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Pod Wisdom: Jayson Gaddis on the 3 Biggest Misconceptions Around Building Healthy Relationships

Misconception #1: You’re good at relationships if people like you.

We asked Jayson if he’d always been “good at relationships.” He replied that he hadn’t but more importantly, that when he was younger his whole conception of what it meant to be “good at relationships” was misguided.

He thought that it was all about making sure people liked him when in reality it means doing a lot of inner work, learning how to communicate authentically, and learning how to honestly and openly listen.

It took me till probably high school and actually, more importantly, college when I got good socially. But that doesn't mean anything. It just means that I got good at playing the game of getting people to like me.
So that's not necessarily someone who's good at relationships, right? But before that and then after that, I just was really sensitive and emotional on the inside, but wore a mask and a facade that said I'll do whatever I can to fit in and be liked and make friends because I had so many negative bullying experiences, getting excluded, girls not liking me.
I think that approach [simply getting other people to like me] is usually fueled by insecurity, self-doubt, scarcity, not feeling like enough and not having the experience of enough experiences where you feel rejected, abandoned, ignored, whatever, that you feel like you have to be someone else to get relationship or to belong.
This is a really common pattern that I think most everybody falls into, especially growing up in a family and in a peer culture where if our true self comes out we get squashed and we get made fun of or hurt or people look the other way. And so that only has to happen really once or twice for us to kind of go, ok, cool, I'm not going to do that again.
And I'm going to instead do whatever socially favorable behaviors that will get me belonging. I call this the difference between our true self and our strategic self. And this actually creates an inner conflict that most of us deal with our whole life.

Misconception #2: You’re bad at relationships if you get into conflict

Jayson’s new book is all about managing and growing through conflict. We asked Jayson if it’s possible to have a deep, fulfilling marriage and family life that has no conflict.

Unfortunately, he said, conflict is inevitable. It’s part of being human. Deep and fulfilling relationships are the ones where each member has the tools to repair after the inevitable conflict.

I think conflict is inevitable. My parents would say that they don't have conflict. And I grew up thinking, oh, my parents don't fight. But all they were doing was putting it on the shelf and compartmentalizing it.
And then, you know, having a glass of wine and going to bed and hoping it was better the next day. So a lot of people operate like that. And that's ok. That's certainly one way to do it. But you're not going to have a very deep relationship and you're not going to have a very fulfilling relationship.
The book Getting to Zero is about getting back to a good place after we've had a difference, a snag, a silence, after we've had some kind of conflict. That's the work. Couples who do that well and families who do that well create security in the system and security in the dyad. And you're actually becoming not only stronger together, you're becoming more resilient and it's actually safer because you're saying, yeah, that stuff, that's kind of negative and uncomfortable, that's welcome here, too. We're not going to put that away.
That's actually part of being a family. That's part of being a married couple, is this uncomfortable stuff between us that doesn't always feel good. That's really normal. I'm here to normalize for people that when you feel upset with your partner or your kids and you raise your voice, that's normal. The real work is: what are you going to do after to make sure that person feels safe again with you?

Misconception #3: You're a good listener if you listen until you feel you understand the other person fully

We asked Jayson about one of his best-known relationship coaching tools: LUFU - Listen Until the other person Feels Understood. Justin noted how easy it was for him to misunderstand LUFU. At first he thought that it was simply listening until the listener feels like they understand the other person.

Nope! It’s listening until the other person tells the listener they feel understood. A big and game-changing difference.
The short story of how LUFU got created for me was because I kept listening to my wife in a really stubborn way and she'd say, “I don't feel understood.” I'd say, “Well, I do understand you. I don't know what you're talking about. You just said . . .” And I’d repeat back what she said, and she's like, “No, I don't feel understood.” And so that went on for years and I was like: this is getting nowhere.
So I said, ok, I'm going to put the lever of understanding actually with her, and I'm going to say, “I don't understand you until you let me know that you feel understood by me.” And that changed everything for me and us because I became a better listener that day. And I was like, oh wow, I’m now going to have to apply myself even more because a lot of the time she shuts me down and is like, “No dude, you don't get it.” And I'm like, “Ok, cool, let me try again,” or “I need some space and I'll come back and try again later because I'm too upset.”

Pod Wisdom: Jayson Gaddis on the 3 Biggest Misconceptions Around Building Healthy Relationships

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Pod Wisdom: Jayson Gaddis on the 3 Biggest Misconceptions Around Building Healthy Relationships

On episode 28, Jayson Gaddis, relationship coach, former therapist, and founder of The Relationship School, talked to us about how to build and maintain healthy relationships under the toughest circumstances.

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Key takeaways

1

Misconception #1: You’re good at relationships if people like you

2

Misconception #2: You’re bad at relationships if you get into conflict

3

Misconception #3: You're a good listener if you listen until you feel you understand the other person fully

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Misconception #1: You’re good at relationships if people like you.

We asked Jayson if he’d always been “good at relationships.” He replied that he hadn’t but more importantly, that when he was younger his whole conception of what it meant to be “good at relationships” was misguided.

He thought that it was all about making sure people liked him when in reality it means doing a lot of inner work, learning how to communicate authentically, and learning how to honestly and openly listen.

It took me till probably high school and actually, more importantly, college when I got good socially. But that doesn't mean anything. It just means that I got good at playing the game of getting people to like me.
So that's not necessarily someone who's good at relationships, right? But before that and then after that, I just was really sensitive and emotional on the inside, but wore a mask and a facade that said I'll do whatever I can to fit in and be liked and make friends because I had so many negative bullying experiences, getting excluded, girls not liking me.
I think that approach [simply getting other people to like me] is usually fueled by insecurity, self-doubt, scarcity, not feeling like enough and not having the experience of enough experiences where you feel rejected, abandoned, ignored, whatever, that you feel like you have to be someone else to get relationship or to belong.
This is a really common pattern that I think most everybody falls into, especially growing up in a family and in a peer culture where if our true self comes out we get squashed and we get made fun of or hurt or people look the other way. And so that only has to happen really once or twice for us to kind of go, ok, cool, I'm not going to do that again.
And I'm going to instead do whatever socially favorable behaviors that will get me belonging. I call this the difference between our true self and our strategic self. And this actually creates an inner conflict that most of us deal with our whole life.

Misconception #2: You’re bad at relationships if you get into conflict

Jayson’s new book is all about managing and growing through conflict. We asked Jayson if it’s possible to have a deep, fulfilling marriage and family life that has no conflict.

Unfortunately, he said, conflict is inevitable. It’s part of being human. Deep and fulfilling relationships are the ones where each member has the tools to repair after the inevitable conflict.

I think conflict is inevitable. My parents would say that they don't have conflict. And I grew up thinking, oh, my parents don't fight. But all they were doing was putting it on the shelf and compartmentalizing it.
And then, you know, having a glass of wine and going to bed and hoping it was better the next day. So a lot of people operate like that. And that's ok. That's certainly one way to do it. But you're not going to have a very deep relationship and you're not going to have a very fulfilling relationship.
The book Getting to Zero is about getting back to a good place after we've had a difference, a snag, a silence, after we've had some kind of conflict. That's the work. Couples who do that well and families who do that well create security in the system and security in the dyad. And you're actually becoming not only stronger together, you're becoming more resilient and it's actually safer because you're saying, yeah, that stuff, that's kind of negative and uncomfortable, that's welcome here, too. We're not going to put that away.
That's actually part of being a family. That's part of being a married couple, is this uncomfortable stuff between us that doesn't always feel good. That's really normal. I'm here to normalize for people that when you feel upset with your partner or your kids and you raise your voice, that's normal. The real work is: what are you going to do after to make sure that person feels safe again with you?

Misconception #3: You're a good listener if you listen until you feel you understand the other person fully

We asked Jayson about one of his best-known relationship coaching tools: LUFU - Listen Until the other person Feels Understood. Justin noted how easy it was for him to misunderstand LUFU. At first he thought that it was simply listening until the listener feels like they understand the other person.

Nope! It’s listening until the other person tells the listener they feel understood. A big and game-changing difference.
The short story of how LUFU got created for me was because I kept listening to my wife in a really stubborn way and she'd say, “I don't feel understood.” I'd say, “Well, I do understand you. I don't know what you're talking about. You just said . . .” And I’d repeat back what she said, and she's like, “No, I don't feel understood.” And so that went on for years and I was like: this is getting nowhere.
So I said, ok, I'm going to put the lever of understanding actually with her, and I'm going to say, “I don't understand you until you let me know that you feel understood by me.” And that changed everything for me and us because I became a better listener that day. And I was like, oh wow, I’m now going to have to apply myself even more because a lot of the time she shuts me down and is like, “No dude, you don't get it.” And I'm like, “Ok, cool, let me try again,” or “I need some space and I'll come back and try again later because I'm too upset.”

Misconception #1: You’re good at relationships if people like you.

We asked Jayson if he’d always been “good at relationships.” He replied that he hadn’t but more importantly, that when he was younger his whole conception of what it meant to be “good at relationships” was misguided.

He thought that it was all about making sure people liked him when in reality it means doing a lot of inner work, learning how to communicate authentically, and learning how to honestly and openly listen.

It took me till probably high school and actually, more importantly, college when I got good socially. But that doesn't mean anything. It just means that I got good at playing the game of getting people to like me.
So that's not necessarily someone who's good at relationships, right? But before that and then after that, I just was really sensitive and emotional on the inside, but wore a mask and a facade that said I'll do whatever I can to fit in and be liked and make friends because I had so many negative bullying experiences, getting excluded, girls not liking me.
I think that approach [simply getting other people to like me] is usually fueled by insecurity, self-doubt, scarcity, not feeling like enough and not having the experience of enough experiences where you feel rejected, abandoned, ignored, whatever, that you feel like you have to be someone else to get relationship or to belong.
This is a really common pattern that I think most everybody falls into, especially growing up in a family and in a peer culture where if our true self comes out we get squashed and we get made fun of or hurt or people look the other way. And so that only has to happen really once or twice for us to kind of go, ok, cool, I'm not going to do that again.
And I'm going to instead do whatever socially favorable behaviors that will get me belonging. I call this the difference between our true self and our strategic self. And this actually creates an inner conflict that most of us deal with our whole life.

Misconception #2: You’re bad at relationships if you get into conflict

Jayson’s new book is all about managing and growing through conflict. We asked Jayson if it’s possible to have a deep, fulfilling marriage and family life that has no conflict.

Unfortunately, he said, conflict is inevitable. It’s part of being human. Deep and fulfilling relationships are the ones where each member has the tools to repair after the inevitable conflict.

I think conflict is inevitable. My parents would say that they don't have conflict. And I grew up thinking, oh, my parents don't fight. But all they were doing was putting it on the shelf and compartmentalizing it.
And then, you know, having a glass of wine and going to bed and hoping it was better the next day. So a lot of people operate like that. And that's ok. That's certainly one way to do it. But you're not going to have a very deep relationship and you're not going to have a very fulfilling relationship.
The book Getting to Zero is about getting back to a good place after we've had a difference, a snag, a silence, after we've had some kind of conflict. That's the work. Couples who do that well and families who do that well create security in the system and security in the dyad. And you're actually becoming not only stronger together, you're becoming more resilient and it's actually safer because you're saying, yeah, that stuff, that's kind of negative and uncomfortable, that's welcome here, too. We're not going to put that away.
That's actually part of being a family. That's part of being a married couple, is this uncomfortable stuff between us that doesn't always feel good. That's really normal. I'm here to normalize for people that when you feel upset with your partner or your kids and you raise your voice, that's normal. The real work is: what are you going to do after to make sure that person feels safe again with you?

Misconception #3: You're a good listener if you listen until you feel you understand the other person fully

We asked Jayson about one of his best-known relationship coaching tools: LUFU - Listen Until the other person Feels Understood. Justin noted how easy it was for him to misunderstand LUFU. At first he thought that it was simply listening until the listener feels like they understand the other person.

Nope! It’s listening until the other person tells the listener they feel understood. A big and game-changing difference.
The short story of how LUFU got created for me was because I kept listening to my wife in a really stubborn way and she'd say, “I don't feel understood.” I'd say, “Well, I do understand you. I don't know what you're talking about. You just said . . .” And I’d repeat back what she said, and she's like, “No, I don't feel understood.” And so that went on for years and I was like: this is getting nowhere.
So I said, ok, I'm going to put the lever of understanding actually with her, and I'm going to say, “I don't understand you until you let me know that you feel understood by me.” And that changed everything for me and us because I became a better listener that day. And I was like, oh wow, I’m now going to have to apply myself even more because a lot of the time she shuts me down and is like, “No dude, you don't get it.” And I'm like, “Ok, cool, let me try again,” or “I need some space and I'll come back and try again later because I'm too upset.”

Misconception #1: You’re good at relationships if people like you.

We asked Jayson if he’d always been “good at relationships.” He replied that he hadn’t but more importantly, that when he was younger his whole conception of what it meant to be “good at relationships” was misguided.

He thought that it was all about making sure people liked him when in reality it means doing a lot of inner work, learning how to communicate authentically, and learning how to honestly and openly listen.

It took me till probably high school and actually, more importantly, college when I got good socially. But that doesn't mean anything. It just means that I got good at playing the game of getting people to like me.
So that's not necessarily someone who's good at relationships, right? But before that and then after that, I just was really sensitive and emotional on the inside, but wore a mask and a facade that said I'll do whatever I can to fit in and be liked and make friends because I had so many negative bullying experiences, getting excluded, girls not liking me.
I think that approach [simply getting other people to like me] is usually fueled by insecurity, self-doubt, scarcity, not feeling like enough and not having the experience of enough experiences where you feel rejected, abandoned, ignored, whatever, that you feel like you have to be someone else to get relationship or to belong.
This is a really common pattern that I think most everybody falls into, especially growing up in a family and in a peer culture where if our true self comes out we get squashed and we get made fun of or hurt or people look the other way. And so that only has to happen really once or twice for us to kind of go, ok, cool, I'm not going to do that again.
And I'm going to instead do whatever socially favorable behaviors that will get me belonging. I call this the difference between our true self and our strategic self. And this actually creates an inner conflict that most of us deal with our whole life.

Misconception #2: You’re bad at relationships if you get into conflict

Jayson’s new book is all about managing and growing through conflict. We asked Jayson if it’s possible to have a deep, fulfilling marriage and family life that has no conflict.

Unfortunately, he said, conflict is inevitable. It’s part of being human. Deep and fulfilling relationships are the ones where each member has the tools to repair after the inevitable conflict.

I think conflict is inevitable. My parents would say that they don't have conflict. And I grew up thinking, oh, my parents don't fight. But all they were doing was putting it on the shelf and compartmentalizing it.
And then, you know, having a glass of wine and going to bed and hoping it was better the next day. So a lot of people operate like that. And that's ok. That's certainly one way to do it. But you're not going to have a very deep relationship and you're not going to have a very fulfilling relationship.
The book Getting to Zero is about getting back to a good place after we've had a difference, a snag, a silence, after we've had some kind of conflict. That's the work. Couples who do that well and families who do that well create security in the system and security in the dyad. And you're actually becoming not only stronger together, you're becoming more resilient and it's actually safer because you're saying, yeah, that stuff, that's kind of negative and uncomfortable, that's welcome here, too. We're not going to put that away.
That's actually part of being a family. That's part of being a married couple, is this uncomfortable stuff between us that doesn't always feel good. That's really normal. I'm here to normalize for people that when you feel upset with your partner or your kids and you raise your voice, that's normal. The real work is: what are you going to do after to make sure that person feels safe again with you?

Misconception #3: You're a good listener if you listen until you feel you understand the other person fully

We asked Jayson about one of his best-known relationship coaching tools: LUFU - Listen Until the other person Feels Understood. Justin noted how easy it was for him to misunderstand LUFU. At first he thought that it was simply listening until the listener feels like they understand the other person.

Nope! It’s listening until the other person tells the listener they feel understood. A big and game-changing difference.
The short story of how LUFU got created for me was because I kept listening to my wife in a really stubborn way and she'd say, “I don't feel understood.” I'd say, “Well, I do understand you. I don't know what you're talking about. You just said . . .” And I’d repeat back what she said, and she's like, “No, I don't feel understood.” And so that went on for years and I was like: this is getting nowhere.
So I said, ok, I'm going to put the lever of understanding actually with her, and I'm going to say, “I don't understand you until you let me know that you feel understood by me.” And that changed everything for me and us because I became a better listener that day. And I was like, oh wow, I’m now going to have to apply myself even more because a lot of the time she shuts me down and is like, “No dude, you don't get it.” And I'm like, “Ok, cool, let me try again,” or “I need some space and I'll come back and try again later because I'm too upset.”

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