Episode 7: Radical Honesty – is honesty always the best policy?

Is honesty always the best policy? What are the pros and cons of being honest? And what is Radical Honesty?

In this episode, we invite Marvin Schulz – Radical Honesty trainer and coach – to discuss the practice of Radical Honesty. Originally created by Dr Brad Blanton, a psychotherapist who realised one day that the root of most suffering was some form of dishonesty or another – Radical Honesty is a practice in which people try to speak honestly to one another. But it’s more than that – it’s a way of being present in the moment, of recognising what is ‘true’ vs true for you, and of living in a more open, vulnerable and loving way.

The conversation takes us down some other interesting roads – when have we been honest or dishonest in our lives? What does honesty really mean? Is it better to be honest or polite, and in which situations? And what’s the difference between being honest and just being an asshole?

LISTEN HERE: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/691363-episode-7-radical-honesty  – or download from your favourite podcast app.

Resources:

Radical Honest website – https://www.radicalhonesty.com

Is is Better to be Polite or Frank? School of Life video 

Episode 6: Are we neglecting friendships once we become adults?

In a world obsessed with romance and couples, do we value friendships as adults as much as we used to as children? How important are friendships in adulthood, and why do we so often let them take priority after our partner, children, and job? How can we have fulfilling relationships with our friends as adults – even if we are busy with work and family?

Our guest, Anna, talks about one of the most influential friendships in her life. Unlike most of her friends, Anna did not have a romantic relationship during her teens and so friendships have always been the most important connections in her life, and she tries to continue to make them so today despite everyone’s shifting and changing priorities.

Join us as we explore the fine, fluid boundaries between friendship, romance, sexuality and love, take a look at the history of friendship and how ideals of romantic love for marriage changed the importance we place on friendship, and discuss the challenging of making and keeping friends as an adult.

Listen HERE! http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/686659-episode-6-friendship or download from your favourite podcast app.

Resources:

One book mentioned was The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendships, from where we get the quote “it was understood that a woman could share the same soul with her best friend, but rarely, if ever, with her husband”. 

Anna referenced the article Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys? and we also mentioned the Art of Manliness article about the history of male friendship (*Gwen said it was Australian, it turns out it’s American, sorry!) and gave a shout-out to the Hidden Brain podcast episode: The Lonely American Man. 

This article from Psychology today talked about how we are ashamed to talk about how we find making friends difficult and awkward, as if we feel shame that we “should have it figured out now”.

Some other interesting resources:

Radio 4: 500 Years of Friendship – a podcast looking at the history of friendship. 

The History Of Friendship: How Friendship Evolved And Why It’s Fundamental To Your Happiness from Huffington Post

Episode 5: Living with my partner and his wife – Exploring polyamory

Can a relationship involve more than one person? Is monogamy ‘natural’? What are the advantages, disadvantages and challenges of a polyamorous relationship?

While monogamy used to mean ‘one person for life’, these days it often means ‘one person at a time’. But, apparently more and more people are seeking less traditional relationship models, with 1 in 5 people having tried some form of non-monogamous relationship (see here) and around 40%  thinking their ideal relationship would involve some sort of consensual non-monogamy (here) – (OK, these facts are from the US, maybe we’ll go and look around for some more global facts later).

Let’s clear things up, first – polyamory does not meaning swinging, and it does not mean polygamy (which is marrying multiple people). It means having loving relationships with more than one person, whether you share your time with those people or there are three or more of you in a relationship together. This is a little different from an open relationship, where you and your partner agree that some things (kissing, sex, maybe dating) with others are OK – but generally it all falls under the banner of “ethical/consensual non-monogamy”.

In this exciting episode, we explore options outside of the traditional, non-monogamous model, such as open relationships and polyamory. Our guest, Sarah, lives with a married couple as one of the husband’s other partners, and all three of them also have other partners.

Listen here!

And here’s the full quote that we mentioned:

“No group-living nonhuman primate is monogamous, and adultery has been documented in every human culture studied- including those in which fornicators are routinely stoned to death. In light of all of this bloody retribution, it’s hard to see how monogamy comes “naturally” to our species. Why would so many risk their reputations, families, careers- even presidential legacies- for something that runs against human nature? Were monogamy an ancient, evolved trait characteristic of our species, as the standard narrative insists, these ubiquitous transgressions would be infrequent and such horrible enforcement unnecessary. No creature needs to be threatened with death to act in accord with its own nature.” Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality 

Resources:

The book we mentioned a lot was The Ethical Slut by Dottie Easton, something of a ‘polyamory Bible’ but actually a great read for everybody, whether single, in a monogamous relationship or polyamorous, as it focuses a lot of self-development, honesty and healthy communication within relationships. “Love is not a real-world limit: the mother of nine children can love each of them as much as the mother of an only child,” says Dottie, arguing that we have been brought up to believe that love is a finite, scarce resource that we can only share with one romantic partner. 

Some other things you may like:

A new way to love: in praise of polyamory from The Guardian

Exploring Polyamory by Rachel Klechevsky – a more academic article about polyamory

Changing the Way We Think about Consensual Non-monogamy a TED talk by Nirel Marofsky

The Tamera Project, a peace research centre and commune in Portugal, writes about free love and its importance in creating a peaceful society: https://www.tamera.org/free-sexuality-and-partnership/ 

And, to balance this out a little, The School of Life’s Why Polyamory (sadly) Can’t be for Everyone and Five Disadvantages of Polyamory from Psychology Today.

Episode 4: Can you be your authentic self at work?

Can you be your true self at work? What would it be like to feel open, authentic and vulnerable at work? Is focusing on happy workers altruistic or exploitative, and is training people to create inner change an easy get-out for bad employers?

In this episode, we bring in David Papa: spiritual coach, leadership consultant and founder of Love & Profit. We start off by finding out about how he works with leaders to bring their ‘higher selves’ to work – a self that is more loving, vulnerable and open. Join us as David kindly shares with us his thoughts about how change is always possible from within, and about how we always have a choice to be happy.

But wait! Do we always have a choice, or is this easy to say for people lucky enough to have those choices? Is it really fair to talk about changing our mindsets if we are in a horrible situation? Listen and let us know what you think!

Listen here! : http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/677553-episode-4-happiness-and-authenticity-at-work 

Resources:

David mentioned Martha Beck and her “shackles on or shackles off” test, a way to test with your gut or higher self what you really feel about a decision.

He also referenced the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, a popular book that highlights the benefits of happy employees. However, Gwen countered with the book The Happiness Industry: How Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies.

Another book mentioned was Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux, with the quote: Workplaces have traditionally encouraged people to show up with their “professional” self and to check all other parts of themselves at the door. They often require us to show a masculine resolve, to display determination and strength, and to hide doubts and vulnerability. Rationality rules: the emotional, intuitive, and spiritual selves are typically unwelcome, or out of place”. The link here leads to an online platform and free resources about creating authentic, enlightened workplaces. (Gwen: I LOVE the book and the examples!)

David discussed Victor Frankl and his book A Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was a holocaust survivor who wanted to look at how some people thrived in seemingly hopeless situations. He went on to found logotherapy, a form of existential psychotherapy. 

And finally, we briefly touched on Brené Brown and her work on vulnerability. Her research shows that the happiest, most ‘whole-hearted’ people are those who are not afraid to show some vulnerability and weakness. She also writes some beautiful stuff about courage! 

Episode 3: Projection and Mind-Reading

Do we truly see people for who they are, or do our preconceived ideas mean we only see them through a filter? Do we assume we know what our loved ones are thinking and end up feeling upset or hurt because we didn’t challenge that assumption? Are the negative qualities that upset us so much in others actually parts of ourselves that we try to deny?

Sigmund Freud claimed that projection was a defence mechanism – instead of looking at something “bad” in ourselves, like selfishness, lust, or anger, we saw it in other people instead. Instead of seeing people as they are, we ‘project’ an image onto them, like a movie projector stopping you from seeing what’s really underneath.

We don’t necessarily only do this with things we’re denying in ourselves – we also project what we expect of people onto them, which can lead to stereotyping, discrimination, and a lot of unnecessary conflict. And what happens when we bring this into our close relationships? Maybe we start think we can read the other person’s mind – assuming they are upset with us or that they are bored of us, then treating them as if our projection is the ultimate truth.

Our special guest, John, talks about the role projection played in his marriage. He often assumed that his wife was needy and dependent on him, yet never questioned this. He also talks about how he struggles with his idea that people are angry with him all the time, and how he uses open and honest communication in his current relationship to figure out what’s really going on.

We also talk a little about how we feel when people project onto us – assuming traits or intentions that are not there because they have created an idea of who we are based on one or two pieces of information – and the ‘positive’ side of projection; where we project all our fantasies onto our new lover and see them through rose-tinted glasses.

Some of the resources we mentioned:

We mentioned the book Why Do I Do This? by Joseph Burgo; the quote about “when we project we turn the other person into a symbol: the Bossy Jerk or the Needy Wreck” was actually from this article here at ExperienceLife.com: https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-stop-projecting/ 

This article – “Projection in Relationships: Stop it from ruining your connection” was helpful as we thought of ideas for this episode: https://www.monikahoyt.com/projection-in-relationships/

The book that mentioned how families project their expectations onto us is They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James.

We talked about Freud, and how he discussed projection as a defence mechanism. Read more about psychological defence mechanisms here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201110/the-essential-guide-defense-mechanisms 

Episode 2: Why do people break up?

Why do people break up? What’s the best (and worst) way to break up with someone? What influences the way we react to a breakup… and can exes still stay friends?

These are just some of the questions we try to answer in our first feature-length episode on Breakups, where we invite our awesome friend Emma into the studio to discuss how her 6-year relationship went downhill, explore our own experiences and even discuss a few studies that have looked into relationship break-ups.

Click here to listen! : http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/667598-episode-2-breakups or check your favourite podcast provider.

 

Here are some of the things we mentioned in the episode:

A survey looking into the reasons why people break up was created by The Breakup App, and you can find it here: http://www.thebreakupapp.com/community/breakup-quiz/ The Breakup App also claims to be “a relationship journal with superpowers”, so might be interesting to check out if you’re going through a break-up!

The study from the University of Hawaii that looked at how men and women typically have different reactions to breakups can be found here, and here’s the academic reference for people who like that kind of thing: Choo, P., Levine, T., & Hatfield, E. (1996). Gender, love schemas, and reactions to romantic break-ups. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 11(5), 143.

Dweck & Howe, who looked at how ‘growth mindsets‘ can help us recover from breakups, can be read here : Howe, L. C., & Dweck, C. S. (2016). Changes in self-definition impede recovery from rejection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42(1), 54-71.

The School of Life video that I mentioned called Can Exes be Friends? can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTuDks4ogs0

What are your thoughts? Do you have a breakup story you want to share? Any great tips on how to move on after a difficult breakup? Leave your comments below or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!

Episode 1 is out! What’s this all about?

Very exciting news – our first episode is out! We wanted to call this “Episode 0” but our Podcast host doesn’t let you number them like that, so it’s episode 1.

In this episode, you’ll find out who we (Gwen and Lis) are, why we decided to start this podcast, and a little of what you can come to expect from our upcoming episodes. We also decided to chat a little about the important connections in our lives, some of the differences between British and American people in how they interact, and what we’re hoping to achieve through our podcast.

Click here to listen to it, or download from iTunes!

So welcome!! We hope you’ll subscribe for our upcoming first season and we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts, too!