The Honest Liars Podcast #85

Honest Liars Podcast

Recently I had a fantastic opportunity to be interviewed by the boys at The Honest Liars regarding a wide range of subjects concerning relationships, living consciously, feminism, living virtuously and fatherhood. Most importantly I was able to spend quality time with individuals dedicated to living and improving their lives with incredibly conscious efforts.  They’re doing some really great work and are well worth the read and listen.  I could try to paraphrase what they do, but I think they do a fine job explaining it themselves: 

We believe that most people are perfectly capable of having fulfilling, honest, and open relationships. The problem is that so few of us have ever had true honest modeled for us, making it difficult to find authentic connections later in life. 

In order to attain these relationships, you MUST work to become the most authentic version of you, which means getting vulnerable not only with others, but also (and more importantly) with yourself.

Don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. People all over the world are starting this journey, just like you. They are waking up to the fact that their relationships are lacking, that something’s just not quite right with their world…

 

The Honest Liars

The Honest Liars Podcast #85 Socrates Interview

 

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MAINTAINING DIALECTICAL TENSIONS

Yin-Yang

“Build bridges and walls to include as well as exclude”

Dialectic what?

A dialectic tension is the perceived contradiction in personal relationships between two desirable goals or values that appear to be opposing tendencies, desires and needs…but are in fact both desirable to various degrees.  In light of this, dialectic tensions shouldn’t be viewed as ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’ when it comes to maintaining these coupled tensions and their integration within a relationship.  The importance of balancing of emotional values in a relationship is to recognize that these values are always in motion and as importantly, that the seed of the opposing value lies within the first and vise versa.  These tensions have been symbolically recognized for centuries by the ancient symbol of ‘Yin and Yang’; where fluid and dynamic elements circle each other and each carrying an element of the other within them.  The most common tensions found within relationships are questions of;

Companionship vs Independence

These are the push-pull desires of wanting to connect with your partner and wanting to preserve your personal independence, or how dependent the romantic partners are with each other.  The degree of comfort within the relationship is the degree to which both parties understand the boundaries of the other, the emotional and physical space each is either giving or taking and to the degree of happiness to this agreement is.  In most relationships, these boundaries are negotiated reactively rather than actively and are initial points of friction within an emerging relationship.   

Candor vs Privacy

These are the tensions at arise between desiring to engage in self-disclosure, as opposed to maintaining a degree of privacy.  In most relationships this involves to what degree that you share your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and past with your partner.  Two central themes that are great sources for tension within a relationship are the degree of self-revelations regarding past relationships and the fears and anxieties currently driving your state of mind being expressed by insecurities, negativity and pessimism.  While revelations in either are fine in moderation, it is when we hit our partners boundaries that we wear out our welcome of candor. 

Predictability vs Novelty

These tensions represent the seeking of behavior patterns between stability and the desire for spontaneity.  Frequently we lapse into a sense security and a behavior routine that is comfortable and easy for us which becomes boring.  The challenge here is to provide the consistency we trust upon, but not so much that it becomes mundane by balancing between the expected and the unexpected.  More critically though, is recognizing a contextual shift with our partners, especially those times in which they are worn, tired and ego-depleted.  It is at these times we are better served by reaching for the familiar and trusted to help in assuaging a sense of exhaustion within our partner’s lives.

Maintenance Strategies

By far the most common strategies for maintaining relational tensions within a stabilized relationship is a selection and emphasis of a dominant poles, such as placing a high value on levels of connection, openness and predictability, followed with a temporary cycling of independence, privacy and novelty.  When incorporated intentionally, the emotional desyncing and resyncing are renown for fostering deep feelings of arousal, attraction and connection within a partner, as witness by the literary work of the world’s various Casanovas’s  and  the center pieces of dime-store romance novels.  This intentional emotional cycling is often considered the bulwark against a woman’s initial hypergamous reflex of feeling ‘unhappy’ within the confines of an all too stable relationship.  Other strategies include segmenting or compartmentalizing access to and from various value elements.  A common example would be having  the ritual of ‘a night out with the boys’.  A particular one to be on the lookout for is reframing, where a partner states that they are ‘just going through a phase’.   This is typical of individuals who do not fully understand the flux of relational tensions coupled with inadequate communication skills and relational trust and respect to investigate these emotional needs appropriately and therefore are unlikely to cope or manage these tensions effectively or appropriately.  The most sinister of these ‘phases’ is an unchecked woman’s hypergamous nature.  A woman ignorant or unwilling to face her terribly destructive nature is not maintaining tensions by harmonically alternating the back and forth between them, but dumping her partner and her children on the teeter-totter of life in the name of naked sexual self-interest.

Turning Points

When there is a shift in value of a given dialectic from one polarized end towards another without an oscillation back, this is known as a turning point.  In early relationships we see this primarily when a dating couple decides to become exclusive and committed to each other.  The dialectic of independence moves and resides more fully with companionship.  Later it may again intensify, when both partners in conjunction decide to advance their relationship civilly and socially in the form of marriage and family development.  The major concern of turning points is not when we emphasize a  pole mutually, but when it is sudden and the sentiment is anything but mutual.  These turning points can be so acute that we change our interpretation of the relationship, what it means to us and what place it has in our lives. Navigating these turning points without astute relational maintenance and management skills and open and honest communication all too frequently turn into open conflicts.  If left unattended to, the conflicts and tensions will not only do irrefutable harm to the relationship, but also to the individual parties, ultimately leading to the relationships destruction.  At this stage relationship repair is needed, not simple maintenance.  If relationship repair and re-negotiation cannot be achieved, then a dissolution of the relationship is in order at that point, before any unnecessary further harm is done.

External Tensions

Interestingly enough the same tensions that exist between two relationship partners also exist between the ‘couple’ and their relationships with their greater social networks, most notably between friends and family members.  While the dialectic tensions between conventionality and uniqueness of a relationship occurs with some couples, more often than not the degree of inclusion and privacy is one that has to be negotiated, or more aptly put, renegotiated.  Where one pair of the partnership had poor or weak personal boundaries with friends and family, those poor boundaries will surely be passed into the new relationship if left unchecked.  In instances such as this, it is far better to identify it and regulate it early before the behavior in question becomes codified and fully established within the relationship (deal with her Mother, before she’s your Mother-in-Law).

Managing Gender Expectations in Relationships

Unattended Helm

“What we do not manage, we get manage by…”

The Information Age

Unlike the Industrial Age or to a lesser extent the Post Industrial Age, the Information Age has brought about and given rise to an increased demand for soft skills, the cluster of personality traits, social graces, methods of communication, and personal habits centering around enhanced relationships with other people, rather than just tasks and objective completion. While these demands are most acutely felt within the business/economic domain, they are spilling over and being absorb within the cultural and social domains as well. Simply put, highly socially skilled individuals tend to outperform, rise higher and go further within business organizations than those that are less skilled in those areas. Likewise, sole proprietors who are highly socially skilled make, have and maintain social/business relationships that ultimately make them more successful than those who are not.

Dual Gender Specialization

At the crux of the Information Age is social specialization, and in particular, dual gender specialization. Whereas the social shift involved in the Industrial Revolution was primarily a male dominated specialization shift, the social shift in the Information Age is hallmarked by the massive inclusion and rising parity of women in the work place environment and the rise of feminism within our business and social fabric. Feminism has forged some incredible benefits and opportunities for both men and women, as well as creating immense complexities socially that have yet to sort themselves out. Where they have not been resolved socially we feel a tremendous amount of friction. Nowhere is this more apparent than in today’s dating environment.

Responding to Hierarchy of Needs

Regardless of the fact that society is becoming increasingly feminine driven and in many ways women have surpassed the equality mark with regards to men, women are still not inclined to transition into gender equity with regards to dating and courtship accountability (gender equitable roles). While on the surface of it women seem to loathe to relinquish a courtship system in which the opposite gender (males) take all or at least commonly the majority of the risk of rejection, in initiating the courtship, unjustly shouldering the financial burden of the costs associated with such courtship and having to already achieved a measure of societal success, as displayed by ones’ place in society (commonly defined by one’s career/job), which is a connotation of the hypergamous status dimorphous marker of status, wealth, power and fame. The expectations transcend the initial dating rituals as well, as women typically still expect men to take the leadership role and be accountable for the health, direction and vitality of the relationship. Furthermore your failure to act upon your gender assigned role of leadership, will and quite openly will be judged as a fitness test to your worth and viability not only as a mate choice, but that of your maturity and worth as a man. What we’re witnessing here is a direct confrontation between rational cultural and social thought and biological drivers and demands. To argue against this we’re simply railing against a base biological drive and need here. No amount of rationalization, propagandization or wishful thinking will usurp the reality that women are naturally choosing biological base needs over social and cultural conventions, such as feminism, as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs dictates. Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation speaks to this with a clearly defined order of ascension of psychological needs and when clustered, biological and psychological needs always trump social conventions of esteem and self-actualization. (take a moment to familiarize yourself with the hierarchy of needs chart). What all this is telling us, again and again and again, despite the rise and acceptance of feminism, women want us to be men, need us to be men and desire us to be men.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

 

Station Break:

Please pardon this interruption as we take a momentary station break to let this news set in… This moment brought to you by Eckhart Tolle:

“It seems that most people need to experience a great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and accept reality.”

“It is incredibly painful to stand in opposite of what is…” (resisting reality)

“You can’t argue with what is. If you choose to try you will suffer.”

We now return to our regular scheduled program…

Managing Masculinity and Social Dominance

Repeated social studies have demonstrated and reaffirmed the common observation of the consistent erotic appeal of male dominance as sexual cues of attraction and desire for women, whether those are the hypergamous triggers of physical, social or status cues of dominance or ‘alpha’ traits. These base traits of desire do not diminish over time, nor are they usurped by elements making up relationship equity, such as the longevity of the relationship, emotional investment committed, resources committed such as time, energy or finances, nor the nostalgia of memories and times cherished and shared. It even usurps the common good of her offspring, the emotional wellbeing, development and security of her children. At a woman’s base biological need is a desire to be with an unapologetic masculine male- a Man. Social dominance plays such an important role in feminine attraction that manipulating this single variable socially has repeatedly shown and proven dramatic improvements in a man’s sexual market value- the degree to which he is sexually valued by women in the dating market environment.

Answer the phone…

Common sense, everyday observation and intuition regarding a man’s role in claiming his biological heritage of providing leadership, accountability and stewardship within a relationship has been backed up in virtually every scientific and social study conducted upon it and echoed by countless women when they say honestly that they “want to be treated like a lady.” That statement is an enticement, a call out for you, a longing wish for you, to be the man that fills and guides her life and her life with you. For you to simply be the man (the masculine role figure) in the relationship. Whether the analogies are being the pack leader, or Captain and First Officer or the great Silver Back male gorilla in the mist etc, etc, your gender expectation is to assume command of leadership responsibilities within that relationship and with her.

Screening & Filtering

If she fights you for this role, you shouldn’t put up with it or stand for it. Plain and simple. If she fight you for leadership control, she’s announcing her inability to appropriately partner. It’s unattractive, unfeminine and a proven detriment to the healthy wellbeing and happiness of any relationship, as proven by divorce statistics and relationship satisfaction studies, which clearly indicates an unease in the household when women wear the pants in the family. While fiscal issues a generation ago used to dominate the ‘cause’ for divorce, currently now unhinged from the requirement of ‘cause’ in ‘no-fault-divorce’, the most cited reason for instigating a dissolvement of a marriage is the wife’s unhappiness within it. Want to insulate yourself from the +50% marriage failure, with women doing +70% of the filing? Screen and filter your partner for a woman who recognizes the value of biologically driven sexual roles in a relationship and who actively supports and reaffirms those roles. Stunning concept I know… women who value, support and reaffirm ‘traditional’ values in relationships tend not to divorce.  If we want to entice and promote feminine behaviors (feminine arts) in our partners, we have to fill the leadership role first, or like any social creature, she will, and as pointed out, to everyone’s determent, if she becomes synonymous with that role.

Case of Feminist Economics

The sad reality is as our society becomes more and more feminized, and feminism becomes the defacto cultural monopoly governing our society, masculine men are becoming a scarce commodity… and more valuable because of it. Oddly that’s a plus to a man’s sexual market value, now and more so in the future. The alarm here isn’t that masculine men will create higher value and demand for relationships, but that by acting through their very nature (male), and having the leverage to do so, masculine men will chose polygamy lifestyle with younger, more attractive and fitter partners than women his age or peer group. While this has always been the case in the apex of male society, it is now becoming a staple and attainable for the common man. This is exactly what much of the men’s community and the pick-up community are promoting and celebrating. And with good cause. Furthermore women can embrace a feminist social standing, as long as their base psychological needs are fulfilled, not called into question or put into jeopardy, but once they are, and in particular within the realm of ‘safety’, their effeminate hipster/emo boyfriends and partners may become woefully inadequate, whether that threat is physical, financial, economical, or child rearing and family development side of security, her feminist leanings openly condition, support and promote partnership dissolution… often the masculine surrogate they ultimately turn to is a societal one– government. One they ultimately cannot divorce themselves from.

Ultimate Gender Expectation

Our gender schemas are deeply embedded within the cognitive and social frameworks regarding what defines masculine and feminine. While there is a multitude of socializing agents that work to formalize, instruct and guide these roles, what is apparent is the consequences of those socialized function have on our relationship structures and our relationships health and wellbeing when coupled with the very unchanging biological nature of our being. Ultimately it is an individual’s choice and obligation to take the helm of their life. To make the decision they choose fit to guide and direct it. To do so otherwise is to sail the seas of circumstances with an helm unmanned.