If you’ve ever wondered, “Is it me or is it them?” you can’t miss today’s video, in which I share five ways to tell if it’s a major concern or your anxiety talking.
Stop Doubting Yourself and Start Believing in Your Own Worth.
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Last week I did a live event called, Dating with Results. We had 13,000 people show up live to this event, that is a small arena. It was crazy and amazing, and so many people gave such beautiful feedback. And there was one particular point that I made that really struck a chord with people.
Here’s a simple way of looking at this. I need to value this person on their ability to make me happy. Which means not evaluating them based on how I feel about them, but evaluating their importance based on how they make me feel.
I was talking about how we can get too invested in a person that we’re attracted to, a person that we’ve had a few great dates with too quickly. Especially when that person isn’t investing in us on the same level. And what I said was we have to start ranking this person’s importance in our life differently to the way we are. Which means not ranking their importance based on how we feel about them, but instead on how they make us feel.
In other words, if we think that they’re hot and charismatic, and we just feel that they’re so fun to be around, and they’re so attractive, they’re so interesting. That’s all about how we feel about them. But that has nothing to do with how they make us feel. How they make us feel is how we feel by having that person in our life or our consciousness on a Tuesday at 2:00 PM. Does this person make me feel anxious? Does this person make me feel unsure of myself? Does this person make me feel like I don’t know what their intentions are? Does this person make me feel unloved? How do I feel by having this person in my life? Not how do I feel about them?
Now, a lot of people found this point to be incredibly helpful, almost this pressure valve of, “Oh my God, I’ve been way overvaluing this person.” But there was one member of mine, we have a membership called, The Love Life Club, and thousands of people every month I go through coaching with. And this one member of mine said, “Matt, I love that point. But I’m getting caught on it because I’m not sure if I don’t feel good because this person is doing something wrong or because I’m just anxious?” This is such a beautiful question.
I know I’ve felt this in my life. I’ve had moments where I’ve been with people and I’ve gone, “I don’t know if what they just did is wrong and I’m right to be angry? Or whether this is just my stuff that is coming up.” Now, a lot of women especially struggle with this because there has been someone in their life that invalidated their feelings at some point or maybe called them crazy or hysterical or just too much.
So a lot of women have got this gaslighting that’s happened in their past that means that they’ve lost trust in their own emotions today. “I don’t know whether what I’m feeling is valid anymore.” This creates this huge confusion for us in our present day lives. So today I want to give you five ways that you can end your confusion if you’re stuck wondering, “Did they do something actually wrong, or am I just being anxious?”
Number one. If it’s too early to have a deeper, more vulnerable conversation with them about how you feel or how you’re being made to feel, just shift focus. Lose yourself in a workout, spend quality time with your friends where you actually become very interested in them and their lives and how you can support them. Lose yourself in a project. Do something that genuinely makes you present in your life again.
When someone monopolizes our attention, we’ve made them too important. We’ve made them too much of a focus, and that anxiety begins to feed on itself. The more we think about them, the more important they become and the more important they become, the more anxious we become. And remember, if this situation isn’t at the point where you feel it’s appropriate to be vulnerable with them, then why do you feel that you’re close enough to them to make them this important in the first place? We’re obsessing over something before it’s even become a big thing in our lives.
Number two. Ask yourself, “How do I feel about the way they are when I’m on my best day?” So when you’re feeling confident, connected to your life, you feel that you’re connected to your worth and you feel like you are just in a flow in your life, you are killing it, how do you feel about what they’re doing at that point? Because if at that point all your insecurities go away, what you are feeling is more to do with your anxiety than it is to do with anything they’re doing.
If, on your best day you still don’t like something you see, then it probably conflicts with your values and the kind of relationship you are interested in having. And that’s something that’s worth talking about. But don’t assess their behavior when you are coming from the most insecure place. Assess their behavior when you feel great.
Number three. Remember Cousin Billy. Cousin Billy is my cousin, and he’s been in a relationship for a long time, since he was in his early twenties. And he’s always had a very secure relationship absent of the drama that happens in so many other people’s relationships, without the petty jealousies and arguments. Billy is the sort of person that goes through life not being bothered by stuff that doesn’t matter.
I, on the other hand, have been a handful in certain moments in my life. It’s important to me in those moments to have people around me who are reference points for what a normal, well-adjusted reaction to something would be. So I have often asked myself the question, “Would this bother cousin Billy?” And if it wouldn’t, or I could even ask him that question, which is why it’s great to do this with people that you actually know, not just some person on the TV. When I ask him, does he confirm, “Oh, that wouldn’t really upset me. I don’t feel like that’s a big deal.” And in the meantime, I’m inside going, “It’s huge. This is very important. I should be so angry.” If he says that. I go, “Ah, okay.”
There’s something going on with me. When we are not sure which way is up, we can use trusted people that we respect to help us find the coordinates for what an appropriate reaction might be. This doesn’t mean friends who will tell you what you want to hear. It means people who will give it to you straight and tell you when your reaction is reasonable and when it’s not.
Number four. When you do share your vulnerability with a person, observe your feelings with them. Don’t inflict your feelings on them. You may have a day where someone doesn’t reach out to you all day, and if you are anxiously attached, it really inflames that part of you. It makes you afraid, it makes you upset, makes you scared. Now, if you were to act on those feelings in the moment and inflict them on a person, it might look like you calling them up in a jealous rage with accusations, with anger, because we’re like, “What are you doing today? Who are you with?”
And we start inflicting that on them or we go very cold on them. That is inflicting your feelings on someone. Observing your feelings with someone is saying, “I sometimes can get a little anxious. It’s something that I’ve had to work on in my life, and when I didn’t hear from you yesterday, I noticed those feelings coming up for me and I actually got a little afraid.” That’s a way of sharing that with someone in a way that you can observe it together.
I also like the note that it’s something I’ve had to work on in my life because that shows you’re the kind of person that actually wants to do the work on those things, not just inflict them on someone that shows ownership. But when you are able to talk about those things in an observational way, then you really learn what it is you have with someone. Because the truth is, no one is perfect. We all bring our stuff to the table when we have a relationship, if we’re actually being vulnerable.
And the key question is not whose right or wrong, but what happens in our particular relationship when we bring something to the table? There is a really clarifying question that you can ask if you are confused about whether your anxiety is the problem or their behavior is the problem. Are they good at handling me? Now, I love this question because it gets us out of what I think can be a bit of a misnomer, which is, “Whose right, whose wrong?”
A lot of the time it’s a little of both. And the truth is, we’re all going to have our turn at being right and we’re all going to have our turn at being wrong. But how well does this person handle me and my stuff? I’m not suggesting, by the way, that our stuff is someone else’s responsibility, and I’m not excusing our worst behaviors. What I’m saying is if we share, openly, our vulnerabilities, our insecurities, our anxieties, does that person help us in healing those things? Does the way they react, or the way that they behave with that knowledge in mind now, soothe us? Or does it inflame? Does it aggravate those parts of us?
I believe the right relationship is one that helps us heal our wounds. If we’re anxiously attached, the right relationship actually brings us closer to a secure attachment style. The wrong relationship pushes us more to the extreme of that anxious attachment. So ask yourself that question because at some point in life, as we work on ourselves, we’re also going to have to find someone who is good at handling who we are. And that, to me, is as good of a definition of, The One, as any I’ve heard. Is this person good at handling me?
Because if I find someone I’m super attracted to, but they’re really bad at handling all of the parts of me that make me me, then we have a compatibility issue that’s not going to go away. Are they good at handling me? And what could be more romantic, by the way, than someone who, when we show our vulnerability, when we show our weakness, when we show our flaws, is good at handling those things in us?
Now, if you don’t understand dog, what Boogie just said is, “If you really want to do the work on yourself to not feel anxious in relationships anymore, and to not constantly doubt yourself, come to Matthew’s Virtual Retreat in June from the 2nd to the 4th, because that’s where we do the deep work to get you psychologically and emotionally fit so that you come to every relationship you have from a place of internal power and worth. Which is like suddenly being able to see in the light what is really going on.”
No Boogie. It doesn’t start until June 2nd. She’s excited and there’s good reason. We have a self-care special ticket available that’s $100 off right now until March the 12th, and it comes with some really great bonuses. So go grab your ticket now. Put it in your diary for June, and we’ll see you on the Virtual Retreat. And of course, in the next video.