Breaking Down the Myths of Relationship Advice
So there's a lot of what I would call just flat old fashioned myths of relationship advice. When anybody talks about dominating people, you're immediately thinking of the people in your life that you think have dominated you or they're too dominating or too pushy or too whatever. And again, and I see this all the time with the stuff that I put up online. People look at what I'm saying as a way to confirm something they were already thinking. Or they'll use it as a justification for their own current view of things. Maybe they'll use it as ammunition, right. Some of you admittedly post stuff on your Facebook page with someone in your life that you're aiming it at. (laughter) Hopefully they'll read this. You all need to get this. Right, kind of like that. And again if it's something like being dominating or something, you'll say see, I knew it, totally knew it. Parents were dominating, there, thank you Facebook, for providing me with that insight, it's great. And in fact we'll mostly app...
ly it to anybody in our lives but ourselves. And it completely side steps the idea of the notion that you are in fact the only person in your life that you have any real kind of say with anyone. You know I mean if somebody kept offering you advice on how you should be in relationships, imagine how well that would go. And that's why, one of the reasons why anyway, why the slurry of books instructing on how to deal with people in your life completely missed the mark. Because they miss out the most critical person in that equation, that is the person reading the book. All change in our lives, all change in our lives must be begin with us, ourselves, me, I, or in this case, you. And that's why I want you to take a very different, almost counterintuitive approach, to this. I want you to look at everything I'm saying here and get it right between the eyes as if it applies directly to you, not to your spouse or your children or your parents or your Aunt Betty twice removed on your mother's side. It's only to you. Because if you don't see the ways in which what I'm sharing applies to you, then you're not thinking hard enough or you're not looking in a way that would allow you to reap a real generous crop from what we're doing here. And again we don't tend to think too deeply about our own performance in relationships because in our mind, all the little quirks and upsets in anger and outbursts and strategies are all in one way or another just a fight. They're explainable. It's not like you're walking around telling yourself you're justified. You know, you don't use that kind of terminology. But you are walking around explaining to yourself why that was okay for you to do what you just did. And by the way, I'm also absolutely including those of you that feel as if you blame yourself too much. How many of you do that? I feel like I blame myself too much. Okay, so, that particular explanation frees you up from having to be responsible for it. Like I'm blaming myself so you don't have to do anything about it. Oh, it's my fault. I mean I'm not going to change anything I'm doing, but it's my fault. (laughter) I'll give you a little example. If somebody in your life is rude to you for no apparent reason, some of you may hang on to that for days or weeks or even months or forever. I mean, you know, what an asshole, who do they think they are talking to me that way? Who do they think they are, those people? But when you're that way with people, oh you're having a bad day. (laughter) Or maybe they deserved it, they had it coming to them. Everybody knows they're a jerk so I just, I was being authentic. (laughter) Speaking my truth, yeah. You should only speak your truth if it empowers people. If your truth takes away from people's power, that's called being an asshole. You should stop doing that. Sometimes your truth is best kept sheathed. (laughter) And again when you're acting in a negative way or a destructive way in relationships, you know, I mean you're really busy. You're overwhelmed or your cat died. You're trying to quit smoking or the current moon phase is set to crazy ass. (laughter) It's just off, my equilibrium's off. And you're dealing with a lot. Whatever your thing is, you'll notice like you in relationship. There's a kind of ready to hand explanation for why you are that way, and if you just look at any current relationship, there's a way that you are in it. And you are that way in it. Could be with a parent, could be with a sibling, could be with a neighbor or friend. But you're totally justified. You know it's like yeah. So there's always some kind of justification for the things we all do. Even if deep down we know that they're the kinds of things that we really shouldn't be doing. How many of you have ever lost it with somebody and as you're losing it you're saying, don't lose it. Right, like, I probably shouldn't say this right now. But what the heck. (laughter) Let's see if I can squeeze in this little truth bomb of mine. (laughter) And then in the aftermath of that we'll somehow find a way to explain or justify it. And then we'll eventually settle on something called being right. That way you can get your head on the pillow at night. Here's the news, that's all bullshit. Your relationship failings aren't anymore justified than those of the people in your life that you're at odds with. You're a junky for explaining. You get off on it. And again your stuff is the only stuff you can really do anything about. So you're howling at the moon currently in some of your relationships. And that's why I want you to take this course and pull it towards yourself. Don't apply it to other people, apply it to yourself. You're not allowed to go home tonight and tell that special somebody in your life I did this relationship course today and boy did I learn a lot about you. (laughter) We're not doing that. And I'm not asking you to even agree with what I'm saying or disagree with what I'm saying, that's ultimately irrelevant. I'm asking you to be in this conversation and unfold it for yourself. Consider it carefully. Look at your life through the lens of what I'm proposing. Now at the end of this course you might still think it's all BS, which you of course can do. But here's what's so, you, and I mean you, right there in your chair, or you online, you cannot expect your relationships to change without embracing some kind of seismic shift in your point of view and some kind of ultimate interruption to your automatic ways of being and acting, period. I invite you to really take the time to dive into this conversation, to hold up to your whole life and see how, where, and why this fits. And you gotta go after finding a way to shift your own perspective. And that's why in all of your relationships what's at play is your perspective. You have a certain angle from where you deal with it. And you'll notice in your relationships you're always coming at it from the same angle. So in your relationship to your mom, you're always coming at your mom from the same angle. It's called mom. Or your sister, or your neighbor. Or your husband or your wife or your ex, yeah, that jerk. So there's a couple of things that I invite you to take on for yourself. Two qualities for this particular course that you'll have to either get in touch with or find a way to muster up for yourself. One is vulnerability. Some of you I know, especially sitting here in the audience, you're thinking, but what if the person in my life is watching this? What do I say then? You want to really get an insight into the current state of that relationship, that that's a concern for you, that you can't be your authentic self. So vulnerability will require you to let go of some possession, some current point of view, maybe even some belief to expose the true you, your real personality. You like, you have to be honest with yourself. Both in assessing where you're going off in relationships and then ultimately how you can change that about yourself. Now as for the willingness part of this, this applies to your ability to take on the full glare of what I'm saying and then take something valuable for yourself, rather than getting upset or something. Today is all about the message. It's not about the messenger. Your message just happens to sound a bit like Shrek, that's all. What matters now is how you handle it. Can you take being uncomfortable and upset and then use that to some personal gain. Are you willing to stay in the course, no pun intended, and see it through the finish line, because that's the only way you'll get true value from what I'm talking about here. So of course I'm going to start off with telling you what the heck we're doing, but by the same token, what we're not doing. I'm certainly not going to give you communication skills. Some people come into this stuff learning, like I'm going to get some tips on how to talk in ways that allow me to manipulate the crap out of people in my life. (laughter) To get them to conform to the way I think they should behave. (laughter) I know some of you are like, manipulate, me? Consider the opposite, consider that's exactly you. That's exactly you. You're going to go into the course, learn some communication skills that you think certain words or phrases or actions that you can take to train yourself or magically cure your relationship of the problems that it currently has, or at least give you the upper hand in dealing with these people. I should point out actually that people are very interested in getting the upper hand in relationships way more than they care to admit. And yes, I'm including using those dark arts on the people they proclaim to love. This is by, I'll say it French because he was French. Albert Camus I've heard it pronounced differently, but he's Camus. Camus said you know what charm is? A way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question. There are two things that I would say to you about that. Well one thing really. You're doing that all the time. You're constantly manipulating the situation you're in to get what it is you're really after. So this course is definitely about asking clear questions, not of others but of ourselves and our relationships. It's not a course about charm or communication skills or manipulating people to give you what you want. Do not expect this course to be like an episode of Dr. Phil because you're going to be disappointed. I'm not going to psychically hold your hand. I won't be throwing any chairs or giving paternity tests. (laughter) Last but not least this is not a psychology course. Instead I'm going to rely on my background in coaching tens of thousands of people and guide the conversation to where it is you need to go to get what you need or get what you came for. We'll be taking a philosophical approach, specifically ontology. So ontology deals with the nature of being. And in case you haven't noticed, you are a human being. And you'll always be in one way or another, mostly though you're not checked into it. So when you ask somebody like about the ways that they're being, they'll usually say I'm not being myself. And I say well what is that? I don't know, just this, being this way. So I'm not going to teach you how to manipulate your relationships, instead we'll learn how to become the kind of people. You have relationships that actually flourish, relationships that expand, relationships that grow and that you grow in them.