Keynotes • June 11, 2018
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Most of the world has idealized “love” as the solution to all life’s problems, but their lives are still messed up because they lack a clear, realistic, and accurate understanding of what “love” actually is, where it comes from, and what it does.
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Is Love Enough? Why Passionate Love Becomes Toxic
David Tian Ph.D.: The rationale or the reason and — or the context for this talk is out of my own life, as is all of my lessons come out of my own life. So, you might have also experienced these challenges, where you have chemistry with somebody, you fall in love, or you get along well enough that you’d want to see them again, and then again, and again, and again, and soon enough you’re seeing them on a regular basis.
And you’re doing couple things and then that turns into one year, two year, three year thing. And it wasn’t really even a conscious decision for many guys as it wasn’t for me to get into a relationship. You’re just having fun, casually dating, and then next thing you know, you like certain girls in particular, or guys if you are a girl, and you start to home in on one or two individuals.
And if you’re mature, or if you’re like a cool adult in the modern world, you never really have that talk of like, “Are we girlfriend, boyfriend now?” That’s often the weaker party begging for reassurance at that point. So you’re probably the dominant one like, “Yeah, no problem. Yeah, let’s just hang out.”
But then, inexorably, even if you don’t put a label on it, you are in fact in a relationship. And then you have a honeymoon period. That’s going to be six months or a year. And then you start having difficulties. And once– a common time when that happens is, you move in together or you get married, that’s a big thing, or any kind of like, big monumental, unconscious — or a decision that tells your unconscious that, “This is a commitment thing.”
That will start to trigger the neurosis that we all have. And I’m going to be getting into that. But one of the things that it creates is — Here’s a typical fight that would happen right after the honeymoon stage wears off. She gets mad about something that’s very trivial. Like, you have no idea why she’s mad about this little, little thing. And you’re just like, dismissive of it. Like, “What’s the big deal? Let’s just forget it. Okay, let’s move on, yeah, okay.” And you’re even willing to concede the point. “Okay, fine, you’re right.” Because you just don’t feel like arguing.
But then that makes her even more mad, she’s like, “Why doesn’t he respect me?” And from the woman’s perspective, often what she’s thinking is, “Why is he so stubborn? Why he is so selfish? Why is so self-centred?” And it could be something as simple as the fact that you want to take the trash out at 6:00 PM versus 6:00 AM when she wants you to get it, or something like that.
And you’re like, “What’s the big deal? Okay, fine.” But often what’ll happen is, you just get really — have these huge fights over the dumbest things. And after the fight, you wonder — For men, you forget what the whole fight was about, actually. You’re just fleeing from the situation. And then actually, one of you will often just literally flee the room or the house or something.
Just like, “I’m going for a walk!” and slam the door and you’re out. And the other one’s just like, “Oh no!” And it all started because she wanted to wash the dishes in a certain way or something like that, and it really hasn’t, obviously as you could probably tell, if you think about it rationally, have nothing to do with the actual argument.
But that’s a sign that you’re out of the honeymoon stage. When these little things become huge things and actually David Deida talks about this at The Way Of The Superior Man, a great book, that these little fights are never really about the trivial issue. It’s that, and he said it’s a masculine-feminine issue, but that’s a gross oversimplification.
It’s much deeper, and once you understand how deep it is, you can actually get control over it and grow out of it, grow from it. Actually, it makes you more mature. So that’s something that I didn’t discover until, relatively recently in my life. I’m turning 41 next month, and on my second marriage, hopefully the last one.
And I’ve made all of these mistakes for decades since I guess my first relationship when I was 17 over, and over, and over. And I kept thinking, “Okay, the problem is, I just need to find the right person. The problem is the person.” And the problem partly is the person, but mostly it’s you, because you selected those persons over, and over, and over.
So piece of advice, my friend, Mark Manson likes to give is if you have a lot of relationship problems, the one common strand between all your relationship problems is you. So, you’re probably the problem. So you got to turn that navel gazing on to yourself, well, the gazing onto your navel, and figure it out. So, if you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve been getting chemistry with people, that you later on down the road, experience a lot of drama with, or arguments with, or a different kind of drama where, it’s just a passive-aggressive drama and people just fall away.
And then one of them steps out, and the other is just like, “How could you do this to me?” And didn’t see it coming. And that’s another way of creating drama, just avoidant drama. And all of the people that you know, all the potential partners that you know wouldn’t have, you probably believe wouldn’t have had this drama with, that you think you wouldn’t have had it, just didn’t turn you on, you just weren’t interested in them.
Like David’s like, “Hey, what about that girl?” And you’re like, “Nah, I’m really more to this type of girl.” Or you wanted — So, if that’s the case, if you keep going for the strange, if you’re the girl going for the bad boy, or you’re the boy going for the wild girl, or you want a sexy hot girl that you could show off to your buddies, then you’re seriously in trouble. And this is part of — If you did any PUA stuff —
So, in fact this is a nice, bracketed segment for the ex-PUA’s or PUA’s who are– PUA stands for pick-up artist. And the guys who are in the pick-up artist world don’t go into the pick-up artist world to get the girl in– in Singapore we call it ‘the heartland’, I suppose you could say, the girl-next-door.
Like, the nice girl who’s like, in the entire class of 30 kids, she’s like, right average looking. They are always paying the thousands of dollars to learn how to get the hot girl in the club or something like that. Those guys all need, like, serious help. They’re all suffering severely from psychological disorders.
I wouldn’t say disorders but definitely neurosis, as we all did. And any relationship those guys get into is doomed to fail. And sometimes I see these guys get married I’m like, “This is awesome.” And then I meet up with them for coffee or beer, and I hear the same shit over and over. And sometimes, just two or three, or four years into that marriage, they’re confessing to me that they’re having a hard time staying loyal, or they want to get back in the field. Or I meet them and then the first thing we do is we go off to, where they try to get to go to like, a go go, or a soapy, or a strip club or something like that.
So I’m thinking, “Dude, you’re fucked.” Because you’re only three years in. You got to stay all the way through until you die. So, clearly, this is not good. So they’re all suffering from this problem, you do not solve the problem by just getting another partner and embracing the drama. And I’m wondering what’s happening with the other side, with the woman in that case. She’s definitely not going to be happy if this is the case.
So often what happens is couples find that they could have a truce. If they don’t get — they either get divorced or they find significance in other things. Maybe their work, maybe in an affair, maybe with their kids, but they need to find significance elsewhere and that’s often what happens. And then they lead lives of quiet desperation. So if you don’t want to get a divorce, if you don’t want to keep breaking up, over, and over, and over, if you don’t want to be on your 5th marriage, as an old man, there is hope for you.
Okay, so this is what this is all about. There’s hope, I figured it out. It was very difficult. I’m still getting practice and experience going deeper into the solution. I consider myself still relatively young, and but I am like half, a past half way points for the average life span.
So I guess I’m a little older but, it’s taken me a long time. So for the guys who are in your 20s or for you guys in your early 30s, actually, you’re like the same as me now, we’ve aged together, there is hope for you. You have a great life ahead. Okay, and there’s– What’s the hope? It comes from this solution. So, the rest of this talk is about this solution. Okay, now all of this is a primer for the fact that we’re going to be getting into some deep, psychological concepts. If you’re still looking for, like, “How do I meet women” and all that, I’ve got other, a lot of other videos on that and other stuff on that. So go there.
This is for mature people, and it’s also for people who enjoy intellectual exploration, and more importantly enjoy emotional exploration of learning about themselves. So that requires that you do have to pay attention. You do have to concentrate. If your mind wanders, it may not just be because you stayed up until 2:00 AM whoring it out.
It could be because your unconscious mind is actually running from the truths that you’re hearing and protecting itself, because that’s a major finding in psychology. You might be sleepy, or your mind might wander, or you might need to pee. These are all defensive mechanisms that your unconscious brain will trigger, resources that it will call upon to rescue you from actually having to confront the reality. So, keep that in mind.
So before we dive into that, just keep that in mind. So the first slide is pretty heavy. Childhood wounds, baby. So one thing about childhood is, when I was a kid — I mean, when I was a teenager, I was thinking like– You know, I watched Dr. Phil, I listened to Oprah, and it’s sort of like, “Okay.” And then the stereotypical kind of parody of a shrink visit where you lie on a couch. Like in Good Will Hunting, those scenes were really funny at the beginning of the movie, and you lie there and you explore your childhood.
So, Brene Brown and her famous TED Talks started by saying she knew she had to go see a therapist, but when a therapist sees a therapist, it’s always bad news. And so, she walked in and she’s like, “Look, I just need help with a specific problem. I don’t want to talk about my childhood and shit.”
And the therapist’s like, “Okay we got the work cut out for us.” So I was the same way. I was like, anytime I was reading about childhood issues, I’m like, “Give me a break. This is bullshit, airy, fairy, Freudian,” like, everything’s about dicks and stuff. So actually, when I, like I said, kept running into these issues, and then I started leading clients through, like sharing my own experiences and my friends through what I’ve gone through, and then seeing them grow and finding great fulfilment. I forgot that part in the first live.
That was confirmation that it was working. Then for over two years, almost three years, we’ve been testing it through online courses and seeing how — I could actually deliver some of that experience of transformation emotionally and in terms of maturity, psychologically through that course. I realized, it’s not just me, first of all, that this childhood wounds when you heal them, it heals your life and empowers you, but it’s also everyone else.
And then I really paid more attention to clinical psychology. So in fact, this goes deeper than anything I’ve done up to this point in my life, and we’re still starting with childhood wounds. I’ve been experimenting with lots of different ways, like, let’s start from where you’re at now and work backwards to childhood wounds so that you’re more receptive. But now I’m just going to give it to you, boom, because I assume you’re advanced enough to understand. I don’t have to warm it up too much.
Childhood is where you got problems. See, you’re falling asleep already. You’re already like, “No, not my childhood. I don’t want to talk about it.” So, we have universal human needs. I’ve gone over this in many of my other courses. The most basic needs are security. So we have that, just from the fact that we’re Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens pop out their baby’s much quicker than any other mammal.
And when you came out of the womb, you were completely defenceless. In fact, in many, ways you were blind, like you couldn’t see very far. And you couldn’t fend for yourself. So if you didn’t have any other Homo sapien adults around you or — Yeah, any other adults, you would not have survived.
So, the first need that we feel at our core, like down our spine, is security. Tony Robbins talks about it in terms of certainty. So security, so you got to know that you’re safe. You’re going to keep living. You’re going to have food and all of this. And another great way to think about it that, I think is more nuanced than the Robbins needs analysis is safety.
So in clinical psychology, safety becomes a great — Like, I see that a lot more in terms of the primal need, safety. So, one of the reasons why people have such dramatic fights is because they don’t feel safe in those moments. And it’s really deep. If you could make the other person feel safe, then they can actually start to soothe themselves back into a rational mind-set, a rational frame of mind.
So safety. So first you have to have sense of physical security. You have food, and you have shelter, and somebody who can go and find food and shelter for you. And then that gives you a sense of safety. Okay beyond that, you need love. Because you can get security from a jail, where they don’t love you, but they give you three squares a day and all that.
And you’re going to have relative safety. I suppose, the shower is dangerous, but you can have safety and security from somebody who doesn’t love you, and you’re still going to be incredibly needy. And we all as little babies have the need for love and of course connection. They’re related.
And the reason why we have all of these primal needs of security, safety, love and connection is because they’re actually based on an even deeper need: the need to not feel the primal fear. The fear that you have before you even come out of the womb, theoretically. We haven’t been able to interview anybody in the womb yet, so it’s hard to know.
But the primal fear is the fear of death. All Homo sapiens struggle to survive, to get air, to stay alive. There’s this M. Night Shyamalan movie about… I forgot the name of it, it just came up — I just thought of it now. But they have these, the vegetation fights back against human beings and they send out this, they emit this thing where you smell it and then you kill yourself
Male: [INAUDIBLE 00:14:35].
David Tian Ph.D.: Yeah, it was weird. It was weird. But it’s M. Night Shyamalan, right? So it’s like lots of eerie silence of like, you look at trees swaying back and forth. But it was with Mark Wahlberg. But actually, it was an interesting movie. That was the first movie that caused me to think, “Why don’t I just jump off the cliff?” I guess there is — so there’s this Homo sapien need to preserve yourself; self-preservation. And it’s the other side of the fear of death. So at the last mastermind in New York, I did a whole-day discussion on the denial of death. And it was based on Ernest Becker’s book, life-changing book.
It was so deep, I read it multiple times, and I’m still, every time I read it, picking up new things. Anyway, so, at a very basic level you can just understand that, in terms of the primal fear, the fear of death. We develop these needs and these fears that these needs are trying to fight against.
So in other words, if you don’t get security, you’re going to die. That’s scary. That’s why we have the need for security. If you’re not safe, you’re going to die. That’s why we have the need for safety. If you don’t get love, you’re not going to get security or safety and you will die. Okay? And in fact, if you don’t have connection, and you’re just a human being, alone, stranded on an island, but let’s say you also have like, security and safety there, you’re still going to die prematurely.
Because Homo sapiens have the need, as social beings, the need for connection. So all of this is really grounded in the fear of death. We have seen these needs shape the human personality. We, as in like, researchers from as young as six months old. We can’t go any younger, or we can’t confirm it goes any younger because ethics boards won’t allow us to test on babies less the six months.
But on the six months old, like very standard tests on the attachment styles have been done on six month olds. And you see very clearly that there are already attachment styles that are quite distinct, that form at six months. And as you go into year and a half, around 18 months is a big turning point. Because at that point, the child can talk, can walk, can fend for itself, more or less, and communicate. And we’re seeing there that between six months and up to the two-year mark, you have this so-called stage for autonomy and independence. And then in the terrible twos period is where you see this fight for that.
Trying to struggle, to understand what you as a Homo sapien are relative to all the rest of the world. This is where you start to form all your fucked up ness, technical term. Okay, so your attachment issues emerge, your attachment styles, avoidant attachment or anxious attachment or anxious-avoidant, or secure, will start to form, partly out of, well, actually mostly out of the way your mother or your primary caregiver treats you.
So ideally, the mother would say something like, well, ideal parenting, would give you a safe and secure base for you to go and explore. So then little Johnny at six months old or a year old, goes off and plays in the playroom. And then when he falls down, or he suddenly realizes that he’s way off in the corner, he looks for mommy and mommy’s there, and especially if he’s very young, six months or something, he’ll crawl back and mommy will say, “Oh hey, welcome back” or she’ll be very loving towards him.
And then at any time, when you want to play again, just go off and wander off and know that mommy is here for you anytime you look for me or need me. And then the little boy wanders off again, and plays safe and secure in the belief that mommy’s got his back, and loves him and will always take care of her. And this needs to continue all the way through to like two years in. And at two years, this is where the little boy starts to realize that mommy’s not his slave. Mommy’s not just a big, powerful slave; she actually has a mind of her own.
Sometimes, she’s pissed off when she comes home. Sometimes, she doesn’t want to play with Johnny. Sometimes, Johnny does something really great, like he hid very well during hide and seek, and mommy just got so exasperated because she couldn’t find him. And then finally after a half hour like, “Johnny just come out!”
Johnny comes out like, “Yay! I did so great on this thing, you couldn’t find me!” And mommy’s like, “Alright, go to sleep.” and then Johnny’s like, “Why? I got punished for doing such a great job in hide and seek!” These are cases that I’ve actually witnessed with my own eyes. And Johnny then starts throwing a fit and then was like, “What’s his problem?”
Well, it’s because he was like a puppy, brings back — played fetch and then when he brought back the bone, you kicked him in the face. So this will create disorders, well at the very least it will create a series of neuroses and problems in your attachment styles. So, the next slide I realized is going to now introduce you to a series of concepts that are quite complex.
But what I want to point out before I leave this slide is, all of the problems that you have in your relationships can be traced back by a whole legion of professionals who do this for a living, to your childhood. It may not be that they can discover it as early as two years old because you may not have your memories from those traumatic events then.
Because once you have introduced trauma, it will start to block off memories from before that period. But definitely in your formative years up until about 17, 18 and then if you have… Obviously, if you have more trauma after that, that will influence how things go. Like, if you’re raped, or if you have PTSD or something like that.
But the further long in your life the trauma happens, the easier it is for you to grow out of it. The earlier it is, the more a part of your brain structure it’s become. Okay, so, that’s why the further back you can go, the better. So, we have various selves, now this is a very important concept. A lot of people around the world don’t realize this. All psychologists think this, only idiots don’t believe this. Idiots like flat Earthers, if you are a flat Earther watching this, please do me a favour and do not enter any of my programs.
But there are people who also, like along flat Earth lines, believe that you are a unitary self and that is the– you have a one-dimensional self. But in fact, all of psychology, since the beginning of the field of psychology believed that and theorizes and posits — and actually is based in the belief that we are a conglomeration of loosely-held various selves. Jung called them sub-personalities.
So, this is really deep. And in fact, I have other courses that go deeper into sub-personalities. But for this course, just understand relationships, you just need to see overall, broadly speaking there are three categories of divided selves. But let’s first figure out what divided selves are. We all have parts of ourselves hidden from consciousness.
And these are natural abilities, thoughts, feelings that were removed from our conscious awareness. So, what happened is mommy or daddy didn’t like what you were doing. And you weren’t mature enough, or maybe even intellectually developed enough to understand why mommy or daddy didn’t like you doing that.
And instead, you — because mommy and daddy are the most powerful things you know, and they’re the sources of your basic needs of security and safety. So if mommy and daddy don’t actually love you, then that means you won’t get safety and security. That means you’re going to die, and nobody likes to deal with death.
No children want to, like, actually face death. That’s too fearful, even adults don’t do that. So instead, what they do is they turn it on themselves, it’s much easier to not blame mommy and daddy as a little six month old– who actually does that? Instead they’ll blame themselves: “I am bad.” So mommy says, “Bad boy.” You say, “Actually, according to this book I read and the theories I’ve been following, you are acting out your own issues mom.” No six month old does that. They don’t psychoanalyze anything, they’re just like, “Oh, powerful thing that is the source of my being doesn’t like me. It must be because I am not likeable.”
Alright, so this is what happened. So then they say, “Oh, I can’t be that way then.” So, to be a good boy or a good girl, you have to psychologically cut off a part of yourself. And this happened over, and over, and over. And it was probably conditioned because you probably didn’t just learn the lesson once and then stopped doing it.
You’ve probably tried your hand at it for a few times and then your parents finally– then they really ripped into you and then you’re like, “Okay, really, I can’t be that way.” And you might have taken a rebellious route and said fuck you, and became the bad boy. That’s a later, usually a later, but you see this happening in the terrible twos. Kids are trying all this different coping strategies, and eventually to get along with mom and dad, or the primary caregivers, you probably fit the good boy so that you could get the love, and safety, and security. And if you were in, let’s say foster homes that were not good, and this is common.
Not to say all of them were bad, but it’s common to be a child in foster homes that were subject to abuse. You probably have to shift many, many times because the definition of good boy kept changing. And that’s even obviously more confusing. So what happened was, early on in your life, in order to adapt to mommy and daddy, you had to repress your true self.
So a common example of this is in Singapore, a place I know quite well from working with clients there for over eight years, is that they couldn’t be sexual, or they couldn’t do this as little kids, or they couldn’t be Elvis of Singapore. Is there an Elvis of Singapore? Yeah, he’s called gay, right? He’s probably on YouTube, some Malay guy who’s like fucking everything. So that’s just the fucking truth.
But like, you couldn’t be that way. Not for a nice, respectable family in Singapore. So he had to be what? He had to basically pretend like he didn’t have a penis. The penis was just for excreting urine. And this is what I have to deal with now as a fucking coach, 25 years into this, realizing finally that it’s okay to have sexual desires. Well where’d that come from? Well, a part of them actually had, like, was a normal boy, was a male, but he had to pretend like he was good boy which was fake. He wasn’t really good boy, he was a naughty boy.
He couldn’t be Naughty Johnny in Singapore. They put you in fucking jail in a straitjacket and then you got to seek asylum in Chicago. That was an inside joke for all of Singaporeans. Anyways so, this repressed your true self. And now, I’m going to use– So actually another term for them, I’m going to use instead is repressed your lost self.
So when you repress your true self, it becomes your lost self. You’ve lost it. But it’s still there in your unconscious. And it will become very important for figuring out relationships and why you struggle with happiness, in fact. Okay, so what happens is you suppress it. So Johnny finds out he can’t be that way.
So he has to suppress that part of him that he cannot be. And it might be powerful. Mom might not like the fact that you’re powerful, that’s for dudes. Or for women it might — you’re often being, especially in Asian or conservative places, having to suppress your sexuality, but also your playfulness, sometimes your talkativeness.
I’ve seen that in Singapore. You can’t talk so, sometimes — So, often as you guys know when I ask for dialogue, I get this: the Singapore poker face, just. Because as a young child, we’re forced to suppress their talk. “Don’t talk, Johnny! Be quiet!” These little kids are supposed to stay quiet in a corner. You’re not supposed to talk, you’re not supposed to be rambunctious. It’s not encouraged. In fact, and then you go to school, and you get fucked over even more, right? You have all this energy, a bundle of energy, like, “Woo! I want to go play like a little dog, running in the yard.” Instead, you’re fucking forced to sit there for six fucking hours and do math problems while the sun is shining.
And then they release you when the sun starts to go down. How torturous is that? That’s what you all had to go — That’s what we all had to go through. So what happens over time, we suppress that part of yourself and then we get distracted. This is a really important thing, because you think suppression equals repression.
It can if it’s very traumatic suppression. But often what happens — if you take the war time as a good example of this, but most of your lives were actually war. It’s all relative what you went through. So you had the suppressed part of yourself then you have to get on with life. This is a very masculine way of dealing with life. “I got to get the shit done! I can’t deal with feelings.” and that’s what dudes do. So they push the feelings aside. And it’s really easy when you suppress a part of yourself, you don’t’ get to look, “Oh look, I’m suppressing it. Look at that! Oh, there it goes.” Because if you do that, you’re actually not really suppressing, you’re just hiding it for a little while.
Because when mommy turns her back, you’re going to be the naughty boy again, right? No, it’s like, you get suppressed, and then you got to do some homework. You got to suppress your urges and do multiplication tables. Or in war, you can’t cry because your buddy just got blown to bits on a landmine next to you.
You’re getting shot at, so now you got to get cover, you got to deal with the rest of your team. You have to hold flank or whatever it is. You got to move on, and that’s when repression occurs. Because what happens is you suppress it and then you get distracted. Or what happens with children is they actually get into their coping strategies.
So one way you suppress, and then the child, let’s say becomes a pleaser, and tries to make mommy laugh. And mommy laughs, and now that’s great. And what’s he forgotten? He forgot about the part of himself that he’s suppressed that mommy didn’t like too much. And then what happens over time? He forgot that he had that part, and now it’s repressed.
Repression is unconscious. Suppression happens consciously. And the breakage from the conscious process to the unconscious process is the coping strategy. And what’ll happen in relationships is, when you start to get triggered, at the moment you think this is a commitment, this is where I’m actually going to get the love for the rest of my life.
As soon as you think that, you start triggering those childhood wounds. And then the repressed parts starts to push up against reality. And where do you go? You go to your coping strategy. So for you pleasers and achievers, where do you go? You go please the girl. “Anything! I’ll do anything, just stop screaming at me!” or whatever it is.
And that pisses her off even more. Because she had her– probably, that’s how she was dealt with when she was a child and that triggers her. You guys keep triggering each other. So, this happens from the very beginning of your life. No matter how well-intentioned our primary caretakers were, they traumatized us. Okay, so I put that out there because a lot of Singaporean boys… Again I’ve worked in the Singapore context for a while. They’re so in mesh with their mothers and their fathers, and their whole family unit, that they cannot stand to even think in a critical way against their family. So I’m putting it out there, they loved you man, it was great, it’s not their fault.
They still fuck you over– Just kidding. But you were fucked over, out of that context. Because there’s no perfect parent, they have their lives and so on. And even if — and I’ll get to that. All the examples I will use are actually mundane, daily life examples. I’m not going to be drawing from sexual abuse or any of the more extreme ones. Because it’s a lot easier to do it that way. You see it a lot clearer, but I’m going to try to make it come home to you.
The fact that every single human being, if you’re an adult, has to deal with this. And this is why I know, for a fact, that the vast majority of people who are actually married are not happy. They can’t be. Unless they’ve gone through this therapeutic processes. They’re just putting up a front for their kids or whatever. In fact, many Singaporean parents sleep in different rooms. Yes?
Male: Is there anything that will decide what your coping mechanism will be? Will you be rebellious, or if you [INAUDIBLE 00:30:59] Is there anything that determines that?
David Tian Ph.D.: Yeah. There are a lot. So, one is how your primary caregivers respond to your various coping strategies. So if you’re like, “Fuck you, mom!” And she hits like you Mike Tyson over, and over, and over, you’re probably aren’t going to go with rebel too much because you’re going to die. Like, the baby will die.
Like, you have the cases where the parents really won’t put up with the kid. But they only see the mom and dad interact with each other that way, so it starts to do that too. They actually kill the kid. There was a case last year, they just took this toddler, like a year and a half old, they lived in a trailer park, so you get an idea. And they just whip it against the wall of the trailer park until it died, and you see the bloodstains on the fucking wall. So like, psychopaths man.
So it could also be genetic but it’s hard to split those apart. Like we’re talking about that over dinner, nature versus nurture. It’s really hard to isolate the factors. Unless you can find the gene for it, the gene for the rebel. But you’ll see that, there used to be a strong argument for the genetic case because rebellious parents would have rebellious kids. And then even if you took that kid away, and put him in an orphanage or something, but it’s–
Once you’re in society, you can’t isolate those variables. But that’s a great question. We have — The clinical literature doesn’t go into that very much. The data comes as a given and then you got to deal with it. So, also the society, one thing I’ve noticed a lot in Singapore is how many pleasers and achievers there are. Like, that’s why I make that joke about the Malay race. Because in their sub-culture, that’s not rewarded as much. What’s rewarded is artistic expression, even bad boy-ness, just to fit in with their dad.
So if you raised in a Rasta family, and your dad had, like some Malays have, like, dreadlocks. And the dad’s smoking weed on the void deck. Like as a kid, you have no way to even study because you have no desk, and you have no lamp, because they don’t care. So that’s what it will produce. But all these Chinese Singaporeans, they’re going to become little nice boys. Because that’s what they were rewarded.
The coping strategy actually has to allow you to cope, okay, so it’s an adaptive strategy. It has to work. And in fact, all of these strategies — It’s important to realize this. They worked back then. That’s why you took it. It worked to prevent you from getting killed in your mind. Psychologically, you thought you would die, right? It gave you the sense of security and safety because your parents rewarded you for it.
Male: Usually, being rebellious will cause you more problems, bigger problems down the line?
David Tian Ph.D.: Of course, they all cause you bigger problems down the line. But you mean like, the line tomorrow? Not 20 years?
Male: Like in the future.
David Tian Ph.D.: Oh, that’s what I’m pointing out. All of the coping strategies cause you problems down the line. A pleaser is even worse off than a rebel. The pleaser’s much worse off. The rebel’s rewarded by the society man. He’ll figure it out very soon because he’ll be in jail, over and over. So, Iceberg Slim figured out women when he was 14. So, at least he figured it out. These pleasers are figuring out when they’re 35. They’re delayed by 15 years because society kept them going as basically babies. So, you see in Singapore a lot of the males are basically big, grown up babies because of that.
They’re in this immature stage. So I say these things also to trigger a masculinity out of the men. I’m going to insult the fuck out of you so you’ll stand out. But we’ll see. So the overall message to all of us is — to all of us, was subtly and overtly — our parents and society approved of only a part of us. And if we want to stay in society, stay with our parents, we had to stick with that part. Okay, so, for example, when young, you multiple times have limits placed on your sensuality. Okay, so, what happens is you split off.
This is right like a, just like a split-personality, dissociate. You dissociate off into a different self. And if it happens early on enough, no one thinks of it as split-personality. And then you repress– you actually end up suppressing and then repressing that other part so it doesn’t come up. So it’s not like you’re talking in different voices with different names and sh!t. But you actually dissociate it. And we give the name of the new coping strategy self, your false self. And a really great rubric for understanding this is away, towards and against. And one of the pioneers in childhood coping strategies is Karen Horney, a direct student of Jung.
And so, she gives away, towards again, this rubric. Away is the recluse or loner. So, you just moved away from mom and dad. “I don’t even want to deal with this. If I stay in my little corner, they won’t bother me and I’ll still get fed.” And then towards, this is the pleaser, achiever. “Mommy, mommy love me. Look, I made this beautiful painting.” And then the against is the rebel or delinquent. Like, “Fuck you all, you all suck. I’ll take care of myself.”
And then if the parents just ignore the kid, you’ll end up becoming the rebel. Because you got to give the rebel space to operate. So, mommy and daddy are away at night, like this is often what’ll happen with rebels, but you can ask Misha here is the parents ignore the kids. So, the kid comes home from school to an empty house and then the parents don’t ask how the kid was or how his day was.
So he just does his own thing. Next thing you know, he’s dealing drugs out the back as a 10 year old. It’s not that bad. Okay, so, what we had to do was erect a false self as a facade to fill the void that was created by the repression and from the lack of adequate nurturing. So, it’s a great time now to pause and ask yourself. You’ve tried all of these different coping strategies, which one when you look back at your life, was predominant in your life. An away strategy, a towards strategy or an against strategy?
Because what’ll happen is you use this coping strategy to get love from your– or safety at a more fundamental level from your parents. And you actually use this to get people to like you as well. And to earn respect and significance and all the other good stuff that you want because that’s what you learned when your brain was largely unformed. And then we call — we look at another type of self, the disowned self.
So when the child is criticized for having the negative traits of the false self — actually, so then what happens is — Sorry, I’m going to skip this out. So there’s this false self, so now you have a false self and let’s say you choose the rebel, or a nice guy pleaser. And then later on, in five, six years old or when you want to go talk to that girl, or when you do something really bad, as a rebel you start dealing drugs or whatever, then boom, you get criticized for being the negative traits of the false self, or negative and positive traits for all of these selves.
And it might just be your mommy, you’re a really nice person to your family but then your mommy’s like, “Why don’t you stand up for yourself?” or something like that. So now you have — You’re criticized for being the false self, you’re further wounded. So, you had to disown it by denying it actively. “I am not self-centred!” Or projecting it onto others. “What do you mean I’m selfish? You’re selfish!” So what this created was a further splitting off.
And this happened over and over. So you had multiple disowned selves and multiple false selves. But you normally were in… Like, you felt comfortable in a main false self and a main disowned self. But most of the time you were your false self. Jung called this your persona. And when you get into relationships, it really comes to the fore.
Because there’s a lot more at stake when it’s love. Because love is triggered, related to your primal fear of death. So the most vivid, intense impressions are from our primary caretakers early in life. The most influential moments were the most wounding ones with these people because they triggered our primal fear of death.
So, if you think about your childhood, and you try to think of nice memories, hopefully you had some. And what the psychology literature is actually telling you is, far more influential in your life were the nastiest moments. And in fact, they were so influential you had to suppress them, to get on with life. And then they became repressed, and then they’re actually operating in your unconscious. But because they’re operating in your unconscious, you don’t have any control over them.
Okay so, so then we get to the concept of the imprint. The imprint is an unconscious image of the opposite sex that you formed since birth to early childhood. That is a composite of your early primary caretakers. The reason this imprint is important is because of this, this is the most important slide up to this point. Whether you are romantically attracted to someone depend on largely on the degree to which that person matched your imprint.
So you thought you like that girl, well this is like romantic, not just sexual. You like that girl because she was this, this and this. No man, it’s because she looked, she resembled your mom! When I first read this, I’m like, “This is bullshit. This is stupid. There’s no way.” But hang in there, because this is the key to everything.
Unconsciously, you have compared every potential partner to your imprint. And when you found a match, you experience a sudden surge of interest. Now it’s always when, it’s not like she has the same hairstyle as your mom. Like, none of her hairstyle and her makeup, none of that mattered to your trauma.
It was the traits that traumatized you. And the positive and negative aspects of those, that you’re focusing on unconsciously because you ended up forming this composite from those traits. And the traits were the key to getting the love and connection that you so desperately needed.
So now we can explain chemistry. So there are five or four themes that make up how we can explain chemistry. The first is recognition. And you might have heard lovers say this to each other and you know, “Uh-oh, this person’s acting out in their unconscious imprint.” So if they’ve said, “I know we’ve just met, but somehow I feel as though I already know you.”
At ease, comfortable resonance. By the way Kyle, please don’t use this to pick-up girls. This will definitely work! So if you spit this out, it will trigger her recognition theme. But this is– It’s sort of like– I actually just thought of this, like a computer program. Just like, trigger this program, you run the program.
So if that’s happening, it’s a recognition. And the reason why is because you’ve actually seen this person since you were a baby. You’re just seeing the traits. Everybody does this when you fall in love. So just deal with it. Okay, timelessness theme. “Strangely, we’ve only been seeing each other for a short time. But I can’t recall when I didn’t know you?”
Why? Because he’s like an infant in the arms of his mother now with her. And he’s thinking, “Finally! I’ll be able to get the love that I’ve been craving since a child! I can finally be my true self that’s been repressed since I was one year old. And there’s a necessity theme. “I love you so much, I can’t live without you.”
That’s like the theme of every great romance movie. And this is — We’re all like, “Oh, what a great love that is.” Romeo and Juliet bullshit. Yes, why? Because when you’re in love, you really think the love partner is now going to finally protect you from your primal fear of death. Which is what you were hoping your primary caretakers would give you, but you misinterpreted it from them, or they really fucked you over.
And finally, the reunification theme. “When I’m with you, I no longer feel alone. I feel whole. You complete me.” Why? Because we think that when we’re in love, finally we will end the relentless search for completion. We will finally feel fulfilled. Alright, why is this happening? Well when people with complementary traits fall in love, they feel as if they’re suddenly released from repression.
Because they could finally be themselves, the themselves that they didn’t even know they were because they repressed it when they were babies, or toddlers. A person who grew up repressing feelings will choose a partner who is unusually expressive. So these are examples. And then a person — I should change that because a persona is in fact an important term. A person not allowed to be at ease with his own sexuality will choose a partner who is sensual and free. And you can see this over and over. I can tell more about you by your girlfriend than watching you.
Because the one that you’ve fallen in love with, is your other self, is your lost self. We’ll get to this later. But now we’ll get to love explained. Romantic love therefore is unconsciously seeing the other person as a resource for the fulfilment of the one’s own unconscious childhood longings.
Now I turn this into a quote card on Instagram. We’ve got lots of great like, likes, comments, everyone loved it, lots of shares. And it was all organic, right? I was like, “Great.” and they were thinking, the comments were like, “Yeah. That’s so horrible, you should never do this. Yeah. Those bad PUAs, that’s what they’re doing.”
Or like, they think this is a bad thing. And when you state it like that, it sounds like a bad thing, like, “I don’t want to unconsciously see people as of my own fulfilment.” There’s no way around it. Every single person does this. That’s what creates the chemistry. Okay? It doesn’t mean you don’t love the person, and that just tells you a lot about what they mean by the word love. It’s just pure things, true, and it makes sense. Like, I totally share that sentiment.
So you want to love the person for them, it’s not like you’re seeing them as a fulfilment for yourself. But in fact that’s what creates love. That’s why you like that person instead of the other person. There are plenty of girls that these players could hook up with that they’re just not excited about. And even like physically speaking, it’s not even an issue, like they’re physically fine. But they’re just not excited about that person. And many girls who are just not excited by a nice guy.
And he could be a nice guy with money, he could be nice guy with — ticks all the boxes, checks all the boxes, but he’s just not — just doesn’t feel the chemistry, right? And that’s because their neuroses don’t match. So she’s like, you’re not the one who will give me what my daddy always supposed to give me.
Alright, so that’s actually what happens. “This is crazy. Take this out and take it to the bank man!” This is a good parlour trick. It’s like, “I know about you. I know that part of you that loves to…” Basically, what you’ll see is, a lot of these pick-up guys, they love strippers. Remember back in the day, there was like stripper game, that bullshit, right? What’s the obsession over these strippers? Well, it’s because they’ve repressed — So, all of these guys are nice guys. They have to be because that’s why they suck with women.
So, they repress that sexual, sensual, sexy side of themselves that swears and spits, and smokes big-ass cigars and shit. Okay so, then they see a female that’s the embodiment of their repressed self. And they’re thinking, “That’s me.” And that is also the part, not only the disowned because I jumped the gun on that particular concept, but also that’s the part I couldn’t be. And now if I can incorporate this into my life, I will finally be whole.
And it also, on the negative side. That was the positive, I went to the positive on that. On the negative side, that person needs to treat them the way their parents did. Not all of the time, of course, because then they’ll just flee but an important minority of instances. Enough for them to feel like they could complete their business with them
Right, so, if she had a dad who was avoidant, who was basically like, maybe he drank some or maybe he just didn’t show up to her birthday or something. The way to trigger her, to make her fall in love with you, is to not be there when she needs you. And then she’ll be like, “How dare you?” And then you show up. So don’t use this, this is not a tactic. But what’s happening is you trigger that neurotic need.
So for the needy guys, what happens? You have to have a fight and then she denies you the love and runs off. So, you’re like left hanging. And you’re like, “Let me do more, let me do more.” Because that’s what you do with your mom and dad. “Let me please you more. Let me buy you more stuff.” Which is common in Singapore. “Let me do you more favours,” and then that’s when the whole chase begins and now he’s hooked. He’s like a fish out in the sea, damn hooks in there. “Just reel that baby in!” I forgot to remind you the schedule.
We’re going to go, like an hour and a half, and then break, hour and a half, and then lunch. So we’re going to have at 11:00? That’s accurate. Great, okay, so I’m on time. I’m powering through these because I want to fit this all in, because I’m notorious for going over time. So if you have any questions at all, feel free to raise your hand and stop me.
Okay, what are we doing when this happens? When we’re falling in love, how does the relationship start? So this is how it starts, I mean, how does it continue? Now, I introduce you to a very important concept called transference.
Transference is taking the attributes of one person and overlaying them onto another. The classic cases of transfer of feelings about their parents to their partners. Because unconsciously they chose their partners who sufficiently resemble their caretakers. Okay, following so far?
Here’s an example: A man grows up with a critical distant mother. He forms a belief, “Nobody cares that I’m crying. What good is it to cry?” So he begins to cover his sadness and anger with an unchanging mask. This was a useful coping adaptation from his childhood. So this is like a common thing in Asian families.
So the mother’s like, “Behave!” and he’s like, “Waa!” “Behave!” Or it might get like the man up, like the bad kind of man up. “Man up, kid!” And he’s like, “Waa! I’m okay.” And then he doesn’t cry anymore. And because he learns crying is not rewarded. So as an adult he hides his hostility under a mask of compliant, accepting manner. And then he falls in love with a woman who has a dark side of a caustic, critical nature.
David Tian Ph.D.: Okay, as an adult then — So then he gets a woman who triggers this. So what you’ll see is, I can tell what your mother is like if I know your girlfriend. That’s kind of weird, but I have to know which traits to look for, the traits that really set you off.
And then I can also tell your true self by the traits that are positive in the other person. So, the critical distant mother, he’s going to find a woman who has a dark side of a very critical nature. Men can learn to grow here. Because her bad temper will challenge him to get in touch with his own denied emotions.
He can learn to allow himself to feel and express strong emotions. So what’ll happen is, you’ll fall in love with this woman, who on the surface of it totally doesn’t resemble his mother. Because on the surface, he doesn’t actually like his mother that much. He loves her, he doesn’t like her.
Or he likes her enough on the surface but there’s always this latent hostility, that’s what we’re getting to, because she didn’t give him the love that he needed. So he had to keep splitting off as a kid. So then, the dark side of the woman starts coming out and that’s when he gets hooked.
This is why girls get hooked on the bad boy, because they had a bad dad. Okay, so, or probably, maybe it was a bad other caregiver. But so, she’ll start to nag, and then she’ll start to criticize him. And his normal response is to not show it. “Not affected, not affected, not affected.” And then that will destroy the relationship.
Because he thinks, “If I don’t talk about it, it’s fine. It worked with my mom” No, it didn’t. But he thinks he did because his mom’s still alive and he’s still seeing her every once in a while, or maybe living with her, even worse, and the suppression, repression is ongoing, like in Singapore.
But often, what he’s missing is this: A critical insight to actual success in the relationship. Because he will create this dynamic with every single girlfriend and wife that he gets in a relationship with. It’s inescapable. The only way out is to actually see this as an opportunity to grow. So, she starts nagging, and nagging, and nagging. And instead of dealing with it the way he did as a child that doesn’t work for him now as an adult anymore, which was to hide, was to put on an unchanging mask, and to pretend like it didn’t affect him. And then just sweep it under the rug.
Instead what he needs to do is, “Stop it!” And you’re all like, “Why would that work?” Okay, now I know about your mothers. You all had to be nice boys didn’t you? That’s why when I get angry at you, you don’t get angry back. I hope I didn’t shake the camera. I’m waiting for you to get angry because it’s good for you therapy-wise!
But you don’t. You just take it, you take it in. And then you go, you see it on their faces too. They get mad at me. But that’s what you do with your mom and dad. So then you need therapy, you need a guy to sit there and cry with you. And then you put it on, we do different types of therapy, you imagine it somewhere else.
I’m doing it like fucking Jesus Christ, I’m putting a cross in my fucking shoulders and I’m being dad. Hate me, hate me! But you won’t. Your way out is to hate me and fucking tell me off, but you won’t. That’s why you’ll never grow. The day you tell me off is the day I respect you.
Back off! I got it! But then you stay in the conversation and run like a little bitch. Back off and turn your brain on, that’s what he needs to do in that relationship, because she’s bullying him. She’s bullying him. She’s bullying him like his mommy did. You say, “Hold on and stop.”
And then she’ll be like, “Whoa. He’s got balls. What’s this?” And she goes, “No, wait a minute.” You’re like, “No! Wait a second!” You see Tony Robbins once in a while erupts. What is he doing? Partly, he’s pattern interrupting, but also that is like to man up because your coping strategy was to withdraw, to please. You’re going to get a woman who will bully you.
And then what you’ll do is repress it, repress it, repress it, repress it until you can’t hold it, and then you explode. It’ll be uncontrolled, and then it will turn into something much worse. And then the whole thing will fall apart. It’s just a matter of time. So here’s an actual opportunity for you to grow because you kept– We’ll get back to this example later, but you’re afraid to express your strong emotions because they were not acceptable as a child. In this example. I don’t know about you, or you watching this. But in this example, this man, he had to repress the emotion.
Male: That’s slightly depressing and everything.
David Tian Ph.D.: Yes.
Male: It is.
David Tian Ph.D.: Well there’s a slide that says there’s hope, but yeah.
Male: How fucked are we?
David Tian Ph.D.: Oh, like how do we get out of it?
Male: Yeah. How do you break the pattern?
David Tian Ph.D.: Oh right.
Male: [INAUDIBLE 00:55:31]
David Tian Ph.D.: Great question!
Male: … a relationship who has these patterns that we actually [INAUDIBLE 00:55:37]?
David Tian Ph.D.: Yeah, right.
Male: [INAUDIBLE 00:55:42].
David Tian Ph.D.: Remember back in the day, many years ago, there was a thread, I can’t remember exactly where, but anyway some of the guys, you know, these were all dating coaches were like, “We keep going for the drama girl.” That one that’s like, you know is dangerous and out of control.
Why don’t we get like, why don’t we just settle with — And then, everybody kept choosing the problem girl. And eventually, you’ll see this for the guys who stay in the PUA world really too long, 10 years or more coaching, boot camps, and they’re so fucked up. Like, anyway, but I’ll get to your point, real quick.
Let me just keep going and get there. Projection. Alright, so we covered transference, now we’re into projection. Projection is when you take hidden part of yourself and attribute it to your partner. So whenever we take a part of the disowned or hidden true self, and project it onto the other partner, we’re projecting.
What then happens is we become egodystonic. We see a part of our own being that’s incompatible with our own self-image. So for example a man sees in his angry wife a part of his own disowned nature. He didn’t get to be angry anymore. She’s being angry. “Oh, I like that, but I don’t like that!” So that’s what happens.
So this is what happens over time, over time in the romantic relationship, you’ll wish your partner was less whole. For instance, less sex– I meant sexual. Less sexual, less fun-loving. You wish she was less sexual, or less fun-loving, or less ambitious or etc, because these qualities called forth repressed qualities in yourself. And your hidden self threatened to come forth as a result when you saw those, which set off your life long adapted self to police it.
As your relationship matured, you unconsciously felt something about your partner awaken strong memories of childhood pain. One sign of this is when you use universal qualifiers in your fights, or in your thought patterns in regard to the partner, always or never, indicating a regressive state. So what happens is what you loved in her at the beginning is what will trigger you the most later on. So like, take example again of a nice guy who gets some game, hooks up with a stripper or something and now they’re in a relationship with the stripper and you can actually see this sort of thing online. Like, guys who teach stripper game and all that shit.
What’ll eventually happen is, he’ll want to settle down. And he’ll want to be in a relationship with her. So he’ll want her to be like not so slutty. “Can you be less slutty, please? Can you cover up? Can you not fuck all my friends?” Okay, so, I mean actually strippers don’t do that but, like, you know. So he loved the fact that she was wild, that he could show her off, and they could do everything together, like crazy shit. And then, that started to turn him off.
So you’ll see this over and over, red pill, the red pill subculture, the Men Go Their Own Way subculture came out of this dynamic. What they did was, they learned game. Game only really appealed to narcissistic women, then he gets in with a narcissistic woman. And I’ve actually covered this in other courses. And then what happens is, he hates that part of her because she’s too wild. But the wildness is what drew him to her in the first place.
He’s not picking up girls at the nunnery. Wait that’s not nunnery, what do you call that? Convent, convent pick-up, that’s not happening. Stripper pick-up. But then he’s like, “I don’t like the fact that she’s a stripper.” Well dude, that’s why you picked her in the first place.” And this is the drama problem.
So what’s actually happening psychologically is she’s expressing a repressed part of him, his hidden self, a repressed part of him. And then this hidden self came out and — Oh, his hidden self was like going to come out, like he was going to become the sexy guy, finally, fully. But then, and maybe he was for a while. Because pick-up teaches you how to be that way for a while. And then his adaptive self came down and boom. It’s actually what you see a lot of these guy break down. They have the warring of the selves, or they thought that their false self was their true self, which is like their sexy, powerful, don’t give a fuck self.
But then what happens is their adaptive selves said, “Oh no, hold on, mommy didn’t like that,” Bam! And then he feels guilty being that way. And so, he’s always warring on those two selves. Sometimes, he’ll give himself all the way over to it, and go all the way into the drugs, and the crime and all that stuff.
And maybe he will go and actually co-own a nightclub or something or a strip club and go all the way in. And basically what happened was, his false self became so strong, he just stayed there. And then it’s even more removed from his original lost self. So now, we can revisit projection.
Our partners make us feel anxious by stirring up our forbidden parts. Our partners have or appear to have the same negative traits as our childhood caretakers, triggering the original wounds and awakening our unconscious primal fear of death. Okay, and your imprint is also you.
Not only do we unconsciously look for a partner, who has the traits of our primary caregivers, those traits are also essentially part, or essential parts of our disowned selves. Here’s an example: A woman marries a man who has characteristics of violent anger that she detested so much in her step-father. And which is also a denied part of her own personality. So this is — This woman will always be in conflict. This is what actually psychologists call inner conflicts. She can never find satisfaction. So how do we move–
Male: [INAUDIBLE 01:01:52] same coping mechanisms.
David Tian Ph.D.: Exactly, yeah. And then it will trigger him. So we forget his side of it as well, and then it could get very violent fast, I mean, when you’re dealing with two people getting triggered. Okay, so from romantic love towards real love. Here is the trajectory. We choose our partners because, one, they reflect key positive and negative qualities of our primary caregivers.
And two, they compensate for positive parts of ourselves that we cut off in childhood. Okay, so this is the dynamic we’ve been looking at. We then embark on relationships unconsciously hoping this partner will become our surrogate parent and make up for the deprivation of our childhood.
We unconsciously believe if we can only form this close lasting relationship, we will finally be healed. Okay, this is pointed out by Jung and people earlier than this, and it then became caricatured in pop media. So unfortunately, all of that good stuff was lost through the joking around.
This is actually the case of what’s happening. The two partners stir up each other’s repressed behaviours and feelings. They re-injure each other’s childhood wounds and they project their own negative traits onto the other. So the thing that they couldn’t be, that horrible, naughty boy, “You’re that way!” Of course he’s doing that, and not knowing it.
So then you get into this power struggle, and here are the five stages. The first stage, this is the last slide before we take a break. The first stage is shock. This is right after the honeymoon stage, then you’re like, “What the fuck! This is not the person I thought I’d married.”
You hear this from your buddies all the time. [INAUDIBLE 01:03:34]. Well, I use that as a more extreme example. Now, you believe married life is going to be a continuation of the loneliness and pain of your childhood and the long, anticipated healing is not to be. And then this is a break down that is way out of proportion with the actual fight.
Because it’s not just about the fight, the garbage, taking out the trash, or the dishes, it’s about the fact that you’re going to be lonely and pained all your life. And that’s why they have these big blow ups. And then you move into denial. Eventually, denial cannot be sustained and you feel betrayed.
So this is where you just ignore it, and just like, “Okay, let’s not deal with this.” In the morning, everything’s great, you don’t actually solve the issue. And then this leads to an extreme of anger. Either your partner has changed drastically since the days you were first in love or you’ve been deceived all along about your partner’s true nature.
You ever see this? Like, it’s crazy right? Like two people live together for 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 years, 20 years and then they have a break up. And then they never talk to each other ever again. That’s crazy. Because like, they’re in those years, they were best friends. You ever have a big fight with your best friend and then it’s over?
It’s weird for dudes to do that. Like, we don’t care that much about a best friend. Like, maybe we don’t trust this guy anymore, whatever, right? But like, it’s crazy because what happens is, you make this choice, number three. “You say either you weren’t the person I thought you were or you tricked me!”
That allows you to just break it off forever. So, that’s what happens in relationships. Then you start to bargain if you can’t just break it off. So this is where everybody shows up in the Man Up group. And by the time they get to the Man Up Facebook group, they ask me these questions. They’re already in bargaining stage.
They tell me all of the different bargains they tried that didn’t work. Here are some examples, she says to you, “If you give up your drinking, I’ll be more interested in sex.” So the girl starts using sex as a bargaining tool to enforce behaviour. Or he’ll say, “If you let me spend more time fishing, I’ll spend more time with the children.”
Now they get into this bargaining. Bad relationship coaches and counsellors actually worsen this dynamic by negotiating behavioural contracts without getting at the root issues. So then they become referees and say, “Okay so, now you hear her side. So you got to get give her some of the stuff that she wants. Okay, you hear his side” And then it becomes this negotiation.
That actually doesn’t help at all, it actually makes it worse. And then it leads to despair. Most couples create parallel relationships and try to find significance outside the relationship. As few as 5% of couples discover the solution and grow into a deeply satisfying relationship.
But 95% of couples, and these are longitudinal studies that have been done, either end up in divorce, in America over 50% end up in divorce. And then the remaining 40%, 35% end up finding significance elsewhere. 5% have actually sticked through the therapy. Well, there is hope for them and there is hope for you. On that note, we’re going to end this section, we’re getting a break. There’s some refreshments outside, should be.
Male: One question though.
David Tian Ph.D.: Oh, yeah.
Male: Would this be fixable of only one partner would do something about it?
David Tian Ph.D.: It is possible.
Male: It is?
David Tian Ph.D.: Yes. It’s possible for one integrated person to lead the other person forward, but it’s very, obviously, difficult. Especially if the other person’s resisting. But one of the greatest things — One great piece of hope is, if you’re both willing to go to counselling and open-minded to it, then you definitely are in the right frame of my mind.
So one of the problems all of the relationship books is they have exercises. The exercises are really boring. Like you have to sit across the table from her or him and then you ask each other questions over, and over. And it’s like, a list of 50 questions. And when you get to the end of the 50 questions, you’ll be doing well.
And then there’s like, 50 of those. And if you do them all, then you’ll have saved your relationship. I don’t think it comes from the actual exercises as much as from the fact that, she’s willing to sit there and ask you through these stupid ass questions for like three hours or whatever it is. If she’s willing to do that, then you can be saved.
It’s sort of like, if only one of you goes to therapy, can it work? It could. But the other person has to do a lot of the heavy lifting. So, there is hope. And if you want to get the solution that I’m going to present, just opt into the form…
But seriously, the rest of the course is available in our free courses catalogue. I’ll see you inside. For you guys, we have refreshments outside. Take a half hour break and then we’ll get back into the solution. Well, we start with the solution. See you on the next video!