#47 Low Self-Esteem or Something More?

I’m going to eat this banana and then hopefully as my blood sugar comes up and I go into hour two of trying to shoot like a six minute video…

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum. So today I have a reader question and all purpose reminder if you have a question for me you can send it to AskAtholAnything@gmail.com. That will be in the description below. So let’s jump to it.

“How do you tell the difference between low self esteem and something much deeper?”

Well the first answer to that, and I guess this is going to be kind of trite, is low self esteem is always something deeper. People don’t just develop low self esteem out of thin air. There’s always some sort of explanation back in their personal timeline about why they have low self esteem. Essentially a bunch of negative stuff happened to them, they’ve internalized a lack of low value, low worth, about themselves and they’ve decided they aren’t worth much and thus they have low self esteem.

In some ways it’s oddly helpful to have low self esteem because it’s a pretty good predictor of how life will be in the future. It’s gonna suck. Kind of like if you’d gone to a restaurant three times and it was bad all three times. If you’re planning to go for a fourth time you have a pretty good prediction that it’s going to be bad again. The trouble with low self esteem though is that it’s also a self fulfilling prophecy. You’re telling the universe, telling the world, telling people by your language, your body language, the vibes that you’re sending out, you have low worth. You have low value. Because that’s the message you send, people pick up on the message and they decide that you have low value so they treat you poorly.

That being said, low self esteem is not necessarily some kind of crippling disability. There are plenty of people who have low self esteem who have normal, productive lives. They probably aren’t as happy as they could be. They’re probably not as successful as they could be. They’re not enjoying their relationships as much as they could but they basically get through their day fine. In the Facebook Instagram world in which we live, probably 80% of the population have low self esteem because no life could be ever as good as it is on Facebook or Instagram… or my fabulous life on YouTube, right?

You know it’s more than just low self esteem though, when you start seeing major dysfunction. Where they can’t hold a job, they can’t deal with conflict. Their personal relationships start falling apart all them time. They can’t parent their kids. They can’t balance their checkbook. They can’t do a whole bunch of normal, every day adult stuff, because of whatever is wrong with them above and beyond just low self esteem. Almost always in their past they have some sort of major traumatic event, or series of events, or years of upbringing, making them the way they are and they can’t tolerate doing some things that normal adults can do. That’s when you see it’s more than just low self esteem.

Above and beyond that, when I get really worried, is when I can see some really negative effects now, and yet there is no explanation for what has happened in the past. Their problems are veiling behind misdirection. They just don’t like talking about their family. They don’t really want to talk about their upbringing. I think there was something that happened with an uncle but I don’t really know about it. That’s when you know stuff is pretty deep and pretty real. When you can see major negative effects in their life now and yet the explanation for all that is hidden, obscured, or you’re only getting part of the story.

I’ve come across this dozens and dozens of times in coaching now. I’ve been talking to some husband, he’s explaining what his wife does, how she’s hypersensitive, how she doesn’t like rejected, goes crazy if you criticize and has black and white thinking. All kinds of things where she’s really reactive and yet there’s nothing in the history that suggests that she should be this way…

… so is she just some sort of random, nasty, vicious person?

Or is there something really dark that happened back there?

Unfortunately I’ve now probably uncovered some sort of sexual abuse dozens of times now in coaching. I’ve said to a husband, you know you really have to go back and dig. You have to ask questions. And when they do and they really hold the wife’s feet to the fire to get answers, some of this stuff comes out, and that’s been the real problem all the time.

So summarizing, basic low self esteem is not a major dysfunction. More than just low self esteem it’s when people have trouble doing their daily stuff for some reason, and you can often see major causes in their history. And it’s really worrying though, when you see major dysfunctions and no explanation for why they are like they are. That means there’s something back there…yay car…that is driving the bus on why they are as they are.

So that’s about it. I’m finishing my banana. I hope you liked the video. Please like, share, comment and subscribe, all that good internet stuff. And I will talk to you tomorrow.

#46 Altered Reality Bubble Vacation Sex

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum. Today I’m going to talk about the common complaint of vacation sex.

I hear it over and over again. We went on vacation. We paid all this money. We went on this trip and the sex was really good. She was really enthusiastic. She was really into it. We tried some different things. She did a bunch of stuff that I wanted her to do for the longest time and then we got back home AND THEN ALL OF IT WENT AWAY. It’s just all gone. We’re right back to how it was, like we never went on vacation.

So let’s talk about why it’s so good on vacation, and explain why it drops away afterward.

What being on vacation does for many, many women is it creates an altered reality bubble where suddenly you are passing all the links that you need to pass in the whole Relationship Momentum model.

You’re not going to get physically more buff, you’re not going to get more fit, but you’re probably passing that link anyway. But when you’re on vacation you kinda sorta pass that Attraction link almost by default because it’s this big display of energy and effort and money. It’s a conspicuous display of consumption. It’s peacocking. And often you are dressing better, and you’re happier, and you’re showing that you can supply all this. Often when you’re taking her somewhere you’re displaying leadership. So there’s all sorts of things that are going to tick off that box on Attraction if you weren’t quite doing it.

In terms of creating Relationship Comfort, well this is again proving that you can take her somewhere, lead her somewhere, the family can go. It’s an awful lot of Quality Time and Shared Tasks and togetherness and there’s not nearly so many distractions. It’s you and her… or you, her and the kids or whatever and it feels good to her. You can end up passing the Relationship Comfort link almost by default and then you’re on to the Energy link.

Well she doesn’t really have any tasks on her other than enjoying herself. She doesn’t have a bunch of responsibilities. She kind of gets to go off duty. So there’s no demands. Everything is fun and it’s engaging and it’s relaxing and she ends up feeling energized and you pass the Energy link.

Then because there’s so much time together and there’s so much little points of contact and initiations, let’s go to breakfast, let’s do the thing, where are we going to eat, what are we going to do, that you end up passing almost all of the Initiation links in terms of the non-sexual stuff almost by default. So all that’s left to do is to initiate sex and have the sex.

It’s easy because being on vacation puts you into this altered reality bubble and you pass all the links in the chain. So as a result you get awesome sexy wife who likes doing it and you have a lot of fun.

Then you go back home and then everything reverts back to baseline of reality as the fantasy bubble pops. The party’s over. We’ve got to go back home where we have jobs and chores and bills and things to do and demands on our time. She goes back home and there’s laundry and who goes what and where and the kids need homework and she’s back to reality.

So I think you have to see that vacation sex being good is a normal, expected thing. Then when you come back home it’s expected that it will revert close to back to baseline.

That being said, I think you really can get some gains in your overall Relationship Momentum by going on vacation, having a great time and having some really great sex. It proves that the relationship really can work when things are going well, and I think that gives you confidence there’s nothing medically or psychologically wrong with her. She can actually respond. It’s all good.

Also when you’re on vacation you probably change too. You’re probably a little more fun, relaxed, high energy and fun to be with. Some of going back home may be that you’re changing back as well. Especially if your face suddenly falls and you’re all grumpy and moody and irritable that the sex kind of just dropped back down to the baseline.

The one thing that I am concerned about though, is when you go on vacation, spend a lot of time and money, do a lot of planning, everything is awesome… and she’s miserable. There’s no sex or next to no sex and it’s pretty stale and unenthusiastic and she’s just not into it or you. That’s a really bad sign because how do you make life better than being on vacation, staying in some nice hotels, eating at nice restaurants and doing fun stuff? How do you make it better than that? If she’s still miserable then, it means your relationship’s in a fairly bad place and you’ve got to have some real concerns about where you’re at.

But overall what I want you to take away from this is that vacation sex being good is expected, and reverting back to baseline is also expected. But you can maybe get some basic lower level boost to your relationship by doing it. It’s not the be all and end all, but it’s certainly worth a shot, and it’s certainly something to do.

So that’s about it. I hope you liked the video. Please like, share, comment and subscribe, all that good internet stuff. And I will talk to you tomorrow.

#45 Everything Was Working Great, Now She’s Cold

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum.

Today I want to talk about a dynamic I’ve seen many, many times where the husband has read the books, watched the videos, or is looking at stuff online and has realized that he’s given away all of his personal attractiveness and has been going completely overboard in terms of trying to create Relationship Comfort.

He starts putting into practice the things that are going to make him more attractive, and at the same time he tends to reduce doing the things that are intended to create Relationship Comfort. He stops orbiting her. He stops acting like the butler. He stops saying yes to every little thing that she suggests or demands he do, and he takes a little more time for himself. He hits the gym. He dresses better and basically holds himself in greater confidence and starts pushing back on some of her less attractive, more testing behavior.

This all tends to work extremely well. Usually what happens, the wife or girlfriend becomes at first a little annoyed and then she starts acting a little better and then she’s more attracted, she’s happier and things seem to be going great.

Then all of a sudden it’s like the relationship  falls off a cliff.

She shuts down. She reverts back to everything that she was doing, and now he’s faced with this much, much colder, more reserved, withdrawn wife or girlfriend. He does not know why, because it was all working. He was doing all the right stuff and now it’s suddenly blowing up on him.

At this point the temptation is to double down doing the things that were making him more attractive. So hit the gym even more, dress even better, flirt with other women and absolutely push back on any question of her bad behavior. Assert himself more.

That often makes it even worse.

The trouble is he’s swung the pendulum from being far to focused on creating Comfort, and nothing on Attraction, and now he’s all in on being Attractive and nothing on Relationship Comfort.

Most women are going to push back on that and complain, you know, you’re not paying attention to me any more. You’re being a whole lot less nice. You’re kind of being a jerk and I’m not really happy with it. If he reads that as she’s just testing him and he pushes back on that, it’s going to go really badly because she’s actually requesting that he act appropriately, normally, pleasantly, affectionately, all things that she needs from the relationship. These are reasonable requests. Her request that you not be a jerk is a reasonable request and it should be honored.

If she has generally high self esteem, feels confident in herself, and pushes back on that, and he dpes some sort of course correction and evens it out, things can go reasonably well.

But particularly with the women who have some kind of low self esteem, some kind of anxiety disorder, are generally stressed out, often what happens is they fear the end of the relationship is coming. Look at him, he hit the gym, he lost the weight, he’s dressing better and there either must be someone else that he’s doing this for. it can’t all be for me because I have low self esteem. He’s planning for it to be for someone else, he’s planning an exit and I can’t really do anything to stop it. So they shut down. They withdraw. Everything closes up shop because they just think the end of the relationship is coming and there is nothing they can do about it.

If they are open, warm, affectionate and give up sex and connect to him, when he finally decides to leave that’s going to hurt so much more than if they just decided to drop out of the relationship while it’s still kind of intact.

So if again, if she has any kind of anxiety disorder, low self esteem, or just feels crappy about herself, doesn’t feel that she could ever keep up in terms of Attractiveness, sometimes they will just shut down, withdraw, give up and go completely non-responsive. The guy can look amazing, can be in tremendous shape, awesome dress, flirty, fun, engaging, the life of the party, everyone thinks he’s hot. Meanwhile the wife is thinking he’s just going to leave. There’s nothing I can do. I’m not going to be mad I’m just going to be really sad about it and not feel at all responsive.

You really have to be careful on going overboard on forcing Attraction and ignoring Relationship Comfort. I mean absolutely, if you have been living a whole plan, a whole strategy where you just bent over backwards to create Relationship Comfort and you’re fat, unattractive, all that sort of stuff, then absolutely you do have to swing the pendulum back towards creating Attraction and getting in shape., But you can’t swing it all the way in the other direction and create a new problem and not expect for it to somehow blow up in your face.

Very often, especially with women with some kind of anxiety issues or fragile history or whatever it is, often one of the things that really made them feel truly comfortable about being in a relationship with you in the first place, was that they could actually feel safe and secure in the relationship with you. If you take that away you’re taking away one of the most important things that they were getting from the relationship.

So be conscious of which way are you swinging the pendulum. The ideal is to create some form of balance, that you’re going to hit all these links that you need to hit in the Relationship Momentum model. That you’re going to work on your Fitness, that you’re going to create Attraction, that you’re going to create Comfort, that you’re sensitive to Energy levels, you’re going to be engaging and fun and flirty in terms of Initiations, and with Consummation the sex is good. It’s all about balance. Bringing your best self to the relationship and having them respond to that.

You just have to be sensitive that some people who are a little bit fragile, low self esteem, low confidence, anxiety issues, whatever, they are going to be particularly sensitive to the Relationship Comfort question, that particular link.

So that’s about it. Going to leave it there. Hope you liked the video. Please like, share, comment and subscribe and I will talk to you tomorrow.

#44 Alpha Males and Enneagram Personality Types

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum.

I’m going to talk about the Enneagram personality system in reference to the whole Alpha Male genre that’s out there circulating the internet.

All you need to know for the purpose of this video about the Enneagram is they break everyone’s personalities down to nine different types and they assign a number to each of the different types. I’m not going to go into each of the nine types, what the numbers stand for, just for now accept that the number one through nine is tied to a particular personality type. I think this is going to be really helpful to understand like I say the genre of the whole Alpha Male thing that is circulating.

Everything that is out there talking about Alpha Males on the internet, in books, on reddit, on forums, on blogs, they’re essentially saying be like an Enneagram Type Three. Be the achiever, be the success type. Or they’re saying be like the Enneagram Seven, be the life of the party, enthusiastic, over the top, engaging and sort of risk taking. Or they’re saying be like the Enneagram Type Eight. Be the challenger, be dominant, be powerful, be aggressive, don’t take crap from anyone just plow your way through things.

The truth is for those three types, the Three, the Seven and the Eight, they have a relatively direct path to being attractive, dominant, pleasing and pulling the attention of women. But for many of the other types, this comes sort of late in the game. I mean if you’re a male Two, which is all about helping and loving and caring and sharing, if you’re a Two, it’s a hard road. If you’re a Four and you’re that introverted, over-feeling, artistic type; or you’re a Five, the introverted, over-thinking, researching, nerdy type; or the Nine, the peacemaker, let’s all get along, let’s all be super agreeable, nothing is a big problem. For these personality types doing the thing that is immediately attractive like the Three, the Seven and the Eight, it comes a little harder.

When you’re faced with this advice of you have to be exactly like these other three personalities, or hopefully some sort of magical combination of all three that defies all reason and logical possibility, it’s hard. You can try to be like that. You can bang your head against the wall and you can try, and you can succeed mostly, kinda, sorta. For a little bit. For a while. You can pull it together for a while but then it’s exhausting because it’s not who you really are. It’s not who you can really be for any sustained long period of time, being a completely different person from who you are.

The good news is the Threes, the Sevens and the Eights, have a lot of trouble with creating Relationship Comfort. A lot of trouble. And Twos can create Relationship Comfort just endlessly, and Sixes can, and Nines can. Fives can even do it. Fours if they’re in a really good place. Many of the other types are stronger at different areas in the whole model of the Relationship Momentum. We all have different skills and abilities.

You can do the things that some of the other types do with a little extra effort, with a lot of concentration. It’s certainly great to cover your weaknesses but they will never turn into your strengths. They will never turn into the main event. They will never turn into the highlight reel, the thing that everybody talks about. If you’re a nerdy guy working as some sort of tech head, you’re never going to become the MMA star that is just awesome and steps into the ring and is mind-blowingly awesome. You’re never going to be a different person than you are. The way forward is to maximize who you are and be the very best version of yourself.

Women have exactly the same problem with this stuff too. All the advice to women about how they’re meant to be, is they should be some sort of perfect magical amalgam of an Enneagram Two with a Six and a Nine. Those three together would be awesome except sometimes you can dress up real nice and you can be like a Seven or a Three, preferably in the bedroom. But we don’t really want to encourage you to be a One, or an Eight. Oh my god ladies not an Eight.

We are all faced with this problem of we can’t be somebody else to be our most attractive self. We can only be our most attractive self, our most appealing self, our most valuable self, when we are maximizing who we are, and a lot of that’s based on our personality type. So you have to take all the advice out there about being attractive, having some cookie cutter version of what it is, you have to take it all with a little bit of a grain of salt. Because more often than not, the person that is writing it, or teaching it, or shooting the videos or whatever it is, they’re really teaching you about what they need to do to maximize their own attractiveness.

To be honest, I do the same thing. I’m an Enneagram Five, I over-think. I’m the researcher type, and the way forward for an Enneagram Five is to stop over-thinking it and just go do it. Just get out of your head, get into action. If you take all the books I’ve written, all the videos I’ve shot, and it’s all going to boil down to that at least on some level. Stop over-thinking it, just do it. Plow ahead. Make the mistakes. If you fail, so what? You pick yourself up and keep going. Haters gonna hate, whatever.

The people who are teaching other people how to be attractive, how to be the best version of themselves are often teaching advice that is tailor made to their specific Enneagram type. The Fours are teaching you how to be empathetic. The Twos are telling you how to love. The Ones are telling you how to create rules. The Sevens don’t teach anyone, they just party. And the Nines they’re all pretty quiet. They just keep to themselves.

But we’re all different people. We all have a lot of different personality types so you kind of have to look past some of the cookie cutter advice. That’s why with the whole Relationship Momentum thing, when I’ve talked about the Brands of Attraction and the Brands of Comfort Making and the Brands of Sexuality, there’s a menu of things that you can choose from, that you can identify with, that you can say yeah I’m into that but not quite so much that. It’s an open system. It’s fluid. It’s adaptable. It’s going to work for you.

So that’s about it. Please like, share, comment, subscribe, all that good internet stuff, and I will talk to you tomorrow.

#43 Six Brands of Sexuality

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is The Chain of Seduction. Today I want to talk more about Consummation, the final link in The Chain of Seduction.

Yesterday I talked about how we want to make the sex itself good, and if the sex itself is good that’s going to help improve the Relationship Momentum. If the sex is bad, it’s going to make the Relationship Momentum get worse. What I find is that many people have little idea about what really turns them on, and even less idea about what turns on their partner. So this video is really about finding a way to have a shared language to identify what we’re into and identify what our partner is into. This essentially the same thing I’ve done with the Attraction and the Comfort links. I’m going to talk about six Brands of Sexuality.

Something to be aware of is often with these Brands of Sexuality, they may feel awkwardly true to you. These tend to tap into our upbringing and our primal Time Before Writing sexual wiring. So we may have no conscious understanding of why we are turned on by certain things, or why something doesn’t turn us on. When we talk about true erotic potential, a lot of it is not terribly politically correct. For the nice guy who thinks of himself as a feminist, the idea that he can get some sort of sexual enjoyment from sexually dominating a woman is extremely counter-intuitive. If you see yourself as the high powered, strong, independent woman and you’re discovering that part of you has wiring for sexual submissiveness, this goes completely against the grain. So some of this isn’t going to be terribly politically correct, and can interfere with accepting what actually really turns you on.

 

Dominant and Submissive

On to the first two Brands of Sexuality I just kind of touched on. One is Dominant and the other one is Submissive. Someone who is sexually dominant actually gets sexual enjoyment, a little thrill, from telling people what to do in the bedroom. They like setting direction, taking the lead, and making someone else accept something they are doing or demanding that someone else attend to them in a certain way. The flip side is of course the submissives who enjoy being given direction, enjoy being told what to do. They can enjoy being told to lie there and take what I’m doing to you or alternatively being told I’m going to lie here and you’re going to do this to me.

 

Sensual

The next Brand of Sexuality is the Sensual. The Sensual people enjoy the whole thing of the setting the scene, the staging, the high thread count sheets, the candles lit. Plus the music playing, the glass of wine, the long slow luxurious massages, the long slow deep kissing, before they get to the point of actually having and enjoying the sex. Often with the people who are into the whole Sensual thing, they show signs of sexual interest that are really subtle. For them, having a 45 minute bath and shaving their legs perfectly smooth, making sure they’re wearing the perfect amount of perfume and making sure everything has perfectly set the scene, these are often ways the Sensual person initiates. It’s not terribly in your face and sometimes it can really be missed. Or if you’re just jumping straight through to what you want, the Sensual person often feels like it was all rushed. They wanted it to go a little slower.

 

Rough

Kind of the flip side to the Sensual people are the people who have the Rough brand of sexuality. It doesn’t mean that they like it violent. It doesn’t mean they like to necessarily be hurt. But it does mean they like a high degree of physical intensity with the sex. This can kind of pair pretty well to those who are also Submissive. This is again it’s politically incorrect to think you’re going to be rough during sex. I’ve talked to a number of guys who are terrified that they’re going to hurt their wives, she’s going to flip out and say he’s some sort of horrible abuser. The reality for a lot of those situations is the guys tend to only be working in that one to maybe three level of intensity, and the wife is more in tune to doing it between level four, five and six. Often it takes a lot to actually push the guys to get to the point where the wife is actually saying okay I’m not wanting any more intensity than this.

 

Responsive

The fifth Brand of Sexuality is Responsive. These are the people who get their greatest level of sexual enjoyment, by their partner’s reaction to what’s happening. So if their partner is turned on, if their partner is orgasming, if their partner is saying it’s wonderful, that’s their greatest level of enjoyment. There are a lot of guys who are Responsive, and their primary complaint is that their wife is not into it, their wife is not turned on. She didn’t want the orgasm. She wasn’t moaning and groaning, because that’s something they need. That’s something they need to feel fully turned on themselves and fully enjoy the sex themselves.

When you have two people that are Responsive, or maybe a Responsive and a Submissive, often you kind of get these sort of sexual standoffs where each person is waiting for the other one to set the agenda. Waiting to set some direction, to make things happen and be turned on, resulting in mutual submission deadlocks. In these situations someone’s just got to take the lead and say what it is they want and get the ball rolling.

 

Taboo

And the sixth and final Brand of Sexuality is Taboo. There are many people who have been brought up in some kind of repressive sexual environment who have been told to say no to everything and anything remotely sexual. If you’ve been told endlessly not to do it, shamed for it, you can get a lot of erotic power from “breaking the rules and being naughty”.

For the Taboo, breaking the rules, being naughty, being kinky, being dirty, whatever that is in their head, provides them with the greatest level of sexual turn on. Often they are someone who is into being somewhat exhibitionistic, or voyeuristic, or liking a whole range of positions, or liking things like anal sex and oral sex, things that are somewhat more taboo than just vanilla sexuality.

 

Summary

So those are the six Brands of Sexuality. There’s Dominance and Submission. There’s Sensual and Rough. And there is Responsive and Taboo. We are all into these six Brands of Sexuality to at least some degree, but often for one person there are one or two brands that are the greatest turn ons.

If you can figure out what your partner is really into and you can figure out what you’re really into, that can really clarify where you spend your time and attention in the bedroom. That’s going to help you create the sexual experiences that are going to get you those +1, +2, +3 moments that are going to improve the Relationship Momentum. Because as I said yesterday, the goal is to make the relationship happier, more content, more sexual and it’s going to get both of you what you want. It’s also going to stop you chasing your tail pursuing the sex that maybe one of you just doesn’t like or the sex that the two of you just don’t really want.

So that’s about it. Going to leave it there. I hope you like the video. Please like, share, comment, and subscribe, all that good internet stuff, and I will talk to you tomorrow.