Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Except in a Real Race – Using the Power of Story, and Analogy for Good, Not for Manipulation!

Using the power of story, or a colorful analogy can be an amazing way to help someone understand what YOU are going through. But often story and analogy are weaponized, leaving the listener not only NOT listening to the story, but exactly the opposite…looking for ways instead to debunk the story which only drives distance in what initially may have started out as a well-intentioned conversation. Tony mentioned his podcast episode last year where he tackled how to truly rock a New Year’s resolution, you can find that episode here https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-virtual-couch/id1275153998?i=1000461122683 and the Virtual Couch Cookie that Tony mentioned on today’s episode was crafted by the fine folks at http://thealchemybakehouse.com you can find them on Instagram @thealchemybakehouse 

Sign up at http://tonyoverbay.com to learn more about Tony’s upcoming “Magnetic Marriage” program!
-This episode of The Virtual Couch is sponsored by http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch With the continuing “sheltering” rules that are spreading across the country PLEASE do not think that you can’t continue or begin therapy now. http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your own mental health a priority, http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.


Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the “uh’s” and “um’s” that, in his words, “must be created by wizards and magic!” because it’s that good! To learn more about Descript click here https://descript.com?lmref=v95myQ

Please subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVirtualCouchPodcast/ and sign up at http://tonyoverbay.comto learn more about Tony’s upcoming “Magnetic Marriage” program!

Tony’s FREE parenting course, “Tips For Parenting Positively Even In the Not So Positive Times” is available NOW. Just go to https://www.tonyoverbay.com/courses-2/ and sign up today. This course will help you understand why it can be so difficult to communicate with and understand your children. You’ll learn how to keep your buttons hidden, how to genuinely give praise that will truly build inner wealth in your child, teen, or even in your adult children, and you’ll learn how to move from being “the punisher” to being someone your children will want to go to when they need help.

Tony’s new best-selling book “He’s a Porn Addict…Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions” is now available on Kindle. https://amzn.to/38mauBo

Tony Overbay, is the co-author of “He’s a Porn Addict…Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions” now available on Amazon https://amzn.to/33fk0U4. The book debuted in the number 1 spot in the Sexual Health Recovery category and remains there as the time of this record. The book has received numerous positive reviews from professionals in the mental health and recovery fields.

You can learn more about Tony’s pornography recovery program The Path Back by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs, and podcasts.

Tony also mentioned his appearances this week on two podcasts, The Betrayed, The Addicted and The Expert with hosts Ashlyn and Coby, and Virtual Couch former guest Brannon Patrick where we discuss narcissism in detail and the challenges people face in relationships with narcissistic individuals https://www.betrayedaddictedexpert.com/podcast/episode/25d19bf1/is-narcissism-nature-or-nurture and The Millennial Member Podcast hosted by Emily Ensign where we discuss the topic of pornography, what helps with recovery, and what doesn’t https://www.buzzsprout.com/1072564/6209683-tony-overbay-pornography-and-recovery

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EP241 Slow and Steady wins the race-2020-12-30
[00:00:00] So not long ago, I had a client sitting in front of me and he was telling me about a time where he was being interviewed by an ecclesiastical leader, a leader from his church. And the leader is a good man. I know him. I like him. I like him a lot. And my client asked me if it was bad of him to feel some feelings, maybe some frustration or annoyance when their leader continually told them that they needed to slow down, kind of slow things down, that life wasn’t a sprint, it was a marathon. And so I appreciated the analogy, but I knew that this person was actually more of a sprinter and in life, so to speak, and that they’re not wanting to train for a marathon wasn’t because they didn’t want help or want to do all that they could do to help them overcome the struggles and challenges that they were in that office to overcome. But some of us are sprinters and some of us are marathon runners. And then there are those of us who find out that we do better at even longer distances. I you know, I remember my first one hundred mile race. I was prepared to fall apart, so much so that I took it easy all day and all night. I splashed around in creeks and streams. I was told I would be overheated throughout the day. I took extra time at aid stations and relish the moment because I was just waiting for this, this time to fall apart.

[00:01:14] When night hit, I think I passed over 50 to 60 runners as I still just kind of felt fine. I felt strong and I finished strong some twenty five hours later, but relatively in good shape. And the first time that I took to my local high school track to raise money for schools, you know, I consulted with somebody that who had done a similar 24 hour run the previous year to raise money. And he told me about the dark recesses that he had to enter from 1:00 a.m. to five a.m. and he wanted everybody off the track, nobody to talk to him. He had to go into what he called this pain cave and discover what he was all about. And he said it was dark and and I was preparing myself for this pain cave. But instead, I found myself with about a dozen of my ultra running friends from one to five am running the track while my kids and their friends played kickball in the field inside the track. And others are set up in tents and just waiting for the morning sunrise. It was glorious. It was amazing. So my point being there, sprinter’s there are marathon runners and there are those who thrive and even longer distances, which led me to the purchase of a shirt long ago that said slow and steady wins the race except in a real race. And I loved it. And I’ve thought of it often, especially in situations like the one with the person sitting down in front of me that day.

[00:02:29] We can look at something as simple as running, moving our legs back and forth and see ourselves as 5k distance runners. Maybe we stop at a half marathon, maybe we run one marathon and we’re done. Or maybe we chase the Boston qualifying time over the course of several marathons and then move on to longer distances. Maybe our goal is to win. Maybe it’s just to experience the event, to take it all in. So it makes sense when somebody well-meaning, bless their heart, says, you know, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. But perhaps the better comment would be to first ask, hey, do you feel like you’re more of a sprinter? Are you a distance person? And this led me to some thoughts on analogies and storytelling in general that I have thought of for so long that when used properly, they can be incredibly helpful tools in making one’s point. But when used to kind of break down somebody else’s reality, they can immediately put the receiver of the story or the analogy on the defensive. And I call those reactants. So today we’re going to talk about how to use these incredible tools, storytelling analogies, more effectively. And it’s the end of the year. Sure. We’re probably going to talk for a quick minute about resolutions, the better way to do them. And that and so much more is coming up on today’s episode of The Virtual Couch.

[00:03:46] Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 241 of the virtual couch, I am your host, Tony Overbay. Welcome to the last episode of the year. And I’m going to resist the urge to make a 2020 comment, joke, inspiring remark. But let me just suggest that you go back and listen to my last episode. Yes, the title sounds like a giant cliche. It’s I see you twenty twenty one. Are you ready to thrive or simply survive? I released it a couple of days before Christmas, which may not have been the best time to release an episode that I am honest to goodness, very passionate about, because according to the daily podcast News that I get my inbox every four AM downloads and all podcasting pretty big dip the week before Christmas, actually through a couple of days after the New Year. But I put some things out there about how we bring some good old childhood abandonment issues into our current relationships.

[00:04:35] And let me tell you, we all do it. It’s inevitable, but it has struck a chord with many as my therapy sessions over the last couple of days. And the emails coming in are letting me know that in this case of understanding why it can be so hard to show up authentically, to be yourself in relationships, that this can be one of those things where just some good old awareness truly can lead to some fairly immediate change. So please go check out last week’s episode if you haven’t done so already. And I’m also resisting the urge to do a straight up resolutions podcast. Now, if you’re interested in one, I’ll link last year’s show in the show notes because I shared some things last year for me at least, were huge when it came to resolutions, primarily in setting resolutions that truly aren’t in line with things that you believe in. And I think that that is a big piece of the puzzle that leads to I think I have some data on last year’s episode where people stick to a resolution somewhere between 7 to 12 days or that sort of thing. So let me just share one example of what this looks like. So let’s say if you set a goal to read 12 books in the next year. So I feel fairly confident in saying that while that is a fantastic goal and that there will be people who will nail that goal because of its specificity, specificity, because at the end I can edit that out. The overwhelming majority of people would not succeed in that goal because of life that things get in the way.

[00:05:58] And so even a goal that sounds that great, sounds specific, sounds achievable, that it can eventually lead one to not only feel a sense of failure for not accomplishing that goal, but then the old shame, guilt and shame has an opportunity to swoop in and remind you that you can’t even keep a resolution of something that you like to do. That reading is good. What’s wrong with you? You’ve tried this in the past. You failed, and therefore you must be a big hunk of garbage or something to that effect. And none of that is helpful, by the way, at all. Again, I often talk when I’m dealing with people that are struggling with, you know, trying to put pornography behind them as a coping mechanism or people that are struggling with impulsive or compulsive behaviors that I think I’m 0 for fifteen hundred and helping individual people where shame has been a component of success, it doesn’t work at all. As a matter of fact, if it did work, we would all be masters at all kinds of things, because you we keep feeling like we need to beat ourselves up a little bit. Or do we understand how serious this problem is when in reality, you bet, we understand how serious the problem is if we’re trying to move past a problem. And again, shame is not not getting us anywhere. So, again, none of that’s helpful, by the way. But if you set a resolution based on a value that is important to you, now we’re talking now we have something that we can work with.

[00:07:09] And if you identify, let’s say, with this example of books, if you identify a value of knowledge or value of learning, for example, and remember, values are a sense of being or doing so, being a kind person or doing things that will gain the knowledge. So if one of your core values is knowledge, then reading is a way to accomplish that value. So I would recommend setting a goal of reading daily. So this goes a bit against some of the mainstream information you hear about goal setting, that you’re supposed to be specific, things like that, but acting on a value, so a value of knowledge through the vehicle of reading. Well, here’s what that looks like. So degli, you try to read something that will bring you knowledge, even if that reading is five minutes a day. Now, you have accomplished that Value-Based Goal. Now your brain, bless its little pink squishy heart, will say things like, yeah, you only read five minutes to which you can thank your brain, it means well, but you’re not even arguing whether or not that is a true or false statement. You bet. I read five minutes. OK, now on with that acceptance. You’ve in essence, diffused that story that your brain’s trying to hook you to, because if it can hook you to the old, you only read five minutes. That’s not a big deal or that’s not enough story. Then you get to beat yourself up and you can feel bad about yourself. And you longer have to keep heading down this unknown path of simply reading daily for knowledge, because there’s this fear that with acceptance that if we accept that I only read five minutes or that I’m not setting a specific goal, that then I’ll only read five minutes all the time or I won’t even read at all or won’t even really matter.

[00:08:39] But when in reality, with that acceptance now we’re not even arguing. Five minutes, ten minutes. And I promise you. At some point with that acceptance that sure, you may only be five minutes one day, but then some days you might read 10 minutes and eventually you find yourself reading for 15 minutes one day or 30 the next, and then life happens and you go back to reading for five minutes one day because again, something comes up. And again, what you are doing is learning is really is changing up the familiar pattern of fuzing to those negative stories that our brains are trying to hook us to again and again. Because if your brain can hook you to that old story that you’re not doing enough, it’s only five minutes. You blew it. You didn’t keep your goal. You didn’t continue to do it on a daily basis. Then here comes Shame. Here comes guilt. You can go back to the old path of least resistance. The old standby, the old beat yourself up and try again next week or next month or next year. You’ll kick that can down the road. But if you set resolutions based on these values that you have, you will make progress. It won’t be perfect, but you will make progress because eventually you create some nice new neural pathways that doing a little bit is is better than nothing. And the more you do a little bit and accept that some days you’ll do more than others, then slowly but surely those new neural pathways become one where you’re more apt to succeed or make progress or learn something new and you gently disengage from that negative self talk, the negative stories that your brain’s trying to hook you to.

[00:09:59] So give it a whirl. On January 1st, I think I will be at two years of practicing my Value-Based Goal, a key resolution of fitness to which the vehicle in my office is push ups because I see a lot of clients. I spend a lot of time my office. I love to get up early and run or do my peloton or that sort of thing, but I’m in my office a lot. And so my Value-Based Goal of fitness was taking a beating. So the vehicle push ups and I no longer and I chased years. I would go after this New Year’s resolution of doing a hundred push ups a day. And I would get apps and I would look at websites and I would do all kinds of things, but eventually life would get in the way. So now, again, Value-Based Goal of Fitness Vehicle is push ups. I try to do them between a recession. Some days I do one set of twenty five or whatever, but most days I now do several sets, usually a couple of hundred, which is more than the one hundred some days. Again, I might not even do any, but for the most part I’m doing some.

[00:10:56] And over time I feel like my brain is now shifted to find New Year push ups. So value based goals work long term. But anyway, today’s episode is about the use of analogies. So let me tell you the origin story of this episode. But actually before I do, and I really will make this so quick today, today’s episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.com. So yes, 2020 may finally be in our rearview mirror rearview mirrors, but for so many people there is a lot of catching up to do and a lot of processing necessary and a lot of motivation needed. And so you owe it to yourself or you or your family and your pets, your future spouse, future children, future you, whatever you need to do to tap into to get help, do what over a million people have done already. Is that Betterhelp.com virtual couch and you will get ten percent off your first month service. Just answer a few questions and you will find a therapist that fits your needs and preferences whether you are looking for help in dealing with depression or anxiety, relationships, trauma, grief, OCD, you name it. With Betterhelp.com counselors, you get the same professionalism and quality you would expect from an office counselor. But without having to wait in a waiting room and with the ability to communicate when and how you want, again, that is Betterhelp.com/virtualcouch and you will get ten percent off your first month’s service.

[00:12:11] So let’s get back to today’s origin story of this episode. And in super quick, you might have noticed I didn’t go into my traditional spiel at the beginning of this episode, but I am still a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified mine. I have a coaching writer and speaker and husband father for all that good stuff. And let me just briefly ask you to head to TonyOverbay.com, because from there you can find me on Instagram and please follow or the YouTube channel, please subscribe or you take my free parenting course or sign up to find out more about my upcoming magnetic marriage course, which is coming in February. And you can also find a link to my pornography recovery course, the path back. Or go to Pathbackrecovery.com and you can download a short ebook there that talks about five myths that people fall prey to when trying to overcome pornography, turning to pornography as a coping mechanism once and for all. And I’m still having people here in my podcast episodes on my show that when I’ve been interviewed on other shows where I mentioned that I have a private group for women who believe that they may be in relationships with men who suffer from narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder.

[00:13:11] And so if you feel that might be the case or you’ve heard me talk about that group just shoot me an email through my website, if you’d like more information, that group is continuing to grow. And there’s really amazing things happening within that group. And one more thing. So this one’s fun. This one is a lot of fun and I am getting nothing from this. Yes. My book, he’s a porn addict now what, an expert and former addict answer your questions has been on the bestseller list in the Sexual Health and Recovery for a long time. This very virtual couch podcast you’re listening to is has since won an award or two and there are a few million downloads and programs are out there. Programs are coming in, books being written, and I’m incredibly blessed to have taken this leap 10 years ago and from a career that into one now that I’m passionate about.

[00:13:53] But you know how I know that I have finally made it. I have a cookie, a real triple chocolate chip cookie. The fine folks at a local amazing bakery called the Alchemy Bakehouse presented me a couple of days ago with the virtual couch cookie. So go to my Instagram @virtual couch. And what I’ll do is I will ask my wonderful social media manager, Crystal, if she can put up a picture along with this episode. So it’ll be the picture of the episode with the title, that sort of thing. But maybe if you swipe over the picture of what the virtual couch cookie actually looks like, it’s amazing. I get nothing by telling you this, but it was so incredibly cool. The cookies are so rich. I darn near couldn’t finish my fourth one. That was a joke. But I did heat up one in the microwave. I used to forget, barely finished one, but it was heavenly again. I have no coupon codes. I make nothing from it. But holy cow, I’ve got a virtual cash cookie so I’ll throw a link in the show. Notes to the Alchemy Bakehouse. So here’s where today’s episode started. I am going to own something big time, something that I watched develop over the years. The more I started doing couples therapy. I am not a fan of analogies and let me just say why up front and then we kind of break this down. So I started noticing early on that people were using analogies and I truly feel like they mean well, but they would use analogies to try and make their point.

[00:15:07] But the point that I feel like would often be made or that people were typically trying to make was to try to get their spouse, to see their spouses error and thinking or the air and their spouses way. And let me go big on this one right out of the gate as well. And this is a very real example. And if you’ve been a couple in my office and you have used this example or something similar, please know that this is not inspired by you specifically because this is one that honestly is brought up so often. I mean a lot. So in this particular scenario, the husband may have the love language of words of affirmation and physical touch, and the wife perhaps acts of service and quality time. And this is the exact dynamic that I shared with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-fife. And I recently recently in my interview with her, where it may feel like one person is trying harder in the relationship. So here’s the way again. It typically plays out. The husband may say something and he may say that, hey, if we’re laying in bed or we’re both tired and you ask me for a glass of and you can fill in the blank, I’ve heard water, lemonade, your favorite soda, milk, etc.. And so the guy will say, and I want to serve you and I want to do things for you.

[00:16:12] So I go get you that glass of water and then the guy will say, So I feel like when I ask you if we can be intimate and you say no because you’re tired or the kids have been pouring over you all day or you’re just not feeling it, any of those things that he will often say, you know, I feel like I did something for you because I care about you. So I feel like by you not having sex with me, then you must not care for me. So I would love for you, to be honest, even as you’re hearing this to check in with yourself right now and see where you land. Have you ever said this? Do you feel this way? Do you have empathy for the husband or do you have empathy for the wife? You come up with your own analogy, and I feel like the above scenario has led to so many conversations on my couch. So here’s just what comes to mind when the wife says, OK, I hear you, but I feel like we’re talking apples and oranges. If you give me a drink of water, I don’t typically ask you if that water was good and if it was good, would I want a glass maybe a little more often or would I want another glass. And don’t worry.

[00:17:08] You know, you can always tell me that you don’t want water tonight. But I might remind you that it’s been a week since you asked me to get you water. And I’m willing to get you water again anytime you want, because I want you to be happy, which typically leads to the guy saying, no, no, no, that’s not what I mean. And then we’re off on a bit of a tangent or another path where I truly believe that getting more analogies may start to come. And I do find that sometimes the couples therapy in the past, it’s devolved into one analogy after another. And I remember before I was really well versed in a couples modality, the E.F.T. emotionally focused therapy model, that sometimes I would sit back and even think that’s a good point. I mean, he’s got a good point. She makes a very good point as well. But but I really realized that what the person’s really trying to do is just be heard. And I really feel like my first pillar of a connected conversation can definitely be invoked in this scenario. Both husband and wife mean well, they mean good intentions when they start with an analogy. But I also view analogies in this setting is what I’ve been calling reactance hooks a completely made that one up reactance hook’s. Remember, reactance is the instant negative reaction you have when you’re being told what to do. And I find that a reactance hook is something that one partner says that then causes their spouse to suddenly find themselves not fully present, not fully engaged, but already thinking of their rebuttal or their own analogy.

[00:18:28] So it’s when a wife says, you never listen to me. The husband doesn’t typically lean in and say, man, tell me more, help me see my blindspots. They typically start thinking of times when they were listening, literally, you know, I hear things like, well, yes, me sitting there listening to you go on and on about how mad you were at your sister. I guess that doesn’t count as listening. So, again, now we’re not talking about the wife’s primary emotion, let’s say feeling lonely or abandonment. So where does that leave us when it comes to an analogy or storytelling? I told a story at the beginning of this podcast about running in hopes that you would see the analogy that someone often uses may not particularly apply to that person. So when someone sits across from you and says, hey, slow down, life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And you realize that doesn’t that doesn’t really fit with my values. Or I am more of a sprinter or I mean, I literally long ago had somebody say, but aren’t there fast marathon runners? And then the person that was giving them the analogy said, well, yeah, but wait, do you think that you are a fast marathon runner? I mean, you know how much those guys train? And this person told me, OK, then I realized I should have even said anything.

[00:19:38] So again, where does that leave us with analogy or storytelling? I feel like they have incredible, tremendous value. The power of a story is amazing. And my buddy Preston Pugmeier, who helped me create the magnetic marriage course, has taught me much in the way of storytelling. We’ve had many, many conversations about even within a course of when to plug in a good story to illustrate a point so they may help people who may not truly feel comfortable sharing their feelings to share an analogy or a story to get their point across. But I believe in analogy and a story needs to tell how you are feeling, not trying to convince your spouse that they’re wrong or not trying to convince your kid that they don’t understand what it was like when you were a kid and walking uphill both ways in the snow, on broken glass. But this needs to be a story as an analogy to be about something you want to convey about your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions, not trying to convince someone that they are wrong. So let me take a step back and let’s even define what an analogy is to begin with. I found a few different definitions online. One that I really enjoyed was like any other literary sample device analogy is used to enhance the meaning of a composition.

[00:20:49] And it is also used in helping a reader in creating a visual image in their mind, as well as relationship goals and connections when they would read something difficult or sensitive by comparing one thing to the other. So I really like that. And this reminded me that as a visual learner myself, I really do enjoy a good story or an analogy when it is not full of reactance hooks, when it’s not telling me that I don’t understand and this is how something is. But in essence, when someone is saying, here’s the here’s how I’m feeling, or here’s the difficulty I have with something, it’s like this. So analogy also brings life and color to monotonous direct statements and overly simplified explanations. And and so an analogy is when you you compare two completely different ideas or things or use it similarities to give an explanation of things that are hard to understand or maybe even are too sensitive. And in this article that I’m quoting that they say the purpose of an analogy, I mean, the use and purpose of analogies may baffle any reader at first, but once they would realize how analogies can help writers and I’ll add speakers, and making difficult and sensitive topics are things understandable. Analogies might be used frequently. So note that there is no mention in here about the purpose of analogy is to make someone feel like they are wrong.

[00:22:07] So and then the article has some reference to analogy versus simile and metaphor. So I think that’s kind of interesting. More often than not, an analogy is sometimes mistaken with other figures of speech examples, namely simile and metaphor, because these are also used to seek relationships between concepts and things. So that says before comparing the three of those to find them first. So the figure of speech, the simile compares to objects that use comparison, words such as like and as where the whole metaphor would compare to objects with the use of comparison words. So simple example might be her hair is as dark as the night. And an example of a metaphor is her hair is the night. So let me give you an example of a well used analogy and then how that can be weaponized versus how it could be used more effectively. So the analogy is, just as a caterpillar comes out of its cocoon, so must we come out of our comfort zone. And I hear multiple variations of this between couples often. So we all know what happens to a caterpillar when the time comes that they would be going out of their cocoons. They become a beautiful butterfly. So the phenomenon is similar to that of maybe a person that is going out of his or her comfort zone. Their comfort zone, if it is called a comfort zone, can be similar to that of a cocoon because it limits the person to become more beautiful than he or she was before.

[00:23:29] So used appropriately, one might say that they feel like things to all of the self-help work that they’ve been doing, the podcast they’ve been listening to, perhaps meeting with their therapist, those types of things that they feel like they’re beginning to feel like they are a caterpillar who is beginning to come out of a Cocoon. So if your partner is telling you that that they feel like that is what is happening, you will be more apt to listen and say, oh, wow, tell me more. What are the things that that have helped you come out of that cocoon? What does that feel like? How long have you been in that cocoon. Now used inappropriatel, One might say that they feel like thanks to all of the self-help work that they have been doing, that they’re coming out of a cocoon, but that they feel like their spouse is still wound up tightly in their own cocoon, afraid to come out of their comfort zone, not knowing that if they feel like they can, you know, just do what their their spouse tells them and read more self-help books and do more with their their self care, that then they, too, can come out of this cocoon. So I feel like that one typically isn’t going to land the one where they’re saying, I’ve done this, I feel like you aren’t doing this, that the person being told that they aren’t coming out of their comfort zone now has a reactance hook or two or three to attack, they may say.

[00:24:39] And these are real examples. Well, I feel like if you are just far out of your cocoon, I feel like you aren’t as far out of your cocoon as you think you are or I feel like you just traded one cocoon for another or. OK, well, you actually have no idea. But I am doing my own work, but I don’t tell you about it because I feel like you’ll either be overly dramatic about it. I mean, as a matter of fact, this is a true story. Long ago I had a couple where the husband devoured self-help books and the wife didn’t want anything to do with them, not because she wasn’t interested, but she said that if she even uttered a word about reading one of one, that the husband would would want her to read that then he would want to spend hours and hours talking about it. And she would eventually be told that her take on it maybe wasn’t actually correct because he was the one who reads more self-help books. And then she would be asked what other self-help books would she be willing to read? And that pattern would repeat to the point where she had such deep reactions to being told to read self-help books that she just didn’t want to have anything to do with them.

[00:25:31] But it wasn’t that she didn’t want self-help. She didn’t want to help herself. So I feel like another way that this could be a productive conversation would be if the husband shared his thoughts. And staying in the world of I feel not you need to understand are you don’t even understand those type of things bring on psychological reactions. But if he shares his experience of coming out of a cocoon and then asking his wife her thoughts if she’s noticed anything different or what her thoughts were on whether or not she felt like that analogy even applied to her at all in being completely prepared if she says no. But I appreciate you sharing that with me, because, again, why I go big on my four pillars of a connected conversation. And please, please go back a couple of weeks ago and find that episode. I’ll I’ll spare you all the details. But here here are the four pillars again. Number one, we’re in this thing together. We’re on the same team. We need to assume good intentions that no one wakes up in the morning and thinks, how can I hurt my spouse today? So if your spouse is withdrawn and they didn’t think, I’ll show him I’ll withdrawal later in the afternoon, or if she’s angry, don’t disappear. Try and jump into empathy mode. If she’s angry or frustrated, that’s not how she woke up or she didn’t wake up thinking, OK, at 1:00 PM. Then when he says something about a cocoon, I will attack. So assuming good intentions no to you, you can’t say or put off that vibe of I don’t believe you are straight up say, I don’t want to buy that or I don’t believe you. I think that you’re wrong because if somebody shares something, I’m frustrated because I don’t feel like you even know me.

[00:27:06] Pillar one, assume good intentions. Pillar two. I can’t just say, well, you’re wrong. I know you. We’ve been through this conversation a million times because now the conversation will devolve, even if you feel like you have been to I know my spouse school and you’ve studied tapes and film and you know everything about them more than they go that far. But if they are saying, I feel like you don’t know me, this is an opportunity to say thank you for sharing. I’m going to assume good intentions. Tell me more. Help me see my blind spots. What’s led you to feel like you think that I don’t know you. And Pillar two, even if I feel like I get an A’s on a test on knowing my spouse, there’s a reason why they shared that. Which leads to pillar three, please. Questions for comments. Tell me more. Don’t lead with. Well, I think you’re being ridiculous as America don’t even know me. But OK, go ahead. Tell me what I’m missing. Does that lead to open conversation? Just going to want to open up to you when you commented before asking questions, question before the comment, you’ll learn something new and then the fourth pillar stay in, lean into the conversation. Sure. It’s going to be hard or difficult. You’re going to hear things that will make you feel uncomfortable. But it is OK to have a little bit of discomfort in a relationship, because in the long run, that discomfort, that traction, that that wind against the tree in the forest will build strength in the roots.

[00:28:24] So this is where truly the magic can happen. Do not go into victim mode after hearing your spouse share something difficult. Do not say, OK, you’re right, I’m a crappy husband. I don’t know you because I have no idea who you are and I never have. And I don’t even know why you’re married to me. Do not go into victimhood because what you’re doing now, you’ve made it about you and now your wife will most likely say, no, I’m not saying that, you know, you’re a good husband and you’re a good father, I appreciate all you do, just just forget it. I’m sorry I brought it up because that will continue to happen. Someone will then feel like I can’t bring things up because I know how this is going to end. I know that he’s going to react negatively. I know he’s going to tell me I’m wrong. I know he’s going to let me know how he feels, probably not even ask me questions and then go into victim mode. So it’s just not worth it. And then 15, 20 years down the road, I get people that come into my office and the husband saying, I don’t know where this came from. And the wife says, I was I’ve been trying to tell you things for years, but I just know it’s just you’re going to tell me I’m wrong. You can tell me I’m overreacting.

[00:29:20] You’re in. Tell me, do you know how this affects me and it’s just not worth it. So I just I just hope that the days go by and things will hopefully get better, but they don’t over time. So, man, if your conversation breaks down, I feel like then you I mean, this is that where you need to commit to all four pillars if the conversation goes south, breaks down, take a look at which one of these or which ones of these you broke or violated. This isn’t a well, I think you broke pillar number two. I mean, start with the man I realize I broke pillar three. I just I just emotionally vomited on you. And then I said, now how do you feel? So once you’re done being the speaker, your spouse, the listener, now it’s its turn. It’s its turn the tables, it’s your turn to speak. And you listen in the same four pillars apply. What happens is that you not only break down, you don’t break down during the conversation. You don’t run off your bunker’s hurling insults and trying to find a better analogy to prove your point. You actually feel heard and and you heard your spouse, which leads to you walking away from a conversation, thinking about what your spouse said, not what you should have said or what you’ll say next time to prove your point or the better analogy. Next time I’ll let them know that this is how I feel.

[00:30:34] It’s like they did this to me. Remember that the goal, the connected conversation is to be heard. It is not to resolve the conversation. That can be difficult. The resolution comes in hearing your spouse and being heard. This is what my magnetic marriage course is based on. Yes, I just made it sound easy, but I understand it’s difficult or else this is how people would talk on a daily basis. But in the course we have a lot more to add. Landmine statements, transparency statements, sympathetic statements, the importance of trying this with lesser charge topics before moving on to the higher charged topics like sex and finances and parenting and religion. Anyway, I did not mean for that to be a magnetic marriage course ad, but it works. OK, so I have been trying to keep these short and sweet, so hopefully you can see where I was heading with regard to analogies and storytelling. The one in the title is again from the shirt I bought years ago. I loved it. Slow and steady wins the race except in a real race. I run many, many ultramarathons that are races over the distance of twenty six point two miles, including 50K’S and fifty million one hundred KS, which are sixty two miles. And I’ve done a number of hundred mile races in twenty four hour time difference where I’ve covered a hundred and twenty five miles. And while slow and steady can get me to the finish line, it didn’t necessarily mean that I won a race.

[00:31:47] I haven’t, I never have. I think a place top twenty in the Lake Tahoe, one hundred miler, one year peak physical condition and that felt incredible. But I digress. I hope that you’ll take a look at whether or not you use analogy or story to share your point and not to try and disprove your spouse’s point of view. I love the quote by an author named Murakami. He says, Always remember that to argue and win is to break down the reality of the person that you’re arguing against. It is painful to lose your reality, so be kind. Even if you are right. The goal is not to be right, but to be heard right is more often not right is subjective and it can be very subjective. Your right. Maybe completely different than your spouse’s right. I know that there are some some truths. I know there’s debate around even absolute truth. But for the most part. Right, the concept of right is subjective. Real quick, I was once sitting in a Sunday school lesson. Someone said that their wife should have known something because it was common sense. And I will never forget a wise man in the room who I am very good friends with said when I was in the military, I was stationed in Africa and I was following a mother and her sweet young son in a market one morning. They were beautiful. The day was beautiful.

[00:32:57] They were so innocent. So when all of a sudden the young son sneezed, the sneeze for the ages, snot flew, both nostrils were now pouring mucus and the mother patted. The little boy’s head said something I can only imagine was the equivalent to bless you. And then she proceeded to bend down and just suck hard on his nose, no doubt clearing his sinuses like they have never been cleared before. And then she spit the contents on the side of the road and they moved on as if nothing had happened.

[00:33:26] And this man said at first I was aguest, but then I realized this is what they did in those parts made common sense.

[00:33:34] And if she and I love this guy was a little bit old school to get a handkerchief, he said if she would have seen me as a young father pull out a rag from my pocket. Have the boy blow into the rag and then place the rag back in my pocket, no doubt she would have been puzzled where to me that was common sense. So common sense and much of the truth is truly subjective. We all have our own experiences in life, as does our spouse, as does our team, as does our boss.

[00:34:02] And we all want to be heard to understand and to matter. And I believe we spend far too much time trying to discount, dispell or disprove those around us, those people in our lives who just want to matter, who simply want to be heard. So don’t use the incredible power of story or of analogies as a weapon. Use them to share your thoughts on how somebody may understand your situation better, but not as a way to break down the reality of another. So thank you so much for listening throughout. This is a difficult year. As I mentioned earlier, I think when I was trying to talk about the virtual couch cookie, well over three million downloads and growing the podcast has continued to be something I never anticipated that it would be. And I am so grateful for each one of you who subscribes.

[00:34:49] I am so grateful when you’re able to take a second and maybe rate or review the podcast. And I can’t even tell you how much it means when you share with a friend or on social media. So please feel free to keep doing so and send me messages and the podcast topics. I really appreciate the emails you send. I get a lot I know I don’t always have a chance to respond, but I read every one and I am grateful for you sending your thoughts, your suggestions, your your hopes, your dreams, your frustrations. And I hope that you’ll continue to do so. And I will see you next year. Until then, happy New Year to you and yours. 2021,

[00:35:24] I see you and it truly is time to thrive, not simply to survive. I’ll see you next time

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