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TMHS 712: Use These Secrets For Better Relationships, More Happiness, & Deeper Connections
Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.”
-Anthony J. D’Angelo
Relationships are the most influential factor in our health, and healthy relationships can literally transform our lives. But how do we know which relationships will be successful? Why is it so important to invest our time and energy in making them work?
Today’s episode is jam-packed with relationship experts who will teach you all about relationships with your friends, family, spouse, and even with yourself.
New York Times bestselling author and viral content creator Jay Shetty knows all about the benefits of close relationships. He’s going to share the true meaning behind the “spark” in relationships and the tools you’ll need to form meaningful connections.
Christine Hassler – expert psychologist, best-selling author, podcast, and television host – will share the truth behind toxic relationships and the reasons why a relationship with yourself is most important.
Jairek Robbins, bestselling author and master coach, explains all the things to avoid in relationships and will teach you the three vital parts of every healthy connection.
Dhru Purohit, bestselling author and host of a major health and wellness podcast, details the types of friendships and how they can influence our quality of life. Learn how to create intentional friendships and how community is the ultimate biohack.
Founder of Rising Woman, one of the biggest online communities with over 3 million readers, Sheleana Aiyana will explain the impact our culture has on relationships and how to qualify people when choosing relationships.
Harvard expert in psychology, Dr. Robert Waldinger, will explain how an 85-year long study uncovered the surprising truth that people who lived the longest were those who had the warmest relationships with others.
You won’t want to miss this all-inclusive guide to building meaningful relationships!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How the pain of being alone impacts your physical health.
- The meaning of “first love syndrome” and how it impacts our current and future relationships.
- How your feelings for a person can change based on the type of date you have.
- Why “spark” and stress are related and what’s really happening when that spark goes away.
- The “three date rule” and the best ways to connect on each date.
- What to talk about on dates to figure out whether to move to the next stage.
- How people’s actions affect the way we see their personalities.
- Ways the “halo effect” can cause us to misread a person’s qualities.
- The connection between healthy relationships and a healthy mind and body.
- Why a healthy inner image is crucial for successful relationships.
- The true meaning of forgiveness, and how letting go can heal wounds.
- How to break the “addiction” to toxic relationships.
- The fastest way to ruin a relationship and what to avoid.
- What really happens in an argument.
- 3 components of a healthy relationship.
- Tools to get on the same “relationship train”.
- Surprising benefits of identifying roles in the relationship.
- The unexpected impact of healthy sleep habits.
- Ways to improve your communication and listening skills.
- How to form healthy friendships and why these relationships are vital.
- The shocking connection between friends and weight.
- What truly stands in the way of love and relationships.
- What is a “trauma pattern” and how to overcome it.
- Ingredients of a healthy inner relationship.
- How relationships have a direct impact on our lifespan.
- The key to managing conflict.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Beekeepersnaturals.com/model — Get 15% off storewide!
- EatSmarterCookbook — Pre-order the cookbook today & claim your bonuses!
- Organifi.com/model — 20% off their incredible red juice formula PLUS 20% off storewide
- The Truth About Healthy Relationships & The Rules of Love with Jay Shetty – Episode 658
- Eliminate Self-Sabotage & Break Through Your Limiting Beliefs with Christine Hassler – Episode 273
- Unlock More Happiness, Health, & Success In Your Relationships with Jairek Robbins – Episode 594
- The Science of Friendship & How Your Community Impacts Your Health with Dhru Purohit – Episode 384
- The Truth About Heatlhy Relationships & Becoming The One with Sheleana Aiyana – Episode 573
- The #1 Controller of Human Health & Longevity with Dr. Robert Waldinger – Episode 651
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to the Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. The longest running longitudinal study on human longevity revealed that the quality of our relationships is the most influential factor on how long we're going to live. Researchers at Harvard University who've been collecting this data for over 80 years have uncovered that more so than exercise habits, family history of chronic diseases, or any other factor. It is our relationships that have the biggest influence on our health and our quality of life, our relationships. A focus on building healthy relationships is like the ultimate biohack, the ultimate supplement, the ultimate fountain of youth to take a dip in all rolled into one. And yet most of us have never been trained on what a healthy relationship really is and how to actually create one.
So, on this powerful episode, you're going to learn from six of the world's leading experts in building healthy relationships. This is a real masterclass on tapping into one of the most valuable things in our reality. So, I'm so incredibly grateful to be able to share this with you today. Now before we get to our experts, we are all looking for some sweetness in our lives, that's a fact. But there's some sweetness manipulators out there that are utilizing all of these highly refined, highly processed sugars and different chemical complexes all put together in a bed of lies to make us addicted to many of the sweet treats out there on store shelves and things like soda, which is getting highly refined, concentrated forms of liquid sugar delivered into our bodies. What can we do? What if we need a little sweetness in our lives, specifically in our recipes or in our beverages?
Where can we turn? Well, there's a certain sweetener that's naturally produced, naturally occurring, that's been utilized by humans for 1000s upon 1000s upon 1000s of years. And it's really impossible to classify this sweetener as a mere spice or a mere sweetener. There is something really remarkable about honey that makes it unlike anything else on earth. Unlike other sweeteners, raw honey has been found to actually improve our insulin sensitivity rather than creating insulin resistance. A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal, nutrients detailed how raw honey can improve our fasting blood sugar levels, improve our lipid metabolism, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the scientists noted that there's a vast array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties within honey. Research cited in the journal. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine determined that honey antioxidants have nootropic effects. This means it is good for our cognitive function.
Specifically, they noted memory enhancement, plus a randomized double-blind placebo controlled study revealed that honey was able to outperform a placebo and significantly reduce cough frequency and severity at night and improve sleep quality. All right, put a little honey on it. Put a little sweetness into your day. There is nothing else like it in the category of sweeteners that provides benefits like this across the board for a variety of different aspects of our health and our performance. So I highly recommend switch over completely. Jump onto the honey train. If you're going to be utilizing a sweetener primarily, this is the one to go for. And quality is of the utmost importance because unfortunately today there are a lot of contaminants found in honey. Even organic conventional honey, absolutely, but also organic honeys as well. And so there's one company that's doing third party testing for common toxicants that might be stewing away in your honey.
And they're also dedicated to sustainable beekeeping. And I'm talking about the folks at Beekeepers Naturals. I utilize, and this is real talk, I utilize beekeepers products literally every single day. I just had their nootropic brain fuel just before the show today, and I'm such a huge fan of them. Integrity through and through. Definitely check out their Superfood honey, because again, there's nothing else like it. It has propolis in it. It also has a little bit of royal jelly, but the high-quality honey is just in a league of its own truly. So pop over to beekeepers naturals.com/model and you get 15% off storewide. That's B-E-E-K-E-E-P-E-R-S naturals.com/model. Again, 15% off storewide. And remember, once you go to Superfood honey, you're never going to be tricked with anything funny, [laughter] I'm so sorry. Real talk. Again, make sure to check them out. This is the very best honey in the world. Absolutely love what they're about. Beekeepers naturals.com. And now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “Topnotch Podcast” by Jay Fly 2324. “SHAWN is an awesome host on the Model Health Show. His story is truly inspirational. It makes me want to not only be a better version of myself, but also a better husband and father. I am not a science guy, but he makes everything easy to understand. I have only been listening to the show for about a month now and have already begun to make some changes to my life to be healthier both mentally and physically. Keep up the good work.”
SHAWN STEVENSON: I absolutely will. And thank you so much for sharing your story and your heart. And wow, thank you so much for also allowing me to be a part of your incredible world. And again, we are just getting warmed up. We've got so much in store for you coming up. So make sure to stay tuned for more and listen, if you've got to do so, pop over the Apple Podcast and leave a review for the Model Health Show. It really does mean so much. And now let's get to this incredible compilation focused on creating more love, connection, and happiness in our relationships. Now we're going to kick things off with the New York Times bestselling author, someone who's an award-winning host and viral content creator. He has billions, billions of views on his videos, and truly somebody that just walks the talk. And I'm talking about none other than Jay Shetty. Now in this segment, Jay is going to be sharing with you why we need to intentionally create our own collective values and our close relationships. What the quote spark is in a relationship, what it really is, how something called the halo effect can cause us to misread the qualities and characters of a person and so much more. This is so good. Remember, this is just the first of six leading experts in building healthy relationships. We're kicking this off with New York Times bestselling author Jay Shetty.
Jay Shetty: We talked today about how loneliness is like the same as smoking, I think like 15 cigarettes a day. Like that's the comparison that's made. And so, loneliness can be really, really tough. And so, when we're lonely, we kind of settle for being with anyone because we'd rather settle than be lonely. The pain of being alone is so strong that we'd rather just find a way to have someone else who makes us feel better. Now, when you're with that kind of a person, I think what you are referring to is this idea that we see love as certain things. So maybe you see love as compliments. Maybe you see love as validation. Maybe you see love as affection. Maybe you see love as love letters. Maybe you see love as someone doing the dishes for you. Maybe you see love as someone making sure your place is clean.
Like we all have these very specific ideas of what love is based on how our parents loved us based on how our first partner loved us. I call it first love syndrome. Like the people that first loved you have trained you in how you think, what about what love is? So now when you meet someone, they could be doing so many other things to love you, but because they didn't do the dishes at night, you feel they don't love you because that was how your parents showed you that love was there. Me and my wife went something similar like this. So in my house and I'm using really simple ideas and examples because most relationships crumble because of really basic things. When you look at people who get divorced, when you look at people who break up, it's not always something like, "Oh, they cheated on me."
Or It's not always as like, "They stole my money." Like it's not that extreme. It's often like, "Well, we just couldn't see eye to eye. We just couldn't get along. They didn't understand me." Like that's what you'll hear. And so, with me and my wife in my house, if you had a dinner, you'd have dinner, then you'd hang out and you'd clean up late at night, 'cause that's how we did it at my house. Now at my wife's house, you'd have dinner, you'd clean up everything and then you'd hang out. And so, when we first got married and we first started throwing events and parties and having our friends over, I'd be hanging out with all my friends after dinner chatting, hanging out. And she'd be like, "Well Jay, we've got to do the dishes. Let's do it right now." And I'd be like, "I don't want to do it right now."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Chill.
Jay Shetty: "Like I want to do this. Like relax." But the thing is, it wasn't that she was talking, or I was talking, we were both talking from how we were trained we felt an evening went. And so, we would feel upset 'cause she would start washing the dishes. I'd then feel guilty that I wasn't helping her wash the dishes. Then after the night was over, she'd be upset with me 'cause I didn't help out. And I'd be upset with her that she was forcing me to leave our friends. And all of this could be solved simply by a conversation of what does it... What do you feel like when I don't wash the dishes? And where does that value come from? And for her, it's like, "Well, when you don't wash the dishes, I feel like you don't care about me and that you care more about relaxing than you do about cleaning."
And I was like, "Wait, hear it from my angle. My angle is I do care about the cleaning, but I care about connecting first." And we need to rebuild a collective value rather than bring our value from our homes. And so, I often think about in relationships, we often think we are bringing the bricks of our old home into a new home. And the truth is, there's a bit of that. But the second part of it is, we're building new bricks to put in this home together. And that's what people don't often want to do. They want to bring their old bricks, but they don't want to make new ones. And so now the house is just made up of old bricks and we've never found a way to build part of that home together.
SHAWN STEVENSON: This has got three little pigs vibes...Right here. Big time man.
Jay Shetty: I love that story. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know what, it's so interesting, you talked about even how we come together.
Jay Shetty: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's so strange in our culture, we don't really realize this, but you even highlighted something called the context effect. And so, we're getting together with people under certain circumstances. And we can have these kinds of delusions of what it's supposed to be based on that.
Jay Shetty: Some of the studies blew my mind. There's this incredible study that shows that when you go out on a date, if you are both holding something warm, you are more likely to have warm feelings towards someone. I was just like, "Wow. So that's why we say let's go out for coffee." There's a reason why going out for coffee is a chosen drink. Because it's like, "Oh yeah, our hands are warm. We feel warm feelings towards each other." Some of those studies showed that if you both walk out of a romantic comedy, you're more likely to feel you just crossed eyes with someone and you felt a spark or a connection. If you're at a wedding, you're more likely to fall in love or think that someone has affectionate feelings towards you because you are in that chemical zone. You're having those experiences.
One of the ones that stayed with me, the biggest was I was looking at the spark and chemistry because I think that's something that people pay so much attention to. And the research shows that when you first meet someone, you're not only experiencing excitement, but you are experiencing stress chemically. So, you see someone and you think they're so attractive, do they think I'm attractive? Excitement, stress? You see someone and you go, "Oh, they're walking over here. I'm excited. Will they talk to me?" Stress. You think, "Oh my gosh, I just messaged them. I got their number. I'm so excited. Oh God, they haven't replied in two hours. I'm stressed." And what happens is that what we're saying is the spark is excitement and stress at the same time. There's this tension that feels really unnerving, but in a fun way. And the science shows that what happens is as you start to spend more time with someone, one month goes by, two months goes by their company reduces your stress.
So now what's happened is when we say the spark went away, all that actually went away was the stress because you now actually feel comforted by their company because they no longer stress you out. And it's crazy 'cause we all look at that and we go, "Oh my God, the spark went, we lost the buzz. I don't feel that way about them anymore." No. The stress went away because they make you feel safe, they make you feel comfortable, you feel at ease with each other. And so we keep chasing stress just like we do it in work. We know some people that are addicted to stress. They love the stress of work. We do that in love. We just want to be with someone new all the time because we enjoy that stress. But that's not a healthy addiction. It's unhealthy to be it consistently stressed.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's all happening in our own head.
Jay Shetty: All happening in our own head and in our body it's chemical, right?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. It's chemical.
Jay Shetty: It's all chemical.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We have this subconscious belief again, like somebody's doing something to us. They're sprinkling some kind of love dust on us, but it's all happening. And the context effect actually happened with my wife and I, because I was working at the university gym that we both went to. And she came in and I'm working with my clients, and I noticed this young lady, just like, she's dedicated. She's coming in pretty much every day. She's really just focused over there running on the treadmill and lifting, dabbling with the weights and all and that kind of thing. And over time, I would see her, and I would just notice like, "Oh wow, she's really getting after it." And one day, I was just finishing up with a client and she was on the most awkward machine in the gym, that abductor machine.
And she dropped her headphones. So, I went and picked them up for her and she said, "Thank you." And I noticed a slight, just a tiny bit of an accent, her being from Kenya. And I guess that impressed her. And the next thing we ended up talking and the rest is history. But me meeting her in the gym and seeing her coming to the gym, I thought, "Okay, this is a great match. Like, we're going to be working out together. We're about this fitness." Like she was just doing that to get in shape to go to Miami with her friends. After that, when we got together and I'd be like, "Hey, you want to go to the gym?" Never again. Like for a year, Jay. And so, it started to get on my nerves. Like I kind of felt like I was catfished. I was gym fished. Because of the context that we met under. But over time, of course she understood my values and also, kind of doing her own internal work and we have that match. And we find places where she likes what she is doing fitness wise and me as well. And then we also found connection, doing it together with some things. But we had to create our own blocks.
Jay Shetty: I'm so glad, that's such a great real-life story and example of exactly what we're just talking about now. And I think what we do is we take exactly what you just did in that scenario, if you don't mind me saying, it's like you see someone in the gym, you're like, "I love the gym. They love the gym." And now you start painting a story and the story's like, "Oh, we're going to go to the gym together, we're going to work our bodies together. Like we're accountable together." But it's like you never got to check what that person's intention was for being there. And I think so many relationships lost that way or start that way where you never even asked the person why they were there or what they were there for...
Or what's important to them. And so, in the book, I talk about the three date rule. And what I mean by this is it's not your first three dates, but somewhere you want to have these three dates. It could be across three months; it could be across a year. But these three dates have to happen at some point in your dating timeline. The first date is vibing with that person's personality. Do you enjoy each other's company? Do you like each other? Do you have things to talk about? Do you feel like you connect? That's natural, we know that. The second date that I don't think we ever talk about, it's what you just talked about is do I respect their values? So, if her value was to get fit to go to Miami, do you respect that? Can you respect that? Or actually do you not respect that? And we never even get to that stage because we never even know what someone values.
We assume that someone's actions or their behavior displays their values. If you see someone at a soup kitchen, you think, "Oh, they must be so charitable. And they must be so generous." That person could be there because their company forced them to be there. That person could be there because they didn't have anything else to do that day and their friend dragged them along or they could be there because they really care. But knowing the value is so important. But what we like to do is, it's called the halo effect, where we ascribe certain qualities to someone based on something we like about them. So, if we find someone attractive, we say they must be trustworthy. If we think someone's good at talking or we enjoy the way they speak, we're like, they must be organized. If someone has a good job or dresses well, we say, "Oh, they must be driven and focused."
So, we start giving them qualities that they haven't actually showed us they have. And we set ourselves up for failure because we are hoping for them to have more than they've actually told us they have or shown us they have. Our relationship health, our physical health and our mental health are all connected. And so, we know when our mental health's better, we can try and have better physical health. When our physical health's better, our mental health improves. We know that that correlation is very clear. I think the connection that's been missed is how our physical and mental health impact our relationships. And how our relationship health impacts our physical and mental health. So, you could be drinking your green smoothie, eating all your supplements and vitamins, having a healthy diet. But if you don't learn how to communicate with your partner, you could have a really difficult relationship.
You can do all the things right for your body and mind. But if you haven't learned the tools and the skills to connect with your partner, that's not going to solve your relationship. You can have the best physique in the world, you can have the best meditation practice in the world, you can have the best prayer practice in the world. But if you don't learn the skills of genuine intimacy with your partner, all of that does not just transfer over here. And I think that's often the mistake. Everyone thinks, "Oh, if I meditate then I'm a better partner. If I work out that I'm a better partner." And I hear a lot of people are like, "Oh, I'm doing all this self-work but my partner doesn't get it. They don't see that." And it's like, "Well if you're doing self-work, that should make you more compassionate, more empathetic, more understanding of their pain."
And the opposite's also true. You could have an incredible partner and an incredible relationship that has all the potential of being truly about love. But if you are not taking care of your physical and mental health, you can't show up for your partner in the way that you want. Everything could be perfect about this person. Everything could be right. But because you haven't figured out your own body and mind, you're going to lose this person. And both are true. And so, I think we talk a lot about the connection between physical and mental health, but I want to add relationship health to that equation. Same with success. I say this to people all the time. It's like you could drive whatever car you want. You could live in whatever apartment or home you want. You could make as much money as you want. But if you argue with your partner every night, none of that is going to feel worth it. You're going to be in that car arguing with yourself on the way to work. You're going to be in that apartment sleeping alone, and you're going to be making all that money not knowing who to share it with. And it's going to make it feel worthless.
So, it's not about not having a car or not having money or not having a home, but it's about this skill also needs to be invested in. And that's what I'm doing with this book is I'm saying it's a skillset, just like there's a skillset of becoming an entrepreneur. Just like there's a skillset of becoming mentally and physically healthy. Please see your relationship as needing a skillset. Do not just leave it to, if I find the right person, everything's going to be right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright. Next up. In our compilation dedicated to building healthy relationships, we have Christine Hassler and she's a bestselling author, keynote speaker, master coach, podcast, and television host. And she's committed to guiding people and organizations into their highest potential. Christine holds a master's degree in psychology, and she's appeared as an expert everywhere from the Today Show to CNN, FOX, PBS. The list goes on and on. And in this segment, Christine is going to be sharing why our relationship with ourselves is the primary driver of our relationships with others, plus the truth about toxic relationships, jealousy, and much more. Check out this segment from the amazing Christine Hassler.
Christine Hassler: Our outside world is a reflection of our relationship with our inner self. So, if I have a crappy relationship with my inner self, if I'm judgmental of myself, hard on myself, not supporting myself, not lifting myself up, flaking on myself, breaking my word with myself, then going out and attracting a crew of people who are really supportive and really loving and positively reinforcing me and have integrity is more challenging. 'cause I'm not vibing at that level.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. That's interesting.
Christine Hassler: And so that's why we tend to stay in those more toxic relationships. And often they're familiar. So, if you, again, if you grew up in a let's say you grew up in a family where you had one parent who was incredibly critical of you, then you're going to be kind of drawn to people that are more critical of you or that aren't.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright. Is that like an addiction of some sort?
Christine Hassler: It's, well, so as a kid, like we love our parents. Like, we come into this world and they're like our God. We, and so we pair love with however they love us. And so, we think that that kind of criticism is familial. It's familiar and familial. And then the other part of it is, whatever we didn't get from our parents, we go and look for as adults, from people who are the same. So, if I had an extremely critical father, I will be drawn to people, especially dating wise who are critical because I'm like, well, maybe I'll finally get you to love me. So how we stop doing all that is again, we go back and deal with the pain around having a critical parent and our feelings about that. Forgive them. We don't have to call them up and be like, I forgive you.
You can if you want, but it's more you forgive the judgment you're holding. And this trips a lot of people up, Shawn, because like, let's up the [0:24:52.5] ____ let's not say it's criticism. Let's say it was abuse. And the people will say, well, I can't forgive. That's a terrible thing. How could a parent abuse a child? Like that's awful. True. And you holding onto anger and resentment is only hurting you at this point. So, forgiveness does not mean condoning it. Forgiveness doesn't mean it's okay that you hit me when I was five years old. Forgiveness means I'm letting go of the anger and the resentment and the judgment so I can be free. So, I can be free. And when we can do that, when we can forgive the judgment that we have against anyone else, and we can go back and heal the pain and then reparent ourselves and be that loving parent to ourselves, then we stop looking for that outside.
We stop looking for someone else to save us, someone else to solve it for us. We solve it ourselves. And then we can uplevel the kind of people that we're attracted to. Does that a whole arc make sense?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Of course. Yeah.
Christine Hassler: I kind of like broke it down and...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely.
Christine Hassler: In like a short little way. But yeah. So back to the original question about if you want a higher vibe tribe, it's two things. Look at what's going on inside of you. 'cause it's just a reflection and then boundaries. You can't say, I want to be around positive people and continue to let negative people, toxic people, people that lie to you, people that break their word with you, get away with it. You have to start drawing some boundaries. And it's amazing how much people will hold on to the known just because like they're afraid to let go. They're afraid of that in-between of that gap. When you can... Something so amazing might be ahead of you, but you've got to let go of what's holding you back and know that there's like that in-between period. And not be scared of that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. I, opening the show, I mentioned a little bit about getting out of our own way. And I think that a lot of this stuff is self-inflicted, but it's of course it's very unconscious. Sometimes it is conscious like things are going well, let me do something to mess this up. And going back on in this particular instance, because I think that, and I know you feel the same way, that our relationships are an incredibly powerful influence on every area of our lives.
Christine Hassler: Totally.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And I feel it's like the number one thing for our health is actually our relationships. But I don't think that we often realize how, and I used this word earlier, how addicted we can be to things going bad, and I know it sounds crazy, but it's just like when you start to get outside of that kind of standard kind of comfort zone of just things not being ideal in your life, and you start to, things start going, we'll do things to get us back to where we feel comfortable. Yep. Like we get addicted to bad relationships as well.
Christine Hassler: Yep, yep. Yep. It's that saboteur that will come in that because it's scary, it's unfamiliar and it's amazing how many of us have that little voice, but it's a big belief of like, do I really deserve to be happy? Am I really good enough? And it's too good to be true. And we're so afraid of losing a good thing that we'll sabotage it first before like it can be taken away or it can go wrong. We'll just sabotage it first because on some level we don't think we were worth it. And it's funny, like I was opening a mastermind for a friend of mine last weekend, and it was a business mastermind, but we were talking about like, what's the personal obstacle that's going to keep you from getting the next level of your business?
And this one woman said, I just don't know that I deserve it. And so, I said, okay, so look around this room right now and give everybody a number one being not deserving, 10 being totally deserving of where they are on the scale. Just go around and sign everybody a number. She's like, I couldn't do that. I'm like, why? Obviously, there's a scale because you are not deserving enough. So, I just want to see how you rate things. She's like everybody's a 10. I'm like, well, aren't you special, that everybody's a 10? But you're like, what, four or five? And it's sometimes we really got to look at our beliefs and call BS on them. And go, why would I be any less deserving than anybody else? That's not the way the universe works, it's just our mind getting in the way. And so, we have got to become a louder voice than the voice of our limiting beliefs. We have got to. And what really helps me is shifting that side of me and going, wait, like if I think I'm not deserving, then I've got to think that about everybody else. And I don't think that about the world. So why would I see myself that way?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow. That is powerful. You know something, I was just talking about this actually with my wife yesterday, who's over there looking pretty.
Christine Hassler: She is very pretty.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And absorbing everything.
Christine Hassler: Physically and energetically. She's very, very lovely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, something that she really realized is that dealing with relationships that she had where friends who weren't like progressive or that were doing things that were kind of just shady stuff And just things that she just didn't really feel good about, but she kept dealing with it over and over and over again. And then she realized that this was actually her, it was her ego. Like, I'm supposed to be the friend who's solving your problems. Talk about that.
Christine Hassler: Yeah. Well, that's another kind of identity we'll take on too. Is it's little the caretaker or like, oh, I know all this great stuff about personal transformation. I'll save you; I'll help you come with me. And one of the side effects of personal growth and raising our consciousness and our health is not everybody's going to come along. Not everybody's going to come along. And you have to be willing to let some people in some relationships go and know it's not your responsibility to go and caretake it. 'Cause that can be another compensatory strategy. Is, let me just go save all these other people. And then guess who gets the last straw? You. Again, and I remember one of my teachers saying this to me when I was going through my divorce. She's like, you have got to give people the dignity of their process. Like, people are ready when they're ready and you've got to give them the dignity of their process. And we can't change people. The best way I think we can impact people is we change ourselves. It's like, why the Gandhi's quote, be the change you want to see in the world is my favorite all time quote. 'Cause it just nails it. I'm like, nailed it. Be the change you want to see in the world. And then people can see it and decide to come along or not. But it's not our responsibility to drag anyone.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And I can't state this enough that one of the most pressing and terrible things you can do to yourself with your life energy is to try to get people to come along that don't want to come.
Christine Hassler: Exhausting.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, you have to have the audacity to let people be let people be who they are. And again, this gets back to that what you stated earlier of that idea of everything is okay. It's okay how it is. This is, and that's okay.
Christine Hassler: And it's really hard with family, because I'm sure you see this a lot with your community too. There's a lot of people that feel like black sheeps in their family. Like they're the only one kind of waking up. And when it's your own family, even when it comes to like what they're eating and health and you go home and you're like, please don't eat that. It's loaded with this and that and that and they just keep doing it. And we have to... Again, it's back to that give them the dignity of their process. Loving someone isn't changing them. Loving someone is accepting them for where they are. Being willing to be open and vulnerable if they come to you. And just being light, being the model of health, being the best version of you. I truly believe that is the best gift we can give anyone we love or the world in general is be the best version of yourself. And you only have so much energetic real estate. And if you're investing too much of it and changing other people, then you don't... You're not getting a high ROI on you because there's nothing left. And how can you be the best version of yourself if your energy is scattered trying to save all these other people?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, my goodness. Thank you for sharing that because just even hearing that in a different note, a different tenor for people that this is really life is not all about you, but it is like it starts with you.
Christine Hassler: It is, and you can, when... I view it as being self-honoring. I am my biggest priority, and that may sound selfish, however, when I'm not my biggest priority, my health suffers. I can't help as many people as I... I can't do the work. I want to work, my mood suffers. I'm more irritable. Like everything suffers. And I love Lisa Nichols?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Of course. Yes. She's been on the show.
Christine Hassler: So, I, maybe she said this on the show, I'll repeat it 'cause it's just so good. She has so many just like, just, she just throws down such wisdom. She always says, I will only give to you from my saucer. So, imagine a teacup. And that means her cup has to be full. And she will give to you from the overflow. And when I first heard her say that I'm like, that is brilliant. And that's the way it needs to be. 'Cause when we have a full cup and we can give from the overflow, then it's not depleting. It's just love. It just radiates off of us.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I love that.
Christine Hassler: And that's when you can just walk into a room. Like I've had the experience where someone just walks into a room and they're so full of love for themselves and they're just at... They're living into their fullest potential and joy, and it just fills me up. Now something else can happen when someone like that walks in the room. Sometimes we can feel jealousy or comparison.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Come on.
Christine Hassler: Sometimes. But here's why That's good. Here's what we can do with jealousy in comparison. And 'cause a lot of people just try to stop feeling jealous or stop comparing just by, just don't do it. And that doesn't work. It's like saying, try to not think of a pink pig. It's all you're going to think about.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. That pink Pig right there is a part of our show.
Christine Hassler: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You won't even know.
Christine Hassler: So, whenever you're feeling jealous or comparing yourself to someone, it's a positive projection. So, we've heard that if you really irritate me in some way, then it's something in me that I don't like about myself that you're triggering. That's a negative projection. But there's also something of a positive projection. So, if you see someone that you're like jealous of or comparing yourself to, you're spotting something in them that you have inside of you that you're not owning, that you're not stepping into.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow.
Christine Hassler: That you are not realizing. So, whenever I find myself jealous of someone, I look and I'm like, why am I jealous? Like when I look at you, I'm jealous because, and I write it down and I'm like, oh, I'm not stepping into my full confidence. I'm not stepping into my full self-expression. I'm not stepping into my joy. So that's how we can use jealousy and comparison as a way to remind ourselves what we need to see about ourselves.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright. I hope that you're enjoying this compilation dedicated to building healthy relationships. And relationships are truly a thing of our heart. It's where we generally associate love to is the human heart. It's really something remarkable about it. And there's this heart brain connection as well. We know that the brain itself obviously contains a vast array of neurotransmitters that aid in communication between ourselves. But our heart also has a tremendous amount of neurotransmitter activity as well. Scientists have dubbed it the heart-brain. Alright. So, we really do think in a manner of speaking with our hearts. And so, with this association with love and with the heart and building a healthy relationship, but also a healthy relationship with ourselves and our own bodies, we want to make sure that we're giving our heart the very best nutrition that we possibly can. Eating a diet rich and real whole nutrient dense foods should be a given at this point.
But what can we do to uplevel things? What can we do to really add in things that have exceptional benefits for the health of our heart? Well, our heart is also associated with our cardiovascular health, our endurance, and our performance. And a study that was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that beet juice, where all of that red juice can actually be extracted from, beet juice, was found to boost our stamina up to 16% during exercise. They also found that the participants experience less fatigue after training. And in addition, directly looking at the function of our heart and associated things like our blood pressure, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study analyze the effects of beet juice on blood pressure and endothelial function of older adults. At the end of the four-week study, the results demonstrated that the participants receiving beet juice had significant improvements in blood pressure and large vessel endothelial function.
Now you take beets, and you combine it with this next superfood, a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials published in the journal. Pharmacological research detailed how pomegranates have antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, and anti-inflammatory effects. Pomegranates consistently normalize blood pressure and test subjects. Now these are just two of the incredible heart-based superfoods in the Organifi Red Juice formula. All organic kids love it, adults love it alike. And this is one of the staple things that's on the shelf at my house that we've been utilizing for years. Head over to Organifi.com/model and you're going to get 20% off their incredible red juice formula. Also, incredible bundles that they now have for you as well. And 20% off storewide. So even with those bundles, they're going to have extra benefits and discounts that you can tap into. But off tops the greatness of Organifi to provide us with 20% off is just so amazing.
And for something that is so high quality and really special, and again, it's based on real hardcore science and its efficacy on the ingredients that they're using. So again, check out their red juice formula over at Organifi.com/model. That's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model. And now moving on in our relationship compilation and how to build and sustain healthy relationships. Next up we're going to be hearing from bestselling author, master coach, and now the President of Success Magazine and Success Enterprises. And if we're talking about the domain of coaching and in particular in building healthy relationships, he's definitely top of my list. And I'm talking about the one and only Jerick Robbins. In this segment, he's going to be sharing the three components of great relationships. The fastest way to ruin a relationship and a whole lot more. Check out this segment from the amazing Jairek Robbins.
Jairek Robbins: Most of the time in an argument with another human being, you're not getting the present version of them right now in this moment. What you're getting is a reaction to a trigger that was setting off something from the past, something that got them somewhere back here. There was a trigger, a landmine that you accidentally stepped on in this moment. And all of a sudden that past experience just exploded into this moment. And there I think the phrase is, don't bleed on people who didn't cut you. That's what's happening though. They're starting to gush all that emotion and all that built up tension, anger, frustration, pain, sadness, whatever it is, explodes just 'cause you accidentally stepped on the landmine that triggered that past experience. And so, what's interesting, when people become aware of their own landmines, they can go back and do the healing, which un-anchors that and releases it.
And I've seen some amazing healing. There's people who can do it through singing. There's people who can do it through dancing. There's people who can do it through body work, like physical adjustments, like a chiropractor. There's people who can do it with pen and paper in a room. There's therapists can do it, counselors can do it. All kinds of people. But it's the ability to look back and say, I probably have a few. I probably got a few, at least one or two, I'm going to go dig around and find it. What's interesting, that experience, that person that says, I can't love 'cause this happened to me. The moment they go do that work, then you got to have a physical experience where you go somewhere and you consciously choose to love, you choose to flow into another human being. You choose like little light beam shooting, what is it?
Cyclops and X-men. Like boom, beams of love just beaming out. And you're pouring it into another human being and you're like, wow, I can choose to love and be safe and protected and guided and honored at the same time. When that unfolds, all of a sudden you see a human being come back to life. It was like a tree where the flowers were dying and all of a sudden, the flowers start blooming again. I always break down great relationships to three pieces, alignment, teamwork, so I'll start with these, and I'll tell you the third alignment, meaning, vision, values, beliefs, rules, are they in alignment? Have you consciously become aware of your on paper, your vision, your values, your beliefs, your rules? Have you written them down? Become consciously aware of what you are becoming going towards. Believe the rules. Anytime someone's upset, it's 'cause you violated one of their rules. And that the rule is you shouldn't do that. People shouldn't do that. That's a rule. We all have them. I mean, watch the next time you get frustrated with anything, anywhere. Listen to the rule in your head. The rule will be like, people shouldn't do that. And then just question it.
I'm not saying it's wrong or right I'm just saying question it. Say why shouldn't people do that? And what happens is you'll hear your beliefs that you've created. Around a rule on how other humans should or shouldn't be living their life. That's what pisses us off, the action of what they did doesn't. The rule we have about them not supposed to be doing that is what actually causes the frustration. And so, vision, values, rules all that has to be in alignment. One we got to be aware of our own. Two we got to become aware of our partners. Three we got to co-create a new one. Here's what's interesting. When people get in a relationship, they often want the other person to come over to their rules, their beliefs, their values, their vision. I've heard it said in great books where it's like, "Oh the masculine energy whether it's man or woman the masculine energy needs to be a freight train and invite the feminine energy on board."
I was like that sounds cool and all but why don't we co-create a relationship together? Instead of saying I'll create it. And you're welcome to come with me if you want to. That sounds kind of selfish. I was like why? Why don't we co-create this train? Why don't we decide where the tracks are going? Why don't we decide what the rules are on board? And here's the key. When we are on board together, this is the manifesto that we choose to live by. If either of us decide to get off the train we're our own person. She has her rules vision values beliefs, I have mine. Vision values rule beliefs. But when we're on the train together called in relationship this is what we've both agreed to live by. And I went, "Ooh that's powerful." And then I went and started interviewing asking couples and saying how many of y'all have done this work?
And I haven't met a whole lot who have. And that's part of why that train lands up in disaster ville. 'Cause the work wasn't done. I mean you're on board a train with someone you don't know where is going. You don't know what the rules are. You don't know what's good or bad right or wrong. You don't know what the values are.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Who's driving this thing?
Jairek Robbins: You don't know who's driving, [laughter] or you're both trying to drive. That's a mess. That's a relationship people are having. I was like man we got to become conscious of that. That's like a weekend workshop. You get together with someone you go okay I'm going to identify all mine. You're going to identify all yours. We're going to take a third piece of paper and say this is ours and we're going to co-create it over this weekend so that when we choose to be on the train together, we have the outline. The other analogy I use for this imagine we sit down at a board game. You think we're playing chess I think we're playing Monopoly.
In the beginning when we're presenting our best self, I'm going to be like, "Do you want to be the thimble, the train, you choose and you're like Ha. Very funny. You're very funny. It's white or black man, it's black or white. There's no train and thimble, but I'm cool with you. We're cool. We're getting to know each other. I'll let it pass and I'm like, oh, you're like, okay, roll the dice, or I'm like roll dice. You're like, there's no dice in this game, but it's cool, we just... We like each other. We're just getting to know each other. We'll let it pass.
After about 15 more moves we're ready to kill each other, like, stop talking about pass and go. Who cares? We start coming up with random stuff to piss each other off because we never did the alignment, we never started playing the same game with the same rules, with the same principles, with the same values, and so getting together, one of the main things is alignment. Can you get all the most important pieces in alignment from the beginning or as soon as you become aware.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: I've had people message me and be like, dude, we've been married for 30 years and never thought about this, is it too late? It's like, no, get in alignment, so the next 30 years are better than the first 30 years.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: Get on the same train. Second piece, we talk about alignment, teamwork. Are all people rowing in the same direction? Teamwork's big man. Imagine getting in one of those dragon boats with 15 rowers, except for seven of the rowers are rowing forward and the other seven are rowing backwards, and then the person in the front just keeps yelling row but doesn't give direction of which way or how hard or anything. There's no way you're going to win the race. And so that next piece is teamwork, can we get everyone moving in the same direction or a similar direction? Can we get everyone willing to put in the same amount of effort? Can we get everyone choosing to show up and do the work together?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Be clear on their roles?
Jairek Robbins: Yeah. Roles and responsibilities.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: We interviewed a bunch of couples who were much older, there was a couple who'd been together. They had been married before, they had been divorced before, and they finally figured out how to really make it work for themselves, and they said... What you said, one of the most important things is putting together an org chart for your family. Roles and responsibilities. Who's in charge of what? 'cause there's a lot of assumptions. Well, you're the mom. You should be in charge of that.
I'm the dad, I should be in charge of this. I'm... People assume things, which means if you did that in the workplace, the ball will get dropped, a project wouldn't get done. People would be like, "Hey, what happened to the IT department?" It's like, I don't know. Thought, you were in charge of that. Just gone. And so, in a family, it doesn't feel very sexy, warm, fun, it doesn't feel very romantic, but it's amazing when there's clarity on it, how much smoother everything goes. And you'll find stuff that you want to do, that you get to do. [laughter] You'll find stuff, you don't want to do, that you get to do. And then you'll find stuff that you can at different times, trade with each other.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: And say, "Hey, I know you don't love to do that, I have space, I'll do that for you." And that's a gift you can give your teammate, you can say, "Hey, I got you on this time, I got you on that piece right there. I know you're willing to do it, but you don't love to do it, I'll take it for you when I can, and it's a way you can give gifts to each other constantly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: So, alignment, team work. Third part is communication. Communication. There's so much that's been done in this category, and it's one of the fastest ways to screw up a relationship, just miscommunication, I've learned the number one rule is check how much sleep the other person is getting. If you want to get a real bad fight, just don't get good sleep for a few nights in a row. Horrible blow up will happen over time. So, number one, sleep. Are they their best selves? Sleep, exercise, nutrition. If those are peaking, they're absolutely at their prime and there's still tension, then we go in to, ah. Did they feel like they are enough?
Do they feel like they have enough? Do they feel like they're loved enough? Which of the three buckets aren't full right now? 'cause I've yet to meet a person that feels like I am enough, I have enough, I'm loved enough. And then they attack another human. Or they're mean or they're defensive or they're aggressive. I've never met one. When someone feels total abundance, I have enough, I am... I have enough to live life I want to live; I am enough as a human being. I am who I am, and I believe I am enough to be who I want to be, and I'm loved enough. Love is just flowing through me and everything that I do and all that I am, those people just want to help other people and pour over into other humans.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: But the moment someone doesn't feel like they're enough, they're going to attack someone else to try to not feel less than. The moment someone doesn't feel loved enough, again, they're going to be all peculiar in their behaviors because they don't feel that love internally. It's not abundant, therefore, they're going to try to get it from somewhere else and have enough. Again, if someone feels like they don't have enough to live the life they want to live, which is a big thing right now with money. If people don't feel like they have enough, they get real peculiar in their behaviors quickly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Jairek Robbins: And so, communication, first check in. Where is this person at? Do they feel like they have enough, they're loved enough, and they are enough? Did they get enough sleep? Have they eaten? Have they worked out? They're the best self. Okay, good. Now, there's two pieces of communication that have been unbelievably helpful from two different sources. One comes from imago-therapy, and it's a way to listen. It's a way to listen. There's four steps. Number one, listen.
And you're going to... After they're done talking, you're going to repeat back what you heard, you're going to acknowledge what they heard, and then you're going to empathize. One is listen, two is, repeat back what you heard. The third part is you're going to acknowledge it, I can see that, and then you're going to empathize, Man, that must feel like this.
I was like, there's four steps in listening.
I was having trouble just listening. Especially if my wife accidentally stepped on a landmine. And my brain's like, that's not true. I need to tell you my side of the story. I stopped doing step one, which was just listen. And so, there's four steps to listening. Now there's three steps in sharing. This was the other part, ah, I forget who this one comes from. I think John and Julie Gottman. Three steps in sharing. When you did X, that made me feel Y. And what I need is Z. So specifically, like when your feelings are hurt, when the rage monster is boiling, when you can't see straight. Like you're about to turn into the Hulk. I feel blank. And you got to use an emotion. I got called out when I was in my level one course with the Gottman group. 'cause I said, I feel curious. And the guy looked at me and he's like, curious is not a feeling. Tell me how you feel. A feeling, an emotion. I was like, curiosity could be an emotion. He's like, no, it's not. Keep trying. I said, what do I feel? And I said, I feel lost. He goes closer.
He's like, what's the feeling? I feel uncertain. He goes, there you go. And he goes, ah, I feel uncertain right now. And he goes, why? What happened? And I said, I feel uncertain when you did this, it made me feel uncertain or I chose to feel uncertain when you did this. And what I really need is a little bit more information right now. And he went, he hit the other side. Sounds like you're feeling uncertain. He goes, yeah, I could totally get why you might feel uncertain right now. It's a lot of information you're learning. Man, feeling uncertain probably doesn't feel very good. I mean, I'd feel kind of uneasy too if I was in that position. How can I help? I was like, oh, Wow. Now what's interesting, I took this home. I printed out how to say it, how to listen. I hand it to my wife. She says, what do you expect me to be, a fricking robot?
She's like, we got to communicate. We can't just read scripts. And I started laughing and I'm like, well that's the four stages of learning anything. In the beginning, you have to give yourself permission to be horrible at it 'cause you've never done it before. And so be horrible at it long enough that you become okay. Be okay at it long enough that you become really good and be good at it long enough that you become great. And so, if you give yourself permission to relearn something from the place where you just straight up suck at it. But you're going to be horrible at it long enough until you'd be great. That's the promise I make to my wife. In our relationship, if you give me the space, I will be horrible at learning these tools long enough and consistently enough that eventually I'll be pretty good at it. And eventually I'll be great and eventually I'll master these things. But I'm willing to be a disaster for her.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Next up in our relationship compilation, we have somebody who I've seen firsthand and one of the most influential people that I've seen in this topic of relationships and relationship building, in the real world. Somebody who I've been seeing him bring people together even before we met personally. Just seeing him building communities. And when I met him, I just knew that he was the real deal. And he's been a good friend ever since we've been friends for many years now. And I was able to sit down with him and to extract some of his knowledge and like how is he able to bring people together in the way that he does and fortify so many incredible relationships. And I'm talking about Dhru Purohit. Now Dhru hosts one of the top health and wellness podcasts in the world. The Dhru Purohit podcast. He's also the CEO of the Dr. Hyman, Dr. Mark Hyman brands, the Ultra Wellness Center. And the list goes on and on with his work with Dr. Mark Hyman.
And he's also contributed to multiple New York Times bestselling books. And now in this segment, Dhru is going to be sharing how our friend groups influence each other's health. Alright. This is very, very important, profound information here. And with this knowledge base, how to begin creating intentional friendships, knowing how our relationships impact us. How can we start to create the relationships, the friendships that are really fruitful and that feed into a culture of health and wellness. Check out this segment from the amazing Dhru Purohit.
Dhru Purohit: The data shows that people who have more friends online, and this was done on Facebook study, tend to have more friends in person too. The challenge becomes when we trade our online friends for offline connection that's there. So, I don't want to throw social media under the bus because the truth is I wouldn't get a chance to meet you, your lovely wife, your kids if it wasn't for social media connecting us. And some of my deepest, most beautiful friendships have come from first connecting online, but we don't want that to be the only source of connection.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree with that man. And so, this is just bringing to bear, like there is a lot of data on this. There's a lot of research affirming how important community is. And I heard you mention before there's a Framingham study Which I talked about in a different perspective on the show. I think it was in regard to heart disease or something years ago. But can you talk a little bit about that?
Dhru Purohit: Yeah, for sure. So, anybody who's familiar with like the Framingham heart study, which was done out of a town in Massachusetts. It was a 30-year study where they collected so many different data points amongst this population set that was very connected to each other. And we've been parsing out, when I say we, the greater, scientific community has been parsing that data out there and coming up with conclusions. 'Cause it was such a long study. So, there's so many different analyses that came out that. One interesting study that came out that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and it was looking at something that was called, the title of the paper is the Spread of Obesity through Social Networks. They're not talking about Facebook and Twitter, but they're talking about like social networks in person that was there. And the hypothesis of the researchers was, when one friend has a significant gain in weight or becomes obese, does that affect the people around them?
Does that affect their other friends? Does it affect their spouse? Does that affect the weight of their parents? Essentially the researchers are asking, is obesity a communicable disease the same way that we would think of the flu or something else that would be out there. And this dataset, which was looking at a population of about 12,000 people between 1971 and 2003, found some interesting conclusions. What they found is that when they looked at parents, kids, spouses, and friend group, the biggest influence when one group in that friend network had a significant increase in weight, they saw that the biggest influence was their other close friends. In fact, you're 57% more likely to become obese or gain weight yourself when one of your close friends becomes overweight. Just think about the influence that our community has when it comes to the fundamentals of our health. Even more than our spouse, even more than our parents.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Dang. That's crazy.
Dhru Purohit: And I have some theories on that. And they talk about this a little bit in the paper, just think about it socially, when your friends are like, oh dude, for anybody that's taken a period of time where they have not gone drinking. And they say, you know what, I don't want to have alcohol right now. I'm just like in my zone. I'm trying to focus a little bit. Then a friend comes, he's like, dude, just come out from margaritas. It's happy hour. Let's just go. We have this thing inside of us, our mirror neuron ability where we want to mimic the people that we consider closest to us. So, we're going to adopt the behaviors that, age old phrase. You become the average of the five people around you. Now we're seeing that there's actual data that's there. So, in a way, something even like obesity and then you think about it, how does it relate to also income level, positivity, mental health? The people around us influence us all the time and sometimes they have the biggest influence in our life more than anybody else.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Man, that's facts. That's absolute facts. This for me brings up a really important subject, which is how did this all come to be in the first place? Where today we have our little pockets, but we have this broader spectrum of influence, but we evolved, humans evolved in cultures and subgroups of friends and community that we depended on. So, let's kind of take a step back.
Dhru Purohit: Yeah. Let's do it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And let's talk about how humanity like, we are dependent, we are codependent creatures. It's in our DNA.
Dhru Purohit: It's in fact, it's so true, no human being could survive on their own. That's why one of the greatest fears in this day and age is people feeling like not liked by others. That's been programmed into our DNA or being ostracized from community. Or what do other people think about me? Because part of that was our DNA, our genetics are designed to say, well, if I get kicked out of the community, my core survival is at risk. If you go back far enough, no human being could survive. Now it's a different story and we'll get to that. Without being part of a village, you couldn't fetch water, chop wood, hunt and survive and create shelter. And if, or your chances were greatly diminished if you wanted to have a longer life that was there. So, we needed each other.
So, reciprocity a village, taking care of each other, looking after each other, having each other's back working through conflict was built into the DNA of humanity. Then as technology came, and it's brought us so many incredible things, and I don't demonize it at all, one of the challenges is where community was baked into our survival, We have something interesting happening right now. We have phones and we have so many things that are, beautiful technological advancements that are there, but it's allowing us to not rely on another human being for our survival that we don't know. For example, we have Netflix, so we could watch that, and we could be entertained by ourselves. We have Uber Eats and we can order food, or we can go to a restaurant and yes, we still may be relying on somebody to keep the power on for these lights or these microphones, but it's often not somebody that we directly know and have a connection with.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right.
Dhru Purohit: There's somebody in some power plant that's keeping the electricity on, but we don't have a direct connection with them. So, we are no longer truly relying on other human beings for the basic survival in the western world that's there. So now friendship and community is not actually about survival and it being baked in. So, it's all around us. It's actually about thriving. I tell people, people say that biohacking is all about the art and science of changing the environment around you to get to an intended result. One of the most incredible biohacks that we have access to is who we surround ourselves with. Again, the bigger your goals and dreams are in life, if you want to be up to something amazing, if you want to create a bubble around you of resilience, so you can withstand all the challenges that come from life, the stresses that are there, the tough times of becoming a father for the first time, or a mother for the first time. We need people around us who have our back and could go along with us on that journey. So, it's truly about thriving now instead of just survival from before.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I love that so much. Ultimate biohack is really working towards... Because again, like especially people who listen to this show, the folks that you are connected with, as am I, we dive into the nutrition, we dive into the movement practices, sleep is a big thing. But the ultimate thing, the ultimate biohack is our community. And with that said, I think it's important to take a step back and look at, you said something really.
You said something really remarkable. I don't want to look past, we're hard wired to care what other people think. We're hardwired because, evolutionarily speaking, if we were outcast or not liked by our tribe, this could mean our survival is at risk, whereas today we've got 100s, 1000s, potentially millions of people judging us. And we often times talk about not caring. You got to get to a place where you don't care what other people think. But we're hardwired to care. So how do we traverse that line? Man, I would love to hear your perspective on that.
Dhru Purohit: Yeah, they talk about in the book Sapiens the author that, and there's other plenty of books that talk about we are truly hardwired and there's better experts that can break that down further than me. But here's the important aspect of it. We can't just assume that we're not going to care what other people think. It's choosing who we want to put in that bucket.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Dhru Purohit: Of actually valuing their opinion, because we don't want to care about what the media says about society and what they think... What we think they think about us. We don't want to care about the person that we don't actually have those deep connections with. But we need to choose people intentionally. That inner circle of friends. Now, remember, we can't choose our family. And there's that old phrase of friends are the family you choose. So, when you create that circle around you and even taking a step back further, most of us growing up with a type of friend that was just what I call for just conversational purposes. Like logistical friends, meaning that you were in the same physical locality as them, you met them in school, you met them at work, and you just happened to be in the same geographic region. Let's call them like geographic friends. Then as a lot of individuals get into, like, let's say if they pursue higher education or they are getting into adulthood, that's the first time that a lot of people start asking about a more important type of friend, which is intentional friends.
What are your goals and dreams in life? What do you want to do? What's your plan moving forward from here? Is there a vision that you have for your life? Amazing. Who do you want to surround yourself with to make that dream more of a reality? You want to have a hip podcast that's out there? You want to move to LA. And you bring your family over and feel settled and connected and be invited to incredible opportunities and things and be happy and healthy. Great. Who do I need to surround myself with? Because none of this is happening on our own. So, I think it's about choosing and first doing an inventory. Nothing wrong with the friends that you grew up with. I still am friends with a lot of people that I grew up with. But then ask yourself, are they meeting your needs of where you are right now, are they intentional and purposeful friends? Because when you choose friends intentionally and purposefully, then there's no problem in valuing their opinion and caring what they have to say, because you know that they have your back. And anything that they share with you or give to you or feedback that's there or even sometimes criticisms, which we all need, sometimes it's coming from a place of truly lifting you up for your highest good.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, yes, yes. Man, I love this so much. Listen, for a lot of people and I know that I've been in this position as well, I had my friends when I was a kid. But today, as adults, I know that a lot of adults say that it's harder to make friends as adults. Why do you think that is?
Dhru Purohit: Yeah, it's harder because when you were a kid, you didn't overthink it, and you didn't have a lot of resources. You couldn't drive. So, you had the community. You had the people that were in your neighborhood, and that's all you had. So, you either did it or you didn't do it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Dhru Purohit: As adults what happens is that first of all, just like you moved a lot as a kid, what happens is that when people become young professionals in this day and age especially, they're moving once, maybe twice. So now, instead of having the same friends that you had in college, whether you went to college in the city that you grew up in or not, you're forced to make friends in a new environment where it's not built into it, in college or university. If people have gone, it's kind of like everybody's doing a shared experience. Everybody's new, everybody's trying to figure it out.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Dhru Purohit: Same thing with high school and middle school. You kind of are in a capacity where it's baked into your living as adults the place that people have that the most is in the traditional workforce. If they're in corporate America, or they're working in an office. But that's still you're choosing between a very small set of people. And what you bring up is something very important, is that nobody really taught us how, as an adult to intentionally make friends. And it turns out that it's a lot like dating. You got to ask people out, which sounds funny to especially a lot of guys, but it's literally you're taking somebody out and you're saying, like, hey, let's play tennis. Let's do this. You're putting out a possibility and an opportunity of hanging out together. And my friend Lewis Howes, who I know, you also know too, he says if you have a hard time imagining if you're in a town that you don't know a lot of people, you just moved there. How do I even begin to find these individuals? Well, I have two tips for those people. One is a quote from Lewis, and he says, go to where people grow. If you have a growth mindset.
If you're listening to this podcast and you want to better yourself in every aspect of your life, then you also want friends that are at that same level, too. So, in your local town or community, where are people going to grow? Is it that local toast masters? Is it somebody who's invited to a dinner party of people who are into, like, a particular book or book club that's there? Where are people going to grow? It could even be that local yoga class or fitness studio or CrossFit or whatever people are into. The second action item is this, when I hear people say, I can't find the right friends, or I just moved somewhere, or I had to fire my old friends because they were toxic. You see a lot of that on Instagram these days, and I don't have new friends that I've replaced them with. I say think about the last six months, pull out a sheet of paper, make a list of just anybody interesting that you met. Usually when I sit down and I have people pull out a piece of paper and actually make a list and go through their calendar, okay, where was I last month? Where was I hanging out? You know what?
I went to the movies with a buddy of mine, and we ran into somebody interesting, and they were an author. And I thought, I always want to write a book one day. I never followed up with that person. There's somebody interesting in the last six months that you met, that you didn't follow up with, and if you just followed up with them and put out an invitation to do something, go on a hike, play golf, do yoga, do a workout together, grab coffee, that's step one in making intentional friendships.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Next up in our relationship compilation, somebody that, again, is a truly influential person in my life. I've known her for over a decade, and she's a best-selling author and founder of one of the biggest communities... Relationship communities called Rising Woman, with a community of over 3 million readers. And the list goes on and on with the accolades and the impact of Sheleana Aiyana. And in this segment, Sheleana is going to be breaking down our faulty cultural messages about love, why we need to qualify people when choosing relationships, and much more. Check out this segment from Sheleana Aiyana.
Sheleana Aiyana: So much of our culture really does tell us that there's somebody outside of us that we're waiting for to come and complete us and make us whole. And so, we've all sort of been wandering around with this idea that I'm looking for my other half, like I'm half a person. And we also have a lot of these beliefs that we're broken somehow. And really, when we're operating from that place, there's no way that we're actually going to call in a healthy, aligned partner because we don't know who we are, and we don't know what we stand for. And so, a lot of this book is really a reclaiming in relationship to self and knowing that when our relationship to self is anchored in truth, then our relationships to everybody else will be anchored in truth. So, it's that foundation that we live from. Like I said, there's so much media influence and cultural influence that tells us that we're waiting to find the one in order to be happy, but actually it's the opposite. Until we are happy within ourselves, and we recognize that we are whole, we won't be able to create those kinds of relationships that we want.
So, it's shifting from fantasy to reality, but in a really beautiful way. Because there's actually so much more magic and medicine that can happen when we're anchored in reality and when we can say, here's who I am, here's what I stand for, here's what I value. And we go out into the world from that place where we're emanating our essence, and then the right people can really come into our lives. And I had so many experiences through childhood and growing up in really dysfunctional, chaotic environments that shaped my experience of love and relationship to be really chaotic and dysfunctional. You could almost not even call it love. It's just repeating trauma patterns. And it's been such a huge journey for me to figure out, okay, what is at the heart of this? If I really want to be in relationship, if I really want to experience love and family and connection, what's in the way? And so much of that for all of us is really our past wounding our stories, our walls, our guards, all of the defenses that we've built to protect our hearts.
Because along the way we learned that that's what we had do.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Sheleana Aiyana: And I think ultimately, relationship is the greatest gift. We're literally here to be in relationship. If we're not in relationship, what are we here for?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Sheleana Aiyana: We know that our health improves when we're in relationship. We know that one of the leading causes of depression is loneliness. And that's not just to say romantic relationship, this is just friendship, family, connection, community. It's literally wired into us. We need it to survive and yet we don't prioritize it, or we approach it very nonchalantly. Like we just fall into relationship. Your life partner, your romantic partner. That is such a big decision. But we don't actually set a foundation for that. We don't prepare and I want to change that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, that's power... The way you even said that's... It's remarkable because we are not, we abandon logic in a sense when we're doing the relationship thing. And love has its own logic, emotion has its own logic. And this is even speaking to the communication and connection that we have just within our species. Like some of the conflicts that I might have with my wife which, she's my best friend, she's amazing, but it's me. I'm a very... I tend to be very logical and analytical and just, that's just how I roll. And she might have something that I'm just like that's not logical. But using that language with her and also me saying that ultimately if I really want to pick this apart, that's not a logical statement for me to say. It's not logical because her emotion has a logic to it. And so, but I think it's kind of like we fall, like you said, we fall into it, we fall in love. Are you going to get up though? It's just like, so coming into it as more of a complete person and this is what you're really advocating because I think that, and let's talk about this.
One of the things that folks experience consistently is this pattern. Like you even said the word pattern of being in the same type of relationship or attracting the same type of people. It might not be exactly the same, but the same trauma pattern. So, let's talk a little bit more about that, specifically what a trauma pattern is.
Sheleana Aiyana: Yeah, well, most of us have a script that we're living out. We're running on a story that we either inherited or that we began to create when we were very young. And usually that conditioning has happening in our first family environments. What are we observing about love and about connection and about communication and safety? And are we safe to express ourselves? Are we not all of these things and we eventually, we become adults or at least we have adult bodies and then we end up in these romantic partnerships where we don't realize it, but we're actually wanting to resolve some old wounds. We're wanting to get complete on some of those things. And especially we're wanting to be seen, heard, and understood in the ways that we didn't feel like we were when we were young. And the challenge is that when we attract partners, they almost always mirror our wounds and they're usually opposite to us in some way. Like even you know how you're talking about you and Ann and of course Ben and I are the same. It's like I'm more emotional, he's more logical.
So, it's like he's more head I'm more heart. But we have to come together and understand that. And ultimately, these are containers for growth. But what happens is that we just play out these patterns where we see our partners as our enemies. And that sounds really extreme, and people will be like, I don't think that. But it's like, look back at your past relationships. How many of those ended catastrophically? And did you blame them for everything? Or how many relationships have we ended because we felt like there was just something wrong with that partner and we were out looking for the one. Because, oh, you're just not the one. And really, these are trauma patterns that are playing out. And again, too, a lot of the times we can experience things like repeated rejection or abandonment, or everything will feel like abandonment because we're conditioned for that. And that was a big part of my story. The abandonment wound. And that awakening around it was what catalyzed this entire journey for me.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You mentioned that somewhere along the way, a lot of people learn that they have to sacrifice themselves in order to be loved. And this kind of goes hand in hand with what I was just talking about.
Sheleana Aiyana: Yeah, I mean, so many of us have learned that. Like I said, in our family systems, in the culture that we live in, in workplaces, it's like we're always, we're doing the thing that we think we need to do to get paid or to get approval or to get validated in some way. And especially for those of us who grew up in tumultuous family environments, usually there were parts of ourselves that we were not allowed to show or share in order to stay safe. And a lot of times, that's our emotional side or our anger, which is our boundaries. So how many of us learned that we can't set boundaries, because it's too dangerous, and then we've just internalized that. And so, we're literally self-abandoning every time we're in relationship because we don't have that tether to, it's okay to say no, and I'm allowed to ask for what I want. And my needs are also important. And so, we see a lot of people in relationship where they're saying, oh, my relationships don't get past three months, or I keep getting cheated on, or they keep getting bored and then just ghosting.
And of course, there's lots going on with the person who's on the other end of that. No doubt this isn't a blame game. But my question is always, were you showing up fully expressed? Were you showing them your truth, your anger? Were you being boundaried? Because in my experience, when a person shows up fully authentic and they know who they are and they have boundaries and they have things that they love and that they're passionate about, we're just drawn to those people. We're just like magnetically drawn in versus when you can feel that a person isn't being truthful or that they're holding back or that they don't feel like they belong, then you can feel that too. And so, we really have to look at the ways that we are not honoring ourselves in order to try to get love, because the kind of love that we're going to get when we're selling out like that, it's not real. If you have to change who you are, if you have to put on a mask, if you have to dim your light in order to be accepted, that's not the kind of relationship you want.
And I'll tell you, the kind of partner that you do want is the kind of partner that's going to get turned on by your no, and by your fire, and by your edges. I think we all like a little challenge. And a good, healthy relationship should challenge you. It shouldn't be easy all the time. It shouldn't always be yes, and there should be some negotiation. And I think that's part of what keeps the spark going is both of us showing up truthful, even when that means that there might be conflict.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I want to talk about because you get very granular in things and a healthy relationship or a healthy inner relationship, and you outline what some of these ingredients are in building that healthy inner relationship. And I want to go through a few of these. One of them is building confidence and self-trust. Let's talk about that.
Sheleana Aiyana: Yeah. When we don't believe in ourselves, when we don't trust our inner instincts and our red flag gut messages where something feels off or something doesn't feel right, then we're more likely to allow situations that are not serving our highest good. When we aren't confident, when we think that we're less than, we're more likely to draw in people who will take advantage of us or who will belittle us and not see us in our highest light. And again, it's tough with this stuff sometimes because people might hear that and think that, oh, it's my fault that I was victimized. But that's never the case. That's never what we're talking about. But what I am saying is that the energy that we're carrying and the beliefs that we're carrying about ourselves are going to show up in the people that we let into our lives. And we have to be able to trust our bodies, to trust our guts, and to really be connected to ourselves so that we can say no when we need to say no.
A classic example is somebody who really wants to be in a relationship. If you really want to be in a relationship but you don't think you're worthy or you don't think you're good enough, or you don't have confidence to listen to your body, then you might just say yes to anyone who walks through the door. Because maybe you don't think anyone else is going to choose you versus knowing who you are and having the confidence and the clarity to qualify a person. So it's like going from the, being in the seat of waiting to be chosen versus I'm the chooser here. So I'm going to choose whether or not this is a relationship that I want to engage in versus going to a date and saying, oh, I hope they think I'm pretty and I hope they like me and I hope I don't say the wrong thing so that they'll want to be with me. How do you even know if you want to be with this person? You haven't asked any questions. You haven't qualified them. Do they align? And so, I really invite people to tune into their bodies and to really listen. How does your body feel right now when you're with this person? Do you feel relaxed? Do you feel constricted?
Is it easy for you to laugh together? How in yourself are you right now? Or have you just left the building? And so, that's really one of the first things that we want to take a look at for, in that process of looking for partnership.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And another one of these for creating a healthy inner relationship is staying true to your values. Let's talk about that one.
Sheleana Aiyana: Yeah, I mean, core values is a really fundamental piece of who we are. If we know what we value, then we know what to say yes and what to say no to. And that reflects our environment, how we treat ourselves, how we treat other people, how our relationships to our bodies and to the planet look. It's everything. And so many of us don't ask ourselves, what do we value? We don't know. And so, a lot of times in relationship we're actually just behaving like animals. We get turned on by somebody, and then we pursue it because we feel turned on. We find somebody attractive, and they turn a light on for us. And so, we pursue that as if that's the end all, be all, and entering into conscious relationship space, that might just be one piece. Of course, attraction and chemistry is important. We want to feel attraction and chemistry with our partner. But that's just one value, right? Sensuality or chemistry, that's one value. What about genuine authenticity? What about being integral and being kind?
What about being disciplined or generous? These are things that I know are important to me. They're probably important to you. And we all have different values. Some of us have high scientific values. Some of us have high spirituality values, religious values. And so, if we're going to get clear on who we are as a person, then we can say, okay, well, here's what I value.
What do you value? And do these values align? Can we walk a path together, or is it not a match? And when we're doing more than just listening to our bodies get turned on, when we're dating or in relationship, we're following more than just that rollercoaster rush of emotions with that honeymoon phase, and then we're slowing down to enter the space of, like I said before, negotiation, where you can really get to know each other and negotiate a relationship and how that relationship is going to look, instead of just falling into it and hoping that it turns out the way you're imagining. Maybe you guys both have completely different realities of how relationships should look, but you didn't talk about that. So, it's important that we take that time. And so, when we've gone through a cycle of breakups or relationship patterns that are exhausting for us, we want to return to the values and say, okay, well, what values was I prioritizing in that relationship? And for a lot of us, it's something physical, or there's affection, we value affection, and maybe that was the only thing that was there, but there was all these other things in the way that made it an unhealthy relationship to be in.
So, what are the values that we prioritize? What are the, we have to have these in order to have a relationship with someone versus these in the nice-to-haves, or this is part of what makes me me and I'm open to somebody who maybe doesn't share that value, it's really getting clear.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And now to close things out in our powerhouse compilation on building healthy relationships, we have the man himself, who's the director of that longest-running study on human longevity that we talked about to open this episode, specifically again identifying that our relationships are the number one influential factor on our longevity. And I'm talking about Dr. Robert Waldinger. Dr. Waldinger works in psychiatry and psychology at Harvard University. And he's just an absolute wealth of knowledge. And in this segment, he's going to be sharing the background on that longest running study on human longevity, and the impact of our relationships. The surprising truth about conflicts and relationships, you're going to really want to listen to that one. And the power of curiosity in our relationships. Check out the segment from Dr. Robert Waldinger.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: So, when I had the opportunity to take over this study that had tracked 100s, now 1000s of lives for so many years, I thought this would be the coolest thing to devote my time to. This is so unusual that a single study of the same people has lasted 85 years.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: But the thing that surprised us was that the people who stayed healthy and live the longest were the people who had the warmest relationships with other people. And when we found that, we didn't believe it at first. So, we thought, how could this be? Okay, having good relationships could make you happy, that makes sense, but how could it get into your body and predict that you'd be less likely to get coronary artery disease, or that you'd be less likely to get arthritis or that you would live longer? How could that possibly happen? The best hypothesis with some good data is that it's about stress, that good relationships seem to be stress relievers, and I'll explain. When something happens to us, you have a really upsetting thing happen during your day, you get a ticket, or some medical crisis happens, you can literally feel your body change, your blood pressure goes up. Your heart rate goes up. It's called fight or flight mode, and we want our bodies to respond that way, but then when the threat is removed, we want our bodies to come back to baseline. And one of the things you'll notice is that if you have something upsetting happen in your day and you're thinking about it and you're upset about it, if you have somebody at the end of the day, you can talk to about that, and you're able to talk to them, you can literally feel your body calm down and go back to that equilibrium.
What if you don't have anybody you can talk to like that? And so, we think what happens is that people who are more isolated, lonely, less connected, that those people stay in a low level fight or flight mode of chronic stress, higher levels of stress hormones circulating in their bodies, higher levels of inflammation all the time, breaking down body systems slowly but gradually. And so that's what we think is one of the main drivers of how relationships can either improve our health, or the lack of good relationships can break it down.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, here's the biggest question. We know that our relationships obviously have a huge influence on our lives, but I think we have this very romantic idea about relationships, you complete me and the whole thing.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But what actually constitutes a good relationship? And I think it's going to be surprising for people, because we think super smooth sailing, no problems...
Dr. Robert Waldinger: No, no. In fact, we found that many of our most stable couples felt like cats and dogs. But the difference, it wasn't the amount of arguing you did, it wasn't even the amount of anger, what it was when we actually watched couples on video having an argument, it was whether you could see a bedrock of affection and respect even when people were arguing.
So, what we know about the best relationships is, first of all, there are always disagreements, always, and the question is, how do we manage those disagreements? Can we find ways to work out those inevitable conflicts? I want this and you want, that's always going to happen. The question is, can we find a way to work things out so that neither of us feels like we've won or lost, that we both feel okay about each other and ourselves when we emerge from working out a conflict? That's the key, not whether disagreements happen, 'cause those are always going to happen.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's talk about the counter side and what you've seen in the data over the years with relationships that tend to not work out or that have a lot of friction.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yeah. Well, some of it does have to do with inflexibility. So, as one person change as the other person says, "I don't want you to change like that, that's not okay with me." And then they're stuck, not being able to figure out a way to be together. And so, I think what we hope to encourage is that for the relationships we care about that we adopt a curiosity about who this person in my life is today, not who they were yesterday, but who are they today? Especially with family members we grew up with.
I mean, think about it. If you grew up with siblings, you might have had an older sibling who you thought was always bossy, well, maybe 20, 30 years later, that's not what's going on in your relationship, but what if you keep imagining that it is? So, we have to bring that curiosity to our ongoing relationships and say, okay, what's here now that I haven't seen before in you and in our relationship?
SHAWN STEVENSON: So fascinating. Now, if you could, because again, we don't get a lot of training on this, if at all, we're just kind of thrust into our relationships, and our textbook is usually Hollywood movies on how it's supposed to be. So, having these skills, like, you just mentioned, it's not an absence of conflict. And that's important. I think that's... First and foremost, are really important tenet for us to understand, because we have this romantic idea that we should just be everything's peaceful, all this stuff, and not to say that we don't have peace as well, but in the face of inevitable conflict, I think you even said the word inevitable earlier.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: In the face of inevitable conflict, in those moments when it's happening, you mentioned a foundation of intimacy still existing.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, can we talk more about that? What are some of the things that we can do personally, when we are in a conflict with the person that we love and we care about, and for us to more gracefully handle these situations?
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yes. So first of all, when you feel anger come up or a sense of threat, oh, we're in a conflict, we disagree. The first thing is just to slow everything down if you can, because one of the problems is we all want to react right away and make it go away, the conflict, the upset, the anger. And the hardest thing to learn, but the most useful is to slow it down, to let your reaction come up and remember that it's going to pass away, you're not always going to be this upset. And even to say to your partner who you're having the conflict with, "Let's take a time out. Let's come back and talk about this later. I'm feeling really upset right now, it would be better for me to go away, calm down, and for us to talk about it again." And kids can do that too. Kids can do that with each other.
We can do it with our kids. And so slow things down is probably the first step when it's possible. And then also being curious, rather than assuming that we know why somebody said what they said or did what they did, just be curious. "Okay, tell me, what made you say that what were you thinking about?" Or "How come you did that?" And not accusing, just curious, 'cause often, the assumptions we make about somebody else turn out not to be true, but we can act on those assumptions and do all kinds of harm to everybody.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And we start linking things together.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We might have a... And this is like a longitudinal versus cross-sectional thing where we have a snapshot situation here that we're dealing with, but we related to this whole breath of other things. Why do we do that?
Dr. Robert Waldinger: And the worst thing you can say in an argument is, you always. Or, you never. Nobody always does anything. Nobody never does. It just doesn't... There's no always. There's no never. But what we do is, we say, okay, it's always been like this. You always say those things, not true. One of the pointers is to just take this moment and this incident for what it is, not as some global confirmation of the eternal truth.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, we talk about this in my relationship with my wife about not speaking in extremes, because we tend to do that, but to catch ourselves doing that. And also, something super valuable, it's not just for us to... I think awareness is so powerful, obviously to be aware of how we're feeling and start to question ourselves, to be curious within ourselves too, but externally, yes, asking questions, being curious and so powerful to find more clarity because we come to our own assumptions and paint these whole stories, but also internally, being curious about, for example, I'm having a conflict with my wife, my best friend, we love each other so much and just love being around each other, for me to be aware of, what is her state? Maybe she's being sensitive about a thing or whatever the case might be, and just like, did she have a tough day? Is she stressed, whatever. For me to start to paint her in a better light rather than somebody who's, I'm a victim all of a sudden...
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. So, what about that capacity to just be more... I guess that's an extension of compassion and understanding.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Yeah. And as you said, you have a gratitude practice, so one of the things, if you can bring yourself to do it in the moment is to remember all the things, you're grateful for about this person.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow. Yeah.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Like, wow, what if I never saw her again? Oh my gosh.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
Dr. Robert Waldinger: And so, even though she's just made you mad. The other thing, as you were saying, you can start to ask yourself questions like, "What's upsetting me so much about this?" Why am I getting so worried about this? If I think that she said something a little nasty. Okay, it happens. "Why am I so upset right now?" Because that's another way to just slow it down and to be more curious about what's going on.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And this is what's so powerful and remarkable about us as a species, we have the ability to do these things, but I think what hinders us is just our desire to be right. And can you talk about that a little bit?
Dr. Robert Waldinger: Oh yeah. There's another Zen quote that I'll use because I love this quote and it helps me a lot. In Zen we talk about beginner's mind, trying, rather than to be right and to assume that you know what you're talking about, to bring that awareness of, there so much I don't know about any situation, including my relationship with this person, it's called beginner's mind. And so, the encouragement is, bring a beginner's mind. I know nothing in the best sense mind to your next encounter with somebody you see all the time. And the saying in Zen is, in the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind, there are a few.
So, if we think, well, I'm an expert in this person, you've kind of closed off a lot of possibility.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you so very much for tuning in to this episode. Again, this is the most influential factor on our health and longevity. We know how much good relationships impact how we feel, and when the challenges show up, when the rocky aspects of relationships, there's nothing that can throw our solar system out of whack, throw our planet off its axis like our closest relationships. And the same thing holds true that there's nothing else more powerful that can hold up and create order, support order and beauty and grace in our life experience as our healthy relationships. And so this is something we need to learn about, if it's this important, don't you think this is something that we should make a study, we should truly invest our time and energy in finding, how does this stuff work? Because many of us grew up in conditions where we don't get access to this kind of information. And so again, make this a study, put these things into practice, most importantly, and please share this out with the people that you love, that you care about.
You can share this out on social media, of course, take a screenshot of the episode and tag me, I would love to see that I'm @Shawnmodel on Instagram. And also, of course, you could send this episode directly from the podcast app that you are listening on. We've got some incredible masterclasses and world class guests coming for you very, very soon, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to the modelhealthshow.com, that's where you could find all of the show notes, you could find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you got a comment, you can leave me comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much, and take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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