Love: that thing we experience every day yet fail to really understand in all its complexity. Just take a look at all the elusive dating behaviors that Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen talk about in this episode and you’ll see why love and relationships continue to baffle humans and will probably continue to do so for a long time. You may have heard of ghosting, but what about benching, breadcrumbing, submarining, and the Irish goodbye? These are just some of the relationship behaviors that are becoming more acceptable in today’s generations as they become more common. In this interesting conversation, learn about how these behaviors are rooted in our attachment styles and what you can do to have healthier relationships.
Listen to the podcast here
Avoidant Relationship Starter Pack
Elusive Dating Behaviors And Overanalyzing Love
We have come to find out through observing how people respond to this show that the most popular topics on the show are relationships. It’s when we talk about relationships in episodes or title. Our episodes about relationships are the most popular episode thus far is with Jason Green, who came on to talk about attachment styles. He’s the only guest that’s come on our show twice. His second episode is about to take over for spot number two. Jason Green is dominating with attachment styles. I bring this up because I was reading about attachment styles and I found this interesting article that I thought we could discuss. It fascinated me. It’s some things that I hadn’t thought about and attachment styles are fascinating.
If this is your first episode or you happened to have not read the previous blog about attachments, it’s basically this theory that each of us has different styles in which we relate to one another. There are three different attachment styles. I’m not an expert in this. Jason Green has become a bit of an expert and his episodes are worth reading to. The main attachment styles are avoidant, anxious, and secure. Jason talked about how the secure people tend to have easier times dating and being in relationships. Anxious and avoidant people tend to date each other and that can cause some challenges. Jason Wrobel discovered that he’s avoidant and I discovered that I’m anxious and we dated many years ago. It makes sense that we were drawn to one another. The other cool thing I will say before we dive into this is through my reading, I was reminded that your attachment styles can change over time.
I have found myself becoming more secure, which is great. That’s something that I’ve been doing a lot of work on in my personal life in general because anxiety is something that I face. A lot of people face this. Jason does as well even though he’s technically an avoidant. Having anxiety in itself or feeling anxious doesn’t necessarily mean that your attachment style is anxious. Anyways, I found this great article called The Elusive Person: When You Love Someone With A Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style. It’s a lovely read. It’s interesting.
The author is talking about elusive individuals, meaning you can’t seem to have them. They are somewhat acting you’re in a relationship with them, but when you step back and think about the reality of the situation, you realize that they are quite emotionally disconnected from you. This is fascinating. Part of what fascinates me about this is A, because I’m anxious, I’ve tended to feel drawn to or attracted avoidant people. I’m always interested in reading about this. B, this applies to not just romantic relationships. This can happen in so many different facets of our lives. A topic that comes up a lot for us on the show is the way that we interact, communicate, and treat each other. I felt like we could explore this idea of what it means to be elusive in a lot of different ways and the type of behaviors that elusive people typically practice.
It’s interesting because what comes up for me is the phrase, one foot out the door, Whitney. Have you heard that phrase before?
Yes. When you say that, I think about one relationship, in particular, that felt very one foot out the door.
I feel like I’ve been that guy a lot.
This makes sense because you’re an avoidant and I’m anxious. I wouldn’t say that when you and I were dating that I perceived you that way. Now that you’re admitting it, I could certainly see you acting that way in other relationships. Did you feel like you were like that with me when we were dating?
There were times I did. To be honest, if I’m looking at my entire dating history, which is at this point, it’s long. I’m getting into my mid-40’s and I’ve dated a number of wonderful women. I’ve had to look at in terms of this avoidant behavior and this elusiveness that you’re alluding to. It’s been this subconscious belief system that committed or being overly committed to something is going to end in disaster. It’s almost like on some subconscious level as a child, I looked at the committed relationships of adults in my family, none of them were happy, content nor felt in love to me. My own parents were never married. On some subconscious level, now it’s conscious but for many years, that elusiveness or that avoidant behavior was like, “Don’t get too close. Don’t get too deep in it because if you get too deep in it, it’s going to go badly.”
That was a strange observational belief system I had somehow adopted through childhood. You have somewhat of a different, I suppose, imprinting because we’ve talked about our parents and their relationships in previous episodes. For me, the fact that my parents were not together very long after I was born, they were never married, my dad had some addiction and abuse issues. On some level, what I’m trying to say is I’ve had to work on my tendency. The escape hatch button is always in view. It’s like, “At any moment, I can hit that escape hatch and I’m out of here.” Examining why I have felt that way. It’s not something where I felt that consistently throughout a relationship, but I suppose what I’m getting at is there are times in every romantic relationship where I felt like hitting the eject button.
I’ve certainly experienced that myself. I don’t think that feeling is specifically related to your attachment style in some cases. Each of us, no matter what our attachment styles, can be fearful and have those commitment issues. It’s interesting when you examine this. One of the reasons these episodes have been so popular on our show is because attachment styles are enlightening. I mentioned during at least one of Jason Green’s episodes that learning about attachment styles was as enlightening for me as when I first read about The 5 Love Languages. Having that information about people has been really helpful. It’s no wonder Jason Green has been having a lot of success since he dug into this. If you read his episodes, he talks about how he even built this passion.
It made such a big difference, a big impact on his life, and it’s now becoming a huge part of his career. I feel like because I’m anxious, reading about avoidants is enlightening. When I first learned about this type of attachment style, it was a huge relief for me because part of what the anxious attachment style experiences is a lot of that not good enough and always feeling like you’re walking on eggshells, you can mess things up at any time, and there’s a lot of fears of abandonment. I know you, Jason, have struggled with abandonment as well. The attachment styles are not cut and dry. If you fall into the avoiding category, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have some anxious tendencies but you do tend to have a lot of classic tendencies of your styles. Identifying those within yourself and in other people can be helpful, knowing what your partner is, knowing about the person that you’re dating, or the people that you have dated can be fascinating.
One way that avoidants tend to operate is that they’re constantly playing a game of hide and seek, and that can leave their partners to feel empty and confused, constantly feeling off guard, off their foundation, unstable, and the relationship keeps them wanting more. That’s something I’ve experienced a ton in relationships. Reading that, I’m like, “I’ve been with a lot of men that are like that and operate that way.” Part of this that’s helpful is thinking like, “This isn’t just about me and my experience. This is about the people that I’m attracted to, these categories, it starts to make you feel you’re not alone, and it’s not something that you’re doing that’s wrong.” Certainly, you can take responsibility for how you show up in relationships, but knowing that these things can be a little bit more, for lack of a better word, universal to these different types of styles is helpful.
One thing that I’m ruminating on as you’re describing this, Whitney, is how I’ve perceived certain women that I’ve dated, not all, but some as being, for lack of a better word, needy. I’ve had conversations with women about their desire to spend a certain amount of time or quality of time with me. There are times between my artistic endeavors, running my own brand, running this brand, and this show with you that sometimes I’m like, “I’m giving you all the time I have and you want more. I end up getting frustrated and annoyed because you keep asking for more and more but I’m giving you all I can give you.” It’s been a point of contention for me with specific women who wanted more from me, I start to feel overwhelmed and smothered and then I start to push away because I want my freedom. I’ve noticed that’s been a pattern with certain people.
Avoidant attachment styles tend to be extremely independent and self-sufficient and often will hold a belief that they’re meant to be alone because of these things.
I felt that for a long time.
One thing I find interesting is that I’m curious if you’ve had this experience or if this was part of your experience but avoidant attachments, from what I understand, tends to be the outcome of a person whose parents were overly controlling, smothering or mis-attuned to their child’s needs. That description does not sound like your mom from what I know.
I don’t think that that’s accurate. What’s more accurate is if you go back to the underlying abandonment issues that I have had to manage my entire life, it’s the idea that I had a deep, emotional connection to my mom. When I was young, when he was around, my dad, and then dad left, I thought it was because of me that my presence and everything was going great with them until I showed up. We talked about that a lot on the Father’s Day episode, talking about my relationship with my dad, but it was also, as a result, my mom being a single mom, working 3 and 4 jobs at a time to make ends meet. My mom had and still does have an incredible work ethic, determination, and dedication.
Vis-à-vis that though, I didn’t see my mom a lot in certain stages because she was working so hard to make ends meet as a single parent. In a certain way, I also felt a secondary layer of abandonment that dad left and mom has to work her ass off which also shaped a lot of my money issues that I’m still decoding which is like, “Earning money is hard, it’s painful, it takes you away from your family, and it’s a bad thing.” That’s a tangential external conversation. My point here is I didn’t feel like either of my parents were overbearing, too controlling, or any of those things. If anything, the core issue for me was deep, fractured, self-worth issues based on my perception of abandonment. If I had to peg my core wound in this lifetime that I’m aware of, it’s that. That is the big one for me.
That is another thing that I’ve come across in the research is that an avoidant suspects that deep down, everyone in their life is going to disappoint or abandon them. They’re wired from their early childhood experiences in a way that causes them great loneliness. There’s a lot of this in relationships like, “I’m going to abandon you before you abandon me.”
It’s a defense mechanism for sure.
“If I keep you at an arm’s length then you can’t hurt me and I’m meant to be alone anyways.” What’s interesting too is that avoidants will often choose partners based on sexual chemistry rather than emotional chemistry. That’s another thing that you don’t seem to do in your dynamics. I’m fascinated. Jason Green did his analysis of you on those episodes. I could see why it was fascinating for him because you’re not cut and dry. You’re a great example for others when they’re looking at their own attachment styles because we’re not going to fit perfectly in them, but some of these big things clearly are hitting the nail on the head for you.
It’s a fascinating thing. Going back to what I wanted to talk about in this article I found about the elusive person was the different types of behaviors that come up. It’s an interesting thing culturally. A lot of these terms I hadn’t heard of or I hadn’t fully explored before. One of them is called benching. It would be the anxious attachment style like they’re sitting there waiting to be chosen again and you’re being used as a bench warmer in a basketball game. Are you saying that you have experienced sitting on the bench or putting people on the bench or both?
What are some examples of that?
There have been points in my life when I wasn’t in a committed relationship, partnership, or dating someone exclusively and I would have to say multiple women that I was casually dating. It was like, “I’m going to see where all this goes and maybe pick one of you or I won’t pick one of you. I’m not sure.” I definitely can look at times in between committed relationships where I’ve been casually dating. I’ve done that and I also have felt like I’ve been on the receiving end where I’ve been the benchwarmer, where I could feel this energy of like, “I don’t know that she’s into me. We’re hanging out, but I’m not feeling a deep magnetism from her.” It’s almost a milder version of one person is more in love or more interested than the other and you can feel that energetic difference. Do you know what I mean, Whitney? It’s like, “I like him but he’s crushing on me,” or vice versa. This is an offshoot of that where someone’s more emotionally invested or wants to mash the pedal, the accelerator like, “Let’s go fast.” You’re like, “Let slow it down. I don’t know about you yet.”
I certainly am familiar with that. I’ve been more the bench warmer than the person putting someone on a bench. A lot of us experienced this throughout our lives. We enjoy having options and it’s nice sometimes when somebody feels more into you than you are into them, especially for someone like me. I typically, as an anxious attachment style, tend to be the person that seems a little bit more into them. That was the other thing with learning about the avoidant attachment style is realizing like, “It’s not that I’m necessarily needy. It’s that I’m being perceived as needy because this person is avoidant and we’re these two extremes.” It’s interesting when you intentionally or happen to date somebody that isn’t on such an extreme, then you realize, it wasn’t necessarily that I was needy.
It’s just that I wasn’t a match or this person hasn’t fully worked through these issues. That’s another thing that keeps coming up in articles and books that I’ve read about attachment styles. If somebody is willing to do the work, they could either change or shift out of that extreme attachment style and/or they can choose not to operate that way. If they can be conscious and aware of their behaviors, especially these elusive practices we’re talking about now, then you can choose not to do those things. It’s like anything else in life. It’s not that you won’t have the urges or be triggered by things, but you can choose your reactions more consciously. I’ve witnessed that a lot with you, Jason.
Seeing your awareness grow and how you’re trying to put more things into practice that won’t necessarily sabotage things. I would say that’s a word. I would have attributed to you a lot in the past as it seemed like you were sabotaging. I see that you have a tendency to look for the flaws in people. That’s another huge feature characteristic of an avoidant. They’re looking for this perfect person that doesn’t exist so everybody that they date, they’re constantly picking apart and being like, “That person doesn’t fit my idea of perfection. I’m not going to date them.” You use that as a reason to not be in the relationship.
This is an interesting tie-in to what I see a lot, not all, but a lot of, for lack of a better word, relationship experts, gurus, or whatever they call themselves. It’s a mutation of the manifestation mentality we’ve been talking about in other episodes of the toxic side of wokeness, positive spirituality, and a lot of the stuff that’s been going around is, “You’ve got to wait for that perfect person. Write your list, do your mantras every day, meditate on the list, do your vision board, don’t compromise. You’ve waited this long, you’re in your 50’s now, don’t you do it.” It’s a slippery slope because as you’re describing my tendency, which I do agree with, Whitney, especially reviewing the way that I suppose evaluated or scrutinized certain people and used what I perceive as character flaws as reasons to be like, “This isn’t going to work.”
I have to take ownership of that. It definitely resonates, but it’s a slippery slope. I hope I’m describing this accurately enough where there was a mentality from, they see it on so many people on Instagram and social media like, “If he’s got this thing, don’t commit to him or don’t commit to her because blah, blah, blah.” I hope I’m describing this. There’s this idea of don’t compromise until that “ideal person” comes to you and then everything is fantasy land. Everything’s amazing because you waited, you were patient, you prayed, you meditated, and you wrote your list. It seems like a fine line in the slippery slope.
We also have to have a lot of perspectives when it comes to information that we gather from online. This is part of the danger of social media. One of the reasons that you and I are so irked when people want to call themselves an expert. I’ve been working hard to be mindful when I use that term. Sometimes, I’ll throw it around casually like calling Jason Green as an expert in attachment styles is a lack of another word to use for him. Technically, he’s not an expert because it’s not like he went to school for this. It’s also very relative too. If somebody’s commitment level to studying information over time and someone like Jason Green certainly has a lot more knowledge on the attachment styles.
He’s immersed himself in it. He can speak on it very confidently and pull from a lot of data that he has. That’s helpful, but there’s a danger on platforms like social media when you’ve got these armchair experts or these people that have a few experiences and learn a few things and suddenly feel like they’re an expert, or even if they’re not intentionally positioning themselves as an expert because they’re sharing information a lot and people start to look up to them and trust them, you think, “This person knows what they’re talking about.” What also happens is that a lot of different people keep saying the same things so this idea gets perpetuated. This happens with dating advice is you see all these people being like, “If somebody treats you this way, you shouldn’t allow them to, and they’re not the right person for you.”
They make these huge overarching statements. Those are something that we can be susceptible to, especially when we’re feeling very soft, vulnerable, looking for answers, and sometimes even looking for confirmation bias. We want somebody to tell us that this person isn’t right for us or that this person is right for us. We’re looking for that confirmation of what we want. We seek out information that agrees with us, or we seek out the extreme opposite also as a way to either sabotage or protect ourselves. All of this that I’m describing can be dangerous because a lot of the information that’s shared on social media is not based on research or somebody that’s studying something. It is tricky when it comes to dating because first of all, somebody can make so many assumptions on your situation by you describing it to them in a few sentences and suddenly they’re like, “I know exactly what you should be doing.”
We’re such complicated human beings that our dating lives can’t be fixed or understood by a short conversation with a stranger or just because somebody’s situation seemed similar to ours doesn’t mean that our results are going to be the same as theirs like we were talking about with business. As with Taylor, when we had her on a few episodes ago, talking about happiness, she said that a lot of people are looking for these formulas and it sometimes comes out of this laziness or this desire to figure things out as quickly as possible and get to the answers. As we know, when it comes to wellness, wellbeing, health, and all of these different elements of our lives, most things take a lot of time and they’re very complex.
There’s no quick answer to them or quick solution. I’ve been trying to be mindful of who I’m listening to when it comes to anything relationship-based because people might not even know about attachment styles or who they’re to be giving dating advice. If this guy is not texting you back right away, then don’t give him another chance but when you read about attachment styles, my heart goes out to men or women that aren’t responding right away because we have no idea what they’re going through mentally.
This is also true, in general, with people’s behavior. To judge them based on that one incident or a few similar things, we don’t know what’s going on in their lives. We don’t know what they’re struggling with, what their histories are. We don’t know what their attachment styles unless they tell us. We don’t know if they have anxiety or if there’s something challenging that they’re working through and they don’t know how to handle it properly. One of the most important things that we can do as human beings is to have compassion and not make judgments or jump to conclusions about someone just because of their behavior.
It reminds me a little bit of a previous episode that we did about the gurus and experts, and also the episode we did on Bridges and Walls: What Titles and Labels Do To Us. You mentioned in the episode we did with Taylor Proctor about reading Mark Manson’s first book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. You sent me a wonderful short paragraph from that book that reminds me of this. The danger of formulas and one size fits all advice and the part of ego that people want to feel that they’re saviors, they’re the ones bringing the truth, the way, and shining the light. That’s definitely an aspect of our society and people’s minds we need to pay attention to.
The paragraph you sent, which was awesome was, “They,” as in these experts, “managed to delude themselves into believing that they are accomplishing great things even when they’re not. They believe they’re the brilliant presenter on stage when they’re making a fool of themselves. They believe that they’ve had a successful startup founder when in fact they’ve never had a successful venture. They call themselves life coaches and charge money to help others even though they’re only 25 years old and haven’t accomplished anything substantial in their lives yet.” This isn’t to call out people that are in their twenties, Millennials or Net Gen-ers and say, “You don’t know anything.” It goes back to this mentality of, “I’m going to help you solve your relationship goals, your financial woes, you’re this, you’re that.”
It doesn’t take into account, Whitney. As you said, the nuance of this person’s trauma, their fears, personality disorders, and mental health challenges, it doesn’t honor the intricacy and nuance of the individual experience. As an offshoot of this, I’ve stopped listening to and subscribing to a lot of people in the past. I don’t need to call them all by name, but for right now, I have no desire to listen to them anymore. I’ve stopped reading their newsletters and books. There are a lot of these types of people that when I see their content right now, it creates an interesting response in my body where I’m like, “I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to read it. It doesn’t resonate.” It’s because I want to trust my intuition more, do my own research, and not follow, as you said, a copy and paste formula for financial abundance and whatever it is. I’m much more attuned to that type of marketing now and how prevalent that type of marketing is. I don’t want to pay attention to it anymore. I don’t want to give it any energy.
Part of it is because it’s a bit of the clickbait way of doing business. A lot of these people learn that if they make bold statements, they use the right type of quote, inspirational message, or if they say something that they know people are going to agree with then they’ll get more followers and more engagement, likes, comments, and clicks to their website. That does become a big part of how they monetize. I’ve tried these things as well too. I’ve experimented with clickbait and trying to figure out how do I draw people in, but ultimately, it’s not that rewarding and it doesn’t make me that much money because I’m not willing to sacrifice my integrity and my values to such an extreme just to make money. A lot of people do it innocently where they think it’s okay because so many people operate that way online and it feels so competitive like, “I’ve got to be the person that gets the most followers, traffic, or makes the most money.”
That made the internet a challenging place because it does take a lot of time to assess somebody out, decide if you can trust them, you align with them, and why are they saying things? Where did they get this information from? It also becomes dangerous if you look at this time that we’re in right now with COVID, Black Lives Matter, the government in the United States’ election year. There’s a lot of misinformation being spread about all these topics plus there are conspiracy theories. You go online and you can easily come up against a lot of conflicting information. It can make you feel very overwhelmed, want to disconnect entirely, and stop feeling you can trust anybody online. That causes people to not want to take any action because they don’t know what’s the right or wrong decision for themselves.No matter what our attachment styles are, each of us can have commitment issues. Click To Tweet
It can cause people to make poor decisions because they’re trusting somebody’s advice for them. It turns out that that might not be the right path, that can lead to a lot of depression, and challenging emotions. It’s tricky. Coming back to the relationship side of it, we are so vulnerable when it comes to romance. I also think the challenge with this too, is that if we have this black and white viewpoint on people’s behavior, it can cause us to lack a lot of compassion and cause us to isolate ourselves or cut people off. We’ve talked about this before where I’ve experienced this either in romantic relationships or in friendships.
We talked about this when we had the episode about ghosting and how I felt cut off from people’s lives very abruptly. It’s like just because I said something, didn’t say something, I had this one behavior, or I didn’t have this behavior. For someone like me with an anxious attachment and a general battle with shame, it’s tough on my psyche because it feels like that rejection is such a personal offense. You can easily internalize it and then feel lonely. When I read these things about avoidant attachments, my heart goes out to people like yourself, Jason, and anybody else who is an avoidant. I imagine there’s got to be a level of feeling misunderstood a lot or not feeling like somebody will take the time to understand you and have that compassion, for lack of a better word, for your life experiences.
The same thing can be said about someone with an anxious attachment. If you perceive me as needy, what if instead of saying like, “I don’t like you because you’re needy,” or “You’re not right for me because you’re needy,” whatever the reaction is. What if instead it was having compassionate and saying, “Why are you needy? What’s going on? Why are you having this reaction? How can we work through this together?” If more of us took that perspective in our relationships, even with our friends, these things can show up in our friendships and work relationships, it can be transformative. We’ve talked a lot about The Four Tendencies that come up so frequently on this show.
For me being a questioner, I’ve also struggled romantically in friendships and work dynamics with people that get frustrated with me because I ask a lot of questions. Somebody that’s not a questioner doesn’t understand why the word ‘why’ is very important to me. I’m somebody that wants to know why about everything. That’s how I make decisions. That’s how I feel comfortable and safe. I like to analyze things. Some people enjoy that part of me and some people dislike it or struggle with it.
I have experienced a lot of shame because of people’s reactions to that. I’ve experienced that as an anxious attachment and people perceiving me as being needy or controlling. The times that have felt the best to me in all of those different dynamics with people has been when they’re more accepting and they want to try to get to the core of why I operate that way. Would you say that you’ve experienced that yourself as being a rebellious tendency and an avoidant attachment, Jason? When people seem to pick on you or reject you for certain elements of your behavior and personality, do you feel like there would be a big shift instead of pushing you away, making funny, or whatever they do that somebody was more understanding and accepting of that?
It would be a tidal shift, honestly. It would be something that would allow me to reflect on, process, and perhaps transmute a lot of the subconscious behaviors or a lot of the coping mechanisms and coping behaviors that I’ve had over the course of my life. The other layer to this is I’ve always, and continued to be, a very sensitive, emotionally deep human being that I’ve had women comment frequently like, “I’ve never been with a guy as sensitive or emotionally in tune as you.” It might freak them out because men are, not all men, but there’s certainly an inculcation of a masculine archetype that is emotionally shut down, do the work, put your head down, suck it up, don’t cry, all that subconscious programming that as a man in society, we are subjected to.
I’ve always maintained an extreme level for the archetype of masculinity is very sensitive. That’s another layer to what you’re describing is not feeling understood because it’s like, “You’re not used to a sensitive man.” This is who I’ve always been since I was a little child. I’ve always been sensitive and my EQ, Emotional Quotient has always been very high. I’ve misunderstood it, I felt weird as a kid and a young man because I was like, “I’m way more sensitive than these other guys.” My point here is that it’s been easier in certain situations in the past for me to say, “I don’t feel gotten, I don’t feel understood. Moreover, I don’t feel like this person wants to understand where I’m coming from so fuck it. It will be easier to be alone.” I’m doing a callback to what you said of the typical avoidant tendencies of like, “I’m meant to be alone. It’s easier this way. No one wants to understand.” That feeling misunderstood, people don’t want to understand me in certain ways, or they’re freaked out by the way I am or whatever it is has led to me adopting a mentality at points in my life of it will be easier to go this alone. It’s easier that way.
It’s a game-changer when we can take the time to try to understand somebody versus writing them off or saying that they’re not a fit for us. For me, if more people approached me that way and tried to get out of their own egos to better understand someone that’s different than them, that’s a huge part of life in general. That can also be an element of racism as well and that, “This person doesn’t look like at me and I’m going to make all these assumptions about them.” It does go back to some old, tribal mentality is like, “Is this person like me or not? If they’re not like me, they’re not part of my tribe and I shouldn’t trust them.”
We also need to be gentle with ourselves and understand that there’s a lot of historical or even genetic, cultural, and societal impact that we have. We do need to do a lot of self-work in order to come to this place of greater understanding, compassion, acceptance of other people, and not jumping to conclusions. This is part of doing that work on yourself and relationships. There’s a reason that relationships are perceived as work is that you have to get to know somebody, accept them, deeply love them, know that they are different than you, and they approach life differently based on their different experiences in life. Going back to the different behaviors that I want to talk about, another big one is breadcrumbing. You haven’t heard of this term?
I’m assuming what I think it might mean, but I don’t want to assume.
Which is what?
Giving people a little bit but not too much like stringing them along like, “Here’s a little bit of affection and attention. Here’s a little bit of love and recognition, but not too much because I want you to get addicted of not-enoughness.” You keep coming back for more because that puts me by being the dispenser of the said breadcrumb, it puts me in a position of control.
This article I’m referencing on is from PsychCentral.com. It doesn’t say the reason it is happening. These characteristics, this behavior is attributed to somebody who’s avoidant. Usually, the recipient of the breadcrumbing is going to be someone who’s anxious because they’ll take whatever they can get. That tends to be an anxious thing like, “I don’t feel good enough, so I’m okay with being strung along,” or “I like this person. Whatever they give me, that’s enough to keep me around.”
You know what reminds me of this visual? From a medieval movie of like, “A little bit more gruel in my bowl, please. You are very generous to sprinkle some three-day-old bread on top of the gruel. Thank you. Thank you.” It’s like a begging bowl situation.
I think of Hansel and Gretel. It’s interesting because people can get worked up about breadcrumbing. It’s something that I’ve experienced as well but it makes me wonder like, “Here I was, so upset that somebody was potentially breadcrumbing me but what about what they’re going through? Why are they behaving that way?” When I can look at it more of outside of myself and feeling of getting defensive, whine to blame, and play the victim, I start to wonder like, “What is it that causes that person to do those things?” Do you feel like you’ve ever bread crumb somebody, Jason? The definition in this article is you’re tossing out small bits of reinforcement that are just enough to keep somebody around.
I don’t think that I identify with that so much. I’m forthright when I like someone. I let them know. I’ve received that feedback from women that I’ve dated that I’m no longer dating. You’ve said that when you were dating and I’ve heard it from other partners, they were like, “You were very forthright about your interest and you were very clear about it.” I don’t think that I have a tendency to bread crumb. What I do have is the one foot out the door scenario where I’m like, “I’m not fully committed to this because I’m unsure and I’m afraid. It’s my past programming.” If I like someone and I’m into someone, I’ll let them know verbally. I’ll let them know physically. I try and learn what their love language is. I don’t think I’m a bread crumber. I think I give them the full soup in the bread bowl and be like, “Here, I make this fresh for you.”
What I wonder about this is some of these behaviors are more common with younger people doing these things. Both men and women can do them. It’s not just the attachment style. It’s what’s culturally acceptable. We talked about this with ghosting and ghosting being part of this list. There’s also something called cloaking, which is when you are ghosted and blocked. Ghosting is somebody unexpectedly stops communicating with you without explanation. The next level is cloaking apparently if they block you as well. That happened to me with a friend and that hurt. It still hurts to this day because I’m still blocked by this old friend of mine. Every once in a while, I’ll go check and see if I’m still blocked by her and I am.
It’s sad but my heart goes out to her and I take responsibility for the inciting incident, I believe, but it was never even communicated to me what she was feeling. Part of the pain here is if you don’t understand somebody, but they have these behaviors towards you, it’s tough to process, especially if you’re anxious. What I also wonder is like, “Maybe I’ve had a lot of avoidant friends.” That particular friend I’m referencing right now is an avoidant attachment style because I certainly am anxious in my friendships as well. It’s an underlying experience that I have throughout life is that feeling of not good enough niche or tiptoeing around and not wanting to say the wrong thing or feel rejected. It’s no surprise that I’ve experienced a lot of these things. Going back to what I was saying, a lot of these behaviors are more culturally acceptable especially with younger generations because they’re so common. I don’t know if they’re more common now. Are they common because people know about them? It’s like, “Ghosting, this is acceptable.” It’s almost like the Irish goodbye, which I love. I am a big Irish goodbye type person. Is that the right term, Jason?
When you’re at an event and you leave without saying goodbye. Why is it called an Irish goodbye? Is that because it is culturally acceptable in Ireland to do that? Where did that term even come? I’m going to look this up.
While you’re looking it up, I want to give my reasons for doing the Irish goodbye. I think we covered this in the episode with Monica Schrock about introverts. I’m a very extroverted person. I get fueled up by being on stage performing, being in front of large crowds, all that stuff but there’s inevitably a point where my wick burns down to nothingness and then I’m like, “I’ve got to go.” “What do you mean?” “I’m done.” I know that if I’m in the conscious, spiritual, wellness, self-help, whatever the fuck this community is called, I don’t even have a word for it.
People who are trying to work on themselves, there’s this thing of like, “Brother, sister, let me give you long eye gazing and hug you way too long.” I love physical affection and eye gazing but when I’m on the way out the door, I don’t want to spend another 40 minutes saying goodbye to people. I just want to go. I’ve adopted the Irish goodbye in the last few years because I’m like, “I’m not adding another 30 to 40 minutes on to this experience saying goodbye to people, hugging them, eye gazing and all that shit. I want to go. I’m done. It’s bedtime for dunzo, you all. I’m out.”
Another term for the Irish goodbye is a French exit or Dutch leave. There’s something going on with the European cultural stereotypes.
I like it because I imagine myself walking out the door and going, “Au revoir, I’m going to bed.”
This is interesting, a little piece of history. According to an article from ABC News, “The Irish goodbye is attributed to the potato famine of 1845 to 1852 when many Irish fled their homeland for America. At that time, distance and technology meant that when someone went to America, they were gone forever and it was unlikely, they would ever again speak to or see their friends or family.” That’s fascinating.
Can you imagine leaving a party like, “Goodbye forever?”
“You’ll never hear from me again.” That’s also you can see why ghosting is similar to that in a lot of ways.
To answer your question or your inquiry, Whitney, there’s an aspect of conditioning that happens culturally, that ghosting and cloaking become totally okay because everyone else is doing it. I also think it does go back to the fact that technology has made us available to nearly eight billion people on the planet. I mentioned this a few episodes ago. What I observe culturally, especially I see it more in Millennials and Gen Z that it’s like, “If this doesn’t work out, fuck it. I know there will be fifteen more dudes or fifteen more chicks waiting for me.”
It’s the new, better, more different. It’s shopping online for a person. It’s like, “I’m not going to invest too much in this because I can have ten more dates lined up. I can go on Tinder, Raya, or Coffee Meets Bagel, whatever the dating channel is and I can find more people. I don’t need to invest any more energy in this. Bye.” It is a conditioning thing. It’s endemic of our distracted technocratic culture that is dehumanizing in a way. I’m going to use that word. There are a lot of aspects of our culture right now that are very dehumanizing.
I also think that they’re very much in the ego. It’s like, “You’re not good enough for me. I deserve better so I’m going to go get better because I can find somebody else.” It was The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. It was part of the messaging and there was like, “We keep hopping from one thing to the next thinking it’s going to cause us happiness, but something that’s shiny and new is eventually not going to be shiny and new anymore.” We’re going to be back in the same situation that we were in before.
This is true with relationships. One reason why it’s so important to give somebody a chance and try to get to know them and understand them and something that makes it a little bit more complicated. This idea of like, “You’re not good enough for me. I’m going to go to the next person.” There’s going to be something about that person that you’re not going to like too. You might be in a better or worse scenario or it might be the exact same type of feeling, just a different type of situation that you’re in at that point.
There’s a lot to be said about committed relationships and people that get into a relationship and stick through it because it’s not necessarily going to get much better than this, but where it becomes tricky is that you wonder like, is there anyone perfect for you or made for you, the soulmate mentality? Could potentially anybody be perfect for you because it’s more about having acceptance, love, and compassion for everyone? That starts to feel a big shift in thinking for me because for most of my life, I was operating under this mentality of finding the one. I’m going to go out and find that perfect person that I’m meant to be with. These ideas of love at first sight or this person fits everything that I want.
We’re on the search for it but as you know Jason, you can be on that search for a long time. How do you know that there really is that person? Is that the pot of gold? Does that exist? When do you decide to stay with one person if that person is as flawed as the previous person then what makes it any better for you? Does this make any sense? Cognitively when I start to strip away at it. There is that judge factor where certain people you are magnetically drawn to, and there’s something about them you cannot describe.
You get this feeling about them that you either have never experienced before or you’ve experienced very little in your life. I have not been in a relationship long enough to know if that entirely goes away at some point, or could that technically be a long-term thing. Is that lust? Is that the initial phase of love? I’m not sure and I don’t think anyone can even tell you because each of us experiences relationships so differently from one another. There are too many factors. That’s the other part of coming back to this idea of a relationship expert.
It’s like anything else in life where nobody can tell you what the right decision for you is. The only case where it’s a bad decision is if you’re in an abusive relationship. If you’re unhappy in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that that person isn’t a good match for you. It might have nothing to do with them. It might be entirely about you. Technically, it’s not the relationships to blame. Granted, since I’m not a relationship expert, I can’t even fully talk about this. I don’t have that knowledge and research to back up anything that I’m saying. It’s all my pondering.
It’s certainly a subject that humanity has pondered since the dawn of organized civilization, maybe before that, who knows what? The Neanderthals, caveman, and our predecessors were thinking about any of this, but with song, art, music, poetry, and all the aspects of organized, civilized, human culture love, connection and relationship. This conversation we’re having is as old as time when you think about it.
Can you sing that Tale as Old as Time song from Beauty and the Beast?
I don’t know it.
Are you serious?
No, I’m sorry.
I will sing it but I’m not confident enough to sing it. You literally don’t know what I’m talking about?
No, I’m sorry.We are such complicated human beings that our dating lives can't be fixed or understood by a short conversation with a stranger. Click To Tweet
When I say, “Sing the Tale as Old as Time song from Beauty and the Beast,” you don’t know?
Other than knowing what Beauty and the Beast is, I have no reference point for that song.
Jason, that’s a classic Disney song. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.
What’s in my bad?
I was hoping you would spontaneously break out into that song.
I need to learn it on acoustic and do a cover of it.
That’s a classic Disney song.
It is funny though. When you bring up the Beauty and the Beast, these tropes and archetypes of love, romance, and relationship, we go back even further into Greek-Roman-Sumerian mythology, Egyptian mythology. These are themes, concepts, and musings that have befuddled, emboldened and made curious humans for thousands and thousands of years. What is love? What is the nature of love? What is the nature of connection? What is the nature of romance? What is the nature of the alchemy of two souls meeting? We don’t know. We try and use words and language to describe something that I believe is ultimately ethereal feeling that is very difficult to describe with words. We talk about love and connection but oftentimes the words don’t do this justice.
You sit and you feel it with someone and it’s this magical, mystical, beautiful, chemical thing that you could be reductionist about it and go like, “The oxytocin is elevated in your brain chemistry and blood.” It’s like, “Shut the fuck up. Let me feel this and stop analyzing it so much. Let me swim in it.” We want to analyze stuff. We want to figure it out. I admire that about humanity, but I also believe that language, science, and chemistry can only go so far in trying to describe the totality, beauty, and mystery of something like love. That’s why we have poetry, music, novels, and wars dedicated to this thing. If you think about love, humans are obsessed with it. We’re obsessed with trying to feel it, get it, not lose it, figure out what it is. I would say that other than the question of God, purpose, why are we here, or what are we as human beings, love is right up there in terms of gigantic mystical musings of humanity. Wouldn’t you say? It’s up there with the greatest questions of, why are we here?
I love mystical musings of humanity.
That’s a great phrase.
Think about it. Other than why are we here? What are we? What is the nature of existence? In my opinion, love is up there with that existential questioning of existence.
That can make it very complicated and if you get to in your head, it almost seems impossible. I said this in a previous episode, but I remember growing up and thinking relationships were so simple. It might be the ghosting episode but it was something that we recorded and thinking like, “I don’t understand why our relationships are so hard. If you love someone, be with them,” and it’s not that easy. There’s something to be said about that mentality because that’s maybe true. Just as complicated as they can seem, relationships can also be simple. The challenge is that you have two people with all these different experiences, perspectives, thoughts, and feelings trying to come together. To me, that feeling that you have for one another, if you’re lucky and both have that same feeling for each other at the same time, that’s what holds it all together.
Some people say that you have to keep creating those feelings too and that’s part of the work. My hat goes off to anybody that’s been in a long-term relationship and genuinely feels happy in it, especially these days. I look back at my grandparents who were seemingly very happy with each other. As their grandchild, I had always felt they were. My parents also seem fairly happy. I’ve seen them struggle but my hat goes off to them too. They’ve been together for 40 years or so. My grandparents, I would guess at least 60 or 70 years something based on when my grandfather passed away.
It trips me out because of my own relative experience. In the sense that the two longest romantic partnerships I’ve had, I’ve had two that were under five years. Going beyond five years, that’s unknown territory. That’s off the map stuff where there might be dragons, bears, monsters, and like, “The dark part of the woods, what’s over there. We don’t know. We’ve never made it.” Having never crested a five-year mark and gone beyond that romantically with someone, it mystifies me and fascinates me. One of the things that I like to talk to my mentor, Michael, I always go back to him in so many episodes because he’s such a wonderful human being. He married his partner, Kevin. First of all, they’ve known each other since Kevin was in his teens and Michael was in his early twenties.
They’re both in their 70’s now. As life partners, they have been together for over 30 years. It’s one of those things where I want to grill his brain as often as I can to be like, “What have you learned? Not what are the secrets. How do you guys work through stuff? What is a way that you stay playful, connected, and loving?” I observe them and how they interact with each other. Their communication is wonderful even though they’re very different people. They have maintained into their 70’s a level of playfulness with each other. They’ve both allowed each other to be very different people. Their interests are different. What they find exciting is different. There’s overlap, and there are common interests but they’re not the same person.
That’s interesting because for me, I have noticed a tendency in the past that I have wanted to, in certain ways, find someone who’s like, “You’ve got to be into this. You’ve got to be interested in that, be passionate about this, feel the same way about this, and think the same way about that.” Certainly, in matters of spirituality, money, heart, or certain ethical views, those things do need to be closer in alignment. One thing I’ve observed from Michael and Kevin and other people is that they’re not mirror images of each other. There’s enough difference, diversity, and difference with them that keeps it interesting. I have not gone beyond the five-year mark. When I hear about your grandparents, your parents, Michael and Kevin, or certain people, I’m like, “How do you do that?”
My longest relationship was 2.5 or 3 years. It’s not that much time. It’s something that I examine from time to time. A lot of my perspective has been like, “That person left me,” or “I had a good reason for it.” You look at these patterns within yourself and you wonder like, “I’m playing a role too so what am I doing that’s causing these relationships to end around those times or before that time?” Not playing that victim of like, “This happens to me.” You’re both responsible for it. In many scenarios, I probably could have fought for the relationships to work out if I didn’t want to look for the escape exit myself.
I also wonder when it comes to long-term relationships, is there ego tied into this of not wanting to fail? Staying in a relationship just because your ego doesn’t want to admit that it’s not working. Is it that? Is it being driven by the number or this idea that you want to prove to other people or yourself that you can stay in a long-term relationship? Some people stay in relationships for external reasons like their kids, religion, or various elements of their lifestyle. There are so many factors in which people stay in relationships with each other or break up. I’m fascinated by it. I am glad that I’m fascinated because clearly, our audience are interested in this subject matter too. We should and plan to dive into these things more. We’re going to start to wrap this episode up, but before we do, I wanted to share a few more of these elusive behaviors that we didn’t get to yet because there are some I’ve never heard of before. Jason, I was thinking I could read them and you could tell me what you think the definition is.
You’re putting me on the spot again.
That’s part of the fun. I’ve got to make you uncomfortable. One of us has to be uncomfortable in every episode. What do you think fire-dooring means, like fire door?
Perhaps it’s taking a subject and proverbially igniting it so that it becomes a more serious subject so that you can use that inflamed subject that wasn’t that serious in the first place as an excuse to leave the relationship.
According to the Psych Central article, the definition is when the relationship is one-sided and you do all the work while the other person only comes around when they want something. Fire-dooring is on fire doors, one side doesn’t have a handle so you need somebody on the other side to press and open the door for you to go through. That one-sided dynamic where you have to open the door and that person only comes through when they feel like it. That’s also interesting. I felt that way too but a lot of this is also a matter of perception. I could read this and identify and be like, “I’ve been fire-doored.” Is it your ego saying that you’re doing all the work or being the victim like, “I did all the work and this person only comes when they want something?” When I’ve talked to men after the romance has ended like ex-boyfriends, previous partners, men that I’ve dated, if I have vulnerable conversations with them, generally, there’s so much more than met the eye during that situation.
This is what I mean. It’s so interesting when you’re in a relationship, sometimes it’s hard to get an honest answer. Most of the honest answers I’ve received from men that I’ve dated seriously or casually come after it ends. That’s also fascinating to me too. Why is it so hard to have these honest conversations and easier communication when you’re in a relationship? At least in my experience. I feel so vulnerable in relationships and because of the anxious attachment style, I’m afraid to bring up certain things because they don’t want to rock the boat. If I bring up a fire door and like, “Are you fire-dooring me?” That person might be offensive or offended. If they’re avoidant, I’ve often felt afraid that if I say the wrong thing, I’ll be abandoned as well. Those abandonment issues come up for me too, Jason.
There might be an idea of losing something, being abandoned, or failing. Once the relationship is over or has evolved into something else, then that pressure, that fear of loss, abandonment, or “fucking it up” to a degree is not there anymore.
It’s like there’s less at stake.
There’s more space to be honest because the fear isn’t there anymore.
That sounds right. The next elusive behavior term is called haunting.
I have no clue.
Try or make it up.
What do ghosts do? They leave trails. They leave clues. It’s leaving dirty socks and underwear at someone’s house for them to find at a later date to test them to see how much they love you because if they get annoyed by something so simple, then fuck them, they’re not the one.
I’m very entertained by this definition of haunting which is, it’s like ghosting except the ghoster continues to watch you on social media.
Is that the thing when you go into your Instagram Stories and, “I see you stalking me, motherfucker.” I’m going to call it out. That is some spineless bullshit ass behavior. I’ve had that happen to me where I’m like, “You won’t hit me back, but you’re fucking watching my stories.” That is so endemic of this generation and this moment, people do that shit all the time.
People using Instagram Stories. In particular, Instagram Stories is notorious for that. You can go in and see who’s watched your stories and you’re like, “You want to keep up on me? Why?” It’s weird behavior.
Social media is so voyeuristic but I’ve done it too. I don’t necessarily go into Stories. I’m not that into watching Stories, to be honest, especially because you can see who watches your Stories. I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, Jason, you might be very amused. There were two instances that I used Facebook. This is years ago. I did this with a number of people and I’m going to be fully honest about this embarrassing factoid. I created the account in 2010. I created a fake Facebook account so that I could stalk this guy who ghosted me because I was so hurt by it. Ghosting can be incredibly hurtful. I don’t remember why exactly I felt the need to do this. I don’t know. There was some tactic behind it, but I created this account so that I could snoop around. We were no longer friends. Now it doesn’t quite make sense but Facebook operated differently years ago.
It sounds almost like a version of a burner account. Do you know what burner account is? Burner accounts in the last couple of years came into the lexicon because certain athletes and celebrities would have these secret or anonymous accounts, or they would go and comment on things knowing that it wasn’t them and they got caught doing it. One, in particular, is a basketball player named Kevin Durant who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. When he was playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he had a burner account where he would go on and talk shit about certain people in the organization or the basketball team. They found out it was him talking shit and then the shit hit the fan. It sounds like in a way you weren’t doing it to make negative comments or be critical, but there’s an element of, “I wonder how many people out there have burner accounts.” I bet a lot of people do. We don’t know about it.
It comes back to me now. He ghosted me through text but we were still friends on Facebook and I was so mad. I unfriended him or something. I created this separate account so I could see what he was up to without him knowing that I was paying attention. Here’s the interesting thing. I ended up using that account for a few years for a few different reasons. One was to spy on an ex-girlfriend of a guy that I was dating at that time who I was incredibly jealous of because she was this beautiful model. That ex-boyfriend of mine would talk about her a lot. I was fascinated by her.
I went internet stalked her but the only way I could at that time was to create this account and friend her as this fake person. It’s so creepy that I did this. I’m sure a lot of people do this and would never admit it, but I will happily admit it because I don’t do this anymore. I was able to friend her and that way, I was able to see her photos that she kept just for friends. That’s all I wanted. I wanted to be able to see pictures of her because I was fascinated by her and it was a glutton for punishment because I would go look at her pictures and feel so jealous of how she looked and think like, “That was his previous girlfriend.” I wasn’t hating on her. It was more I was hating on myself or something.
Using it as ammunition to be unkind to yourself.
I did that with one other ex-boyfriend. He didn’t have social media but his wife did. They eventually got married. I don’t know if we ever became friends on there with that fake account, but I use it to feel safer so I could look at her stuff without ever her knowing that it could be me if it was tracking me or something like that. I would do stuff that because it felt safer to do. My heart goes out to people that do stuff like that because your curiosity gets satisfied in a different way but then you’ll never be caught for haunting somebody. Imagine, there could be people haunting you, Jason, or me that have fake accounts that they use so that they can do it without being caught.If you're unhappy in a relationship, it doesn't mean that that person isn't a good match for you. Click To Tweet
I just gave some audience ideas. The other funny thing is about my fake Facebook account is that a couple of friends of mine used it themselves once they found out I had it. I would admit this to my friends and I was like, “I created this fake account.” They were like, “Oh my God.” They seemed all appalled by it. A few months later, a couple of my friends were like, “Can I use your account to stalk some people?” They would log in to my account separately and use it to do their own stalking. We had the shared fake stalker accounts.
Let me guess. You got found out because you named it something a little too close to your own.
No. A lot of women my age will pride themselves on their internet skills. It took a lot of mental energy to create this whole persona. I found this stock image that was not popular enough at that time. I went all out with this account and I created this whole identity. It was like catfishing except I don’t think I ever interacted with these people. Unlike that burner account you’re talking about. It’s not like I was using it to go and comment, message, or whatever, that whole thing. It was simply to be able to stalk in a way. Social media has changed so much in years. You can do a lot of this stuff a lot more easily, but that was a huge undertaking.
I don’t know if it’s impressed more as an embarrassing skeleton in my closet.
I’m glad that you brought it up.
You might as well be human. A lot of us do weird shit that we normally don’t talk about. That’s part of being uncomfortable. Our personal evolutions. A few more of these behaviors. This one is interesting. Submarining.
I feel like this is also very dangerous, close to dirty sexual maneuvers or positions that people give weird names to. When you said submarining, my mind went to a dirty place, but I know it’s not that. In my mind it is, but I’m a sick fuck. I’m kinky, everyone. We should have an episode on that. Talk about getting uncomfortable.
You mean like when you like to make kinky references with your girlfriend in front of me?
She’s also kinky too.
I know you guys are a match made in heaven but being around the two of you can get a little uncomfortable sometimes.
“Are you the host of This Might Get Uncomfortable?” “I am.” “That makes sense.” Submarining, you go, you disguise yourself, you put yourself in a tube. I’m blanking. I can’t even venture a guess at this shit. You hide yourself in someone’s plumbing underneath their house so you can spy on them. That is elaborate. I found a way to access her crawl space so that I could spy on her. Am I anywhere in the ballpark with that?
No. The definition is also good. Similar to ghosting, except the person pops-up again out of the blue and acts like nothing ever happened.
That is annoying as hell.
This has happened to you?
Yes. Were they like, “Hi, how’s it going? How have you been? How’s your birthday? How’s this? How are the cats?” You don’t fucking care about the cats. Don’t act like you do. Julius doesn’t give a shit about you. He’s over here being a creamsicle without you. That was very specific. When people don’t even acknowledge the distance or fracture and they act like nothing has happened. It’s like, “What level of sociopathy are you to not even acknowledge?”
My heart goes out because it’s so awkward to have to admit. I have been what I would perceive as being submarining. If it has to do with ghosting, there’s one person in particular who would go in and out of communication. I’ve had this with a few men since I’ve dated a lot of avoidant men, but there was one man that clockwork, we would talk for a month or two and then something would happen, we’d stop talking. Six months would go by and then I hear from him again. This went on for almost ten years. It’s not like my life stopped and I was waiting around for him.
I went on with my life, but he would come in and out of my life every six months or so and then the time got stretched further and further. Sometimes it would be a year or few, but I experienced that with somebody else. I don’t know if it’s ghosting. Neither one of us would say something. My definition of ghosting is if you reach out, they don’t respond to you. I certainly have played the role of if somebody doesn’t communicate with me, then I don’t bother communicating with them. It’s a little different. If I tried to reach out to somebody and they would continue to ignore me, that sounds like ghosting. I don’t know how much I’ve experienced that.
Maybe that one person that I stalked on Facebook many years ago. He ghosted me on the official definition, but a lot of men, neither one of us would initiate conversation and I wouldn’t initiate because I was being in that submissive anxious like, “I don’t want to reach out and I don’t want to rock the boat. I’ll wait for him to contact me.” I’ve done that. That’s a very common behavior for me because it feels more comfortable to be in that receiving position as a feminine submissive woman. “I’ll wait until I hear from him.” That way, I feel safe and I don’t have to put myself out there and be vulnerable. If a guy doesn’t reach out to me and then I’ll stop communicating with him. I’ve wondered like, “Was he waiting for me to say something?” This whole Submarining thing is tricky because unless it’s official ghosting, you don’t hear from someone because they haven’t heard from you.
You’re in a stalemate.
That’s what I’m saying. In a way, if they submarine, if they pop up again, then they’re like, “Remember me? You haven’t talked to me either.” I’ve been in that situation.
That’s a good point, Whitney.
I’ve even had one relationship ended very abruptly and I wouldn’t say it was ghosting. We broke up and it was abrupt, shocking, and upsetting. This has happened to me a couple of times. It’s bringing up all these old memories. I’ve had multiple cases of you break up, you feel like it’s not resolved, and I’ve felt sad like, “I can’t believe that things ended. All of these feelings and experiences we had together and now nothing.” That person has come around a period of time later. In one case, it took a year or so for me to hear from him again. He had this huge apology and he took full accountability for it, but it took him a whole year to find the courage to reach out to me and tell me what was going on.
That’s what I’m saying about compassion. Not everybody has that courage. You maybe don’t hear from them because they don’t have that confidence, ability, or inner strength. Maybe they might think that you don’t want to hear from them. You have no idea what’s going on for that person. If this submarining happens, what if that’s their way of trying to brush it off and be like, “It’s too uncomfortable for me to address the fact that you haven’t heard from me, but I want to talk to you. I’m going to jump in and we can move past that period.”
You have a much more compassionate approach and perspective on it than I do.
This tends to be the case with us. In general, you’re a little bit more stern with your approach.
I get take the people’s shit and don’t give them as much leash.
Let’s hear your perspective.
You give them more leash than I do. I’m like, “You’ve got a short leash. If you fuck up and do it enough times, I’ll move on to someone else.”
You and I have different attachment styles but are you doing that to protect yourself though? I don’t know if it’s a glutton for punishment thing for me or I don’t mind that vulnerability of giving somebody another chance.
I am a compassionate person and I’m joking halfway because I do think that I’m becoming more understanding, lenient, and slowing down to understand people. I do believe that I’m doing more of that as I go on, but also perhaps paradoxically, I’m less apt to suffer fools the older I get. If I see someone acting in disrespectful ways or ways that I find are demoralizing or disrespectful, I have less tolerance for it the more I go on. I suppose if I reflected as a mirror back to myself, I have less tolerance for myself engaging in disrespectful behavior. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be times when we say something that might hurt someone’s feelings or disrespect them. This submarining thing is a hot button for me.
It’s interesting what it’s bringing up because it’s almost like, “Don’t act like shit hasn’t gone down. Let’s talk about it.” It’s not to be punitive or to hold someone accountable. It’s like, “Let’s talk about the fact that we haven’t communicated in six months or maybe there was some weirdness that gets resolved. Don’t act like it’s not there. Let’s be real with each other.” I suppose it’s because I value openness, realness, and honesty with people more than I ever have. I don’t want people acting like weirdness doesn’t need to be resolved. I can’t move forward in a friendship with someone if they’re like, “Nothing’s happened. Let’s pick it back up.” It’s like, “No, let’s resolve it and then move forward.”
You could also take the responsibility to bring that up with somebody. I don’t know if submarining means that if you were like, “I haven’t heard from you. This is weird.” They still act like nothing’s happened. If this person is willing to address it if you bring it up with them then that’s a completely different scenario versus if they refused to.
if they refuse to discuss it or they’re acting in a semi delusional way about the reality of things, then it’s like, “What world are you living in? We need to talk about what’s happened.”
You also have to think about the fact that a lot of our relationship behavior is based on how our parents acted, the modeling, and then previous relationships. Some people have zero experience. Another guy that I dated, I haven’t brought up yet, but things ended abruptly for us after dating for a few months and I was all upset about it. I reached out and tried to communicate with him to have a deeper conversation and understanding about what was going on. He said he was going on a trip or something and he would chat with me about it when he got back. I trusted that. I thought that was a reasonable thing. I didn’t hear from him for almost two months. Out of nowhere, he submarined, he popped up, and he wanted to return something that I left at his place.
I was hurt and pissed. I wrote him back and I was like, “I don’t want that thing back because it reminds me of you. It’s strange that almost two months later, you’re reaching out to me as if we never had that conversation talking about things when you were done with your trip.” Once again, my heart goes out because that specific guy had very little relationship experience because he expressed to me that he had a traumatic childhood, family dynamic, or whatever. He was avoidant, scared, and didn’t know how to handle these things. I’m sure for me, having been in many more relationships than him, a lot more dating experience, confidence, and in general, always working on my communication skills.
In a way, I was much more advanced and comfortable with that than he was. This compassion I’m talking about is certain people don’t have the same comfort levels and their ability to communicate can be vastly different than yours. Wrapping this all up, that’s an important lesson in all of this. Most of us are in a relationship either you might be married or dating somebody, even if you’re single, you’re in a relationship with yourself, family members, and friends. All of these different dynamics with one another. If we can do our best to understand ourselves and then educate yourself about other people. This is one of the reasons I love The Four Tendencies as we’ve talked about so much, I’m not interested in what my tendency is, I like to understand Jason’s tendency and everybody in my lives tendencies because that helps me understand them.
The same thing with The 5 Love Languages. When you understand different languages, tendencies, attachment styles, if you want to get into all these personality tests, that’s useful information because then you can start to understand why somebody behaves in the way that they do. It is also helpful to understand their past experiences. We’re often very afraid to ask, we don’t want to know, we feel we should be present or focus on the present moment and that’s beneficial. The past does influence the way that we’re acting now. Everybody has different experiences. A lot of people go through all different types of trauma in their lives. Ultimately, that compassion and not making assumptions about somebody, especially assuming that they had the same world view as you, could serve you in having better dynamics with all sorts of people in your life.
It reminds me of something my mom told me when I was a kid. I had gone through a breakup as a kid. It’s all relative. It’s one of your first heartbreaks. I remember my mom telling me, “Human relationships are the most challenging and interesting thing that you’ll ever experience.” In some ways that quote holds true because there are so many layers to who we are as people. If you think about our history, conditioning, programming, family trauma, or benefits and things we’ve gotten from our family, our hopes and dreams. Think about the complexity of an individual human being. That human being tries to create a life and a container of relationship with another human being, with a completely different set of family history, lineage, genetics, trauma, hopes and dreams.
It’s amazing to me that anybody fucking makes it work. That’s a miracle. We go back to talking about Michael, Kevin, your grandparents, your parents, other examples we have and it’s like, “Holy shit. That’s amazing.” It’s amazing that we find a way. I don’t mean that to be pedantic. It blows my mind sometimes with all the complexities and layers of an individual human that we find a way to relate to one another and make it work. It is miraculous in some ways. Are we going to do the Frequently Asked Queries now?
We can. Are you ready for them?
Let’s do it fast. Let’s do lightning round.Other than the questions of God, purpose, and existence, love is right up there in terms of gigantic mystical musings of humanity. Click To Tweet
Will you give our audience a little backstory on what the segment is?
Whitney is the queen of analytics, spreadsheets, and research. I have never known another human quite as deft and skilled in those three areas as her. One of the reasons why this partnership, business, and this podcast goes so well is because I rebel against those things. I prefer to write and focus on the written word portion of things. Whitney is an incredible analyzer, researcher, and distiller of information. These Frequently Asked Queries are Google searches through Google Analytics where people are looking for subject matter that pertains to the show.
They’re not technically looking for our show. They’re looking to get their questions answered.
Hopefully, we can provide you with some answers. If we understand the question you’re asking because sometimes, they don’t make any sense at all. Hence, why we do this.
Since we’re going to do a quicker round, I’ll combine a funny query with an interesting query. This one is questions to ask a shy girl.
The first question is, why are you shy? Bad lead off? Uncomfortable lead off because then it puts her on the spot and then she’s feeling more shy because you asked her why she’s shy.
What I want to know is are you asking like, “How do I interact with a shy child? I don’t know how to talk to them?” Is it like, “I’m interested in this girl who happens to be shy. What can I ask her that would bring her out of her shell?”
It’s an incredibly ambiguous question, very much so. I feel challenged sometimes, say in a party or a public context, when I am perceiving that someone might be shy or introverted, of how can I approach them without overwhelming them with my extroverted energy. This is something that comes up a lot for me, Whitney. Asking them why they’re shy, I wouldn’t recommend leading off with that. That’s all I can tell you.
For somebody that tends to be introverted, I personally like it when somebody asks me an in-depth question, but without putting me on the spot. Shyness and introversion are not necessarily the same thing. Sometimes, I want to be in the background and listen. If you can ask them something and they don’t seem to want to give an answer, you talk a little bit and check in with them about it, notice if they’re asking you questions. I often would so much rather talk about something else other than myself. If somebody asks me something that’s in-depth and pertains to me, or if they ask me a follow-up question, I tend to like that because that shows they’re interested.
If somebody is willing to have an in-depth conversation about it, then I am much more apt to stay in the conversation. You need to read the room though. That’s a big thing because as an introvert, I will give you lots of signals that I’m not interested. You can tell from my body language if I want to talk to you or not. If I want to stand there and listen, I’ll give you a lot of cues. If you pay attention to somebody, if they’re avoiding eye contact with you, if their arms are folded, they’re not leaning in, if they don’t say a lot back to you, maybe they don’t want to talk. If you’re trying to win them over for some reason or another, give them a lot of space. When it comes to kids, this question was about how do you talk to a shy child. It can be awkward talking to kids sometimes. You have to pay attention to a lot of kids and notice what they’re interested in. Once you start the subject matter that they care about then the kids will open up a lot and talk to you. It’s tricky though.
My best piece of advice that seems to work consistently, whether it is a shy child or a lady that I’m interested in communicating with, act goofy. Goofiness is good because kids respond to goofiness, openness, and playfulness. If I’m also goofy, open, and playful and a lady responds to that, that’s a good sign. When in doubt, I act goofy.
One more and then we’re going to give our brand shout outs to which we do every episode. I thought this one was interesting. I’m curious what you would define this as, Jason. This query was unconditional healing.
I’ve never heard that term in my life.
I don’t know what it even means.
What would you think it means?
I couldn’t venture even to guess. Condition on healing, what is a condition that one would place on healing? If you do all these things and do it the right way only then you’re going to be healed.
I looked it up and there’s a YouTube channel called Unconditional Healing Tarot. The website is also related to that account. The website description is, “Pain is inevitable, Suffering is not. Whether you’re dealing with an acute or chronic illness, loss of a loved one, job loss, or any other…” You have to click to the website to see more here. It is a different person. This is a guy named Jeff who runs this website Unconditional Healing. It’s a little hard to tell what the definition is but it seems like a very gentle approach to healing. Spiritual guidance? I don’t know.
You have to dig in, do some more research. We’ll find a guest for the show through this.
It says, “The approach. So much of our perspective of health is wrapped around a faulty premise. We’ve been led to believe that healing is equivalent to curing or fixing, but some situations in our lives are so unwieldy and overwhelming that they are un-resolvable with our current approach. If we ignore aspects of our lives when defining healing, we limit ourselves to a very constrained, conditional notion of health that offers no long-term solace.” That’s a great perspective.
I do too. That’s great.
“Genuine health and well-being is unconditional, omnipresent, and inherent to human beings, no matter what circumstances befall us.”
I want the brand shout outs. I’m trying to think of who I want to discuss in this pantheon. I’m trying to think of what lately I’ve been excited by. I want to give a shout out to a non-dairy milk brand called Three Trees. They make this incredible Pistachio milk. My favorite in their line-up is Black Sesame milk. They sent me some bottles to try.
Thanks to me. I believe I made that intro.
I love it because they taste amazing. The label is super clean ingredients, a lot of organic, low-glycemic sweetener, and it tastes exactly what it is. It tastes like pistachio milk. It tastes like black sesame milk. I personally love black sesame right now because I’m been dealing with some kidney issues and black sesame is restorative for the kidneys in traditional Chinese medicine. It tastes good. There’s a deep, rich, earthy nuttiness to a black sesame and you don’t see that kind of milk all that often. It’s definitely not as ubiquitous as certainly almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk right now. I want to give a shout out to Three Trees for being innovative, different, clean label, and having awesome out-of-the-box ideas for the non-dairy milk sector.
I second that. I also enjoy Three Trees. Unfortunately, all if not most of their line is almond-based and I have an almond sensitivity. Even the black sesame I tried had almonds in it, which was a bummer. I don’t know if they have two different versions, maybe one that doesn’t have almonds.
I don’t think so. They’re all cut, for lack of a better term. It sounds like drugs. It’s cut with almond milk. It’s laced with almonds, but to my knowledge, they all are.
It’s not going to be for everybody but I appreciate them even though I can’t drink it regularly. I have a number of companies. I’m the opposite problem with Jason right now because I would love to talk about more. You’ll have to stay for another episode if you want to know some of the other brands that we have each been loving. I want to give a shout out to Foria who is one of our favorite CBD and hemp-based brand in general because I think they still make some THC products. Their CBD line is phenomenal. They partnered with us when we launched the show and did a giveaway with us. When I think about them, I can taste their products. They’re so distinct.
They have great wellness tonics and wonderful CBD formulations that taste incredible, high quality, very high standards, and the way that they produce things. If you are interested in CBD and you want one of the best options out there, I couldn’t recommend Foria enough. We talked about them in a whole episode we did on CBD and some of our other CBD products. If you are curious about CBD and you have not read that blog yet, please read that. You’ll learn a lot. We are continually learning about CBD. It’s a bit of a complex topic here and there’s a lot of greenwashing, CBD washing, health washing, whatever you want to call it. It’s tough to find a well-formulated product out there. Foria is one that I have trusted for many years. I have known them since 2013, so they’re legit and I can’t recommend them enough.
Dear reader, we appreciate you getting uncomfortable with us. Whitney, this was a juicy episode. I feel like you shared, especially the old Facebook stalker account. You went to some good juicy places. I appreciate you doing that and opening the conversation for us to crack it open. Krakatoa. With that, dear reader, we appreciate you being here. If it’s your first time or your 101st time, thanks for reading and supporting the show. If you want to go a step further, we have a Patreon account where we have many people supporting this show, helping us to invest in new equipment, in our editing process, helping to grow, and expand this show to reach even more people because we are charting around the world. It’s very exciting. We get something called Chartable and we get daily updates. We have been on charts in the Saudi Arabia market, Brazil, Denmark, and Ireland.
It’s exciting for us to know that there are listeners all around the world. Wherever you are on the planet, if you do want to get ahold of us, whether you want to support us on Patreon or send us a direct message, you can find us on all of the social media networks. Our accounts are at Wellevatr. We are on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter or you can send us a direct email. It is Whitney and I who check that every single day. The email address is [email protected]. You can also download and access free resources. We have two video trainings and our brand new eBook that came out very called From Chaos To Calm, which is our twelve favorite ways to manage anxiety, stress, depression and navigating this often crazy chaotic world. Please access that free resource if you haven’t done so already and give us some feedback. We always love hearing from you. Until next time, thanks again for being with us and getting uncomfortable here on the show and in life in general.
*We use affiliate links in our show notes. This means we receive a small sales commission if you purchase an item based on our recommendation.
- Intimacy, Relationships and Attachment Styles with Jason Green – Previous episode
- The Elusive Person: When You Love Someone With A Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style
- The 5 Love Languages
- The Gifts Our Father’s Gave Us: Sharing Stories on Father’s Day – Previous episode
- How To Be Really Happy On Our Own Terms with Taylor Proctor – Previous episode
- Cliche Advice: Are Experts and Gurus Faking It Until They Make It – Previous episode
- Bridges and Walls: What Titles and Labels Do To Us – Previous episode
- The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck
- Rejection, Ghosting and The Culture of Avoidance – Previous episode
- The Four Tendencies
- The Spectrum of Introversion and Social Equality with Monica Schrock – Previous episode
- Unconditional Healing Tarot – YouTube Video
- Unconditional Healing
- Three Trees
- Foria Wellness
- Celebrating 420: In Praise of CBD – Previous episode
- [email protected]
- From Chaos To Calm
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!