Episode 5: “Uncovering Important Truths About Men” with Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong

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Alissa Kriteman interviews Alison Armstrong, CEO and Co-Founder of PAX Inc., a company passionate about altering society’s culture by transforming the way women relate to men. In Part One of this Two Part Series, Alison Armstrong illuminates some very different ideas we have always guessed at, but have not really gotten about men, until now. Alison describes what a Frog Farmer is and how not to be one, as well as a myriad of things we as women might be doing to kill love and intimacy with men (agh!). No worries, we also talk about the three major factors that attract men to us and how to keep them happy in our presence, wanting to offer us all that we desire. This interview is packed with inspiring, eye-opening information about men, including how they are certainly not hairy versions of women, why women push men away, and why we should RUN from guys we are intensely attracted too! This is Part One of a Two Part Series of interviews with this provocative and very knowledgeable relationship expert.

Transcript

"Uncovering Important Truths About Men" with Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong

Host:  This program is brought to you by PersonalLifeMedia.com.  This is Part One of a two-part program.

Alissa Kriteman:  Welcome to Just For Women: Dating, Relationships, and Sex.  I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman.  My show is committed to bringing you fresh perspectives, new information, and useful tools that will allow you to create more love, intimacy, and fun in your life.  Today on the show we're talking about men: how to understand them better, what brings out the best and worst in men, and how some of us just might be 'frog farmers'.  A unique perspective on how we might be turning men from princes into frogs.

Alison Armstrong:  She asked him, you know, why is it that men are really great and then they change.  And his response was to call her a frog farmer.  When he said 'Some women turn frogs into princes, and you, my dear, turn princes into frogs', that struck me to the heart.  I had a vision of rows and rows of frogs with little human heads on my farm and I was a very successful frog farmer, except I had no idea how I did it.

Alissa Kriteman:  All this today from our guest, Alison Armstrong.  Alison, it's so great to have you on the show.

Alison Armstrong:  Thanks for having me, this is wonderful.

Alissa Kriteman:  Great.  Alison is CEO, president, and co-founder of PAX Programs, whose mission is altering society's culture by transforming the way women relate to men, which I think is fantastic, by the way.

Alison Armstrong:  Thanks.

Alissa Kriteman:  She is the creator of a variety of workshops including Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women and Making Sense of Men.  She is also the author of a novel called Keys to the Kingdom.  I'm really excited to have Alison with us today.  She has so much valuable information for us we're actually doing a two-part series, and this is part one.  So, Alison, I know our listeners are really interested in what you have to tell us about understanding men in a deeper way, and they're really interesting in learning how we as women can relate in more healthy ways with men and create more loving and honest relationships with them.  So in this part one interview, we're going to cover understanding some of the major differences between men and women that seem obvious but really are often overlooked.  And then we'll cover what are we doing that brings out the best and worst in men, and how to avoid being the dreaded frog farmer, which I'm sure everyone is interested in hearing about.  So Alison, let's start with you, your background.  How did you come to be the nationally-known educator and expert on understanding the sexes?

Alison Armstrong:  Well, I started out as a woman who was always really attracted to the opposite sex.  I started having boyfriends very young, like the second grade; you know, I always was really interested in boys and as happens sometimes when you're really interested in boys, you end up getting your feelings hurt; you end up with some bad experiences, which I had.  So by the time I was twenty, I was completely the opposite.  I was disillusioned, I had the T-shirt "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle", and I wore it proudly.  I was an ardent, honestly man-hating feminist.

Alissa Kriteman:  Wow.

Alison Armstrong:  It was, I really was.  But I hadn't lost the dream, you know, the family, the white picket fence, and the children that look like their dad.  And so I went ahead and I got married when I was 23, and by the end of that marriage, which lasted seven years before I asked my husband for a divorce, I was convinced I just wasn't the type of woman that men really loved, you know, that I was just missing some key traits or attributes, you know, that really had men adore a woman and be passionate about her and give her gifts and want to take care of her.  I decided I was born without it.  And then I started a relationship with a man who did all those things, and that was like, wahoo! There's nothing wrong with me, I just married the wrong guy.  My husband was a jerk, it wasn't me, until my boyfriend changed, and began acting just like my husband, my ex-husband, where, you know, he was no longer interested or passionate or attentive or all those things that I wanted and I loved, and so that was the point where I concluded that men are just con artists on their best behavior until they catch you. 

Alissa Kriteman:  Hmm.

Alison Armstrong:  And I was determined I would never be caught again, or if I was caught, I would never let him know I was caught, and I'd keep him on his best behavior forever.  That was my new strategy, and I was all set with that new strategy on a Tuesday night in February of 1991 when a good friend of mine who had the exact same attitude asked a man, she asked him, you know, "why is it that men are really great and then they change?" and his response was to call her a frog farmer.  And, "What?  What's a frog farmer?"  When he said 'Some women turn frogs into princes, and you, my dear, turn princes into frogs', that struck me to the heart.  I had a vision of rows and rows of frogs with little human heads on my farm and I was a very successful frog farmer, except I had no idea how I did it.  I had no idea how I accomplished it.  And I thought they really were jerks, you know, so I wasn't doing anything to bring it out in them.  But when I found out I was a frog farmer, I got really excited because if it was true that I was turning princes into frogs, first of all, that meant there were princes!  Princes existed!

Alissa Kriteman:  Yes.

Alison Armstrong:  And that was very exciting to me, and if I had something to do with their behavior, then I could change it.  I knew I could change me, you know, I had been into transformation for a long time, over a decade at that point, and I knew I could change me.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmhmm.

Alison Armstrong:  And so that idea was very exciting, that if I could change my behavior, maybe men would be different with me, and it was that easy and I decided I was going to study men and I was going to find out what brought out the worst in them, what brought out the frog, and hope, I just hoped if I paid really close attention I might be able to find out something that could bring out the best in them, and get princes around me.

Alissa Kriteman:  Well now you have to have to tell us, because I'm sure we're all cringing to find out what are these things that we're doing to bring out the worst in them, because I'm sure lots of women who are listening are frustrated in that similar position, angry, disillusioned, feeling like there's something wrong with them, they don't have that gene of what it takes to have a relationship work.  So, what are some of the things that we're doing to bring out the worst in men?

Alison Armstrong:  OK, I'll tell you what we're doing, and I've gotta tell you where it starts first, is that OK, Alissa?

Alissa Kriteman:  Oh, yes.

Alison Armstrong:  It starts with we think men are a version of woman.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alison Armstrong:  OK, and you've heard me say this before.  When women look at men, they see a hairy woman.

Alissa Kriteman:  [laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  We really do.  We think, we look at a man, we see a hairy woman who knows the right thing to do, because all women know the right thing to do, and he's purposefully not doing it. 

Alissa Kriteman:  A ha.

Alison Armstrong:  That's what we think.  We think men know what we need, know what we want, and they're holding out on us.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yes.

Alison Armstrong:  So we interact with them the way you would interact with a woman.  And that is where frog farming begins.  A major way that we frog farm is we criticize.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmm.

Alison Armstrong:  We criticize them.  We'll say, 'well, why don't you do this?' or 'don't you know how to do that right?' or 'here, let me do this.  You're doing it wrong.'  And we criticize men.  We especially do the 'why don't you' or we'll say 'you don't bring me flowers anymore' or 'you don't open my door anymore' or 'you don't make love to me enough', you know, we'll complain, you know, and this is a criticism event.  And we do it because, and this is where it gets really tricky, we criticize men because that's how you change women.

Alissa Kriteman:  That's how you change women.  So, women respond to criticism, whereas men do not.

Alison Armstrong:  They do not.  Well, they actually respond.  How they respond is they keep their distance.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Alison Armstrong:  That's their response to criticism.  They don't change their behavior.  Like, you could say to a woman, 'you don't bring me flowers anymore' and she would bring you flowers.  The next time she saw you, she would bring you flowers.  Now she might resent it, because she doesn't feel like bringing you flowers, but she'll do it because women are what we call externally motivated; we're very much affected by the people around us and by our environment around us, and it's not because we have low self-esteem, by the way, it's actually because of the way that our brains work.  So because we respond to criticism by changing, we think men will.  So we criticize them, expecting them to change, and they don't change.  They don't change for the better.  They just change in terms of keeping their distance and wanting to give less because we're no longer safe and we're no longer inspiring to them, which is what women need to do for men.  Women need to be compelling or inspiring, and complaining and criticizing are neither of them.  They are neither compelling nor inspiring. 

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.  I can clearly see where women are very verbal about their criticism of men, so that's the first strike.  So that causes men to then back off.  So it's, OK, she's critical, this doesn't feel good, he shuts down a little bit.  And then the woman starts with her silent criticism, I would think.

Alison Armstrong:  Well, or the eye-rolling, or the 'ugh!'

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmhmm.

Alison Armstrong:  You know, those kinds of sounds.  Yeah, those are ways that we criticize.  We also, another way we do it is, nothing's good enough.  You know, they'll try to do something for us and get very little reaction.  We just won't be impressed.  And this is a system-wide problem; this is a cultural, society-wide problem because women, in general, are only impressed when a man can do something for them that they can't do for themselves.

Alissa Kriteman:  Uh huh.

Alison Armstrong:  Yeah.  And we have become more successful, more self-sufficient, more affluent, more capable, and we're not impressed anymore by very many things.  Like, I can take myself to this restaurant, I can buy myself these flowers, I can take myself on this kind of vacation, so we're not impressed and if a man can't impress you, it doesn't have him work harder.  It has him stop.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmm.

Alison Armstrong:  See, what we want, if you think about it, Alissa, we want men to expend more energy, right?  We want them to give us more fire. 

Alissa Kriteman:  Well, 'cause we want them to think it up all on their own.  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  Well, yeah, there is that problem, which is a whole other thing which has to do with the differences in the way men and women think, and men don't record what women record, so they don't know the things that for us knowing is a piece of cake.  What we want is men to keep putting out that effort; we want them to be attentive, we want them to pursue us, we want them to be great with us and creative and romantic with us, but between criticizing them, you know, which has them spend less effort, and then after they do expend, doesn't get a rise out of us, doesn't get a reaction, doesn't get a 'wow' out of us, that also has them go, 'well, I guess I'm not going to be able to make her happy.  I'll just go find someone I can.'

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmm.  And so they've disconnected out of the relationship, or if they're in a relationship, maybe having an affair.

Alison Armstrong:  Yeah, that is one of the things that can happen.

Alissa Kriteman:  It's sad, isn't it?  And you're saying we have all the power in the world to stop that.  But before we go into that, what else?  We're criticizing men, nothing's good enough, ***we think their aversion of ourselves...***

Alison Armstrong:  Another thing we do is we mother men. 

Alissa Kriteman:  Uh huh.

Alison Armstrong:  Like, we know better than they do.  You know, they're five years old, they're immature, they need to be trained, they're like puppies.  We have to train them.  We become very condescending and maternal.  And really, we give them advice that they haven't requested, we remind them, you know, 'it's cold out, take a sweater'.  We talk to them like they're five years old.  We even talk to them like we're their accountant.  You know, 'Oh no, that's too expensive.  You can't spend, no.  Oh no, you can't do that.  No, you can't, that would cost too much.'

Alissa Kriteman:  I'm curious, but you know, let's talk about this for a second because, you know, I've interviewed some other people, and I've heard that, you know, this kind of mothering thing, I get it.  But there's a fine line.  You know, in other schools of thought, they'll say 'really, you have to train your man.'  But you're saying we're doing it in a way that's condescending and we know better versus a more inviting way.

Alison Armstrong:  Inviting is an excellent word to use for it.  The differences between - see, I thought what you were doing to say was, 'but don't men need to be nurtured?'

Alissa Kriteman:  That too, yeah.

Alison Armstrong:  Which is an expression of the mother, like, that, the eternal mother, the earth mother.  Men absolutely need to be nurtured.  What's different is inviting is a perfect word for it, Alissa.  When we mother men, we're in control and we're telling them what to do.  When we're inviting about it, we leave the control in their hands.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmhmm.

Alison Armstrong:  OK, it's an invitation.  It's the difference between 'Here's some chicken soup, eat it' and 'you don't feel well, is there anything I can do for you?'  Totally different energy, totally different face.  And that's the same thing about training, 'oh, I'm gonna train you.  You're gonna get trained.  You don't know what to do so I've gotta train you how to behave.'  Completely different than knowing, which took me a while to learn and totally rocked my world to find out, when you know that men are the most generous people on the planet, they really want us to have what we need.  They get this immeasurable joy and life and power from making us happy.  So they're very compelled to make us happy and what they need from us is quality information.

Alissa Kriteman:  Uh huh.

Alison Armstrong:  They don't need to be trained.  They're beautiful to begin with.  They do need quality information, because A) they're not mind readers, and B) they don't have a woman's database, which is a feverish collector of preferences.  Women don't even have to bat an eyelash to record the preferences of the people around them.  That's our database.

Alissa Kriteman:  Wow.

Alison Armstrong:  Men have a different database; they have a hunter's database.  So they don't record preferences, they record results and methods and terrains.  So this is why we think men are not paying enough attention to us, because we don't have to think to pay attention to their preferences, so we cop this attitude, Alissa, that 'well, if you don't already know what I want, then it's not gonna count.'  Right?  'I'm not gonna tell you what will make me happy because if you don't already know, you're obviously not paying enough attention to me, which means you don't care about me, you don't really love me.'

Alissa Kriteman:  Got it.

Alison Armstrong:  Which again is expecting them to think and behave like a woman.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.  So we're over here thinking 'well he should already know that he should be paying attention' and you're saying, that's just not how men are wired.  They need this quality information and it's not as though we need to beat them over the head with it in this training sort of, 'men are like dogs.'  I mean, we've all heard that, women have definitely heard that.  And you're making a very powerful distinction in that, yeah, they could be hipped up in a way that is inviting versus 'you don't know what you're doing, here, let me train you', which is completely condescending and I'm sure doesn't feel good, and again, we can start to see where we're making these mistakes that actually push men away and starve us from the intimacy that we want.

Alison Armstrong:  Yes.  Yes, we shoot ourselves in the foot on a regular basis.

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  And I am glad you brought up the word intimacy, because women, what I say is that women crave intimacy more than chocolate.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmhmm.

Alison Armstrong:  And sometimes chocolate is the substitute.  And we assume that men don't want intimacy, and the truth is that we actually push them away.  We prevent intimacy and then complain that they don't want it.  And men have a huge capacity for intimacy.  And really, really care about it; it really matters to them. 

Alissa Kriteman:  Here's a question - sorry, go ahead.

Alison Armstrong:  You know, we end everything.

Alissa Kriteman:  I was just thinking, do you think that women unconsciously do all of these behaviors, probably from training from their parents, right, nobody's really trained in how to do relationships, how to be in a relationship that's really effective, which is why we have you, thank goodness.  Do you think that women are unconsciously pushing men away because they're afraid of their own depth of intimacy?

Alison Armstrong:  Well, I think that women push men away because we're afraid of men.  Can we have - this is the way that I look at it.  Equality with men is very, very new.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Alison Armstrong:  In terms of evolution, whether it be creation or evolution, you know, we've been here for tens of thousands of years.  In a particular kind of paradigm, where women were dependent upon men, because might is what mattered, muscle is what mattered, until very recently.  And because we are physically much smaller, really much weaker than men, I mean, just arm wrestle for arm wrestle, they don't even realize how much stronger they are than we are.  We have been dependent for a very long time, and dependency creates manipulation, anywhere that someone is dependent upon someone else, you feel like the other person has all the power, the other person has what you need, and you have no way of making them give it to you, so you have to become good at getting them to give it to you.  So it creates manipulation and women are excellent manipulators.  But, there's a fear aspect and one of the ways the fear shows up, Alissa, is women have what I call 'testosterometers'. 

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  We're hardwired with testosterometers and we monitor the levels of testosterone in our environment.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alison Armstrong:  And high levels of testosterone are frightening to us.  We don't understand masculine power.  We don't know what it's directed at, we don't know what it's for, and we don't know how to, for lack of a better word, harness it.  We don't know how to facilitate.  Let me say it better.  We don't know how to facilitate the use of masculine power for the benefit of both of us, in a win-win situation.  So when a man gets really pumped up, when a man's got a high level of testosterone, we literally freak out.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.

Alison Armstrong:  We go, 'augh!'  And we do things to, we call it burst his bubble, take the wind out of his sails, take him down a notch.  This is when we lash out.  This is when we emasculate because it's too much power; it's too scary to us.  And the biggest transformation in my life, which happened six months after I started studying med, was when I realized that I only experience my power as a woman when I stopped stealing power from men.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmm.

Alison Armstrong:  Because every time I stole it from them, it reinforced my own sense of weakness.  And I committed to not stealing men's power, ever again.  A huge commitment!  It transformed my life forever.  I don't think it's any coincidence that I met my husband now of 14 years like, two weeks after that, because I was a totally different person.  I let men be men and I let men be powerful, and started to learn how to deal with them head on, that men really want to give and there's things that have them want to give more, and when you give them the information so they can be successful at it, which is all they want - they want to win at it.  And if you give them information where they can score a home run with you, they are so stoked.  And when you acknowledge that home run, 'wow, this is amazing.  You totally made me happy.  You totally gave me what I needed here', they're pumped up all over again and they're left with, 'what else can I do?' 

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  It's just naturally who they are.

Alissa Kriteman:  Wow.

Alison Armstrong:  They're amazing people.  We're so lucky men are who they are.  We just need to understand them better.

Alissa Kriteman:  We really are, and I am just fascinated with what you're sharing today, and we'll talk a little bit more about that when we come back.  We're going to take a short break to support our sponsors.  This is Alissa Kriteman and I'm with Alison Armstrong, and we'll be right back.

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Alissa Kriteman:  We're back, and I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman.  We're talking with Alison Armstrong about how we can have more fun, success, intimacy, closeness, hip up our guys, and have the relationships we want to have with men.  So Alison, let's see here.  You have got some very interesting perspectives that I'm sure women are just waking up to with regards to men.  Let's talk about one thing I heard you say that I was really surprised to hear.  Normally, when we're excited and interested in a man that we're very attracted to, we want to go for it.  And you said that, and this was before, you said that that's quite the contrary to what you would recommend for women.  Can you talk to us a little bit about why that is?

Alison Armstrong:  Well, I think what you're talking about, Alissa, is when we have what we call great chemistry with a man.  You know, when we're very sexually attracted to him, when we see a man across the room, or we meet a man and we're like, 'ah, ah, ah, ah. I want that one!'

Alissa Kriteman:  Must have.

Alison Armstrong:  'Must have that one.  How do I get that one?'  And, unfortunately, when we are attracted to a man like that, when we have a very strong sexual attraction, it causes us to be the opposite of what is really attractive to men and what has men want to give to women.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmhmm.

Alison Armstrong:  Before the break, we were talking about, you know, men being really generous and wanting to give to women, well there's certain qualities in women that has men want to give even more and has them want to give the most, puts them literally in give mode with a woman.  And when we're extremely sexually attracted to them, we're the opposite of those qualities.  So we're doomed.

Alissa Kriteman:  Ah.  Why?  What's happening with us?  We can't be ourselves because if we don't get this man, it means something about us?

Alison Armstrong:  Well, the number one most attractive quality in a woman is self-confidence.  When we're really sexually attracted to a man, that's the first thing that goes out the door.  Right?  We're trying to figure out, 'OK, I gotta have him, so, what does he want?  OK, what does he like?  Oh, well he's talking to a woman who looks like that, OK, well, I could look like that.  And look, he paid attention to a woman who acts like that.  Well, I could act like that.'  And we turn ourselves into a pretzel.

Alissa Kriteman:  I've never done that.  I don't know what you're talking about.  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:   We'll just be turning ourselves into whatever we think the [guy] will want.

Alissa Kriteman:  Wow.

Alison Armstrong:  Can you relate to what I'm talking about?

Alissa Kriteman:  I think I did that yesterday.

Alison Armstrong:  I mean, my interpretation of men like this now is I just stay away from them.  I just go, oh, that man upsets me.  I'm just going to stay away from him, he upsets me too much.

Alissa Kriteman:  You know what I did?  It's distracting.  I was distracted by this man.  Everything that was going on around us disappeared, and there was nothing but this man and I was in a seminar and I would have to keep bringing myself forward so I could see where - exactly.  I wasn't being myself.  I certainly wasn't focused on my own confidence and what I needed to do to take care of myself in that moment; I was completely lost.

Alison Armstrong:  And then the second most attractive quality is authenticity.  What are our chances of being authentic when we're twisted into a pretzel?  And then the third most attractive quality:  passion.  Which, you can only be passionate when you're grounded in yourself, which is the opposite of what happens when we're really attracted to them; we're completely thrown off-balance.

Alissa Kriteman:  I think that's funny, and women walk around, my friends, I do it myself; I'm much more aware of it now, and you would think that over time we would realize, wow, OK, I'm attracted to him, it's very intense, and that's probably not the best thing for me because there goes my self-confidence, my authenticity, and passion, and yet we keep doing it.  So, is that what we have to do is just practice?  I mean, what do we do in that moment when we just want to go for it?

Alison Armstrong:  Well, we keep doing it because chemistry is the most addictive drug on Earth. 

Alissa Kriteman:  Uh huh.

Alison Armstrong:  It is a powerful, powerful drug.  And it's designed, literally it's designed, to ensure the survival of the species.  It's designed to cause us to mate with the men that we perceive as having the best genes to pass onto our children and be the most able to protect us and to protect our children and to provide for us.  So, without even thinking about it, you know, cavewoman within assesses the ability of each man to provide and protect and pass beauty onto our children and then the hormones just cascade.  There's no choice in it at all, there's no self-expression in it.  It's just cavewoman going, 'that one, we gotta get that one!'

Alissa Kriteman:  Ah.

Alison Armstrong:  But it's very, very strong.  It's very powerful, it's intoxicating, and it takes women usually many, many, many times of crashing and burning because the relationships do not turn out.  We sell our souls and it did not turn out.  It usually takes women many, many times of this before they'll even take my advice, you know, when I say, date off-type.  If he's your type, head in the opposite direction!  If you're really, really sexually attracted to him, head in the opposite direction.  If you're really, really economically attracted to him, that'll make you a ninny, too.  Head in the opposite direction.  Encourage the men that you like.  Encourage the men that you feel beautiful around.  Encourage the men that you breathe around, that feel like home.  These are the guys that love you for who you are; these are the guys that want to take care of you.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK, I can hear a little voice in my head saying, 'but then I would get bored!  But then it would just be boring!'  What is that?

Alison Armstrong:  We can talk about sex, right?

Alissa Kriteman:  Sure, yeah, let's talk about sex!

Alison Armstrong:  This is your show, sex is in the title.

Alissa Kriteman:  Absolutely.

Alison Armstrong:  Just think about this, OK.  Assuming all those listening have had sex.  Chemistry covers up a lot of bad technique. 

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  The sex may be hot, but that doesn't mean it's good, that doesn't mean it's satisfying. 

Alissa Kriteman:  That is so interesting.

Alison Armstrong:  And if we're ridiculously attracted to a man, we're so afraid that he won't like us, that we won't even tell him the littlest thing like, 'a half inch to the left would work a lot better.' 

Alissa Kriteman:  That is so true!

Alison Armstrong:  We won't give any quality information in bed when we're crazy about the guy.  We just suffer through that he's not hitting it. 

Alissa Kriteman:  And it is suffering, literally.

Alison Armstrong:  Yes.  We just suffer through it and then, sex is over and what do we want?  We want more sex because it wasn't satisfying and 'cause instinct is saying, you know, get as many of the little swimmers as you can involved here, so we can make a baby here, the future of humanity!

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughs]

Alison Armstrong:  And it's only when you are not crazy about a guy like that that you can actually speak up and actually have a chance to have sex be making love, sex be an expression of affection between people instead of just hormones going off.

Alissa Kriteman:  Wow.  This is really just amazing, enlightening information.  I can just see women taking a big breath.  I mean, I know I am.  And I'm just thinking, I can't help but think about past, even recent past relationships where all of that was going on, you know.  And then we make ourselves wrong because we're not asking for what we want, which is another thing, you know, we can talk about.  But really, if we're in a relationship where there's this intense chemistry, we're not going to ask for what we want because we don't want to lose this almost, this prize, this man that we have all this chemistry with and you're saying it's really a natural, biological response that we need to sort of wake up out of the fog.

Alison Armstrong:  And I love, Alissa, that you used the word prize.  Because we've become very masculine.  The workplace does that to us, it's not our fault.  We're the master adapters of the universe, and the workplace values masculine behavior and masculine ways of being and so we've become them.  And one of the ways that this has transferred over into our approach to dating and relationships is we're like a man and we want to win the prize.  And it's perfect to use that word, and we're afraid we'll lose the prize.  And one of my recommendations to women, and it was shocking when I tried it myself, I just could not believe the difference, is try being the prize.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmm.

Alison Armstrong:  It is a completely different way to live one's live, being the prize.  And I don't mean you have to be stuck up about being the prize; you can feel honored that such a great man holds you in such regard, that you're his prize.  It can be mutually empowering.  But being the prize puts it in a feminine, receptive mode that is much more powerful for women than trying to be in a masculine mode, and it's much less exhausting.  Man mode burns through our adrenaline.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK, so, mutually empowering, actually feeling pride in being the prize...

Alison Armstrong:  Yeah, be the prize.  Be the one that was won.  Be the one, you know, women are always asking me about, 'well, you tell me to tell men what I need and tell men what will make me happy, but doesn't that just lose the mystery?  Doesn't that mean that I'm not going to be a challenge to a man and isn't he looking for a challenge?'  And yes, men love challenges, but they want challenges that they can win at.

Alissa Kriteman:  Sure.

Alison Armstrong:  So if the challenge is to give you what you need and to make you happy and you give them the information that allows them to do that, that's a challenge that he goes in with a lot of enthusiasm.  Women mistakenly think that men like women who play hard to get.  'Cause they compare the woman who is hard to get, who seems hard to get, with themselves, who are throwing ourselves at this guy, right?  And he keeps going for the one who's not throwing herself at him.  Well the difference is she's not intensely sexually attracted to him, so she's being herself, she's self-confident, and she's authentic and that is incredibly attractive.

Alissa Kriteman:  You know, you mentioned something about being in the receptive mode and I was just thinking about this.  I think women have a bit of a challenge receiving.

Alison Armstrong:  [Laughs]

Alissa Kriteman:  What do you think about that?

Alison Armstrong:  We have huge challenges receiving.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.

Alison Armstrong:  Huge.  And we address these in every single one of our courses because it affects our relationships with men in general; it affects sex, because from a man's point of view, a great lover is a woman who can receive a lot of pleasure...

Alissa Kriteman:  I've heard that.

Alison Armstrong:  ...and be a great partner, it effects us getting married because a lifetime commitment is the biggest gift a woman can receive from a man, and we never give them a chance to give it; we're too busy demanding it and any time you demand from a person, giving is no longer a possibility.  There's just submitting or resisting.  And so, you know, we have issues with worrying about what we deserve and have we earned it, and never wanting to be beholding or obligated to something, you know, obligated to a man for something, and then we think anytime a man offers something that what he's saying is he thinks we can't provide it for ourselves so we're insulted by it, and then we have to prove to him we don't need it.  Our knickers are in a twist, as they say in England, about receiving.  We're really lame at it.  We are totally lame at it.  And it is one of the two biggest things that prevents us from having amazing relationships with men.

Alissa Kriteman:  Mmhmm.  It's a wonder we can even have relationships with men.  It seems there's like so many barriers between us and them and these notions, and you're really helping us dispel these notions and bring down the walls between us creating this intimacy with men.  You know, we're going to take another short break to support our sponsors.  So, this is Alissa Kriteman.  I'm with Alison Armstrong having such a good time trying to get my head to contain all this information.  We will be right back.

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Alissa Kriteman:  OK, so that concludes part one of our two part series with Alison Armstrong.  Listeners, please feel free to write in any questions you may have about today's topic or other topics you would like me to cover on the show, and you can do that by sending an e-mail to alissa@personallifemedia.com.  That's Alissa, A-l-i-s-s-a, at personallifemedia, all one word, dot com.  And where you can find Alison Armstrong, her seminars, her books, her CDs and all of this incredible information, just go to understandmen.com.  So Alison, thank you so much for being with us today.  Wow.  I've learned a lot, I know our listeners have learned a lot as well.  One last thing I'd like to do before we go is something called the speed round. 

Alison Armstrong:  OK.

Alissa Kriteman:  Are you ready?

Alison Armstrong:  Is this like speed dating?

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughs]  I don't know.  I've never done speed dating, but maybe I will, to get some fresh perspective on what's going on out there in that dating world that I'm newly in.  OK, ready?  So, here we go.  One thing that really turns a man off is?

Alison Armstrong:  Whining and complaining.

Alissa Kriteman:  If he doesn't call...

Alison Armstrong:  Call him.

Alissa Kriteman:  One thing men really want women to know is...

Alison Armstrong:  They're not mind readers.

Alissa Kriteman:  One way to kill a relationship is...

Alison Armstrong:  Never let him make you happy.

Alissa Kriteman:  Blank is essential for a successful relationship.

Alison Armstrong:  Honesty.

Alissa Kriteman:  Beautiful.  Alison Armstrong, thank you so much.  Such a pleasure to speak with you.  Thank you.

Alison Armstrong:  It was great to be on the show.  Thanks for having me.

Alissa Kriteman:  All right.  And I am Alissa Kriteman signing off, very much looking forward to our next time with Alison Armstrong.  See you next time.

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