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How Healthy Relationships Do Conflict w/ Jayson Gaddis (071)

by Bryan Reeves & Tait Arend | Soulfire Productions
October 22nd 2021
What did your father teach you about conflict? What does conflict look like in healthy relationships? Do healthy couples regularly experience conflict? And if so, how do they do it? In this episode, m... More
Yeah, yeah. Mhm. I think I called my mom a bit when I was a teenager and my dad just fucking let me have it, he didn't hit me or anything, but he he reamed me pretty good and it was cool because he had my mom's back. So I thought that was a pretty powerful teaching, but he was an intimidating guy and I was mostly scared of him, He was physical a couple of times, but mostly he was, he would use his mean sort of look, tone of voice and pointing the finger at me just to put me in my place, but there was never a repair or an apology or ownership of anything. Um that's just not how my parents did it. Welcome to men this way, the podcast for every man who seeks to live his deepest purpose in life, who is committed to showing up fully and giving his unique gifts to the world. Because if not you then who I'm your host and fellow journeyman, brian Reeves, bryan with a Y Reeves men this way.

Mhm. What did your father teach you about conflict? What does conflict look like in healthy relationships and do healthy couples regularly experienced conflict? And if so, how do they do it? While in this episode, my guest relationship expert, Jason Gattis, and I mind these questions and more for useful insights to make a meaningful difference in your life. This is the second time I've had Jason, it's Jason with a Y jayson Gaddis on men this way, Jason goddess with the white kind of like bryan with a y I like it and I love having Jason on because he brings such practical insight and wisdom. Actionable practices that you can begin to start working with immediately in your life. And he does not disappoint in this episode as well, particularly if you're experiencing or ever experienced conflict in an important relationship, which I know pretty much covers everybody. Jason just released his new book titled Getting to Zero, How to Work through conflict in your high stakes relationships. Some of the topics we dive into our the five types of conflict that emerge in relationships.

The basic building blocks of resolving conflict, what it can look like for a strong willed couple to navigate. The routine, disagreements is and different differences that arise in the course of living together and so much more. But first, before we dive into the episode, I want to tell you about my new elevate experience for men. Elevate 2022 my year long coaching journey. Four men committed to thriving in every domain of life is now open for enrollment. I'm only inviting 12 men to go through all of 2022 with me personally, on this adventure of a lifetime. Who's this for a while? It's for you if you've achieved some level of success yet still feel unfulfilled or you're simply seeking a greater level of fulfillment than you now have. This is for you if you're committed to rising above the distractions and compulsions that are sabotaging you from living your fullness as a man. If you're done trying to lone wolf it through life, this is for you. If you're stuck in some critical area, ready for a breakthrough or you know, you need to be challenged and supported by other men to help move you along on the journey of becoming the man you were born to be.

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Now, let's get back to my conversation with Jason Gaddis, take a deep breath and stay present with us all the way through to the end of this episode of Men this way. All right, let's dive Mr Jason Gattis. What's up, my friend? It's good to have you back on men this way. Welcome. Yeah, thanks brian. Great to see him. Uh you know the episode that you and I did. Uh man, it's been a few years now. I think I was early in my podcasting journey. The emotionally unavailable man. Yeah, that has been one of my most listened to episodes. Oh, nice. I guess there's a thing about emotionally unavailable men going on out there. Yeah. And since we were two formerly emotionally unavailable man, it kind of kind of works 100% man. Look my my lady Sylvia is, you know, we daily have still sort of that that yearning, the tension between us where there's this yearning for for more emotionality from me and and and look within me, a yearning, I'd love to offer more emotionality and you know, we we have a good sense of humor about it, Sylvie and I um uh but you know, it's there it exists, it's a dance we we continued to dance with is, would you say that's the same within your relationship?

Yeah, there's there's something similar where um I can just get just like have my game face on a lot and it's like, wait, what, where's honey, where are you know, and then stresses is a new sort of emerged thing that I wear mostly business kind of stress um because I'm new at business and not great at it. And so I'm, I can wear that and that's usually a repellent in your to anybody or no to my interests, Well probably to anybody, but certainly to my partner, I totally get that man. Look, I I, you know, I I built my business, my coaching business on my writing really, you know, 88 years ago or so. Really planted the seeds for that? I love writing. I mean you know the content, the creation that the the artistry of this work and yet you know running a business like this man that takes a lot of other, it's a whole other muscle that is very stressful.

It's not where my joy generally comes from. No, I'm usually in my left brain and vary in my head and you know it's I think I love solving problems so that part of it's kind of fun but when I'm just in the weeds like all the time it's I'm like yeah this isn't my favorite spot. Yeah and I know you and I think this is a common ground you and I stand on is you know, we both want to do good service in the world, want to be creating teaching, guiding, leading the way, helping people navigate challenges more than just running a damn business. Yeah, that's right. Yeah, we wanna get our message out. I want to get our message out man. So I feel you on that and and I'm actually really excited to talk to you today about the new book that you have out and I think as of I mean we're recording this on october 1st but by the time this comes out, your book will be people can actually already order it. Is that right? That's right. So getting to zero how to work through conflict in your high stakes relationships.

Um how long did it take you to write this? Mm Well I'd say once I got going, it was probably a six month process, but before the six month was this really crunchy difficult, probably year long process of figuring out what I was writing about and getting the proposal dialed. And that was a whole nother journey. I like to books writing a book as a marathon. Yeah, no doubt about it ain't a sprint. That's that's an instagram post. Writing a book is like, it's like an iron man marathon. Like more iron manage. Yeah, so congratulations. And I'm really excited to talk with you about it because it's also it's about conflict quick check in is this book geared towards men or is it for men and women? Just anybody who's interested in navigating conflict in relationships. Yeah, it's anyone who wants to be in a good place in their most important relationships, you know? Before we dive into that, I'm curious because I was in my men's group that I'm running right now, just yesterday in our, one of our bimonthly sessions, we were exploring our father stuff.

One of the questions that came up is that we ask is how did your, what did your father teach you about conflict and how did your father do conflict with you? It's a good one. And I would love to hear what you inherited if you will completely the modeling of of your your father in particular as a man around conflict. Yeah, he did a pretty good job of I 80 conflict with my mom and I'm not saying that's a good thing but he he thought it was a good thing. So he did his best to argue with her behind closed doors. So I grew up in a family where it felt like my parents never fight in terms of. So that was kind of the modeling and I would see him be stressed from work and raise his voice at me. My siblings, my mom once in a blue moon. Yeah. In fact I actually have a memory of him standing up for my mom when I I think I called my mom a bit when I was a teenager and my dad just fucking let me have it. He didn't hit me or anything.

But he he reamed me pretty good and it was cool because he had my mom's back. So I thought that was a pretty powerful teaching but he was an intimidating guy and I was mostly scared of him. He was physical a couple of times, but mostly he was, he would use his mean sort of look tone of voice and pointing the finger at me just to put me in my place. But there was never a repair or an apology or ownership of anything that's just not how my parents did it what I'm hearing and that is that conflict was modeled by your father at least towards you as as a domination game. You could say that, um, domination certainly intimidation, intimidation. I think I know what you're saying and he's definitely dominating, but I don't know if he was, he was just kind of like saying, yeah, maybe it is domination is like I'm in charge. Like don't mess with me. I mean I look at, I had 22 fathers dad and step dad and the models that I got from them was on, on the one hand one was uh, we're just going to rationalize our way around everything.

You know, like, like nailing jell o to a wall as they say, we're conflict doesn't even exist because we're just going to talk our way around everything and I'm isn't an attorney or something. Should have been, should have been, would have been a skill, well applied. Um, but very intellectual, very heady. This is my my father. And and so it remains to this day, the perpetual teacher. Then on the other hand, you know, my stepfather whom I love, I have a great relationship with, I have a better relationship with him than I do with my own dad. My stepfather's way of doing conflict was in a way similar to what I hear from your father was the disagreement isn't at least. Well, I'll just just what my stepfather disagreement was not welcome. In fact disagreement was a sign of disrespect and disrespect was was going to be met with overwhelming emotional force, never physical violence but emotional. I mean, I was terrorized the emotional sort of tyrant, emotional energy was so alive and that I just knew there's really no place for me to have any dissent here.

So I was just terrified. I stayed away from kind of of conflict from him. Yeah. Even to this day, I do my best to avoid. You have to tiptoe around any disagreements we might have. So there you go between the, between the complete sort of checked out rationalizing version. Like there's just no emotion present whatsoever to be on the other extreme. The the explosive. I will destroy you with my intensity if you disagree. Yeah, those are those are my models, like a five year old. I'm like, oh, that sounds harsh. Yeah, pretty, pretty tense now. Here I am. You know, in my twenties and thirties and 47 now, you know, I've been doing my own work around this for a long, long, long time. Those patterns are still present in me. But you know, I tried to do relationship with those two models in mind. How do you think it went from me, Jason? Well, you're likely you're gonna respond. It seems like people go two ways they go, they become their dad, right? Or 11 of the dads or they have such an aversion to the dad. They do the opposite totally man and I basically had both those models.

I had the opposite. I had the two, I had the bipolar experience in both dads. So yeah dude, I would just slam back and forth between just you know, no emotion, no emotion rationalized, rationalized around right? And then when you know, and I always chose women that would never let me get away with it. They would, they were gonna pin this goddamn jell o to the tree. They were gonna drive as many nails as they could into the jell o. That was me until this jello was stuck on the tree and by the, when I was so done with getting so many nails driven into me then I would explode. Uh then I would become my stepfather. Yeah, explosion is something people do, right, Especially if they don't have other options or tools or haven't preemptively handled things along the way. Let's dive into your book and your experience. Um First off getting to zero, What are we talking about? What does that mean? Yeah, it means we're gonna get back to a good place. And so anything above zero on a 0 to 10 scale is I'm triggered or activated one through 10 and zero is ah nervous systems have let down scared animals chilled out and we're all relaxed and good, sounds pretty good.

To me. It's the place I just, I think a lot of guys can, we would offer that. Yeah, that's, I just want to live there always totally man, why do we even need to get above zero to begin with? Yeah, well we're animals. We're social mammals. And one of our, we have two things that we're up against. One is our biology and one is our history. Biology is we don't want to be left out of the herd. We don't wanna be kicked out, rejected, abandoned and we don't do well alone as mammals. So it will do anything we can to maintain connection or closeness to the herd or another person including betray ourselves. So there's the biology, that's what's at stake if if it doesn't go well, I could lose the relationship and I could be on my own. So none of us like that. And then there's our history, which is what we were just talking about, all the baggage and carnage from our upbringing or the downloads we got however good or bad it was. We tend to play that out in our current reality with our current high stakes relationships and that makes it very difficult and we want to avoid that and we don't want to feel this way and it feels bad and most of us want to get back to zero without any effort.

I'm gonna push a button. Yes, totally want to push a button and usually the button, that sort of, you know, my, my training taught me to look for is okay, there's gotta be a button in my partner's brain that if I can just press it now, you know, our audience is, is, you know, this podcast is largely for men, but we have a lot of women listening as well, but I like to kind of speak to the common man's experience. Obviously not every man experiences things the same way, but I think, I think a lot of men that I worked with and that I'm in friendships with and just been my experience, you know, I'm, you know, my my wife, Sylvie, we we we long ago noted that I tend to not get upset until she's upset. Mhm. Yeah. And usually my upset is coming because I don't want her to be upset. So like here her upset rises. So I'm good. So, so my story tells me, I'm sure there's all kinds of ship going underneath the surface that I'm not present too.

But you know, like I think for a lot of guys, so long as nobody's bleeding the house ain't on fire, we don't have to call the cops. You know, no one's coming. As with a knife, we're good, we can pay the bills. You're not starving. Like I'm not cheating on you. Like nothing big and major is happening. What's the problem? Yeah, well, you know, there's an upset in my wife and now I'm upset because I don't think she should be upset. Yeah, help me fix really common man, let's let's unpack that man. Okay, well, um one possibility is your, even though you are not that impact, it is sort of your story initially your relational, your relational man. And so you care a lot about your partner and when she goes down, you notice and that's upsetting to you. I think there's a real because you value relationships and you value her and how her well being and you care about her. That's a good sign. That's a sign of health when she's hurting.

And you notice and you're like, oh, now there's an alarm bell going off, like, oh, act do something help. It's a sign. I'm not a sociopath. Absolutely. You're a relational being because there are men that we know of that are not relational and those are the guys that are causing harm in the world probably. Yeah. So I think that I think that's a good sign. And would would it question back for you, is would it also be true that she sometimes you don't know that there's anything going on with you. She actually knows before you that there's something going on with you. Absolutely men without a doubt. 100%. Yeah. And that's that's the helpfulness and value of a partner and to particularly may be sensitive. You could call it sensitives. Ish people that care again about each other in relationships. It's like, oh, she's noticing that something's off with you before you do. And then she might reach out, right? I think a big part of the resistance comes from me not wanting to face what's going on with me. Yeah I don't want it because it might be uncomfortable.

Right uncomfortable inconvenient. Yeah not a good time. Not a good time. Exactly. Yeah there was a time my dad called uh we still do and I were driving to the grocery store and my my dad called and had it on speaker phone and this was a few years back and you know I was pretty and pretty accustomed to my conversations with dad being disappointing and you know not connecting just not very you know just it's not feeling very good. We got it we hung up the phone after maybe two minutes and you know Sylvia could see that I was affected, she could just feel that my my heartbreak you know it's like a little micro heartbreak and and she says uh brian you know it's okay you know if you want to cry you can pull the car over if you want to just cry it's okay. And my response is babe I'm driving we got we got places to go trying to get us somewhere. Yeah where are we going, Jason? We're going to the damn grocery store you know a lot of lot of moments like that you know were indeed my partner Sylvia especially you know she's very emotionally attuned and so I think you know to your to your point.

Absolutely man. I think she's very very sensitive to what I'm going through. This is a big reason I chose her to help me see myself. Yeah. And again, I think this is the power of a good partnership is that we can look out for each other in that way. I have a metaphor that I use in the book about two boats being tied together. You and Sylvie chose to tell your boats together on this vast ocean called life and we want to be on a boat with someone who notices when we're not doing well because they're like ship. This could impact me in our boat. This might not be good if a storm's coming or sharks are coming and there's all kinds of stuff going on. We get a hole in the boat. We want to notice the other person and that they're not doing well so that we can help get them back to a good place. And so that we as a boat team can be at zero like that. You also talk about in your book the five most common types of fights. Yeah, let's let's unpack that. I think that'll be really interesting to our listeners. Yeah, for sure. So we've got surface fights, projection fights, resentment fights, value, different fights and security fights.

Okay, so let's unpack them. What's the surface fight? Surface fight is like you left your keys again on the counter or what the hell is wrong with you or you've got, you didn't wipe the toilet seat again, or you dishes in the sink or you didn't, you're not on time. And we start arguing about the thing we think the fight is about. And if there's heat behind it and your activation lasts more than a couple of minutes about that surface, anything that means there's a tributary down into one of the other four. Oh, interesting. So we're fighting about the keys or socks left on the floor, or or the way the way that, you know, my partner puts the dishes in the dishwasher something and that's I mean, it's about that, but it's also never about that. Exactly. It's certainly not a fit endures for more than if it endures. And you've had this fight before and you again have some heat or charge behind it, some activation. It just means there's a resentment. There probably it's possible there's a bigger value difference going on or it's possible it's tapping into this security issue where God, I feel like one ft in, one ft out again.

Like, let's say a common one is you don't text me back, we're in a relationship and you don't text me back because whatever I read into silence, right? And this is what we do is people's we read into the between the lines, like we make up all kinds of ship and it's usually about us. They hate me. They're leaving me, they're dumping me, Oh my God, this is going bad. That turns into a security fight because I'm like over here going, yep. See they want to leave. They don't actually want to be in this relationship. If it happens enough times, I stack these things up and I call it evidence to build my case. Um My story that this is what's happening when in reality that might not be what's happening. Well, that could that mean that makes a lot of sense because I can see how, you know, tiny little fights little you you know, the text goes, a text message goes unanswered for a couple hours for whatever reason. And and one partner, I think it's, you know, early in my relationship with Sylvie, she I think she's I think she's pretty sure she's okay with me sharing this because she's talked about this probably we've we've talked about this publicly. She would she would, she was the runner. Yeah. You know, we would get into a different an uncomfortable moment and she I can't do this.

Uh huh. I can't do this. I can't do this anymore. And as soon as she said those words, well, I'm done if you can't do this anymore. I'm not trying. That's threatening. Yeah, those words are threatening. And I think, you know, we took that off the table early in our relationship when we realize that's not helpful. I think I know couples that years into their relationship a something comes up and then see I can't trust you. I knew I couldn't trust you. You just you always do this. I can't trust you. This is I don't know how I don't I can't keep doing this. And then it's a refrain that gets repeated over and over and over. And that starts to talk about eroding trust. That's that statement right? There is what erodes the trust. So let's talk about projection. Yeah. So projections like this stuff without going too deep into the weeds about projection. It's just think of um for the listener it's like you married someone that some version of them starts to feel like your family, your parents, your mom or dad. The tone of voice. The way they look at you, how they treat you, their behavior, their body language starts to resemble something familiar from your past.

And so that activates you because you're projecting that past figure onto your current partner. And then we can fight about that and get into all kinds of interesting quarrels and arguments about what's actually going on. So to have a little bit of psychological education here. I think it can be really can go a long way because then I can be like, oh honey, you know what I just did that thing that on your face that looks just like the face my mom used to give me and that's what's activity for me. You're not the problem. The memory is the problem and I'm putting that on you and that's what I got to work with over here. That is enormously relieving to the partner who is being projected upon. 100%. And also I've found that that's been helpful with again with Sylvie and I wear we regularly in moments of just tiny micro stress. We turn each other into our parents into our, you know, I I turned her into ironically I turned her into my dad and she turns me into her dad regularly. Yeah. When we can identify being having been able to identify that more.

Oh man, it's been so helpful. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So projection fights. I think again it's just bring awareness. And then when you when you know it's a projection fight, you're like, okay, this is what we're dealing with here. It's just not as big of a deal. 100%. And it's not even about you, right? Not even about not even about you, which immediately puts her like this my our example could put her nervous system. Okay. So she, she doesn't have to fight me anymore because I'm not fighting her. I've just, I've just said, hey, I'm not fighting you. I'm actually fighting an old memory that she's coming up in this moment. Okay. And I've learned to say you said it like their facial expressions that I don't even know I'm doing it. Yeah. Because I'm not doing it. The thing is I'm not doing it. I have no facial expression. I'm just I'm just hanging out. I'm just listening actually. And she's putting projecting this old experience all to me kind of feeling because like you said earlier, Jason, I also tend to sort of just have game face on. I'm just, you know, I'm not feeling particularly emotional, I'm just, I'm here and she'll read so much onto that sometimes because you know, it's scary for her if she doesn't really clearly know what's happening.

Yeah, and this is a really important point I think for the listener is that how sensitive we are to face and tone of voice in particular, those two things and body language in general but are huge. Sometimes we don't even know we're being triggered by that's the thing that's getting us, you know, and so you can slow it down. Sometimes you might find out that it's actually a facial expression that's the most upsetting and I like that you said, also tone tone of voice, I mean, gosh, Jason, we could do a whole podcast episode just on this right here because I'm even, I'm even mindful of like, you know, Sylvia, she's from Armenian arab culture. I'm white american facial expressions are so it can be different in those cultures and and she's she doesn't recognize my facial expressions as much as she would an Armenian man. Yeah, that can cause confusion between us but tone of voice, you know, same. I've had multiple experiences with women over the years where I just was using my regular voice and they felt like I was yelling at them or I was raising my voice or I was being cold or and I was like, I'm just talking to you here.

I don't know what do you mean? But I've learned, I've learned, oh, you know when I answered the phone with soviet at the beginning of our relationship, you know, I just business voice. Yeah. How you doing everything? Okay, cool. You're good. Have a good day, blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. She hated it. No. Now it's, Hey babe, hi, right intonation. You gotta like varied the intonation totally. It's less threatening. It's annoying to my own nervousness. I don't want to do that. Jason, but I know it makes a difference for her. So we got surface fights. Security projection. You said also value differences and value differences is just, you know, to be the obvious right now is vaccines and no vaccines, right masks, no masks. Um, that's a very big value difference and belief systems. Um, so I don't, I don't have values that. I don't talk about values like integrity and honesty. I'm talking about values like family, vaccines, no vaccines democrat republican. Um, you know, uh privacy privacy where to put my kids in school, you want public school.

I want private school. These can be massive deal breakers for people that lo and behold, find out after a couple of years that they're quite split in their values and different values isn't the problem. It's it's it's if there's not enough glue around a couple of shared values, then it's gonna be tough to work through conflict successfully over time because there's just not the glue is not, there were just too different. We don't have anything in common. We don't do anything together that we like. It's like then why are you together? So surface fights projections, even security. Although I could see, you know, security. If someone's really not into the relationship, security could be a deal breaker but but but value differences is one of these five where we, there's a legit potential reason to not be together if we can't resolve or work through and that could be okay. And it's like, oh, you believe this and this is really what you want to do in the direction you want to go in life with your boat. I actually want to go in this direction with my boat. We're, it's probably best. We just split up and high five each other and it's no one's wrong here.

Yeah, I think that's really important to call that out because I think, you know, you and I both work in the relationship coaching in therapy space and look, man, I love it when couples find their way to navigating, you know, keeping their boats together and finding their way through storms. I love that and I am not a together at all costs proponent, I'm with you. I'm not either. Yeah, sometimes the best thing we can do is part ways. So, alright, resentments, resentments is my definition is when I expect you to live like me or you expect me to live like you were gonna resent each other. And that's to me, the definition of resentment when I don't hold my boundaries is another possibility where I'm gonna resent you because I'm your you keep asking and I keep saying yes, well, I'm not respecting my no and honoring that. So I'm gonna probably have a resentment here and resentments for great because they feel bad and they feel bad enough that they wake us up to see our pattern.

And most the time initially though, we haven't worked on ourselves that much, we'll blame the other person. You never you always blah blah blah, do life this way. And I hate that. It's like, well, the thing I have control over is not them and their behavior and what they choose with their life. The thing I have control over is my expectation that they do it my way. And when you shift that, um, you're gonna start resenting people a whole lot less. It's gonna feel a lot better the other person because they won't feel judged and criticized 100%. So we've got uh summarizes again surface fights projections value differences, resentments and security. Five most common types of fights All right. So let's start breaking down conflict in getting to zero and I realized, you know, we're we could we could do a whole, you know, like year long course on this Jason. I know that you offer this kind of work through your work and through the coaches who carry on your work as well. But if we were gonna break conflict resolution in intimacy, particularly down to the basic essentials, like, you know, to keep things kind of simple for for our listeners, what would you offer?

Yeah, it's an important question. So a couple things you got to number one have the right view, which is conflict isn't isn't a problem conflicts and opportunity. It's a doorway for us to get deeper, stronger, better together. To me that's always true. And yeah, it can also mean that the relationship ends and me getting stronger is ending the relationship more empowered conflict. Is this awesome, powerful, uncomfortable as hell process where we can become more of who we are. So, I think just the view itself is in terms of the framework is important and I spent a lot of time on that in the book, making sure people are on board, then we can talk tools and tactics, which is more like, alright, uh, if I want to resolve something fast, I can do two things really quickly that make all the difference. Number one is I can listen to you until you feel understood and I can volunteer to go first, Hey brian, you know what? We've been in the snag for a while. I tell you what I'm gonna listen because I want you to feel understood because I'm over here believing that if you feel understood, you'll be more interested in trying to understand me.

So rather than getting my peace out first, I'm gonna listen first. So this is kind of contrary to what most human beings and their patterns do where it's like talk first. Listen first. Just that alone I think is a game changer and I have a whole process on how to, you know, you can more effectively listen, which I'm sure you teach a version of that to your people and then if we're gonna talk, the first couple of things we can do is take responsibility for our part and understand the impact on the other person and that's empathy. So I can say brian, my part is I raised my voice and I imagine the impact on you was that you felt scared and hurt and it makes sense in the valley. It makes sense that you retreated and pulled away from me because I did that. I mean that's very settling to the other nervous system. It's like this person's fucking owning their ship fast here, wow. Oh this what often happens in that little place right there is because the way you spoke that was okay, I'm gonna own my part and I'm gonna stay here for a minute.

I'm not gonna own my part with the immediate expectation that you're right behind me to own yours with my arms folded in my dirty one. Exactly. Okay. I know dude, I know I did this. But would you, where's your gear turn? Mm Yeah. Right. That's so we get what you've really got to stay there for a minute, let it land it land. And really the imagining the impact on the other person is us flexing our empathy muscles, which is a weak spot of mine, honestly, especially my partnership. And so for me to do that over and over um is really helpful because my wife wants empathy for me, she wants to understand impact that I impact her and I'm like, right okay, um and sometimes I struggle with this one because I don't know what it's like ultimately to be her, but I can imagine and I can take a close guess and that effort helps. I think that's a key word right there man impact because one of the, you know, one of the stumbling blocks that I'm kai still man stumble over is needing to understand why her, why, you know like to agree with her conclusion that this is why I'm hurt and therefore like until I understand the why I'm not enrolled in empathy, but when I can step out of that forget why for a minute and just impact, I have fucking impact um impact.

I'm impacting her. Like even if I don't know why it's a fact, I'm impacting her in the same way that you know, she throws cold water on me and I have had women throw water on me in the past and not, you know, in anger so it fucking impacts me, I'm cold, I'm wet and usually it's impact that doesn't feel good. Usually it does not feel good. It is not, it is, it is not skillful action on their part which typically is preceded by not skillful action on my part. Yeah, just keep backing it up. Okay, so what would it look like? Like, like like a couple that is that can regularly, you know, because I hold that if two people are really having an authentic honest relationship, it doesn't mean they're sharing everything with each other, but but they're they're sharing when things come up that need to be shared, their sharing them and they have their own opinions and they have their own views and you know, and so I think couples are regularly imagine, you know, you and your wife, you seem like too strong willed, independent thinking.

People, I imagine disagreements, potentials for conflict or arising regularly. What does it look like for a couple of that that that is successfully navigating that over time? Like what does the cycle, what does that look like? Nice, it looks like as soon as possible, they're committed to getting to zero, we're all busy so that as soon as possible might be two days, might have to wait till the weekend, it might have to wait till this evening or tomorrow morning and that's all okay, as long as it's ok with both people, but this is where agreements come in, that, you know, my wife and have an agreement that nothing goes longer than 24 hours without getting repaired or the beginnings of the repair process. Um that's really, really important. So what it starts to look like is two people are just committed to feeling good, let's get back to a good place. And so I'm gonna apply myself to try to make that happen. You're going to apply yourself to try to make that happen and we're gonna get there and it might mean clearing the decks, canceling a meeting, moving it up the priority scale so that the other person feels like, hey, this is a priority, I feel considered and thank you.

And yeah, but for us, sometimes it's like our kids want our attention and if we're in a fight it's like not right now, mom and dad aren't done talking, uh we need another 15 minutes and we're like in it, you know, and they're coming in, they're like rolling their eyes, their mom and dad are gonna fight again. By the way, I'm a big fan of fighting in front of them because I'm showing them through daily living how to get to zero how to do this and our kids know how to do this now because we're showing them uh anyway it looks like that like no this is a priority, we're gonna get this done and it does look like usually talking taking turns um someone listens first, someone validates reflects we sometimes step aside and look at the problem, you know, objectively like huh? What is this couple? Almost like a third couple like yeah what do you what's that couple doing over there? What do you think they need help with? And really looking at it dude, I feel grateful that I have psychology tools and self awareness um because I think it's much, much steeper for people that don't I really do agreed, you know, same, I've been doing personal growth, transformational work, therapeutic work for fucking 20 years man.

And I still it's still at times can be really painful and comfortable all of it and I love Jason, thank you man for saying that that you don't try to hide this from your Children. I think that's so valuable that your kids get to get to witness even the messy parts, they see it, they see it all to you have any conflicts or differences between you and your wife that are just kind of like ever present that you know, give an example like Sylvie and I we have a dog, I tend to be far more liberal. Mhm and risk taking with the dog, letting the dog do things. Uh I think that a lot of parents probably relate to this, especially a parent of Children or or an animal. One parent has a far more tolerance for risk and the other is far more risk averse. That's pretty common. Yeah, pretty common. It's not a deal breaker.

You know obviously you know we but its ever present and I know there are other kinds of conflicts, you know, some partner may work too much for the others tastes or vice versa. I'm curious, you know, how do you how do you help couples or how do you propose couples or how do you and your wife navigate these ever present conflicts that exist in the, you know, it's just part of the water you swim. Yeah, it's a great question because I think what you're alluding to here that I'm getting is that some people aren't gonna change here, right? You're not necessarily going to get more conservative and she's not gonna get necessarily more liberal with the dog, right? So this is what's cool about this is when we realize, oh, this is kind of how you roll, we can learn the other partner can learn to accept the other person. Other do with there might be need to be a couple of reasonable requests to make a couple of asterix, they're like, yeah, buts or can you also do this, can you keep her on leash in certain places of town or by roads or big freeways or something that you're like, yeah, I can do that.

I'm willing to do that, especially if it makes you more comfortable, right? We get to do those kind of things for each other. But by and large, we don't want to ask someone to be a different human being. I just think that's a set up for failure. And when couples get in real big snags, that's what they're asking. They're asking, you can't be this way, you can't be so liberal, you can't be so conservative. You can't parent the kids this way and let them be on screens all day. And I am an anti screen person. Like that's not gonna work those couples usually divorce. And then it's like at my house we do screens and at your house you don't and it's your prerogative, that's fine. So these are, these are complex issues. But if there um big like that, I don't know that they can be worked out unless you can start to accept that the other person's way is okay. It's actually not life threatening. It's not the end of the world. It's not going to kill anybody. It's uncomfortable for you to watch. But it's okay. Like I think that can be a cool practice for couples to love each other. You know, I think, I mean you look, you say that these things are these things can be complex and I'm I'm a fan of getting support to help unravel and some of these things, you know, with the third party, someone who can really help you discern what's really going on here.

And is this a deal breaker? Or are we just doing a lot of projecting? Maybe? Oh, sorry, right. Or or is there are this is a surface fight, that's that's kind of plumbing into some resentments, perhaps that we can learn to let go of. One of the, one of the things I think, you know, I met Sylvia when I was 41 years old, so I had a lot more life experience than if I had met her. You know, my relationships in my twenties and thirties were just ridiculously disastrous, Jason. One of the things that I've appreciated, I think that that just being a man in my forties, I've come to understand that some of the differences between Sylvie and I, I need her to be more risk concerned. Our dog would probably be dead by now if I didn't have her balancing out. Yeah, well said you guys are like a team that way where you balance each other out, like, again, you know, young, um, you kinda need her her conservativism and she needs your liberal nous and you guys make an awesome team.

Exactly. This is where diversity in a relationship and differences, your strengths, if you learn how to work with them, if you learn how to work with them. That's right, that's right. And what I what I find is I I can allow myself to be, you know, a little annoyed by her sort of risk aversion. But I also we've also decided this is something we did. We we decided that Sylvie is in charge of the dog's health. Nice. That's that's her domain. She's the leader in that domain. She says the dog needs to go to hospital. Dog goes, I don't have to like it. But that's how that's she's she's the boss. And because, you know, and that's probably saved our dog's life. And at least one occasion, because I wouldn't I wouldn't say it's fine. Just a flesh wound. I mean, you know, meanwhile it's being consumed alive by flesh eating bacteria that you know, the three days later it's dead, Jason. Just one more question. And then we'll wrap up with three key takeaways. What are you most excited about for people to to get from your book?

That there is a path forward. Yeah. That there's a way you can work through hard conversations and relationship challenges. There's lots of ways I'm trying to offer people a guidebook here for a path forward. And um don't lose hope and at least give it a massive try and apply yourself. And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Yeah, there's a path forward. We're not trapped here, that man, we're not trapped. We can be free again, which doesn't mean free from conflict or pain or discomfort, yes, Jason. Let's let's wrap up with three key takeaways. Alright, We've we've had I think we've had a really beautiful and tight conversation here. But let's give our listeners three key takeaways that they can can really walk away with from this in addition to whatever they've. And again, it can be your summary of what you've said. But three key takeaways. Yeah. And I'd be curious if you would tweak or modify any of these. Do you want me to say three that I'm thinking of? Yeah, they're all yours, man.

Okay, number one conflicts not a problem. It's your relationship to conflict. That could be the problem and your unwillingness to learn. If you apply yourself and learn uh you can you too can learn how to get to zero and get back to a good place with just about anybody. That's number one. Number two, there's different types of fights and it's important to know which one you're in because I think it will help you get to zero sooner. And then number three might be that we're sensitive creatures, social mammals and we're sensitive to tone of voice facial expressions and we can be considerate of the other person and how we how we behave during and after conflict. And we can own our part and understand the impact on the other person and that might help us get there sooner. Beautiful man. I love it. I think this is so important. Obviously, I know you wrote your book for for you can say high stakes relationships. I mean, I, you know, we've been talking a lot through the filter of intimate relationships, but man, the world is full of high stakes right now, learning some conflict navigation skills to get us back to zero.

Wouldn't that just be good for the planet? Where can people find your book? Yeah, probably the best place is getting to zero book dot com and there's links obviously in amazon and you can find it just about anywhere. Hopefully if you want to try your local indie shop because you want to support the local businesses do that just requested at that store and hopefully they'll carry some copies and there's a lot of cool free resources. If you go along with the books from free videos, some downloadable pdf, some sample conversations, if you go to getting to zero book dot com, that's probably the best place for the most resources. Great, getting to zero book dot com and the book is getting to zero. How to work through conflict in your high stakes relationships. Author, Jayson, Gaddis, jayson with a Y J Y S O N. Just like bryan with a Y I got you, I see you man, I'm with you on that bro, jayson with a Y bryan with a Y I love it, Jason man. Always a pleasure to have you on men this way man, I so appreciate your wisdom and insight and uh and your service to bend into couples into the world and keep doing it man, I'm excited for people to read your book.

Thank you for being here. Yeah, thanks brian, thanks a lot for what you're doing and for helping the brothers out there. Thank you so much for listening and thank you again to Jason Gattis. Find Jason's book at getting to zero book dot com Of course this link and other essential info about this podcast will be in the show notes at brian Reeves dot com slash men this way podcast. And also remember elevate 2022. My year long coaching experience for men committed to thriving in every domain of their lives is now open for applications. Go to brian Reeves dot com slash elevates bryan with a Y Reeves dot com slash elevate for details and to apply only 12 men will be invited on this journey with me. So go to brian Reeves dot com slash elevate. And finally, if you were served by this and think others should hear it to please share this episode or even better just write a review so that you too can lead more men this way and don't forget to subscribe yourself while you're at it. I'm your thriving life and relationship coach brian Reeves brian mother y Reeves until soon.

Keep your head up your breath relaxed and your thoughts inspired

How Healthy Relationships Do Conflict w/ Jayson Gaddis (071)
How Healthy Relationships Do Conflict w/ Jayson Gaddis (071)
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