Jay Simcic

Relationship posts are written by a self-proclaimed expert on relationships. He's been married for over 15 years and has a lovely daughter who is 6 years old. You can read more on the information page: http://www.relationshiploveadvice.com/blog/about/

Does the Matrix have you?

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Mind VirusHave you seen the movie called the Matrix?

It’s a good movie that makes you think about reality.  It forces you to think deeper about what’s possible, what’s not possible and who says so.  Which is an interesting series of thoughts when you consider it.  Let me give you a dialogue from the movie and then I’d like to discuss it…

Morpheus: I imagine that right now, you’re feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that’s not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Neo: The Matrix.
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?
Neo: Yes.
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.

I’d like you to consider that when Morpheus explains that Neo is a slave like everyone else and that he was born into a prison he can’t taste or touch that he is talking about you, me, and every human on the plant.  You see, we are enslaved by our own mind.  Your mind limits you.  It tells you to be scared of certain things.  It tells you to hold your tongue because you might look bad.  It tells you to look the other way because you don’t want to be the “bad guy”.  It also sabotages your relationship. 

Your mind is very powerful and until now you’ve probably been in your own prison.  There is an answer.  It is in the new book by Bobby McFadden called the “Meaning Making Machine”.  In this book you will unlock the tools you need to break free from your prison.  You will be handed the antidote for the mind virus you’ve obtained over time.

Go grab your copy and let me know what you think.

Here’s the link:

The Meaning Making Machine

 

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Yielding Your Relationship

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Listen.Do you always think you have the right of way? 

Do you have rules for your right of way? 

Here is an excerpt from Seth Godin’s blog.  Seth is a highly respected Marketer and Author.  His blog is highly insightful for many in business.  And when I came across this post I thought about how perfect it was for relationships too.  Check it out…

The rules of right of way make sense.

A maneuverable motor boat yields to a sailboat because it can more easily recover from the turn.

A bicyclist going downhill yields to one struggling uphill, because he can get back up to speed more quickly.

The senior partner invests a little bit of time helping the junior one, because no one else has the skills to do so, not because reciprocation is the goal.

Asymmetrical trades are what makes a society work.

Yield has two meanings, and one leads to the other.

Source:  Seth Godin

Now I’m going to ask you to take on having a breakthrough in your relationship by yielding.  Yield.  Listen.  Don’t judge.  Avoid worrying about how you’re going to respond. Instead listen to your partner.  Listen for what is important to him about the discussion. 

After you’ve done this I want you to come back to the blog and tell me how it’s working for you.  Tell me what worked and what didn’t.  Let’s go to work on your relationship.  Even the biggest problems can be solved with authentic, unencumbered conversations.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

 

Jay

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Fault, Blame, Victimizing–How to Overcome Your Relationship Obstacles

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Relationship ConflictThere are times in our relationships that we feel stuck.  There are times in our relationships that we fight.  There are times when we are not very nice to our partner.  Then there are times when everything is going perfectly.  And it’s during the tough times that allow us to grow.  It is the tough times that point directly at what it is we need to go to work on.  And it’s only revealed to us when we are open to it. 

Let me tell you a short story.  It’s a good one that has been told many times before.  But the context of how you read/hear it today will be completely different than you heard it before.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

Source: Stories To Make You Think

As you can see this story is about overcoming obstacles.  And before you walk away thinking that you’ve heard it before I’d like you to consider that maybe you haven’t heard it THIS way before. 

You see, we tend to live our lives in a world of fault and blame.  We point the finger at others when they “make us feel a certain way”.  We point the finger at ourselves when we “fail to perform” at something.  In the story above, the boulder is just another way to point the finger. 

“It’s not my problem.  The boulder was there when I got here.”

“The guy before me should have moved it.”

“Damn it, I don’t know how to move it.  I don’t have any tools.  I so useless.”

All of that could go through our minds.  And those same ways of thinking are what clog our brains in our relationships when things go wrong.

Now, if we approach our fights, arguments, and problems differently – more like the peasant – new opportunities for action may open up.  What if the next time an argument broke out you became the peasant.  Instead of fighting, reacting, blaming or pointing the finger you asked yourself…

“How can I use this as a learning opportunity?” 

“How can I act differently that may cause a different outcome in this situation?”

“How can I take responsibility for the current circumstance allowing me to regain power and move the conversation in a different direction?”

This is how you can begin to maneuver the boulder.  You now can have a choice when things don’t go your way.

When things don’t go as planned you can…

Be a victim, complain, bitch, moan, and blame either others or yourself

OR

You can create choice, look for new ways of acting that will allow you to learn from the experience and progress your relationship and partnership in the direction you want it to go.

It’s up to you now.  You have the choice.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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A Triple Punishment

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A Triple PunishmentImagine you’re at home with your partner.  You can’t seem to get on the same page.  You can’t seem to agree on anything.  One minute he’s agreeing with you.  And the next minute you are at each other’s throats.

You feel like you want to throw something at him.  You have already yelled at the top of your lungs.  If not you probably wanted to.

It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it seems to linger like a case of bad breath.  But you want to do something about it.

You don’t know what’s causing it but you are punishing each other on different levels as you go through this argument.

Let me share a story I was reading the other day that seems fitting…

A man well known for his prodigious greed and selfishness was brought before the judge, accused of corruption. The case was clear; the man was manifestly guilty. It only remained for the judge to decide upon the punishment.

The judge, a deeply wise and perceptive woman, considered the nature of the crime and the personality of the man she was dealing with. After a little thought, she looked at the convicted man and said, “I am going to offer you a choice. You may choose your punishment. Choose between these. The first punishment is to pay as a fine a thousand golden dollars. The second is to accept a hundred lashes across your back. The third is to eat ten kilos of raw onions.”

The convict was delighted. He could save his money and escape the pain of corporal suffering. “I’ll take the onions,” he shouted, a huge smile breaking across his face.

However, by the time he had finished just half of the first kilo of raw onions, his eyes were streaming, his thirst was raging, and his stomach felt as if it was going to burst.

“Please,” he pleaded, “spare me the onions. I’ll take the hundred lashes.” And so it was that the official appointed for this task picked up the lash and began to apply his art to the back of the convict. After no more than ten strokes, the convict could bear the pain no longer. He thought he would die.

“Please,” he pleaded, “spare me the lash. I will pay the thousand golden dollars.”

And so it was that the convict was punished in each of the three ways for his crime against society, and the judge’s insight into character and personality was shown to be profound.

Primary source: Nossrat Peseschkian.
General source: Oriental tradition.

Source: Owen, Nick (2001-01-08). The Magic of Metaphor: 77 stories for teachers, trainers and thinkers (Kindle Locations 1529-1543). Crown House Publishing. Kindle Edition.

As you can see the convicted man went through lots of punishment.  And it wasn’t needed.

It’s similar to how we argue when things don’t go our way.  First we have something to argue about.  Then things are said that don’t feel good.  That causes another level of suffering.  That in turn causes thoughts and concerns about yourself, your partner, and your relationship.

Next thing you know you’re playing a movie in your head that send you into a deeper spiral of despair.  It’s suffering that you don’t have to be going through.

When you consider that all of that can be stopped with a simple conversation you’ll realize how not significant the fight, argument, and suffering really was.

Consider in Bobby’s book, that you can get on Amazon, he talks about how to choose and deal with men.  Don’t think that it only applies to single women.  This applies even if you’ve been married for 60 years.

Why?

Because he talks about your world view and how it filters every decision you make.  He talks about how you walk through life with a set way that causes the insignificant to become significant.

But there’s hope!

You’ll quickly realize from the book and this discussion that it all can be handled through an authentic two-way conversation.  Once that begins you’ll start to uncover the hidden meaning you give things.  You’ll see why you make things significant.  You’ll understand that he said what he said and there isn’t much you can do about that except for react.  And it’s in YOUR reaction that says how the rest of the conversation will go.

I want you to be aware of yourself and your thoughts of those around you.  Remember, it’s how you see them that has you act the way you do.

Leave me your comments.  Tell me what you’re dealing with and let’s begin to dissect the issues.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

 

Jay

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Communication Confessions Of A Geek

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GeekI was reading a book the other day to improve my understanding of people in business and politics and how the world works in reality.  Yes, I  know that’s kind of geeky but I love that stuff.  But what became clear very quickly was how it crossed over into the realm of relationships.

And that’s where I asked myself, why do we misunderstand each other and act weird when we do?  I don’t mince words.  I typically say exactly what I mean but why did my wife misunderstand me and then we both act weird.  Or why does your husband misunderstand you.

I think you’ll enjoy the excerpt form Frank I. Luntz book “Words That Work:  It’s Not What You Say That Matters, It’s What People Hear” that I picked out for you.  It delivers a powerful message.  Again, this is from a book that is not about relationships but if you read this passage with your relationship mind you’ll quickly discover what I’m talking about and why it is effective.

It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.   You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions, preconceptions, prejudices, and preexisting beliefs. It’s not enough to be correct or reasonable or even brilliant. The key to successful communication is to take the imaginative leap of stuffing yourself right into your listener’s shoes to know what they are thinking and feeling in the deepest recesses of their mind and heart. How that person perceives what you say is even more real, at least in a practical sense, than how you perceive yourself.

When someone asks me to illustrate the concept of “words that work,” I tell them to read Orwell’s 1984—and then see the movie. In particular, I refer them to the book passage that describes Room 101—or as Orwell basically describes it, the place where everyone’s personal, individual nightmares come true. If your greatest fear is snakes, you open the door to a room full of snakes. If your fear is drowning, your Room 101 fills to the brim with water. To me, this is the most frightening, horrific, imaginative concept ever put on paper, simply because it encourages you to imagine your own Room 101. Words that work, whether fiction or reality, not only explain but also motivate. They cause you to think as well as act. They trigger emotion as well as understanding.

Luntz, Frank I. (2007-01-02). Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say that Matters, It’s What People Hear (Kindle Locations 124-135). Hyperion. Kindle Edition.

Do you get that?  It’s not about what you said or how you said it.  It’s about how he filtered what you said and how you sounded to him.  Once you get that one concept… all by itself… it has the ability to transform your relationship to a new level of understanding and connection.  Understand this concept and you’ll begin to gain a level of relatedness with your partner you’ve probably never had before.

But the question becomes…

How can you know how he hears you?

The first thing that comes to mind is to ask him.

If you say something and he misunderstands you, instead of scolding him or getting upset and shutting down, ask him to feed back to you what he heard and what it meant to him.  Do that and you can begin to get on the same footing and level the playing field.  Now you can begin to understand each other more clearly.  Doing this is like wiping a dirty window with some window cleaner.

But here’s the truth about it.   This is just one aspect that you’ll break through.  Consider that we all have hundreds, possibly thousands, of filters that we hear, see, taste, and smell through.  Obviously we don’t have to break down every single filter.  But by understanding that there is more than one you can begin to take on your relationships at an intimate level as well as at work in a different way.

It definitely gives you a new way of viewing things.

What can you do now that you know this?

Now that you know all this you can begin to see the depth and complexity of your man.  Sometimes he may open up to you.  Sometimes he won’t.  I urge you to talk to him as often as possible.  Understand him as much as you can.  If he won’t open up on a particular topic consider talking to another man.  It’s not the perfect solution but it will help.

And if you want to get a quick overview of what your man thinks, I ask that you visit Amazon.com and pick up a copy this amazing book called A$$holes to Zipper Heads:  A to Z Guide For Choosing A Man, it will give you an eye opening look at your own filters and how they have caused you to choose the man you have now and in the past.  The insight will be tremendous and it already has 3 Five Star reviews.

I hope this article has been helpful.  Until next time…

Love… to infinity and beyond.

 

Jay

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