Why Opposites Don’t Attract PLUS Tony’s New Parenting Course is Part of Nate Bagley’s Relationship Mastery Pack!

Tony shares why opposites don’t attract in the long run and why ultimately we like people who are more similar to us. PLUS Nate Bagley, relationship researcher and host of the Growth Marriage podcast, comes on to talk about his incredible Relationship Mastery Pack https://www.epicmarriageclub.com/a/2147499720/h3Cn8yaE Get thousands of dollars in relationship tools for one special Black Friday price featuring Tony’s brand new parenting course: 3 Keys to Positive Parenting – Bring the Positivity without Messing Up Your Kids Even if You’re Not Sure Where to Start! Go to https://www.epicmarriageclub.com/a/2147499720/h3Cn8yaE to sign up for thousands of dollars worth of relationship tools for less than the cost of one therapy session.

In today’s episode, Tony refers to the article “Do Opposites Really Attract?” by Clifford Lazarus Ph.D. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-well/201907/do-opposites-really-attract and “Why Do We Like People Who Are Similar to Us?” by Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/close-encounters/201812/why-do-we-people-who-are-similar-us

With the continuing “sheltering” rules spreading across the country, PLEASE do not think 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 mental health a priority, http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.

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 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

———————–TRANSCRIPT ————————–

[00:00:01] Here is a law that you may not be aware of in the state of California, only the person who is on the registration of a car can have a new key made for said car if you have lost all of your keys. So it was with that new information that I found myself barreling down Interstate five this past Friday night on my way to Southern California to spend some time with one of my daughters. And it was on this trip that my daughter and I, while sharing some wonderful fruit and waffles at a quaint Long Beach breakfast restaurant, were waiting for the locksmith to arrive. And while we were waiting for the locksmith to arrive, we were contemplating life and friendships and how complicated the wonderful and frustrating that relationships could be in general. What I’m going to go into detail today is on why relationships can be so complicated and what is it that we don’t know that would surely help us with determining not only our potential love relationships, but our our friendships in general. We’re going to talk about that and so much more coming up on today’s episode of the virtual couch.

[00:01:02] The. Come on in. Take a seat.

[00:01:19] Hey, everybody, welcome to episode 295 of the virtual couch. I will be up front with you before we get to the heart of today’s episode. I am going to digress. I’m going to bring on a friend of mine and I would say friend of the podcast. He is a marriage researcher. His name is Nate Bagley. Because Nate reached out to me with a pretty incredible deal a couple of weeks ago, and it is. It is something that I can’t pass up of making you aware of. So without any further ado, let me interrupt this episode with a quick interview of Nate Bagley and we’re recording. There’s no countdown. Nate Bagley, how are you doing?

[00:01:54] Great. How are you, Tony?

[00:01:55] Good. It’s good to see you again. I we’ve only talked to each other for real two or three times, but yet I feel like such a connection, and I like to think of myself as a very energetic person. I feel like you’ve got me beat hands down and

[00:02:07] Oh, I don’t know, man, we’re

[00:02:09] Texting each other yesterday, and all of a sudden I want to create ten more courses. I want to solve all the problems, and then I just because within just a couple of texts, all of a sudden I’ve got somebody on the I’ve got my web guy on the line and we’re going to change the world. So I don’t know how you do it. Is that like your superpower just making things happen?

[00:02:27] I do like to make things happen that that’s a pretty good explanation of my superpower.

[00:02:32] Yeah, OK. I enjoy it. It’s contagious and I love you, Tony. Got it. Yeah, I just in context, I was flying into Utah a couple of weeks ago, and I think I just texted you or maybe just said, Hey, you’re because you weren’t. You’re not in Utah anymore. We’ll talk about that. But I was going to speak, and I just said something about always trade messages with Kurt Franklin and we were talking about you. And so then you just said, I think, or no, did you reach out to me now? I feel like I don’t

[00:02:56] Know, right? We ended up talking somehow.

[00:02:58] We did. And Nate said, Hey, do you want to be a part of a Black Friday sale? And I just thought I didn’t know that these were things for people that create courses and stuff. So I was all in because of Nate’s doing it. It’s going to be big. And so. What is your what is your Black Friday sale? How did this idea originate and what are we doing? What are we doing on Black Friday?

[00:03:16] Yeah, I just know whenever you’re in a relationship with anybody, whether it’s with your partner or with your kids, or with your parents or your siblings, your friends, coworkers, you eventually going to run into a hiccup, a problem, a speed bump. There’s going to be something that that challenges your relationship and maybe gets in the way of you having the connection that you want. And if you ignore those problems, nothing really gets better and the bad things typically get worse. And so I’ve been thinking about what are some ways that I could help more people get access to the solutions that they need access to. And I was like, Come on, man, you know, so many Nate knows so many experts like Tony and other amazing therapists and thought leaders in the relationship space. And I thought, why don’t we all come together for one weekend black over Black Friday to Cyber Monday and contribute a course or a product or a resource that could help people solve their relationship problems and then sell it all together? That huge package of like a collaborative bundle for one insanely low price. And we I talked about it with people like you and everybody seemed to be on board. They were excited about this idea of coming together to create what we’re calling it, the Relationship Mastery PAC. And it’s just a whole bunch of incredible resources that you can get for the price of what you would typically pay for one resource. And so that’s what I’m excited about is we’ve got people who are coming in to help you break generational bonds that we’ve got people coming in that will help you break generational cycles. We’ve got people, we’ve got experts talking about perfectionism and co-dependence. You’re talking about parenting. We’ve got rebuilding trust. We’ve got so many different topics that are being covered that will help people in all aspects of their life.

[00:05:05] And so this is what’s funny. If I go back to what your superpower is, when you said, do you want to be a part of it? And again, just being super honest and vulnerable and all those fun therapist’s words, I felt like if I don’t do this, I’m missing out because Nate is going to find a lot of people and I really like talking about parenting and I’ve got this new course. And so I thought, this is absolutely perfect. And then I love how you’re saying and I know it’s going to sound sales pitch to my audience, but it’s insanely cheap. And when you even shared that I even thought again, it’s well, Nate’s doing it. So this must make sense when you have, there’s what, 10, 15 different courses that are part of this package. I’m on board. This is going to be really exciting. You’re talking about trust. What’s your course about? I feel like I still haven’t had you on my podcast to talk about things that you’re really passionate about. You know, yeah,

[00:05:50] When they will make that happen. Yeah, exactly. You know, I don’t think I understood trust when I first got married and I thought of, you know, if my partner was hurting then and I didn’t mean to hurt her, or maybe I had done something by accident or I didn’t have negative intentions, then why should I apologize? Maybe, maybe you should just be less sensitive. And then I realized talking to my wife, so my wife is a nurse and people in the medical profession, they take this Hippocratic Oath do no harm. And if you’re in if you’re a doctor and you’re in the room of a patient and that patient is suffering with some sort of disease or injury and you have the means to help them, you help them. And I’m like, Man, why is why don’t we treat our partner the same way in marriage? Why if we have the tools to heal them, to take away their pain? Why wouldn’t we do that? Why do we have to be prideful about that? So the product I’m offering is called the trust workshop. It’s a five day workshop where I walk people through the steps they need to take to heal the emotional, emotional wounds that they’ve inflicted on their partner throughout their relationship and recreate trust.

[00:06:54] I love it. I do. And I was going to make the joke of when you said, Hey, how about don’t be so sensitive? How does that go over? Never quite worked very poorly.

[00:07:02] It doesn’t never work. When you say

[00:07:03] Something doesn’t, it doesn’t end. And what I really appreciated with you was even just in the text where I was saying, I’m putting together this parenting course. You jumped right in and hit all the right questions and asked me, OK, what are you doing with parenting and what’s going to be different about it? And because I really feel I don’t know if this has been your experience, you have how many kids do you have? Just one, OK, one kid, were you and your wife? Did you talk a lot about before the birth of your child or did you just make assumptions that you had?

[00:07:27] There’s a lot of assumptions that we’re on the same page with stuff, and we’ve already bumped into little things

[00:07:33] Like what comes to mind? What are some of the biggest challenges you find?

[00:07:36] Ok. So our daughter just turned one, and this is probably one of the most tense. It’s not like a conflict, but it’s just a it’s a hard thing that we’re managing. So our daughter just turned one. We moved to Costa Rica and we wanted to give her swimming lessons before we got here so that she would be comfortable in the water. And maybe, heaven forbid, she fall into the pool or the ocean. She had some skills to at least like bob up and wouldn’t sink to the bottom and panic. So my wife put her in swimming lessons and it was really high anxiety for me to watch this little girl who doesn’t even didn’t even know how to walk yet get tossed into the pool and learn to swim. And there were moments where I like. I had severe pushback because I, my protective instincts were kicking in and I wanted to get my daughter out of the pool and maybe she wasn’t ready, and maybe we shouldn’t be practicing with her in this way. And my wife was a lot had a much higher tolerance for anxiety. It was like, No, it’s going to be fine. She’s going to be safe. And anyway, that was like a it was an emotional tension that we had to manage and it was something that was good for our daughter. But we there have been moments where we didn’t necessarily agree on how to make those swimming lessons happen.

[00:08:46] Yeah. So I love that and I’m curious, are you much of a swimmer yourself? Do you come from a, you

[00:08:51] Know, I’m not a very good swimmer.

[00:08:53] I am you. And it’s funny because I have Alison Carlson, who was my brother know my son in law’s sister. I’ve had her on my podcast and I watch her stories on Instagram. And they’re doing that where the babies float and they swim, and I can’t watch it. And so I didn’t know we would talk about this. But this is this gives me anxiety as well. Yeah, my my wife is saying, Man, I wish we had this when we were, when our kids were little, we would have, you know, thrown them all in the pool, and I feel like I don’t think we would have. But then I realized I can’t swim as an adult male. But I love that example because in the parenting course I’m putting together, I like having a parenting model or paradigm to work from. But I also feel like we don’t do enough of talking about what our experiences are that lead up to our ideas about parenting. And so your example is so good because if you had been born in the water, then this might be a completely different conversation.

[00:09:40] Yeah, yep.

[00:09:41] Yeah, totally. Rica picture everyone has a beachfront house. Is this true?

[00:09:46] Not everybody, but we. We live about a three minute walk from the beach, which is really nice.

[00:09:52] Ok, so how are you doing with your water and are you out there swimming in the ocean every day? Or is this give you anxiety?

[00:09:58] I feel like I should change my name to Bob, really, because I bob in the water. I just I go out to about shoulder level and catch the waves. Yeah, yeah.

[00:10:09] Hey, Nate, we are. So we are truly similar creatures

[00:10:12] There because I feel as long as my feet can touch the ground, I’m pretty. I’m pretty comfortable.

[00:10:15] Absolutely. Hey, can I ask you? And so first of all, before I even move on from that, so your relationship master pack, I’m going to have the link in my bio. I’m going to be talking about it every chance I can. It really is an insane amount of tools that you put together and people like myself that are just saying, if Nate’s a part of it, let’s do this. So the price is it’s crazy how low that is. Any other final thoughts on that of the

[00:10:39] I mean, the last thing I would say is Black Friday is typically the day that people spend on things. And I just think that it would be great this year if we all decided we were going to invest in our relationships in ourselves. And I don’t think there’s any greater investment. I don’t think there’s any greater way to spend your money, and I don’t think there’s any way that I’ve seen where you can get more bang for your buck than this thing. That’s ultimately what I wanted people to do is see Black Friday as an opportunity to invest in what matters and not just in Christmas presents and little deals that they see online for the flat screen TV or whatever. That stuff’s fine and great, but nothing will make you happier than having an awesome relationship, and if we can help contribute to that. I think that’s a win for all of us involved.

[00:11:21] I love it and I love that. You had said earlier, too, that if people don’t do something about it, it’s not only does it not get better, but a lot of times it gets worse because we get to beat ourselves up about why have I not done something more about this? And in my world, we talk about experiential avoidance a lot, which is just that kicking the can down the road, it’ll all be better later when it’ll be better when the kids are older or when we get a better job, we make more money and then we get there and find out, Oh, that was not the case.

[00:11:45] Hey, our problems followed us.

[00:11:47] How about that? They did. They did, right? Ok, great transition. So follow the links in my I’ll have the links in the show notes. I’ll have it on my bio. All those wonderful things and I can’t wait. So if you got do you got a couple more minutes? Nate? Yeah, tell me about this move to Costa Rica. How long ago was this? Did you start thinking about this? What was that like to move to a completely different country? I want to hear it all.

[00:12:06] It’s been nuts, man. We yeah. So my wife was pregnant and a front line nurse during the whole COVID explosion a while back, and it really took a lot out of her. She was really, I think, emotionally and physically burned out. Postpartum has been it was really hard for her. And so get to this point where, you know, I’m running my own business, I’m trying to take care of our baby. When she’s at work, she’s exhausted, she’s tired, I’m exhausted, I’m tired. And we finally just had this honest conversation that, hey, things are not working the way I think we would like them to if we were to take an honest assessment of our relationship and our life right now. I don’t think that this is very sustainable. And she agreed and we said, Well, what can we change? And I I had a honest. I want to give major props to my wife for being mature enough to hear this in the way that I meant it. I told her, I think you’re giving the best of you to your work and our baby and I are getting what’s left. And she started crying and she’s like, I think you’re right. Wow. I think you’re right. I think I’m giving my energy and my time and my attention to solving all these issues and taking care of all these people at work and. And then I come home and I got nothing left and I just recover and then I go back to work again. And she’s like, That’s not the kind of mom I want to be.

[00:13:31] It’s not the kind of wife I want to be. And I said, Well, what do we need to change to help you feel better about that situation? And she said, Well, maybe I’ll quit my job and I said, Great, if you quit your job, we’re not tied to our to Utah where we lived. What do you want to do? And do you want to leave? Do you want to stay? And she’s like, What if we just explored some ideas? I say, great. We really enjoyed vacationing to Costa Rica a couple a couple months before that. And we both speak fluent Spanish. And so we just put some feelers out there to see if we could find a place to live. And within two weeks with barely trying, we found a place to live that was right by the beach. We had found our friends magically showed up on our doorstep, saying that they needed a place to live. They were getting kicked out of their house, their landlord was ending their contract. And we’re like, Do you want to live in our house? And it’s like all these, all these things were just falling magically into place and we decided, Hey, why not? We don’t have any reason not to take this risk and go on this adventure. And so in a span of about two to three months, we packed up all of our stuff, plane tickets and moved out of our place and flew down here. And now here we are.

[00:14:35] Wow. And it all started, and I so appreciate the love to have your wife and you’re one to talk about this at some point, but that those difficult conversations, I often say, were so afraid of contention that we avoid the tension altogether that

[00:14:48] Now I’m looking out my bedroom window at monkeys swinging in the trees. Literally.

[00:14:51] Ok. And I’m looking out at a parking lot and the field and a freeway.

[00:14:56] Yeah, but you live in, you live in California, so you got the sunshine in the nice weather.

[00:15:00] This is true, but no monkeys, though that’s got to be that’s a literal monkey snake.

[00:15:04] What was

[00:15:04] That? Literal monkeys?

[00:15:06] Little monkeys? Yeah, we wake up every morning. Howler monkeys. It’s OK. What do they do? 6:30 in the morning we hear. Oh, and I’m like, Oh, there’s the monkeys.

[00:15:17] Oh, so that that conversation did that take a lot of preparation for you to present that to your wife? That conversation?

[00:15:25] Honestly, it just came up laying in bed one night. She was just laying there kind of miserable and sad, and I always had no idea what to how to comfort her. And it just came to my mind like, Hey, let’s just. Are you OK to have an honest conversation? And she’s like, OK. And then we just started talking. It just happened.

[00:15:41] So no, I love it. I know we traded some texts at one point about I did an episode or a differentiation and just really talking about how we get away from that enmeshment and codependency, trying to be interdependent and differentiated. And I feel like when we can get to that place, we can look at any conversation more with this curiosity and not of condemnation or criticism or or that sort of thing. So do you feel like that was that moment where, hey, I’m having my experience and yeah, I want to hear hers?

[00:16:07] That’s exactly right. Yeah, I had just thought about it enough. Realize this isn’t this isn’t really working for me, at least for a short period of time, I can handle that type of stress and that that dynamic, but the stress is mounting. My wife’s mental, emotional and physical health was not great, and neither was mine. And I figured if we ignore it, like I said at the beginning of our talk, if I ignore it, nothing’s really going to change. But if I take some initiative and share how I’m feeling and get curious about how she’s feeling and where she’s at, maybe we can come to a solution. And then three months later, we’re on the beach getting a tan. So the solution,

[00:16:45] We’re looking at monkeys that worked. So I think what it’s saying is if you too want to be on the beach with a tan looking at monkeys start start to lean into these uncomfortable conversations.

[00:16:54] It’s more doable than you think it is.

[00:16:56] And that’s why we say it’s like it seems so scary. But there’s a person named Terrance McKenna, and he says that it’s like jumping out into the great abyss and realizing there’s a featherbed. And I think too often we’re just so afraid of that abyss and that that there will be nothing there.

[00:17:09] And I think the thing that keeps us from jumping is the safety of the plane. Yeah. You know, you live this life in this little compartment, and it’s the way that everybody else in that compartment is living their life and you’re attached to the way that you eat and the things that you own and the neighbors that you have and the routines that you enjoy. And we had to sacrifice all that. People are like, Oh, are you just rich? And you know, it’s like, No, we’re not rich at all. But we’re not. We’re not as attached to our possessions and our home and our neighborhood and our routines as other people typically are.

[00:17:46] So was that a process of becoming less attached to those things? Or do you feel like by nature the two of you are are more not about those?

[00:17:55] I think we’re a little more we. Well, I tend to be more adventurous and I think I put some pressure. Angelyne is amazing at saying yes to my crazy ideas. Wow. So I think I have that. Maybe that’s a little bit more innate in me, but also, I don’t know. I just I think in my early 20s, I decided that I didn’t want to live a boring life. Yeah, OK. And I took a couple risks to do some big projects, and it panned out great. And I was like, Wow, when you take risks like sometimes failure is the failure of taking the risk is even better than not taking the risk at all.

[00:18:35] I love that and I really feel like that is the case. And we so we want we want to just know that everything’s going to be comfortable and safe and I can understand that. But that’s still our good old childhood stuff we bring forth into into adulthood. No, I love that I do OK. I was wanting to just promote the thing, and now I want to interview you and your wife. So I’m going to leave it right that as a teaser. So I would maybe have you

[00:18:54] And we’d love to come back, Tony, anytime.

[00:18:55] Ok, let’s do it, and let’s talk about what that took to have that difficult conversation. And then I would love to have a shot of you with the monkeys. I think we got a lot to talk about. So thank you so much for the invitation to. Yeah.

[00:19:07] Thanks for. Thank you for the invitation. Yeah.

[00:19:10] And link in the bio. And again, I would love for people to take my parenting course, but there is so much more here. That’s incredible. And I was particularly drawn to your course on trust because that’s something that it would be just phenomenal for people to have, as well as all the other things as part of that. Nick Bagley, thanks for taking the time.

[00:19:26] My pleasure.

[00:19:27] Ok, well, we’ll see you soon. Ok, so honestly, go check out the link in the show notes and be prepared for me to share this link. Like nobody’s business. Because, as you can tell, and I could talk to Nate for days, what a nice guy. But as you can tell, the business or the lineup of experts that Nate is put together is phenomenal, and the topics cover all kinds of things that will help you in your relationship. And I can’t wait to dig deeper and have you go into your parenting and learn more about parenting and getting on the same page with your spouse and parenting. So let’s get back to today’s episode. So the main body of where we’re going to go today is from an article entitled Why Do We Like People Who Are Similar to US? By Gwendolyn Seidman, and she’s a Ph.D. from the articles from Psychology Today. But before I even get to that one, I found another article by Dr. Clifford Lazarus called Do Opposites Really Attract? Because I think that’s one of the first things that people ask me often is do, don’t, but don’t opposites attract, which I think is a wonderful question, and I do believe it’s one of those pop psychology myths that I often hear brought up in my office or in my marriage course, for example, magnetic marriage. We’re talking about polarity and we’re talking about building this. If you were just two completely similar people that then would things be a little bit more boring? And so I think that I have been one to send almost mixed messages myself.

[00:20:45] So I want to be able to lay in that plane today that we’re going to find out very quickly here that that opposites do not. In fact, they may attract out in science, but in relationships. You really do want to find some similarities. But then the similarities is where things may end in a sense, because we do want some similarities, but then we want to recognize that we do have our own unique experiences that we’re bringing into a relationship. So that’s really. The gist of where I want to go today, because I think it can be confusing that it’s exciting when we learn more about someone and we may feel like, OK, that person is my complete opposite, so I want to spend more time with them. And that might be an initial draw or euphoria or give you the nice little dopamine bump, but ultimately it helps to have some similarities with someone. But then what do we do with those similarities? Do we still feel like we have the tools to be able to speak our mind and still have our own experiences? So we’re going to cover that, but before I get there? This is from the article by Clifford Lazarus called Do Opposites Really Attract? He said it’s an incontrovertible fact that opposites attract. Then there’s a pause. And he said, if we’re talking about electromagnetic Valeant’s and charges such as those found in atoms and magnets.

[00:21:57] But in the macroscopic animate world of intimate relationships, nothing could be further from the truth. And I think that right there that you feel that just feel we want that, that excitement and that energy around completely opposite people, but then that works in science. But he said if there is an attraction between two very different people, it will be unlikely to stand the test of time because compatibility and genuine long term intimacy are usually based on similarities, not differences based on similarities, not differences. It doesn’t mean that that’s imperative or that’s the only way that this will work. So he said, consider a basic friendship. Who are your friends and how fundamentally similar versus different are they from you? He said it’s unlikely that a super progressive, liberal, nature loving vegetarian will be best friends with the staunch conservative climate change denying recreational hunter and trapper. And he said even more superficial differences, like preferring hiking and tennis to golf and fishing can be a social chasm that is hard to bridge. And he said, based on decades of personal experience that he has helping to stress couples, and I will throw to that as well. Thousand well, well over a thousand couples later and 15, 16 years of sitting with people in therapy sessions. I will agree with him. But he said also a great deal of corroborating anecdotal information from his colleagues and then sound research evidence and eat references.

[00:23:14] A 2012 article by Gottman and Silver, which talks about why people do stay in relationships or what makes relationships last. He said here are the major zones of compatibility that can help predict if a marriage or a loving relationship will last. He said the first one is a world view. The second one is basic activities that they do together. The third one is sexual relationship and the fourth one is this fundamental temperament. So that’s a completely separate podcast that I would like to do at some point, but I just wanted to address that. Do opposites really attract again? And the electromagnetic valence world? Yes, but in relationships, we need something more to sustain the relationship. So back to story time, I remember my wife’s grandparents, Charles and Mary and Marshall. What a classy couple. And I remember talking with Grandpa Charles before he passed, and I think it was when we were up at Grandma Marion’s funeral, and my wife and I were were fairly newly wed. We were in her early 20s and we were visiting him in Issaquah, Washington. I believe it was, and I was asking him a secret to a long, wonderful marriage that he had had with his wife. And he said to me that he and his wife spent a lot of time together. And so often you hear this concept of where you go, you have your own things and then you make sure you take care of your own things.

[00:24:25] But I like that. He said that they spent a lot of time together and I have taken that to heart and my wife and I spend a lot of time together. So whether it’s going on long bike rides or exercising together or simply just running errands together, we spend time together and there’s so much there. I could put a whole podcast episode together there because I don’t want that to feel like I am giving in and just spending time with her so that she will like me. It’s not about the external validation. And please, if you did not hear my episode last week, I got so much good feedback and I really feel pretty passionate about the concept of external feedback. Are you spending time with someone because you genuinely care and you are curious and you want to know more about them and you want to experience their situations or the things that they are interested in, and you want to do that so that you can learn, learn more about them. Or are you spending time with them so that you can pout and then say, OK, I checked the box now, will you come spend time with me so that you can so I can get my needs met? Because that is the opposite vibe that we want in a relationship. You really want to be OK with self validation so that you can enter into your partner’s world with genuine curiosity.

[00:25:28] My wife loves and it’s funny because we’ve gone through periods, which I think is so normal where I remember at one point we watched a whole lot of cooking shows cooking network. But then we went through travel shows and tiny house shows and beach hunt bargain fronts and these things that I liked being with her. But I looked at those with genuine curiosity. More of the Hey, tell me, tell me more about what you like about these shows, and I may not have liked them. So then all of a sudden I’m finding the human interest element. I can’t lie is a therapist that constantly diagnosing everybody in a very loving, progressive, safe way. But watching the interactions between the people on Cupcake Wars, where she may be looking at these are amazing cupcakes. And then we’re having a shared experience talking about, I wonder what he thinks. I wonder what that interaction is about, where she’s saying, I wonder how they make the. I came in pull names of ingredients or something. Those cupcakes look the way they do. So you’re having a shared experience and you’re not trying to break down the other person’s view of why they like something you’re approaching it with. Truly, tell me more curiosity. So fast forward, and Wendy and I recently celebrated our 31st anniversary, which still blows me away to this day. Thirty one years, we were married when I was 20 and she was 19.

[00:26:35] And while the therapist in me wants to say, of course, your experience will be your experience, and that could work wonderfully for people. We got lucky. That was very, very young. I say so openly now. And it is my very strong opinion that I wish that there was more of a time period that could elapse before people got married. I worry that people get married too quickly because of that euphoria, because of that dopamine bump of the new love when we’re presenting ourselves in our very best ways. And we’re assuming that, well, once there is intimacy or once there’s the ring on the finger or once we have kids or once we get real jobs, or then everything will get better, when in reality, it would be wonderful to be able to explore who you are as a person and understand who they are as a person before making that commitment, but again, another podcast for another day. But so I know that this next part may not sound clinically sound, but I honestly am married to the kindest, nicest person that I’ve ever met in my entire life. And so that is wild to me, and I know that I simply got lucky. Here’s the part that is not scientific jargon or proof, but I really do. I call it the crapshoot theory, and that is not a clinically sound theory, but we had no idea that we would share so many interests and views when we were that young that would then carry on some 30 plus years later.

[00:27:46] So now, of course, we don’t agree on everything. And if you follow my podcast really over the last year or two in particular, I have learned and shared so much more about differentiation and about acceptance and commitment therapy, about you showing up as you. You’re the only version of you that’s ever walked the face of the Earth and that we go into relationships and we are we’re enmeshed and we’re codependent because that’s the way we show up wanting to get our needs met. And we want people to like us because coming from childhood, coming from adolescence, teenager hood that we still have this belief that if someone has different thoughts, beliefs or opinions and they’re completely different than ours, that then they if they find out what we really think or believe that they will leave us and we will be abandoned and ultimately abandonment to our brains equals death. So we’re constantly doing this push and pull of trying to figure out how to show up in a relationship so that we will get our needs met and so that our partner will not think that we are absolutely insane and run away and leave us. So that’s our factory default settings. So then people become enmeshed and codependent. And then as you go through life and you have different experiences, you start to realize there are certain things you care about, certain things you love, certain things that frustrate you.

[00:28:53] But when we express those things often, then if they come as a shock to our spouse or partner, they will often say, I didn’t know you felt that way. To which our our poor little still inner child wounding brains view as criticism. And when we feel like we’re criticized, we immediately worry that that criticism is going to go into shame that this person is going to think I’m a horrible person or a bad husband or a bad father. So when we view things as criticism and not as curiosity, then we when we feel this criticism coming on, then we go into this protecting our ego stance and the way how do we protect their ego? We may withdraw. We may get angry, we may get sad. We may just give in. We made a statement. You’re right. Going going into almost like this victim mode. Or we might guess light. We might say that’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. Like, I can’t even believe you really think that. But all that comes from the same place to protecting our ego where as adults, now we need to learn how to self validate. We need to learn how to stand and earn our calm, confident, energetic self and know that it’s OK to like and believe the things that we like and believe and then show up into a relationship. Not saying, Do you like me because of the things that I like? Instead of just saying, Hey, here’s the things I like.

[00:30:05] What do you think? And then having these adult mature conversations, that’s one of the things I’ve been going on so much about over the last two years or so is figuring out this, this interdependent, differentiated version of ourselves instead of this enmeshed version. And so it is OK to have these differing views. In fact, you are literally just two people that are having your own experiences in a relationship. And so as soon as you can recognize that, then the relationship can really up its game because we’re two people trying to go through life and figure out things together together. Figuring out things together does not mean that we have to have the exact same opinions on anything. And I have to tell you what was interesting last night, Preston Quagmire and I had week two of our magnetic marriage coaching call, and this round, I have to tell you is and I say this, I feel like this is what people do where I was and say, this is my favorite round. Although if you were in either the first two rounds, you were awesome as well. And if you did not sign up for the magnetic marriage course, honestly, please still contact me and get set up for the next one that we will run at the beginning of the next year because it’s such an incredible experience. But in this coaching call, there was some.

[00:31:11] They were so kind, we were talking about the the basis of the four pillars of a connected conversation, which is are the fundamentals of this course, and we were talking about that. It is OK to be aware that you do not need to seek external validation from your spouse, that you need to learn how to get internal validation. Validate yourself, be calm, confident with the things that you care about and then show up with that confident stance in your relationship. And when you are not seeking external validation, then you are really coming at conversations with true curiosity. I gave this example of a week or two ago of going on a run. I’ll make it so brief because you can go listen to this and I think last week’s episode, but I went on a run. I had had this meniscus trouble for a couple of years. I didn’t know if I would. This is not something. It’s not as dramatic as I’m making it sound. I didn’t know if I would ever run again. I knew I was running. I didn’t think I would be able to start bumping up distances or getting some speed again. But I had a nice, longish fast run and as I came in the door and my wife said, How was you run? I said it was awesome. It really was. And I found myself wanting to let her know that I just ran the fastest I’ve run in two years, but I realized and I just took a pause and I realized that, OK, I felt great about that run.

[00:32:31] I can’t believe I’m getting back to this place. While it’s not running 125 miles in the course of twenty four hours or a 50k or 100k or any of those. But I really did go through this period where I thought I might not be running much at all again because of this meniscus injury from basketball, no doubt not even from running. But then I thought, I feel great. And so if I had put it out there to her in that very moment that I ran faster than I have in a long time. There were so many things that I was. She had a potential to get quote wrong that if she would have said, Oh, how much faster was it than your fastest? Well, in reality, it was like two seconds faster than my fastest. But I was just excited about it. So if she would have said that in that moment, I realized if I would have been seeking that external validation from her, I wanted her to validate something in me that I wasn’t even quite sure how I wanted it validated. So then there were a lot of ways that she would have not been able to validate what I wanted her to validate. So if she would have said how much faster, I could have been deflated and said, I don’t know, it’s like two seconds faster, is that the point you now? Now I feel like she must not care about me, or she doesn’t appreciate me the way that I want her to, but instead know I felt awesome about the run self validation.

[00:33:40] So then when I shared with her a couple of days later, this experience of not going to her for the external validation, then we were able to have a shared experience. Then I was able to share with her, Hey, check out my thought process around the run and what it was like and what how I had to dig deep. And then it wouldn’t have mattered what she said. If it would have been, well, how much faster was it? And I would have said two seconds. Can you believe that? And now we can talk about that with curiosity because I wasn’t seeking that external validation. So the reason I bring that up is that I really do feel like as we are starting to realize the way that the the messages that we get in relationships that are not the correct way to really build a truly magnetic marriage are a very solid relationship. I realize now where was I going with that? It was in this call last night. We were talking about this external validation and people were saying, But I want to please my spouse. I want to please my wife and I appreciate that so much. But wanting to please them also then puts a lot of expectation on them that if they aren’t happy, then that I’ve done something wrong, and now I need them to give me a checklist of what I can do to make them happy.

[00:34:45] So it’s just the wrong dynamic. We need to seek that happiness and that validation internally and raise our baselines up and then have these shared experiences together so we can look at these experiences with real curiosity and real connection and not feel like then playing this constant game of what do I say here and how do I show up? And am I making them mad? Or why did they say that they just made me mad? It sounds exhausting. So let’s get to this article today that I think is going to help a little bit with that. So my daughter and I are talking about this conversation of why do we like the people we like? And so I find this Gwendolyn Seidman article and she the name of the article really is why do why do we like people who are similar to us? And so I’m going to read this and we’re going to react. I guess it’s another one of these experiences that I really enjoy. And she says that research examines why we prefer people who are similar to us. So she said it’s not surprising that we tend to like people who are similar to us, and she notes and has a link to a large body of research that’s starting to confirm that.

[00:35:41] But the reasons why we like people who are like us can be complex. She said that first, there is a difference between actually having a lot in common with somebody called actual similarity. Just remember that one and then believing that we have a lot in common, which is perceived similarity. So already we have actual similarity and perceived similarity, and these two kinds of similarity are related, but they are not the same thing. She said that you may think that you have a lot in common with somebody, but you might be mistaken or you might initially assume that you have a lot in common. With the person that you really don’t know much about. Only to find out that you are not actually on the same wavelength once you get to know each other. Or you may assume that you have a lot in common with somebody because you like them. There are also a lot of different reasons why we might like people who are similar to us, but we may actually be anticipating that somebody who has a lot in common with us will like us more. Or maybe we just find it more fun to hang out with somebody that shares our interests. And so there’s a lot in that paragraph there when we even look at the concept of actual similarity and perceived similarity because actual similarity is just it’s a thing.

[00:36:41] If I go talk with somebody, I just had a client who I had no idea liked basketball as much as he did, and I really do enjoy basketball. I just do. I enjoy watching my son play, but I really enjoy the professional game I love. There’s just so much I like about it, but it harkens back to. That was a happy place for me growing up playing a lot of basketball I literally had in my garage, growing up at home, a full court nerf hoop with wooden back boards that I would just run up and down the court for hours and hours. Every morning, every day, every night with my know, my CD player playing music. And so that was just this place that I went to just escape. And we’re talking as a kid and it was a happy place. So I know that basketball means so much to me, and it may not mean that exactly that to somebody else. But we were having this shared experience and it was an actual similarity. There are other people who a person might wear, let’s say, an NBA jersey into my office. I’ve had that happen on occasion, and then I will have a perceived similarity. I will believe that they must be on the same page. But then when you start to talk to them and then they really don’t know as much, and then oftentimes we will almost feel this disappointment or letdown that somebody isn’t on the same page, not realizing that there’s a reason there are so many different things that go into the makeup of what we like or why we like it.

[00:37:49] So I love that concept initially of actual similarity and perceived similarity. And I think the perceived similarity piece makes a lot of sense in the concept of we we want connection, we want a community, we want a group or a people. And so when we are starting to perceive similarity, we’re really wanting to know that there are people that think similarly to us because if we do and I feel like this is in our DNA, that then we know that we are part of a tribe. And if we know that we’re part of a tribe, then we know that we are going to be OK. We’re not going to be abandoned. We’re not going to be left out on our own so that we can be eaten up or devoured by the wolves or the saber toothed tigers that our brain is still programed to worry about. So she said, the less information we have about a person, here’s where things get really interesting. The less information we have about a person, the more actual similarity affects liking. So the less that we know about somebody, the more that the actual similarity affects liking. So in studies where people just read about a stranger and they don’t actually meet them. Finding out that they have a lot in common with the stranger greatly boost their liking because they have nothing else upon which to base their impression.

[00:38:54] This, according to Gwendolyn. So in studies where people and just to clarify that one, so if we’re reading about somebody and we’re reading that, they’re actual things that they identify with. If I’m reading a book autobiography about someone and they are to talk about their childhood and what basketball meant to them, then I am going to. That’s an actual similar thing that we have in common. So that is going to boost my liking of this just not fictional, but person that I don’t know. But she said that in studies where people actually meet strangers with whom they had more or less in common actual similarity affected liking, but not as much as in studies where people never met the stranger. So it’s the concept where in longer term situations where people have more of a chance to really get to know somebody like friendships and romantic relationships, actual similarity has no effect. Only perceived similarity does. This is where it gets so interesting. So as you said in part, this is because in long term relationships, people have already filtered out dissimilar people who they don’t like. You won’t be friends or date somebody you dislike due to having nothing in common. And that’s where over time, we will most likely have weeded out people that we really don’t find an actual similarity. So once that we are with someone now, we want to have perceived similarities.

[00:40:04] We want to we want them to like us and we want to like them. So we want to be on the same page. But then this is where I feel like we really don’t have the tools or sometimes the emotional maturity. That sounds like a judgmental statement, but it’s not that we don’t necessarily have the tools to be able to say, Wow, we actually even view this thing like in basketball. I wish I had a better example at the top of my head, but let’s stay parenting today. I talked with Nate about this parenting course that I’m putting together now. It’s a whole new. It’s a new parenting course where we’re going a lot deeper than the free Coresight offered over the last couple of years. But in parenting, we can have we may have this perceived similarities that that we really assume that we’re on the same page, but we really don’t have the tools at times to communicate why we think differently about even something like parenting, when in reality, we come to the table with completely different expectations of parenting based on the way that we were parented. We’ve spent just constantly a lot of amount of time growing up, probably thinking about the kind of parent we want to be and not even knowing that there might be a different parenting model. And so as we get into these relationships. And again, I love how Gwendolyn shows that actual similarity doesn’t have the effect the perceived similarity does, because now we’re playing this push and pull a game of, we want to believe that our partner has a lot in common with us.

[00:41:21] We perceive that there are a lot of similarities here without actually communicating about them. And this is where I want. If you’re listening to this and I hope that this isn’t too confusing, but if you’re listening to this and you are in a relationship, then I’m not saying, Oh my gosh, pull the ripcord. If you feel like you aren’t on the same page with things, because if you’re in a relationship, most likely you’ve already have some similarities. But now I would love for you to just take a look and see, are you perceiving that your you and your spouse are on the same page? Because if that perception is there and then you really haven’t communicated about the differences or the nuances, take parenting again. For example, if you haven’t had the conversations or you haven’t been able to have the tools around how to say, OK, here’s what I feel like is the way that we should parent. What do you think? And because we don’t want to look at that as I’m seeking external validation, if I say to my spouse, I’m a really big positive parenting. And if I say and if they say, Oh, really like, that’s interesting. And then we feel criticized now we’re going to withdraw, maybe we’re even going to go on the attack.

[00:42:19] But if our spouse grew up in a home where they had more of an authoritative parent, and so they felt like that was helpful the way that they grew up. Now let’s have a conversation because the truth is we’re going to probably find somewhere to meet with those experiences where if I feel like I’ve been more of this positive parent and consequences are hard and difficult, and they’ve been more of this authoritative and you start with the consequences, that’s a starting place. And so if we’ve had these perceived similarities now, let’s really talk about what those similarities really are and what the differences are in our parenting styles. And then let’s start to communicate so we can come up with a unified front. So she said that and all these types of studies perceive similarity had a large effect on liking. So it’s more important to think you have a lot in common with someone than it is to actually have a lot in common. Now the buck doesn’t stop there, then we need to learn how to communicate about it. So she said that researchers have proposed several different reasons why similarity might increase liking, and these reasons were examined in a study by Adam Hampton, Amanda Boyd and Susan Sprecher, just published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. So there are these five different areas, and we’re going to go through these pretty quickly.

[00:43:26] Consensual validation So she said meeting people who share attributes makes us feel more confident in our own attitudes about the world. Meaning that if you love jazz music, meeting a fellow jazz lover shows that loving jazz is OK and maybe even a virtue. I have a client that I love working with, and he he likes anime. He really does. And so he was in a clothing store at some point in a very attractive girl came up, saw that he was wearing an anime T-shirt. And she said, I like anime. I like that show and I loved it. You know, he has a lot of awareness. And so he came said, Check this out the fact that she acknowledged anime. I was wearing an anime T-shirt. She was beautiful. He’s like, it does. It makes you feel like, Hey, this is OK. Even though he was already going out into the world wearing this anime T-shirt, kind of putting that out there. But now we do. We want that consensual validation is what the researcher called calls it. There’s also cognitive evaluation, so this explanation focuses on how we form impressions of other people by generalizing from the information that we have. So we learn that a person has something in common with us, and that makes us feel positively about that person because we feel positively about ourselves. So when we then assume that the other person like us has other positive characteristics, and so if we I run into this often where if I meet someone at a race because I used to do so many races and I would do these trail runs on Saturday mornings, bright and early, I had this zero effect of family theory, so we would get a bunch of us up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and go do 20 30 miles on the trails.

[00:44:50] And you just started to assume that everybody that was there at that point that we generalizing this information we have. So if everyone is there and they are there early and they’re trying to get home before their kids wake up, that we must all be on the same page. So it’s almost this again, cognitive evaluation that that that because we are in this group of people and we’re having this shared experience that we must have these similar values or goals. So we generalize that these people must believe the same thing. And I remember at one point learning that someone they were there and they didn’t have kids and they had never been married and they were older. And. And it’s funny because and I realize now how invalidating this was, but at some point I was on, when you’re running, you would get, you’re in a group. But every now and again going down a trail or something, you would find yourself running more or less with one person or a couple of people. And I had shared with him that when he’s telling me more about a story and I just wish I could take this one back, but I just said, Well, what are you doing here then? If you don’t have kids and that sort of thing? And because look at that, I made this cognitive evaluation instead of saying, Hey, tell me about what your life is like, tell me about because it turns out that he likes get up early, like taking care of that for the day, and then he likes doing a lot of projects and and just going and meeting with friends and connecting with people.

[00:45:59] So it didn’t have to be that you must have young children here that you do not want to impact with your long runs because you feel selfish. Or it could be a variety of things of why somebody shows up in a situation. The third thing? The third part of different reasons why similarity might increase liking is the certainty of being like, she said. We assume that someone who has a lot in common with us is more likely to like us and in turn we are more likely to like people if we think they like us. And that can sound so simplistic. But it’s real that the certainty of being liked we so desperately want connection and and this is again, as we mature into adulthood, we want to be able to self validate, but we have to recognize our factory settings or that we want to be liked because we feel like if we’re liked, then we matter.

[00:46:44] And if we matter, then we will survive. So we are going to find ourselves often with people that we have more of a certainty of being liked. Think about people maybe in your church group or just people that are just hold these real similar interests that we’re going to. We’re going to congregate around them primarily because more of the certainty of being liked. But I hope that what you’re seeing is that just because we have that certainty of being liked or that assumption that we have things in common doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the case. And I think we’re starting to set the table that we need this awareness because if we go into let’s again go with our church congregation and we feel like there’s this perceived similarities. And I think in a church congregation, you could say there’s actual similarities because we may have similar beliefs, but then even the belief system that we have can be nuanced and we may still all be playing this game of we’re all here, so we have a perceived similarity. But do we actually have things in common? And if that’s the case now we’re more around people that we hope are going to like us. This is more of the certainty of being liked. But if we start to then find ourselves and have our own thoughts, opinions and beliefs, then we can start to feel like instead of being able to still interact with our church congregation and feel like it’s OK to have different thoughts and beliefs, we start to sometimes feel like, Oh my gosh, I everything I knew is no longer valid because I thought that we were all on the same page.

[00:47:59] I thought we all had the same belief system, but in reality, we learned that life is more nuanced than that. It’s not as black or white. The fourth one, she said, fun and enjoyable interactions. And this is again going back to these the research around different reasons why similarity might increase liking. It’s just more fun to hang out with someone when you have a lot in common, so that one goes and challenges that opposites attract. So that was number four. It’s fun and enjoyable interactions. As simple as that sounds that we enjoy hanging out with somebody when we have a lot in common, I guess hosted a podcast a couple of weeks ago, and it’s an old friend of mine named Jim, and it’s called the Sad Dads Club. And it’s such a fun podcast. It is completely different than the virtual couch. I joked at one point that, Oh, I don’t know if fans of the virtual couch would really enjoy whatever the topic was that we were talking about, but fun and enjoyable interactions. I think that’s the third time I’ve guest hosted on their their podcast, and they have one hundred and sixty episodes and they theirs is live and there’s a lot of cameras.

[00:48:59] And so it’s on YouTube and on audio, but it was just fun. It’s really fun and we joke and I did go into full therapist mode on a couple of things, but it was just exciting. And we’re talking about hobbies and guy things and and things. I don’t even know how to do fix things and that sort of stuff, but it was just a fun and enjoyable interaction. And then the last number five of these. Different reasons why similarity might increase liking based on this research is, Oh, I lost my place, here we go, self, oh boy. Ok, here we go. Self expansion opportunity So according to self expansion theory, one benefit of relationships is that we can gain new knowledge and experiences by spending time with somebody else. So when you can go into something and again, I’m going to overuse the word curiosity because it’s a wonderful word. But when you go into something with true curiosity, then one of the benefits of this relationship is you can gain knowledge and experience by spending time with somebody else. When you go in there thinking that you’re supposed to know everything and then you get defensive, if they say, Oh, do you know much about whatever this is fixing a car? And if I say I absolutely know nothing, but I love your experience, I love that your expertize. So I want to learn. Tell me more.

[00:50:05] Or and that’s one of the things maybe I enjoy about being a therapist is people coming in and the therapist doesn’t say, Here’s what you need to do. But I love having knowledge and can help people uncover and figure out a lot of the things that they may be struggling with. Addiction, my path back group, my pornography recovery group, that meeting people where they’re at and realizing that we have these voids in life, I feel like people aren’t as connected in their parenting or their marriage or their faith or their career or their health. And so as you start to help people figure those things out that they realize they don’t have as much of a desire to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, I appreciate when somebody comes into me and they say, I want a magic pill or a magic bullet or magic words that will cause me to just feel better instantly and just be able to validate that man. That would be amazing, wouldn’t it? But but here is knowledge and experience that I have. So when we spend time together, then I love to share that experience with you and I would love to when I get in an environment, somebody that knows things, I don’t know. Why would I don’t? There’s no way I would know these things that I don’t know. So that self expansion opportunity that a lot of times we like the people that we like because we can learn more from them, but that that one’s hard.

[00:51:13] And I know that she didn’t put these in necessarily in an order or a hierarchy, but I feel like that one self expansion opportunity, putting that in fifth place in this research that that one is one of the more difficult ones because that one takes humility and takes us being able to show up with just complete curiosity and being able to say, Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know anything about that. Even if somebody says, you don’t know, I don’t. So she said even though a dissimilar person would be more likely to actually provide new knowledge and experience, research has shown that people who are more likely to see self expansion opportunities when interacting with somebody who is somewhat similar rather than dissimilar to them, then that can be much easier. So we’re still working off of this concept that we really do have this actual similarity and this perceived similarity in the role that that can play in the way we connect with people. So let me give a couple of these studies because I always think this is fun and then we’ll wrap things up for today. But she said in their study, Hampton and colleagues examined how well each of these five reasons could explain links between similarity and liking in situations involving both actual and perceived similarity. And the study, one hundred and seventy four undergraduate students interacted with each other in pairs. So before meeting, the students didn’t know anything about each other.

[00:52:21] The students then completed a questionnaire about their likes and their interests. She said the example was reality show or sitcom, and then their personality example, sloppy or neat or neat freak, and I think they had more questions than just that. The researchers gave them a bogus version of that same questionnaire supposedly completed by their interaction partner. The answers were rigged to be either highly similar or dissimilar to the participants own answers. So again, every one of the one hundred and seventy four undergrad students took this these questionnaires. But then when they would give you when you had your questionnaire and then they would give you the questionnaire of the person that you were interacting with now one on one. Some of the groups were given the actual questionnaire and then others were given a bogus version of the same questionnaire that was supposedly completed by the partner that they were about to interact with. So after viewing the bogus information, participants rated how similarly similarly, they thought the person was to them. Again, this is that perceived similarity, and they rated how much they liked that person. So they have this complete bogus set of data, and they were saying how similar I am to this person based on the bogus data and therefore how much I liked them. And then the two participants had the chance to meet and then get acquainted. And then once they actually got to know each other, they again rated perceived similarity in liking.

[00:53:34] So that makes sense. It’s a cool study because you get this this form that says this is what that person is like and it’s a bogus form. So then you base your do I like them based on the bogus form, then you get to meet them and interact with them, and now you’re going to go back and fill out another questionnaire that says, Do I like them? So the key to the study, both before and after interacting with each other, the participants answered several questions designed to measure these five different reasons for liking the consensual validation, saying that my future interaction partner will probably support my attitudes and ideas, and my future interaction partner will likely be validating that as they will help convince me that I am correct in how I approach life and that cognitive evaluation that second one, the question might be something like my future interaction partner is probably well respected. And then the third one, the certainty of being liked, the question was something around. I think my future interaction partner will like me. And then the fourth one, the fun and enjoyment. An example there was my future partner and I will probably laugh during our interaction period. And then the fifth one self expansion opportunity was an example of that. One was interacting with my future partner would likely open the door to new experiences. So first, they found that people generally like their interaction partner more, both before and after the interaction if they were led to believe that their partner was similar to them.

[00:54:46] So again, there’s that perception of similarity. However, the effects of perceived similarity were stronger than the effects of the experimental manipulation of the bogus information. So with that, bogus information actually having no effect on liking the person after the interaction, and she says that this makes sense because any assumption of similarity based on false information then had no connection to the reality of actually interacting with that person. So we can have this perceived similarity. But then when we actually interact with somebody that that’s where we really get to know somebody and it just shows how important it is to truly get out and engage with somebody and meet with somebody and interact with somebody. So that’s the perceptions of similarity based on the real interaction wiped out any effect of the bogus similarity information. So the more we can go and do and hang out with people, the more we really are going to build that connection. And this is no knock on people that don’t have access to people. We just went through a worldwide pandemic. People were shut in. But the more that we can really interact with people, the more we can really trust our gut or our senses and understand if we feel like there is a connection there. And then she said the consensual validation helped explain why people who perceived a greater similarity like their partners more after the interaction, but not before.

[00:55:56] And she said this is presumably feeling validated, requires more of a chance to connect with somebody who shares your values and preferences, rather than just this vague notion that you might have something in common. And so this certainty of being liked by the partner helped to explain why people like similar partners more both before and after the interaction, expecting to enjoy the interaction also help to explain why people like similar partners more before the interaction with that partner and then the actual enjoyment of the interaction also explained why people like similar partners more after they interacted. So the results also suggest that these feelings of enjoyment were were by far the strongest factor and overrode the effects of either the consensual validation or the certainty of being liked. So the researchers pointed out this might be especially true among a sample of young college students than for older adults. And other factors might be because they were they were grad students. They were they were having a shared experience. In a nutshell, I know that last part might have gotten a little bit out in the weeds. A little bit confusing, but what Gwendolyn is saying is that this entire study helps us understand why similarity can foster liking when people first meet. But it doesn’t shed much light on why a perceived similarity is important in longer term relationships. She said it’s likely that in long term relationships, factors beyond fun and enjoyment can contribute to the positive effects of similarity.

[00:57:08] For example, romantic partners who are similar to each other have fewer conflicts and married couples with similar educational attainment or that are similar in age or that are less likely to divorce. Now, that doesn’t mean that if there’s an age gap or an education gap, that then that people are doomed. But that’s just what the study start to show more of a connection with. Bottom line it is important for you to find your people. We all want to find this people, this tribe. But then when we get in among our people, our tribe, or we find these people with these similar ideals or similar goals or values, hang on to that word. Similar, it doesn’t mean that they have to be exact. It doesn’t have to. It doesn’t mean that if somebody doesn’t exactly like the things you do, that anything is wrong, if anything. What we’re starting to learn here is that the similarity is what brings us together. But now with that similarity, now let’s foster some real connected conversations and find out. We may have these similarities, but what are the differences that we bring to the table and out of those differences? Those differences are not there to make someone feel less than. But they’re more to help us now start to really drive a connection so we can find out more about somebody.

[00:58:17] And when we find out more about somebody that doesn’t invalidate our own experiences, and if we feel like we’re being criticized when somebody talks about their experience, then just be able to check in with yourself and know that man. That’s normal for me to start to feel like if this person has different experiences than me, that my brain wants to immediately go to this this little kid version of then they must not like me. No, it’s not. That’s not what the case is. You are you. They are them. And the quicker that you can then say, Tell me more and let’s find out. Let’s find out more about each other. That’s where the connection really occurs. It’s not from the enmeshment, it’s not from the codependency, but it’s from learning who you are and helping someone. All I was say helping someone discover who they are, but they need to find who they are. You find who you are. And now you have these shared experiences with curiosity. And yeah, they’re going to be a little tension. There’s a potential for invalidation, but that’s the part that where we can really have some growth. Thanks for hanging out today. Thanks for if you made it all the way to this episode through the end of this episode. I appreciate it. Once again, I forgot to mention my sponsor, Betterhelp.com, but I think I gave enough things at the beginning. But if you are looking for help, go to Betterhelp.com virtual Cavs get 10 months off. Your first months of services, and

[00:59:25] I will see you next time. I never forget.

[00:59:35] Compressed emotions flying past our heads and out the other end, the pressures of the daily grind, it’s wonderful. And plastic waste and rubber, most are floating past the midnight hour. They push aside the things that matter, most wonderful. It’s my. News of discount price.

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