Forever Yours The Secret Password To His Heart eBook .pdf
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Forever Yours™ : The Secret Password To His Heart by Carlos Cavallo
OF A (FORMER)
How She Captured My Heart Forever
The Ultimate Date Night - Revealed!
Hi, this is Carlos Cavallo, and I’m going to
reveal to you some “Confessions” of a
Well, I used to be, but not anymore...
This will work for you whether you just
started dating, if you’ve been in a
relationship for a while or even if you’re
I want to give you the EXACT recipe for the
ultimate romantic date that could turn
your relationship around. Especially if he’s
distant or pulling away from you right now.
✴Even if you think he’s perfectly happy
and would never even consider going
astray - but you know something has
changed between you two...
In the next few pages I’m going to reveal to
you a foolproof plan to rekindle the
romance and pull him close with a
passionate night that he will never forget,
and probably tell his buddies about it for
weeks after it happens.
✴Even if he’s starting to run hot and
cold on you and you’re not sure where
he stands, even if you’re feeling the
distance between you is growing farther
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
✴Even if you suspect he might be on
the way out the door - or there might be
another woman moving in on him...
Now, before I sat down to write this report
for you, I went looking to see what I could
find out there in the books, articles and
online information on this topic. Frankly I
There is a lot of really bad stuff out there
and downright dangerous information out
there on this topic.
Mostly women are writing these articles,
and they’re coming up with shockingly
inaccurate advice. Like, “take him to a wine
Now, the point is not that he wouldn’t enjoy
that, and we would. We wouldn’t mind
going to a wine bar, but you need to see
past this ‘sophisticated man’ veneer that
he’s projecting to you and acknowledge
that your man wants to get primal.
I might add, the father of her two beautiful
Are you intrigued? Excited? Skeptical?
Look, I wouldn’t blame you for being any or
all of those, and I’ll show you exactly how
Jen did it with a simple romantic date that
took five minutes to plan, and it not only
kept me from pulling away from her, but
made me head over heels in love with her.
I don’t mean sexually, though that’s
something you can have later on. But you
have to understand, men these days are
sorely lacking in both male role models and
healthy masculine activities that affirm his
It’s a night I’ll never forget, and I’ll tell you
about it all here in this confession of a
(former) commitment-phobe. I will also tell
I’m not talking about macho chest-beating
you more about how you can crack open
here, I’m talking about the real connection
the shell around his heart and get him to
he needs to feel to his own masculinity, and adore you with a passion a little bit later in
how most women today have also lost
touch with how to help him reconnect with
it in the right way.
I will also show you the single biggest
mistake women make with men that
Because when you do know how to do this, could accidentally make him emotionally
and you can do it, you will have men eating disconnect without you even knowing
out of the palm of your hand. They will
about it, It’s that big and it’s that important.
astonish you with their passion and energy
- their unfailing desire to do one simple
But first, let’s build the Perfect Passionate
thing: make you happy.
and romantic date for him that could be the
one thing you need to revive your romance
Do you know how I know this romantic date and your relationship. For now, let’s talk
recipe works? Because it worked on me.
about the basics of creating the ultimate
My girlfriend Jen used the exact same
formula to turn me, a confirmed bachelor,
into her adoring and devoted husband, and
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
The first basic is no movies, unless you
throw in the DVD or Blu-ray player to finish
off the end of the evening. Keep the movie
short if you do, and make it an action/
adventure movie. Maybe you throw in a little
bit of romance in it.
date - because you’re going to get at least a
1000% back after all is said and done.
Another rule here is that it’s not the what you
do as much as the how. It’s similar to
women, right? I will talk about this in great
detail in my Forever Yours, the Secret
Password to His Heart Program, and I’m
going to show you here exactly how to give
him the experience he will never forget.
One more tip up front: Make sure that you’re
starting out by not needing any particular or
specific result from this date. If you go in
with an expectation that you’re going to get
something from this date, you’re going to
send out a vibe of ‘need’ that could kill the
fun for him.
Let me ask you this: Would you be okay if
it took a few days, maybe even a week for
the results to show?
A good example of a movie like that would
be “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” the one with
Angelina and Brad, notorious for their
romance starting on the set of that movie,
and it’s a great action movie. Guys will
totally enjoy it, and you’ll get a little out of it
too. But again, make it all about his interest.
* A little side note here, make sure you avoid
Valentine’s Day or any major holiday for this
“Ultimate Date.” Doing that is just too loaded
with expectations and baggage, and you
don’t want that going in. And also don’t worry
about money. Chances are he’s going to be
volunteering to pay for all of it. But even if
he doesn’t, any woman can afford this little
turnaround secret date.
Well, if you can say yes to that, you’re in a
perfect place. But remember, it’s actually
more likely that he’s going to start turning
around and responding to you probably
halfway to three quarters of the way through
this date - even if he was turning cold and
pulling away from you before.
Before Jen and I met, she used this method
on a previous boyfriend of hers, and he
proposed to her the week afterwards. Of
course, I’m glad she said no to him!
Your goal with this ultimate romantic date is
to bring up two words in his mind:
Surprising and Unforgettable. You want to
be able to surprise him a little bit and you
want to make sure it’s memorable.
At the end of the day - and at the end of the
date - there’s only one thing he really wants
to feel and know in his heart, “She paid
attention to what I liked.” If you can focus
on that and deliver that to him, you will
definitely get your man.
Remember also that it’s all about him - until
it isn’t. Most guys will eventually turn the
focus of this date around and make it a little
bit about you at some point, even if you set it
Now, there are three steps to this ultimate
up and made it all about him at the start.
1. Tease the mystery
Now, you want to make sure to take care of
2. Start the chase
him, but make sure you kick it off with at
3. Make the moment
least 50% to 100% focus on him for this
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
Okay, let’s start with...
Tease The Mystery
Tell him you want to give him a “night to
remember,” and use those exact words: “I
want to give you a night to remember.”
Here’s what Jen actually said to me. We
were talking on the phone, and she said,
“Want to have some fun?” And I said, “Of
course, you bet.”
She said, “I want to take you out on Friday.
Are you man enough to let me do that?”
Now, a little note here: What did she do by
saying that? She challenged me, and you
need to challenge him, too.
I’ll give you an example of this. A girl that I
coached with this little tip was taking her guy
out and she told him, “Make sure you bring a
pair of your worst shoes.” He’s like, “What?
Why?” She’s like, “Don’t worry, just do it.”
And where did they go? Well, she ended up
taking him bowling. Of course, which made
total sense because you don’t want to leave
your good shoes there at the bowling alley.
Now, the day before the date, Jen also
texted me. And you should do this too. She
texted me, “Are you ready for tonight?” And
after she did that, I could not get her - or our
date that night - out of my mind for one
minute. It just jacked up that curiosity factor
to the Nth degree.
You should be doing this all the time, by the
way, in playful ways. Never actually mock or
insult his masculinity, just hint that you’re not
totally convinced about him yet. You would
be amazed what this does to get a guy
Get him to commit to the night. No ifs, ands,
or buts. He is to be totally in and committed
to the scheduled time that you’re going to go
out, and if you tease him and handle this
right, he will be. If he’s been a bit cold or
distant with you, don’t forget, I’m going to be
sharing with you how to really turn him
around for good later in this report.
Two days before the date, you should call
him and tease him a little bit. Jen did this to
me when we were talking.
Start The Chase
She said, “Oops, I almost slipped and told
you what we are doing...!”
The second step in the ultimate date formula
is to start the chase.
That was great, because what did it do? It
made me think, “What? What is it? What
are we going to be doing???” It got me
thinking and really focused on that and
Remember that your goal with this ultimate
romantic date is twofold. Number one is to
amaze him with how good a girlfriend you
are, or even a wife if you’re trying to revive
your marriage, and number two is to restart
his drive to chase you. Now, we’re going to
come back to this one later because this is
If you can, you can also have him bring
something along on the date that will make
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
A little ground rule: At some point he’s going
to start getting really flirty and touchy-feely
during this date. You want to play a little
hard to get if you want to drive up this sexual
desire and attraction and intention.
A man goes out of his way to create lots of
SHE dates, and WE dates in the start, but
rarely ever does he get a HE date.
You see, Jen knew this. She was the one
who was cutting the kisses and the cuddles
short on our date - no matter how sorely
tempted she was to bask in them.
Now, let’s go into some of the ideas for what
your date will actually be now. And you can
choose more than one of these. You don’t
want to overload, but two of these activities
is actually a good plan for the night.
You’re driving up the desire and the
constructive sexual tension. This is part of
the unforgettable part that will get him
chasing you. And by the way, I’ll tell you how
to channel this desire for you closer to the
end of this report.
THAT is your goal. Make sense?
The thought is you want to boost his
masculinity. Whatever you two do together,
it should be all about manliness. It doesn’t
have anything to do with sophistication and
intellectual thinking. You want to appeal to
the gut level man in him.
What you have to do is make a “HE” date for
him. You see, there’s a “HE” date, a “SHE”
Here are some ideas:
date, and a “WE” date.
Go to a beer brewery. Do a tasting there.
Here’s how they look:
Try out the beers they’ve got on tap.
Go to a comedy club. Pick a raunchy but
tolerable act that he can get into. Again, you
want to have something that would appeal to
the man inside him.
Go to an arcade. That’s a fun one to go to
with the rollercoaster or two.’
Go to go-karts, pool, billiards or darts
This was the one that Jen used on me. The
idea here is you want to start some friendly
competition. That competition actually gets
the attraction mechanism moving again. It
gets the mental juices flowing, if you will,
and gets him fully engaged.
The HE Date is everything HE would like to
do. The SHE date is everything YOU want to
do. And the WE date is what you wind up
doing most often that is good for you both.
The problem is that most women never
make a real HE date - something that is
expressly all about what he would like to do.
And when she does try, she typically only
manages to get something in the WE date
zone - a bit closer to his side. Never quite in
that sweet spot of “Wow!” for him.
Go to a flea market, some place you can go
to buy funky stuff. That’s another thing.
Guys love to look for cool stuff, either on
sale or that’s been hard to find. Go to a
gadget store, for example. That’s another
great place to go.
Go to a sporting event. This is another
great plan. Go to a baseball game or a
football game or a hockey game. It doesn’t
have to be a major team or like a big
expense. Don’t blow hundreds of dollars on
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
Maybe something a little different, maybe
Lacrosse, or something a little off the beaten
path, especially if he’s into sports. Again,
this is competition that he can watch.
They’ve actually done studies that show
men’s testosterone levels rise when they’re
watching sporting events.
Is he a comic book geek, take him to a
comic book show or Asian film festival,
especially if they have Japanese anime.
You might have to think a little bit and be
creative, but THAT is what you want to be
able to do. Be unforgettable.
Just so you know, Jen started out our
Ultimate Romantic date with a game or two
of bowling, and then she took me to a local
San Francisco club that’s called Ruby Sky
here in downtown San Francisco. Because
she knew I was into electronic dance music,
and we had a blast dancing there.
Go to laser tag. Yes, you heard that right,
laser tag. That’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great
experience. You can run around the dark,
trying to zap each other. Again, it’s also
physical, and that part is going to come up
again. That’s really important in what you do
Let me tell you about where you don’t want
to go. I want you to avoid, at least for the
Paintball is also a great option. That one
short term because you’re trying to
might be a little too physical for you, but
accomplish a particular goal with this date,
again, don’t underestimate how fun it
avoid the museum.
actually is. Every time I’ve gone to do
paintball, I’m always really surprised at how Avoid movies where you’re just sitting in the
many women show up at paintball.
dark and don’t interact with each other.
That’s not a good place to go.
There’s also live music. Take him a rock
show, or if he’s into a certain kind of band,
Avoid shopping unless it happens to be at a
maybe take him to a cover band or tribute
guy store like I mentioned before. Also
band, but something on the rock & roll end
avoid any place you’ve gone to recently or
of the spectrum instead of perhaps classical frequently with him in the past.
Also, remember, don’t try to appeal to his
inner brainiac. Keep it separate. Keep it
more gut level, physical is better.
You don’t want to try and turn on his mind unless that’s an appetizer in this overall
game plan. You want to appeal to his
masculinity, and that is really the secret
key to this. (I’ll tell you more about how to
do that in a bit.)
You could also go bowling like I mentioned
before. Take him to a bowling alley and
have a couple of games. There are also
arcades in bowling alleys so you can
actually combine a couple with that one
Think about what his favorite hobby is. Take
him to something that’s related to that. If
he’s into guitars, take him to a guitar show.
Keeping him out for the places that he
mentions as being cool and he hasn’t been
there in a while. Bonus points if you can
remember this from your conversations! I
also explain at great length how to get a
man to open up in conversation in my
Forever Yours - The Secret Password to
His Heart Program, by the way.
You can also start with dinner if you like, but
make sure you’re making it for him. Don’t
go to a restaurant if you can possibly avoid
it. If you don’t cook, get creative. Get some
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
really different takeout and have it waiting for
him when he gets to your place, or order
If you want to end up at your place, make
some cool appetizers.
sure he meets you there to begin with. If
you want to end up at his place, make sure
you meet him there. Or neither if you don’t
intend on spending the night.
I’ll give you another example: Another place
Jen brought me, and this was a different
Give him directions as you drive. You can
date. She took me to a bar where they had
either tell him where to go, or you can just
alligator, snake, and turtle as appetizers.
use the voice GPS on your phone for a little
Now, as strange as it sounds, guys love
bit of fun.
weird food like this. Not disgusting, just a
little bit weird.
Tease him a little bit along the way. You can
say things like, “I don’t know. Maybe we
You see, they want to have bragging rights
shouldn’t do this. You might not be ready for
to their buddies the next day. We want to
this kind of fun.” Throw out little digs to
have this on our bucket list of things we’ve
challenge him and tease him.
tried. He wants to be able to say, “Dude, I
ate some octopus!”
One of the most overlooked parts of really
getting a man into you is really the easiest
Now, don’t worry if you’re a little low on cash. thing in the world, which is why so few of us
He only needs the fun part of this equation to actually do it, men or women, and it’s really
be happy, and again, chances are, he’s still
important. It’s really, really important.
going to pick up drinks and incidentals along
the way. I did on my date with Jen, and I
It’s so important that I’m going to point it out
didn’t mind it one bit.
So what’s the deal with a chase? Why have
I been emphasizing that? Well, it just so
happens that men are never completely
happy in a relationship unless they are
balancing between “do I have her” and “I
have her, I think.” The truth is that women
also enjoy this push-pull effect. It’s this
doubt that’s mixed in, and that’s the secret
sauce of all the attraction between men and
The one thing you absolutely must do is
listen to him.
I’ll tell you more about how to use this
energy in a minute. Right now: the third step
in the ultimate date formula...
Make The Moment
Step number 3 is “make the moment,”
otherwise known as rock his world.
Have him meet you wherever it is you want
to be at the end of the night. This is one of
those little things you want to plan for.
All through this date, that’s it, you just want
to listen to him. Just listen to what he says,
and then ask him some of the best questions
you can think of to get him to tell you more
about it. Get him talking and get him to
believe, “Wow, she’s really listening to me.”
This alone is really devastating. It really
opens up a man’s heart. It’s amazing what
this does. It will spike his curiosity and his
interest in you to unbelievable levels. And it’s
CONFESSIONS OF A COMMITMENT-PHOBE
really important to note this because so few
women actually do this.
don’t know about - and most men could
never explain to you.
I know it seems like it’s the most obvious
thing to do, but really, most women don’t
know how to do this correctly.
If you were to do this one thing, it probably
would be enough to get him to stop and take
notice of you again, if necessary. But if you
don’t keep this momentum moving in the
right direction, he could slip away again.
A little note here, if you’re already intimate
with him, if you’re in a place in your
relationship where you two are sexually
intimate, you can really finish this evening
off with fireworks that will have talking about
you to his friends for weeks. It’s the
proverbial “icing on the cake.”
If you’re not there yet, then it’s no problem.
Just know that he will be calling you and
probably even texting you on his way home.
I have yet to have a woman who used this
simple date recipe and didn’t wind up with
him begging her to be his girlfriend. Or
getting even more commitment than she
expected out of him after all was said and
Sex is going to be on his mind, but the
buildup will already be 90% of the
experience for him. (Yes, men really enjoy
this kind of foreplay and buildup too...!)
Oh, before I forget...
If your man has been growing distant, this
strategy will help you relight that spark, but
there’s something else you should know.
You might get a few sparks started, but you
need to know how to throw a little gasoline
on your relationship fire.
This time maybe even for good.
The fact is that if he’s been distant, he has a
primal need in him to reconnect with you.
He actually wants to be close to you.
But most women don’t realize that he’s
actually just stuck and he needs your
help to get moving again in the right
direction, with you and your relationship.
If you don’t jump in quickly with the right
things to say, he could be tempted by
women outside your relationship to find that
connection he really wants with you. The
fact is that most men might not cheat on you
physically, but he might unintentionally cheat
on you emotionally.
The only way to stop this from happening is
to know the signal he’s looking for so
that you can stop him from pulling away,
get him to open up to you and commit
himself to you completely.
What I just revealed to you about the
Ultimate Romantic Date can work for you but only if you know where he is on the
road to commitment.
Now if you’re not aware, there are actually
THREE QUESTIONS you can use to open
his heart. And then every date with him will
be a romantic night to remember.
You see, there are three ordinary questions
that reveal this special signal.
What you’ve just learned about this Ultimate
Date Recipe is a secret that most women
This signal is the password to his heart. His
password is what you need to break through
and get him to open up and commit. His
password is the signal he needs to see from
you to know that it’s okay to keep going forward, to open up, and to commit
his heart and soul to you.
You can discover these three everyday questions that you can use to
open up the armor around his heart so that you can understand everything
he’s thinking and feeling. Break through his shell and connect with him on
a deep emotional level, and he will realize you’re his soulmate forever.
There’s a new breakthrough in psychology that reveals the real reason
your man pulls away and resist committing to you, why it’s not your
fault, and how you can unlock his heart, unleash his passion for you, and
create lasting love without playing games, and even if your man is pulling
away and hasn’t taken you on a proper date in a year.
Don’t let him slip away...!
Go to www.PasswordToHisHeart.com to discover these 3 ordinary
questions that reveal his secret password - that gets you into his mind and
heart, waking up his romantic devotion for you so that he sees you as the
only woman he ever needs.
I’ll even tell you what happened after my Ultimate Romantic Date that Jen
took me on...
... And how I did something that could only be classified as crazy love
right there on the spot...!
I’ll tell you about it in the
video - because this could
be the most important video
you will see this year, or
Don’t wait because it will
only be available for a
Click the button you see below, or go to: www.PasswordToHisHeart.com
to discover the three questions that will give you the password to his
This is Carlos Cavallo, and I look forward to talking to you again soon...
Hey, this is Carlos Cavallo, and I want to welcome you back. We’ve got a
great week for you. I’ve got some very cool content on the five relationship
skills you have to have to keep a strong connection with a guy. These are
the five communication skills you must have.
Communication skills are relationship skills. They’re directly related. They
are so close, in fact, that they are the exact same thing. You can’t have a
relationship without communication. It’s that essential.
Now, you can set things up from the beginning of a relationship so that a
man naturally wants a commitment from you. He’s naturally the one asking
you to be exclusive as well as giving you the kind of communication that
you need, and you can basically count on him to communicate back with
One of the things, and these are some kind of precursors, to setting up the
good environment for communication is your posture and how you
establish yourself. I’m going to give you quick example, and this is on the
topic of boundaries.
Boundaries are very, very important because basically those are the limits
where you draw the line and prevent other people from infringing on your
personal world, and that is your personal rights, your emotions, and
essentially they’re the limits of what you’re going to put up with and what
Boundaries apply in small matters and big matters, and in pretty much
every area of your life, in the romantic, to the physical, to the spiritual, to
the practical, to your career, every single thing.
Now, some people draw their boundaries really close to themselves, and
they allow other people to infringe on their personal world radically, without
any resistance. This is a bad personal boundary.
Other people draw this huge, expanse boundaries that protect even their
smallest and least significant rights and emotions constantly. They’re just
relentless about these things.
You’ve got to strike a balance between the two of them. Sometimes it’s
bigger, sometimes the boundaries are smaller. But I want to give you a
couple of dynamics, a couple of examples of this.
The first example is a woman is getting on her train ride. Here in San
Francisco Bay area we have this thing called Caltrans and Caltrain, which
actually is a train that goes from San Jose up to San Francisco.
So let’s just say a woman is on that train. She’s riding a busy train.
There’s one seat available in her car that she got on to, but there’s this
businessman and he’s sitting on one seat and he’s using that seat for his
laptop bag while he’s working on his computer.
Now, the woman basically wants to sit down and certainly she has a right to
sit down, but she’s going to handle the situation differently depending on
the strength of her boundaries. So there are three levels of boundaries,
there is strong, medium and weak.
The strong boundary is she’s going to walk up to the guy, on this guy that’s
got his laptop bag there, and she’s going to ask him politely to move his
bag please so she can sit down.
If she has medium boundaries, she might walk into his field of view, being a
little tentative, a little bit sort of there hoping that he’s going to see her and
take initiative and say, “Oh here, have a seat,” and he’ll move his bag
himself. But if he doesn’t, she’ll just stay standing.
Now, the woman with weak boundaries, she’s going to be too nervous
about upsetting him at all. She’s going to tell herself, “I can just stand. It’s
not that far,” and that’s exactly what she’s going to end up doing. She’ll
basically let him override her boundaries without even saying anything,
without even trying. So there’s an example of the strong, medium and
Let me give you another example just to help you understand even better.
In our second example, a girl, she’s basically throwing a party, and the
party has a theme. Everybody that came has to dress up in a costume of
some kind. It’s not a Halloween party, but it is a costume party.
Now, she wants to invite this guy that she’s got a crush on. Now, the idea
of the party is that anybody who comes to the party has to wear a costume,
and the girl knows that if she lets one person come in his normal everyday
clothes or a girl to come in her everyday clothes, other people will do it too
and then the theme will be ruined. It will just be weakened and it will
basically mess up the party.
Now, when she invites the guy she likes, he tells her that he liked to come,
but he doesn’t have a costume to wear and he’s got no time between now
and the party to actually go out and get one.
So how would a girl with strong boundaries handle that?
Well, a woman with a strong boundaries will smile, maybe throw in a wink
or a nudge to the guy, kind of a little bit of a, “Ha-ha, okay,” and tell him,
“You know what, if you really want to come, you have to find a way to get a
costume for the party.” She’s not going to let him ruin the party basically
just because she likes him. Do you see what the difference is there?
A woman with medium boundaries won’t bend on the requirements, but she
might offer to help him find a costume. She’ll go out of her way and she’ll
basically use up some of her personal time to accommodate him, maybe
buy him a costume that he can put on when he gets there or something.
A girl with weak boundaries would just tell the guy, “Oh, don’t worry, it’s not
a big deal, and you can just come anyway,” and he’ll end up coming without
a costume and basically walking all over her, and he knows exactly what
kind of a woman she is based on how she handles that situation.
This is really important because these boundaries are so essential. People
with weak boundaries can be thought of sometimes as being charitable and
kind, but the reality is that sometimes that it’s very inaccurate to think
people that way, and the people that have really strong boundaries are
often perceived as jerks or bitches or even, pardon the term, assholes.
But those labels are very inaccurate, it’s not true, and usually, basically, we
give those labels because of the contrast between them and the person
that has to experience the other person.
A strong boundaries person isn’t necessarily a jerk. There are people that
do have strong boundaries that are bitches, assholes or jerks, and there
are people with weak boundaries that are kind and charitable people, but
there are also people that do not fit those particular labels that have those
Now, why am I going to all this detail about boundaries? Well, healthy
boundaries are a sign of confidence, somebody who respects themselves,
somebody who knows their own self worth. Weak boundaries typically, on
the other hand, are a sign of insecurity and a low self-esteem.
The woman who asked the guy in the train for a seat knows that she is just
as good as that guy is. She’s just as deserving to get that seat, so she’s
got no problem asking or even telling him to move his bag if she wants that
seat, and she doesn’t really care what he thinks.
The woman who lets her date show up without the costume is, again, weak
boundaries, demonstrating that she’s below his league, below his level, and
she’s afraid to basically do anything that might lose him.
That’s where you know that you’ve crossed the line, when a woman or a
man basically makes a concession because they don’t want to lose the
other person, but that is an imaginary rule they’ve just created. They think
in their mind, “Oh, if I do that, they won’t like me. If I do that, they won’t
ever want to talk to me. If I do that, that’s too much. They’ll think I’m a
They define this basically because they’ve lowered their sense of self worth
so low that they believe that people would reach this way to somebody
who’s demonstrating a healthy boundary. Again, it all comes down to how
you demonstrate it.
I’ll admit that from many years of my life, I was a very strong boundary
person, and I didn’t really express it very well, so I kind of fit that jerk and
asshole category. I learned after a while why it is, that I can’t be a doormat,
but I also learned why it is that I can’t use that as an excuse to treat people
anything less than the best I can. It’s really important.
So back to the communication skills that you’ve got to have, because I
want to make sure that you’re coming from the right place. You want to
maintain that power in the relationship. You want to be able to have that
good boundary, that good limit. You’ve got to be selective.
So the five skills that I’m outlining here, and there’s some overlap between
them and among them, but I’m trying to group them as best I can. The five
skills go as follows…
So let’s go through these really quickly. First of all, the first one is listening,
and listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak as the saying goes.
We’re not just waiting for our turn to talk, we’re actually paying attention to
the other person.
Unfortunately, most people do think that listening is nothing more than
waiting for the other person to finish talking so that we can talk.
The second part of it is being able to recognize between a person that’s
venting, and a person who’s actually actively seeking a solution to their
problem, a solution-oriented person.
Women typically will talk about a problem they’re having and they just want
to vent, and guys misunderstand this because guys are geared towards
finding solutions for things, so when a guy hears this, he automatically
assumes it’s not a venting thing, he assumes it’s a, “Oh, you need my help.
Let me help you.”
That’s one of the big differences in communication between men and
women that you probably understand now after having gone through my
programs, so you have to recognize that.
Recognize that men do the same thing. Recognize when he’s just venting
and when he’s seeking a solution to his problem.
Reacting appropriately is another part of a listening skill, which is to be able
to react appropriately with whatever he says.
Is he saying something that you should be going, “Aha, yeah,” that you
should be responding to, or is he saying something you should just nod
your head to, or is he saying something where you shouldn’t really respond
at all and you should just give him your full focus and keep your eyes open
and just look at him and absorb what it is he’s saying?
There are different reactions for different situations.
Another listening skill, and this is a tough one, don’t interrupt. It’s so tough,
isn’t it? You want to throw in what it is you’ve got to say because you don’t
want to forget it. That’s a lot of what happens, we don’t want to forget what
it is, “Oh, I’ve got to say this before I forget to say this.”
What it ends up doing is, it actually creates more of a disturbance in the
communication. It actually interrupts the communication. It also pushes
you further apart because he doesn’t feel heard. The same thing happens
with you, when he interrupts you, the same thing. Don’t interrupt.
Also is not getting defensive. The first response that actually kills most or
any really good communication over a contentious subject is
defensiveness. The second where you feel like you’ve got to save face,
you’ve got to be defensive in some way, that’s when you make it very, very
difficult to have the other person believe you’re even hearing them.
When you become defensive, you cut off the communication they need.
It’s no longer a two-way street, and the dynamic of energy going between
you, it’s cut off so that the energy basically feels like an attack and you’re
There’s reflexive listening, and this is the ability to repeat things back to
that person without having to sound like you’re a parrot, and unfortunately,
people do know this skill, but execute it poorly in many cases.
They’ve heard this before and so what they do is they repeat exactly the
same thing what the other person said, in the exact same words, and it
sounds like it’s being a parrot.
So he says, “Honey, I just don’t feel that you’re really hearing about my
needs these days.”
And she looks at him and goes, “So you’re saying that I’m not really
hearing about what your needs are these days.”
And he looks at her and goes, “Yeah, that’s just what I said. Why are you
just repeating back the exact same words? It doesn’t really sound like
you’re actually listening. I just sounds like you’re being a parrot.”
So you have to paraphrase, which is the ability to hear what he says and
say it back in a slightly different way.
And she would say in that case, “So okay, if I understand what you’re
saying, you’re saying that I’m really hearing what it is that you need, unless
you’ve tried to express it to me. Is that what you’re saying?” And then she
asks that question again to seek clarification, to make sure that he feels
He’ll go, “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m feeling.”
But you’re not using the exact same words, and by paraphrasing, you
immediately demonstrated that you understand because you said it a
different way. It’s a very critical distinction in the ability to reflect back a
Remember, the other person doesn’t care about anything until they’re
heard. You don’t care about what he’s got to say to you until you feel like
he actually heard what you said to him in the first place, how you express
your feelings to him, and the same thing goes both ways.
That’s the listening skill.
The next one is the apology skill. Now, why would we need the apology
skill? Well, as a communication skill in relationships, it is absolutely critical.
It’s the ability to basically own up and admit when you have made an error,
or you have had a problem, or there is something that you need to
It doesn’t mean that he hasn’t got any flaws. Unfortunately, this is the kind
of double bind we get into. If we feel like he’s also got issues, well, we
can’t admit to our own because then, well, that’s not fair.
You’ve got to make it sincere. If you’re going to apologize for something,
make it sincere. You can’t add in “but” at the end of it, “Well, honey, I’m
sorry that you feel that way, but I…” Because immediately there, you’re like
pushing them in a chest and pushing them back.
That’s the verbal equivalent of pushing a man back, because the “but” says
that you’re not agreeing. The “sorry you feel that way” is a very insincere
way of saying something, by the way. it’s also not a true apology. You’ve
got to be careful about that one.
I’ve used that frequently, and it’s not a real apology, it’s just feels fake and it
also feels very thin. So don’t insert “but” in there. Make it a sincere
apology if you have something to own up to.
But on the other hand, but don’t apologize if you weren’t at fault. If you
genuinely weren’t at fault, then don’t apologize, explain your position. Wait
until he’s vented his emotions, and then come back to it with a clear
You can say, “Honey, I really am sorry that you felt that way. I just didn’t
know, however, I have to let you know I didn’t do that. I never called her up
and said that.” So you do have to clarify. Don’t apologize for something
that you didn’t do.
Also, don’t withhold apologies to keep power. This is another pattern that
we get into in relationships where we’d hold back on our apology to keep
the power in our court, in our side of the equation.
It’s very frequently done. It’s done frequently from the female side. Men do
it too, but again it’s one of those things you’ve got to be aware of where you
hold back on apologizing because if you were to apologize, well, suddenly
now you’ve given up power.
You’ve made yourself one below your partner.
That’s the way we often look at these things, however, that’s not the way it
really is. If you do it confidently and you don’t make it a case of, “Oh God, I
was so wrong. How could you even love me? Here, shoot me. I’m just
No, that’s not how you handle it. You say, “Look, I’m so sorry I did that,
sweetie. I never really intended to say it that way, and I’m sorry if that’s
what I did. I just didn’t mean to do that.” And then you move forward
confidently. You don’t sit there and wallow in the apology.
If the person kind of makes you feel like you should, like you need to sit
there and stew in your apology and feel really, really bad, well, you’ve got
to have an issue with that because that shows a very immature response
on their part. Simple apology is all you need.
Maybe one, maybe two, but not much more than that. Apologies do not
have to go on forever and they should not be repeated over and over, or
have to be repeated over and over.
Typically, one apology is enough after the other person has vented. If they
haven’t gotten all the emotions out of their system, they may need more
than one apology simply because they don’t feel like the emotion has been
fully vented out and purged from their system.
So the next skill is how to argue fairly, how to turn a conflict into something
good. Well, first, pick your battles. This is something I learned that is really
important is that some things you just need to let go. It doesn’t matter if
you’re right or they’re wrong, but the small things sometimes you just have
to let go. Even if they’re wrong, you may just have to ignore it.
I’ve had to learn that within my relationship, that frequently my partner, Jen,
will do something wrong, and I just have to let it go, or one of our kids will
do something wrong, and you know what, I can’t point out every single one
of them. I can’t be the jerk doing that, so I have to let some of those things
I have to pick my battles that really have the most impact and think long
term, “Is my bringing this up going to make things better?” Now, sure, yes,
you have a need to express your feelings, but sometimes, you really don’t
Sometimes you mistake this need to express ourselves which modern
society has granted us like it’s an entitlement. No, sometimes you don’t get
to express all of your feelings the way you want to, but you know what, a
mature adult can deal with that.
Now, when you’re arguing and you’re arguing fairly, you’re going to have to
keep on topic. Don’t get distracted. Don’t get pulled off course. You want
to keep it neutral.
You don’t want to get personal, and that again is something that happens
when emotions come into the mix, especially when it come to the fore. Be
careful about things getting too personal where you start pulling in details.
This also kind of falls in line with keeping things on topic. If you become
distracted, if you start bringing in things that don’t belong in the argument, it
can often turn personal without intending it to be.
Remember what’s your goal for this conversation, what are you trying to
accomplish? This is where it helps to avoid tempers. If you start feeling
that your emotions are boiling over, take a break, call a time out.
Say, “Look, I got to go and pee or something,” and just break off from the
conversation, take a break and come back to it. Let your emotions cool off.
It’s the old count to 10 thing.
No name calling or ranting. It’s really, really important. especially in
handling conflict, that we don’t use names of any kind. We don’t rant on
the other person and use this as an excuse to basically dump our
emotional baggage all over them. Do it maturely. Do it fairly.
If you need to do that kind of purging and name calling or ranting, maybe
you get a therapist that can listen to you rant about that stuff. But don’t
expect your partner to accept it. It’s not fair, and it’s also not a mature way
of handling it.
Don’t use their behavior to scourge yours, and what I mean by that is, a lot
of people tend to bring in the other person’s behaviors to defend
So if I go to my partner and say, “Look, honey, you’ve got to make sure to
lock the door at night because it’s unsafe sometimes in this neighborhood
and I don’t want anybody just wandering into our house. It’s really
important, you can’t forget that.”
And then she comes back to me with, “Well, you know, you forget to close
the garage door sometimes.”
Now, even if that’s true, and it may very well be, it’s an unfair defense for
the situation. One wrong does not make another wrong right. As the
saying goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” That’s where it comes from.
You have to resist that urge to use the other person’s behavior to excuse
The fact is in that situation with the doors not being locked, it was both
persons’ fault but separate situations. One does not immediately negate
the other. In other words, my leaving the garage door open would not
negate my ability to bring it up to Jen that the front door was left unlocked,
otherwise, what are we both doing? We’re both perpetuating the problem
instead of coming to the solution.
That’s why it helps to, of course, be neutral and not be too emotional about
these things because they can very often bite you in the ass when the other
person does eventually come around to bringing up the same thing.
Again, the defense of “well, you do it” is not a valid one for most of these
conversations. If there is a situation like that where the other person is
doing something similar, you have to ask yourself, “Why didn’t she say
something about theirs?”
What’s important is that you feel empowered to be able to bring up that
topic to them at a separate time. As the saying goes, “We’re not talking
about me.” It means that by deflecting it back on the other person simply
because they’ve made errors in the past does not really absolve you of
I hope that’s clear. It’s very important. It’s tough to handle sometimes
because it feels so unfair when you’re in a conversation and you know the
other person has made similar errors, but they’re pointing out yours are of
the same kind.
It doesn’t make your situation change. It just means that something
happened there where you didn’t feel comfortable or safe bringing it up to
them. Why not? Why didn’t you tell them about them leaving the garage
door open or whatever it is that they were doing wrong? Ask yourself.
That’s a very important thing to know.
No name calling or ranting, and of course, don’t use their behavior to
excuse yours. Listen to their point as well as your own. It’s really important
in the whole listening process.
It’s actually probably would be a fair bullet point for the listening section, but
being able to listen to their points and their feelings as well as your own
during the course of an argument. I’m assuming that this is a conversation
maybe you started.
You have to be willing to let the other person tell you why that thing
happened. Again, the defense is not, “Oh, you did it, so if I do it, it’s okay.”
No, it’s listening to their reasoning as to why it happened.
Keep everything in the present, no past hurts. If you have past hurts that
you’re bringing up again, that’s a different issue. There’s something there
that needs to be addressed.
If you’re still harboring ill will, negative emotions, hurt, whatever it may be
over past events, well, there’s something going on there. Why are you
holding on to those? Did you have a conversation about those and not
resolved it? Did you have a conversation and resolved it, but you still can’t
let it go?
Ask yourself why is that happening, why are you unable to let go of that
thing, because again it is a not fair sort of thing to bring those into our
current conversations, in our current arguments.
Keep it in the present tense, what’s going on with this one thing, and then
later on, if you have some grievances you want to bring up, well, by all
means, do that. But again, this is a common situation.
It’s more so with women who don’t want to rock the boat sometimes in a
relationship and what they will do is kind of push these things down deep
inside where they build up resentment, and unfortunately, contempt. You
can’t do that.
Then when the husband or the guy or the boyfriend brings up something
and it becomes an argument, then they feel like, “Oh, I’m going to lose now,
I’m going to pull out all these things.” Do you see how that happens? It’s
very tricky, and it also will trip up your relationship.
With arguments, you also want to make sure to express things using “I”
statements, not “you” statements, like you do this, you do that, you make
No, we don’t make each other, and we don’t make other people do things.
We want to believe that, but we’re not victims, we’re perfectly capable of
controlling our own emotions and our actions. What is often not realized is,
we’re choosing not to.
So when you express things, use “I” statements as in, “I feel like we have
to… I’m really going through a tough time…” When you create it from your
point of view and your emotional perspective, well, you can’t argue with it,
and he’s going to think a little differently about how he responds to you as
He’s not going to be immediately defensive when he hears that. He’s going
to hear on something that he feels like he should probably help you with as
opposed to try and save face or defend themselves from. It’s a very big
difference. When he hears “you,” he hears an attack. When he hears “I,”
he hears something that he needs to pay attention to.
Of course, in every argument, leave a little bit of room for compromise.
Sometimes we can’t have it all our way, and sometimes they can’t have it
all their way, and sometimes we have to meet somewhere in that middle.
That’s what compromise is about, and knowing when to give in a little bit
here and there so that both people can at least not feel like they were taken
advantage of in the situation is so essential.
So after knowing how to argue fairly, the next conversation and
communication skill you’ve got to have is the vulnerability. Vulnerability is
an element that is often overlooked. It’s an essential and critical
component to every friendship, every relationship we have. You can’t have
a loving relationship without a certain level of vulnerability.
What does that mean? It means sometimes you’ve got to open up, and
this has been a very difficult path for a lot of guys is knowing where they
need to open up, how they can express themselves, particularly with
For women, I’ve seen it’s more of a sharing information side of things. Very
often women will hold onto information protectively, and it becomes a
ground of contention with the guys, and the guys, they withhold their
emotions. They don’t share what’s actually going on in their feelings
because they’re not used to it.
They’re not feeling as competent and explaining it and describing those
emotions, so there are again two sides of this. Vulnerability is that opening
up of ourselves. It allows the other person to see who we really are.
It’s tricky because we don’t want to be vulnerable in the way of showing
them our potential weakness and having the other person use it against us.
That’s an unfair vulnerability. It’s an unfair way of using vulnerability.
Being vulnerable also means listening without defending. It’s back to the
one that I just spoke about a moment ago in the argument’s area. It’s that
ability to listen to a person and you can hear what they’re saying without
having to defend yourself.
You can think, “Maybe what he’s saying is right. Maybe I need to look at
this. Maybe I shouldn’t just kneejerk defend myself and try and save face.
Maybe I should stop and let the façade down for a second and let this in,
instead of trying to deflect it so that I can protect my ego and protect how I
am viewed by the other person.”
Remember, men have a lot less experience describing their emotional state
and their inner experience, so this vulnerability thing can be very difficult for
them, just from that aspect alone.
They don’t know how to explain their emotions away quite as well. They’re
not as used to the subtle nuances of mixing and overlapping emotions
even, but women are, women have a much wider and more diverse
emotional vocabulary and emotional spectrum to go through.
Don’t react to criticism with defensiveness. It sounds like maybe a repeat
of something I’ve already said, but think about that again, don’t react to
their criticism with defensiveness, and this one is really, really tough.
It’s really tough and it’s probably the single most necessary skill to have in
conflict and in arguments and in our communications with our loved ones.
It’s this ability to not react and lash out at the other person.
Sometimes what they’re saying is totally wrong, and you know what, even if
it is, you’ve got to be able to stop for a second with a quiet conscience and
a quiet heart and be able to sit there and go...
“You know what, I can wait. I know he’s wrong, and I know I need to
explain this, but I can wait, and I can let him vent it out, and then I can
come back and refute it instead of jumping right in with, ‘No, no, no, you’re
wrong. Let me tell you why.”
Because on the other person, even if you are right and they are wrong,
they’re not going to hear because they never really got to fully express their
own emotions, and this is especially true for guys who have a hard enough
time with it as it is.
Again, this is super tough and it’s probably the number one thing you have
to work on, it is this ability to stop yourself when you feel the immediacy,
the urgency to defend yourself, and stop and just go, “Wait, I’m going to
wait, and I’m going to hear it out.”
Of course, being vulnerable also requires you to take responsibility from
time to time. Sometimes you’ve got to take responsibility for the things you
did wrong and just admit it, and that’s a vulnerability to be able to do that.
The last skill I’m going to talk to you about is balancing honesty with
kindness. It’s knowing when complete honesty isn’t always needed.
Sometimes in relationships, we feel like we should be able to say anything,
tell anything, and do anything. It’s supposed to be like this area where we
just drop all boundaries between us and the other person.
In fact, this is really not the case. Not that you should be hiding things, by
any stretch, but you still have to think about how you communicate. You
have to know when you should be able to tell things, and when you
shouldn’t be able to tell the complete truth to the other person.
It still hurts that a man loves you in a way that you probably would never
admit, and then that involves a certain amount of vulnerability that goes
way beyond what many women understand from a man.
So knowing when to be very completely honest and when to maybe coat it
with a little bit of sugar, maybe make it a little more digestible, a little bit
more less in his face. It might lack a little bit of the punch, but at the same
time, it will save so much more in terms of his feelings for you.
Avoiding the guilt of this as well. Avoiding the guilt of being honest with the
other person. Very often we get caught up in a trap of feeling guilty over
things, and we’ll want to express certain things. Well, some things we just
don’t need to tell our partner. They’re not just that important.
If you’ve ever had a moment where you’ve got done with a conversation
and thought to yourself, “Geez, I probably shouldn’t have said that,” you
know what I’m talking about. There are certain things we don’t necessarily
need to tell our partner.
Now, I’m not talking about things in the order of, “Oh, I almost slept with
that guy.” Or as a woman feeling any of these like, “I’ve got emotions for
my boss at work,” some of those feelings may not be the ones you want to
express to him. Maybe you need to find out what’s at the heart of those
before you go expressing that part.
Avoiding basically the over honesty and over share. There’s a term in the
modern circles, and it’s actually a book that it’s fairly good, but I have to
caution you about. It’s called Radical Honesty.
Radical honesty has become something of a pattern in recent years,
especially up here in the Northern California area, and it’s highly over rated
for being more genuine and more authentic.
If you say what’s really on your mind, I can just tell him anything I want. I
can just tell him, “Honey, you look stupid in that shirt.” What that is, it’s over
honesty. It’s the excuse of, “Well, I’m just being honest.”
Well, yes, you have that going for you, but at the same time, you also have
a responsibility to go with that honesty, and that responsibility is the same
as a doctor would have, which is to cause no harm. If you’re going to be
honest, there are ways to communicate it so that it gets the result you want.
No matter how much we may think, our honesty is refreshing and, “Oh
God, I’m so glad you just said it that way,” there’s a lot of times when we’re
saying it a little too harshly where we get into the pattern of saying it too
Agreed, this is probably not something that happens as frequently as the
other extreme which is we don’t express anything of our honest, but just be
aware, you don’t want to go too far at the other end of the spectrum as well.
You have to find ways to communicate how you’re feeling clearly without
making it abusive.
Because that’s what radical honesty often becomes. It becomes abusive.
The other person goes, “Well, I’m so glad you told me that. It was so good
to hear that honesty from you.”
And what he’s really thinking inside was, “Geez, if only she’d just kick me in
the balls with a steel boot, why did she say it like that? Wasn’t there a
better way to say it?”
But he can’t refute it, but at the same time he’s also thinking, “That could
have been handled a little bit more sensitively.” Be aware of that radical
honesty. Know when to be kind with what you have to say to the other
person, and that affects your communications with your loved one so much
I finished this section up. I’m going to give you cognitive distortions. Now,
these are ten of the most common and they’re officially recognized
What are cognitive distortions? These are things that we do in your brains
to change reality. A cognitive distortion is when we change what we see to
fit our own internal explanation for something or to justify ourselves in some
You’ve got to be aware of them because you do these, everybody does
these, and we do them all the time. These patterns are something you
should watch out for in your thinking and know when they’re happening.
You may not be able to immediately stop it. It may happen anyway, but at
least you’ll recognize them when they come.
The first example I want to give you is “all or nothing thinking.” All or
nothing thinking, this type of distortion is typically the culprit when people
think in extremes. There’s no gray areas or middle ground.
All or nothing thinkers often use words like always and never when
describing things. Have you ever heard this in an argument, “You always
do that. I always get stuck in traffic. My boss never listens to me. You
never listen to me.”
This type of thinking can magnify the stress in your life, making a lot of
things seem like bigger problems than they actually might be, so watch out
of all or nothing thinking. “Either you’re with me or you’re against me” is
another one of those all or nothing thinking.
Over-generalization, those people that are prone to over-generalize tend to
take isolated events and assume that all future events are going to be
exactly the same or follow the same pattern.
For example, an over-generalizer who faces a rude sales clerk might start
believing all sales clerks are rude and that shopping is always going to be
Mental filters are another form of cognitive distortion that we do. Those
people who tend towards mental filtering may gloss over positive events
and hold a magnifying glass to the negative.
I’m guilty of this. Ten things can go right, but a person operating on the
influence of a mental filter might only notice the one thing that goes wrong,
and I’m sure you’ve known people like this. Add a little bit of overgeneralization and an all or nothing thinking to the equation, you’ve got a
recipe for very certain stress.
Another cognitive distortion is disqualifying the positive. This is very similar
to mental filtering. Those who disqualify the positive tend to treat positive
events as being flukes. They’re just, “Oh, that’s just a one-off.”
Then what they do is they cling to a more negative world view, a more
pessimistic world view and a set of low expectations for the future.
Have you ever tried to help somebody that you know, a girlfriend maybe, to
solve a problem only to have every solution that you throw with them shot
down with a, “Yeah, but… Yeah, but…”? Well, that’s this particular
distortion. It’s exactly what it is.
Jumping to conclusion is another one. We do this in arguments. We do
this in communication with our partners. We do this one all the time.
Rather than letting the evidence bring us to a logical conclusion, we set our
sights on a conclusion of our own.
It’s often a negative one. It’s often one that we’re patterned to look for, and
then we look for evidence to back it up, ignoring any evidence to the
The kid who decides that everybody in his new class is going to hate him
because he’s new in town and he knows that they’re only acting nice to him
in order to keep from being punished, well, he’s jumping to conclusions.
Now, conclusion jumpers can often fall prey to mindreading where they
believe they actually know the true intentions of other people without
having to actually talked to them. This is one that we all do, and I’m sure
you’ve done this yourself.
Even fortune telling, this is predicting how things will turn out in the future
and believing those predictions to be true based on generalizations. Can
you think of adults you know who do this? I bet you can.
The next one is magnification and minimization. This is similar to mental
filtering and disqualifying the positive, and this particular cognitive distortion
involves placing a stronger emphasis on negative events and downplaying
the positive ones.
A customer service representative who only notices the complaints and
fails to notice the positive interactions that he or she has, well, they’re a
victim of magnification of one thing and minimizing another.
Another form of this particular distortion is known as catastrophizing where
you imagine and then expect the worst possible scenario. Some of our
moms have done this. My mom used to do it quite a bit. Again, it’s leading
to a lot of stress.
Emotional reasoning, this is really important. This is also sometimes called
“emotional estimation.” It’s a close relative of jumping to conclusions, and it
involves ignoring certain facts when we draw our conclusions.
Emotional reasoners will consider their emotions about a situation as being
real evidence rather than objectively looking at the facts.
“You know, I’m feeling completely overwhelmed, therefore, my problems
must be completely beyond my ability to solve them.” It’s kind of an all or
nothing thinking there too. Or, “I’m angry with you, therefore, you have to
be in the wrong. I have to be right.”
Those are both examples of this faulty emotional reasoning. Sometimes
you make emotional reasoning or emotional estimations based on past
experience. “Oh, I’ve never been able to get a past stock to perform for
me, so I just don’t even bother investing anymore. It’s totally not worth it.”
That’s an emotional estimation. It’s not even based on fact at all, but again,
people use this as justification for their particular behaviors and actions.
Acting on these beliefs as fact can understandably contribute to even more
problems for you to have to solve.
Another cognitive distortion is “should” statements. People who rely on
“should” statements tend to have very rigid rules, by themselves or other
people or expectations from them as a kid, and they always need to be
followed, at least in their minds.
That’s what they see. They don’t see flexibility in circumstances or different
situations, and they put themselves under considerable stress trying to live
up to these self-imposed expectations or rules. If your internal dialogue
involves a large number of “I should do that. I should do that. I should do
that,” you might be under the influence of this particular distortion.
Labeling and mislabeling, those people who label or mislabel habitually
place labels that are often inaccurate or negative on themselves and other
people like, “He’s a whiner. You know, she’s been a phony. She’s twofaced. Or I’m just a worrier. That’s all I’ve ever been.”
These labels tend to define people and they contribute to this very one
dimensional view of them. They don’t see any depth to the person beyond
this one particular behavior we’ve attributed to them, and it paves the way
from many more over generalizations to jump in.
Labeling cages people into roles that don’t always apply to them. It actually
disputes and refutes their three-dimensionality, and it prevents us from
seeing people as we really are. It’s also a huge no-no when we get into
And the last cognitive distortion I want to warn you about today is
personalization. Those people who personalize their stress in their life tend
to blame themselves or other people for things, which they have no control
over, creating stress where it actually doesn’t exist. It’s something we’re
fabricating in total imaginary situations.
Those people prone to personalization tend to blame themselves for the
actions of other people, or blame other people for their own feelings. This
is a big one. When we say this, somebody else made us feel a certain
way, we’re ignoring the fact that we always choose our interpretation of
People don’t make us feel anything, but the way we interpret their words
does. I’ll give you an example. If I were to walk up to you and just look you
into the face with a big, ugly sneering look and say, “You’re just a greenblooded Vulcan,” what would you feel?
You’ll probably look at me and go, “Dude, what are you on? Get out of
here.” You’d just be like, “What,” and walk away. Why does that reaction
come up? Well, because you know that it just doesn’t have any impact on
you, “A green-blooded Vulcan,” what is that? That’s not me. That has no
bearing on it.”
But if I were to walk up to you and with a same expression look at you and
go, “You know something, you are so insecure,” and then I just like sneered
Then you’d look at me and you’d go, “What? Why do you say that?” Now,
we have an argument because you’d actually buy into the possibility that I
could be right. Maybe a part of you suspects that you are insecure.
Maybe you are a little insecure, and that’s something you’re working on, but
now I’ve accused you of it, and now it become something of a “What?”
Now, you freak out. This is where we get into a situation of why would the
first thing bother you, which was totally false, you’re not a green-blooded
What if you’re not truly insecure and I still said that to you? Well, part of
you suspects it might be true, and so you respond on it and then you blame
me for making you feel that way. “You made me feel angry for calling me
that. Why did you call me insecure like that?”
Now, I’ve kind of drawn that example out a little bit just to give you a certain
imaginary viewpoint – I call these thought experiments – to really look at
how you respond to other people’s statements and comments about you.
You control your reactions to them, especially when it comes to your
The reason that our partners have such a tight grip on our emotions is
because we suspect that we’ve let them see so much of us that what they
say about us is so true. It must be true. They are so intimate with us that
they are in the truth zone and we have to look at whatever they say about
us with this very hyper-critical and hyper-aware viewpoint.
We also start to blame other people, and namely, our partners, for our
feelings. Just remember, any of these cognitive distortions that I’ve talked
to you about here today, if you see them, that’s important. That’s the good
If they feel familiar in any way, that’s great because that means you’re able
to recognize them, and that’s the first step for you to be able to get past it,
and that’s what I want for you is to be able to recognize these in your
Recognize when they’re happening. Don’t call the other person out on it,
but know that, “Oh yes, see what he’s doing, he’s over-generalizing, and I
got to work around that a little bit.”
You develop your own strategy for handling the other person without trying
to say, “Hey, you know what you’re doing there? You were disqualifying the
positive. You’re so pessimistic. Stop disqualifying the positive.” No, you
don’t want to do it that way. You’re not becoming this person’s therapist or
psychotherapist in any way.
Just recognize it and develop your strategies to get around it because now
you understand where they’re coming from. Most of the time these things
happen because of emotions, and once we get past the charged emotions
of a situation, we’re able to come to more rational solutions for our
It’s very important to understand, and of course, it’s a very important part of
understanding these five communication skills. So I’ve given you quite a bit
here. I really think this is one section you should review at least three or
four times. I’ve given you a lot of information in it and I want to make sure
that you really pull it all in.
Review the five skills and then listen to the cognitive distortions that I
explained to you, and maybe you can go and do a little bit more research
because there are more cognitive distortions than those, but those are the
most important ones, and they’re actually officially recognized that
psychologists, therapists and other mental health workers use as
references when they work with people.
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