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The 3 Hidden Relationship Mistakes Nearly EVERYONE is Making

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In this video, Dan explores the 3 common relationship mistakes that people make that aren’t talked about or recognised very often: punishing good behaviour, competing on suffering, and hostile attribution bias. Many relationships and marriages fall apart slowly over time and lead to break ups and divorces because people can’t see the damage these small but harmful behaviours and manipulations are doing. Dan will cover how to identify these relationship mistakes, what causes them, and how to fix them.


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Full transcript:

My wife, as much as I love her,
has a little annoying habit. And

that is, if I take her advice,
if I do what she suggests, or

what she believes is the right
thing to do, she’ll always say,

You see? You see?! kind of
proving that it worked, like I

told you so. It doesn’t bother
me that much. But it’s a small

minor version of something I see
that’s actually quite disastrous

in relationships, which is being
punished for good behavior,

doing what your partner wants,
and then actually having a

negative reaction to that, or
one that you perceive as

negative. And that is one of the
three top relationship mistakes

that I’m going to be talking
about today.

We’re going to be

looking at three unusual not
often spoken about behavioral

mistakes that partners often
make in relationships, and why

these are so dangerous and need
to be stopped. One of the most

important things you need to
know is that the feeling of

contempt, which is resentment
to such a high level that you

actually looked down on the
other person as if they’re

inferior to you, as if they’re a
burden to you. There’s nothing

that guarantees the end of a
relationship more than the

sustained feeling of contempt.
So if you want to know what is

it I need to do to make sure my
marriage lasts and make sure me

and my partner can go the
distance, the only thing you

really need to think about is
how do I make sure we do not

ever feel contempt towards each
other, there’s almost nothing

else you need to worry about. So
we’re gonna look at three

mistakes that lead to contempt
today, that aren’t often spoken

about in these kinds of videos.
So I thought I’d pull them out

myself. One, punishing good
behavior. Two is competing on

suffering. And three is hostile
attribution bias. So I’m gonna

explain what these are, and what
you should do about them.

Punishing good behavior. As I
mentioned earlier, this is where

the person actually does what
you want, they’ve done what

you’ve asked for, maybe finally
done it, they’ve gone with what

they think is best for you.
They’re trying to help you,

trying to make your life better. And
your reaction is basically

negative. It’s not really
gratitude. And even if it is

gratitude, it’s gratitude with
conditions. It’s gratitude that

comes with a barb hidden inside
it. So the person’s experience

is essentially one of being
punished, that they do

something nice and it hurts.
That’s the response they get. So

I want you to stop and think for
a second, what’s the likelihood

that they’re going to want to
repeat that behavior? Now this happens

in lots of ways, for example,
asking someone to do something

and they do it, but not to your
exact standards, your exact

specifications, usually just not
to your preference. So the job

is actually done to a good
enough quality, that you will be

able to survive with the quality
that it’s been done to, but

you’d rather it done another way or
done to an even higher,

unnecessarily high quality of
performance, that kind of thing.

And so when they’ve done the
work, your first response is Ah

thanks but… and you start picking
at the nuances of imperfection

within the work that they’ve
done. I’m gonna throw it out

there, I don’t care how much this pisses
people off: this particular section, the

punishing good behavior is
really, really more common in my

experience of the female to the
male. So it’s often the male who

gets punished for good behavior.
The other two are actually more

related to the guys, so don’t think
I’m being sexist here, I’m going

to be harder on men than
women, but this particular one,

particularly that idea of say,
asking the guy to clean up the

house, and he does, and it is
clean enough, but then you pick

out that he missed a bit of dust
in the corner, or he put the

clothes in the wrong drawer, you
prefer them in the different

drawer, you know, it’s not
perfect, could be better. Sure.

The point is that his feedback
is not positive for putting in

this effort, for doing this work,
for doing a task that you

usually do, which means he’s
actually not experienced in it.

He is not lazy, he’s inexperienced.
Maybe if he did this every

week, he would eventually
increase to a certain level of

quality, but maybe not. You
know, I for example, I like to

leave all the dishes to be
washed at once at the end of the

day, rather than washing them
throughout the day. Now I’m not

saying this is the best way to
do it. It’s my preferred way. Of

course, this pisses off my wife
because she likes a clean

kitchen all the time. But I’m
not leaving the dishes out so

long that it actually creates
like an unhealthy living

environment. It’s only slightly
embarrassing if guests come

over. That’s it. That’s the most
harm that my dishes methodology

does. So I might do the dishes.
And then she might say something

like, Yeah, but you could have
done them at lunchtime. This is

what I’m talking about. Now, my
wife actually doesn’t do this

badly but it’s an example of the
guy finally does a thing the job

is actually done. Everybody’s
still alive. Everything got done

to a certain standard. But you
think of a different better way

it could have been done. And
that’s the focus of your

feedback. That’s a punishment,
not a reward. He’s now less

likely, or she is less likely, to
do this again. Another one is

acting like you’ve been waiting
forever, like, Oh, finally you

did it. That’s that’s not
a reward. That’s not gratitude.

That’s not saying thank you. All
you’re really saying is that

this should have been done
sooner, that I’ve been waiting

for a long time, that I’ve been
suffering a lot. Not thank you

for getting the job done. It
doesn’t actually matter if

you’ve been waiting a long time,
and it’s finally done. What

matters is it is finally done.
That’s good. That’s a good

thing. There’s better than it not
being done. And that needs to be

the focus of the feedback.
Moving the goalposts. This is a

horrible one. Often parents do
this with kids and teachers do

this with kids – you achieve
the goal, but by the time you

get there, it turns out the
standards have gone higher, or

that there’s a new task, right?
You finished sweeping up the

house, then they’re like, Yeah, but
the sweepings put dust on the

shelf and now you need to clean the
shelf. I just made that up off

the top of my head. But this
idea like you actually completing

the task somehow creates more
work. I mean, anybody who’s worked a

nine to five in an office knows
this, the more productive you

are, the more they give you.
That’s not a reward, that’s

fucking punishment. And you get
this in the home environment as

well. Somebody starts doing
chores or doing things to help

out and then when they get done,
it turns out that that means

that they should now always do
it, or that’s now that’s a new

job that needs to be added on to
the list or now that

completion of that work has
created the need for more work

to be completed. You clean the
fish tank. Well, now we need a

bigger fish tank, you gotta go
buy one. It doesn’t stop. It’s

this idea like no matter what I
achieve, I’m going to be asked

for more, which makes me really
not want to finish anything. So

like imagine every time you
finished a plate of food that

you didn’t really like they
piled another whole serving on

top of that. You’re going to not
want to finish your plate to

prevent that from happening. Of
course, I think the most obvious

is ignoring the good and just
focusing on the flaws. I kind

of said that in the first
example. But basically no matter

what good you do, it just gets
taken for granted. And you get

no reward for it, you’re not even
acknowledged that it happened. The

only feedback you get is
criticism and negativity. So if

you’re the kind of person that
the time would give you a

partner feedback, it’s negative,
and you take anything good they

do is just that they have to do
it, that’s just for granted, you

don’t get a reward for that,
that’s just your job. That means

your partner only receives
negativity from you. And studies

that I saw when I was working as
a manager showed that if you

want someone to feel that
feedback is fair, you actually

need quite the opposite, you
need a five to one ratio

positive to negative. For every
criticism you give someone

there should be five
recognitions of what they’ve

done well for them to even
feel like it’s fair. Right?

Because people are so negatively
skewed in their own head due to

fear. So if you want your
partner to feel that your

feedback is fair, you need to
really be overdoing the

positive. Or otherwise, they’re
going to feel like they’ve been

nothing but criticized all the
time and being criticized all

the time, not only does that
create resentment in the person

receiving it, but the person
giving it starts to form an

impression of their partner that
they’re useless. When actually

that’s not true. Right. So you
imagine, your wife goes out, she

takes the kids to school, drops
them off, come homes cleans the

house, prepares dinner, goes and
picks up the kids, comes home, and

you come home and you’d be like,
Oh, the dinner’s a bit cold. Can you

see the ratio there? Right. All
the stuff she did all day doesn’t

count. The dinner being a bit
cold is the only thing she gets

feedback on. Is she going to
feel like that’s fair? Solution:

Gratitude without conditions.
You should be hunting

for the good that your partner
does, so that you can praise

them for it. And I don’t mean
meaningless praise for stuff

that isn’t even an achievement.
But rather than focusing on their

flaws, focusing on what you’d
prefer that isn’t being done,

reset your mind to look for
what is being done. This is

actually a more accurate way to
figure out whether or not your

partner’s really lazy. So if you’re
like OK, I’m going to look at what

they do, not what they don’t do,
or what they do that isn’t to my

standards, but just what they do.
If you find at the end of the

day, fuck they’ve done a lot
actually, I don’t ever give them

recognition for this stuff
but you know, they got the kids

ready, they went to work,
they ate a healthy lunch,

they listened to me talk about
my story, they cleaned up after

themselves. There’s actually
heaps that they do. Then you’ll

see that you’re the one being
unfair with your criticism. But

if you look and you’re like, I’ve been
watching for a week now, and

this motherfucker just sits
around playing video games all

day, doesn’t even help with the
kids, isn’t even working hard

enough to put enough food on the
table, complains all the time

that things aren’t good enough
for him, hasn’t cleaned up after

himself once, doesn’t help me
at all. Hey, maybe you’ve got a

shit partner. But you’re only gonna
see that if you’re looking

for the good and then can’t find
it. If you look for the good and

you can find it, then you’re
the one who’s been unfair.

Number two: competing on how much
you’re suffering. This is

classic this goes beyond
relationships, all people do

this. This thing like, I have a
worse life than yours and I can

prove it, and being proud of
that. I used to do this a lot,

but I see other people do it
just blows my mind like,

congratulations, your life sucks
worse than mine. I don’t know

why you’re happy about that. I
don’t know why you are so intent

on proving that. You want
sympathy? You want pity? You pathetic

piece of shit. But people do it
all the time. And nowhere does

it happen more viciously than
in personal relationships. A lot

of the time this is happening
inside the person’s head. It’s

an imagined competition. And
then the punishment for losing

the competition comes out.
Right, so the other partner just

receives a punishment, just
receives bitterness and vitriol

and passive-aggressive or
covert-aggressive little moves,

all these like jabs for stuff
they don’t know what they did

wrong. What they don’t realized is that
their partner in their mind has

been playing a competition and
the competition seems very

unfair to them, they feel like
the partner is cheating on this

competition. And so they need to
punish the partner. So a lot of

the stuff we’re gonna be talking
about is just what happens

inside your mind. One is
weighing up who’s doing more. So

anytime someone’s feeling tired
and exhausted, stressed, and

they look at their partner,
they’re gonna go through a

little calculation of who’s
pulling the most weight. And

when you’re doing that in your
head, you’re not sitting down on

paper and giving things a value
judgment or anything with the

partner defending their side of
the story, none of that, you’re just

in your head going, That’s how
much do I do, this how much I

think they do. Who’s doing more?
There’s almost no one in the

world that says I’m the one doing
less. There’s almost no one in

the world that has that kind of
humility, when they’re in that

space – that stressed out,
frustrated, looking for someone

to blame space. The truth is
I’ve worked with a lot of

couples as a coach, and I’ve
rarely found any where one

person’s doing significantly
less than the other. What I do

find, though, is nearly all of
them think their partner is

doing significantly less than
themselves. And it’s because of

the way they imagine what’s
happening. And because they have

almost no empathy for what the
other person’s going through.

Beating each other with pain
stories. This can just look like

conversation. And when you do
it, you don’t realize how

fucking annoying you are. It’s
where they share something that

was painful for them. And maybe
you’re trying to be sympathetic

or show that you relate. Your
reaction is to tell a story

where something even worse
happened to you. It’s almost

like you’re trying to make them
feel better by showing them that

you feel worse. Like you’re
trying to give them a comparison

that makes them go Oh, actually,
I’m fine compared to you, I’m

doing alright. As if that’s what’s
going to happen. Right? I don’t

know why you think that would
happen. That doesn’t happen when

it happens to you, right? If
somebody beats your story, you’re not

like Phew! I feel way better.
Thanks for that. No, you’re just

mad at them for beating your
story. Because it just

diminishes what you said, it just
undermines you. I see a lot of

couples doing this, especially
when they’re in the company of

other couples, a double date or
a party or something. And

they’ll complain in this kind of
ugly, sarcastic covert humor

thing. They’ll complain about
how much of a hassle their

partner is to them. And the
other one will say Yeah, but you

do this thing hehehe yeah but you do this
oh, and that gets really kind of

ugh! And they’re like trying to
prove that the other person is

more of a burden than they are
and so on. And it can even get

quite personal like that. It can
just be looking for evidence

that you deserve more
recognition, which can be

related to the first point I
made. But you’re not getting

enough pat’s on the back saying
you’re a good boy so you

can finally mature and stop
having that Arrested

Development where you need approval
from others just to feel good

about yourself… anyway. But this idea
that you’re looking around going

look, look at all this stuff
I’ve done. What what did she say

thank you for? She didn’t say
thank you for that or that or

that. You know, this can be that
love languages problem where she

is actually saying thank you
just not with words. She’s doing

it by cooking food for you or
massaging you at night or sex or

something like that. But of
course you look for the evidence

that you’re getting enough
recognition and you decide that

you’re not, which means you’re
suffering more. I think the

worst one that people do is they
weigh tasks as having

different values. So a classic
one is the guy goes and does a

job, a nine to five which he kind
of enjoys because at the very

least he feels like he’s doing
something valuable. And comes

home he looks at his wife and
her pajamas, been looking after

the kid all day, and go, That’s
not as hard as what I do. That’s

not worth as much as what I do.
And I see this, I live in the

Czech Republic, which is old
school culturally and I see this

all the time where the guy will
go work a nine to five that is

pretty low rent like it’s pretty
easy to do, and then

afterwards, he has to spend four
hours at the pub with his mates

to get over how exhausting his
work is, and comes home goes

Where’s dinner? kind of thing,
where’s sex? And the wife’s been

looking after two kids all day
who have been home sick from

daycare, he looks at that and goes,
That’s nowhere near what I do. Like,

because I put money in the bank
account that trumps everything

you do. There’s not even a
discussion about whether or not

they’re equally valuable. The
guy thinks if I bring money in

that’s more valuable than
whatever it is that you’re

doing, pottering around the
house having fun here, that’s

just an example of many
different forms that this takes

where the person thinks, because
I suffer doing what I do, it

must be harder than what you’re
doing, because you don’t look

like you’re suffering as much as
me or you’re too sensitive. And

therefore this is unfair. It’s
kind of just unwilling to accept

that they might be feeling it as
much as you are. That whatever

they’re doing, as easy as it
looks to you is as hard for them

as what you’re doing. And you’re
not being honest about how hard

your thing is. Yeah, some jobs
are hard to do, but some you

just sitting around, it’s
actually pretty easy. It’s

easier say, than looking
after two sick kids. And you

just won’t admit that. You won’t
admit that you actually have

more energy than they do, and so
on. And of course, it can just

be noticed by resenting them for
their joy and their relaxation.

You know, this can be the other
way quite often like there’s a joke

with husbands that you just
can’t sit around, because you’l

just immediately be given
something to do. This idea that

like, the other person is doing
something harmful to you if

they’re enjoying their life when
you’re not, or if they’re

relaxing as they should be, and
resting as they should be. And

of course, there’s a line here,
if your partner is just slacking

off and lazing around all day,
and their rest to work ratio was

way out of proportion to yours,
then yes, that is unfair, and it

needs to be discussed. But just
because they are resting doesn’t

mean they’re resting more than
you. Just because they’re resting

when you’re not, when you won’t
even allow yourself to rest,

it’s not their fault. So the
solution here is more intensive

work where you have to regularly
meet as a team. Okay, if you’ve

got kids, you put them in
daycare or something and you

come together. If this is a big
problem, you should be doing it once

a week. And then you can spread
it out to more like once a month or

ad hoc. But you meet as a
team who has goals. Like we have

a partnership, and we want to
future together. It’s bizarre to

me how rare it is for couples to
sit down and go, Okay, what do

we want out of our life
together? And how are we going

to work together to make that
happen? What is our ideal? How

do we find the middle where we
both want the same thing? It’s

weird how many couples don’t
even ever once have that

conversation. They don’t express
to each other like, what are we

working on here? So once you’ve
done that, and continue to do it

and adapt it over time, you
should be regularly having a

conversation that’s like, Well, what’s
my share of the work? What’s

yours? You know, what’s you
doing what you’re good at? And

what’s me doing what I’m good at
that contributes to the whole?

What would feel fair?

You know, if I’m doing this
work, and you’re doing that

work, is that equal? Should you
be doing more, should I be doing

less? and so on. Have that
conversation til you come to the end

of it going, Okay, that is fair.
No matter how we feel about it,

we know that that’s fair. And if
either of us ever feels like

it’s not, we need to come back
and have another conversation.

No punishing. No resenting. No
little passive aggressive

comments, we come together and
talk about it going, That feels

unfair again, let’s have a
look. You know, whenever I feel

things are unfair between me
and my wife, we have a

conversation, and nine times out
of ten I end up going actually,

it’s unfair the other way.
Because when I hear what she’s

going through, and actually have
some empathy and get out of my

own head for a bit, I realize
I’m resting more than she is,

I’m enjoying life more than she
is, you know, she’s struggling

more than I am. And that helps
me realize that just because I’m

suffering doesn’t mean that she
isn’t. And that sometimes, even

if I am suffering, I still need
to add more onto my workload, like so

we’ve got a hard life, you know,
we’re raising a two year old, we

don’t know much support. So as
hard as it feels for me, it

might even still be harder for
her, in which case, I’m gonna

have to dial things up. And I’m
happy to do that, as long as I

realize that that’s fair. And
the way I realize its fair is by

having that conversation with
her. By the way, get in touch.

If you want more support, with
your relationship and with the

communication tools that will
ensure that you have a healthy

relationship. I’ll send you
through a free PDF that I’ve put

together on really quite
advanced relationship

communication tips. Okay, final
big mistake number three,

hostile attribution bias. I only
just discovered this term a

little while ago. I used to call
it the assumption of malicious

intent. Hostile attribution
bias is a cognitive bias where

you believe that the
other person’s intent is to harm

you. So you believe whatever
they’re doing is a deliberate

move to cause you some sort of
suffering. It’s a kind of

paranoia, things are against
you. Now, some people have this

with everyone all the time, that
kind of trauma reaction where

they’re just distrustful of the
world. And a lot of people have

it in a relationship, where your
partner does something that you

don’t like, or just not prefer,
you’ll assume that they

purposely did that to aggravate
you, provoke you, hurt you in some

way. Now, of course sometimes
this is true, and if you’re in a

relationship with a narcissistic
personality, then it’s always

true. But for the most part,
you’re wrong. Well, sometimes

your partner might lash out at
you on purpose. Even then, when

they sit back in the cold light
of day, they don’t want you to

experience harm. They don’t want
you to suffer. They love you.

Just in that moment, they lashed
out because they believed that

that was the right thing to do.
But even those moments are

actually a lot rarer than you
think they are. A lot of the

times when your partner does
something that seems to be a

deliberate infliction of
suffering on you, you’ve

misunderstood it. That’s not
what it was. Or at least that

was not the primary motive.
A classic one is just taking what

they do personally. Assuming
everything’s about you, ya

special little angel. Eh? Isn’t it?
Eh? Everything about you? Because

you’re so awesome. The whole
world’s centered on you, and every

decision anyone makes is
because of you in some way.

Right? You’re just that
significant. Or maybe you’re

taking things personally that have got
fucking nothing to do with you.

You know, a classic one for guys
is once a month – am I right

fellas? – the missus starts to be
maybe a little unfair. Maybe a

little mean, maybe a little
fucking cruel. And you take it

personally, like she’s trying to
hurt me, like she’s being too

critical. This is unfair on me.
Rather than like. Oh wait, yeah,

this happens every month at a
very specific time for a very

specific reason. And she’s like
this with everybody. And then

when it goes away, she’s not
like that anymore. And maybe if

I didn’t fucking react to it, it
wouldn’t be a big deal. Right?

It’s one of the weirdest pieces
of advice I give that woman

hate. But it works. And that is,
when your girl’s on the rags,

don’t take anything she says
seriously. Yeah, just don’t for

three days or whatever it is two
or three days, you know that

time. Whatever she says, do not
follow it up, do not try to solve

it, nothing. She says our
relationships a disaster – just

go, Alright, fair enough, we’ll
talk about in two days time,

we’ll see how much of a disaster
it actually is. If you react to

it, if you take it seriously,
you make it bigger than it is.

That aside, this of course goes both
ways. I mean, guys just take

things personally all the time.
And what guys will take it as

is like an attack quite often. And
they’ll try to defend

themselves. Girls will take it
as like a personal criticism.

And they’ll think they have to
change themselves. This being

very generalizing, of course, it
can go the other way around. But

generally, like your partner
does something you think it’s

about you. You know, they start
trying to eat healthy and you

think that they’re commenting on
your weight, right? They start

hanging out with their friends
more and you think that they

don’t find you interesting
anymore. It’s kind of thing like

no matter what they do, it’s
about you. That’s a classic sign

of hostile attribution bias,
like everything they do is

designed to somehow hurt you.
You’ll notice that you work hard

to perceive something as an
attack. Like you have to tell

yourself this story that makes
you the victim of their behavior.

You know, you come home and the
dishes weren’t cleaned like she

said she would. You think, You know
what? This is probably because

yesterday I said that thing and
now she’s trying to get back me.

You tell yourself this big story to
turn her forgetting to do the

dishes into a deliberate swipe
against you. And you’ll do that

every time she forgets to do
dishes. And now you’ve got a

pattern like, She punishes me by
not doing dishes. Not once have

you talked this through with her.
This is all happening in your

fucking imagination. And now
you’ve got this like clear case,

like, Oh yeah, when my partner’s mad at
me she does a thing where she

doesn’t do the dishes, and
you’re going to tell your mates

about it, and they’ll all commiserate. And
at no point in time, have you

gone like, Hey, does she just
forget to do the dishes

sometimes? Or am I supposed to
be the one doing the dishes? You

don’t have this fucking
consideration that there could be

another reason. Your first guess
was that she’s trying to hurt

you. You didn’t even like play
with any other guesses, like

maybe she forgot, maybe it’s my
turn to do the dishes, maybe

the dishes aren’t that big a deal.
Maybe her fuckin friend just stopped

talking to her for no reason;
she’s absent minded because of

the grief. Nothing, no other
consideration, just trying to

attack me. And I will spin
whatever tale I need to tell

myself to prove that that’s
true. And I’ll do this over and

over again until it looks like a
pattern of behavior. And then I

really believe it. I won’t talk
about it with her though, that’s too

much of a hassle. Don’t need to!
I already know it’s true.

You start to ignore obvious clues
that maybe you’re being too

sensitive, that maybe this
isn’t about you, that even when

it is about you, it’s really
their insecurities and they

always do this with anyone that
they feel close to when they

feel like that and it’s still not about
you really. You know, sometimes

my partner might slip a
little bit and kind of guilt

trip to get me to do something
rather than asking directly, which

she’ll usually fix right away
and go and just ask for it. But

her whole family does that. She’s
learned to do that. She was doing

that before I came around,
that’s not about me, that little

quirk of behavior, right? Or I
can be manipulative sometimes

where, you know, in order to get
something done, I’ll talk about

all the ramifications of it not
being done. It’s a little

indirect move that I catch
myself doing. Sometimes I’ll be

like, you know, if this doesn’t
get done, we’ll have to do this and

this, make it sound like a big
hassle. It’s kind of like,

motivates someone to get the
thing done to avoid all this

pain. You know, it’s not
about my wife, me doing

that. That’s not something she
causes me to do. I’ve been doing

that since I was young. I
manage to like catch it most of

the time now, but it’s got
nothing to do with. That’s not

me trying to hurt her. It’s me
having a inferior way of getting

my needs met. Another one is
treating every good deed with

suspicion, which relates again
to the first point. But you

know, every husband knows of
that time where they tried to do

something nice, and all they got
back was, Why’d you do this? Do

you really mean it? This kind of
idea that, like you’ve got

hidden motives for everything
you do, that you can’t ever just

be doing something for a nice
reason. You know, like, Why did

you give me flowers? Did you
actually want to give me

flowers? Or did you just do it
because Fred does it for his

girlfriend? And you’re like, Jesus Christ!
I actually just like proud of

myself for remembering for once.
So you don’t even like flowers?

Like why would you get them for
me? Because you like them. But

Jesus Christ, how complicated is
this? You know, this happens

quite often, it goes the other
way, as well, where you can’t be

trusted that you actually want
to do a good deed, can’t be

trusted that you’d have like the
motive of improving their life

and nothing more. Now, some
people can’t be trusted. I mean,

one of the reasons I work with
nice guys, is a lot of the

nice things they do is covert
contracts, like there’s actually

a reward they expect for it, they don’t
just give freely. It’s one of

the main pieces of coaching work
I do is teaching them how to

give freely. But the thing is a
person can’t learn to give

freely, if they’re suspected all
the time, if they’re punished

all the time. If it seems that
their partner is paranoid about

their motives all the time, it will
make them doubt their own

motives. It’s a form of
gaslighting, really, if you

constantly try to convince the
person that they don’t have good

motives, they’ll start to
believe you, and then you’re in real

trouble. So the solution is to
kind of go the opposite: the

optimistic attribution bias,
which is assume they have a good

reason for everything they do.
Now, by good reason, I

don’t mean that you agree with
the reason or that it’s even

healthy. What I mean is it makes
sense to them. Whatever it is

they’ve done or why they’ve done
it makes total sense for them,

even if it doesn’t to you. And
so if you can get in touch with

that reasoning, you’ll often see
that firstly, it’s not about

you. And secondly, it’s not
actually something you need to

worry about. It’s not really a
threat. This isn’t a hostile thing

happening here. Even if it’s an
unhealthy piece of behavior,

even if it’s just an annoying
piece of behavior that’s not your

preference, doesn’t mean there’s
actually anything that needs to

be fixed here. Once you
understand that they’ve got this

reason for why they do things.
You know, once my wife

understands that I leave my
dishes till the end because it’s

the least amount of work to do
them all at once than do them in

patches, to realize I’m not
attacking her with dishes and

I’m not lazy actually, this me
just trying to be efficient,

doesn’t mean it’s the best way
to do dishes. It’s just my way

and I’ve got a reason for it being
my way. See your best bet is to find

out why. What is their reason? Try
to get to the point where you go

Oh OK, is that why you do it? And
then you’ll see that you know,

your contempt and your
resentment was unfounded. Get in

touch, if you want any more
relationship support,

confidence building, especially
if you’re a nice guy in a

relationship. And of course,
I’ll send you my free PDF with

relationship tips. There’s real
shit in there, it’s not one of

those bullshit marketing ones.
It’s got some good stuff there.

I’ll catch you next time. Thanks
for watching.

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