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The Love Expert: The REAL Reason We’re Lonely, Loveless, Depressed - Alain De Botton, School Of Life

Apr 03, 2024
These are very valuable lessons that we need in our relationships, so lesson one is the most successful author, the modern philosopher of

love

, his goal is to help you live a better and more meaningful

life

. The average human being has 70,000 thoughts a day. The problem is that we don't know. how to use them, for example, we tend to believe that we will find the one, but that belief has led to more anger and more disappointment because we are not free to

love

just anyone. The problem is that we are attracted to love stories that echo each other. our childhood and this is something that worries a lot of people because our past was not necessarily happy we are all confused about love the most romantic phrase that people will say is I met this person and we didn't even need to talk we just felt on the same page but This leads to a catastrophic outbreak of bad mood, they tell you that something is wrong, of course it is, but you are not going to tell them and the

reason

is that you are a romantic and you think your partner should have done it. alien abilities to look into your wounded soul and understand what the discomfort is, but of course they can't because they are simply human, so what would you say are the basic habits of two people who have a

real

ly successful relationship?
the love expert the real reason we re lonely loveless depressed   alain de botton school of life
What we need is: Talk about sexual kindness Me, does it cause problems? 26% of people in relationships have sex less than 10 times a year, so the question is: where are we going wrong? One of the main answers that neither party knows is that ding- Ding that's usually a quick sign of a problem, this is

real

ly fascinating to me on the back of our YouTube channel, it says 69.9% Of you who watch this channel frequently during the

life

span of this channel have not yet pressed the Subscribe button. I just wanted to ask you a favor. It helps this channel a lot.
the love expert the real reason we re lonely loveless depressed   alain de botton school of life

More Interesting Facts About,

the love expert the real reason we re lonely loveless depressed alain de botton school of life...

If you choose to simply subscribe, you help us scale. The guest helps us scale production and makes this program bigger. If I could ask you a favor, if you've seen the show. show before and you've enjoyed it and you like this episode you're currently watching. Could you hit the subscribe button? Thank you very much and I will return that gesture by making sure that everything we do here gets better and better, that is a promise I am willing to make to you, we have a deal Alan, you write about so many things, you produce content on so many topics different, but what's the overall mission you're on?
the love expert the real reason we re lonely loveless depressed   alain de botton school of life
I try to look almost systematically. in a variety of causes of unhappiness created by the world in which we live, you know, obviously, the world in which we live has solved many problems, but it also generates in a number of areas, particularly difficult challenges that have not really affected to Humanity before and me. I like to think both personally and on behalf of others, what are those problems and how can we solve them? The average human being has 70,000 thoughts a day, they are not huge and elaborate thoughts, but small and fragmentary thoughts. 70,000 of them pass through Consciousness every day. and the problem is that we don't know how to process or use them.
the love expert the real reason we re lonely loveless depressed   alain de botton school of life
This is part of the

reason

why we end up with minds so busy and worried that we haven't taken a step back to ask ourselves at the end of the day some of those questions that can calm us down like you know who I'm mad at what I'm excited about what I really it happened today you know we let experiences pass us by quickly and then of course experiences that haven't been properly digested have a nasty habit of coming to bite us in the tail um and I think you can see that a lot of mental problems are essentially the result from an unprocessed emotion um you know, depression is often sadness that has not understood itself anxiety or irritability is worry that we don't We don't know its own cause and very often what we need particularly in the modern world are occasions when those that we can get to know our own minds.
It's something strange. Surely we know our own minds. Surely we don't know the way we are built, obviously we don't prioritize full self-awareness, we are outward-looking creatures, we are action-focused creatures, which is very good and has many advantages, but because of the way in which we live now, more sedentary lives, lives that call to us. not only to be active but also to feel fulfilled. Those lives require periods of introspection that routines often don't allow for, so I always try both for myself and to advise others, you know, take that time at night and just sit. in a semi-dark room and just ask yourself what awaits me, what really happened inside me, because it can take a little time to realize what is really bothering you, what is really exciting you, etc., we are not obvious For ourselves. and as I say, many of the things we call mental disorders or mental illnesses are actually stored emotions that have not found an outlet, emotions that have not been recognized have the unpleasant habit of agitating our conscience demanding to be heard, maybe they want to tell our spine maybe they want to tell our stomach you know and again a useful exercise to not be hit by so many of these psychosomatic disorders is to ask the body what it is trying to tell you so that it doesn't need to tell you in the most dramatic ways that end up as diseases like that which again if you know if you lie down just say to yourself if my back could talk what it wants to tell me if my shoulders could say what they are trying to say if my stomach could have a voice what it could be trying to say can you apply the same reasoning to things like anxiety, absolutely you know, if you think about taking something like insomnia, do you wake up at 3 in the morning like me? you like to think it's insomnia it's if you like a kind of revenge for all those thoughts that you were so careful not to have during the day that you planned very carefully not to have those thoughts in the day because of our emotional consciousness that wants to be heard and If you don't hear them at 3:00 p.m. you will hear them at 3:00 a.m. m., so you know that one of the best ways to sleep is to make sure that you have a little deeper conversation with yourself before you go to sleep, because that will allow you that kind of deeper rest, so like I say, we have this emotional awareness which requires that the key things about us have the opportunity to be heard and look, let's not forget, I mean, this is the whole trauma theory, you know what psychotherapists have.
What has informed us very usefully over the last 2030 years is that events from our past, especially in our early childhood, that we have not had the opportunity to adequately understand and how much can a child of 3 four five six years old understand events that we do not can. I understand, this does not mean that they have not been registered, they have been registered even deeper and have not had the opportunity to be prosecuted. You know, I was thinking that a friend of mine recently lost one of his parents, he is about 50 years old and well educated. he has resources, he has friends, a spouse, etc., he was telling me that he was

depressed

because of depression, he just couldn't get out of bed completely stunned by his loss and I was thinking that in a way he is lucky because he has all those resources of adulthood, imagine a 5- a one year old child who suffers a loss does not have friends with whom he can have those types of dialogues does not have books that he can reread about it has no ability to process has no understanding of time, etc. ., emotions that can't be had have lodged themselves in us and gummed up our systems and I think a lot of the work we need to do on ourselves is to process pain that hasn't been properly understood, not because someone is evil. but because we have lacked the resources to do so, you made me think about this concept of Happiness as you speak and whether it is something natural that our species aspires to or whether it is something new and more modern that we have created.
We decided to focus and are we causing ourselves immense anguish in this search for something that perhaps our ancestors didn't think about in all of this? You know, we think about self-actualization and they were probably thinking more about survival and reproduction. Look, all this belongs to the type of paradoxes of modern times. Modern times have obviously brought us enormous advantages, but they have also brought us particular complexities that I think we would be wise to realize and one of them is The Demise of Religion. It means that we are still among the first generations in many parts of the world who are trying to live a good life without the support of religion.
Think about how religion structures time and the human experience. In time, as a religious person, you immediately feel that the present moment is not. As important as 100, 200, 2 billion years, the history that has existed before and will continue after the present moment is a particle in time and there is a whole narrative that you are a part of that immediately diminishes you in scale now, today today, to all of us. we want to be pretty big we want to be big big people we want to make a big impression but this is arguably a fast route to mental illness because graceful acceptance of your minuscule position in the cosmos is the gateway to calm and harmony and when People say You know I went to this hotel You know the person made me feel small That's the bad way to be made to feel small, but there is a good way to make yourself feel small.
Pick up an ancient text. Read words written by someone. in a foreign language 3,000 years ago that will make you feel small go to the desert notice the age of the rocks inscribed in you know time inscribed in sand that will put you in your place spend time with an animal that has no concern for your state, your meaning of importance, your frustrated narrative of your own success, all these things that drive modern humans crazy, they are not present in an older religious sphere and, as I say, what religions do is tell us that you are part of a larger story , they also tell us that many religions tell us that life and you in particular are imperfect, you know, think about Catholicism and their notion of original sin, now there are many bad things associated with original sin. fan of many aspects, but let's look at the bright side, what Catholicism says is that everyone is broken, everyone has flaws, it's a pretty useful starting point, because, if you think about it, okay, I'm a little bit broken, but also someone else is. otherwise we're all doing our best, that's the gateway to vulnerability to friendship, if you like lower expectations, lower expectations, but also connecting with other people you know, often People who are successful F find it very difficult to make friends because they associate success with invulnerability and the more successful they are, the more difficult it is for them to admit the real truth about human beings, which is that we are all helpless children sometimes, when fewer helpless children are scared and it becomes more difficult to support them. eliminate contact with that much less admit that to another person so again religions easily lower our expectations and our sense of ourselves we are just imperfect humans there is a perfect world it doesn't exist in Beverly Hills it doesn't exist in you know the fancy parts from Singapore or Sydney exist up there in another world, in other words, the human realm is inherently imperfect, a good starting point, I mean, even if you were on a date, imagine two characters you could go on a date with I have a date with the first one who tells you that yes, I am something perfect and I have achieved it.
My goal is to achieve total perfection. You think, wow, it's good for them, but it's a little scary next to someone else saying that I'm a little imperfect, but I'm managing my flaws and I'm interested in how to know my flaws and work with them instantly. You think life could be easier with a person like that. There is something about the pursuit of perfection that makes everyday life. extremely hard life and religions a little bit by The Bu ticks that box, they were able to lower us in our own eyes while elevating us in the eyes of you know, a Divine being um and that has helped us to have a that helped us to to have an easier relationship with ourselves and the notion also was that you cannot perfect this life, you know, life becomes perfect in another kingdom, we will build Jerusalem somewhere else, not on this Earth, in the next world again, It takes the pressure off us, us moderns, we moderns. people, we believe that the present moment is extremely important now is important everything that is happening now is extremely important it does not matter remember 100 years ago a thousand years ago now is the only criterion of time you are absolutely right so if there is something wrong with you You are failing against an ideal of perfection again, very, very hard, um and you're done.
I mean the biggest challenge of all, you are made to be happy, since you suggested that the true goal of every human being is happiness, not fulfillment. No, you do not know the realization of a great plan, not living your own happiness for others and,again, it's a beautiful idea, but my goodness, does it cause problems? Oh my gosh, you know, think about Emil Durkheim, early 20th century. The French sociologist writes this book. um, so contrasting. the differences between ancient societies and modern societies and identifies a worrying difference between ancient societies, pre-modern village-based agricultural societies where religion plays a role and modern technologically driven and success-oriented urban individualistic societies and that is the rate of suicide that he recognizes in his published book on suicide. in 1900 that modern societies, despite all their advantages, lead a part of their members, often the most ambitious of their members to take their own lives, why what is happening and this becomes good, It's the birth of modern sociology, it really becomes an important inquiry into what modern times do to the soul and I'm deeply fascinated by it and I can't let it go because what is this paradox?
What is this paradox of suffering in the midst of much regression in the midst of progress? This fascinates me. I spoke to the executive director of the calm campaign. against living miserably Simon gunning and shared with me some statistics about exactly what you are talking about regarding suicide. He said someone commits suicide in the UK every 90 minutes. 76% is a man. There are 25 attempts for each death. Um, the leading cause of death. The death of men under 45 years of age is suicide. The leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 49 is suicide. The 19-35 age group is twice as likely to report being in crisis as any other group, and the 16-24 age group is the fastest growing age group in history. exhibiting suicidal tendencies and more recently there is a big conversation emerging about young women and suicidal tendencies, which is a fairly recent trend, unfortunately explosive, this trend of young women now experiencing suicidal tendencies and look, people are not committing suicide Simply when things go wrong, people commit suicide.
When things go wrong and they think it is a delicate point, they think it is their fault, they cannot dissociate the problem they feel from an intense sense of responsibility that then also entails shame. Now what is happening, there you see when I say that we live in an individualistic society. world, what that really means is that we live in a world where people feel that they control their own narratives and that what happens to them is a very true reflection of who they are and what they have done and this was not always the case.
For long periods of history, people were not necessarily attached to the observable outcomes of their lives, this happened with money, for example, in Old English, a poor person was known as an unlucky person, right, what is an unlucky person? , let's unpack that word unlucky, there's the word Fortuna there what Fortuna was to the Romans Fortuna was the goddess of luck the goddess of Fortune and the Romans were there all the time sacrificing things to the goddess of Fortune as a way to say you know, please, you know it's not me, it's you Meet this external agency today this sounds completely strange.
I mean, what do we call in the most individualistic country in the world, the United States? What do you call poor people? It's not a nice term, they're called losers. He went from unlucky to loser, it's a 400-year trajectory, what happened in that time is a story about who is responsible for people's destiny and today, if I told you Stephen, things haven't gone so well for me, I just got fired. uh, you know, my book hasn't sold, you know, but it's not me. I was just a little unlucky. You're a very nice person, but your modern side would be thinking, "You must have done something wrong, right?" He thinks you must have done something wrong because that's how we think we don't allow people the benefit of luck.
Similarly, if you told me, oh, you know, my podcast is doing brilliantly. Now we have 8 billion billion subscribers how many do I have today um um and and you said and you said to me oh just a little bit of good luck right I think oh Steph really you know he's very modest but you know it's not true that he's done anything that we believe that people do things and that that action leads to results or failures and that is why people take their lives because in extremists people think that there is nothing but me to explain what is happening to me, of course, the reality is much more complicated, I'm not saying it's the truth but that's the perceived truth, you know, look, we live in a world that is meritocratic, right?
That word meritocracy is on everyone's lips, if you put politicians on the left and right in the United States around the world, everyone wants to create a world that is meritocratic, some people. I think we're there now, what does that word mean? I don't know, meritocratic is the concept of meritocracy is a world in which people's results depend on their merits rather than who their parents were, a corrupt class of society. influence of whatever, so you know, a left-wing politician and a right-wing politician say that we want to create a meritocratic world where your children will go where they deserve, where if you work hard you can get there and you know where everyone has a opportunity to succeed, you know, you know that kind of rhetoric, it's the rhetoric of modern times, now it sounds great and in many ways it's a huge advance, but again let's focus on the psychological cost of that because if you really believe in a world in which that those who reach the top deserve to reach the top by implication, you are also positing the existence of a world in which those who are at the bottom deserve to be at the bottom;
In other words, a meritocratic worldview turns success and failure into opportunity for a necessary destiny and that's why it makes winners quite difficult, potentially, quite heartless because they're thinking, well, I got there on my own, You know, I don't need to thank anyone, maybe you don't need to pay much taxes, why pay taxes? I know it's okay and similarly the underdogs are kind of crushed, so we've created this very complicated ideology where, um, there's a hidden price, what is love? If we're talking about, let's talk about romantic love, what is that? Well, can I? Let's start by saying that we are a little confused about it, so I can't give you an immediate answer, but I want to state for the record that not only me, but the entire world today is confused about love and I think we have been confused for about 200 years. years and let's be easy on ourselves here because the way we approach Love Now is a philosophy never before approached, you know, for the last 250 years we have been loving under the auspices of a philosophy that could be called romanticism and romanticism is a vision of love with very particular assumptions let me go over some of them um there is a soul mate for everyone you are going to find this soul mate um you will find them through slightly mysterious ways possibly through something almost almost Divine, you will feel attracted, you will meet them in the line at the supermarket, at the nightclub and without even knowing too much about them, you will feel that they are your destiny, so you will feel pulled towards someone who you do not necessarily know too much about a force that will attract you and you will feel that this is the indicated and there will be an angel, literally, a kind of being descended from another Otherworld.
The Romantics were very interested in the notion. that it was not necessary to know someone very well to understand them; even by speaking little, the connection would be even deeper. The romantics also thought that love and sex go absolutely together and that there could not be even a millimeter of disjunction between them. The two, love and sex, had sometimes been separated in the old world and that had sometimes been a problem, but it became a tragedy, so adultery went from being a difficulty to a tragedy. That's where all modern novels and movies deal with the tragedy of adultery.
Look, these are some of the difficulties that the modern world has created. Nowadays we tend to believe that love is an emotion we should feel, never a skill we should learn. You know, for example, if I told you that we should probably study love. you should probably go to a love

school

that isn't very romantic now every time someone says that's not very romantic ding-ding that's usually a sign of a problem like most things that don't sound very romantic are a good idea and most things that are romantic, like getting married in Las Vegas after knowing someone for 5 minutes, aren't that great.
What are we doing wrong? One of the things we're getting wrong is this whole instinct thing, so we tend to believe. That love will instinctively lead us to wonderful people who will be right for us. You know, people in the old world had relationships. You will marry this person for this reason. You know that person gets along well with my family, blah blah, in others. words, nothing to do with you, you are together with someone nowadays, nominally we are free to choose anyone, hooray, fantastic, aren't we going to make big decisions? uh no, why don't we make big decisions?
Why are we not free? We need to go to a psychotherapist to tell us why we are not free. We are not free to love anyone we love in the clues that marked us the adult love of our childhood and lies on top of the clues and a script. established for us in childhood, you might ask what's the problem with that, so, well, the problematic thing is that many of us had a childhood in which affection was mixed with more problematic dynamics than perhaps to derive love in childhood we also had to encounter someone who was angry someone who was violent someone who was

depressed

someone who looked down on us someone who preferred another brother, whatever it was and we reached adulthood and discovered that we are attracted to love stories that we They sound familiar because they are Echoing some dynamics of childhood, but they don't necessarily lead to happiness and you know, sometimes we have situations where you establish a friend, let's say you have a very good friend and you meet another friend and you think that those people would actually go.
Well, together you set them up on a date and then you call them and then you tell them how it went. You know it must have gone very well. They say I'm not sure. Maybe something was missing a little spark. What they are really trying to do. to get to the point is that they are not going to say it this way your friend this quote gave me no signs that they would make me suffer the way I need to suffer to feel like I am in love in other words this the relationship threatened to be happy because of it I had to leave so we're paradoxical creatures because our past wasn't necessarily happy, we're not necessarily so happy that our future romantic lives shouldn't be happy either and this is something you know they were I'm not thinking about When Love Was Reinvented 250 Years Ago , when people say they have daddy issues and things like this, are you then saying that there's often some truth to that because they had an early experience with a father figure, a male figure in their life who might have left them or It could have created an anxious attachment style or something so that they then end up chasing men and dysfunctional relationships because that is the suffering they associate with love, of course, I mean, we repeat what we don't understand and as long as we are not aware of the stories that we have grown up with, we will act them out in our adult lives, so we are not obliged to do this forever, but and look, I think many of us have the desire to tell the story of our childhood a different ending Our Father He might have been a distant and mean creature, but he also had some good qualities.
The dream is to find someone a little like that, but to make sure that the story has a good resolution so that it's not just a desire to repeat it's a desire to repeat and give a better ending, but often you know that we don't get there and I think that Look, the thing about psychology is that we see people around us doing so-called crazy things, you know, falling. falling in love with people is not going to make them happy by sabotaging their careers we are not able to open up to people and we think we can take a step back and ask ourselves why they are doing those things what is happening now one way of looking at it and it is kind of compassionate way of looking at it, a lot of the things that seem crazy now once made a lot of sense, once probably a very smart thing to do if you grew up in, say, an environment where, say, a parent was suicidal. true, a father was suicidal and you turned off your emotions completely and decided that he would never trust anyone.
Great, that's an incredibly smart thing to do when you're 5 years old and you have a suicidal parent, because that's going to help you get over it. The next stage of life, if you open your heart at five and there's a suicidal parent, it will tear you apart, it's so good for you that you're doing something brilliantly clever, right? or imagine someone who becomes a clown. a child because there is a very sad atmosphere and there is depression andall they can do is jokes, they're just a manic Joker, cool, what a fantastic thing for a kid to find out that they need to be some kind of manic Joker, but what happens 10 years later, 20 years later, 30 years later, it's that what used to be a fantastic defense against an intolerable situation has turned out to more or less ruin people's chances because the person you meet with that difficult parent will never end.
Being able to open your heart to anyone, even a very secure person, you won't even know that his heart is closed, but will act with the same defensive strategy or the person you know it was a great idea to be a bit of a joker. from the beginning but now they don't have time for anything serious and their friends feel that they are a bit of a plastic person, they can never connect with them, that's a real problem in the adult world, so very often you know what we have to do. That is to say, thank you to us younger people for having devised strategies that were really smart but at the same time saying thank you, that's enough.
I want to live in a different way. That was a fantastic strategy. So it may not be the right way to live now, while you were talking about that, I was thinking that there are two groups of people that I was going through different PE people that I know to see how they fit in with them and I identified in my mind that there are basically two There are groups of PE people that are aware of their cycle.know and if they have acted to change it or they are just reliving it who knows and those who are not fully aware that they are in this cycle and they just think oh God, my luck, you know, they say phrases like that just my luck, how Can you increase awareness of your own cycle?
Do you think there is a way? Yes, you can do both. Let's imagine that the simplest exercise psychologists have these things called sentence completion tests where you start with a fragment of a question and then you finish it with ellipses a dot dot dot and you tell someone not to think too much just finish the sentence. sentence and the typical ones are men are dot dot dot women are dot dot dot I am dot dot dot life dot dot dot now if you give someone that piece of paper and tell them not to think too much, just write it down, okay, stuff awesome, Bubble Up, men, you know, authoritarian villains, wow, where's that coming from, right?, you're pulling it off, you know, women.
You know whatever life is? Do you know what I am? Do you know that no one deserves to be sealed? Did you know a minute ago that you have that in you, not necessarily? In other words, sometimes you need these little levers to light the thing. That really helps Happ and I don't know for your viewers, a lot of therapists, a lot of psychotherapists are not what they should be, but some are great, if you meet a good psychotherapist, they can also increase your level of self-awareness, I think. That's what we're talking about about increasing the level of self-awareness and the reason is very simple, you know, there are things that we all do, let's imagine, I don't know, when you are close to a man, you think that that person is judging me, therefore, I I'm going to retire and I won't compete with them.
I am close to a woman. I think I'll have to know that they're going to treat me badly, so I know whatever it is, something from your past is projected. Then you end up in a therapy room with a man or woman and lo and behold, what do you do? You take out that thing and you take out that thing that you're normally doing, except this time you're not doing it. in the office, you're not doing it in a relationship, you're not doing it in a context where people are busy and have their own things and play their own games, you're doing it with someone, a trained professional in a quiet room and they can see it's like a small plate, they can see the things you're doing and all of a sudden you'll say to your therapist I know you hate me and the therapist will say, I really don't think so. but I'm interested in you having that conviction that you do it um or someone's going to go to the therapist I need to take care of you I think you're pretty tired and you really know you've been doing a great job I feel like I want to take care of you maybe you've been doing that your whole life and the therapist gonna.
You don't need to take care of me, but was there someone in your past that you needed to take care of and that made you feel guilty? and that has meant that every time you are with someone you feel like their needs are more important than yours and therefore there is a chance to see more clearly than ever, outside of the kind of hullabaloo of relationships or office life , the type of stories. which you are projecting into reality at your enormous cost, so now I am aware of my cycle that originates from my childhood, the next step is to do something about it, how can I master that kind of programmed impulse to repeat the cycle that comes from from my childhood, well, look Stephen, let's not minimize that, that's already a huge achievement, you know what I mean, I mean, if you know that if you're there, you master it, look, we don't need people to be perfect, right? ?
We need people to be perfect, at best, we need people to know how imperfect they are and to have the opportunity to warn us of their imperfections in time before they have done too much damage. There is a huge difference. I mean, look again. take the dating idea, let's imagine you know, I often say don't do this to me because we're not on a date, but a great question to ask someone on a date is how angry are you? You're angry, right? If the person says: I am not angry, I am completely sane, run away because you know that everyone has madness inside them and we approach a measure of tolerable sanity every day when we place some flags in the areas of our madness, so the Complete sanity is not a possibility for any human being, but awareness of where the madness lies and a little warning and immediate apology, you know, after an ENT incident, goes a long way, you know, people often say : "I'm looking for a partner with a good sense of humor, no one needs jokes, it's not about jokes, it's actually about self-effacement, right, someone who can go.
I guess I mean, look, take the other thing if Do you know someone who thinks It's easy to live with anyone, run away, it's not easy to live with anyone and someone who thinks It's easy to live with is really a problem, so someone who can reach out, you know what? Yeah, I'm a little complicated. to live with that person is safer, not necessarily totally safe, but it is safer because he has begun the path to self-awareness and ultimately the best thing we can do in this world is self-awareness. We apologize when we make a mistake, yes, and a genuine intention to progress.
I guess that's important too, so being aware that I have certain habits in my relationship is one thing, but then I think my partner would like to know that some of the destructive cycles that I might have, I'm working on them, at least I'm trying to do Forward Motion, yeah, totally, I mean, I think one of the most destructive ideas in the modern world is the idea that true love means accepting someone for who they are on all sides, you know all their sides. good and bad, it's a lovely dream and you know sometimes when you hear about breakups, they'll go away, you know my ex, you know they just didn't. accept me as I was and everyone will go away, oh yes god what a terrible person, you know how you know politely, one wants to wait a minute, do any of us really deserve to be loved for the totality of who we are? a fair expectation or not is as you suggest, isn't it fairer to assume that we are all works in progress and that you know there is nothing contrary to the spirit of love in the desire to improve?
The ancient Greeks were right. I know that for the ancient Greeks Plato saw love as a classroom beautiful idea love is a classroom in which two people with a spirit of generosity and kindness I mean we are not talking about shouting here we are talking about generosity and kindness two people strive to help each other become the best version of themselves for each other, right, love is oriented towards progress and work on oneself, that sounds very strange nowadays. to guide me toward the idea that love is a classroom, so I'm going to give you a 40-minute lecture on some of your flaws and then I'd like you to give me a 40-minute lecture on some of my flaws.
This would be considered ding ding ding unromantic, right, that's not very romantic, doesn't mean it's a bad idea, like I say, love is a skill that must be learned, not just an emotion that must be felt, and some That means we may need to do it. Back to

school

. I've been thinking more recently that in most relationships, the success of most relationships comes down to this idea of ​​how good are you at conflict resolution because I've had a previous relationship where we both get to make the decision . fault per se, we just weren't good at conflict resolution and then I had a more recent relationship where we seem to be much better, not perfect, but much better at conflict resolution and that makes all the difference, but I think you know , it's not if you were bad at conflict resolution, it's not just your fault, it's partly the way our society works.
It goes back to the idea of ​​romanticism, right? Romanticism gives us this extraordinary idea that love is something that should be felt and communicated without correct words, so what the most romantic people say, the most romantic phrase that people usually say is: I met this person and we didn't even need talk, we just feel on the same page, everyone's like, oh, how romantic, ding ding, danger, um, because it's you. I know well that this leads to a catastrophic outbreak of bad mood. What is bad mood? What is bad mood? Bad mood is a fascinating pattern of behavior in which you get very angry at someone because they didn't understand you even though you didn't say so. anything they haven't understood you and you get offended because you think because you're a romantic person you think they can't love me because true love means understanding someone you know intuitively um without words and therefore I'm not going to talk and then you know you come back from a party with your partner and they tell you something's up, honey, and you say mm, of course it is, but you're not going to tell them and then they start saying come on.
You can tell me what's wrong and the sulking person says no and this can go on and on and on I mean you know that's all of us, we've all been there a few times, you know you go home, uh, you go straight upstairs you go to the bathroom , you close the door and then your partner is knocking on the door and says please honey just tell me what's wrong and you walk out from behind the door no and and the reason is that you are a romantic and I think your partner should have miraculous abilities , almost aliens, to look through the bathroom door at your naked and wounded soul to understand what the discomfort is, but of course they can't because they are just human, you know, it takes us a long time to realize it. that other humans don't read minds, you know, one of the first things we should always ask is did I tell them this.
I know I'm upset, but did I tell you this? And a lot of times the answer is not at all because we're romantic and so we have to really do that, I mean, you know, we can accept that it's very boring, we have to use words, we have to painfully stack words and go, the reason why I'm getting a little nervous because you have to explain it. It's not very romantic, but that's usually a sign that it's a good idea, so honesty. I have sometimes struggled with being completely honest in my relationships when I felt that honesty could hurt them, so can we have true love and complete honesty?
I think the desire to tell someone absolutely everything is beautiful and ultimately utopian in a problematic way because we all have within us ambivalences, doubts, unfaithful thoughts, etc., and it is not the work of love to constantly rub your partner . against the most worrying disturbed sides of your psyche. Now we're not talking, this is not a defense of some sort of outright mendacity and lies, but it's an editorial announcement. You know, we should hope that we don't find the most complete version of each one. others all the time, you know, I know it sounds romantic, but sometimes it's you as a parent, you know, it's great as a parent to tell your child absolutely everything about what's happening to you or sometimes, you know, is there any role in saying "I"?
I'm just going to edit myself not in the name of subu or deception but in the name of love. That love could be compatible with an edit of certain aspects of your reality. One of the areas where a lot of editing occurs is in the bedroom in relationships. in sex in sexless relationships. I was looking at some statistics earlier because I know you've talked quite a bit about relationships and sex and relationships without sex. I found this statistic that says a 2022 study by a UK-based counseling network found that 26% of people in relationships had sex less than 10 times a year and 8% don't have sex at all.
Absolutely, this is a marked increase from 2018, where the numbers were significantly lower than it appears as a society. we are becoming more and moremore asexual, yes, so the question is where is the problem, the problem in the body or the problem in the mind. Now you know, being the kind of person I am, I'm going to move us to the mind. I'm sure sometimes there are body issues and you know they deserve attention too, but if I can talk about the mind, why is sex easier in the beginning than in a long-term relationship? One of the main responses is anger, it is not very easy to have sex or want sex with someone you are angry with and in many relationships there is a lot of stored anger that neither party knows is there and that anger comes from micro incidents of disappointment that someone didn't call when they said someone didn't laugh when they could have someone didn't show generosity when it might have been necessary um and these things are stored and the result of a lot of this is that you don't want anyone to come near you continue because you're furious you're essentially angry but in the sense of these things you don't know that you are you don't know that you are angry again you know that the mind is not obvious to itself so You know, if you want to have more sex, don't just invest in candles and bedding elegant.
A very useful thing is to go to dinner with your partner and tell them that we are both going to ask each other how we are doing. We have been upset because we have been upset not because we are evil people but because we are human and we are in a relationship and no relationship survives more than an hour without a buildup of frustration and the more we can let that frustration out at the table, the more you won't know, it creates a blockage in the bedroom and therefore the opportunity to vent frustration and, you know, often the reason we don't tell our partner what our frustrations are is because they sound ridiculous. it's like well, wait, you're mad at me because I used the word really in what you thought I put too much emphasis on why when I was talking to your mom, you're crazy, right?, you could, you're opening up to your partner pointing. to you, you're crazy, but I think we're all in love with very young children, at least a small part of us is and um, as we know, little children get upset over small and really weird things, you know, you'll move a button and They start crying and you say what happened and they say you moved a button and you say I did it huh, why does that matter?
But for them it is important or you know that the pencil has changed direction slightly, so we must learn, we must remember what it felt like to be a child and we must recognize that even in an adult who is very competent in all kinds of areas, there is still a small child who is prone to getting very angry over small things, but since he is an adult, this is the problem we have. We believe it is possible for an adult to have such childish reactions again. We just have to let go of our fears of embarrassment and say, you know, yes, an adult can get really angry over little things.
An adult is probably upset about small things. and we are doing ourselves an honor when we can dare to reveal this to our partner and they can do the same, so if I'm someone listening to this right now and I'm in a relationship that I don't think about because it's interesting even when I say I don't think is having enough sex, the idea of ​​how much sex is enough probably comes from movies, which is also a bit of a trap, right, um, but if I'm in a relationship and we're in a sexless relationship by what definition Solution One that you presented is trying to resolve the anger, the underlying contempt, um, is there anything else that you think is an effective way to resolve that look?
I think I think it's useful The thing to do is go Why does sex matter? What is this thing called sex? Because it is important? And when people get really upset, I think the answer tends to be that sex is a symbol of something very moving and very delicate, which is my partner. loves me and they can't, the reason it becomes such a serious problem is that they can't hold on to the idea that their partner could love them and not want to have sex, this is psychologically impossible, now it's important to say that it is possible.
Your partner may love you and not want to have sex. There could be other reasons why you are not feeling well. Then we can ask ourselves what sex is really for. Sex is about intimacy. You know, even us. Say you already know people in polite language. I say they became intimate, meaning they had sex. So what we know about sex is that what's really exciting about sex is not the sexual part, it's the intimate part, um, it's the idea that someone is off guard, you know, most of the time we approach others people with their guard up and, in this very strange and unusual thing that we do, we encounter another human being in a vulnerable state and this is a great relief from the normal limitations of life and there are other ways to do it, you know , sex isn't the only way to do it, so by better understanding what sex is, we may also have a chance to get some of what we get in sex into things that aren't sex, if that.
It makes sense that I had Tracy Cox on the podcast and she told me something that really stuck with me because I hadn't noticed it until she said it, which is this idea that I think she called otherness, which is when your partner almost becomes becomes a family. member or you start to see them as if they were brothers because they are in sweatpants with you and she made the statement, which I think I have also read in your books, that in many ways that is the complete opposite of the spice that sex does. so attractive in those early days when it was new and novel and risky, you know, and so she alluded to the fact that love and sex were actually sitting at two different ends of a pole, and again I come back to my topic, What do they mean? romantic let's say a romantic Romanticism tells us that sex and love go completely together, but I think what you are saying and you know that many of your viewers will know is that the relationship is more complicated and, again, let's not torture ourselves with This, let's be curious. and then let's talk about this um and I think look, a growing child has a paradox to deal with and this is what Freud famously no matter what you think of Freud, it's a very useful observation actually that um the child experiences love. first of all.
For example, at the beginning of life, we all experience love at the hands of people for whom everything has gone well, we will have no sexual connection with them, so given the debt that adult love owes to childhood, that presents us with a problem when we are adults. We start falling in love with people and we start building relationships, and the more we get comfortable with someone, the more we feel like we did a little bit with our parents when things were really cozy, which is strange why sometimes people like to go to hotels why people like to go to hotels to revive a relationship is because the furniture doesn't remind you the curtains don't remind you you are you can be for a moment chosen someone without the story and it is the story that is make intimacy difficult because that history, while it brings you together and brings you closer emotionally, it also makes sexual freedom problematic and I think it's just that we have to be very kind to ourselves about the fact that this happens and what? what do we do about it?
Do I need to book many hotel rooms? Do I need to spend a lot of time away from my partner? I even noticed that you're laughing, you're smiling while you're saying that and I think that's partly the CL, you know when? We face life's most difficult enigmas. Have a tolerance for a sense of humor. A shared sense of humor. You know, if a couple can turn the sexual challenges of a tragedy into something you know closer to a comedy, that's a huge achievement. think about, you know, think about teasing, there are sides of couples that are really difficult for them, isn't it wonderful when a couple affectionately learns to tease each other?
They say ah Stephen, yeah, there's that thing you do, he gives you a bit of a nickname, he calls you whatever, you know, a bit of an affectionate nickname, it's a wonderful moment because it means that the irritation has been sublimated into a tender, compassionate understanding of why someone is as difficult as they are, so the best we can do with our irritations with our partners. It's being able to get out of them and we may need to do this in problem areas like sex, it's a huge achievement if your partner can call you out, you know, you can go from thinking you're an idiot to smiling at them. you and think that you are a lovable idiot right, we are all at the end of the day a lovable idiot we don't need to believe in God but if God was watching us from up there on the space station um we are all you I know 8 billion lovable idiots and one Once we can have that kind of compassionate relationship with ourselves, that will be the beginning of a big well of the big part of the solution.
I often think you know I've been in my relationship for a couple of years. I've been thinking, how can I stop my partner from getting bored of me? There will come a day when sometimes it crosses my mind that he's just going to get bored of me and also, you know, the other way around, you think about being with someone for 40 50. 60 years I'm sure some people listening They have been with their partners for several decades. Is there a risk that we will get bored with our partner and then look for the kind of you know what's new in Affairs and how can we avoid that?
Well, look. Here is a suggestion. What gets very, very boring in all relationships is when people stop listening to each other. Now you know, when you say the word listen, you have to think, oh yeah, yeah, I know what that means, wait, let's complicate it. this topic is kinda helpful um you know most of us have never been heard properly it's not something we normally know how to do we know how to talk you know there's there's there's there's there's lessons on how to become a good audience. speaker there aren't many lessons on how to become a good listener right tell us something um so what is listening imagine a situation where someone tells you something and instead of you jumping up and saying oh that reminds me you know that something happened with my aunt or that reminds me or you know, start giving advice and say what you need to remember is 1 2 3 4 right, which is what we usually do when people talk is just hold back and therapists are good at doing this. and just do what they call reflective listening so you know you're telling someone um I'm really upset I've had such a difficult day at work this happened that happened that happened and then you just repeat back to them using slightly different words Gist of what they've said and you say, I'm hearing that life is pretty difficult for you right now at work and you know you're under pressure from your boss and the person you know will try because the person will immediately feel like I'm being heard and then they will feel that they understand more about themselves.
Do you know why in the company of some people we feel really interesting and have a lot to say and in the company of others? I feel a little bored, we have nothing to say, we are the same people, it is because we feel that we are in the presence of someone who listens to us and the best way to listen is to literally not give advice, no um. tells anecdotes but repeats to someone what they said in slightly different words and I mean you know parents bless them. I've been a parent, we've all been parents, a lot of us have been parents, um, parents are often pretty bad at listening to their kids think they're listening I was at a vacation resort a few months ago and there was a kid who had to being three years old and I was having a bad day, I was really screaming and the father, the mother, said could the mother be someone was saying um what's up what's up um and the kid was like I hate this here the whole place smells um it's poop and I want to go home to kindergarten and the caretaker said don't be so stupid honey, we're on vacation, vacations are fun and what's more, this hotel cost a lot of money and you want to go, okay, I get it, this woman was Trying to help, I was trying to reassure this distraught girl, was she listening?
No, because basically what the kid was saying is that I'm having a really bad day. Everything feels absolutely disastrous, help me, oh right, and we all have a version of those days and we don't want to be told, come on, you're living. In really wonderful times the sun shines, you know, there's a lot to celebrate, we want someone to leave. I heard things are going badly for you. I hear things are going badly for you. I heard you're not handling it very well and I'm pretty sad now if you do that, don't rush them, don't give them advice, don't give them, you know you're going to get a great response, we can put money into it, listening to what the other main components are.
So, because I really want to close this topic on love and relationships without sex, what would you say are the core components or the core habits of two people having a long, successful, long-lasting sexual and romantic relationship if we just focus on this side of sex? First of all, what are those basic habits, so I guess Communications, when that is expressed quite strongly, would start a little bit higher up and say generally,What should these guys do and I think that, in general, both of them should recognize that they are fragile, fragile people, a little crazy because not because they are but because they are human and there is no other option for a human being than to be a little crazy and without However, in that context, they try to do the best they can so that the combination of a recognition of their fallible nature mixed with a dedication to trying to understand it through broadly therapeutic means, so this is something very crucial, the other thing Absolutely crucial is the recognition that much of what people will do in relationships will have nothing to do with the person in front of you that you will import from different periods of your life, scenarios and assumptions that owe nothing to the here and now and they owe a lot to mom, dad, caregivers and other scenarios and the ability to Recognize that I can gracefully say "It's okay", I'm sorry, "you know", I'm getting confused about who is in front of me.
I import into this situation an energy that does not belong there. We all do this, the whole basis of attachment. The theory, let's remember, is that your attachment style is governed by your first attachment, the attachment that you had with a parent figure, and therefore you know that you will be, let's say, insecurely preoccupied, attached to someone, um not because deserve that quality of attachment, because your early caregiver did that's what they commanded through their own behavior, but your partner maybe someone completely different is someone completely different, so if I can put it this way, overcome your projections that We project wildly as human beings and we can have at least one You feel that the person in front of you may not be entirely who you think they are and that the reality in the here and now may be a little more innocent, and I think you know yourself.
You owe it to yourself your appearance is so boring I'm sorry Stephen I'm sorry for your listeners you have to get over your childhood it's so boring to be told this must be 30 40 50 60 and to be told that you have to get over your childhood. I mean, my God, this isn't a Nostalgia Fest, the only reason is so you can put the damn thing to bed and never have to think about it again, but it's going to be hanging around unless you've done it. I did and I think it's like this, look, think about language: all of us, as children, were put in an environment where, without us doing anything, we learned a whole language with syntax, grammar, complicated vocabulary, etc., and this happened while we were doing handstands in the garden drawing buttercups in the kitchen Etc., we absorbed an entire language and had no idea that the same thing was happening emotionally, we learned an emotional language, not a language about grammar and vocabulary, but a language about trust, a language about self-esteem, a language about who we are a language about what will happen to us when we trust someone a language about whether it is safe to go with someone to be ourselves Etc. we learned all that language and we have no idea that we learned it only that we have no idea that we ever learned our birth language, it just happened, but it is within us no less than the grammatical language and what we have to do and it is as difficult as learning in adulthood, since You know how hard it is, imagine if I told you learn Finnish now, now Let's learn Finnish or next week we'll go out and learn.
You know, I don't know Korean, right? You'd be there in like a week. Well, it's going to take a long time. Isn't it that we are GNA? We have to do this for a long time. Do you know what I would say? There are two things I would answer if you told me to finish. Finish first. One is God, that's what I think is going to happen. take forever and the second is what's the point, but I would also say that we are not trying to learn Finnish, we are trying to learn to trust, let's say we are not trying to learn Korean, we are trying to learn. the lesson of vulnerability safe vulnerability, right, these are very valuable lessons, very valuable lessons that we need in our relationships.
I say this because I point out the childish patterns that you are talking about and I think one of the reasons why people don't open up that closet and do the work there is because they don't realize that that is the Puppeteer dictating their professional relationships and everything else, so I think the First Step is like them understanding the impact that that childhood narrative is having today, yeah, and then also realizing that you know this is where language can be a useful metaphor, it's about time because sometimes people say okay, so I get it and I saw a great guy listen to a podcast, um Stephen, you know, he really catches on, he listens to a lot of people. of your podcast problem is that after three podcasts I'm not cured and you want to see how many finishing or Korean lessons you did or three, are you fluent? uh not at all.
I might need another 150 150 more, in other words, we need to take it easy and we need to repeat these things. You know, we talked about religion before. One of the things about religions is that they understand that our minds are like cives. You know, take Islam. Islam wants us to remember its God three, four, five times a day. In a lot of religions you're constantly on your knees because you know these religions know what goes in one and comes out the other, you know we're not very good at holding on to the truths that we most are. attached and I think part of the problem with the modern world is that we tend to think I'll just listen to that idea once I'll read an interesting book, he told me something once and I'm going to change my life you want to go no, no, you know that new, think about the holy books, how many times are you supposed to read the Bible, the Quran, it's a Buddhist text every day because we are not very good at holding on to even the things that our lives depend on.
It depends, is there any risk in this kind of healing culture where we're all healing forever and we're all kind of broken and trying to recover from our early years where someone snatched candy out of our hands or something? I read an article a couple of weeks ago and it said there was a bit of risk in this long-term continuous healing mentality that we're looking at. I feel your frustration and I share it. It would be great if we could. Just get on with your life without having to worry about all these things. I understand that, but I think Stephen, what you need to keep in mind is that we're no longer just trying to survive, we're trying to thrive now that the era of survival is behind us. you know we're not just looking to make it to age 30 and then collapse into bed and think you know it's been a fantastic life.
I have not been massacred by an enemy, right? You know that we want to reach 80 85 and we not only want survival, we want fulfillment and if we want that we are going to have to pay attention to things that previous generations did not let me use another metaphor, right? um for most of human history people here I'm drinking a glass of water right um people I didn't pay much attention to the water if it looked like there was nothing actively floating in it like a frog or something, you'd think it was clean water, true, I just swallowed it and through so much indifference, if I can put it that way.
That's how millions of people died, and then towards the end of the 19th century, around the same time that Sigman Freud in Vienna was starting to help us think about certain things about the psyche, a number of people became very interested in the water supply and everything. Major cities Paris London New York had a complete overhaul of their water supplies because it was suddenly discovered that microscopic organisms could kill hundreds of thousands of people in a glass of water that looked completely clear, you could have enough to kill a city, TRUE? deeply disconcerting you think wait a minute, it's just a glass of water should be fine and you know I don't want to be harsh on you, but in that tone of "it really is, could we bother with those old childhood things, why not?" " If we just move on, you want to leave, unfortunately we have to be careful because there are macrobiotic organisms, so to speak, in our lives that are depleting our capacities for fulfillment and it's not like they're not necessarily going to kill us. but they will hinder our ability to be you to exploit our full potential and after all, you know that's what this podcast is about.
This is what worries many people and will require work. Can we ever truly heal from those things? Will they always be there in the back room simply exerting less power over us? Look, wonderful. The German philosopher Schopenhauer says that the goal of life is to turn tears into knowledge. Wonderful progress. Tears, what are you going to do with those? They just end. on your pillow could end up, you know, being things that you can learn from, so I think the best thing we can do is learn to solve many of the problems that afflict us. You know there is no life without affliction, but that moment when we leave. you know what i learned something from this torment this was a total nightmare but i learned something about myself about human nature about psychology so we are really learning so we are really on the path to a good life because a good life is not a problem free life, it is a life in which we have found a way to learn from our inevitable pains, you will never find the right person.
I read that sentence and it sounded a little negative, I think I read it. You will never find the right person in your book. Well, I was gently joking with our old friends, the romantics, who tell us that of course we will find the right person and that believing in the right person has led to more anger, more disappointment, more frustration. Like anyone else, you know that if you tell people that you will find the right person and if you build a model of what it will mean to find the right person, you will be condemning people to disappointment if, for example, they meet someone who It's really good in many ways. very, very good, but they have had an argument with them, well, oh, I'm not supposed to argue with someone who is the right person, we are supposed to be Bliss Blissful, so I'm kidding, really, the concept of righteousness, righteousness, can include a There are many mistakes and that is why you know the wonderful English psychoanalyst Donald Winot, who came up with this phrase, "good enough", applied it to parenting and argued that no child needs a perfect father, In fact, it's quite dangerous to have a perfect father because you never.
Leaving home is good enough to have a father who causes you little frustration, that will get you out of there, um, but he argued that no one needs a perfect father, no one needs a perfect lover, they need a good enough father, a lover does it. good enough. Do you think people in romantic relationships should spend time apart? Do you think that's healthy for the things we've talked about about lack of sex and stuff? Because I think I tend to get more excited about sex with my partner when she's been away from it. for a while and there's a real newness to it, yeah, look, I think one of the things that distance can do is remind you that there's no predetermined reason why someone should be with you.
I mean, it's one of the most miraculous things that anyone should choose to be with anyone because anyone is a pretty complicated proposition and part of the mystery of that, um, can, you know, achieve their necessary Strength after a period of distance, is Like being very sick, imagine being sick for a while. been, you haven't been in the world for a long time, um, for a while, suddenly you feel better, you go out into the world, you go to the park and suddenly, oh my God, there's this thing called a tree, it's amazing, it has leaves over there. there are some bugs crawling everywhere there is something called grass there is a brick wall suddenly you are like a three year old child full of appreciation and wonder and one of the great challenges in life is how to remain people who have wonder in their life because habit swallows you whole oh yes, tree, yes, yes, I know what they are, I know what a tree is like, that's why we need art, you know, for example, I mean, what's the point of art, small topic , let's bite that one too, what's the point? of good art, one of the things that happens when you go to one of these places called galleries or museums is that they are full of paintings of people who look at the world as if they have never seen it before, maybe it is their wife or their husband.
They look at their wife or husband as if they have never seen them alone before and behold something quite astonishing. Wow, it's going to be amazing. It is full of tenderness, beauty, compassion and interest. You might know that I might like this person you see! at a tree they look at a cloud they look at the grass and you know we are part of what makes little children so fascinating but also frustrating if you suggest walking to the park it takes them an hour and a half to get to the park why because everything is interesting what we've done with those layers of interest that we also used to possess we think we know what's going on but we don't know um and one of the wonderful things that children can remind us is the strange, the true strangeness of a world that we feel, we know, We feel like we've seen it but we haven't really looked at it.
It says on page 75 of that bookthat the solution to long-term sexual stagnation is to learn to see our lover as if we have never seen him before, but it feels so natural that through this process of habituation, everything in our lives becomes less, produces less joy than before, and I and I often fight about it because you know how things get. financially more, as you become more financially free in life, you can experience the nice restaurants and the nice things and the nice vacations and the nice airplanes, all that kind of stuff, but with that the awe and the surprise. it completely escapes you and I think we need to work on it the Buddhists were on this um the wonderful Buddhist scroll from the Middle Ages medieval scroll uh six people man you know person man a kind of fruit um it has a bit like an apple um uh and there are only six is ​​shown in a beautiful interpretation on a canvas and the idea is that the Buddhist sage must look at those six people for an hour, the real one could go on even for a day, just six people, and you could go hang for a minute can i change the channel please can i watch something else the ability to stare at something and take advantage of it is absolutely something we lose, especially as life becomes more fast-paced, the thing to keep in mind is that life can Once only it is so exciting that it is not for more stimulation than ever if your senses are destroyed if you cannot take advantage of a lemon having a thousand lemons or a sports car will not make you more appreciative the goal is to learn to appreciate more than what we've already seen and that's, you know, we talk about gym and exercises and workouts, it's something that we have to do, I mean, it's literally learning to see and appreciate it's a skill, um, and you can go up or down and, like I say, One of the nice things about works of art is that there are records of careful looking by people, they may not be looking at the things you're looking at, but it's not so much about what you're looking at.
Plus, it's an observation method that you can learn from, as you'll know if you've listened to this podcast before. I am an investor in a company called hu. I am on their board and they sponsor this podcast and I have a very exciting announcement to make this. The product called Daily Greens is one of the most requested products on H, but it has never been sold in the UK before. Until now, it is often difficult to include in our diet all the vegetables we need for a healthy gut microbiome and a healthy body. and with Hu's Daily Greens product, with one tablespoon every morning, one very, very delicious tablespoon, you can get 91 vitamins, minerals and whole food nutrients in your diet.
The most important point here is that I really think it tastes delicious. It's my all-time favorite healing product. All the reasons I have described, so if you want access to this product, you can register right now. The link is in the description below. It will be released in the UK in January due to demand. I'm pretty sure a Therapeutic Journey Lessons from the School of Life, the Sunday Times bestselling author of The School of Life, will be sold out. I have seen this book everywhere. I go into bookstores all the time and I wish my book had the prominence I saw.
Yes, I was. on a sheet the other day and I think you have some signed copies there. I picked one up, yes. Why did you write a book called A Therapeutic Journey? Because I have to say that you have also written a lot. many many books, I mean, this is not even half of them, no, there are about 70, yes, this book is a therapeutic journey. um, it really follows the art of what you could call a mental breakdown or a mental breakdown from the moment of its appearance. From the beginning, from the moment it reaches us to the moment of recovery, and then I go into many paths and many, you know, many digressions, but essentially it says how we can keep our minds safe, how we can help them heal. , what can we do? we do it when we're in a mental crisis it's written in a tone hopefully of sympathy um of kindness and also trying to give people an idea of ​​what's going on with me because very often you know when there's a crisis that we don't know what the hell is happening?
You know yesterday we were happy and carefree now we can't get out of bed yesterday we were able to hold it together now everything that comes out of our mouths doesn't make sense so I guess the um uh is supposed to be a companion for what could be some of our loneliest hours, why do we need this book right now? Do you think that in society? I think because look, I hope people think, "okay, this is written from the place of someone who probably understands what they're saying and what I feel. I think we need partners on things that probably feel very personal, but actually It is good news, very general, but I think you know that in the school of life we ​​see so many people who are going through these things and what each one thinks is I am alone and the best thing you can say to people is to say no. , you're not and the reason you think you're alone is because you know it's a paradox of As human beings, we only know people by what they choose to tell us, but we know our own minds through introspection, so that there's a huge cognitive gap between self-knowledge and knowledge of others, and in that gap shame develops and, um, there's so many things.
It's a shame around mental illness because, as we know, it's rarely talked about. of them, so the book aims to rehabilitate to educate and console. This is a book about getting sick, imagining that we've let everyone down and lost direction, and I hope it's also a book about Redemption about picking up the thread, rediscovering meaning and finding a way back to connection, warmth and joy, what are the ways in which that we get sicker and sicker you know it's very difficult when your mind is working well you almost don't realize what it's doing doing because it's doing so many things to make you feel, you know, we even have that word normal, right, how do you feel? ?
I feel normal, yes, that's my baseline, that's how I am, it's the result of what we could call it gifts because When those gifts are taken away from us, my God, do you realize? So, for example, there is something in our mind in a well-functioning mind that more or less keeps us on our side. There would be so many reasons for us all to despair of whom. we you know why he would be on my side I've made mistakes I'm not perfect Etc but most of us you know that on a good day Steven will go look I'm not perfect but You know I'm fine, I can keep going when you're not well mentally, that faculty it breaks and suddenly you can't stand yourself, you can't forgive yourself, you know there are people who are not well and they will say 17 years. 17 years ago I said something to someone and I can't forgive myself and you want to leave that was 17 years ago it's okay and they can't let it go that's what illness is illness is not being able to let out an argument against yourself because you have become your worst enemy, um, the other thing that people manage to do in a healthy mind is to bracket things so that not all the things that might be on your mind are active in your mind at some point, so you're able to sequence thoughts, so you think you know well, you know I have this to do.
I'm interviewing this guy tomorrow I'll be in New York. There is also something with my grandmother and there is also something with a friend, etc. but those thoughts are sequenced, you can align them in a coherent order when health fails, all these things come from all angles, there is no order anymore, there is no hierarchy, so something that happened 10 years ago expresses that something is happening right. now something that is deeply urgent collides with something that you know by rational means is not so urgent but seems just as urgent and then everything coherent breaks down, you can no longer order things, there are voices that begin to arrive in unfriendly voices that we all have. voices in our minds you don't necessarily know they aren't I'm not talking about psychotic voices but there are voices voices of encouragement you can often move on you just know do it or it's okay you can dare to take that risk often kindly Voices we have incorporated from people kind voices around us when mental health deteriorates, we can only hear the worst voices, the voices that tell us that you don't deserve to be here, you've made a mistake and we don't want you. here it would be better if those voices did not exist and those voices do not give up and then we are in trouble and we need to raise the White Flag because things are not good and sometimes we move on we are so good at moving forward that it is terrible half the problem is that we keep going so well you know we're half dead before we realize there's a problem so the ability to keep going, waiting, waiting, I can't stand it.
That is the beginning of knowing how to get help, because when the mind is in trouble, what it needs most is another mind. It's like calibration, just when you've lost the correct calibration, you need someone else to go, you know when you go. everyone hates me and everything is terrible and nothing I've done has any value I just have another mind that says okay, I know how you feel, let's think about this, it's, really, who you are, who it is, and then let's know gradually with love and let's remember that people always get mentally ill because of love, I'm not talking about romantic relationships, but every mental illness arises from somewhere if, if you go back, there is always a deficit of love, there is always an experience of cruelty in some way that breaks the mind and when people recover there is always an experience of love that heals and it could be love, you know, not romantic love, love from a friend, love from a therapist, love from professionals, but it is essentially an act of love, an act of love. saves us redeems us then the problem and often the antidote is love or at least the cause and the antidote is often love itself understood imaginatively not simply romantic love and its broader meaning and you know this because mental breakdown often arises of an accumulation of cruelty and unbearable cruelty that makes life unbearable for the person and then they have to project it outwards, I mean, when the illness becomes very serious and you have a psychosis, you know, what can happen is that people become Obsess with the idea that everyone is against it. them, the CIA is against them, other people are conspiring against them, really, this is a consequence of an unbearable internal negativity that has not found any way to be handled.
In this book the word resilience is used and I think the word resilience is often misunderstood because we think of resilience as something like T it up and you know, take it, what is your definition of resilience and why is that a word so prominent in this book? Look, I think true resilience should be compatible with things unseen. resilient in the face of all things that seem very desperate very humble very um broken in fact so um yeah I mean, I like that you're suspicious of the use of that word resilience because it actually means kind of stoic um recovering from all problems immediately um, I think it means a generous understanding of how much madness has a legitimate claim even to a healthy life. um towards the end of the book I have a little thing that I do about the seasons, part of it is understanding that this is normal, this is part of the The natural cycle is not opposed to it.
What does that help you understand what is normal? Well, sometimes when people have mental problems, they will have ups and downs, and sometimes people can shut down and go away. I suffered now. better again you know I'm better and the advice is always H careful careful that belief that you are better the rigid belief the past is behind me the darkness is behind me can begin to see a kind beginning that can begin to itself seem a problem because it means you will be intolerant towards any regression and regression belongs to progress just like dark days belong to good seasons you know we need some of that and the natural world has a wonderful way if we are ATT tune in to talk to us about the cycles, really what are we talking about cyclical, darkness is followed by light.
Autumn is followed by winter, followed by spring, the mind has its own seasons and the more we can accept the legitimacy of those seasons, the less we will complain against some of the necessary slides into darkness, which for many of us will simply be inevitable. if someone chooses to read this book and reaches the final page. What do you hope they learned or took away? as you get to the end of this book um really real sympathy for the complexity of their minds a real understanding that um it's not easy to be human that there's nothing indulgent about knowing how to work on yourself like you say that this is boring but it's a task. very necessary, some tools there on how to do it, from the most practical to the most theoretical.
There is a practical book about how you can work on the most broken parts of yourself and find a kind of balance, but it is also very deliberately a warm book, it is a book of comfort and I think that something that we often miss we understand, we can become too intellectualthis topic by thinking that people who are in trouble, mentally and psychologically, all they need are some ideas. I know, get some ideas and yes, sure we need ideas, but you know what we also need is warmth, kindness, friendship in some way, now you might say, well, how could a book be a friend?
Well, you know, many of my best friends are books, let me. to tell you and um, I think it's absolutely within the scope of a book to act like a friend and tell you very simply You're not alone, you said before that a good conversationalist, a good friend, a good romantic partner is someone who makes you feel heard and understood. and I think that is exactly what is achieved in this book. It's a very difficult thing to do because books can often seem quite exclusive, especially when the author is as smart as you. But this book does a wonderful job of first and foremost making you realize that what you are going through in the way you are is not evidence of your insufficiency, it is actually evidence that you are perfectly human and that you are just like everyone else. and, through that lens, you can offer support and some very practical advice on how to know how to resist or rise from the situation that we all find ourselves in at the different stages of life that you describe and that is why it is such a book. important and that's why it's done so tremendously well um and So many people are passing it on Alan, thank you so much for your time today and thank you for all your wisdom, you're an extraordinary conversationalist.
I was learning, I was watching you, and I was thinking, hell, you know. way of holding people with the way you articulate yourself that is incredibly powerful and, uh, speaking, the art of speaking is an incredible and important talent and you have it in such a wonderful way that is so comforting and engaging and intelligent and There's a real poetry to the way you put things, which I think is just a superpower that I'd love to have more of from you Stephen, you don't, but I don't like that you have it, so it was wonderful to learn from you.
Way of talking. We have we have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest without knowing who they leave it for and the question that was left is ah interesting, what was the last thought that was thought to hold you back? up at night the last thought that keeps me up at night um well, last night I was quite worried about coming here, so they kept me up, but you know, they often keep me up. I do it, I sleep late. in a fragile way and I think one of the ways to think about it is that there are thoughts that happen in the middle of the night that can't happen at any other time and that there are actually some pretty important thoughts that often have to do with things that we don't even know. you didn't even know you were worried but the night teaches you that there is night school you know and and I used to be very, very impatient um uh Sleepless so I used to wake up I think oh my god I can't believe I'm still awake how annoying Etc now I'm thinking maybe there's something to learn here maybe my mind is trying to teach me something um and it might not be something totally earth shattered, it might not sound completely earth shattered but it might just be something like Oh, I really love this. or I think I should really stay away from that or this is really beautiful or whatever, it's kind of like a recognition of the night and that's why I've become better, not a better sleeper, but something maybe even more important. better Insomniac why did you never stay up to come here?
We are all friendly people. I know you are. I think you know we've talked a lot about expectations, right? And you know if your podcast had one. listener um and we were going to the pub it would be lovely if you called me and said we're canceling the show but we're just going to the pub uh I would have slept like a baby well you. I have certainly exceeded all my expectations and it is a true honor and privilege that you have chosen to come, so thank you very much for that and your wisdom. I'm sure it has impacted countless people not only over the past few decades but even this one. conversation that I guess you'll never get to see, so on their behalf, thank you very much Stephen, in 2023 I launched my own private equity fund called flight fund and since then we have invested in some of the most promising companies in the world.
Worldwide, my goal is to make this the best performing fund in Europe, focusing on high growth companies that I believe will be the next European unicorns. The current fund investors who have joined me on this journey are some of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs and I am pleased to announce that today, as a company founder, you can present your company to us or, if you are an investor, you can now also apply to invest with us. Visit Flight Fund.com to better understand the fund's mission the notable companies we proudly support and to contact me and my team legal disclaimer the flight fund is regulated by the FCA so remember to invest in the fund It is for sophisticated investors only, do not invest unless you are prepared to lose all the money you invest, this is a high risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong, there is no guarantee that your investment objectives will be achieved and, as with all private equity investments, all investment capital is At Risk, this communication is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or financial promotion.
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