Mia Moore #2: Becoming More Conscious In Relationships, The Cheerleader Concept, And Minimizing Conflict

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Mia Moore returns to the show after a long absence to discuss relationship insights with her fiancée! We get John Gray’s marching orders: males: don’t speak if you have a negative emotional charge; females: frame everything as requests instead of complaints. We reflect on Dr. Wendy Walsh’s insight that conflict is healthy for a relationship, wondering if we really need to go there, or is it possible to be more chill. Mia says it is, and we do a whole Breather show on how to be more chill in life and relationships. In working toward healthier communication patterns, we mention insights from John Gottman about achieving a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative comments, even during times of conflict (20:1 during routine daily life!). We relate Harville Hendrick’s suggestions for effective communication: emphasize safety, establish a zero communication policy, and deliver chronic affirmations.

Mia mentions how Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements can help you be the best you can be, and bring out the best in your partner. Proper loading of the dishwater becomes an interesting central theme and metaphor for healthy relationship dynamics, including Mia Moore’s pure genius move of putting a new soap packet into the box right after unloading clean dishes, and how being told something once and executing every time is a winning relationship dynamic.

We present an interesting philosophical question about relationship dynamics: Do you want a mature, authentic, dynamic adult relationship with conflict, frank discussion, negotiation-compromise-resolution, or do you just want a cheerleader to stand by and cheer you on? When we reflect upon how difficult daily life is—work, school, kids, hectic, high-stress daily routines—the answer might very well be “cheerleader.” Mia and I reflect on this big question and also make an effort to refine the definition of cheerleader: not a meek, submissive partner of old-time stereotypes. Rather, a partner who delivers support and encouragement, especially when you might be a little discouraged and need it most. With this explanation, Mia argues that you can have both a cheerleader and an authentic partner. She says there’s nothing wrong with mature, authentic communication, including negotiation-compromise-resolution, but perhaps we do without conflict and negativity.

Sounds reasonable, but Mia points out that some people get off on conflict for assorted reasons. It could be that conflict behavior delivers a payoff in the form of a hormonal burst and gets wired into an unconscious habit, or it could be replaying a familiar pattern from childhood. Witness how Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of Biology of Belief, states that we operating from subconscious programming 95-99 percent of the time. Mia Moore states that if you don’t stuff this about yourself, call the habitual patterns into your awareness, resolve to be more mindful about your communication, and Mia says, make a conscious choice for how to operate in a relationship.

Reflect upon Mia show #1 where she reveals that decades ago, she made a conscious choice to never again engage in yelling in a relationship. Done deal. And what happens if stuff like this drifts into the picture again? We need to reflect on what are, or what should be, your relationship deal breakers. This will be the topic of an entire future show.

When you are deserving of some honest feedback that’s not “rah rah” in nature, the feedback can be delivered with sensitivity and loving kindness. Recall noted author and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman’s data from the study of healthy, long-lasting romantic relationships: Even in times of conflict, healthy couples maintain a 5-to-1 ratio of positive comments to critical comments. During routine everyday life, the ratio looks more like 20-to-1! Gottman also says that arguments that come out of nowhere or seem to be about nothing merely represent a failed attempt to connect.

Some tips for how to be a cheerleader:

  • Don’t keep score, just go all in. This means maybe second-guessing a concept like “50/50 share on housework” and the like.
  • Mars&Venus: Recall the great work of therapist and bestselling author John Gray: Males must learn to just listen when females are venting, instead of trying to solve their problems. Females must learn to give males their “cave time,” and they will return to the relationship and intimacy with fresh enthusiasm.

Relationship communication tips from Harville Hendricks:

  • Safety: you know you can speak your truth.
  • Zero negativity policy: otherwise defenses go up. It's not what you say it's how you say it. you could bring up issues just say them gently. use a respectful tone of voice and eye contact instead of entitlement.
  • Chronic affirmations: helps support objective #1—safety. Permanent damage can be caused by relationship dynamics that generate fears and insecurities.

Unfortunately, people today instead have a relationship baseline of power struggle and conflict, distraction, not much cheerleading. Are people afraid to be cheerleaders? Why?  Perhaps giving up your “side,” your self-sufficiency, tees you up for rejection and pain. In today’s high tech world, people may be averse to hitching their wagon to someone when they can slide or click to a new relationship opportunity at any time. Furthermore, economic opportunity for both males and females in modern life have altered the long-standing relationship dynamics to the extent the people may be more picky and choosy and, over time, more set in their ways and less willing to compromise.

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