damaged by life's events. And and I think all of us have. But I think where you have to be careful about being vulnerable is not doing around people who aren't going to be supportive, don't have your back who aren't going to use your vulnerabilities against you. Because it's sad it is, as it is to say this that exists in this world. Being vulnerable can sometimes fuck you. Sadly, and I don't even think that it's largely I don't know percentages or how often but I think a good bit of the being vulnerable backfiring on you is people's, it's not their intent. It's just their ability. They don't have or they have a pension for using your vulnerabilities against you and not even really sort of realizing it. I think some people struggle with self esteem so much so that if they can find other ways to make themselves feel better about themselves, and they will and that can be to your detriment, not only see your face, although sometimes sometimes behind your back. And that's sad, but that is a fact. So you have to be vulnerable, but pick your spots. That's why I think it's important to get into the Facebook group. I try really hard and sort of the guys that helped me out here to make it a safe place for us to be vulnerable. Yes, we get the occasional asshole and yes, we have too many we get the occasional asshole who will shit on somebody for being vulnerable. But we also have a lot of assholes in there just in general. People that quite frankly, don't listen to this podcast if I'm being honest. So just make sure that you're a good Good therapist, and be good supportive people. And I think this holds true

Michael 10:06
good supportive people that had been through a divorce. So they get it or or if they have, they didn't also pretend that it wasn't a big deal or just got married quickly right away or didn't do any work. You want to you want to surround yourself or be vulnerable with people who are also interested in the same sort of things, and also that that truly, truly are and that they also are so damaged, that they could use your vulnerabilities against you. In a way that is just because of who they are. I don't I don't think everyone is is ill intent, or has ill intent. But But I think, unfortunately, people will, the wrong people will use your vulnerabilities against you. So just just be mindful. And that's, that's tough to figure out that that can take some time. It can take some leaps of faith, I suppose. And trying to be vulnerable and see how it goes. It's tricky. I'd like to say that it isn't and and then this goes back to the last episode about, you know, men and friendships and how hard it is because I have seen it and I see it were being vulnerable with amongst a group of men can sometimes fuck you. And, you know, that's sad. But that's that's reality. But there are good men out there. And there are men that are supportive, and nurturing and loving and, and will not use your vulnerabilities against you. So I guess my point is, like I've said it like three or four times now be vulnerable. Just pick your pick, be smart about who you're vulnerable around. The other thing I wanted to talk about is, is boundaries, because sometimes when you're vulnerable, people will will crash your boundaries, so to speak. So they will do and say things that well, let me back up. Let me talk about what what is a boundary, because I think a lot of people use boundaries, or they think boundaries are a way to punish people. But that's not what a boundary is a boundary is a protection for yourself, it a boundary tells the world what you will and will not tolerate. That's that's the purpose. And the point of the boundary is not to inflict some type of punishment or, you know, it doesn't have to be an aggressive type of thing. The best boundaries are enacted, enforced, I should say, with silence. So if if someone treat you poorly, you don't have to confront them. And I know some there's some folks out there who will be like, well, you should, you know, you should you should talk to someone if they if they Yeah, maybe it really kind of depends on the situation. But one surefire way to to enforce a boundary is to walk away from somebody, it will send the message and more importantly, I think and hope that it sends the message that there is no more, there will never be any more or there's never going to be an opportunity for you to crash against them to crash into my boundary ever again. Because I've enforced it I've gave a consequence, and that consequences is I am walking away. And that's not always you know, if it's if it's a friendship and a relationship, and obviously you want to be able to mend fences and to talk. But if if the intent of that person was to harm you and and that's seemingly their only intent, then then walking away is a really great boundary or a really great enforcement of a boundary, it sends a strong, strong message. And it will protect you. That is the purpose and point of a boundary. But you also you also have to make sure that not only do you have the boundary, but you have to give a consequence you have to enforce it. So I think I'm guilty of this. Sometimes I will let things go and hopes that will maybe it will change or maybe that person won't say that again. Or you know, maybe it's just a one time thing. Because Because confrontation can be hard. And so you sort of hope for the best but that never works out what does that what does that saying shit in one hand wishing or hoping the other I guess? You can't you can't I've been guilty of this and it's something I need to work on. And instead of hoping that the person will stop what they're doing. You actually You have to let it be known that that's not appropriate or or you don't appreciate that, then that is hard. And I get that that is hard. It's one of those things that I think we all need to improve on is, is our ability to have difficult conversations. You know, Dale valor, who was on a couple episodes ago, and I know some folks have their opinions of Dale, I like Dale, obviously, he's been on the show twice. I've been I was on his show that and that's my point. I was on his show. And I was talking about I think he was asking me like, what, what is the one thing that a guy who's in a relationship needs to do to ensure or set himself up better? I forget what this exact question was, but essentially avoid divorce? And the answer is the ability to have difficult conversations. If you could have difficult conversations and still have your boundaries, it is hard is very hard. It is very hard to know what triggers you, it is very hard to when you're triggered to be able to enforce a boundary that is level headed and because when we get hurt, our feelings come into things and we get out of our thinking brain we get in a fight or flight. And so we can say some mean shit that doesn't need to be said we can be nasty, and my mechanism or strategy for avoiding that it has typically been, I don't say anything in hopes that it'll go away. Well, that just doesn't happen. And then I think when when you let things go, and then you enforce a boundary, I think the enforcement of your boundary will will say a lot about the person you're enacting, and giving a consequence to so what am I saying so if you, if someone says something that hurts your feelings, and you cut them out of your life, because of that, then watch, and I'm sure if you are if you get a response, or if you happen to hear, you know, through the grapevine that this person is saying this and that or or whatever, usually, if someone talks shit about you, someone's gonna let you know, because unfortunately, people love the gossip. I'm a bit guilty of it myself. And I really don't want to, that's not something I'm interested in anymore. Me, I've tried to avoid it, because I think it's just a petty way to be, but it does happen, of course, you get pissed off someone, and you want to tell somebody about it, because you want to vent, but the solution is to go straight to that person. And I've been guilty of not doing those times kinds of things, myself, so it's hard to to, to enforce these these boundaries, hard to protect yourself in a way that doesn't come off as shitty and causes more conflict and drama. And that's, that's what I try to avoid. But but by trying to avoid that it's kind of like what I did with the whole lawyer situation, like, I was tired of paying money for a lawyer and I thought we had agreed to, to a, you know, a number or numbers or or, you know, we had a an agreement in place. And I didn't think a lawyer was necessary. Well, it, it fucked me because then I had to pay another lawyer, another retainer, and if I just would have sort of had one the whole way through and let it finish out. You know, I probably would have been okay, or, you know, I would be hopefully that this shit will be wrapped up by now. But anyway, I'm getting off track. But it can be very hard to to enforce a boundary and a calm. And, I guess maybe even respectful manner, it's very hard. Because again, someone hurt, your feelings are going to put you in fight or flight. If someone touches a nerve, and that's why I say be careful who you're vulnerable to. Because when you are vulnerable it this, this speaks from rings. Very, very true for me. And then you are open into people that you think are there for you. And then they're not it's very, very hurtful. And it can really make your ability to remain in logical brain very difficult. This is this is the challenge of our lives, to be able to remain in logical thinking brain. If you think about any dumb fucking thing you've ever done, or any mistake you've made in your life, it's either because you're pissed off, or, or scared or drunk, right? Or any kind of other intoxication, right? You don't generally I mean, mistakes happen, but I'm talking to the big ones, the ones that stick with you because you think, oh man, if I just wouldn't have been so mad or man if I just want to drink so much or whatever it is. And so the challenge of our life is to remain in this logical thinking brain but Wilmer our feelings are hurt. It's really fucking hard. And so then when you try to take a step back and you do an act of boundary

Michael 19:58
the reaction to Do your enforcement of your boundary is telling. If you enforce a boundary because someone said some shit that you didn't like, and then they continue to say some shit about you, well, then that's you have all the information you need. The reaction to your boundary will tell you that you did the right thing by by enforcing by setting and enforcing your boundary. And is any of this easy? No, if it was easy, I wouldn't need to talk about it. I don't do episodes on brushing your teeth, because that's how easy fucking thing. So this is hard. This is hard work. And I think what we have to remind ourselves is, who do we want to be? Do we want to be a stand up person, an ethical person? I don't know a good character. And that's not someone that either badmouth someone behind their back or lets people get away with saying hurtful shit about them. But it's that peace, that part of, of setting those boundaries of speaking your truth of standing up for yourself, of potentially creating conflict. By sticking up for yourself, it's really fucking hard. I struggle with it probably more than I should. My I shouldn't say that. I struggle with it. I don't know if I should or shouldn't or whatever. But I think what, what I have learned, or what I'm learning, I think, is that a couple of things, one, be more choosy about who you're vulnerable with. And I'm talking to myself, be more to I need to be more choosy about around who unbearable with because, because I put myself out there and I tried to do in this you can, I don't give a fuck what you say about and you can call me whiny and go fuck yourself. I'm just expressing myself. But I mean, I think part of me don't call myself whiny. But I put myself out there. And I'm very vulnerable. And I'm very open. And I think sometimes that that has fucked me. And and I don't know, going forward how much. I'm always going to be honest. But I'm not sure how much how vulnerable I'll be going forward. As I go through and put out more of these episodes and continue to be who I am. I don't know. I will say that I think when I have successes and wins, you're going to hear them. And if I have I don't know, I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. But I think I'm going to be less vulnerable. But I don't know exactly what that means. I think again, you'll hear my victories for sure. I'm not so sure you're going to hear about my losses anymore. Now, those of you that are close to me, if you're in the discord server, which I am going to talk about that here in a second, too. You may hear more of that than you would otherwise. But um, I don't know, I'm being honest, I don't think so. I hate to sound jaded, or cynical. But I think unfortunately, that there are a lot of people out there that either knowingly or unknowingly will take advantage of your, your weaknesses and your vulnerabilities. Not always because they're nefarious sometimes because they need to, or they feel like they need to because they struggle with things themselves. And it's a lot fucking easier to go through life pointing out everyone else's problems and mistakes than it is to focus on your own. And again, I'm probably as guilty as anybody is of that. So anyway, on to the discussion of this discord. You know, we have weekly meetings in the discord I have not been attending. I need to stop that I need to start attending meetings. I'm going to look at either Wednesday or Thursday nights Wednesday night, there's a standing meeting already. I don't know that I would. I don't know either Wednesday or Thursday because those are the nights that I don't have my children obviously travel can fuck with that, but I need to recommit to doing meetings again. I have I was talking about this the other day I have a bit of a sort of a PTSD with meetings. And I again I won't go into details, but I've struggled with wanting to be in these meetings and and I need to take a closer look at that and and remind myself why I started all this shit. And that is to help. And I think when I tried to do all these different things, sometimes things have to take a backseat. And perhaps at times, it's time to move and shuffle some things around and and changed some of my focuses and or focus a little bit. So I think what I'm going to do is not just do standard meetings where we just bullshit I think it will be sort of themed meetings, and we'll probably go through my program. Week one is this, and this is our Wednesday night meeting. You know, next week, we're going to cover Michaels, we week one of his program, and we're going to talk about narrative therapy and how you can help it to or how you can use it to help you. I, I need to, I feel like I need to get back to some of my roots, and why I started all this. And, and I just wanted to help and that's all I want to do. And I feel like maybe I've tried to do too many things, or I focused on different the wrong things, perhaps or again, I think part of it is, you know, being so open and vulnerable. And I don't know if backfiring is the right word, but having it maybe backfire is the right word. And so I need to make sure I'm I'm surrounding myself with folks that have the same intent and goal as I do, and no other agendas or ideas. So, so I think that's it. I thank all of you again for listening. I will continue to to put these things out as as best I can. I was planning on putting the Dr. Lauren episode out last week. But then I realized the audio problems and I had to do a whole bunch of editing and trying to fix it and it just took a while. I think I actually finished it. Friday night, Saturday night. Not sure this weekend went way too fucking fast as they all do, but as you can see, I'm wearing my Steelers jersey. Sorry for those of you that aren't Steelers fans. I don't say sorry, because I'm sorry you're not a fan of the greatest football team in history of the NFL. And it was a victory victory Sunday is always a good thing. So that's all I got. Again, if you need anything hit me up. If you're interested in the discord or working with me as a coach just hit me up. You can find me on Facebook or Rising Phoenix podcast 20 twenty@gmail.com. Until next time, take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019 I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help you navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com I look forward to working with you

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Episode 118 – Men and Friendship – Dr. Loren Olson

In this episode I discuss Men and the difficulties that we have with maintaining friendships.  My apologies for my audio.  Everything crashed for me near the beginning of the recording and when I came back online, I didnt check to make sure the correct microphone was chosen.  I used an adobe program to improve my audio, but its not perfect.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Joining me today is Dr. Lauren Olson. Lauren, let's just jump right into it wants to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Loren 0:27
Okay, well, thanks for having me, Michael, this is a subject that is dear to my heart for a number of reasons. I'm a father and a grandfather. I've been divorced from my wife for almost four years now. But we still remain friends. And pleased to say that I was divorced in 1986, first in my family to be divorced. And it was not easy to get through that time. And I struggled for a number of years to recover from that. both financially and emotionally. And then I'm also a psychiatrist. I've been practicing now for over 50 years. And I'm still still working. In 1986. After I was divorced, I came out as gay I've been, I initially thought all I wanted was a blow job. And I didn't know that I was gay. And so I was totally shocked by the whole thing when I fell in love with a man that was not anticipated. Doug and I have been together now for 37 years. And I went through a near divorce. As well, we both were going through a tough time where we kind of pulled apart from each other and ended up both of us having an affair with somebody else. And had to I think we were both not looking for a new relationship, but looking for a part of ourselves that was missing during that time. And we had to kind of learn to forgive each other for all that and move on to be able to stay in a relationship. And fortunately, we've been able to do that. I'm also a writer, I think we connected through Psychology Today, I write a number of things there. And actually, I'm approaching 22 million readers on psychology today. So kind of pleased about that. I have a couple of books that I've written as well. One I published about a year ago, called No More neckties, and then an earlier one about called finally out about coming out midlife. And as I said I I'm 80 years old, I still work. But the nice part is I can work where and when I want to and I'm not driven by production demands anymore. And so I focus on my doing some work, I'm actually planning to work in New Zealand for three months coming up of a contract with that, so I can work where and when I want to, which is really part of the advantages of getting a hold. And I still do the writing and then I continue to work on a relationship with Doug and my family and friends. And that's about it. I guess. I'm lucky to be where I am at eight years old. And feel good about that.

Michael 3:49
Yeah, I mean, wow, that's a that's a there's a lot to that intro, thank you for it. First of all, some of it I wasn't aware of, quite honestly, mostly the divorce stuff. You know, I read your blog, a couple of your blogs, but I didn't, you know, dive in and read every single thing. So some of it is a bit of a surprise. I wasn't I don't think I could have forgot because I forget shit all the time. I don't think I was aware that you went through a divorce. So that's that's it's good that you had that perspective. I think my audience really respects that because they know that if you haven't been through it, you don't understand. And so thus if you have you clearly do but what what brought me to you was an article you wrote about how men need to be better at socializing, how we need to, in order to save our own lives, essentially, as we need to be better at at building and maintaining friendships with other men. So I kind of want to dive into that topic in a general sense. And I want to start with something that you it's a phrase that you mentioned in Greek And then replaced, and I think it was one of the sort of guides of widows. You know, how the different genders no widow or a spouse passing. But I think I've noticed this myself by being in a running Facebook group where there are over 7000 men in there that are going through divorce. And I see a lot. I can't speak what women do. But I see a lot of men who have tried to replace I know that I did it myself. I tried to put in play, tried to find the next white as quickly as I could. Luckily, I, you know, I smartened up somewhere before getting serious with this one particular person. But is there what why don't you? Why don't men do that? Why do we seek to replace I don't actually agree. And endosteal

Dr. Loren 5:50
I think a lot of it has to do, Mike with idea that we tend to put all of our emotional energy in the relationship with one person. And when that one person is removed from our life, whether the good or a bad relationship, we're sometimes felt with, we're left with nothing. And so oftentimes, it because of that loneliness that sets in, we seek someone else who can become that someone special, who serves every need in our lives. And a lot of us men in particular, really don't relate emotionally very well to other people. And so we tend to focus on that one single relationship, and then we're left very much alone.

Michael 6:40
Is that. So that speaks to essentially that we really do lead on women's bar emotional well being. Yeah. Is that a date? Is that like, what? Why is that like, why? Because I don't I don't disagree. Well, why don't why is that what makes that mechanism happened or

Dr. Loren 6:59
whatever? Yeah, I don't know that it's necessarily a need. But it's certainly the way we're cultured, you know, men are told not to show any vulnerability, not show any weakness. And so oftentimes, our relationships with men are more competitive, and they're somewhat times adversarial. And so the last thing we're going to do, I think it's showing the vulnerability. And of course, if you look back at the animal kingdom, and other ways, you know, certainly the males in those situations, so aren't going to show any vulnerability either. And I think in many ways, there is an element of it, that is innate, but a lot of it is the way we're socialized.

Michael 7:45
I think that's makes me it makes me sad for a while. And number two, I think, I mean, there's a whole host of things to my but I think one of the things that really comes up to me is well, how do we change that? That it? Can we change a baby? Is the first question, can we change it?

Dr. Loren 8:03
Yes, I think we can change it. And I'm sure that many of the people who are in your group and who are listening to your podcasts are men who are seeking out that connection with other men, and who are wanting to allow themselves to be vulnerable in a space that's safe for them to do so. So there's it lacks that competitiveness, the need to, to get ahead of each other, and allows for the space, a safe space to show vulnerability. I heard from a guy recently who had gone to his first AAA meeting very early in the process of recovery. And he said, he was shocked to realize that men there talked about their feelings, you know, he'd never had that experience in his entire life. And I think many of us go through life in that way of not having that time when we really connect to someone on a deeply personal level, without fear of judgment.

Michael 9:00
Yeah, did you talk about that in this blog post that I didn't write down, where you could recall off the top of your head, but I didn't write down the number of hours but there were and I'd love GIVE ME Data Baby, I love you telling me what I have to do at least I have a target for what I have to do. But there is a certain number of hours that that you get used to being a close friend, you remember what those aren't like,

Dr. Loren 9:25
the hours are 90 hours for friendship 200 hours for clubs, personal friendship, and that's a lot of time to devote to relationship and therefore it limits the number of people that we can have on that very inner circle. And it takes a lot of time to nurture and maintain those relationships too. And when we're pulled away from that time with other men, we lose track of those relationships and many men, particularly, I don't know how do I bet enough Probably about your age, begin to pull away from relationships because you're focusing on your career, you perhaps have children, you have all these things that are demands on your time. And so you don't have time to nurture those relationships with other men. And oftentimes, that's what happens with the way that men are losing their social connections.

Michael 10:22
Yeah, it's so it's, it's clearly challenging, right? It's not like, I don't want. And I think sometimes maybe I'm guilty of this sort of hating men in a negative light, even though I am one. But I don't want men to think like, you know, it's just, it's really just just get her out on the mat. But it's really hard. Because if you're talking about 90 And then 200 hours, that's a serious time. And that's in the challenging corporate America work environment where we're expected to be on 24. I gotta leash right here, this wellness company. Yeah. Right. So it's really hard to do that. This is typical stuff, right? We're not talking like there are no quick fixes.

Dr. Loren 11:02
No, there aren't, I think, you know, and not every relationship has to be one where you sit around and talk about feelings. But the time of just hanging out with other men, as I mentioned in the article is slow time, you're fishing, you're playing sports together, you're going out to drink, you know, there are a number of ways that we can do that, where we're not really focusing on talking about feelings in the depth that we really need to talk about. That kind of thing can be done with only a very limited number of people. But we still need those other social connections of people that we spend time with. And I like that phrase slow time, because just a matter of stepping outside of the world we have and doing whatever you do, but doing it with somebody else.

Michael 11:54
So but but those close connections, how many? How many is feasible. And again, I like data, and I know it's, you know, probably 3.2 people or whatever, but like, what, what's ideal, like? What, how many close friends should you have that you devote those cumulative to are out,

Dr. Loren 12:11
I think it would be wonderful if each of us could have at least three friends, I think it's pretty much impossible to have more than six friends in that category of somebody you can call up and say, Hey, I'm hurting, I need to talk to you about something, let's go out together. We just don't have time to maintain a big circle of friends. And I think in the days of social media, we have a lot of context. We don't have a real lot of friends.

Michael 12:41
I think in some ways, perhaps social media exacerbates now that it because it maybe feels like you have this connection, but they're just all I would say in a lot of ways. And I don't I'm not like this, you know, just missing those folks that I am friendly with on social media, because there are some people that's that's the only way that I communicate with them. Good, better and different. And I think I think good because at least I'm communicating with them in some way, you know, in terms of if they're in states away, or countries away. At least I'm staying somewhat connected. But I do think sometimes, I think sometimes I find myself on my phone waiting for the world to reach out and grab me and not going to but I think that's right. I think that's kind of what we all sort of hope for. Yeah,

Dr. Loren 13:27
I think so. We do get those messages, you're you're beautiful. I'm in love with you, you have that kind of thing from somebody, you've never heard that before. And it's tempting to believe that but I do think there is value and social media because I'm sure you know the people that are in your Listen, your podcasts are from a wider range of places. And this may be the only possibility they have. And also your Facebook group may be the only possibility that they have sharing on an intimate level about some of the pain that they're experiencing and going through this process of doors. They may not feel comfortable sharing it with people in their own environment for a variety of different reasons. But it allows him at least that much of a connection with other people and sometimes within that community there develop those closer relationships on one on one basis.

Michael 14:27
Yeah, I I've always like sort of had this dream that that was something that I would be able to create eventually it's this sort of unlock probably Chappelle was I'm not gonna harp on this, this this topic here but but I always dream to sort of be a force men but I do I have found it really challenging it and I think perhaps there is a social media component in terms of logarithms of who's seeing what at what time and, and but I found it difficult to connect men in that larger group. To get them to come together, even if they aren't gloats, do you think is that sort of part of this? Conditioning or this this, this way that were raised? That you know, we rely on women is that sort of entangled with that. Just call it distaste for reaching out to other men, even though you're in a group, and you're sort of already reaching out, but, but there's that extra step of getting together with someone you don't go face to face, do you think that's sort of a title, but that,

Dr. Loren 15:29
I think that that's true that, you know, it's one thing to be able to have a buffer between you two dimensional screen. But when you get together in the same room room, we can read each other's emotions better, and we reveal our own emotions better. We have micro clues on our faces, that give away some of our feelings, maybe that we don't want to share, and we can we have that protection. In this environment that we have right now.

Michael 16:02
I'm gonna go back to something, because it just worries me about how we sort of lean on women emotionally. It feels like women, either are sick of that, or are overwhelmed by that, because I think there's just no idea. And I could be completely wrong and not know what the hell I'm talking about. But I feel like there's this dynamic in our society where women have bought for equality, they ought to be in the workplace. But they've also sort of, by default, held on to a lot of the traditional women roles. And that this, this component of also being the emotional caretaker, as it's all starting to weigh on them, the good, bad or indifferent, actually, this is just the way that I see it. I think that is part of why you're seeing 70% of horses being filed by women. Is there any Am I onto something here?

Dr. Loren 16:58
Oh, I think you're absolutely right. That become and I shared this with my daughters, I said, when I was began to write that article that you read, I said, Do women feel a burden sometimes by being that special person, that only someone for everything? kind of person in a person's life? And they both agreed immediately? Yes. You know, that, you know, and I think at its worst, it comes out, I don't want to be your mother. You know, that's a common thing that men will hear in response to that. I think that's what women are reacting to, I've got enough to do with my kids. I don't need one more. And it feels like to them. That's the way it is because you turn to them for everything. And that dynamic is very destructive when I think for a lot of women. And I mentioned in the article, you know that men have a lot of privileges that women don't have. But if women want men to be happier, they're going to allow us that time to share some of that burden with other people and give us some freedom to spend time with other men.

Michael 18:16
Isn't that sort of? Yeah. I don't I don't want to. I don't know how that might sound. But isn't that sort of like, I don't know, you. You wanted this equality. You wanted to join his workforce? Like? I guess I guess the other part, I guess, part of me thinks well, listen, I mean, you want it to stop, here you go. But I guess the other question he said was, oh, not so it definitely was, I think, well, I know for me, Mani template, you know, I'm a Gen X or my template was, you know, Mom pretty much stayed home. She worked a little bit, but my dad was truck driver. So he was gone a lot. So mom did cook, cleaned and all that kind of stuff. Right? And so I don't necessarily know that that was my like, you will do this. That was just my expectation, because that's what I knew. In Barbie things. Obviously, with urine, you know, women, you want this increased equality in terms of and I'm not talking about? No, I'm just talking about strictly about terms of being out in the workforce. I'm not talking about any kind of other things. Part of me says, Well, you wanted all this stuff, but you got it. But you Norland talk to anybody about, what about this stuff? You're already doing it? Of course, we expected you to do it, because that's what we knew. And like, that's what a mortem does. That's what a wife does. And so I think both sides are sort of trying to figure figure this out. And I think for us as a man, I think we have to sort of adapt and go okay, and I think some of us do very, very well. But in terms of childcare, that kind of stuff. I think some of us really slack on that, at least I know I did in terms of the housework and things but I think there's this equalization. Not necessarily in equality term, that type of workforce. It's up But that but in terms of household and the raising of the kids, I think there's just this we lack this equilibrium that that is, it's been tough for us to find a society, I think it's to the detriment of marriages.

Dr. Loren 20:14
Yeah, I absolutely agree. Michael, I, my experience was a little different. My father died when I was three. And so my mother was forced into the work force when I was very young. And I always had the thought, well, if my dad had lived, then mom could have been home baking cookies for me, and and who would have been that traditional mother. But I don't think that my mother would have ever been really happy doing that, because she had a lot of things that she was interested in, she had a lot of talents that carried over into my marriage, when, when I first married Lynn, that was, both of our expectations was that I was going to do the work, I was going to be the provider, I was going to be the protector, she was going to manage the household. That wasn't where her interests or skills were really at. But it caused tension between us because I expected her to do that. And I She was my someone for everything, I turned to her, she was supposed to manage our social life, our engagements, all of that stuff, all I was supposed to do was work. And that created a lot of difficulty, I think in our marriage at that time. And it was just at the beginning of the women's movement, which was in the 1970s. And, and I never could really kind of under stand at that time, what the need for women's movement was because I was in a household with a mother who worked and, and two sisters who were very strong women, and I didn't understand why they needed to do what they needed to do. But I think it is very difficult, because there are those basic functions of a family that need to be done somehow. And it's very difficult to manage all of that. Without and oftentimes in the relationships, somebody has to put their career on hold a little bit in order to be able to manage that, or if some people are fortunate if they have the money to hire a nanny or resources to do that, but not a lot of us do. And and that creates difficulty and and so there are things that are not going to get done, you know, they're just not going to get done or not going to get done in the way we want them done. You know, sometimes it means frozen meals and instead of preparing meals, and maybe that's okay, yeah, no,

Michael 22:43
yeah. Well, I think I was just thinking about, like, sort of, you know, it typically, like they say that men are the leaders that do are right, where we get shipped on, it's kind of what we do, right. Yeah. So but we let the house work to them. And and now it's like, well, we're also working to, but that no one will, as a man, I don't know how to run a household. I mean, I'm blurting out and wanting to tell you, it's really hard. And only half the time, it is really hard. So, but but I can't take the lead on it. I can do it. Let's create a short, short. I mean, obviously, I can learn all that. But it's not any. It's not with, it's not natural. And so but the women don't want to take charge out here, a lot of women be like, well, you should just know, like, read their mind. So it's like, they don't want to take charge and say this is too much for me. This is what we need. Here's a plan, do you do this chore? I'll do that chore. And yet we're not taking charge because we don't know what it's so I don't know, this, but clearly there's an issue here. Clearly there's an issue. And so I don't know if it's obviously to education piece. It's a it's up for the education piece, often a lot sorry. Perhaps the education pieces, we need to educate younger generations that there needs to be a conversation around this not when you get into a relationship. Yes, I know. It wasn't.

Dr. Loren 24:10
Yeah, and most people aren't, you know, falling in love is basically a psychotic experience. You know, you don't really know who you fell in love with until you know after you're married for a while and you figure those things out. But ideally, I think there would be a balance. Interestingly enough, when I met Doug and we developed our relationship in that gay relationship there wasn't that kind of negotiation because we each did the things that we were better at. He happens to be the cook and the family and he does all the shopping. And he's away right now and I am struggling with what am I gonna eat? You know? I mean, I unfortunately I don't have to prepare meal for kids but Yeah, I'm helpless in the kitchen. And I suppose when I go to New Zealand, I think and I'm gonna be down there for a while by myself and thinking, you know, how am I going to survive? Because I don't know. And I, you know, bottom line in them, I go, I don't want to learn how to cook. But a lot of our wives didn't want to either, you know, they fell into it by default, you know, because that's was what we weren't expected to have to learn to cook. They were. And there's a difference there, I think,

Michael 25:39
did you think that this that's changing in terms of these, these sort of predefined roles? Do you think you think that's changing now,

Dr. Loren 25:49
I think there's a move to change it, you know, but I think that, you know, the, those traditional values still hold sway, I watched it, you know, the best example is here, and my kids, were probably a little older than you, my kids. And, you know, they do have charts up about who's doing what and when, and what their meanings are. And they, they seem to work it out. And, but my, my one daughter, she and her husband are both physicians, and she had, she didn't have to, I suppose she chose to put her career more on hold, to take care of the family. Her husband is working a full time job. But I think there is more awareness. I mean, I see it a lot in medicine, because a lot of when I graduated from medical school, there are no women in medicine, to speak of. And now, the majority are not the majority, more than 50% of the physicians graduating are women in most cases, so. But a lot of those get real burnout to, you know, just the idea of, you know, so many demands of how to do all of that. And really feeling burnt out by trying to do too much. Something has to give and the idea of taking time to have free time to do so time. Sounds almost impossible.

Michael 27:26
Yeah. And so we got way off track, but let's talk about that slow time because I, I feel unhappy when I do it. My version of it. Which you usually lay on the couch or watch Netflix, which I was doing was you know, we want to talk about sort of getting other men but but Manet relaxation, that there are often times when I, you know, I look around, and I feel incredibly guilty because there's a basket of laundry, it's not folded, there's a dishwasher that's not empty. There's, you know, the frigerator use a little, little bit more inventory. So, how do you combat those? Those moments of? Yes, like, almost guilt, for whatever, whatever, whenever slow time is for that man. Ideally, you'll get it out. And other than that, how do you? How do you combat that sort of guilt that I think comes when you when you're not doing all those things on the list?

Dr. Loren 28:32
Well, Gil really, is a feeling here doing something you shouldn't do, isn't it? And, you know, I have a whole list of those kinds of things. That would be nice to have them done. But I look around the office where I am right now. And there's a piles of stuff everywhere. And I know that I should go through them. But I think I'm not gonna beat myself up because I haven't done it. And, you know, I think you talked about your refrigerator and the laundry, none of those things carry an urgency about them. But maybe maintaining that friendship with another person does carry a sense of urgency is it to combat the loneliness that we feel and so I think it's a matter of prioritizing you know, if we look at our to do lists and our calendars in our checkbook, that's where we see our values. That's where we what we value and some of those things on our to do list are never gonna get done and it probably doesn't matter. But I think what we have to do is prioritize some that hanging out with a friend or friends are playing poker or playing basketball or or whatever it is that we do together has to become a higher priority. And one of the advantages of getting a older and I think men are B, when they hit 50, they're pretty much able to a little better work on that, because your career sort of set, you know, you don't, you're not really going to climb a lot more ladders at that point. And a lot of the family responsibilities are beginning to diminish. And so your time is more freed up to do some of that. So it makes aging helps. And that's why I wrote one article that it really just exploded on. On Psychology Today about how, if you want to be happy, think like an old person, you know, and the, the idea is that old people have a different sense of time and values and priorities. And we have an urgency about time, because we see that there's a diminishing amount of time ahead in our lives. And so we begin to think, what are the choices I'm going to make with that time, and a lot of the things that we thought were important. And it's not just things, but people as well as activity, all those things begin to sort themselves out a lot as you get older, and you think I don't have time for that anymore. The last chapter in my role Street and book is called aging allows us to say fuck off. And I think, you know, that, you know, just tell your laundry to fuck off, you know.

Dr. Loren 31:39
You can pull the dirty, clear, wrinkled clothes out of the laundry and where I'm you know, I've done it, certainly. But I think, you know, one of the things that I like to talk about that to help people deal with aging, is the issue of, you can either measure time, or you can experience time. And, you know, throughout my early 40s, in that period of my life, I was rushing from meeting to meeting, I had appointment after appointment. And they went through the divorce, I had to make enough money to be able to support myself and support my ex wife and my kids. And, you know, there were all those pressures to do those things together. And I didn't have any time to spare during the time. And, you know, I could get through it for a period of time. But I we get caught up in that. And I think, you know, another thing that comes to mind, as we talked about this module is, you know, Americans think about work much differently than any other countries other. You know, people will say, we live to work and other countries they work to live. You know, Have you ever talked to a Canadian who would ever sell back vacation time to their boss, you know, you know, no, it doesn't happen, you know? And people will quit retire in a certain age and say, Well, I've been settling back two years of vacation. Like, what if luck is

Michael 33:23
gonna agree I might have bought this Canadian. Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna say like the work there. But but but he didn't need to. I mean, he could go to like, you know, fucking what was the Venice, Italy earlier in the year, he had, so jump on some calls, but he was in tennis. So

Dr. Loren 33:42
one of the things I like to talk about too, is, you know, we think too much about a retiring at 55 or 60, or 65. You know, I like I said, I'm 80 years old, and I'm still working, I think what we ought to do is borrow some of their retirement time, put it into our lives when they were younger, and plan to work a couple extra years in our life to pay for that time back. And I think it makes sense. I mean, one of the things that happens now is many of us in well, not, I suppose many my age group are still working, but a lot of people work past 70. And it's not a bad thing, because you can work part time or you could you know, you can supplement your income and in various ways like that. And it really, if you're doing hard labor, that's kind of hard to do that, but, but there are positions available. And I think we're too focused on beating the shit out of her life until we get to that point of retirement, then we're going to start enjoying it. So that's crazy thinking, you know, we need to begin to rethink that particular value. There was in the movie Lawrence Foster Jenkins there's a wonderful line in there. And the guy said, you know, he was an actor and his career had never taken off. And he was getting to be the older actor. And he said, it's not so bad. I'm freed from the tyranny of ambition. And, you know, the idea that once, once we get to midlife, you know, when I was 50, I thought, What am I going to do with the rest of my life? You know, I've gone about as far as I can go. And initially, I was kind of depressed. But it kind of bothered me to think there was no, no hill to climb. And then I came to peace with that and thought, well, now I can begin to to take more time off, I can begin to do all these other things. And then the last book I wrote was called No More neckties. And when I my mother died when I was about 60. And I decided I would never go to a networking cocktail party again. Because I didn't need to, you know, and why would I go if I didn't like those people. I decided that I would never sit through a boring lecture, because I did done enough of that, you know, feeling like I couldn't ever escape in him. I need something I'd learned there. Even though it's awful to listen to it. So I I even told him minister at the church, I was going to I said, if you if your sermons not good, I'm not sticking around.

Michael 36:35
That speaks out. I mean, interrupt you, but it just it hit me while you're talking. That speaks to like, the the wisdom that comes with it. Right? Yeah. Like you've learned this over the years. And so I want to take it back even further, because you talked about but and boy, do I feel your 18 year, or what you've experienced I can relate to is, you know, being a single father working and having to provide and paying for things that, don't they, you're no longer in a family, but you're still paying for one. Right? And, like the burden of that, in the end the Apple Watch, it feels like a feat. But you know, clearly and you can speak to this that passes, right? Like there's there was a point where you no longer had to pay child support or alimony or alimony, whoever it was right? You you got through that. Can you speak about that? Can you talk about sort of your mind frame and how difficult that was? And or maybe it was easy? Or how did you because I'm in the thick of it. And there are days where I'm like, Okay, I'm gonna quit and this year, and good luck on funding, because it's really fucking hard. And, and, and there are just days, I just don't want to do it. Suicide, it's been added. So I just want to go live. And

Dr. Loren 37:57
I think it's okay to talk about suicide, because I do think a lot of people in this situation do think about suicide. There's an Australian psychiatrist who talks about predicament, suicide, and predicament suicide, he defined as someone who doesn't have any mental illness, but they're caught in a situation where there's no good option. There's either a bad option or a worse option. You know, and a lot of times that sense of hopelessness is what we experienced during that time that you're talking about, you know, and I certainly went through that, you know, having lost my father, when I was very young, I had grown up with the idea, I'm always going to be the best Foster, best father I can possibly be. And being a divorced father, who sees his kids on Wednesdays and weekends, is not the dream I had about who I was going to be. So there was a lot of shame and guilt about that. Walking away from that, and there were some real regrets about that, you know, when I got divorced, another divorce doctor had come up to me said, Well, it takes about five years to recover, Billy, and that was sort of right on although at the end of five years, then I began having college expenses as well as even though the alimony didn't last and the child support and then I had college expenses to come up with you. So it went on and you know, but I did learn to live more simply. When I was first doors, I had a place in I had an air mattress on the floor and I had a cooler for refrigerator and I had an old desk and that was it in the main place I had but I did buy a painting. And I had to pay for it on time, but it was a painting of a Big rooster, Big Blue rooster. And I thought, This guy has some stamina and strength, and everything that I thought I need. And I still love that painting because it was, for me, it was a sign of hope. But this is, this is who I am be, this is who I can become. This is how I can get through that. And you know, the other part of it, the complicated, of course, is that, you know, there's all that conflict between you and your spouse around these issues. And, you know, and I certainly went through that with my wife. At the time, I remember once I exploded on her because I went to pick up the kids, and she was wearing a sweatshirt i given my daughter and it was like, you know, it's like, it wasn't a big deal. But for me, it was a huge deal. To see her thinking, I bought that sweatshirt, I'm sending all this money, why the fuck Can't you wear your own clothes. And, you know, I look back on it now. But I think you know, we need that anger to disengage, it was just the energy to say, this was the right decision, I needed to be out of this relationship. So we really needed that. And then later, you can begin to work on the forgiveness that needs to come, do begin to try and have some reproach, with your, with your spouse. And that takes some time to do that. Unfortunately, Len and I were able to do that we began that process when our first daughter got married. And since then, that now my ex wife and my husband are friends. Which was then after dinner one night, and with some old friends of mine, and Doug was there and my ex wife was there because she knew the friends too. And I said to the server, well, this is my husband, and this is my wife. He looked at me like what? And then he was like, Oh, now I get it?

Michael 42:08
Can you? Can you talk about that a little bit? Like? Did you have thought about it sooner than you did sounds like it took me a very long time. You think if you would have like been consciously that, okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna work out forgiveness, I'm gonna work on having a good relationship with her you think it was even possible?

Dr. Loren 42:25
It early on, it really wasn't. During the first probably be I mean, we fought about the same issues we thought about when we were buried, usually money. And, and I think they may have been the catalyst for the anger. But, you know, I think you have to get rid of that anger first, and not hold on. Because it can really show up. And, you know, I like to tell people that, you know, the reason we have no fault before, is because there's no point. And if you're, if you are the one who screwed up blaming yourself, you need to forgive yourself. And if the other person you feel, doesn't do any good to continue to batter them with whatever they did, you know, just accept that it was kind of a no fault situation. And there's a whole exercise you can take in forgiveness. And part of it needs to be to begin to understand what the other person was experiencing at the time. In my case, you know, for me to begin to recognize that life wasn't working out so well for my wife, either. You know, during that period of time, she was trying to fit into a mold that didn't work for her. She began, she began a professional career after that, and became a much happier person in many ways. It wasn't working for me, and I was blaming myself, I needed to forgive myself, as well. And I think forgiveness is a gift you give someone who doesn't deserve it. Sometimes it's yourself. Sometimes it's someone else. And then you really need to work through the anger first, and then begin to try and develop empathy and compassion for the other person in their relationship. And that's what happened when our daughter got married, we've been able to come together and recognize that, you know, there were some good parts of our relationship. It wasn't all bad. We entered it with the right reasons. It just didn't work for the right choice for a long time.

Michael 44:37
Would you think? And I think you gotta you got to get the anger and I'm not there. And I think because, for me I know the guys listen to it's because the anger inducing things in you. So my for instance, you know, my, my ex gets $1,000 that we bought Right every month, and sometimes it ends in when they're, you know, asked for more money or when it's short, but always still broke. You know, I've made six figures that still feels like it's not we're not. So it's hard for me to I don't know how to work through that. If I'm constant, maybe I constantly but frequently, for sure. Basically, I know it's on me to react, right, it's on, it's on me. situation, they are prompted for him to differently, but but Bowlby, it's really, really hard. So I guess my question is like, I don't know, you work through your anger, when you're still facing situation situations make you angry?

Dr. Loren 45:41
Well, they do trigger. And again, I guess this is a good place to go back to talking about the friends that we need to support us during that time. People who will listen to us now we can burn out our friends, too, by going on too long about it, and bitching about it. But sometimes they can give us some feedback and say, Hey, wait a minute, your anger is out of proportion here, all she asks for was an extra 100 bucks. Instead of exploding as if you are going to have to be homeless and, and living on the street, you know, but other friends can help give us that perspective. What happens Michael, though, is if you sit alone too much, and think about it, you chew on that, and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And there's where do you take that anger, and particularly if you don't share it with somebody, it just begins to feel explosive inside. And at times, that's a good time. And women do this much better than we do as men, women will call a friend and say I need to go to lunch. And they'll sit there across the table from each other. And they'll listen to each other. And they'll look at I and and maybe the friend will say oh sweet, aren't you? You're overreacting here. Men don't do that. You know, we just don't call a friend and say, I'm feeling my shit. I need to talk to somebody. Can you do it? Can you can you? And you know, I think it isn't even necessary to call that friend and said, I feel like shit. It's it's possible to say, let's just go for a bike ride together, and hang out and just said that being active and doing something with another person helps distract us from that pain. So that doesn't continue to evolve and grow bigger and bigger all the time. Yes, sir.

Michael 47:42
Is there this? I've been struggling with this lately. In terms of my anger, frustration, and also sort of getting sick, and yet still feeling the need, you know what I mean? Is there where's the line? Because sometimes I feel like, they'll either be like, it's either either I could do something about it or show. Right. But I know that there's a need for, you know, preventing it at least I think so. You know, I think it's healthy to get things out. Whether that be journaling or talking to the folks or whatever, but, but get it out, I think is important, but where's the line if there is or maybe it's just such a personal thing, where you stop complaining and accept and or make a change.

Dr. Loren 48:26
I don't know that there's a line because I think it's more like waves. You know, where you'll feel better for a while. And then something little happened like the sweatshirt I mentioned carbonyl, just come back at your full blast. I really like journaling. And one of the ways I tell patients and friends to do that is to, to do a stream of consciousness journaling, where you write everything, you can write all the PIs, all the anger, all the pus, get get it out and down on a piece of paper. And then when you've kind of emotionally exhausted that process, then begin to take an analytic approach. Because you're using two different sides of your brain basically, you want you want to feel that emotion, you want to understand it. But then as you've exhausted that process, then you begin to say, Okay, where are my feelings out of proportion? What are the what are the steps that can take, what can I do to make this better, you may begin to do a more analytic process, but you can't do the things together and I tell people journaled as fast as you can. This is not a book report. You don't have to turn it in for a grade. This is just for you. It can be pictures, it can be diagrams, it can have be filled with profanity, misspelled words, it doesn't really matter. You just want to do it as fast as you possibly can. And then you state Hey, wait a minute. Let's take a look at this. And when I was going through the process, my daughter Of course I did a lot of that. In fact, I only burned that journal a while back because I thought I don't want to die and who am I The kids see what I was writing them, you know? We could not. And it does help is really based on some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and all those techniques are, there's evidence to be evidence based practices that really can help talk you down from the ledge.

Michael 50:28
We definitely got way off track. So let's win all good stuff. It was awesome. I really appreciate it. Let's let's go out touch on one last topic. And then we'll do the words of wisdom question. But what how do you how do you make friendship priority? Like what is what is that look like is that, you know, I'm gonna, every Saturday I'm gonna go my buddy or every other Saturday or, you know, what, how do you do that? What what are the ways in the method that ensure that you're making friendship priority?

Dr. Loren 51:00
Well, some people are better at it than others, you know, I think oftentimes, it's a matter of going to a group that with a shared interest. You know, and being a part of that, I mean, friendships often begin that way. But it's not necessary to take a deep dive into every kind of social situation. It can be, you know, politics, it can be church, I mean, if people are ever have some basis for religion, getting involved in that, volunteering could be something because you usually choose to volunteer in areas that you have some shared interests on physical activities can be a good one, that kind of thing. And, and not approaching it as if you're searching for a best friend, that can make you look desperate, you know, trying to find a new spouse to fill the void, you look needy, and nobody wants to have a needy friend. So, but I think pursuing a shared interest, but being disciplined about it in terms of putting some time in your calendar, for whatever that's going to be and making a habit of doing it. And a certain amount of time, I think that's one of the reasons the AAA groups work for people as they you know, they find a sense of community within a certain group of people. And that means that a certain time, and they do that, I have a group of people who play dominoes with in there, we have a coffee group we have, we have those things, and they, you know, we don't always meet the same time every week or a month. But we do have a an intent to find a time to do it. And we do it every month. And so I think it's really valuing and recognizing the value of these things, enough to put off sorting the laundry and emptying the refrigerator and doing those kinds of things. That, you know, ideally would be done, but they're probably not as important.

Michael 53:09
I agree. I think, like many things, it's, you know, it's intention, that's, that's more, almost most important. Like, I have the intention, I want to make my friendships a priority, or I want to get over this anger, whatever it is, it has to be tension. Otherwise, you're you're you're never gonna make any real changes. Yeah. So

Dr. Loren 53:34
yeah, acceptability with the anger and don't beat yourself up about feeling that way. You know, the idea is to, to put a lid on it at some point and say, enough's enough. This is hurting me more than it's hurting anybody else, you know, and by hanging on to this bitterness, it's only affecting me is not affecting, you know, if you're pissed off at your spouse, or having ruined your life or whatever it is. It's not hurting her at all, you know, it only comes back to hurt you. And at some point, it's time to let go of that and say, okay, that part of it's done. And I'm gonna move on and begin to rebuild from here.

Michael 54:20
Yeah, you're right. It's it's not hard sometimes.

Dr. Loren 54:23
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

Michael 54:28
Well, again, thank you, Dr. Mark for doing this early. Appreciate it. i The last question I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just beginning his divorce journey?

Dr. Loren 54:39
I would say get rid of the shame and guilt that you feel about it. And stop blaming yourself. Work on stopping blaming your wife. Try and let go of the bitterness that you feel is not necessary to hate your ex spouse, you know, if that's not a critical part of the recovery, I would say, Stop. measuring time, all the time and experience time look toward ways of experiencing time with friends, or even just doing things you want. downsize a little, you know, we were driven sometimes to take care of all these things that we think we have to have. You don't need a lot of stuff. And you know, I know how to live poor because I've done it. I can live poor again. And I won't be less happy by living without all of the things that I thought I had to have. And finally, I would say learn to say fuck off.

Michael 55:44
I love that. Perfect way to end. Thank you so much, sir, for doing this. What's the best way for people to find you and your books in your in your blog and all that?

Dr. Loren 55:53
You can find me on Psychology Today under Lauren Olson. My website is no more neckties. book.com. And, or you could just Google my name and it'll show up. But I'd love to hear from people who may touch with. Maybe someone will even become a friend.

Michael 56:16
Yeah, that's awesome. Thank you so much again, Jonas. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Loren
My pleasure. Thanks, Michael for having me.

Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019. I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Episode 117 – Forged By Fire – Weeks 2 & 3 – Solo (Moving and Dropping Into Your Body)

In this episode I cover weeks 2 and 3 of my program, Forged By Fire.  These weeks center around getting out of your head and getting into your body.  Information of my program can be found here; http://www.risingphoenixdivorcecoach.com.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host, divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 117. This is going to be a solo one. And I'm going to cover weeks two and three of my forged by fire program. If you're watching this on YouTube, it is probably very clear to you that this is being shot on a new and or different camera. Shout out to my brother Adam, who sent me a bunch of stuff for this podcast, including this camera that I am now using, it is definitely a much better picture. So I really, really appreciate it. Adam, thank you very, very much. So I wanted to talk, get back to talking about my program, because it is important to me and important to the folks that have gone through it. Before I get to that, I do want to touch on me a little bit and just kind of give me an update. I don't want to turn this into an episode about just where I'm at. But I at least wanted to touch on it. I am okay, I think I am still struggling with anxiety a little bit. I'm trying new things and trying to find ways to cope. And I think this is just another case of me being tested and me being tasked with figuring out how to handle these things and bring it to you. So I haven't figured it out yet. I'm a work in progress. But if you are struggling with anxiety, just know that you have nothing else you have an ally in your corner. And someone that is going to try and figure out ways for us to handle this together. So I'm trying to be more mindful of where I am in terms of my mental state and trying to be born mindful of my thoughts. Although my thoughts don't really, they're not negative. They don't really contribute to the anxiety, I don't think in some degree probably around health issues. I'm okay, I'm just I have a certain paranoia and I think perhaps my thoughts around health because of sort of my my history and my experiences with with negative health outcomes within my family, my father dying of cancer at 44. That's probably sort of influenced my anxiety around health issues. I mean, I'm having some small things but there It's nothing major. I'm okay. Nothing to worry about. At least I don't I don't think so. So, around health, I still have, you know, some significant negative thoughts and worries and concerns and thus anxiety. But for all my life in general, I think the anxiety just comes from overwhelm. And I think that's par for the course if you're a single father, even if it's only half the time. I think it's nearly impossible to not have struggles, I think you have struggled as a parent no matter what, I think that just this, this being a single parent, it amplifies the struggles and it it doesn't allow for much downtime and especially if you have an overwhelming job that can also add to the stress and take away I think more importantly, perhaps, take away from the downtime that can lead to some relief, some relaxation. So I'm, I feel in some ways like I am on the journey that I was in beginning all this except for instead of dealing with a divorce, it's more about dealing with my anxiety. I have never been an anxious person. I've always had some anxiety like I said sort of around health. Just because again my father died of cancer. My grandmother who passed away lived with us for the final years of her life she she passed away 72 emphysema I think it was both of my grandfather's died when I was young. My dad's dad actually died before I was born. I'm not sure what he had, I think multiple sclerosis, but I'm not 100% Sure. And then my mom's father passed away from stroke. So health issues always freaked me the fuck out. So those have always kind of been there. And and I think what has occurred lately is that just the my cup runneth over so to speak. I've had too much going on and I need to find ways to handle it and in looking at things to do swore I wasn't gonna make this one just About my my situation, but but I do want to touch on, I want to address it because, you know, I talked about it so. But I think, you know, I just need to develop strategies around being able to relax and self care, you know, and not just, you know, sitting around eating bonbons or whatever, I think it's more than that for sure. And that ties into good segue ties into week two, week two, and three weeks two and three. Specifically, we start with week two, obviously, of my program, then we to the program is very basic. And it's something that is preached by many folks for many reasons, but that is physical activity, do something every day. And Dr. MC McDonald talks about this 20 minutes every day, and doesn't have to be strenuous, just has to be some kind of physical activity. And I honestly have gotten away from that. And that's probably somewhat of a contributing factor to my my mental health struggles lately. So I'm going to try to recommit to those things. But the nice thing about the program is when you're in it, and especially well, all the weeks, but but especially this one, for sure, you can be held accountable by other men that are going through the same things and have gone through that week already and have developed strategies around how to get there 20 minutes in every day, it doesn't, again, doesn't have to be strenuous. It could be walking for 20 minutes, there really isn't a sort of tried and true, like you have to do this way you have to do this workout, you have to lift weights, it doesn't matter, obviously, if you have goals, and that will determine how much it matters what you do, but just for pure mental health, and there are numerous studies that said that say this, and I was going to print some out, but I figured you guys can look it up. You know, the more active you are, the better your mental health, it can help with things like depression, anxiety, there's no question that the facts are out there, the studies are out there. So week two of the program is simply getting getting active, getting doing things that everyday require you to move your body in some kind of way. And again, why is this helpful? Well, a get you out of your head and get you in into your body, which leads into week three, I'll get into that in a little bit. And B it does release endorphins and those types of things where it can depending on your type of exercise, that can also help with with stress and depression and all these other types of things. So the good thing about the program is you're again, you're held accountable, there are men in there that are there with you. And the other good thing about this program is you don't even when you're done, you don't you're you're in this you get your get invited to a Facebook group and you're in there until the end of time or, or Facebook implodes, whatever happens first. So you're always going to have support, you're always going to have a place to come and vent come and talk to come and get advice. You don't get through this program and everything suddenly is is hunky dory, clearly, right? I'm having struggles they're not around divorce, though I can I can help you get through your divorce. I can't yet help you with your anxiety. But I fucking will I promise you. I'm not clearly kind of person who just sits back and waits for shit to happen. So that's one of the the solid pieces of this program. And if you're if you're on the fence, and you're, you're not sure. Just fucking do it, if you're struggling with your divorce, do it not only for all the steps in this program, but for that support? And yes, there is a part of me that says, Man, it's a little sad that you have to pay to be part of a group of men. Yes, it is a little sad. But these these men are specific in their intention. So you're not only are you around or the menu around are the men who had the same intention as you to heal and grow from divorce. And there are there are guys that are in varying stages, and there'll be able to help you along and more importantly, the sympathize and understand it's not like you're speaking Greek, it's not like they're going to tell you, Oh man, you just need to get over it. That's that's not going to happen in this group. So if you are on the fence, I strongly encourage you to just pull the fucking trigger. It will help you I promise you that right now. And I'll cover week three here in a second. Right. Right now it's $1,200 for the entire program. If you look at a similar program, and the only one that I know of for sure, I'm sure there are others, but the only one I know for sure is the alpha code. It's very similar to the alpha code. Although my program is longer and it is definitely more specific in terms of it's for men going through divorce, not just men period.

Michael 9:49
The Alpha code right now I believe is and I'm not knocking the Alpha code. It's worth every penny that I paid but I believe the Alpha code is now $4,500 I am not charging $400 But I believe it is worth adding more. Because it is life changing. Make no mistake, if you are struggling and you have no outlet, you have no friends to lean on no support, no guidance, no help. You're gonna get it here, I promise you that. So again, if you're on the fence, pull the fucking trigger already. It will change your life, I promise you, I've seen it. So speaking of seeing it, I've seen some of the some of the more impactful weeks is, is in terms of, you know, seeing change, one of the more impactful weeks is week three. And it sort of ties into week two. So it's more about dropping into your body, and feeling your emotions in your body. And I know this concept is weird. It is something that I did learn in the Alpha code. But if you listen to it, and or read books, like the Body Keeps the Score if you listen to the episode I did with Dr. MC McDonald, if you listened to the episode I did with psychologist Erik Estrada, you know that this is this is researched, proven methodology to handle your emotions. And that is to drop into your body. And that's what this week teaches you. I try to get folks to focus on a couple of different emotions that occur. Because if I just say don't just drop in your body, when you feel emotion, you know what the fuck is that you need. For me, I like specificity. I like directions that are succinct and to the point. And so I tried to get guys to focus on a few different emotions that they face. One of those is is anger. And that's, you know, I hate to say this, but I feel like that's a kind of an easy one. I don't know if that's true, but I feel like it's a lot easier to to recognize when you're in anger than and pinpoint some things that you can do so, so what am I? What do I mean? What the fuck am I talking about dropped into your body. So okay, so let's say you feel angry over something, you have to take that pause. And this again, is sort of about mindfulness to take that pause. And that skill mindfulness is is honed a little bit more further on in the program. But in this week, you have to try and cultivate that pause when you're in anger, first you have to recognize and again, that's the there's more of that cultivation later on in the program. But you start with this week, where you start to notice where are you at? Where are your thoughts? And if you can just recognize number one, I'm angry, and then you start to to I know it sounds weird, but you literally drop into your body and try and figure out are your fist clenched? When you're angry? Do you grind your fucking teeth? Like oh, I do? Do you get? Does your face get flush? Just like what are you feeling when you when you're angry? And why is this important? One, so So I think I'm gonna explore anger a little bit deeper in future episodes, but because I really think anger in general, is a wasted emotion. And I know you know, I did an episode and the psychologist. He said it was it's a core emotion. And yes, that's true. If you are really actually truly faced with a fight situation to save your life, then anger is a core emotion you need it, unless you flight to in order to save your life. But if you're in a situation where you're cornered, life or death, then fight is the emotion or is the state you need to be in and anger is your fucking guide. And you need it. Most of our lives we are not backed into a corner in a life or death situation. So what happens is our anger becomes a surrogate to protect us from things that that don't require a fight. And so it can be a general wasted energy now there are times when you can use anger to your advantage to spur you to do things. But typically what happens or what I think happens is guys just get an anger and stew in their anger and they take no action. So it when you're in these states either fight flight freeze or fawn, you're not in your thinking logical brain. I'm sure you're all keenly aware I am not a scientist. I am not a doctor, but I have read enough to know that if I'm in any of those four states, I am not in my prefrontal cortex which is the front of my brain which is the logical part which decision making part I am in protection mode I am in fight flight freeze or fawn. I don't have all my faculties my brain is literally trying to save my life. Even though it's just that fuck I gotta go back to court that dumb bitch that's not being angry at that doesn't save my life. What it does is it gets me out of my logical thinking brain and it could get me to do some dumb shit like send her an email you fucking dumb con. I can't believe you did this. I never did that, by the way. But so why is it important to drop in your body? It's the soothe yourself and get yourself back into logical brain. Especially in anger. How many dumb fucking things have you done in anger? I've done a million of them. I couldn't even fucking count them. So why is this important? It's so you can stop making these same mistakes over and over so you can stop having I don't know about you, but many times in my life I've gotten very angry that I did or said something and then felt like a piece of shit afterwards. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could stop feeling a piece of shit after letting your anger take over? Well, that's the point of this week in the program week three is to not only anger and I'll get the others but but anger for sure is to to calm yourself down and start thinking logically. Okay, you're pissed that she's going back to court? Okay, but what what now? What can you do about that? What actions can you take, make sure your lawyers you know, up to abreast and has all the information and make sure you're, you've been documented everything, all these things that you should have been doing, you're not going to do if you're angry, you're not going to think about logically, okay, I need to call my lawyer, you're gonna think I'm gonna buck and tell her I'm gonna, I'm gonna call her and give her a piece of my mind. Again, nothing good, typically comes from those types of actions. So let's talk about some of the some of the other emotions that can be, they're a little bit trickier, I think to, to locate in your body, at least for myself. And I think sadness is one where it's, I do struggle with this one anger is my jaw, I clench my, my, my teeth. And if I'm really pissed, and by the way, not only the drop in your body, but and I'll do a little bit of a demonstration here in a little bit. But you also need to breathe in, again, your breath. Enough, enough deep breaths will trigger along with some soothing every body, if you can pinpoint where it is and massage it and breathe. It sends signals to your body that says, whoa, we're okay. It's okay here, there's no need to fight, you're not packed into a corner, you don't have to save your own life right now. We're good. Let's calm down. Let's get back into thinking brain, let's get that brain back online, it literally shuts off, you literally can't think straight. You guys know this, you've done it, I'm sure a million times the same as I have, because anger is our best fucking friend, when it comes to emotions. So anyway, so let's talk about maybe I'll talk about there's a part of me thinking shame. But that's another one it's really hard to pinpoint. But let's, let's stick with sadness, because I think we all face that on occasion. And sadness can lead to, I think anxiety, sadness, depression, these are all sort of, they can end up being this downward spiral, right. And if we can learn how to stop that, so sometimes sadness depression can lead to ruminating thoughts. And that leads us to these spirals of just despair and just depression and and just feeling just miserable, or I don't even know the words that there's there is a piece of the book, The Body Keeps the Score, where it talks about this inability to put words through this pain because your brain, again, literally shuts down the left and right brain don't communicate, because it doesn't want to talk, it doesn't want to relive it because your brain and I highly recommend MC McClellan's book on broken your brain is a is it amongst other things as a giant filing cabinet. And when it doesn't want to file things away, or doesn't know what to file things away with. It keeps bouncing around in your brain. And you can't, you can't move on from it and you can't integrate it into your into your, into your filing system. And so it's just it continues to pop up, it continues to pop up, you can't make sense of it. So therefore, you can't file it away. Because you don't know where to fuck to file it. I'm getting a little a little bit off track here. But part of that being able to integrate and and file the memory or the emotion away is to is to get into logical thinking brain to allow your filing system to sort of come back online. Again, read the book unbroken. It's fucking brilliant. I've been talking to MC McDonough a little bit. It's been difficult to get her on. She's very busy. We're probably not we're at this point. We're looking at springtime next year, which sucks, but I get it. She's super super busy. I'm just thankful for that book. And for her. You know, I sent her a message the other day I was reading I'm getting off track here I realized chapter seven and I fucking cried on the plane like not bald, like like a fucking baby. But like there there were I had to fight back tears. It's a this is a great book. So anyway. So in order to avoid these, these sort of spirals, these depression spirals, we can drop in our body and feel now this is sort of twofold. So

Michael 19:49
one is it brings us back online and ensue those and brings us back online. It it allows us to do Get out of the sort of the depths of our shit. Now, this isn't easy. I'm not saying once you learn this, you're gonna be, you know, everything's gonna be hunky dory. And then also, it allows us to actually feel something, which allows us to heal from it. So it's sort of twofold. One, we're talking sadness. So let's say, you just got a call and the boyfriend, the new boyfriend's coming over. And your daughter's telling you, Oh, Daddy, he's coming over. And it makes you really fucking sad. And then you start thinking all these fucking things, right? You know, oh, yeah, I'm gonna be replaced. I'm not good enough. This is all my fault. I'm the bad father, she's not going to love me anymore. You know, or kid, you know, son, whatever. They're, you know, I'm unreplaceable. Which is all not logical thoughts. There is no replacing dad. But when you're in these spirals, you can't be again, it's your fucking brain at work, your brain is trying to protect you. And it's not being logical. And I know it sounds weird to say, Well, how could it be protecting you, when it's when you're not thinking straight, but it's just the way that it works, you're in a certain mode that's trying to save your life, again, in the context of the brain trying to save your life, it's not the same as actually life saving stuff. So So anyway, so your your, you get this phone call, you get very, very sad, you start having these spiraling thoughts. One thing, the first purpose of this is to stop these spiraling thoughts. And that is to soothe yourself, right to stop thinking to start looking at where is this affecting your body, in this one is a little bit more difficult for me to pinpoint where but if you just massage your body, anywhere that you feel tightness, or stress, or just anything, it can get you back online. And the other thing you can do is, is in that moment, instead of quickly trying to get back online, to be logical, it's really just kind of sit with it, and feel it that might mean you're going to sob and cry like a baby. And that's okay. Feeling it leads to healing it again. No, it sounds fucking cheesy, or weird or whatever. But, and, you know, sometimes she had the rhymes is cheesy, but it holds fucking true. Again, read the book, but it keeps the score on broken, etc, etc. So that allows you to actually face it and deal with it, then you can heal from it, you can instead of just burying it, ignoring it, becoming angry, how fucking dare she do this, I can't believe you, we were together 20 some odd years or whatever it is. And, you know, again, that but that's not addressing the actual problem, the thing that you're feeling, it's, it's, it's going away from it, it's not allowing you to pinpoint or hone in on it. It's like wounding a fucking deer, when you need to take a shot in the heart and say what I'm saying you're not really, you're not really facing it head on. You're, you're dancing around it, you're avoiding it, actually. And so. So when you sit with it, you start to feel it. And then you can actually heal from it sorted. And it doesn't mean it's like this, it's like a, you know, a snap of the fingers. It's not fucking Thanos like you just, and that's it. Oh, it's all good. No, it takes time, effort, practice and patience. And again, in this program, you're gonna get coached through this, you're gonna have guys that can tell you, Well, when I get sad, I feel that in this part of my body, or when I get angry, I feel it in this part of my body. This again, helps you to sort of facilitate the learning and the growing, because you've had people that have already been through it and have done some of the work. Now, it's never ending some of this work. And it doesn't always hold true in terms of Well, today, I felt the sadness in my shoulders, well, maybe tomorrow, you won't, maybe you'll feel it elsewhere. But the point is to get out of your, your spiraling, shameful, protective in a weird way, because you're not if you're thinking about it, you're not feeling it, and your brain doesn't want you to feel pain. Again, go back to the left, right brain doesn't want to talk traumatic memories, it doesn't want to cross it over to the other side, because then you have to face it and deal with it. And doesn't know what to do with it. So it bounces around a little bit. Again, because you can't file it away. So if you can sort of start to get out of these spiraling thoughts calmed down and also in that process, feel the pain then you can start to heal you can start to grow you can start to be able to any once you learn these things and it's still a work in progress for me I'm not a fucking expert. But when I am hit with certain things now anxiety is the one that I'm I'm struggling with although I am working on something and once I have it a little bit more perfected I will do an episode on it. I'll probably do a small program on on anxiety. I'm doing a lot of research a lot a lot of reading. I'm doing a lot of trying things on my own and I'm working on some things but anyway once you master these things in any any sort of emotion that you have difficulty with, I shouldn't say master once you start getting a handle on it, any emotions that you've face that you struggle with, you're going to learn how to be able to deal with them. It's sort of like a boxer sort of taking punches, you know, eventually, hopefully you learn to take a punch, you learn how to maybe punches the wrong, wrong sort of way to look at it, but you learn how to deal with these things. Because the punches are going to come, if you're in a fucking ring, life is a ring, you're gonna get hit in the fucking face. And if you're alive, and in the ring, so to speak of life, you're gonna get hit in the face it life is sometimes just cruel, and unfuckin forgiving. But if you learn these things, you can learn how to deal with them, you can learn how to face them, you can learn how to manage them, so they don't manage you. So you can learn how to, to when when something makes you angry, instead of flying off the fucking handle, you learn how to calm the fuck down, see things clearly and go, Oh, shit, that was really hurtful and unnecessary. of that person. I'm going to set a boundary and cut them out of my fucking life, or whatever it is, instead of perpetually thinking about how you want revenge against this person, and how could How dare could she do that? Or whoever you know, a boss or whatever. And it keeps you stuck. It keeps you beholden to them. You're you're you're their fucking puppet, and they're your puppet master. And I don't have any interest in that. And if you learn how to manage these emotions, you become the master of your own destiny, which I know is sort of a funny phrase. Destiny is what it is, How the fuck can you master it, but you know what it's like you can you can decide the quality of your life. This doesn't mean this is easy. This isn't a quick, quick fix. There is no quick fix, there is no magic pill, life is fucking hard. But there are things that you can do. And you can learn to make it a little bit easier. And it's not always hard. It just when it's hard, man, sometimes it can be really fucking hard. So I encourage you to if you don't want to join my program, and you have zero interest, that's fine. I totally understand some of you out there I know are well on your journey and you're you're well towards healing. And God bless you. We need more folks like yourselves. And I think most of you, I hope most of you know who I'm thinking of former guest Jared I'm thinking of my my dear Bengals fan Pete, like these these guys and Scott and Jaron and there's, there's so many of you out there that you're well on your journey. And you've either been through the program or you're way past needing this program, although I think it can help everybody. You've done work, it's clear. And so I appreciate you, I appreciate all of you that that that want to do the work or had done the work because it reinforces the importance of it. To me even like I know it's important but when I see growth in people when I see people survive this and thrive after it reaffirms the necessity of doing the work so if you want to do the work let's fucking go let's just let's go send me a fucking email and book a call. And let's get you in the fucking program. If you are on the fence about the cost of the program, send me an email and we will work it out. I am not doing this to become rich although that would be fucking nice. But I'm not I would like to be able to do it for a living I don't know if that's ever gonna happen. It doesn't fucking matter. Because I do want to help period it allows me to feel like all of this shit that has occurred happened for a reason and that reason is I was able to help men get to the other side and not just dragging them there and barely making it I'm talking about getting the other side of a well laid out fucking bridge and looking back and going this wasn't so bad. Look at where I am now. That means so very much to me. And that's all that really matters to me I just want to help that's all I've ever wanted to do with this because it gives my life meaning it gives the divorce meaning obviously I have kids and a job and that that helps with meaning although honor honor about that job it can go fuck itself most of the time, but this makes me feel like it was all it was worth something all that pain and hurt and misery and it's still there to some degree. But when I get messages Oh, that reminds me so if you're listening on Spotify, Spotify now has this has this thing q&a, although I can't fucking figure out how to do the A part. So if you have made a comment

Michael 29:34
and I've gotten a couple recently I don't know why I can't figure out how to comment back so thank you very much for the comments. I don't know how I don't know no fucking comment back I'll I don't know it's not intuitive. It's not like oh, respond, hear or reply. I just don't see it. All I can do is publish the comment, which is annoying like it's like oh increase interaction with your audience. Well then let me fucking reply and maybe I'm just missing some anyway. I appreciate you that have commented It is pretty cool to hear from you guys. It does it does mean a lot, I can't lie and say it doesn't. And I'm working on receiving. I'm really fucking bad at it. But but but I'm working on I'm trying to embrace the positive comments and the positivity that comes from doing this because it is there, I do see it, I do feel it. I hate that sometimes I sort of, I don't wanna say ask for maybe I do ask for it. Maybe it's a subconscious thing. But I don't I don't want. I don't I don't want to, I appreciate you. That's what I want to say I appreciate you, all of you. So, again, if you're interested, there's a couple of ways to get a hold of me. If you want to reach out and talk to some other folks that have been in and through the program, I can certainly get in touch with some folks that best there are two ways to reach well, there's many, many ways to reach me. But the two best ways the probably the best way is the Rising Phoenix podcast 2020 at gmail, that's probably the best way to get a hold of me. I also have a Rising Phoenix divorce coach at Gmail. And of course, I'm on Facebook, I have a page Michael Ruse divorce coach, you can hit me up on there, I have an Instagram for Rising Phoenix podcast, I have way too many fucking social media Council feels like. But he is kind of if you're playing his game, you kind of have to so so there's there's multiple ways to reach me reach out at any time. Again, if it's a money thing, just talk to me, we'll figure it out. If if you need to stretch out the payments, if you're like I can't afford 1200 I can only afford x, we'll talk and we'll see. Maybe there is a way to bring you in at a in a reduced program instead of the whole 16 weeks. Maybe you focus on a few of the weeks, but you still get entry into the Brotherhood Facebook group. If you want to work on yourself, I will help you. So I guess that is it. I'm going to try going forward to do get back to doing four episodes a month as best I can. I'm going to try to do two solo ones and two booked guests. I have a guest lined up for next Friday to do an interview. He's a psychologist, I believe and the topic is loneliness. I'm going to probably start focusing on anxiety a little bit more, and trying to help us get through the shit that I'm facing. Because, again, if my struggles lead to your healing, that's pretty fucking awesome. So that's it. I'm out. Thank you so much for listening, take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Much love

Michael 32:50
thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019, I had done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned in print in my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help you navigate your divorce, please visit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com I look forward to working with you

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Episode 116 – Author Series – Dale Valor

In this episode I speak with Dale Valor about his book, Inner Game.

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Joining me today is Mr. Dale valor. Dale, let's just jump right into it wants to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dale 2:28
First and foremost, Michael, I'm glad to be here. Listen, anytime I get the opportunity to chop it up, you know with a fellow podcaster. And, you know, like, you know, obviously, we've spoken before and you were on my podcast, what was that a couple months ago? Two or three months ago?

Michael 2:50
About three I think it's okay. All right. Yeah. And, and you're returning this is the second time you'll be on? Yep,

Dale 2:56
yep, yep, yep. So I always enjoy the opportunity to, to do something like this. And, you know, hopefully, I should even say hopefully, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your listeners will be like, there one or two things is gonna happen. They're gonna be they're like, What the fuck am I listening to? Or they're gonna be like, Man, that guy knows what the fuck he's talking about.

Michael 3:26
I'll make the assumption that it will be the second one because because we're having you back and I'm excited to have you on to talk about your book really. And that's is that you just released? Yeah. Which is I'll let you kind of go through that but but we're gonna essentially kind of focus on a little bit of the meat of that book and and some of the topics in it. So let's talk about the book a little bit. Yeah. So inner game.

Dale 3:49
The book you know, like you said, it came out very recently. And the reason I wrote that particular book, is because I see so many people struggle with, they're like, Oh, well, you know, it could be a million different excuses, but we'll just pick a couple you know, like, oh, whoa, you know, all all women are out for my money. Or, you know, you can't trust anybody, you know, like, they're just gonna, they're just gonna cheat on you or whatever, you know. And there's all these reasons and rationales and things like that and I'm not even going to say that it's not necessarily warranted to you know, to a degree anyway, you know, but what's the common denominator in every relationship, every date that you've ever been on? Anybody that you've ever been interested? In? What's the common denominator if you

Michael 4:50
meet a man?

Dale 4:51
And so what I find is that a lot of people, guys, you know, that's my audience, you know, but so men specifically in this case and who I'm talking to, you know, very few know, really at the core of who they are. Okay. Now, you might have some type of, you know, vague idea and like, oh, you know, I'm the type of guy that you know, like, I'm chill or I'm energetic or I'm funny or whatever. Okay, cool. You know, but that's, you know, that's very surfacey Okay, for a lot of guys just don't know who they are. And second to that, they don't know what they want, you know, and so it's like, they're, they're good at knowing what they don't want, you know, like, oh, you can't you know, like, Oh, if I then this is something that kills me. And I know that you've seen this as much as I have. But like you know, if you ever look in the comment section of like, my shit like anybody with modern success, you know, the company I'm with any of the coaches you look through there, and you get a gang of dudes that are like, oh, you can't go approach a girl. That's the fastest way to end up in jail. Right? Like, are you approaching the police like? No, like

Michael 6:16
Yeah, exactly. Like every

Dale 6:18
county jail just must be filled to the brim with guys who went up and talk to a girl. Like, give me a break, you know, like, so what I'm driving at here is this. If you don't know who you are, and you don't know what you want, what are you? What are you going to end up with? Right? A guy who knows who he is and knows what he wants is a dangerous man. Unfortunately, most guys don't know either. You know, and so, that's really what the book is predicated on to a large part is the fact that you know, your inner game let's let's define that. Okay. inner game the way I define it, there's somebody else might tell you different I don't know if there's inner game is in the dictionary or not. But if I was to look, if I'm Daniel Webster, I'm right. The dictionary when I get to the eyes, and I put the inner game in, when I'm putting in is this the relationship that you have with yourself? You know, if that relationship with you suffers if that relationship with you sucks, as an extension, how are all the other relationships in your life going to be? You can't even have a relationship when you are you going to have a relationship with anybody else, it's going to be fruitful or fun or exciting or anything like that, you know? So that's, that's my thing is, look, work on yourself. If you look, if you know who you are, you know what you want. Now you have a starting point. You can start working on the things that you don't like about yourself and start accepting the things that you can't change about yourself and start having better self esteem. Start you know, once you start accepting things, you can't change and changing things that you can not to sound like we're at the AAA program here but

Michael 8:06
but solid advice. Yeah, it is. You

Dale 8:08
know, if once once you have that kind of dialed in, now, you can start attracting the people that make sense the women that make sense for you, the women that you know, like one of the examples that I love is, you know, you get in see guys complaining very often about like, oh, you can't find you know, I can't find a good woman. I can't find the types of women that I really want to be with. Okay, cool. Where do you go? Oh, you know, I go to the bar, you know, I go to the club. You know, it's like, Well, okay. You know, if I'm like, Look, Michael, I've been saving my money. I'm gonna go get me a Ferrari. Like, I've got the money. I gotta go get it. Right. You're like cool. Man's be awesome. Yeah, gonna be great. Unfortunately, every time I go to a Chevy dealership, I can't find one. You know, like, you'd be like Dale. Why don't you go to where they sell Ferraris? You know what I mean?

Michael 9:21
A great point. Let's let's talk a little bit about that guy. There's so much here because I think they're, I think, I think you're spot on. First of all, I think I say this all the time. If you're not right with yourself. You accept whatever and you're and you're needy and you're just looking for someone else to to sort of soothe your wounds or to make you feel good about yourself and you'll take any scrap or crumb you can get your hands on like I said this the other day if you're starving like letting I'm not talking like damn i i skipped breakfast starve. I'm talking like you hadn't eaten in three days and someone hands you a can of fucking dog food. You're gonna eat that shit. Right? Right so but it's so if you're not starving, if you're not desperate, if you're right with yourself, then you can be more choosy and you can reject what's bad for you but but that's that's that's really fucking hard for guys to do. Do you have a recommendation in terms of, you know, obviously divorce is a topic here, but maybe you just got out of a relationship. Period. Do you? Do you recommend this? And I know everyone's like, Oh, everyone's different. But do you recommend any kind of a time period for for this sort? of inner game work? Do you think? Six months a year? Like?

Dale 10:33
I think, you know, well, I mean, like you said, Everybody's different. Right? But, but on top of that, though, you know, I see a lot of people who, what they and I get where the mentality comes from, you know, and it's not. It's not something that I would suggest is like a negative mindset or anything like that. I understand. But a lot of times what people want to do is they want to kind of build a foundation and then go from there. Okay. And which makes all the sense in the world. However, there's something also to be said about multitasking, you know, and so, um, I don't think it's a thing of it depends on the one. Let me take a step back. Now if you have a very traumatic experience, you know, like, where you really need, you know, to sit down with a therapist or something like that and get things sorted out, okay. That I that I can I can get behind, all right, but it was just like, hey, man, I just broke up with my girlfriend of, you know, three months. And it just, we just didn't get along. I'm not gonna be like, bro, you need therapy, you know? I'm not gonna suggest to that person that they need to take the next year to, you know, reverse engineer that relationship and see what happened and pick it pick it apart and all that kind of thing. Now, there's something to be said for reverse engineering it and picking it apart. But I'm not saying that. That's all they should do. What you should do is work on yourself and get out there and start meeting new people. You know, and because here's the thing, you can have what you think, is the strongest inner game, I'm playing it or oh, I'm super confident, myself, man. I'm the shit man like my self esteem is through the roof and took it to the dirt man but a lot of the times that type of mentality and that type of mindset, man, you're nothing but a sunshine soldier, man, you know, like when the heat's on, because you don't know what the heat is. When the heat sign, man, that confidence that self esteem and all that kind of stuff goes right out the window a lot of times, you know, and so that's a way that you can kind of start doing both in building your your inner game and your outer game at the same time. So like, I'll give you an example. Um, the way that I structure my in person boot camps, okay? Is it's not like a an approach. Marathon. Okay. Like a lot of coaches and I'm not suggesting this is wrong, by the way. But a lot of coaches what they do is it just like go go go go, like approach approach, approach, approach, approach approach. And it there's there's a place for that for sure. But the way the way that I personally like to do it is doing a debrief after each interaction, so it's more quality over quantity. Now, if you got a guy who's just simply afraid, like to the core of walking up and starting a conversation, yeah, they need that approach machine mentality because they got to numb themselves to that. You know, and that's our having better interactions and things like that. But for a lot of guys, it's like a thing of, you know, I want to get a gauge on how they're feeling about each interaction. And so, the guy walks up, starts talking to this girl, as soon as that wraps up, I don't care if it's three minutes or 30 minutes. I'm going to have a conversation with them. Okay, where's your head? How do you feel right now? You know, and that way, each individual person in that boot camp, what they can do is they now know what the trigger is. Like, okay, I came onto that interaction, and I don't feel good about myself. Okay, well, what happened in that interaction? Well, she really wasn't showing me any kind of like real attention. And it just seemed like they were just kind of tolerating me, and I don't like that. Okay, cool. So here's how to fix that. Okay, maybe give them a little something to sort that out. Now, that person knows next time something like that happens. It doesn't throw them off for the rest of the evening or the rest of the day or something like that. It just like okay, when I feel like this, this is what I have to do to get myself back to where I need to be, you know, so, yeah, man. I mean, that's a really long winded way of answering yes, but I don't think that, you know, for most guys, it's like a thing of like, okay, get your inner game. 100% right, because here's the deal. It's never gonna be 100% Right? Amen. Yeah. Never. So are you just gonna keep working on that for infinity? You know, because, like, look, you know, it's much is, you know, we could probably look at somebody like, Dwayne Johnson, right. And we could say, Man, that dude, that guy's arrived. You know, he's a movie star, famous wrestler. All the money in the world. Women love them. Um, it's charismatic as hell, you know, like, all that. He's a rock. I can almost say No, I don't know this for sure. Because I've never talked to him. But I can almost say with 100% certainty, that if you were to ask him, has he arrived? He would tell you no. You might not man. There's so much stuff I want to do. There's so many things I got on my plate that I want to get to and all that kind of Nah, man. I'm not even half done with what I'm trying to do. You know? And so if, if he hasn't arrived, you certainly have

Michael 16:22
so yeah, I can't argue that at all. I think I think the work you know, we talked about doing the work and talk to us all the time. I think it's an ongoing never ending process and that's not to say that you're a broken fucked up human being although I think we all are to certain degrees it just to say that nobody's perfect and we all have shit to work on because this type of stop this work and then we're going to cover some of the self esteem competence and loneliness things that guys deal with. solving these issues are lifelong things. Typically, and they don't happen overnight. If that was the case, I wouldn't have a podcast because everybody would be fucking fixed and perfect and you wouldn't have a job because everybody, nobody would be ever breaking up because they're all perfect and everything's good. And that's just not possible. But I do want to sort of hone in on sort of around what you're talking about. And that is self esteem. Because I see this a lot, especially guys that get out of divorce, or go through divorce. And there's so and I can tell you, I speak I speak because I know your self esteem is shattered your self worth is in the fucking toilet because the person that you loved is basically saying you're not good enough anymore along with also you're gonna lose access to your kids half the time potentially more and you're gonna lose a whole fucking lot of money. And continuously perhaps there's there's there's a lot of negatives there that really kick you in the balls and make you sort of look in a mirror and go I'm a giant piece of shit. So my question, we share this gift of gab, my friends, my long winded question is how does a guy build some self esteem up? After any any kind of scenario that just kicks him in the nuts? All right, so

Dale 17:54
let's let's let's take a look at this. So, you know, the short answer is this. If you want better self esteem, do what's the mobile X, you know, and now that sounds maybe a little overly simplistic, but that doesn't make it wrong, you know? So here's the deal. I'll give you an example. So my birthday, okay, no different than divorce. I totally get it but just about here. Okay. My birthday is the day after Christmas. Okay. And it is about the worst time that an individual can have a birthday I call it birthless you know, because it's just imagine it's a day or homogenous 48 hours of Christmas and birthday. So what happens is a kid who was fine, my parents made a really good effort to distinguish the two days okay, but as an adult, you know, I'm, man, my birthday gets glossed right over, you know, I mean, like, first of all, it's the day after Christmas, like, Christmas was just yesterday. Yeah. Secondly, you know, I'm in Detroit, man. The weather sucks around that time of year you know, so people just don't really want to go do things, you know. Thirdly, New Year's is less than a week away. All right. Fourthly, because of Christmas, people are either out of town or they got family in town, you know. So, outside of social media, you know, like, I may get three or four texts of somebody saying happy birthday, it just gets and I get it. I don't take it personal. You know what I mean? But it just gets put on the back burner, you know, um, so, you know, my birthday has never been a big thing. So, now I could sit back and say, Well, you know, if I was more impactful in people's lives, you know, if I was if I contributed more if, if I was special, it wouldn't matter. Like, you know, they people would reach out to me people will come to a birthday party people would, you know, go out of their way. If, you know, I really meant something to them. You know, I could say that, sure. But instead I choose to reframe it. Okay. I understand why. So, it's my is me being here on planet Earth. Is my purpose to just get things on my birthday? No, you know, what I mean, my purpose, which why I was born, you know, the day of my birth. You know, I look at I choose to look at it like this. Let me make a reminder to myself why I'm here, you know, so on my birthday, generally, what I'll do is, you know, say if I'm at the grocery store, I'll just randomly pay for somebody's food, you know, their groceries, you know, if I'm in line at McDonald's or something, I'll just get the car behind me. You know, when me and my wife when we go out to dinner. I'll just pick a table and I'll tell the server I got their bill, please don't tell them that. I paid for it, you know? And that's to remind myself that I'm here to give value. You know, and so it's not about me getting stuff and getting attention. I'm here to give it you know, so that being said, somebody that's coming out of divorce, that's like, Man, my self esteem is just in the dumps and, you know, got all these mounting things to deal with now and you know, I can't see my kids as much as I would like to and all this net, that that's none of that is a commentary on you, as an individual. You know, what that is is a commentary on your circumstances. Now, you know, let's call it what it is, you know, you know, not every guy coming out of a divorce is necessarily blame free, you know, like, maybe there's some things that you did that to propel that situation, you know, maybe there was some bad decisions you made. But even in those decisions, you know, you're you are not your actions. Okay, you are you the actions that you do are the actions that you do. Okay, so what I mean by that is like, look, depending on the perspective of a person, you know, a serial killer could be a good guy. I know it sounds crazy, but look, serial killers hold the door. Open for old ladies too. Right? You know, and that old lady looks at that serial killer now she doesn't know he's a serial killer, but what a nice guy, right? You know what, I really appreciate that person. My day is better because that guy opened the door for me. What little does she know he opened the door because he's going in there to grab somebody to take him back to his house and lock them up and kill them. So, you know now from that person's vantage point, the guy kidnapped and that's such a nice guy, you know what I mean? So, the actions are not indicative of who you are. As an individual. What, what defines who you are as an individual. That's kind of going back to what we were talking about before knowing who you are. Once you really know who you are. Now, you could have a moral compass, you know, a code of ethics, that is in line and congruent with you. Now, if you do an action, we all do it, you know, from time to time, we all do actions that are contrary to who we are as a person, you know, absolutely. But at least you can define that. And so like I did that and it was wrong, and I apologize, okay. But you know, that that's not you as a person, that was just a, you know, a, I guess a error in judgment or whatever the case might be. So to define who you are, and by the way, I got a breakdown of of an exercise to get this figured out. And free gift from dale.com, which you can also download the first chapter of my book for free. You know what I mean? Just to kind of get an idea of what sort of my writing style and it's something that speaks to you, and even if it speaks to you just a little bit, man, it's something that it's something to check out because if that just makes you a little bit, that's just the tip of the iceberg. You know, there's a whole lot under that. We've all seen those like those memes, right? Like, yeah, that is, like goes down forever, you know, and that's what it is. Because defining who you are as an individual, man, everything is predicated on that everything. And, you know, one of the ways to really lock that in and really get a handle is even just defining how do you even know what a person is at the core of who they are at the core, right? So the way I look at it is there's a few fundamental elements here. You got nature and nurture. Okay, so, you know, nature, you're predisposed to certain genetic things. You know, if you come from a family of alcoholics sure you if you're not watching yourself, you'll probably be wanting to, you know, um, you know, if you got good genes, you know, it's genetic, like your parents probably had good genes, right? So, um, so that's one part of it. Another part of it is the nurture part. So you got two puppies, okay? Puppy A gets raised by same litter, okay. So the genetics are the same, essentially. So, Puppy A goes and lives with this family. And this family takes care of it loves the dog, you know, takes it for walks, plays. with it. You know it what's gonna happen, it's gonna be a good dog. Puppy B, on the other hand, gets adopted by somebody who could really care less you know, leaves it outside all the time never pays attention to it. You know, that dog is going to be the scourge of the neighborhood, you know, like to be barking all the time biting people, you know what I mean? And just simply on the way that it was raised. Another thing, environmental, being a product of your environment. You know, the example I like here is like this, you know, I was raised it's funny. To say, but, you know, I was raised primarily, with and around black people, you know. So that being said, that's going to that clearly influenced the way that I present myself that even the way that I talk and my tastes and interests and things like that, because of my foundational years growing up around who I grew up around. Now, if I was raised, like way out in the sticks, right? I probably wouldn't be a different person than I am right now. I might like mutton and write country music. But, you know, but I didn't grow up like that. So it's just not my thing, you know. So, lastly, your intrinsic value. You know, the things the personality traits, the qualities characteristics about you, that you respect in like about yourself, you know, and by knowing that now you know, what your worth is, you know, what you bring to the table. And so by knowing that when you go talk to some girl or whatever, and she's just not, she's just not with it. Look at all this dope shit that she missed out on. Right? You know, now there's something to be said about how to communicate that. But at the end of the day, if she doesn't want to get on board with everything that you're bringing to the table,

Michael 27:57
her loss? Yeah. So I think what we're talking about is really knowing yourself and knowing your values, right? Yes. Something that I that I coach, I think that I learned from a program I went through, it's really important. You know who you are, you know your values specifically. Like for instance, mine, one of mine is contribution, I'd like to contribute. And so obviously, that's what I'm doing with this right, contributing to the world. And so when I take actions aligned with that value, it does increase his self esteem. So, it is about I think, he said taking, you know, things that that provide, you know, actions that provide a steam, it's really about taking action, but making sure that those actions are lined up with who you are, then you can start feeling a little bit better about yourself. But I think and the other component of you talking about sort of your environment is being mindful of who you surround yourself with what content are you consuming? What are you doing when you have free time? Those kinds of things. Also can because if you do if you're if you're someone who's, who likes to connect with people and you're staying in your home, then you're not taking an action that is alignment with your values, right? So if you start getting yourself out there you're doing things that connect, I want to talk a little bit about this a little bit more in depth in terms of connection and loneliness and stuff like that. Then once again, you're gonna raise your self esteem because you're taking action that are in line exactly with who you really are. That's kind of what we're saying, right? Yeah, it's really Yeah,

Dale 29:21
that's what makes you feel good about yourself is when you're being genuine, when you're being sincere, authentic, congruent with who you are, you know, like, that's, that's what makes you feel good about yourself. That's that self esteem, you know, and if you're doing everything that's contrary to, to those factors, of course, of course, you don't feel good about yourself, you know, and unfortunately, a lot of people don't do that. You don't and, and it is so easy, man. Like, it's easy, but not easy. Let me put it this way. It's easy, but it's not simple. Alright, so it's easy to go out there and contribute and give value and things like that. But it's not simple, because you have to actually do the action steps to do it. You know what I mean? It's not, you can't, you can't raise your self esteem by sitting up doing nothing. Right? You know, you gotta go out there you got if you got to kind word for somebody, man. Look, check this out. Quick story. So I don't know man, probably six months ago, something like that. I'm at I'm at the grocery store. And, and I put something in my cart and this guy walks up to me. And it was very clear that he was like a whole student. You know, it's very obvious to me. And he comes up and he says something to me. I don't even really remember what he said. But I was like, I said, I complimented him on something. You know, I was like, Do you know and I can't even really remember what it was, but I complimented him on something. And that guy almost started tearing up, man. You know, he's like, do you know that I haven't gotten that nobody's ever been. I haven't had like a kind word. Or somebody compliment me on something in years. You know, and, like that simple gesture. It meant nothing for me. It meant the world for that dude. You know, and but I come out of that like feeling better about myself that I like, what I mean, think about this, you literally literally have the power to impact people's lives. Their day, whatever. You have that power within your hands. Unfortunately, most people don't access that power. They'd rather they'd rather keep their hands in their pockets and not deal with anybody. Then, you know, give somebody a helping hand say something nice tool, you know, whatever. You know. Yeah. Anyway.

Michael 32:12
Well, it's true. I think. I think it's actually a nice reminder for myself because I've been struggling with doing this podcast recently. It's been almost three years and not so much this stuff and coaching and running Facebook groups and all that but other areas of my life had become very stressful particularly from my my real job. And it makes me sort of question sort of everything and try and find sources of the stress. I feel like I know it's the job but but I can't, it pays the bills, right? What I do here makes me feel good, but it doesn't pay the bills. And sometimes I look and go, Well, maybe I should stop doing this. Or maybe I'm not helping as much as I think or maybe I'm not making a difference or maybe I'm wasting my time and and so I questioned myself and what I'm doing and of course I put that in episodes I talk about it because that's just kind of who I am. And of course I get good feedback. I don't do it for that reason, but it does happen. Yeah, but it's still it doesn't I still it doesn't hit home always because the those compliments and nice words smack up against you know, my inner child and my self esteem. And I sort of discard them in a way. So it's nice to hear reminders that one kind word or one one gesture of camaraderie or you're not alone connection. It can really go a long way in someone's life. And I I think I forget that myself. I think we all do because I think we're all egocentric, right? Not good, bad or indifferent as humans we're egocentric, but, but I want to talk about loneliness because this is something for other I see it's so very much and I think the question is, what do guys do when they after a breakup after a divorce and they're there, they lost their family. They lost some friends through the divorce and because everyone picks aside and all that kind of shit in there and they're lonely. What do they do? What do you recommend? Like how do you combat loneliness?

Dale 34:15
Can I circle back to one thing you said? Yeah, sure. We're jumping into that. Sure. So my, just my thought based on what you were just saying about work and stress and this and all that kind of thing. You know? If I was asking my What is your purpose? What would you tell me?

Michael 34:40
I wish I had a I know the answer that I should. I

Dale 34:45
don't. Yeah, don't give me your give me the real answer.

Michael 34:48
I don't

Dale 34:50
know. Okay. Well, you kind of you alluded to it earlier, you said contribution. Okay,

Michael 34:56
I mean, that's one of my values. Yeah. Okay, so,

Dale 34:59
now, here's the thing. I understand that work can be stressful, you know, like me, who doesn't know that, you know? But here's the thing. I would, and this is just my own personal take. My thought is that if it was me, I would double down on what you're doing on this side of things, you know, with what you're doing here. Instead of saying, well, maybe I should take my foot off the gas because of you know, work stress. What are you really essentially saying you're saying that stressful work is more important than you contributing and being impactful in people's lives? Like I would rather do this stressful thing, because that's the only thing else left to do is do that. Then do the thing that is actually helping people and impacting their lives and making their lives better. You know what I mean? And you don't know. You don't know who I necessarily affect because you don't hear from everybody you know, and that's

Michael 36:01
so that's a weird thing too. And I I'm glad we're kind of having this conversation because timely but I just got a message on Spotify. I guess now they're letting people comment on I don't know how recent this has been but I got an email this morning, someone commented on a recent episode on Spotify, and I didn't that's never happened before. I don't know that's a new thing. It seems like it's a new thing. But But anyway, I got a really nice compliment comment from someone. And and it kind of reminded me of that, but I think for me, it's I sort of look at everything in totality and feel drained and go well what can I What can I cut out? And but to your point, I mean, this is there's nothing better than for me then then knowing that I'm making an impact. Yeah, but I'm getting

Dale 36:51
here's the thing you don't know what you don't know.

Michael 36:53
I don't know. That that sorry. I got lost in my own thoughts. That's what I wanted to talk about. So why is it that this is definitely a rabbit hole? Sorry, fellas. Why is it that people don't comment and interact as much? Like like I probably have. I have 1000 followers across I it's more but across the ones that I know, across Apple, Google and Spotify. And they're the comments are few and far between. Why do you think that is why why do men like or people but mostly men, obviously for my audience, but why do people not like, comment or reach out more or whatever? Well, just out of curiosity.

Dale 37:27
I mean, it could be a litany of different reasons, but I think the main ones are, you know, either they don't know what to comment. They know they liked it, you know, right? But they don't really know how to articulate necessarily, what they what they would like to say sure to another reason is a lot of times, man, you know, and I think this is very common of, of men is they don't engage on social medias and things like that as much as women do. You know what I mean? So it's like, like, for instance, man, you know, I'll give you a case in point like, just before getting on here. I probably watched three or four YouTube videos. I didn't comment on any of them, I enjoy them all.

Michael 38:17
The same, how did the same you know, so,

Dale 38:19
you have that. Then another thing is in terms of reaching out to people, like like, you know, I'm a listener, I want to reach out and talk to you, well, maybe they're very introverted, or they feel like they're bothering you, you know. So it could be any number of reasons but one thing that this happened to me a little while back, a guy sends me a DM. I had no idea who this dude was. And he sends me a DM. And he was just like, hey, man, I just want to thank you. I've been married now two years and my wife's about to give birth in a week. And, you know, I met her through following your content. And I'm like, I know I like I've never seen that name before. You know, and you don't so you don't know who you're impacting. And like he said he'd been following me for years. You know what I mean? Like

Michael 39:22
doesn't that make it difficult sometimes again, rabbit holes fellas, but we'll get back to the topics but this is for me dammit. Because it doesn't that make it difficult sometimes when you when you put your self out there and you don't get that feedback. Isn't that doesn't that make it really hard? Sometimes it can become

Dale 39:36
I think for a lot of people, it can become frustrating, you know, because they're like, Man, I'm putting in all this work and I'm doing this and like, and I'm seeing minimal return on you know, attention, you know, the currency of attention, you know, and the thing is, is that really, man, you know, one that boils down to comparison, you know, like, I'm seeing this guy over here who's doing something similar to me. And by his his shits blowing up, why isn't mine, you know, which can be a fair question. If he's doing something differently that you're not doing. You know, like, that could be it could be just one simple click, you know, and he's just doing something different, you know? So it's a fair question, but on the other hand, you know, Comparison is the thief of all joy, man. If you're like, I know because we, I think we talked about it on my podcast, you know, like you had just gotten over the 100 mark, if I remember correctly, and, you know, like, man, you know, and I'm know that over the course of from episode one to Episode 100, I know that you have seen growth. Oh, 100% No, no. So like, if, if today's growth is better than yesterday's growth, that's a win. And you really only need one man, like, the way I look at it is it's kind of like, um, you know, it's kind of like baseball. You know, the more at bats that you get, even if you're a poor hitter, not suggesting you're a poor hitting but but, you know, the more at bats you get, the, the better the odds are, sooner or later you're something's going to happen either. You're gonna get on base you're gonna get a hit, you're gonna hit a home run, something's gonna happen the more times up at bat that you are, you know, man, you only need one thing to just break through the fray. You know what I mean? Once that one podcast episode, once that one social media post once that one thing, tops. Now you'll start seeing it really start to really start to take off. I remember, um, my, my last Instagram account that I had before I got hacked, you know, like, Man, I I was working that thing to death, you know, like trying to get trying to get some momentum trying to get an audience on there and things like that much like anybody else. And so, um, one day I had a post. That meant for whatever reason, like I don't know why it was no different or better or worse than anything else. Man, it just took off, you know, and like, within a week, like I went from, like, 5000 followers to like 15,000 like the the notification you know, like when you click the notification, Mark? Yeah, it just it was it looked like a stock ticker or something. It was just like, oh, like, I couldn't even keep up with it. You know, it's just like, it just kept moving and roll and moving and rolling. And I was like, What the fuck is going on? You know, that post just had like, 10,000 hearts and like, and then from there on out, everything that I was posting now, maybe didn't get to that level, but it was 100 times more than what my average posting was, you know? And so that's what I mean is it only takes one thing for it to pop and then you're like, okay,

Michael 43:15
yeah, I think I mean, it's a marathon right? It's a longevity game that's that's certainly a part of it. And and I got to do things differently. There's some things that I shouldn't need to do differently and all that but, but anyway, we're very much a rabbit hole. So let's get back to the topic of loneliness. Yeah, what do you what do you recommend? Because I see this all the time. And I experienced it a little bit, but I don't it doesn't bother me as much as it used to and or I'm more comfortable with who I am or whatever it is. It just doesn't I don't get I don't it doesn't I don't it's not a focus of mine. But some guys that's it is their focus. It's like I'm just so lonely. So what do you what do you say that guy would recommend?

Dale 43:52
Let's let's diagnose why you're lonely to begin with. Right? Because, man, you know, people, we we're creatures of habit. We look for patterns in things like what why do we freak out when we don't know what's going on? It's because we don't know what the outcome is going to be. We don't know what's happening. It's a situation that we're not used to, you know, and so, but if it's a situation like, you know, you go into your job, you've been there a million times before. It's nothing, you know what I mean? So but but for the first day that you walked in, you're probably nervous, anxious, whatever, you know what I mean? So it's because it wasn't a habit yet. It wasn't a pattern. So if you're lonely because you're coming out of divorce, or you just, you know, got out of a relationship or whatever. There's a void, you know, like, you're used to this other person being a part of your life that isn't there, you know, so now it throws you off kilter. Right? Because that's what you're used to. And now it's it's not happening. So the way to in our big advocate of owning how it is you feel not being resistant to it, okay. You know, like, a lot of times, guys, when it comes to things like loneliness, you know, they they're trying to resist the loneliness because they're like, one it doesn't feel good, but to I shouldn't even be feeling like this. I'm a bit I don't want to be a bitch. You don't push that away. Well, all you're really doing by pushing it away. It's kind of like this. Say, um, say you're walking towards me, right? And like you're walking like almost like, I'm not even there like walking right at me. And I put my hand up, right? Bam, right in the middle of your chest, but you keep walking, but you're not going anywhere because my hands right there, right? But sooner or later, my arms gonna get tired. You know what I mean? And all that resistance that I had put up, now when I put my head down, now you're gonna fall into it. Because just physics you know, so I'm being resistant to it and in in feeling bad about feeling bad and then feeling bad about feeling bad about feeling bad, and then feeling it. All you're doing is you're you're making a like a negative loop in your head. You know what I mean? That's all you're doing is creating a loop. I feel bad about feeling bad about feeling bad. I feel bad about feeling bad about feeling bad, feel that you're not really that's not going to be helpful. And so to alleviate that loneliness, if you're lonely, you're like, got nobody around, you know, like, maybe we'll just say for instance, a guy, you know, he moves to a different state, you know, maybe closer to her she wanted to live closer to her family or something, whatever. But, yeah, and so they go to a different state or 1000 miles away from work, what they're used to, and things like that things fall apart. But you know, they've got this house and you know, he's got a job, so he can't, he can't just be like, well not here, you know what I mean? But maybe they got kids and he doesn't want to be away from you know, that far away from his kids. So, any number of reasons couldn't make that happen, right. So, if you're going through something like that, you know, first and foremost, to alleviate that loneliness. I think it's, um, I think it's smart to start just start getting involved with stuff. You know. There's a there's a website, you're probably familiar with it, but maybe some guys aren't called meetup.com. All right. I'm a huge advocate of that website. You know, like, Whatever, whatever your interests are, you should if you live in a big enough city, you should be able to find whatever it is that you're looking for, you know what I mean? Whether that's golf outings, wine tasting events, working on cars, board, game nights, you know, whatever, whatever you're getting down is, you'll be able to find it. And even if it isn't there, man, that's even a better opportunity. Because you can start it. And now once you started it you're the leader, you're the de facto alpha, if you will, you know what I mean? Like, you're everybody has to come to you. If they want to be a part of that group, you organize an outing doing some people have to talk to you. You know, you're the straw that stirs the drink here. And so what are you really doing? You're building a social circle, you're building a network, your net worth is what your network is, you know, and if you're around people, they're high value, you know, like, don't don't just go to the bar because you're lonely. You know, you're just around a bunch of other lonely people, you know what I mean? But that's not a recipe for success. You know, like, that's just going to be a bitch fest. You know, everyone's complaining about their problems, you know? So, get around high value people. When I say high value, I don't necessarily mean money. I'm just saying they got things going on. In their life, their life is together. They're fun, they're outgoing, they like to do stuff, you know, like, high value. Okay? So, start getting around those people. meetup.com is a great way to do that, you know, and then, you know, you may have the person that suggests like, Well you know, I'm cool. I've got friends and everything. I'm just lonely when it comes to the dating department. You know, I want to get back out there and things like that, but I don't even really know where to start. I'm lonely. And a lot of these guys, what happens is, they're like, Okay, well, you know enough time has went by, let me you know, me I got a little bit baggage or whatever, but who don't. So I'm gonna get out here. I'm gonna jump on Bumble and hinge and, you know, see what happens. And then what inevitably happens is they have zero success on the dating app. And then they're like, you know, oh, well, you know, maybe a friend of a friend will hook me up or something, and then that doesn't happen and then they're just like, well, now we're back to square one self esteem in the toilet. I'm a piece of shit you know, like, I'm apparently I'm not worthy enough for any kind of for attention. You know? And in that study, even if that goes back again, you are not your actions. Well, if your dating life is suffering, and you're feeling lonely, you know, we're, if you're the kind of guy that anytime you're out somewhere at the mall or whatever, and you're seeing a couple that's holding hands together. It just feels like a big old knife twist in your gut. You know what I mean? If you're that guy, then why not go into when you're starting to get back into dating? Why not do it from a vantage point of knowing what you're doing? Knowing how to set up a dating profile? You know, like, we've all seen the we've all seen the memes I don't know. I assume you probably have, but you know, like the old guy selfie, you know, like like the sixth year on Tinder and it's like this angle. And they're just like, looking at the camera like What results do you think that you're gonna gain? Like, that picture is horrible. You know, like,

Michael 51:34
what and that stuff always kind of baffles me a little bit because I mean, I understand it, but like, gosh, Google's a thing, right? Just use that. At the very least if you're like, how to set up a dating profile. You can Google that. I'm sure you can get lots of tips and stuff, but I'm always sort of struck by that. That guy's sort of giving you half efforts and expecting like full results, right? No, not really. Yeah,

Dale 52:00
I mean, what in what like, Okay, think about it like this. Say you go to a job interview. Right? And you're looking like you look in that Tinder profile picture. You go in there looking and acting like how you are presenting yourself in that picture. Man, you ain't getting that job. Right. You know, like, right? What so if you're not gonna get that job, what makes you think that a girl is going to be like, Oh, no, let's go. Yeah, So make no mistake, man. You are a walking billboard to planet earth. Unfortunately, sad but true. People make snap judgments, but it's also human nature. I'd rather deal with human nature than deal with um, what should or shouldn't be? I'd rather deal with the reality. The reality is people make snap judgments. I do it you do it. anybody listening to this doesn't you know? Absolutely. And so, um, think about it if you're driving down the street, right? On one side of the street, you got a guy, you know, chest out, shoulders back, chin up, confident stride and you know he's moving with purpose. He's got somewhere to be right on the other side of the street. You got this guy hand in his pockets, you know, looking down walking off throw kicking the ground. You know what I mean? Like, what what happened to this? Do you know like his dog die or something? Like now, the kicker is, maybe the confident looking guy. It's the most unconfident guy on planet earth. And the guy over here that looks depressed. Maybe he just won the lottery. You know what I mean? I don't know. But the thing is, by the way, that they're presenting themselves, I know that I would rather be friends with the confident stride guy, then the guy that just, you know, trudging along, kicking rocks, you know, like, and we all do that. So, if you like, whether it's something on like a dating app, or in person, maybe you go to an event, maybe a conference for work a birthday party, or you're just simply going out for the night, you know, like, hey, look, the way that you present yourself. That's how people are going to take you you know, and so if you're not presenting yourself in the best light, that's something that you got to work on. It's not an again, it's not you like I've seen it, man. I've seen people in my comment section all the time. It's like, like, oh, well, you know, you wouldn't be as successful with dating and stuff like that. If you were a big fat guy like me. And I'm like, okay, one. I'm like 30 pounds overweight, so I don't know what he's talking about. But, but to guess what? Great news man. You can work out if you think that you're not getting the dates that you want. Because you're a big fat guy. That's something you can change. You know, so, you if you think that's the problem fixing Yeah, I mean, not, you know, like, it's not gonna hurt you. You know what I mean? Like, even if you don't get any dates because you got thinner, at least your health is better if nothing else,

Michael 55:16
your true. So yeah. What are the other things that sort of popped in my head that I think would be good, good to touch on as rejection. So if we're, if we're putting ourselves out there in in conjunction with working on self esteem, so in other words, you know, part of the assignment or whatever the goal is to just get out there and like you were saying earlier, like approach approach, to varying degrees or whatever. But obviously, when you do that, regardless of how frequent or what the intent is, it whether it is to learn or whether it is to actually get some dates you're gonna get rejected, right? You're not everybody's cup of tea. Right? I mean, there's a whole lot of folks that that find certain people attractive to blow my fucking mind. So, right I mean, you know, everybody has their thing, right? Everybody has their thing. And so so it's inevitable, you're gonna get rejected. So I guess I guess the question for me is sort of a two parter. One is is it going into it being mindful that you could be rejected? Is that a part of it? I'm assuming that it probably is. That's Is that something you teach and then two is what do you do afterwards? Do you analyze that rejection or you do do you just move on like, what are when you work with guys? What is your recommendation around rejection? Great question.

Dale 56:33
So firstly, I think it's much like a lot of things in life, man, it's a mental reframe. You know, like I tell people all the time, I never get rejected. I don't get rejected. Does that mean I date every girl I talked to, of course, you know what I mean? All I'm doing is screening. Okay, that's it. I'm screening if this is a person that I would want to spend any amount of time with, okay? Because you don't know. Until you know, right? Like, okay, here's this pretty girl over here. Okay, what do I know about her? Well, I know that she's attractive looking and all that much, you know, what would she know about me walking up to her? Nothing. You don't even know my name. You know? What I'm saying? I don't know her name. would say like, Okay, I'm gonna go talk to this very attractive girl. Turns out her breasts thinks like rotten fish.

Michael 57:28
You know, like, right.

Dale 57:30
I don't want to spend time with that person. You don't want a man. So now if a girl like if she blowing me off or whatever, same thing that to me, that's like rotten fish, man. I don't want to spend time with somebody who doesn't want to spend any time with me. You know? So it's not that I got rejected. I just screened. Okay, she's not for me. Fine. You know, another way to look at it too, is it's a learning experience. You know, I'm, I'm not I'm not getting rejected. I'm just learning to see what I could do differently next time. If you treat the world as a as a social laboratory. Then what happens is, you know, it enables you to do experiments, you know, and do all experiments workout. No, you know what I mean? Not at all. But in doing so you're learning on what not to do in order to know what to do. You know? And so, if, for instance, you go in, you go up and start talking to 10 Different women, okay. And of those 10 times seven of them. They, you know, made an excuse to leave or just wasn't you know, you lost them at some point you know, and if you can pinpoint where that like, man, you know what every, every time I say or do this, it just seems like it just dissipate. Okay, now, you know, not to do that thing, you know. So because you have data points to work off of. So that that's the second part of the question. Yeah, take a look. Like yes, move on. But also take a look at like, what, what am I? What am I doing consistently? That is, things just aren't working out? Conversely, what am I doing that is working, you know, so, you know, like, I see, I see guys, it'll be like, Oh, well, you know, I can't even approach a girl because you know, every time I do I walk up and I say hi, they you know, like they don't they don't pay me no mind. It's like, okay, maybe don't say hi. How about that? I'll say something else. Anything else? Because AI isn't working for you. You know, or, you know, they walk up like all unconfident look in shoulders, sunken in and stuff and like, huh, like the girl to do, you know, like, so, yeah, maybe straighten up, maybe present yourself in a better light you don't like so there's a lot of things to look at. But at the end of the day, it's like, okay, what isn't effective? Let's get rid of that. What is effective? Okay, what's essential? Wait, that?

Michael 1:00:22
Yeah, no, I agree. I think it's sort of around, you know, sort of being mindful, right. Being aware of being noticing the things you're doing and, yeah, I don't want to I don't want to say you know, analyze it to the nth degree, but But you got to take a look at it. Yeah. That what you're doing and whether or not it does anything that's that's the B that's being effective or not. Because you're right, if I think we kind of said this earlier, you know, nothing changes, nothing changes essentially, like if you don't keep doing the same things then the same thing is gonna keep happening so you're gonna have to to pay attention to what you're doing and and how you're doing it make some some kind of determination. But, brother, I want to thank you. It's been great. I can't believe it's been an hour already. It doesn't Yeah, I know. Right. So let's let's I want to do two more things. The words of wisdom question but let's I want to put you on the spot a little bit but but also give you an opportunity to sort of pitch the book. Who is this book for and and and why Why should someone pick it up?

Dale 1:01:27
All right, so here's the deal. Um, inner game, how to fix your dating life by fixing the relationship you have with you. If you feel like that you're the type of person that you know, falls into the category of self sabotage. Or maybe you've dealt with a lot of trauma in your past and I'm not going to define what trauma is. For you for everybody. It's different, you know, but if you feel like that you've been through traumatic experiences. If you buy into that into like a negative monologue inside your own head, you know, it's funny, a lot. A lot of times people because they thought what they thought they think that's the truth. I thought it so therefore it must be true. My response to that is oh, okay, cool. So you've never been wrong about anything. You know? So just because you think something doesn't necessarily make it true, right. So if you're buying into that, if you're suffering with self esteem, you know, if you're suffering with self confidence, you know, if you're suffering with self discipline, you can't set boundaries, you fall into the nice guy trap, you know, and by the way, I saw your post about Robert Klein. Yeah.

Michael 1:02:38
Oh, yeah. Thank you. I was gonna I was gonna gonna bring that up. That's all thanks to you, my friend. Oh, no, seriously? Well, I got I, you gave me the email, which, oh, maybe, maybe it's out there. But, but I hit it up and then you think your comment was, you know, I was persistent. That's how I got and I was like, alright, well, I guess I got to be persistent here. So So thank you, my friend. So yeah, that's actually I'm recording that on Saturday morning, and I go, Yeah, super good, man. Yeah, I'm excited.

Dale 1:03:08
Um, but yeah, gratulations because great host great book, you know, all that. But anyway, so but if you're the type of guy that falls into that nice guy, trap, you know, anything like that, where you are shooting yourself in the foot, you are holding yourself back from having not only the type of relationships that you want, but I mean, look, this falls into health, wealth and relationships, you know, so if professionally, you have issue with negotiating out for a pay raise, if you have difficulty confronting that coworker that's taken advantage of you, you know, anything like that, man. This is not just for dating, you know? I mean, it skews that way for sure. But this is fundamental. It is a part of life. You know what I mean? Like, these are things that help you improve your life to a degree that scalable. I mean, every chapter has an action step, you know, and, like, if you're not going to do the action steps, then don't get the book. Plain and simple. You know, like, yeah, it's great to have the information but what good is that information going to do you if you're not, you know, you're not implementing it into your life, you know, so? Yeah, I mean, that's who it's for is anybody Well, men specifically, but you know, anybody that is going through anything like that, and they just feel unsure themselves, they don't know where they're going and they feel rudderless and like, hey, maybe, maybe you woke up one day at 45 years old and you don't recognize the person anymore, you know? Like, man, that's who the book is for.

Michael 1:04:48
Awesome. What where can people find the book, my friend?

Dale 1:04:51
It's on Amazon. I'll get you the link.

Michael 1:04:53
Okay, nice. And then as far as you and socials and websites and how can people get the best get in touch with you?

Dale 1:05:00
Oh, the best way to get in touch with me is that free gift from dale.com? That's the best place

Michael 1:05:05
Awesome. Well, again, thanks for doing this man. And as you know, the last question I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man who's just beginning his divorce journey?

Dale 1:05:16
Man, you know, like, are you wait, let me let me just make sure I'm clear. So are you saying like they just got divorced? Or they're in the process of getting divorced?

Michael 1:05:26
Um, good. Good question. I think someone who just started the process,

Dale 1:05:33
just started the process. Okay. My words of advice to that person is don't let the circumstances define you. It's not it's not a commentary on you as a person. It's a commentary on your situation. situations change, you know, situation like, man, you know, if you're, if you're having a great day, guess what your time's coming, man. You know what I mean? Like, oh, yeah, you're gonna have a bad day, sooner or later. It's just a matter of time. You know, the ebb and flow you don't have to say in the situation is going to change it may feel and maybe is super life altering. But at the end of the day, you are the one that is in control of your actions. Inside of the life that you have. You have the wherewithal you have the power to be able to make that life better. Now, it might go down a little bit. You're not happy about what how things are going. But guess what, you have the agency to change that. If I fall in a hole am I going to be like, well, I guess I live here now. No, I'm gonna climb out of it to improve my situation.

Michael 1:06:46
Hey, man, hey, man, again. Thanks, brother for doing this. Thank you, man. We will definitely do it again sometime. And we'll stay in touch. I appreciate you.

Dale 1:06:56
Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. That's what's up, man. Thank you again for having me on. And yeah, man. super appreciate it.

Michael 1:07:04
Yeah, you're welcome. Take care.

Dale 1:07:06
You got it.

Episode 115 – Author Series – Dr. Robert Glover

In this episode I interview the Author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert Glover.  We discuss, what a nice guy is, how to let go, and how Divorce affects Men.


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Michael 3:52
joining me today, I'm excited to say is Dr. Robert Glover. Dr. Glover wants you to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Glover 4:08
What about me? As I said, What you're talking to men going through divorce or been divorced. I've been divorced twice myself. So I've been down that road. My My background is my training. I'm a marriage and family therapist. So I started working with couples probably 40 years ago. So I've worked with a lot of people in distress, a lot of couples in distress. And then I started working on some personal issues in myself when my second marriage was was faltering. 30 plus years ago, and, and basically my then wife said, you either go get some therapy or wisdom helper, I'm leaving you I got okay. You're the one that's unhappy all the time. You're the one who's always angry, moody, and you know, Bubba never wants to have sex. Right? And so I said, Okay, I will. And so I actually fell I kind of a little bit of the backstory is is that you know, of course my book is my first book anyways, no more Mr. Nice Guy. That's probably what I'm most well known for and less in singles community. I've written two books for single men as well. But But so, you know, I went to 12 Step group I joined a men's group I got into therapy mainly to figure out why me being a nice guy didn't make my wife happier. You know, I tried to make her happy. You know, I gave her everything she wanted. You know, I was really good at avoiding conflict. Well, she liked conflict. So you know, but no matter how hard I tried, well, you still had conflict. You know, I didn't realize it but I withheld a lot from her anything I thought that might upset her might rock the boat might put her in a bad mood might make her less wanting to have sex. So luckily, I fell into some good places where I began really looking deeply at myself. I already had my doctorate in marriage and family therapy, but I've never really done much work on me. And I started realizing I had a lot of what he called Nice Guy patterns. I thought if I'm a nice guy, I'll be liked and loved and I'll get my needs met. I just treat everybody well. Basically, I was trying to be different from my father. My mother raised me to be different from my father. She told me that as a boy, I was trying to be different than all the men that I'd heard women complain about. I was trying to be different from the men that I heard the angry feminist of the 60s and 70s Complaining about so I thought if I just you know am nice and not like all those bad men, women will respond well to that. And, in hindsight, what I found is that if you're single, they don't respond at all to you being nice. You don't exist. And if you're in relationship, you typically just get taken advantage of and hurt and and ended up really not making your partner happy, no matter how hard you try. So as I began working on me and seeing the kind of errors of my thinking and my training and my programming, if I'm just nice, everything will work out well in life. And as a therapist, I was working with couples and individuals and I started noticing a lot of the men coming to me for couples therapy either on their own or with their girlfriend or wife, or saying the same things I was saying in my relationship. I'm a nice guy. I'm one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I treat her better than her ex I'm raising her kids. I gave her everything she wants, you know, but it's never good enough. When's it gonna be my turn. She never wants to have sex anymore. She's always in a bad mood. And I thought Wait, I'm not the only one with this kind of dynamic going on. So I started a no more Mr. Nice Guy, men's group, private 30 years ago, met every other week and then quickly started another one. And I started writing just chapters lessons to give these guys what I was discovering about me about what I came to call nice guy syndrome. And and you know, these guys and their wives and girlfriends were saying, Robert, you need to write a book. There's a lot of people that need this. So over a period of about six or seven years, it evolved into a book took about three years to get it published. Because back then every publishing company we talked to said oh, we like your book, but our marketing department says men will buy self help books. Right and that was pre Amazon. So you know how many of you guys listening right now I have a shelf of self help books. They go by one after Oh, and this book recommended you buy that one too? Yeah. Men, men buy self help books in what I what I told the publishing companies or what I told the editors is you don't know the men I'm talking to you. They want to be good men. They want to live good lives. They want to have good experiences in life. And so over the last no more Mr. Nice Guy came out in 2003. So that 20 years now. Since then, I said I've written two books for single guys, mainly because after 14 years in that second marriage, for probably 14 years too many in that marriage. I became single and decided, you know, I can go out and just start learning trying to date and I'm just going to end up exactly with what I had in my first two marriages. And neither of them were particularly satisfying even though I stayed quite a long time because nice guys tend to do that we stay way too long. So I thought I need to learn to How to Date effectively I need to learn how to become a better picker. number one pick better women not not not like better in terms of value, or better in terms of the better fit for me and match my values that you know, that that I like being with and they like being with me. And the second thing I thought I learned how to be a better Ender. Because if I just go date the first woman I need you know, I'm going to stand up exactly where I was before. And so I realized that being a good Ender covers a multitude of sins of being a bad picker. Because really, that's what dating is a lot of bad picks. You're not supposed to end up with every woman you want to date with. That's often how we get into these relationships that we got into that didn't work so well. We probably weren't very good at dating, where maybe we're kind of insecure with women. Maybe we've been trained in our childhood and our families, tolerate bad behavior, put up with things that don't feel good to you. Just type it out or try harder. And probably a lot of your men listening can relate to that. Yeah, I just, you know, there are qualities about this woman I liked her. I wouldn't have married her I wouldn't have gotten with her. But it seemed like over time, the qualities I liked the good qualities kept shrinking and the bad qualities that I didn't like that I thought I could get her over or through all we knew I could live with. They kept getting worse, right? Probably most of the guys are going yeah, that was me. I like to this about her, but that part disappeared. The parts that I didn't like, you know, took over. And so that's where being able to be a good Ender and say this doesn't work for me, it's time to move on. And that's where most of the men I worked with, and this includes me really struggle with that part. But it's essential. Yeah, there's me. There's a little bit of a nutshell.

Michael 11:19
Well, and I'll probably say this more than once. Thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it. So I like to define things so let's define what is a nice guy in your view what how do you define a nice guy?

Dr. Glover 11:30
Okay, so a nice guy in the way that I look at it. And by the way, I think another thing why publishers maybe we're a little bit leery of no more Mr. Nice Guy is you know, people pick up bugs. Why would somebody write a book telling men to be not nice? There's already enough not nice guys out there. But you know the book you know the title is a certain you know, it takes a phrase that we're all familiar with no more Mr. Nice Guy. I'm not taking any more and applying it to men that in their life so I'm a nice guy, right? We define ourselves is that frequently. So a nice guy is identified. It is a man who at a very early age, we're talking a few weeks old few months old few years old, in accurately internalized a belief about themselves that they weren't good enough that there's something wrong with them they're defective or unlovable. The technical term for this is toxic shame. For toxic shame is an emotional belief. Not necessarily thinking now thinking often gets layered on top of emotional but when a child is born, we were all completely dependent, helpless, naive under functioning. The parts of our brain the only parts of our brain fully developed at birth who the person around survival fight flight freeze, respiration, heartbeat, need the need to sleep the parts around reasoning didn't start developing till several months later, and don't finish developing and mental by age 25. That's why our car insurance goes down. Our reasoning ability goes up and we quit doing quite so many stupid things, especially behind the wheel of a car. So we were born in this very dependent needy place, and we had lots of painful experiences everybody does, even if we grew up in good families. If we were hungry and didn't get fed, that was painful. If we were cold and didn't get wrapped up, that was painful. We were lonely and didn't get held that was painful. We had a belly ache, an earache, whatever. All those things were painful. And every child by nature is narcissistic. They're the center of their cosmos. So they internalize beliefs and beliefs actually not the best word because they don't actually think it they feel it there's something wrong with me, I caused this. And so every human child without the without the access to a reasoning part of their brain, only an emotional brain starts trying to manage these painful uncomfortable life threatening situations. And they do that by trying to medicate their feeling states in the moment. I sucked my thumb to I was in kindergarten think maybe I was medicating some emotional states. Maybe babies eat maybe they cry. Maybe they wet on themselves. Maybe they sleep a lot. Maybe they become needles and wantlist but they're trying to manage those uncomfortable feelings right now. The second thing that every infant tries to do and many animals do this. I've got a three year old Pitbull who dogs do this as well. They manage her uncomfortable feelings but they also try to prevent those uncomfortable feelings from happening. again in the future. So again, doing this with a really immature brain, and a really immature nervous system. So every human does this nice guys do it in their own particular way. And what that usually looks like, is this toxic shame and maybe heightened states of anxiety inside of us. Nice guys tried to do two things and this does apply to women as well. There's a lot of nice girls out there I think. I think most nice guys I know got trained to be nice guys by nice girl mothers. That seems to be shifting. Now a lot of young men I work with had nice guy fathers and you know bitchy controlling, you know, terrible mother's. It seems to be shifting somewhat. But what every nice guy tries to do is twofold. Number one, if I can just become what I think other people want me to be. Then I will get loved and liked and get my needs met. So we're chameleons where we're we're always checking what do I have to do the pleases person to get value? The second thing nice guys do is we try to hide anything about ourselves that might get a negative reaction from people around us. The things that nice guys tend to hide the most is their needs and wants and their sexuality because we're afraid if I have needs if I have wants if I'm if I'm a sexual creature. People will respond negatively to that I'll get hurt. I'll get punished. I'll get shamed. So nice guys walk through life beginning early. first few months first few years of life. It really gets amped up in adolescence, when you want to start fitting in and belonging and be noticed by the opposite sex. And we have to figure out how to do that. Oh, I'll just become what I think everybody wants me to be and I'll hide anything that might get a negative reaction. So it gets reinforced. We bring that into adulthood and that becomes our operating system for life. Now, how I explain that is those internalized beliefs, those inaccurate emotional beliefs. Again, they're not intellectual. They're emotional. They're in a part of our primitive part of our brain that operates purely on emotion. They become our machine language, our operating language of our emotional nervous system. Everything else in life is apps that run on top of it. So how we interact at work, how we interact with family, how we interact with women, how we interact in various situations work with other guys are just the apps running on top of that, that primitive machine language that says I'm not good enough, I'm unlovable, I'll be found out. I have to be I have to be what I want other people to what other people want to be. I have to hide myself. And so we walk through life trying to get our needs met all the time. Not being real, not being authentic, never been vulnerable. Not taking risk hiding things that we think people might react negatively to. And then we wonder, well, how come I don't feel more likeable? How come I don't have more love in my life? How come I don't have more friends? How come I'm not as successful as I think I could be? Well, primarily because we're working from this paradigm that says I can't be me. I gotta I gotta be what I think they want me to be. And I got to hide this as as as a really emotionally burdening way to try to go about living life. But a lot of men are doing it. I've tried to do it. For many years.

Michael 18:00
Yeah. And so one of the questions I was gonna ask, one of the things I was gonna ask is, how much of this comes from childhood? Clearly, I think probably all of it or at least a very large percentage of it. So I guess then the question for me becomes, can you address your shit your issues? Your dysfunctions, your weaknesses without addressing your childhood? Um,

Dr. Glover 18:21
yes or no? Yes or no? That's a good question. I'm a therapist and you know, by training but probably more like a coach and how I practice and again, I've been working with men exclusively for over 20 years, both in groups individual work, I'm just started a virtual workshop last night, go for six weeks. So I've been working with men for years now. And in my work, we do both often will will will go back to the past, we'll, we'll look at what created our internal belief systems. And we'll also look at what's not working right now, which is usually the best window the path I know best path or window to our past and I know and that's usually where I start guys with individual consultation or what's not working right now. Is it relationship is it sex Is it money is it work career? We dive into that? And usually, we find in the in the past, inaccurate beliefs we internalize experiences we had that maybe were traumatic or defense mechanisms or neuroses that developed in path in the past. Now, I don't I don't believe we can actually even completely uncover everything that has contributed to who we are. A lot of who we are just natural temperament. I'm a fairly naturally easygoing guy. I don't like conflict in general. I like to be liked in general. That's me, right? That's me. Now that set me up in many ways to then interpret my life experiences through those those natural temperament ways. of avoiding conflict and trying to get liked those things so a lot of nice guys have that natural temperament. Now there's also a number of nice guys and no more Mr. Nice Guy talks about two types of nice guys when I call the I'm so good, nice guy. And I'm so bad, nice guy, or that most of that. I thought most of those guys were probably like me. I'm so good. I'm one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. What I had done is I taken my my toxic shame and locked it away in a really tight compartment. And layered on top of that all the things I did that I thought made me a good guy, right but it was still a reaction toxic shame. So all I could see what everything I've got this great bank account of all these good things that I do and who I am, everybody should like me and love me. Nobody should ever get mad at me or tell me I'm wrong. Right? On the other hand, what I call the I'm so bad, nice guy was the child or young boy that seemed to get off the rails early at a young age maybe add ADHD they were in trouble at school all the time couldn't pay attention. They were told they were stupid. Maybe grew up an alcoholic family that add ADHD they probably had family members that did they probably drank to manage it. Maybe abuse issues, sexual trauma, and they start acting out at an early age drugs, alcohol, sexuality dropping out of school fights, and they internalize a lot of times I'm bad. I'm in trouble all the time. I'm stupid I can't do anything in school that okay, I'm so bad and I know what happens with these guys. The either because of like a DD ADHD addictions and oppositional defiant personality type by nature, like I said, I'm compliant. But there's others that are oppositional defiant. It's just temperament is what we're born with. So these guys go through life piling the shame on Oh man, I doing drugs. I ended up in jail. I gotta go to 12 steps I gotta go to treatment. You know, I'm, you know, I'm bankrupt until something happens. They go in the military and kind of get straightened out. They find 12 steps or get straightened out. They you know, get into a relationship and get straightened out. They have a child and you know, and then they say, I gotta straighten my life out. And they and they do, but Right. And so they go I'm going to become a good a better person. I'm gonna become a good person. I'm gonna become a nice guy. But right beneath that, is that all that memory of all the fuck ups? You know? And so they they they live with two things, one on one slip away from just slipping back into all that fuckup and I can't let anybody see who I really am. Because if they know how fucked up I am, they're gonna hurt me or leave me. So we're pretty guarded and we do and they do all the nice guy stuff. So one nice guy, not aware of his shame to say everybody should like me. I'm great. The other one is fully aware of his shame and goes off anybody finds out there gonna lead me right? So both of these men are trying to negotiate their way through life through through relationship, and this is where it does tend to show up the most in relationship. I've worked with single guys and up now I went through by the 1012 period, your period of being single and dating and having some relationships but living alone and being single. I am married again and been married for almost seven years. With night single nice guys. Kind of the meme is you know women all say they want a nice guy but they don't want me you know, they tell me all your I end up in the friend zone. They say you're such a nice guy. Some lucky woman will be so lucky to have you someday, but they don't want me right. So so trying to be nice to not attract women in general now that will attract broken women that have been with a lot of assholes. But those broken women or come up with a nice guy and just take control, just walk all over it. I'm not blaming the women that's just that's just how the system works. Yeah. Where it shows up in relationship is guys would say my wife never wants to have sex anymore or she's always angry and no matter how much I give, it's never enough. I can't make her happy. And then you know, they ended up where were these guys are that are listening to this podcast? Is it okay? She cheated on me. You know, it just became intolerable. I couldn't take it anymore. And probably you know, again, a lot of you guys are probably like me, you know, nice enough that I can't end it. That would make me a bad guy that would make me a bad person. It will devastate her we have kids we have debt we have a house we we made a commitment to God you know we're family we're all of this gets intertwined goes I can't walk away from that. I can't leave it. Even though if any of you guys listening are like me. I've spent most of my marriages my first I've been married well over 30 years between three women. And I've until the my most recent marriage I spent most of the years and those relationships thinking about I wish I wasn't here, you know, how can I get out? But not getting out? Because again, not not a good Ender? And that would be not nice. So, and I you know, I've often said that all of my marriages have made me more unhappy than happy. Now with that said, I'm really grateful for her the women I've been married to and for the relationships I've had besides my marriages, because they got me on a path of learning about me. And it was the big stick upside my head that woke me up like like in 12 Step programs you hear a lot of like recovering alcoholics. I'm a grateful recovering, alcoholic and so grateful. Why alcohol? It destroyed your life. No, it woke me up. My Nice Guy patterns in relationship woke me up and gave me a pathway to live life more on my terms with more consciousness and truly be a good man. Not a nice guy. And being a good man doesn't mean I'm trying to make everybody happy and pleased them or get their approval. Being a good man says I live with integrity. I'm honest, I'm transparent. I live life on my terms. And people can either come join me in that or don't, that's fine. So as I said, that's where these nice guy patterns tend to show up a lot is in relationship they show up in work and career. Hidden secretive behaviors were the alcohol or marijuana. I work a lot of men that have porn compulsions, gaming gaming, compulsions, wasting time surfing the internet, compulsions, Netflix compulsions, so a lot of nice guy patterns show up and just that not living up to our full potential and just wasting a lot of time.

Michael 26:53
So how I mean, how important is it, then? I mean, I just think it's essential to actually hang on one second. Put my fucking laptop in or this is going to be a quick interview. How important is it to to look back though, like I think, yeah,

Dr. Glover 27:09
I kind of I guess I probably I probably didn't fully answer that question.

Michael 27:13
Well, I think Well, I think you said it's, you need both and I agree with that. But I think I think it starts there. I think you have to be able to look back and understand the dynamics of your childhood that led to some of these things because these things your your behaviors don't come there's not a vacuum right? They they developed for a reason, like you are behaving a certain way and I think it's I think for me it takes the pressure off of the individual to understand a little bit better, like, Oh, I'm not, I'm not a nice guy because I'm weak. It's because the patterns that I developed the tools that I was given. So, I mean, I think it's essential, but it leads me to a question because you you know, obviously you've done a lot of work on yourself. What is the relationship like with your parents? I mean, I don't know if you know, they're still around, but what was it like and what is it that it evolved to develop? Did you have a hard time, sort of reconciling what they may have done and how it contributed to some of your dysfunctions? What was your relationship like with them? Yeah,

Dr. Glover 28:13
that's a good question. And I've spent 30 plus years looking at that. And because, you know, I got into therapy in my early 30s. Again, when my second wife said, You got to go get help. And luckily, I got with some good therapists. And and as I said, therapy is often looking back. And so the reason why I haven't given you a clear answer to this, is that there there in my mind, there isn't one as I said, you know, the age old debate of nurture versus nature, you know, are we who we are because we were born that way. Are we that way? Because we were influenced by our environment to be that way. I don't know that anybody's got that one nailed yet. I mean, we've been debating it for centuries.

Michael 29:01
Yes. Um, I will add,

Dr. Glover 29:07
the older I get. And the more I work on me and work with people. I keep leaning more and more and more in the nature, direction of things that we were born with a temperament. Yeah, you know, if you raise more than two, two children are more. You start seeing temperament at a really, really early age and children. You know, they pop out with the temperament and you start realizing that it is probably our temperament that influences how we view and deal with early life experiences, especially as a marriage and family therapist. You know, I've looked at a lot of family systems. And you'll see children in the exact same family system grew up with pretty much the same experiences other variables come in birth order, gender, just how many kids were ahead of them, or behind them, you know, where their parents happen to be at when they're born. You know, I've worked with some people that, you know, they're 20 years younger than their next oldest sibling. So, you know, by the time their parents had them, they were old, you know, but their other siblings you know, had a different life experience, but are and I really think the temperament goes a long way to determine how the environmental factors affect us because most families I've looked at if there's more than one kid and if there's a nice guy or a nice girl, there's also a not nice child in there. There's usually an acting out child. So for example, if you were acting out a lot as a child and young man and if you had a brother, odds are that brother would take 180 degrees different path to not be like you he would be the compliant one, the one that didn't rock the boat, that wasn't a moment's problem. So I've seen the same families turn out with a very similar environment for the children. Turn out children that went completely different directions. This one goes off into you know, addictions and depression and early suicide, and this one becomes a PhD and a scholar and lives in exemplary life. Okay, well, it makes a difference wasn't the environment because environment was pretty similar for both but I think the temperament determine how we dealt with that. So you can't separate them. Now, does our early life experiences affect us? Yes, completely. Part of the problem and again, I'm not I'm not I agree with you, but I'm throwing out some side points. I think I'm, I'm a therapist by training. I think therapy is valuable. I've done a lot of therapy. Absolutely. At 67 years old. I'm still trying to put pieces together from you know, I was just kind of just a day or two ago. Just contemplating All right. You know, my father was his negative, critical, unpredictable mood. But yeah, I loved him. He taught me to play ball. We went camping, fishing, you know, I loved him, but he was unpredictable and moody and critical. My mother on one hand felt safer to me. But in hindsight now, I mean, because he's still alive. My father has been dead since 2009. My mom's still alive. She had a stroke about four years ago. So she's somewhat debilitated but still lives alone, and I go, I go visit her as often as I can. And I love her, but I didn't talk to either my parents for 15 years when I started doing my recovery because there was too much toxic dynamic there. And I look back at my mom, and to this day, she can't say I love you, if I don't say it first. So I say I say it a lot to her to torment her. Because she will say it back if I say first my wife and I have this running joke. Your mother said I love you first. I said yeah, she actually did. And my wife and I both give her a lot of hugs because she would not give a hug unless someone hugged her. But when I give my mother a hug, she doesn't let go first. Right? So that's my mother's stuff. I remember asking my mother in her my aunt, her twin sister about two or three years ago. I said, What do you remember about your mother? And both of them looked at each other and they go nothing. They didn't remember anything about their mother. Their mother apparently worked all the time, was probably less nurturing and affectionate than my mother. Right there. My mother, you know, I know went out of her way to do good things for her children. She wanted us to have a good life. She spent time with us. She taught us exactly her love language is acts of service. Her love language is not hugs and I love us. So that so I was just I was just kind of lying on my bed the other day thinking how do those two pieces mom and dad I've been working on this for over 30 years? How do those keep unconsciously affecting the choices I make in relationship? I'm still trying to put that puzzle together. And I'm not and I'm not a dumb or not introspective guy.

Michael 34:22
I think it's the foundation. I think I I do think while parents and children can be raised in the same environment had different outcomes. It's because I do think it's it boils down to the parents and they're humans and they're fallible. So they might treat one way one way, I think, I think I think temperament and personality and stuff obviously plays a role. I do think it's sort of splits down the middle to varying degrees. Probably I think a really bad environment will counteract a really good nature right so so if it's a really good bones so to speak of a kid but he's raised in squalor and beaten and that's going to it's going to affect that kid it no matter what like that, that that nature that environment. So or that or that nurture, that environment. So I think I think it definitely varies and it can go different ways. But I do think you have to address it. I think foundation of everything.

Dr. Glover 35:15
Because here's the deal. Again, I'm not disagreeing with you. It's just that we can't be quite as black and white is because like I've known I've known people that grew up in the most horrendous environments. Sure, and they're amazingly well adjusted people. I've known people that grew up with every advantage and everything you could have, and they there's fucked up as you can be. Yeah. Okay, so here, but here's the deal. And one reason why I was contemplating this just a couple days ago, is I'm reading a new book from a good friend of mine. You should get him on your podcast. name is Dr. Shaun T. Smith. He wrote a book. He's been on your podcast. Yes, sir. He's a buddy of mine. I love he wrote it, you know tactical guide to women. And his new book is called gatekeepers a tactical guide to commitment. And the main premise is that a man cannot let his romantic impulses and drive to you know connect them pleased with a woman to get in the way of his values and his purpose in life. And and he does a really good job of addressing it. I as I read it, I kind of think, okay, it's kind of like David data's way the Superior Man meets Rollo Tomassi he's, you know, rational male. It's kind of got a little bit of a little red pill, Red Pill feel to it, but kind of the David data consciousness thing of you got to put your purpose, you know, first, it was really good. So I've been reading that, and I'm really loving it. And again, Sean's good friend of mine. And so I'm pondering here's the deal is that I've been a marriage therapist for a long time and I've always approached relationships, I think was pmld. That said, we tend to be attracted to partners that have the worst traits of both of our parents. Unconsciously, we will recreate in our adult relationships, what we experienced as children because it feels familiar to us. We dealt with a critical parent will probably picked critical partners, we had unavailable parents will pick unavailable partners therapy is good to help us kind of get a handle on that. Yeah. And but because we do this unconsciously, and Shawn does a good job of talking about that and gatekeepers about the unconscious dynamics at work. We pick our partners with very little rational input with a something about it clicks and the way I was put it, when we were a few weeks old, few months old, few years old, we develop tools to deal with the dysfunction with the with the craziness that we had in our families, you know, even in the families that look really good often there's a lot of hidden craziness. So whatever those tools are, that we develop, well, I'll get good at, you know, being the good companion to mom and talking her down and talking her through when she's sad. I'll get good and never rocking the boat with my dad and pleasing Him. Those are the tools I've got in my relationship toolbox. I'm going to carry that toolbox into my adult life. And the I will I'll create I'll attract women to let me use those tools right now if I if I attract a woman that doesn't need my companionship and me needing to listen to her problems. What do I do? I don't know. How to relate to that woman or if she's not critical or moody or you know, not unpredictable. Hey, I got tools for that one. Well, okay, you know, we want to use the tools we learned in childhood so therapy can be really helpful to help us realize what tools we developed as children just survive these intimate relationships and why we developed them, and how we're still using them today. Now, there's the one last thing I'll say about the therapeutic process. Again, I'm a therapist, I believe in but there are some pieces we'll never get access to. They're stored up in emotional memory. They're not in picture memory. We don't have words for them. I've done some Ayahuasca ceremonies that were really powerful nowadays are doing a lot of experimenting with MDMA. With psilocybin connected with therapy, which is opening a lot of doors. Freud did it through free association through ink blogs, you can do it through artwork. I mean, there's lots of ways to get to the unconscious and the unconscious is amazingly helpful. But not necessarily always completely accurate. Because think about it for a minute. When you were a child and you had XYZ experience. You were experiencing it through your your lenses, your temperament, your senses, and your sibling might have interpreted that completely different which one of you is right I mean my my my son will come to me say Dad, you remember XYZ when I was a kid, my son's 38 And I go I don't fucking ever remember that happening. It is either I'm in denial or one reality, but he'll he'll break up stuff. And I go, I don't even have that in a memory bank anywhere but in his memory bank is completely real. So part of the problem with with digging around in this stuff is real to us because that's how we experienced it and interpreted it. That's what we have to deal with. Was it really I would happen, maybe, maybe not. Okay. So I get I agree with you that this is beneficial information to say, for example, why do I keep repeating the same thing in relationship right? Why am I underperforming and working? Career? Why Why can't I quit drinking? Well, you probably did inherit that from mom and dad tends to be a genetically inherited trait. You know, why can't I pay attention? Well, you might have inherited that too. Why don't have a ruminating brain? Odds are you inherited that? Did your life experiences add fuel to all of those? Probably

Michael 41:07
from Yeah, so I think it's important to understand, but then we also have to have tools and speaking of tools, and you sort of talked about rumination out there, throw that out there. That's a problem I see in here a lot. It's probably my experience. Not as much anymore I've done a lot of work on myself. I'm a really big believer in in therapy and in working on yourself and understanding your childhood but you also need to develop tools, right? Yeah. So some of those some of those tools that because we weren't given them, whoever raised us whatever our situation or circumstance. Nobody in my family unit was equipped with the tools that I needed, not my mother, not my father, nobody and so but now it is our responsibilities as grown folks to learn some things. So what is the tool or what do you recommend for someone who who just rumination Maybe Bob, I want to focus more on just the ability to let go because there's guys that are in this group that had been here. There's 7000 men in here. There's some men that have been here for five years and they still struggle, and they can't let go, and they don't know what to do. I know what I tell them, but sometimes, you know who the hell am i You sir or somebody so

Dr. Glover 42:19
that makes me more right I know.

Michael 42:21
I don't know about that. But I think I think your your words bear more weight because you wrote a book the whole lot. But so so what what is what is it that you recommend to someone who just can't let go?

Dr. Glover 42:32
Okay, I actually teach a whole course. On what I call the ruminating brain. My father had a ruminating brain. I, I do to some degree I do in context. I think every every wife on Pat has had a ruminating brain. So I've lived with it. I think it's one reason I'm attracted to the women I am attracted to because I learned to navigate my father's ruminating brain, his moods is unpredictability is his detachment from reality. You know, he could, you know, his feelings became facts. And that's often true with with people growing and adding brains, what we feel becomes real and then we go looking for evidence to support it, and we just keep building the case. That's what ruminating is, is building

Michael 43:19
a case. Right? There's

Dr. Glover 43:19
comfort in that right there is it gives you the illusion of control. Right? And again, like I got a whole, you know, 16 lesson course on ruminating brain, it. The ruminating brain convinces you is gathering important information so that you don't make the same damn mistakes over and over again, that tells us that that's not really what it's doing. It can go back in time and rehash missed opportunities, bad experience, bad choices and say, Well, if I just done that different, I just done that debrief and done that way. And it gives you the illusion that if you could have just figured that out, right? You'll never make that mistake again and everything will be okay. It doesn't actually all it really does is make you feel like a total fucked up loser. Because if you rehash the same proceed, mistake, missed opportunity. Fuck up enough times. That's like the totality of your world, especially if you've got several of those things you regularly revisit. You spend enough time looking at where you fucked up. You're gonna feel fucked up. And it becomes your belief system about you. So it perpetuates the toxic shame. Another thing that we do by you know, kind of rehashing that past is we really create what I call a revisionist history or one of my clients called the castles in the sky. We think if I just had not done that 25 years ago, I remember once teaching this course in person, one guy by my age in his 60s said, you know, I still ruminate about that missed sexual opportunity. I had my sophomore year in college and I know if I just fucked her my entire life would look like this, right? He create a revisionist history that if that had been different, his entire life would be different. Ignoring the fact that he has a ruminating brain, and he would have actually, even if he'd fucktard he'd still be ruminating about every missed opportunity and you know, passerby, another one well, there'll be many other things she would name so but we believe the revisionist history has to be true that they could be true, which actually makes us feel worse about ourselves. Because now all foggy by just done that I would now have the most amazing life. No, you would still have the same stock ruminating. Why? Because you're a ruminator. Right? Yeah. Okay. So that's going into the past roommate is also going into the future, still trying to gather sufficient information to not make the same mistakes. So what do you do when you ruminate about the future? You become a perfectionist? You think you have to figure everything out? In advance to take action so you don't take actions? You get stuck? You, you you you're constantly looking for how this might go wrong, how it might go south how the other shoe might fall. You rehearse conversations in your mind, you rehearse everything, so you get it right in the future. And do those rehearsals ever play out the way you thought they would in your head? Mind though, that's my biggest rumination patterns rehearsing, rehearsing conversations. Room inators also tend to compare themselves and measure themselves. Oh, that guy is so much further ahead than me now. Well, that guy's a douchebag and he has a pretty woman. How come I don't you know, oh, by this age, I should have accomplished this or you know, all of it is just rumination with the guys that is gathering important information. All this really doing is making you feel bad about yourself, usually keeping you socially isolated. And keeping you stuck. That's all rumination does now and looking at it for a number of years and studying it. I also believe that for a lot of people that rumination is part of their inherited temperament. They usually don't have to look too far in the family tree to see one or more family members that had depressive tendencies, addictive tendencies, control tendencies, rigid religion, tendencies, and ability to be in relationship. Be faithful. They usually don't look forward to find a good friend of mine was was sharing with he's a recovering addict. And he's shared with me his suicidal ideation. His mother committed suicide when he was a teenager and his dad's brother committed suicide. He's got this kind of rumination, suicidal ideation pattern coming from both sides of the family tree. Anyway, accident that you know, he says I can go curl up in my bed for days at a time and my ruminating brain just he calls it the assassin. He just beats the shit out of him. And he's a good looking guy successful. He's talented. He has a great life. He has great kids, but his mind could convince him. He's a total fucked up loser. That's his mind. Right? That's a pattern of mind. Now, trauma can do the same thing. PTSD can be a form of this trauma that we start, we become hypersensitive to certain things because it causes great pain in the past. So we can ruminate that well, so if you inherit the tendency towards rumination, and because your parents might have been ruminating and put you in situations that increase the likelihood of you having trauma, you got a double dose of it. So

Michael 48:34
So what do you do? What do you do?

Dr. Glover 48:38
Take away that what what I do is I tell folks I begin with you may never get rid of this. So let's let's stop trying to get rid of it. It may be a companion for the rest of your life. And it because trying to get rid of it just puts us in a deeper state of rumination. How can I get rid of this? So what I do teach people is I give them a lot of mindfulness practices and a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy practices to slow the thinking to redirect thinking to be the watcher and observer the main my mantra throughout. The ruminating brain course, is a we're going to practice being the notice or the observer not the believer of our thoughts. Whether you have a ruminating brain or not our minds, our thoughts lie to us all the freaking time. All the time. We just because we hear it all the time. We think it must be true, right? That's why we're most of us are so susceptible to the echo chamber of social media. You hear something enough times, it has to be true, especially social media is set up with, with algorithms to keep giving you the same thing you've already looked at. That's what our minds do. They keep rehearsing what feels familiar. I've heard that neurologist say we have about 1000 thought impulses every second. That's a lot of thought impulses, but we don't notice them. But the thing is we act we can actually with practice and awareness and consciousness, start attuning ourselves to those 1000 impulses now to actually take in 1000 a second would make us schizophrenic. So it's not a good plan. But we can start noticing what are the prominent ones that that we've learned to attune ourselves to? Because they've been there the longest, like as I'm so bad, nice guy. You probably started the internal negative thought talk at a really early age. So you've been hearing it for a long time. And you're anything you hear for a long time, we assume must be true, right? So your mind just keeps believing it's true. So what I try to help people do it with ruminating brain. This is an analogy one of one of my course members gave me one one time that I really loved. He said if I you know I'm inside the washing machine being spun by the washing machine. He said if I can step outside the washing machine, I can still watch the spinning. I just don't have to be spun by it. But when you're inside it being spun, you don't realize that there's a way out. You don't realize that the spinning is just part of them. It's just what your brains doing. Right? Your brain is doing that thing. But when you can step out and be the notice or the observer, the witness, the non believer of it, especially the assignment that I give every person who takes my course and I tell them this course is powerful. It can it can change your life in amazing ways I think is as much of a breakthrough awareness as reading no more Mr. Nice Guy is for a lot of guys, that people go for dazzle me I've got a room and a brain. I'm not fucked up. My brain just keeps telling me that I am right. That's it. That's actually a big breakthrough. So how do we learn to be the witness of it? I tell people you have to get a notebook and you have to start writing down what are your rumination patterns? Because if you don't write them down, you've been you've been caught up in them for so long. They just they're just normal thought. Right? But what if I write down I've got to ruminate and give them give them a name, my rumination pattern rehearsing conversations. Now whenever I noticed my Hills self rehearsing a conversation usually because I'm stressed or anxious about something or want, I want things to turn out a certain way. I notice it because I know that's a rumination pattern. I have you know if you again gotta write these down and in most of us will have a dozen or more rumination patterns. And the longer you keep the notebook the more you notice the subtleties of each of the ruminating pattern. So now because I know I ruminating pattern of rehearsing conversations as soon as my mind starts doing it, I notice it and I can say wait, stop. And then I asked myself a couple of questions. Am I going to have this conversation? If the answer is no, or go back and stop the conversation, stop rehearsing it. We don't need to rehearse a conversation we're not going to help. The brain is just has some illusion of control or some release by rehearsing a conversation I'm never going to have okay, but it's an illusion. We're not gonna have a conversation. It's just mental masturbation. Okay, if I say yes, I am going to have the conversation. Okay. When I make myself commit to when I got and you know, I usually if it's at all possible, we'll make myself do it within 24 hours. I will have the conversation when I see the person tomorrow. I'm gonna get on the phone and have a conversation right now. I'm gonna send them a message and say, Can we talk? Here's what I'm going to do to have the conversation, right, so I could put a plan of action in there. If I'm going to have then I asked myself the question, when I have the conversation, am I going to tell the whole truth, nothing but the truth? And I go, Yeah, that's the only way to have a beneficial conversation. Then then I'll say, then stop fucking rehearsing the conversation, because the truth doesn't need rehearsal. Just talk to the person and tell them the truth, whatever my truth is, that's my pattern for how I start. And the good news is we can start treating our ruminations as those kind of big sticks the Wake Up Calls like like the addicts, I'm a great forward. Okay, I know what my ruminations are. Now, when I start ruminating. I can ask myself those questions. I can go kind of through a cognitive behavioral thing. I can do something I call an obsessive appointment, which is more kind of a mindfulness meditative state, where I'll just set my timer for eight minutes, and I'll go consciously obsess about everything I've been unconsciously obsessing about. timer goes off at three minutes. I'm done thinking about it. I cannot think about that thing until my next obsessive point. I need to plan one in 15 minutes or later today or tomorrow, but then I start telling myself No, I will only obsess about this inside a plan to obsessive point. And so you start taking some leadership and some discipline of your mind. So and these are just just a couple of the techniques, writing them down, observing them having a conversation with yourself, doing an obsessive appointment, having a conversation with a friend, I mean, there's

Michael 55:17
just get it out, right? Breathe Calm

Dr. Glover 55:20
yourself, you know and ask yourself why in this moment, am I obsessed about this thing? Well, maybe you know in an Alcoholics Anonymous, they talk about halt, hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Most of the time we slip into our worst mental habits, emotional habits and behavioral habits. When we're not doing well, when we're hungry, angry, lonely, tired, whatever. If we can use these things to check in what am I feeling right now? Well, actually, I'm kind of anxious or actually, I've been pissed off for a while, right? Actually, I didn't need anything this morning. We then can start taking the actions that help us be at our best so we can we can use these rumination patterns as that big stick the wake up if we've learned to pay attention to what they are, and not just get caught up in believing them as soon as they start spinning. And I am convinced. If you catch a rumination before it's third loop around your head, you can intervene you can intervene in it. Once it gets to the third loop is now just it's just background thought that just runs day and night.

Michael 56:25
So I think it's safe to say you can't solve shit without some action right because I think guys just right I think guys it's expected Well, if if you could just tell me you know, the magic formula stop overthinking or stop ruminating or stopped obsessing about her well you got to put in some fucking work in a like you said you got to determine how you're get good at catching those thoughts being conscious of them. Being mindful when I say mindful I always imagine like some monk on a fucking mountain like, oh, but that's not fucking mindful. Right. And but I think this is a very foreign concept to a lot of guys. They don't they don't observe their thoughts. They're not mindful. I'm not I'm not knocking them. They weren't taught. We weren't

Dr. Glover 57:06
taught. None of us were taught you know what? I taught a lesson on love on I have a new membership program. And on this last Thursday on our brotherhood called the full call. I taught you know this 20 minute lesson on love. And and you know, with three key points to it, we look for love and all the wrong places we look for love outside of us. We our love, love is within us. Self Care. loving ourselves is the ultimate expression. So anyway, I gave his lesson and it is to me it was a very powerful poignant lesson. And I got some emails this morning some messages actually from from a guy I know. He's he lives in Ireland. He's an orthodontist, and he you know he's, he's, he's, we've had some conversations and he's really supportive. of the work I do. And he said, Robert, that message about love was so profound. And he said why do not why do school systems, not teach children how to love themselves, and how to love and be loved and love? So yeah, these basic life skills What do you do with the ruminating brain? Of course, that doesn't get taught in school. You know, how do you have healthy relationships? No, it doesn't get taught in school but but all that's taught in school now is gender does not exist. There's as many genders as our people on the planet. So you know, there now all of a sudden, kids are more confused. I don't know what I am, my boy, my girl. You don't have to guess. So you know, whatever is being taught in schools. Doesn't seem to be all that helpful. Right now. So yes, learning appropriate action. Based on the situation of course is powerful because most of us are ruminating brains. I found that ruminating brain tends to go hand in hand with ADD ADHD, and addictions. So most people ruminating brains guess what they do? They medicate a lot. They tend to drink her to calm the voices. They smoke a lot. of pots so they can go to sleep at night and calm the voice down. That's the actions we're taking rather than saying, Okay, your brain may always have these thought impulses. How do you tune to different ones or not believe the ones that are there? And it does take some practice it does take some action just just telling someone quit thinking about her. Thinking about the bitch doesn't work. But for example, if I was working with somebody depend on you know, the person's obsessive connection with say a woman from their past. You know, if they're obsessed about some woman who can't get over her, yeah, like you said some therapy can be really helpful, because usually the women that we get obsessed with are often because we got into some kind of what was what I call a trauma bonded or drama bonded relationship. That was a recreation of a basic issue. From our earliest experience in life. Oh, I'm thinking oh, I'll never get another one like this. She's so great. She's so amazing. But you know, she she has no ability to manage her emotions. She can't be available. She's unfaithful, but oh man, and she sure is hot. I sure have a great time when we fought. You know, we get caught up and that will walk not because she's hot because she's a great fuck when she does get around to fucking you is because somehow it fills some familiar or empty place from from your childhood life experience. So yeah, doing some therapy can can be helpful. One of the things that I do with guys that put their ex up on a pedestal that she was so fucking amazing. I said, write down all of her bad traits write down all of the terrible thing she did in a relationship. Well, and usually that list is actually really long. Fuck it is but But some men are so good at just tuning all that out because but she was fucking hot and she was fucking good. Yeah, you know, crazy in the head crazy in the bed that you know, and but we got addicted to that and now every other woman seems boring and came and go and uninteresting because they don't activate that drama bond a trauma bonded relationship. So one of the things we can do to start breaking trauma bonded drama bonded relationships, is to focus actually on all their terrible traits. Now again, I don't give that assignment to everybody. There's some guys that are obsessed about their exes. She was such a fucking bitch. She destroyed my life he was so terrible. She took me to the cleaners. She lied in court. She took my kids she poisoned them. I don't have a relationship anymore. I'm broke now, you know, and they're caught up and what a terrible fucking bitch. She was. That's what I do with those guys. I don't have them make a list of all her bad traits.

Michael 1:01:46
That's probably smart. Yeah.

Dr. Glover 1:01:48
What I do is I have them start a daily gratitude practice of thankfulness for every gift, that woman in that relationship gave to him.

Michael 1:01:59
That's powerful shit there. I gotta tell you I've done that. I appreciate that so much because I think I want to cover one more topic then I'm gonna get some questions but I think a lot of I think the guy that is sad and depressed and lonely he can be helped and he can be fixed so can the other one but I think they're more willing because they're sort of desperate that angry pissed off, dude. Yeah, he is harder to reach. He is damn near impossible to reach because

Dr. Glover 1:02:27
to be pissed off, there's a lot of emotional reinforcement.

Michael 1:02:31
It's comfort it's its protection. There's anger as a fucking cage. I don't care what anybody says. It can be a good fuel and you can use it as such. But most men it becomes a fucking cage where that you can't get them out. of it then they're not going to want to get out of it and there's going to be no change in their life and all they're going to focus on is the negative in the in the in the comfort in being able to point a finger and say it's not my fault that fucking bitch and it's hypergamy and by the way, that's bullshit that

Dr. Glover 1:02:59
I don't get me going on. I forgive me, I

Michael 1:03:02
think and that's why I had Shan Shan and I had that conversation. I think it's horseshit. I think that whole rational male can go for it. So Shan

Dr. Glover 1:03:10
Shan and I have had that conversation. I met Shawn at a red pill conference. You and I were both speakers. There. Rollo Tomassi was on the same program with us. That's where I met Sean and it likes it. We like we fell in love instantly.

Michael 1:03:24
He's a great guy. I think he's been he's been excommunicated from the web. I'm not a red pill guy. I think red pill. I think

Dr. Glover 1:03:32
I'm not either. I without going down that rabbit hole. Yes. Does it does there's a lot of stuff I don't disagree with sure there's some value in some of it. What I don't agree with is the us against them. Well, I don't like that the women are out to get us so we got to we got to fuck them before they can fuck us. I don't and I don't like the hierarchical system they create for men. Okay, we got red pill, you know we're Red Pill the blue pills. charcoal and black. I just don't like that classified men and most of the you know, I'm not actually met all that many true red pill guys. I've met a lot of guys who sit around and type on online forums while sitting in their mother's basement on Friday night you know about you know all the all the red pill philosophy. But yeah, without without going after that.

Michael 1:04:22

Dr. Glover 1:04:23
I gotcha. stay angry. Dad. I'm with you like, again. Well, we took a bunch of red pill you know, in sells MIG tau men going their own way. Most of that is fueled by anger and resentment and I'm a victim I've been done to you. So let me throw this out. feeling victimized now we can be a victim. We can be victimized without being a victim. Amen. We can have shit happen to us without that tape without us taking that on and defining our life. So here's a piece this could be a whole nother whole nother podcast. been staying in a victim state is a feminine place to be it's not a masculine state masculine does feminine has done too. I'm talking about men and women I'm talking about Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. So the masculine in US goes and get shit done. It takes action. The feminine in US feels done to another feminine is could also be done to in ways that feel blissful. Oh man. I feel good. You know, getting getting a good blow job is you're in your feminine you're receiving you're being done to do it. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Right. And believe it or not, most men I work with have a hard time receiving even that you know is we have to learn I had to learn how to receive so but feeling victimized basically hanging on to that victim status is feminine in nature. Now all these you know guys feeling victimized by women are going out gonna be the alpha I'm gonna go no, actually you're still in the one down beta position because you're in the feminine position of feeling victimized feeling victimized as you said. It just It helps us Suze. You know Signet truth is shit happens in life. Yeah, I

Michael 1:06:07
mean, it's not fair. You are a victim if you've been lied to if you've been cheated on it's been left in some ways you have you have been victimized like you said I love that phrase. You can be victimized not be evict not be a victim. Yeah, that's all that's a mate. I'd never heard it that way. But that's I say something very similar not quite as elegant. It's like you can you are a victim if you've been lied to cheated on left you're ugly. But if you stay a victim you're not

Dr. Glover 1:06:29
you're not going to you're not done you move forward victimizing yourself. 100%

Michael 1:06:33
agree. Yeah. So so for those those guys that are focused on it, it's something that popped in my head too. It's like the power of pussy like a lot of guys. I mean, I look at all the betters i mean, i Who doesn't love it? I mean, I guess if you have a different persuasion or whatever do do your own thing, but But why a man or I don't want to own an asset. I want to ask why or a lot of times what

Dr. Glover 1:07:02
you try to try to say how do I ask this in a way that you know, doesn't give me too big of trouble, right?

Michael 1:07:07
Oh, no, I don't give a shit about that. I mean, I'm not I'm not that I'm not famous enough to get in trouble yet. Hopefully someday, maybe. I don't know.

Dr. Glover 1:07:14
You know, you've arrived when you start getting intact.

Michael 1:07:17
Oh, well, that does happen. But it's not it's not quite to the level I'm sure some of the some of you guys and Shawn and different folks get but why is it that? So the general advice is wait one year before dating and there are men in here and there are questions I'm going to get to here in a few minutes. I don't want to keep you forever but this has been awesome and I'm really enjoying it. But why what what is what is your I know everyone's different. But I think there's nothing wrong with waiting a year but I don't even know if a year sometimes is is is adequate. If it was a really traumatic thing and you've learned nothing during that year then you might as well you're spinning your fucking wheels and you're you're starting from scratch but I guess one is how long or wait maybe it's better to ask when instead of how long does that's arbitrary I think a little bit when When is it okay for men to start dipping their toe back into that pool? And why is it that that is like almost that because I did it two or three weeks after she left us put my dick and somebody else but why is it that as soon as we get left we're looking for another woman to sue their wounds. And and and in how do we how do we stop that answer? How do we focus on something else?

Dr. Glover 1:08:32
How do I answer but it's not amount of time, but I do have an answer. Um we're gonna dive a little bit more than the masculine feminine. The feminine in all people is the part that craves connection and the flow of love. We all have a feminine side man or the remainder when we all have a feminine side that craves connection flow of love is part of being human. We all have a masculine side that doesn't give a fuck about connection and flow of love. The masculine is just about masterfully doing whatever needs to be done. Right just masterfully do that and go rest in consciousness. So what happens is kind of going back to my lesson on love I told you I taught the other day. Our culture has taught us to look for love in all the wrong places and two of the worst places to look for love and we need love, right? There's a part of us that needs love. But the feminine in us is I say it's an empty bucket with a hole in the bottom that has to be filled externally. So the feminine is always looking for love looking to be filled, but it runs out the bottom. That's That's why this feminine demand. That's why the feminine has never enough for the feminine, because even if it's slowing in right now we could quit it anytime and I have no control over it. That's the vulnerability of the feminine part of ourselves and of course and women okay? It's why so many women actually become so masculine and so controlling, because it feels really vulnerable to be in that dependent feminine place that you have to be filled externally. Okay. So one of the things we're taught by getting love is you go find it outside of you. Okay, but how's that working so far? You know, okay, I'm gonna find this person to love me. I'm going to find love out here. I'm gonna find love out here. Searching for love outside yourself never does accomplish what you're trying to accomplish. We are loved we are the source of love. Now we all I believe our basic three human needs are to to love to be loved, and to feel lovable. And maybe the all the thrills overlap if you talk to most men, and if men just kind of get real you say would you rather love somebody or be loved? Most men said I'd rather love and that's one reason why I think most wife many men are so hurt and wounded. I loved her. I gave her my love. I didn't get get any back. I didn't get it back in the way that I should have. And is probably true because the and here's the other mistake. The feminine is not the source of love. The feminine is the consumer of love. So the other mistake we men make is going to feminine creatures. Seeking to get our own feminine bucket filled there already a bigger empty bucket with a bigger hole in the bottom than us and they're looking to be filled. So when we go to feminine creatures with this empty neediness which we all have, and say love me fill me be you know, they're gonna fucking is repulsive to me. That turns me off. They push it away. I mean, Mark Manson's book models basically talked about you know, it's a dating book and it said that you neediness is the most repulsive thing to win because we're in an empty bucket place and come to my empty bucket, which means they gotta go into their masculine I've been saying for some time now that the masculine in all people is the source of love, not the feminine, the feminine is that consumer, the seeker of love. If you go back, I highly recommend your guys read the road less traveled by M. Scott Peck. I haven't read it in few years, but I probably read it multiple times years ago. It's the all time best selling self help book, The Road Less Traveled. His definition of love is basically this the intention and action to act in one's own or another's best interests. You can google Scott pecks definition of love is brilliant, but it involves intention and action. Those are masculine traits. Those are not feminine traits. The masculine does it has intention and takes action. The feminine is done to buy the masculine. Okay, so we've been lied to for centuries. Through music through culture through movies through glorifying mothers, oh, everything about feminine His love, but if you even think about a mother, most of what a mother does with her child or infant or child is masculine because it's doing you got to feed them, you got to clean them, you got to bathe you got to protect them. You got to put them to bed you got to make sure they get their homework done. You got to make sure that they go to the doctor. Yeah, it's all masculine. The only real feminine act between a mother and a child it may be the just holding the baby to rest and looking into his eyes and there's a flow of love everything else is masculine. That's why so many mothers are so disappointed and angry and bitter about being mothers. They got lied to. I was gonna get loved by this child. No fuck, I have to love it all the time. Right? So if we go looking to feminine creatures for our source of love to fill our bucket, we're gonna keep getting hurt and wounded and be resentful and angry over and over and over again. It's not what they do right now. So what are our options? I think there are twofold. One is our masculine can husband and nurture our own feminine side. We can be consciously taking the time to nurture ourselves. Now that can take a lot of different forms getting enough sleep, going to the dentist connecting with people. This morning, my my wife and my stepkids went to Guadalajara this weekend. I live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, so she went to visit family I'm here by myself. So this morning I get up I've got my cup of coffee, my Pitbull knowledge by my side just you know she just love and being here with Papa and I'm just enjoying my morning enjoying the moment just being nurturing myself. I'll take a nap sometime today. I'll nurture myself I'll leave. I'll eat well, today I'll nurture myself again and an exercise today it's more of a masculine nurturing, but I'll nurture myself. I'll talk to some friends today. I already have talked to some friends today. I'll nurture myself I'll feel nurtured from having this conversation with you. I will consciously be husbanding my own feminine. I'll be filling my own empty bucket consistently enough because it's flown out the bottom right? I will my masculine will nurture my feminine does as you know any any gratitude practice you do any just resting in nothingness walking in the park, sitting in nature, listening to good music, having really enjoying a nice glass of wine, good conversation, good meal. All of that is nurturing Okay, I'll brush and floss my teeth a couple of times today. That's nurturing to me. It says it says I'm valuable. I'm lovable. That's number one. Our own masculine can nurture our own feminine. Number two, spend time with men. Spend time with people that have the strong masculine side. I've found when I stay connected with men, I feel much more loved and much more filled. I have I go spend a bunch of time with a group of women. I'm not going to walk away from that feeling loved and nurtured until I'm gonna walk away want to put you know, I picked my ears you know fuck drive me crazy, you know? But if I go spend time with men, that's why I'm in a men's program. I have several my own men connection groups. I'm on signal all day long connected with men. I run men's programs. I do interviews with men my life is teeming with men.

Dr. Glover 1:16:32
And I always feel looked when I'm with men. I go get around women. I'm trying to figure out how to get them to love me and value me or I'm loving them right now. One mistake nice guys often make is we often go give all of our love to some female creature at some empty bucket outside of us. Our own inner bitch goes What the fuck asshole? How come you give her so much and you totally neglect me. You think a little resentment builds up inside there that our own inner feminine is pissed off because we're just given all these goodies, all of our attention all of our money the BMW you know this that yet we're giving it all to that other you know, empty bucket on our own empty buckets going? What? I don't exist, you know, I'm I'm bread crumbs. I don't matter, you know. So number one. Quit looking for love. Outside of you to quit looking for love from feminine oriented creatures, right? Number three, husband your own feminine, your own masculine husband in your own feminine side. Number four spend as much time as possible with with people, men or women who are in their masculine and therefore a place to give love my wife, you know, like like, most women are attractive. Is has a very strong masculine side most women do. Now masculine remember, love is is expressed through action. I'll be sitting here like doing an interview like this or online working and my wife will kind of sneak in my office here and put a glass of coconut water on my desk and sneak back out again. That's fuckin love. Now it's coming from a feminine person, but it's a it's an act. So masculine act, it's a doing act as Oh my My wife and many women out there are very loving, but they show it in masculine ways. Not the ways that we men tend to think is going to come. You don't feel loved just because you loved a person. You don't feel loved just because you want their approval. And their validation or even their sex. That isn't what makes you go away feeling loved. You go away feeling loved when they treated you acted in a way that that you walked away said that felt loving. They didn't have to say they loved me. I knew they loved me through their actions.

Michael 1:18:53
We could spend a whole fuckin podcast

Dr. Glover 1:18:55
I knew we could believe me I I've been working on this ship for a long enough time. I know what it opens up.

Michael 1:19:04
Well, it's fascinating. I think it does big a question you know if I'm a bitter I don't know if how far I want to go down this route. But if I have a bitter man, what am I here is what the fuck do I need women for?

Dr. Glover 1:19:14
Well, if you're a better man, you're in your what I call your lower feminine. You're dwelling in that I've been done to right I'm a victim. And then a guy asked me a question on one of my membership calls the other day. I we have time for q&a. And we get down where I go okay, two minute drill. I'm gonna take two two minute timers on you have to ask and I gotta answer in two minutes. Okay. And this one guy that and I love this guy. He asked me the best questions he's he's he's on the spectrum. So his questions are like, you know, there's just as he said, Robert if you could take your wisdom that you have now, put it in your teenage body. What would you do? How would you be different? I fucking love that question. And I said, and I thought, I gotta answer it with the first thought that came up. I can't, I can't massage it and then get shut up and the first thought that came up was I spend less time with women. I spend less time pursuing women trying to get women to like me approve of me trying to get them upset with me. I don't know if I like being married. So I might still get married but I probably get married in different ways and I've gotten married. I'm making married and I live with a woman. I would just spend less time with women. Now that's not a MIG tau. You know, I don't need women. They're terrible. You know, people are amazing. You know, gender doesn't matter people. People are amazing, and people can be terrible. Sure, you know, I think I'm just going to choose to be with the amazing people and not the terrible people and not worry about their gender. Okay, so if we get focused on all women are terrible. You know, for me, it's actually a nice relief and I think for a lot of men does go listen, let's just assume she's an empty bucket with a hole in the bottom and she's just trying to get filled. That's all that's not a terrible thing. We have an empty bucket with a hole in the bottom is trying to be filled. Now a lot of people take that as being kind of misogynistic and say, well, the feminine is an empty bucket. I'm not saying it mean, does that sound mean? It just sounds like okay, there's part of us it needs to be filled. Right? That's just you know, anybody that does, you know, inner child work or you know, it is this kind of work. It's about taking care of that needy part of you, right, so we have a needy part. So this is not about I would never have anything to do with women would I spend less time pursuing from women what they can't give

Michael 1:21:40
me what you what your what you what you thought they could give you what you expected I can give

Dr. Glover 1:21:44
what I was trained and you know, brainwashed and we all have we've all been raised to believe it. Women even believe this stuff. Yeah, I mean, you know, look at how many how many women now are kind of, you know, going their own way. And just you know, you know, at early age, not even hanging with men just you know, I'm just gonna go I have relationships with women. They also believe that same myth, but feminine or lesbian relationships. I'm gonna say something that this might get me in trouble, have a higher incidence of domestic violence per capita than straight relationships are gay relationships, gay actually had the least incident of domestic violence. So now you got two women together both going you should fill me you should fill me I'm an empty bucket, and now they're pissed off. Both of them are pissed off because you're not filling me you're not filling me in. So again, I'm making a pretty big generalization and making a gender with you know, dynamics. But the point is, this is not an indictment of women. Is just okay. All of us have a part of us that is seeking love. And connection. All of us have a part of us that gets the most joy out of giving love. Let's be realistic about what those parts are and where we're most likely to get them.

Michael 1:23:01
But I mean, it's there's so much to this, you know on this topic, and I think the good thing is that, you know, we're looking at it, we're questioning we're trying to figure out some of these answers. I wish I had all of them. I don't think anyone does, but

Dr. Glover 1:23:17
that's our ruminating brain going if I just had all the answers, everything would work. I got shitloads of answers. But that doesn't mean I apply them all to my life or life even goes away. I think it should,

Michael 1:23:29
brother I can be preaching to the choir here. So I want to I want to get to some questions that some guys asked. And we kind of covered some of them. So I might just skip it. This one he's asking is it generally accepted dimensioned way to year after separation? Well,

Dr. Glover 1:23:43
let me just throw that piece out. Because, you know, I actually made a lot of rules for myself when I started dating, but the rules were just to keep me more conscious, too, because, you know, I'll even go back to you know, Shawn's new book gatekeeper and he says what I've been saying for years, is that most of our relationship dynamics, it occur at such an unconscious level, that we don't know that we're out there, fusing with a woman trying to lock it down, making sure she loves us, and she's available to us, because we're trying to deal with something that she can't actually do for us. And then in that needy place, we actually probably end up driving her away, right? We do all of that really unconscious. So I as I became aware of my unconscious patterns, I made rules up to go with them like I stayed off the phone with women early on, because I found that talking with women on the phone amps up a relationship and basically gives the woman what she wants while the guy you know, just getting I mean, what what do we get as guys by talking on the phone to a woman? Yeah, even if we have some phone sex. It's still just fucking phone sex. She's actually not really doing anything, do us. All right. So I had to make rules to help guide me now. When I got out of my second marriage. I didn't want to date I really done a lot of heavy lifting. I actually started going to a 12 step group, and I said, I'm gonna be pissed off for as long as it takes to be pissed off. I said, if it takes two years being pissed off, I'm going to be pissed off for two years. I let myself be pissed off. That's okay. But I also knew there was an endpoint to it. And and yeah, you know, when I think about dating ago, I don't even fucking want to listen to a woman talk. It just seems burdening to me. So I didn't date for several months, not quite a year, but for several I focused on my book just come out. I focused on me, building my business doing things. I focused on building more of a social life, so I didn't have any luxury. So I focused on taking good care of me. So I would say rather than setting the time, make it a focus that you go out and take care of you work on your male relationships. I in marriage therapy, I always told couples, the best thing you can do for your marriage have good same sex friends. So most men when they get out of relationship, they've lost all their buddies. Go work at building male relationships, get into a men's group, get into some kind of men's programs. Go rekindle your old friendships that you let go. Go connect with men, because what I found is when we're getting our significant number of needs met with men, the appeal of women tends to go down. And even the neediness for sex tends to go down. I found men who are the most needy for sex, are using the men who are not getting the rest of their needs met in a very predictable consistent way. So focus on your basic core needs, connect with men and I think you'll find it a lot of the neediness you have towards women wanting to fuse quickly getting dependent on them, you know, you know getting needy around sex with them. It actually diminishes, the more you're getting your needs in general. So as odd as it sounds, the more regularly you floss your teeth, the less you're going to feel needy for sex.

Michael 1:27:07
Tested. No, I don't disagree. I think you got to focus on yourself. I mean, that's, I think usually this question is under the guise of, hey, it's only been two months, but I'm pretty sure I'm ready. No, dude, you're fucking not ready. So

Dr. Glover 1:27:21
I tell you, here's where men most men start this as soon as they feel like they might be done with the relationship. They go on the online apps and start looking what's out there. Oh, yeah. And again, that's because we're dependent on the feminine for love and connection and validation, which is our feminine. So what instead of going on the online apps, and start looking at what's out there, and of course, you know, Are they young? Are they cute? Are they attractive? Are they sexy? That's the only reason to look for a woman on an online app is finding the women that we don't think we could get in real life. And we start testing that, and I can't tell you how many marriages have blown up, because the woman caught the guy on dating apps while they're still fucking married and living together. As he was testing for. Should I leave her I need to know for sure there's something else I could jump to that looks better than what I've had for the last five years. 10 years. 15 years. Validation. Yeah. So how long should you take? Maybe when you get over needing women for a sense of validation and okayness and when you've taken back the keys that they control your sexuality

Michael 1:28:37
How can a man alright so this one This one comes from I'm not gonna say his name but he's he's someone that I you know, I deal with an internet have interacted with on a regular basis. This is I'll call him Rs. So I'll read the whole thing. As a guy that's a year and four months separated. I know my marriage ending is the best thing to happen to me and ultimately, my son. However, I still have days where I question my self worth, not only as a man, but as a father. I guess my question would be How could someone in my position go get over that mental block when you feel such like such a failure? Okay,

Dr. Glover 1:29:12
I again wish there was an easy answer to that probably will go back to your default answer. Get some therapy. One of the to me, you know, no more Mr. Nice Guy I stress early on and often and I've been stressing it for 25 years now. To break these patterns, you need safe people. You need to go and be with safe people and reveal your toxic shame. To let the shame come up. Let it be out, be heard and get more accurate

Michael 1:29:42
views of who you really are. So as far as I hope, I want to plug my poetic statement. Shame does not survive sunlight. The more you talk about it, the less it kills it. And when

Dr. Glover 1:29:53
we're safe people with the intention of letting it go. Not wallowing in it wallowing in it because having a you know it again it there can be emotional payoffs for staying in shame victim place. But I'll give you a just quick example. A guy came to one of my workshops has been a few years ago, and I'd actually been working with him individually over the internet at that time. And he was in a relationship with a woman who just treated him like shit. Why? Because he had a lot of toxic shame. You thought? Yeah, why? Why? Why should I expect anything different? He came to the workshop. African American, tall, good look and this guy could get any woman he wanted. But during the workshop, but but he always also felt intimidating and didn't want to scare people because he was a big tall African American. So during the workshop, he started talking about how terrible he was, you know, just Seamus, can you like give us an example? of why you feel like you're such a terrible human being. And he started crying. And he goes when I was like, teenagers 15 I stole a car stereo out of a car. And you know, the whole group of guys is sitting there looking at him. He's crying. We're going to finally somebody says, That's it. That's all you did. And you think you're terrible. Yeah. And then the whole group of guys starts sharing every stupid thing. They did it. And the guy felt held and loved and not alone and not a terrible and that one moment of sharing what he had. Of course, he had shame from other things, but that was kind of a defining proof of how bad he was releasing that piece of shame and other guys saying, You're not terrible. I listened to what I did. That's terrible. Right to hear that. The guy got out of that relationship. A few months later, start dating a therapist who thought he was fucking amazing and treated him like gold. And I mean, I haven't heard from him in a few years but last I heard him loving life loving his relationship loving because he went and found safe people and release the shame and got more accurate messages about himself. So it whatever your brains ruminating about that you're terrible. You're a fuckup but go find safe people release it and then start doing that work around your ruminating brain where you keep revisiting the same perceived fuck ups over and over again. The more you do it, they say in in neurology neurons that fire together wire together. The more you think something or do something, the more it feels normal and true. So the more you get more you think about your past fuck ups and how terrible you are, the more believable it seems because you've gotten neural pathways that feel really familiar to

Michael 1:32:46
right and again, it goes back to you got to do some work, you got to put in the work. It's not it's not easy. It's not easy to break that pattern or habit or to kill that shame, but it's possible it is possible so we'll call him Edie. Edie says how do you separate feelings of not trying to hurt your ex hurt your ex financially, but still protect yourself and getting back with yours? Not? Well, I guess we

Dr. Glover 1:33:13
all every guy asked that question. Well, not not it, the more nice person is the more you don't want to be an asshole, but you don't want you don't wanna get taken to the cleaners. Okay, so here, here's the deal. A couple of things. I think probably everybody listening already knows what I'm about to say. Number one, when women go through divorce their math skills go to hell 50 5050 takes on really weird proportions. Right? So I so guys will tell me Well, you know, I don't I don't want to go through divorce because I'll lose half of everything I own. And I go no, let me correct you. You're gonna lose 70% or more of everything you own. But right now if you're married to her, she has 100% of everything you own, and no judge is going to tell her to quit spending money or running up your debt. You get us file for separation file for divorce. Now you that's under control. A judge will say you can't spend his money anymore. Okay. So and the courts do tend to give are very you know, generous with women, especially when there's children involved and and how they came up with a system every state does is that says the more money a man makes, the more money his children need to live on. Yeah, wow. That's not logical. You know, if one man makes, you know, 50,000 a year, and the formula says his kids need this much. Why does a man who makes 100,000 a year Why is the formula say his kids need that much? Well, that extra amount of money doesn't go to the kids. It goes to the mall, right? We all know that. But that's the way the courts work. So yes, it's going to cost us and they say Why is divorce so expensive? Because it's worth it? is worth it. You get control of your life back. Okay, now what I tell them is I tell them be generous. Without selling don't get I mean men when they get caught up I'm gonna try to hide this from her. No, don't do that. Don't fucking hide anything. Well, I'm trying to manage this. Know that I found the more that men try to manage the financial damage, the more the financial damage amps up because the woman senses that, that he's trying to fuck her screw her. Or if the guy just says I'm willing to give this much not more. I'm willing to take care of I'm willing for you. I want you to be okay. But I'm not giving more than this. Just that no like training. The more time and energy a man spends conniving, of how to try to control the more it's going to cost him to get divorced. I've seen it happen over and over and over again. Be generous, be caring, but don't give away the farm. Now statistics show in general. The first five years after divorce, the woman does better than the man financially. After five years, the man rapidly speeds past the woman if he doesn't go get involved with another woman. That that takes him to the claim

Michael 1:36:18
or at the accident Britney Spears or Kelly Clarkson because, you know, I think that the the formulas are fucked, but they're skewed towards a higher earner, whoever that may be. Typically obviously it's

Dr. Glover 1:36:31
and you know, bless the courts. Britney, the judge actually took Britney Spears kids away from her and gave him to a rapper so they actually did give you know the kids to the person in there. Yeah.

Michael 1:36:44
Oh, but she's paying through the fucking nose I'm sure of it, which is good, bad or indifferent. I don't I don't know that. I don't know who determines these formulas or who made the decision or what state legislatures do? Yeah, and it's you know, but But based on what like try and find out I'm in Pennsylvania try and find out that formula I mean, you can go on there's a calculator but the nuts and bolts of it and I'm sure maybe it exists somewhere like 22% over what the fuck ever it is but

Dr. Glover 1:37:08
then they do every state has a written up and talk to any attorney. They can tell you what Yeah,

Michael 1:37:12
who made that? I mean, okay, the state legislatures, but based on what the what are the base and on

Dr. Glover 1:37:18
precedents of the court in past cases. Court if the courts keep leaning in one direction, that becomes law, even if it's actually not codified in law, court precedents becomes law.

Michael 1:37:31
And so what what was it what was the percentage that someone just someone still had to make a decision and say, well, it's 22% of your income or whatever it is, like I it's our it seemed it's not arbitrary, but it seems arbitrary. I mean, it becomes locked in

Dr. Glover 1:37:43
just accepted as arbitrary. Yeah. Well, to question that anymore. I mean, understand, it's arbitrary.

Michael 1:37:51
Yeah, I mean, it sucks. I don't I don't like it, but it is what it is. I mean, unless someone tells me exactly how to fix it, I just I get sort of tired of hearing about it because I pay a lot in child support, but fuck am I gonna do about it? Like, tell me how to fix it and then I'll make that my reason on death row. Until then, I'm going to try and save men's lives and make their lives better, but anyway.

Dr. Glover 1:38:10
Well, I'll give you one thought about that without going down that rabbit hole. When I went on my book tour for no more Mr. Nice Guy back in 2003. A lot I did a lot of interviews, TV, radio, newspaper, and a lot of times the interviewer said, Robert, do you see a worldwide men's movement coming? I said, No, I really don't think so. I don't think there's one unifying factor that would bring men together calling feminism. I now have actually changed my mind. I think men's seeking tribe and connection initiation is driving men to seek connections. Other men. Now it might be through a pickup bootcamp. It might be through martial arts. It might be through a 12 step program. It might be a divorce group in their church. It can be a lot of but men are seeking connection community. What I would say as I said, if there is one thing that might unify men and women might actually pitch in to help with it is bringing some sort of sanity to the child support craziness that is out there, at least in the US and state legislatures. Because for example, I don't know if you're in a relationship with another woman. Now. No, but when you are and she sees the X amount of money that flows out of you to another woman, that's not her as for your kids, but she will be pissed off about that. She will hate seeing all that money going out of your pocket into another one's pocket. Now that doesn't make her a bad person. I mean, it just is. So at some point, I do think there does have to be a movement of men and the women that support them in saying we need to bring legal sanity back to the divorce process, and child support payments, paying alimony and support to a woman who chose not to work for a number of years and the guy couldn't support them. And now the courts say the guy has to keep supporting the standard of living that she's grown accustomed to. Why is that law? Why? Because the guy was generous while he's married. Does he have to be keep being generous to a woman who wants to go fuck, you know, her personal trainer rather than him? Anyway, I won't go down that rabbit hole. But what I'm saying instead of us just kind of marinating in our anger. How about if men, smart men, men get connected? pool money, pool resources, create a movement, where we actually legally take on state legislatures and the court systems and the way that it's skewed towards women against men. The only thing that is going to change it is a movement of organized men. Now think about it. Laws are written by state legislatures, state legislatures are elected. They can be unelected and if men got behind a movement especially a national movement that started going after state legislation and say if you do not bring sanity, and we can create a model of what sanity looks like, right, what fair looks like and bring that to state legislatures. Now. Most state legislators whether Democrat Republican doesn't matter. They're spineless. They only care about getting reelected. Now the lack like their principal, but there's fires. But if this became a force of nature, that state legislatures and judges knew if they did not pay attention, they would pay a price. I think something good happened now that's going to take men getting organized, not just sitting around being pissed off, like you said, take action. It's got to be men taking action, rather than just moaning and groaning on online forums about how they got taken to the cleaners. Right.

Michael 1:41:55
Well, and that's my issue is what's the what's the solution? I hear an awful lot of bitching and complaining and whining okay, what fix it tell me I have said this many fucking times you tell me what the fix is and I'll get behind it. No one ever has an answer. Oh, we just need to make it fair. What the fuck does that mean? Tell me exactly why gave you an answer. No, you did. Yeah. No, what No,

Dr. Glover 1:42:15
you don't like my answer I gave you know what's

Michael 1:42:17
it how much should I pay in child support to kids?

Dr. Glover 1:42:20
No one's ever gonna be able to figure that out for you.

Michael 1:42:22
Well, but that is the question. We get the question. Most places in most places Child child custody. 50%. So so the fact that we say some folks say oh, it's skewed to women I don't think that's true. In West Virginia, at least one state that I'm aware of. It's 5050 by law. So I think we're sort of we're playing this victim mode because it makes us feel comfortable. I don't think I don't think that the courts screw screw men in general. Does it happen? Of course it happens. But again, as Britney Spears how much he pays in child support as Kelly Clarkson how much he pays in child support. We're perpetuating this myth that men are getting fucked. It's not helpful. It just isn't and what is the answer? What is the answer? There isn't one. I should pay $500 A month child support Okay, that's less than I'm paying Sure. But until we get a solution that is specific, and no one can ever get it, then then I'll be I'll get behind it. Until then all we're doing is whining and bitching and not focusing on what we can control which is ourselves. So anyway, that's my soapbox.

Dr. Glover 1:43:22
I you and I agree that moaning and groaning won't get it done. And I'm not going to go out and take on the system. I don't see it as my mission yet. But I think I think if somebody is willing to take on the system, I'll get behind a movement that really is about is about fairness. Sure. I'm all about parent because statistically, if you look at statistics, it the courts are skewed towards women in divorce. In monetary matters. Yeah, you've given a couple outliers of wealthy women.

Michael 1:43:51
It's skewed against the higher earner and that's typically man, for sure. But but the formulas are, no matter its custody and income period. Yeah. And the guy who is typically the guy who has more income and that guy gets fun I'm getting fucked. There's no question but I don't think it's because of the size of my genitalia. It's the size of my bank account or my paycheck. If I if I had less up I made less than her which again, it is rare and so if you if you look at those stats without the caveat of Well, typically men make more and for whatever various reasons I'm not getting into that fucking debate either. Right? But that's the case is that men are making more thus men are getting fucked, but it's not because they have a dick. It's because they have a bigger bank account, period. So let's move on to a couple other questions. This is a guy who's relatively new again, I won't mention his name. He's he's kind of in the thick of it. He says, and this one, I'll paraphrase so it's more about and this is one that's common guys that she leaves. She cheated. She left and she's got a new guy in her life. And that new guy is around the children. How do you wrap your head around? How do you deal with that? And maybe they're teaching the kids things that you don't agree with? Or maybe you're filling a vacuum there and assuming things but how do you deal with another man being around your children?

Dr. Glover 1:45:13
You have no control over that. You deal with it the way you deal with anything else? You don't have control over. We don't have control over gravity. Yeah, we don't have control over that. We pay taxes. We don't control over a lot of things. You can obsess about these things. But I you know, I kind of go back to a 12 step model. You know, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change. The you know, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. The wisdom to know the difference is the key factor in there. Can you change the fact that your ex is bringing another man around the kids probably not quit trying to control it quit obsessing is that other man doing things that are harming to your kids? Take action on that lawyer up. So even let go of what you can't change or lawyer up and take and change what you can't stay in it. You know, probably what that is. There's a there's a maximum in marriage therapy that says what the couples fighting about is not really what they're fighting about. You know, they come in they're fighting about money fighting about the kids fighting about his or her affair they're fighting. They're always fighting about something underneath. I don't know this guy. I don't know the situation. What he's obsessing about is probably not the real issue. The real issue is He's probably still connected to his axe. He's not let go of her. He's hurt. He's, he's hurt. He's found something to focus his attention on. Who is that guy? He's coming around. He's doing that blah, blah, blah. The truth is, he's not over his ex. That's okay. He's got to go do the work of getting over his ex because she is going to be around a lot of other men. Not this guy. Some

Michael 1:46:50
other guy. Yeah. Amen. Yeah, no, it's something I mean, I had to deal with it a little bit. She's about a year after my ex is with someone and yeah, you have to accept that as shitty as it is and ain't fair and he right all these things, but I can't I can't change it. Unfortunately.

Dr. Glover 1:47:06
You know what, both? Both of my ex wives my first two ex wives. Believe it or not, this is true. Both remarried within two weeks of our divorces being fine. Both of them. Yeah. remarried within two weeks. That means they got with somebody else really quickly after we split. And in which of course the piece I had to deal with with that was I meant something to her. You know, I'm that easily replaceable by I had to deal with that. That but that was just my own emotion. Sure, sure. But the good news for me was that they connected with another dude and got married so quickly. He took their attention off me I had no ongoing battles with either my ex wives, which you know, what, if you know if a new guy in their life got all of their bullshit. Hey, I was I was doing a little bit of a happy dance around that, that they were with someone else. And they didn't keep paying attention to me. They probably

Michael 1:48:06
did. I'm sure it probably took a little bit to get to at least the first time that it did it take you a little bit to get to that point where you're just like, Oh, Thank gosh, like

Dr. Glover 1:48:14
I left her so you know, no, it wasn't that terrible. Well, I but I Yes, I had a young son with her. i My son was two when we split. So was I upset she was with another guy. No. Was I concerned how my son was going to be raised? Yeah. That was but that's that was a different issue. And, and for the most part, and I've had a lot of conversations with my son since and it wasn't ideal. And I didn't know some things that were less than ideal. I just never knew until a year or two ago. But my my son's doing okay, but my son's alright. He's a good guy. Good. Life's good dad. So, apparently wasn't too traumatized. He's probably more traumatized by his mother than the new guy that came into his life.

Michael 1:49:05
Yeah, I'm sure the divorce in general was probably more more traumatic. And Ellie, I think it was illegal. All you can do well, too. It's it's not probably not as big an impact. But I think all you can do in those situations is just be the best dad. You can when when when it's your time to be that I mean, you're always dad, but I mean when you have them in your custody. That's all you can do, right? This one is an interesting one. So it's sort of about being a nice guy says since nice guys do too much to try to women's to try to win women's affection. How do you know if you're still in that mindset and your next relationship? Are you bringing her flowers doing little things for her in a healthy way? Or because you're still thinking that she'll give you the love and respect you want if you do more for her? So I guess there's there's a line there. I mean, let me ask you this. Do you buy flowers and gifts for your way? Currently, you're currently

Dr. Glover 1:49:53
from my current wife. She buys me flowers more than I do. Do I get my wife gifts? Yeah, she wears Lululemon. She flies first class. She I rented her vehicle to drive to Guadalajara this weekend because our Honda Pilot needed some repair. I take good care. But one of the rules like when I started dating, I've made a lot of rules for myself because I'm in this car like ruminating brain. You got to know where you're ruminating brain tends to go off and ruminate so you can be aware of it. You need to know where you get caught up in giving and pleasing behaviors to make somebody like you. And so you cannot do them. Right because they're there again most of the day was very unconscious. So like for example, while I was still married to my second wife, I was in therapy. I realized I was giving a lot gifts otherwise to make her happy to make her love me to make her want to have sex with me. And you know, processing that with my therapist and with her. I went on a year moratorium where I did not give any gifts no greeting cards, no, no gifts only only things my children needed. I had to get sober, of giving to get and it made me a lot more conscious of my giving process. For like then when I started dating, and then started teaching men about dating. I say do not give gifts do not give surprises do not do special things. Do not go on weekend long, you know, dates on your second and third date. I learned for example that I could not take a woman on a first second or third date and take her to do things I liked. For example, I couldn't take her to a concert at the winery, outdoor where I cook us a great meal and spread it out on the lawn and have a bottle or two of wine and listen to classic rock you know while blue sky. I couldn't do that because they fell in love with that. They fell in love with the experience of being with me as I just I've done all those things by myself many times so I didn't have a date. I'd either just sell the ticket at the gate or you know, I'd go on Craigslist and so I got a ticket who wants to come be you know, my partner for a great concert. I I'd make fun. I'd have fun with it. But I would do this anyway. So I learned there are a lot of things I couldn't do early on. So I didn't because okay if I take a woman on a second date to the winery, and we have this great meal, great time and good wine, blah, blah, and she gets to write in my Mercedes or whatever. Yeah, she's gonna fall in love with that experience. Often they did. So I made myself go slower. First three dates were a coffee date, a walk in the park date, a maybe a glass of wine at happy hour date, a maker ride a bus to a baseball game where I would buy a ticket from a scalper on a bicycle date. You know, I do stuff like that. To find out more what is her nature so I tell guys and maybe this is a good place to wrap it up here. I tell guys the purpose of dating is not to get a woman to like you is not to get laid is not to get a girlfriend it's not to find the future mother of your kids. The future. The purpose of dating is to find out as quickly as possible. Or to go slowly as possible to find out as quickly as possible. What's her nature and how does she fit into your great life? You need to be constantly asking what is her nature you don't find out her nature by giving her gifts by or surprises having you know amazing dates. You know weekend trips you don't find out her nature. You find out her nature by taking her on public transportation by spending time around her friends and family by bringing her around your friends and family by seeing how she treats waiters and shop people your job and I think it takes at least three years of conscious work to get to know the depth of a person's nature. Because with every woman I've been with, right around three years, they revealed something to me. I thought I'm just now getting to see this right you know, you know, without being too cynical, everybody shows up to date and they're all being fake. Everybody everybody's you know, saying you know, what do I do to get this guy or this girl to approve them either way. And so three years of conscious asking yourself, what is this person's nature and how does she fit into my life? Right? So that means any gift giving flowers, special events that you think are going to impress her. You're already going down. You're going the wrong direction, going the wrong direction. Does that mean you never do anything nice for them? No. But man you better be paying really close attention every time you're getting emotional mileage out of thinking, Oh, she's gonna love this. This is gonna be so cool. When I send flowers to her workplace and all her coworkers are gonna see Oh, she got flowers. This guy must be amazing. No, fuck that shit. Don't do that. Don't do it. Right. If you think she'll think I'm so great. No, that's not what we're doing. We're finding out what's her nature, and how does she fit into your life?

Michael 1:55:03
Yeah, Amen. All right. Well, thank you again for joining us, Dr. Glover. I really appreciate it. It's been fun. Yeah, the last question I asked everybody has what words of wisdom would you impart to a man who's just starting his divorce process?

Dr. Glover 1:55:17
That's just starting his divorce process. Lawyer up, lawyer up. I I have a blog, a blog post I wrote a few years back on 10 rules for going through divorce lawyer up is to host him nice guys tend to think oh, we'll be amicable I don't want to spend the money what you know, you know, maybe we'll just get you know, I'll manipulate covert contract my way. Lawyer,

Michael 1:55:47
lawyer man, I couldn't agree more thank you again for doing what's best way for people to reach you and your book and your programs. How do they get in touch with you and all you're doing

Dr. Glover 1:55:56
is by getting my books on Amazon. No more Mr. Nice Guy dating essentials for Men Dating essentials for men FAQ the big stick, most recent book all on Amazon. They can find me online at Dr. glover.com Dr. G L O V er.com. Integration nation.net integration nation.net for my new membership men's program. Any of those places if they just Google no more Mr. Nice Guy. Robert Glover I got all the top spots.

Michael 1:56:25
Awesome. Thank you again for joining us, sir. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Glover 1:56:29
Michael. This was so much fun. Thank you.

Michael 1:56:31
Thank you sir. Take care.