• Home
  • Recent blog posts

Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Agreements For Healthy Relating | We Do Not Hold Eachother accountable to Agreements We Have Not Made

breakingfree

Agreement 2:  We do not hold each other accountable to agreements we have not (explicitly) made

Holding people accountable to agreements they have not made - by punishing them for not being aware of your preferences - is just one aspect of unclean relating. It is also fundamentally unjust.

How do they punish? By withdrawal and withholding.

Intimacy, connection, love, all those things. The things you are there to experience with them.

Sometimes they dress it up as "making sure you understand the impact". Oh, I understand. I understand what they are doing and I see the control game they are attempting to play.

And the degree of attachment and emotional enmeshment one has and external validation one seeks is the degree to which one will be controlled by these gimmicks.

Play a higher game. If your partner will not join you in that cleaner, higher game - will not co-create it with you - choose a new board to play on.

We do not hold each other accountable to agreements we have not made

What does this mean?  How does this occur? What are the indicators?

We’ve all done this. We’ve all had this done to us. Some more recently than others.

The word “should” is one huge indicator, and all-too-often we punish the ignorant - and for what? For not reading our minds? Fro simply being themselves? Sarcasm aside: how do we punish them? 

Most often by withholding intimacy and connection - while blaming them for that very choice we just made. It’s not pretty.

While there is something to be said for having an overlap in world-views and values as a natural fit, I have known people who grew up in the same small town, went to the same church, and still had different ideas, standards, opinions, and rules about how a relationship, a partnership, or marriage should operate in the day-to-day. While you may begin to intuit your partner's needs and desires, this only comes from a process of educating one another about our preferences.

No “they should have known” or “shoulds” in general. Not in Evolutionary Relating.

As an Evolutionary, we understand the difference between an agreement - or rule that we have both agreed to - an expectation, which is usually an unstated desire, and a standard, and/or a boundary.

To fully understand - and therefore be able to agree to - the 2nd agreement, let’s distinguish the difference among those four.

First, if you are upset by something they did or did not do, ask yourself, “do we have an explicit agreement about this”?  If the answer is no, then you can skip to Agreement 3 and decide if you want to make a request around this particular thing or not. If so, and if they agree - it then essentially binds both of you to a new agreement.

Bear in mind that the more rules you have in your relationships the less freedom of expression both parties will have and the more attention you have to have on those rules and agreements. And the truth is - if you are looking to bind someone to an agreement to limit their behavior in some way because you are uncomfortable with how they are - when no real harm is being done by their behavior - but you want to control them or you fear something happening - then you are trading self-expression and spontaneity (read: fun) for stability and safety. And there is a place you are not free emotionally if you want to control or constrict them in some way.

There is nothing wrong with that - just be aware that is what you are doing - and look deeper for the work you can do to allow yourself more freedom there, which will, in turn, give others the freedom to be.

But even if it hasn’t been communicated we still can’t hold that person accountable. If it has been communicated and the person agrees then it’s a new agreement And they can be held accountable.

But in terms of holding someone accountable to an agreement they have not made - it occurs all the time. So if you do not have an explicit agreement around something and you find yourself cutting them off or punishing them in some way - be it punitive or by simply withholding connection - you can reconnect again and take care of your own needs by simply making a request - and they then do not have to guess what your needs are, you are taken care of, and you can get back to connection and love - which hopefully is the primary purpose of your relating.

Hopefully.

Continue reading
0
  487 Hits
487 Hits

The Importance of Taking Time To Heal After A Breakup

breakupo-grief The importance of taking time to heal after a breakup by Jason McClain

The most cringe-worthy statements I've heard on how to handle breakup grief:

From a woman: "The best way to get over a man is to get under another one."  From a man: "Just drown yourself in p*ssy until you forget her."

There are so many things off with this I am not even sure where to begin, but I will start with the fact that it will not help you get over them at all. It may numb the pain - it may anesthetize you - but so much of the gift and benefits in facing the pain will be lost.

It is important to grieve and give yourself time to heal. 

After each relationship, I recommend taking at least 6 months and stay single and celibate during that time. In the last 15 years, I have had periods of being single and celibate that were 14 months, 18 months, 22 months, and 7 months. None of them started out as intentional - other than knowing I needed to take time - and the duration was undetermined when those periods began, but there are several solid reasons for this.

Reasons To Take Time After A Breakup

1. You are not truly fit and ready for healthy romantic love until you are fundamentally okay being alone; you have to love yourself before you can love another

2. So you do not repeat the same patterns and mistakes.  Have you ever wondered why you date a person with the same problems or had the same kind of conflicts in each of your relationships?  Almost like the movie Groundhog Day? You can avoid that by taking the time to do some conscious and intentional work to resolve those patterns and triggers and gaining the benefit of new and more subtle intricacies and patterns.

3. Learn what you need to learn from the previous relationship. 

a. What was your part in the breakdowns and conflicts? What could you do differently to have a more loving, easeful, fulfilling experience

b. Which areas do you need to heal from your more distant past that impacted that relationship - the stuff that predated that relationship but were uncovered by the level of intimacy you shared?

c. What triggers arise that need to be cleared or healed?

4. Uplevel your next partner and next level of relating

a. What did you love about the love or lover that you want again in the future? 
b. What are the qualities and characteristics you want in your next lover that they shared?  
c. What new and additional qualities or characteristics do you want or need in addition?
d. What did you miss or skip over that you need to make sure has attention in the future?

5. So you can be more open, more present, and ready to love fully - rather than guarded, closed down, still hurt and scared to love again. So you are ready to love more fully, deeper, and more completely than you have before.


What’s next is always better if you make sure you are better.

What’s next will always be better because you will make sure you are better.

If you avoid these important steps, you will - at best -  be engaged in spiritual and emotional bypass and at worst you will engage in transference - or worse still, just stuff it all down never to be addressed and it will fester and turn into even worse pathology down the road, negatively impacting your emotional and even physical health, and negatively impacting your loved ones around you and certainly your next relationships and you will end up being destined to repeat the same mistakes. 

Or you will simply shut down more and more and become less and less open and less and less present and therefore, less capable of true love and true intimacy.

Let’s avoid that.

Become intimate with yourself by taking time to heal and grow so you can be ready for an even deeper love that could be right around the next corner or in the next coffee shop once you are ready and open to the possibility.

--

The example from my own life that is most poignant here, was in early 2017 when I met the most recent love of my life.  I had been in love before, but never like this. A paragraph I was so smitten with her that I would drop things when I was around her. I would cut myself shaving if she stayed the night - something I had not done in a decade.

I was overwhelmed with my love for her and my attraction to her.

It will be useful for you to know a little bit about me and my relationship to convention and obligatory holidays - while being a romantic: I would often give her roses - always two dozen. Usually weekly or biweekly. And always hand-arranged by me. I wrote her poetry. I would make sure that I not only demonstrated but also verbally expressed my love and appreciation of and for her on a daily basis. 

Continue reading
0
  682 Hits
682 Hits

From Conflict to Connection

fight-fuck From conflict to Connection

From Conflict to Connection

If you are fighting, you should probably be fucking.

If you are a man in a hetero-normative relationship here is an inside tip: if you find yourself say “WTF?” because your woman is picking strange fights over little things, she’s not well-fucked. She may not even be aware that the static and tension in her body is her need to run sexual energy - and it needs to be about her pleasure, not yours.

The more feminine she is on the spectrum - from masculine to feminine - the more accurate this will be.

First, context is important as is the sequence. And there are a few dos and don’ts.

If you find yourself in conflict over something you consider silly - like you keep dropping your dirty underwear or socks wherever you please - the worst thing you can do is say: “you just need a good fucking” as a retort. This will lead to a bigger fight. Don’t be an asshole and … be an adult: pick up your own socks. Put your dirty underwear in the washer or the hamper or wherever it is you need to.

Pick up after yourself.

Don’t expect her to take care of you in any way - in fact, leave everything a little cleaner than you found it in the kitchen and the bathroom. She will be grateful and she should not have to pick up after you.

The healthiest relating is one where two autonomous yet complementary adults come together to create more than two.

Relationships are a quantum affair; 1+1 does not equal 2. It either equals less than 2 (conflict) or it equals more than 2 (synergy). And the degree of turnon and sexual desire in the relationship is a good sign of the degree of health and vitality in the relating.

Think about it: it is the unstated, the secrets, the unexpressed, and the built-up negative patterns and residue that get in the way of your desire for each other. This is why when you get all that stuff out of the way, connection and desire are restored or return to your dynamic.

But, let’s take the socks.

Pick them up. Take responsibility. Thank her for expressing her frustrations - this will encourage her to tell you the truth more. Ask her if there is anything else that she is frustrated with that you do.

Listen.

Hear the feedback and get it handled.

Then wait a bit.

Maybe 10 minutes. Maybe 10 hours. Depending on your dynamics. Then put some attention on her. Acknowledge how beautiful (or courageous or brilliant or … how much she excites you because of the way she embodies her femininity … something you authentically appreciate about her).

Whatever your way in, make love to her in a way that shows your enthusiasm for her, your desire for her, and focus on her pleasure first. Believe me, if you are focused on her pleasure, she will be more hungry and grateful for you than you could ever hope - and this is doubly true if you are good at playing her body like the heavenly instrument that it is.

As we have already talked about, getting good at sex - which takes communication, knowledge of physiology, and shame-free space, curiosity, and openness to explore the other’s body and desires - is critical for the long-term health and vitality of your relating, and as stated above, desire is a good barometer of the health and vitality - and the amount of truth being told and the amount of intimacy and safety - in a relationship.

AND … if you are a man in a hetero-normative relationship, sometimes your woman needs to get fucked until her eyes cross.

If you know how to hit her spots, you’ll find that you can occasionally toss your socks in the kitchen sink and she may just shrug it off because she’ll still be blushing/flushing from thinking about how you ravaged her and gave her otherworldly pleasure just a few hours ago.

Continue reading
0
  412 Hits
412 Hits

Vulnerability and Sharing "Vulnerable" Things in Intimate Relationships

vulnerabilit_20200302-040325_1 Vulnerability | Evolutionary Relationships

The most recent “Love of My Life” helped me see and understand something I was unaware of.

She would share something about her inner life with me and I would listen attentively, and when she was finished I would thank her for sharing it. I love understanding my lover at a deeper level so any time they share their experience I am definitely interested. On several occasions though, she would pause when finished, put a hand to my forearm and say, “that was really vulnerable for me to share”.

“Oh!” I would say. “Ok”. 

The reality is I have never really understood or agreed with the conversation around vulnerability in intimate conversations.  I understand it now.

But often, I will share something, and the person (usually the woman) I am sharing it with will acknowledge how vulnerable it was for me to share. Except it wasn’t. Why?  And, why not?

Let’s examine this together: 

If you feel something is “vulnerable to share” that means you are psychologically and emotionally exposing your underbelly to someone when you share it. Like when a cat reveals their tummy to you - and as a natural predator, they know they can be gutted so this is a sign of safety and trust. - Following the metaphor when someone shares something vulnerable for them it means they either feel safe enough with you, mustered enough courage to share it, were able to set aside their fears for long enough, or “white-knuckled it” though their fears to share it in spite of the fact that they are emotionally very sensitive about the matter and your response has the power to devastate them emotionally.

It also means they are dependent on you for your approval at this moment to feel okay about themselves or about the thing they are sharing. 

This is one of the many reasons supporting Agreement 1:  Telling the Truth and Hearing the Truth.

If we are to be sensitive to them and their needs and we want to increase the level of intimate sharing from them, we would do well to be caring and kind when they share something that took courage or they had fear around sharing. The more we make it safe for them to share - meaning we make it no big deal with no dramatic reactions - and thank them and acknowledge them for sharing it and the courage it took, the more they will share and the more intimacy and connection you will experience with them. 

They will open to you more and more.

That’s how we engage with them there. With kindness.

Brace Yourself


How we deal with it when the roles are reversed is very different.

Now, imagine it is you doing the sharing. If you feel it is vulnerable to share what this is pointing to your fear that they will judge you, shame you, stop liking you, be angry or hurt, or leave you when you share it. Setting aside any possibility that you are revealing you broke an agreement - that’s a very different animal - at its worst, this can be a sign of co-dependence. At best, it points to a lack of full self-acceptance as you are looking to them/hoping for validation or approval.

At this point, we can look back on both the sections on esteem for yourself.

Once you have fully accepted every aspect of yourself - meaning be willing to look in the mirror unflinchingly at all of your exceptional qualities, your faults, and everything in between - once you can face the truth about yourself fully - the whole experience of “vulnerability” fades away. Once you have self-acceptance, shame and shaming, and the fear of a lack acceptance from others and the corollary seeking or needing of their approval all evaporate - or at the very least you become immune in a healthy way.

--

This is an excerpt from Jason's forthcoming book on Evolutionary Relationships from the #RelationshipContinuum section.

To be Guided by Jason - whether you are currently in a relationship and want to transform it, or you are single and want to “do the next one right” - check out the Evolutionary Relationships offering.

Or just schedule a complimentary initial conversation here to get the process started.

 

0
  293 Hits
293 Hits

An Unconventional Approach to Suicide Prevention

suicide-prevention An Unconventional Approach to Suicide Prevention by Jason McClain

Everything (everything? Yes everything) is hypnosis.

That is not a meta-model violation*. That is a Universal Truth. Every thought you think. Every song you sing. Everything you do in your mind is self-hypnosis.

You are doing it already. And some of you are even doing it consciously. At times. Most times, you are not. Most times the inmates (negative thoughts/negative self-talk, therefore, negative trances) are running the prison.

It is so easy to make a difference in someone’s life with words of encouragement or an acknowledgment of something we appreciate about them.

Strangers are even more positively impacted. They probably go home and tell their spouse or sibling or friend about the random stranger who said the thing to them that day that had them laugh or feel appreciated or … and all we did was use their name from their name tag and ask them if everyone was treating them kindly today. We treated them like a human rather than an extension of the scanner attached to the checkout counter.

There are many ways to disrupt negative states (or say what it is: a self-imposed negative hypnotic trance) in others. Humor is one. Authentic kindness that shows a depth of seeing another is one. Tickling someone is one. Making a funny face at a crying child when you can see it and their parent’s back is to you (one of my personal favorites for public transportation) [pro tip: only lasts until mom or dad wonder why the toddler is suddenly giggling and they start to look around. I always pretend to be looking out the window. Never been caught yet. Then do it again. Build rapport with the toddler as it is just the two of you connected].

There are many others.

Sometimes just being more enthusiastic about someone’s negative trance will have them snap out of it.

Let me give an example by way of a recent and true personal story.

I have a friend who is suicidal - has truly given up on life. I recited for him (accurately hallucinated) all of his reasons he may be thinking this was the best option and he would say, “that’s right!” “How did you know?” or “That’s exactly right” each time (building rapport deeply by accurately projecting his motivations which were not known to anyone but himself).

He’s 80, and he has much he wanted to accomplish that he has not, but he has become a bitter, anxious, cynical old man and is really just waiting out his days. He thinks he is worth more to his wife dead (insurance) than alive. And that may be true even to her. They divorced 40 years ago and I don’t think you do that again - at this point, you just say screw it. But to her, he is nothing but unfulfilled promises and wasted potential. They live separately and only see each other for the grandchildren on the weekends and she treats him poorly.

And he can be an ass. But ... **shrug**

The truth is he just does not have it in him to rally for a Third Act.

Anyway, he has brought up the idea of assisted suicide enough times to me that this last time, I said: “you are really asking if I will help you”.

Yes, he said.

So I went at it with full gusto and in 15 minutes came up with a foolproof plan that would be painless, look like an accident, and require only things that he already had in his possession.

And then I said, with a chipper tone in my voice, “Awesome! You always said I could have this apartment when you died" and looking around the room ... "I’ll be sure the artwork goes to the appropriate art galleries or donate them wherever you want them (he said his some and his grandchildren had no interest in them). But I would like to keep this one (pointing to one piece) Let’s set a date! How much time do you need to get your affairs in order?” He looked at me curiously and settled on December 15th.

We chatted for a bit more and then I left.

I returned the next day around noon time.

And I came into his office. He offered me coffee. And I said, again with cheer in my voice: “So! December 15th, huh!? We get to end all this suffering for you once and for all. I hope you are ion action around your will and such.” and then I said (tapping my watch on my wrist ) “we’re on a clock mister. Count down has begun! “Let's get this ball rollin’.”

Continue reading
0
  527 Hits
527 Hits