Info

Relationship Alive!

Neil Sattin interviews John Gottman, Sue Johnson, Harville Hendrix, Peter Levine, Stan Tatkin, Dick Schwartz, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Diana Richardson, Terry Real, Wendy Maltz - and many others - in his quest to dig deep into all the factors that keep a Relationship Alive and Thriving! Each week Neil brings you an in-depth interview with a relationship expert. Neil is an author and relationship coach who is enthusiastic and passionate about relationships and the nuts and bolts of what makes them last. You can find out more about Neil Sattin and the Relationship Alive podcast at http://www.neilsattin.com
RSS Feed
Relationship Alive!
2021
October
September
July
June
May
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: July, 2020
Jul 25, 2020

In a relationship, it’s important to be able to accept your partner as they are. What if accepting your partner traps you in a relationship that isn’t healthy? What’s the balance between accepting your relationship as it is - and wanting to shift things without trying to turn your partner into someone different than who they are? If you value growth, and compassion...you can actually find yourself stuck in a bad relationship because of it! In today’s episode, we’re going to try to solve the “acceptance paradox” so that you can stay aligned with your values and still make a change.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

I want to know you better! Take the quick, anonymous, Relationship Alive survey

FREE Guide to Neil’s Top 3 Relationship Communication Secrets

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner’s Needs) in Relationship (ALSO FREE)

Support the podcast (or text “SUPPORT” to 33444)

Amazing intro and outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. There's a paradox in relationships, around the notion of acceptance, because we hold this ideal that the best thing possible for us to do is to accept our partner, to accept them as they are, and to accept them with compassion, to not try to change them, right? And to not be changed by our partners. And yet this creates a paradox in relationships, because what do you do when you can't accept it or when accepting it seemingly keeps you in a situation that's not healthy for you? Are you just supposed to accept everything? That's what we're going to cover in today's show. And I call it the acceptance paradox, because you might just find that when you find your way into it, that there's no way out of it. And today, I'm going to take a stab at solving the acceptance paradox for you, and for myself. I've been thinking about it a lot as a way of helping us transcend the potential pitfalls of being really accepting and compassionate. So that is what is in store in today's episode.

Interested in reading the transcript to find out more about the Acceptance Paradox and how to escape it? 

Click here to download the full transcript of this episode!

Jul 18, 2020

The quality of your life is directly related to the quality of the decisions that you make. So, when it comes to love - is there a way to make better choices and to identify your blind spots, to improve your chances of a long-lasting, thriving connection? Today’s guest, Logan Ury, is a Behavioral Scientist and author of the forthcoming book “How to Not Die Alone.” Along with being the Director of Relationship Science for the online dating app Hinge, Logan has done in-depth research into why we make the choices we make when it comes to love - and how to steer yourself towards the outcome most aligned with what you value and desire. Whether you’re single and looking, already in a relationship, or trying to decide whether to stay or go - today’s episode will help you get clear on the choices you’re facing.

And, as always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. 

Join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it! 

Sponsors:

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Resources: 

Check out Logan Ury’s website where you can take her quiz to assess your “dating tendency”.

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide www.neilsattin.com/logan Visit to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Logan Ury.

Amazing intro/outro music graciously provided courtesy of: The Railsplitters - Check them Out

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. The world of relationship-ing is based on a series of decisions that you make. You make a choice about whether or not you even want to be in a relationship. You make choices about the kinds of relationships you get into. We're making these kinds of choices all the time, and yet for many of us, we don't even realize that we're making choices. In fact, we kind of ease our way into situations, and we find ourselves there and you may ask yourself, "Well how did I get here?" in the words of David Byrne. We don't always necessarily know. And yet, the more aware you are of how you make your choices, your choices about how you date, who you date, how you enter into relationship, how you leave relationship. The more you're aware of what is actually going into that decision-making process, the better you'll be at making better decisions.

Neil Sattin: And of course, relationship is an iterative process. We do it over and over again, hopefully getting better each time. It doesn't always work out that way. But in today's episode, we are going to talk explicitly about how we make these decisions and how to improve upon them, and some potential pitfalls that can lead us astray along the way. In order to have this conversation, I've invited a dear friend, who's also an esteemed behavioral scientist, her name is Logan Ury, and she and I have actually been together in a relationship Mastermind group for almost... No, it's been a little over a year now. We just celebrated our year anniversary as a group.

Neil Sattin: And it's been a great way to come to know her and her insightful ways of looking at the ways that we make choices about how and who we date. She also works as a dating coach and a matchmaker. And she is also working currently for the dating app, Hinge which I'm sure she'll have more to say about as we get into our conversation. As usual, you will be able to download the transcript of this conversation by visiting neilsattin.com/logan. That's L-O-G-A-N.

Neil Sattin: Or you can always text the word PASSION to the number 33444 and follow the instructions. And I think that Logan also has a quiz available on her website and we'll give you a link so that you can take her quiz and find out about who you are as a dater or who you've been as a dater. And anyway, let's just get started. So Logan Ury, it's a pleasure to have you here with us today on Relationship Alive.

Logan Ury: Neil, thank you so much for having me. It's been really fun getting to know you over the last year in our relationships group, and I'm super happy to be on the podcast.

Neil Sattin: Awesome. Well I'm psyched to have you here as well. And mostly because, along with being a great person, you have some fascinating wisdom about what makes us tick. So I'm wondering if you can just give a quick synopsis of your background, how did you get to merging the world of behavioral science and dating and love and relationships?

Logan Ury: Sure, yeah. I'm happy to jump right into that.

Neil Sattin: Great.

Logan Ury: So, I studied psychology in college, and I've always been really interested in how people think, how people make decisions. So I studied psychology with an emphasis on women, gender and sexuality. And then a funny story is, that actually my first job out of college was working at Google and I managed the advertising for a bunch of porn advertisers, so our group was colloquially known as the Porn Pod.

Logan Ury: And that was an interesting first year out of college. And then later, I had the opportunity to lead a behavioral science team at Google and that was called the Irrational Lab, and behavioral science is the study of how we make decisions. So we know that people are often really irrational and they make decisions that are not in their own best interest. But what's cool is that these irrationalities don't just happen randomly, they're predictable. So if you understand, okay, people tend to make this type of a mistake in this type of situations, you could actually help shift their behavior.

Logan Ury: So I was doing that at Google, I was really enjoying it, but at the same time I was just fascinated by dating and relationships. I was single, I was using dating apps, and I started a YouTube series at Google called Talks at Google, Modern Romance. And I would bring in people like John Gottman, Esther Perel, Dan Savage to talk about dating and relationships.

Logan Ury: And a few years later, I just realized this dating and relationship stuff is really what I'm interested in, it's my passion, it's my calling. And when I thought about how I could make my contribution to that world, I thought, "Well, I have this knowledge of how people make decisions, why not apply that to dating and relationships?" And what that's looked like for the last few years is doing a residency at TED, where I got to do a project and gave a TED Talk about dating and relationships, and also now writing this book about how to apply the ideas of behavioral science to finding a relationship and creating a great relationship.

Neil Sattin: Right, I didn't even mention that in the intro, but it's important to know that you have written this book. It's actually not due out until February of 2021, around Valentine's Day. So you, as a listener, are getting a sneak peak into Logan's... Into Logan's work, because I got a sneak peek at the book, which was a big privilege. And that... I'm curious about this sense of us as irrational decision makers, because one thing that became clear as I was reading your book or maybe it was clear because this is what you were emphasizing, is that there are all of these laws, let's just call them, about... That describe how we make decisions poorly. And it made me start to wonder if we are just inherently predisposed to be kind of bad decision makers, and if we actually do need training around making better and better decisions. And I wonder if that's true from your perspective, that there's... The way that we kinda come through the mill as we grow up and are just exposed to life, and the reason that these laws exist in behavioral science is because in general, we actually don't really know what we're doing.

Logan Ury: Yeah, I would agree with that. I would say, in general, I think we often make decisions that are against our own best interest. And some of the areas where this comes up often are eating healthier, working out or saving money. So if I said to most people, "Would you like to save more money?" they would say, "Yes." But then in a moment where they have the chance to save or spend, a lot of people... A lot of people spend. And that's why I think I read recently that the average American does not have $400 available if there were to be some sort of emergency, so, clearly, we're all having trouble saving. And similarly, people say, "Oh, I want to lose weight. I want to eat healthier," but then in the moment, when you're faced with getting a burger or a salad, a lot of us just choose what feels good in the moment and we'll get that burger.

Logan Ury: And there's different reasons for this, so one of them is called the present bias, which sounds fairly obvious, but it's basically that we disproportionately measure things based on how good they feel in the present, and we don't think as much about the future. And there's a whole list, there's a whole catalog of these cognitive biases, which is just a fancy way of saying, "Reasons why we make mistakes in our decision-making," and it happens in all areas of life, but I think it's really fascinating to study how it affects us in love and relationships. And as I write about in the book, sometimes when I talk about this, people push back and they say, "Oh, that's insane. You can't be rational in love." And it's not that I'm going for rationality. It's not that I want people to be some sort of super computer that says like, "Input, input. Alright, these five daters plus this situation equals... This is the best person for your soulmate. Beep boop." It's not like that.

[laughter]

Logan Ury: It's not... It's not... [chuckle] It's not any sort of algorithm, it's much more just saying like, "Hey, these are cognitive biases, these are invisible forces that often get in people's way and if you can understand them and you can avoid those mistakes, then you can start to make better decisions and hopefully, wind up in the loving relationships of your dreams."

Neil Sattin: Yeah, and most of the time, without an awareness of what those biases would be, then you're just doomed. And, in fact, as I read bias after bias in your book, I was like, "Oh my gosh." Each one just shows you how we are set up to fail potentially.

Logan Ury: Was there one that stuck out to you? I'm just curious, I know you just read it. Was there one that's got to you where you're like, "Oh, this helps me understand either this thing that I've done in dating or this thing that I've done in other areas of my life?" And just to put you on the spot, is there one that you remember?

Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode with Logan Ury? 

Click here to download the full transcript of this episode!

Jul 11, 2020

In today's world, it's challenging to avoid conflicts - whether with our intimate partners, or simply with people at the grocery store or on social media. How do you take control of any fight so that you can create the best outcome? How do you resolve conflicts in a way that helps bring you closer to others, instead of widening the divide between you? In this week's episode we'll cover some important ways for you to steer arguments towards a place where you can "win" without suffering the costs of victory. Wondering what I mean? Come aboard with me in this week's episode.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

This episode is also sponsored by Native Deodorant. Their products are filled with ingredients you can find in nature like coconut oil, which is an antimicrobial, shea butter to moisturize, and tapioca starch to absorb wetness. They don’t ever test on animals, they don’t use aluminum or any other scary chemical ingredients, and they’re so confident that you’ll like their deodorant that they offer free shipping - and returns. For 20% off your first purchase, visit http://www.nativedeo.com/alive and use promo code ALIVE during checkout.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

I want to know you better! Take the quick, anonymous, Relationship Alive survey

FREE Guide to Neil’s Top 3 Relationship Communication Secrets

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner’s Needs) in Relationship (ALSO FREE)

Support the podcast (or text “SUPPORT” to 33444)

Amazing intro and outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. Today we're going to tackle how to win any argument, how to come out on top in terms of any conflict that you might have. It's an important topic, especially in today's divided world and specifically, in the ways that we can be driven apart from our partners by deep seemingly unresolvable conflicts. So today, I'm going to give you three important steps to win any argument, resolve the conflict, and get on with the business of living your life hopefully in as joyous a way as possible and connected a way as possible.

Neil Sattin: First, I just want to remind you that Relationship Alive is an offering for me to you to help you have the most successful thriving relationships possible. If you are finding the show to be beneficial for yourself or for people that you care about, please consider a donation to support Relationship Alive and our mission. You can choose anything that feels right for you and every little bit truly does help. So to pick something that will feel good, just visit NeilSattin.com/support or you can text the word support to the number 33444 and follow the instructions.

Neil Sattin: This week, I want to thank Keerthi, Angie, Jules, Cynthia, Thomas, Debra, Meredith, Kent, Laura, Sarah, and another Neil. Thank you all so much for your generous and ongoing contributions to Relationship Alive. As you might expect, today we are going to be covering topics that really dive deep into how we communicate with others. So if you haven't grabbed it yet, please do download my free guide to my top three relationship communication secrets. These are the kinds of things that will help you stay connected no matter how challenging the topic is that you're talking about, so it's going to go right hand-in-hand with what we're going to talk about on today's show. To download the free guide, just visit NeilSattin.com/relate or text the word relate to the number 33444 and follow the instructions.

Neil Sattin: And finally, before we dive in, just a reminder that we have a free group on Facebook, the Relationship Alive Community, where you can find more than 4,000 other people who listen to the show and who are there to have generative supportive conversations about how to do relationships well, along with all the other parts that come along with relationships; breakups, heartache, dating, finding love, and all the parts in between, so come talk to us, celebrate with us, commiserate with us and join the fun. Oh, one last thing, if there's something going on for you that you would like me to answer on the show, just email yourself talking about it to questions at relationshipalive dot com and I will keep you anonymous and answer your question on the show. If you don't feel comfortable talking, you can just write it down, but hopefully, you feel comfortable talking at least enough so that other people can hear your voice. I think it's a nice touch. We've been able to do that a couple of times in the show already and I am looking forward to your questions. Alright, so let's dive in with the top three ways to win any argument, and I don't know if you can hear it in my voice, but I'm smiling a bit when I say win any argument because the reality is that winning an argument is actually not the goal.

Neil Sattin: Now, I'm going to tell you a little bit more about this in a moment. It's going to factor in more to tip number two and tip number three, so let's just start with figuring out why this is important, where is this coming from? As I mentioned at the top of the show, it feels like we're living in a world that's becoming more and more divided, more and more polarized, and this is also playing out even in our most intimate relationships because we can feel paralyzed or like we can't act and we can't resolve simple things like who's going to initiate sex? Who is going to make sure there's dinner on the table? Who's going to wash the dishes? What are you going to do when you have a free night? Do you believe in wearing masks and social distancing, or do you not? There are all of these ways, right, that we are constantly discovering that our own opinions about how something should be or ought to be don't necessarily line up with the other people in our lives. And we can resolve to just yell at each other and not get anywhere. We can resolve to yell at each other until one or the other person gives up.

Neil Sattin: We can resolve to just never fight about anything. I don't think any of those solutions really get us anywhere, and I think this topic is really key and it's going to be even more key because they say a divided house cannot stand. I think that's what they say. I can't remember who said it and actually, I'm going to look it up right now. Okay, you gotta love the internet and also the ability to hit the pause button on my recording software. So, of course like many good things the house divided against itself cannot stand. It does come from the Bible, it comes from the New Testament. That's actually not what I was thinking of though. So maybe we'll talk more about that aspect of it a little bit later. I was actually thinking of the reference by Abraham Lincoln, known as His House Divided Speech, which he gave when he had accepted the Republican Party nomination to be Illinois US Senator. This was back in 1858 so it was before the Civil War. And the greater context is that he was saying that he didn't believe that the government could endure if we didn't resolve the question of slavery and of course, he wanted to abolish slavery, so this was the rallying cry for the Republicans at the time to take up the cause of abolition and emancipation.

Neil Sattin: So all super important aspects of the United States' history and I think that the same in many ways is true today, it feels like at least in my experience, and this could just be because of the way that we're connected to each other these days through social media where everything is on display. But it feels like there hasn't been a time in my experience that we've been more outwardly divided than we are now. And where people are saying some pretty scary shit, to be honest with you. Personally, I think that it's important for us to all learn how to get along with each other and take care of each other, and not just on the national level, but I believe that that's crucial on the global level, that we as humans really need to learn how to take care of each other and show up for each other and lift each other up. I believe that there is plenty in our world, as long as we're all on the same side of the table, figuring out how to make it work for all of us.

Neil Sattin: And what's challenging in arguments or conflict is how we so often end up on opposite sides of the table talking at each other, fighting to win and not fighting for a common purpose. So I'm giving you hints as to where we're headed, but I wanted to let you know that that's where this is coming from, I feel like I've experienced this in relationships and now in marriages, where the inability to resolve really deep disagreements led to the dissolution of what could have been a more perfect union. So let's all work together and I'm going to teach you today some very important ways to do that, that are going to make a radical shift for you in terms of how you approach any conflict with anyone.

Neil Sattin: Okay so here's the first thing, tip number one, the thing that you have to realize is that for the most part, people believe what they are telling you. And in many respects, they believe it passionately. Now, sure, some of us are a little bit more laidback, a little bit more easygoing, and it can happen that if you're an easy-going person and you're in a relationship with someone who's super convinced of their viewpoint, then you could find yourself yielding over and over and over again and just letting things go because to you, it's not as big a deal, but in the end, that is a surefire way to build resentment and that resentment over time will undermine the fabric of your relationship.

Neil Sattin: So let's not let go of our viewpoint because we are going to let go of who we are and what we feel is important in the world. And at the same time, let's recognize firmly that when someone else is telling you something, they probably believe that with every ounce of their heart, being, soul just like you do especially about the things that you feel passionate about, that you feel are important. So without that recognition, there's no possible way to resolve conflict because you'll be focused on the wrong thing. Now, what do you do if what the other person believes is based on something that you know for sure to be wrong, to be incorrect? Well this is a really good question. First question that I have for you under those circumstances is how do you know? Can you be absolutely sure that what you believe is 100% correct or 100% the truth or 100% the way it is? It could be that that's true. I mean it's possible and maybe what you believe is 95% true and 5% not true, so it gets challenging when the other person believes something that you think might be 10% true and 90% a crock of shit, right? So what do you do in those circumstances?

Neil Sattin: Well, first, you want to recognize that that person believes fully what they're telling you, or, and this is important, they might not believe what they're telling you 100% but they believe in the underlying reasons why they are telling you what they are telling you. So they might be 100% invested in their truth but generally, that investment isn't so much about that specific truth. It's about what lies underneath it. So can you literally hear first what the other person is saying? Can you acknowledge within yourself that what they're saying to them is probably pretty close to 100% true, 100% something they believe in? And can you ask yourself, why do they believe in this so much? Why is this so important to them? And then rather than just telling yourself this story over and over again, can you check in with them? Can you check in with them about your assumptions about why it is that they are so convinced of whatever it is they're telling you? Or why it is that their point of view is so important to them. Can you get to the core of what really matters to them?

Neil Sattin: Now you might ask them a question like "okay, okay, I see that this is... I'm pretty sure this is how you feel about this thing, right?" And make sure you're hearing them correctly, if you get it wrong, actually, you totally missed it, then you need more information to figure out what it is they're actually saying. But once you know what they're saying, then you say "can we go a little bit deeper? Could you tell me a little bit more about why this is important to you?" Or "I have a story about why I think you are saying what you're saying, can I check in with you about it and see if that's true?" Now that can be pretty risky, especially, if it's someone you don't know, If it's someone you don't know very well, then your safest bet is to not lead with your assumptions, it's to lead by asking them. "Can you tell me more about what's so important to you here? What are the underlying principles that you live and die by?" And then you might even get out "why are those principles important to you?" If it's your personal freedom that's important to you, for instance, if it's not wanting to be accountable to anyone else. I don't want to tell you where I was while I was out. You're not my mother, right?

Neil Sattin: If someone doesn't want to be accountable to you, then what's underneath that? "Okay, it sounds like you don't want to be accountable to me, and I'm not asking you because I want you to be accountable to me. I'm asking you because I'm curious, or I'm asking you because I'm scared. So I'm wondering if you can tell me a little bit more about why it's so hard for you to answer my questions? 'Cause I want to know more about you." So step one is all about understanding the other person. Now, this is something that I go deep, deep, deep into in my secrets of relationship communication course. The course is about three-and-a-half hours of instruction to help you communicate better, to help you understand and be understood, and it's a master class in the things that I'm talking about in today's episode. The course as of now is still in beta but because we are all in such close quarters with our loved ones, and because things are getting heated in our public spaces I reopened the beta for now. And if you're hearing this after the beta has ended, then that's good, that means the final version is out.

Neil Sattin: And if you sign up for the beta of the course, you'll also get the final version when it's ready. And if you want to know more about it, just visit NeilSattin.com/course. There. So step one is all about finding out what's going on with the other person and checking your assumptions to see if you can dig a little bit deeper and figure out what's important to them, what's important to them on the deepest level.

Interested in reading the transcript for steps Number Two and Number 3? 

Click here to download the full transcript of this episode!

1