Episode 4: Baring it ALL - Learning to Tell the Truth While Dating with Susan Campbell, Relationship Expert
"Baring it ALL - Learning to Tell the Truth While Dating" with Susan Campbell, Relationship Expert
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Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to ‘Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex’. I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman. This show is dedicated to bringing you the freshest insights and the most vibrant information there is available for you to have the most incredible life you can possibly have.
On the show today we are talking with Dr. Susan Campbell.
Alissa Kriteman: I heard recently too that with men when you ask a question like that, you know when you are asking for feedback, you have to wait 30 seconds. The really deep heartfelt stuff from a man is going to come after a pause or two.
Dr. Susan Campbell: A lot of times we do put our foot in our mouth. Or we do say something that we wish later we could take back.
Alissa Kriteman: I can see that if we were really, really utilizing these truth skills and putting them into play in our lives, we would have completely different experiences with men.
Alissa Kriteman: We’re going to talk about the truth in dating and how we can have a lot more success in finding true love by being our true selves and exposing ourselves in the beginning of a relationship.
Dr. Susan Campbell, welcome to the show.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Thank you Alissa.
Alissa Kriteman: It’s really good to have you. I am very excited to talk about truth in dating. You said to me that truth in dating is really a precursor to truth and marriage. I love that and I'm very excited to talk to you about that today.
I just want to let the listeners know a little bit about you. Dr. Susan Campbell has authored nine books on relationships and conflict resolution. She has delivered hundreds of seminars and workshops internationally as well as privately counseled thousands of individuals and couples. She also has appeared on CNN's Newsnight, Good Morning America and with Dr. Dean Edell.
So, Susan, let's start with your book, ‘Truth in Dating’, which I love because it provides such smart insights into how to be honest and what that really provides us in our lives.
Today we are going to cover the benefits of telling the truth and some tools for how we can have more intimacy with others by telling the truth. And then we are going to talk about truth and sex, about which I am very excited.
So let's talk about telling the truth and the benefits. Why should we tell the truth?
Dr. Susan Campbell: OK. You referred, in your introduction, to marriage, and here is a statement that I want people to get right off the bat - most of us are dating, because we want a long-term, intimate relationship, possibly marriage in which we can be ourselves.
So if you want to find a relationship in which you can be yourself, maybe you ought to conduct your dating activities with this goal in mind and be yourself. Be truthful. So that's the context that I want to set here.
But truth telling is not always easy. So I think we have to sell the idea a little bit here on the show first. And then we will tell people how to be more truthful in a sneaky and fun way.
But the main benefit is when you are withholding. Let me tell you about when you're not telling the truth, when you are withholding, when you're thinking something like, “Oh, I couldn't say that to her because she might think I'm too forward” or, “I couldn't tell him this. I couldn't tell him that I'm already fantasizing having babies with him because he might get scared and run away. He might think I am too much.”
When you are withholding this kind of stuff, you're not present. And when you're not present, when you're worrying about what might happen rather than just revealing what's going on with you in the present and actually sharing that - “You know what's going on in my mind right now, even though I am afraid to say it, I am fantasizing having babies with you already.”
If you are fantasizing something and you're not saying it, your energy is bound up and you're not very alive, you're not as attractive, because you are in a fear state rather than in a relaxed state.
Alissa Kriteman: So you're saying take the risk of scaring him off with your truth.
Dr. Susan Campbell: That's right.
Alissa Kriteman: That's a pretty - I could see a lot of guys just going, “OK, thanks! See ya!”
Dr. Susan Campbell: They might. If they do, they may not be the guy for you. Do you want somebody with whom you have to hold back your whole life and worry about scaring him off? Think about it.
Alissa Kriteman: Right. Right.
Dr. Susan Campbell: There are all kinds of people out there. We make assumption that guys don't want this or women want that. I have people in my office every day, who are struggling to be successful in dating. They have made up a bunch of rules for themselves. Like ‘a woman wants a man who is firm and strong’.
I had a guy in my office yesterday that said, “I can't show her if I have some fear.” Well, to me that's crazy. That is nuts because we all have fear. If you are hiding stuff, you are just not very relaxed.
The thing is, most of us in dating worry way too much about the outcome. ‘Am I going to make a good impression, so I get the second date, the third date, and we get to go to bed together and all that. They are strategic. Whenever you are being strategic, you're not as relaxed and open and spontaneous as you might otherwise be. So, you are really not as attractive.
Aliveness and presence are what everyone really is attracted to. You might think, “OK, men want somebody who is low maintenance. That is a story. Don't believe that story. You have to be yourself.
Alissa Kriteman: So you're saying, identify what these rules are that you have in your head about what dating is about and what men want and just be yourself.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Get rid of those rules because those rules are just pacifiers to help you think you know how to play this dating game and to help you think you can control the outcome of a dating interaction. And you cannot control the outcome.
Give up the idea of trying to control the outcome and you will be a lot more successful.
Alissa Kriteman: OK, stop trying to control the outcome. Now, I have to say I think many of these rules are unconscious. So how do we tap into this unconscious force that is in our head? Because I think a lot of people are just really genuine. They are out there. They are dating.
They are thinking, “Oh, I'm hopeful.” But I don't think they are going into it really understanding what these unconscious rules are. So do you have some tips for ferreting those out?
Dr. Susan Campbell: Good question. Well, there are conscious rule and unconscious rules. The conscious rules are some of the ones that I mentioned like ‘women want men to be strong and assertive’, ‘men don't want high maintenance women’. Those are pretty conscious rules.
Then, deeper than that are the rules about how I have to be in the world in order to be loved. And those rules get revealed over time in an intimate relationship, even a dating relationship.
So how do you become conscious of those unconscious rules? One of the common ones is, ‘If I ask for what I want I won't get it anyway’. There are many, many people who have this unconscious fear of asking for what they want, both men and women by the way.
The way to get at those unconscious rules is to get into an intimate relationship and start watching when you have those button pushing reactions.
When I talk about truth in dating, I'm talking about a fairly deep level of relationship yoga. Yoga is like a discipline. So this is relationship yoga where two people agree to tell the truth. Let your buttons get pushed. Let yourself be hurt and be triggered, like the fear of rejection being triggered.
Let that come up and reveal that that is happening so that you can grow and be as fully human as you could be, so that you can learn about your unconscious rules and your unconscious beliefs. ‘Beliefs’ is another word for rules.
So that I see that I have gotten a button pushed when I ask my partner to do something that I like in sex, for example. And he does it. But then the next time he forgets. And the time after that he forgets. And I never ask again. But I have gotten my button pushed. I feel unloved. It's that ‘fear that I'm not lovable’ button.
I start to feel rejected and abandoned and unloved. I can start talking about this. I can learn the language of truth in dating. There is a whole language here. One of the skills is being able to say, “Hey, I'm getting a button pushed. Yesterday when you didn't call me when you said you would, I got a button pushed. I thought that you didn't love me as much as I love you. That's my fear of rejection button.”
We learn this language. You learn to go deep into yourself and realize, “Man, I'm full of these buttons. I'm full of these unconscious fears. I am run by these. I want to be free of these.”
As I said, truth in dating is a practice. It's a deep, long-term spiritual communication yoga, where you learn how to be loving of all your parts, even your buttons and your fears. That's really what the spiritual journey is about. It's about knowing and loving all that is.
So that's a long answer to your question. How do you get at your beliefs and your unconscious rules? By getting into a relationship, letting your buttons get pushed and talking about it.
Alissa Kriteman: You know, I love this. I do have a question. It sounds like you're asking women to be more responsible for asking for what we want, for sure, but also offering up a language that you are offering. I'm sure there are more phrases, say, like letting your partner know, “Hey. I'm getting a button pushed” and to actually let him know what that means and to open that dialogue.
One question I have, to go a little bit deeper here, you said ‘intimate relationship’. Do you mean someone that you are having sex with or do you mean someone that you are in the initial stages of dating? When do we start really setting this up and letting the person know, “Hey, I would like to have this kind of dating situation with you where I get to tell my truth and you get to tell your truth, whether or not we are having sex”.
I think sex changes things. So what do you think about that?
Dr. Susan Campbell: Yeah, yeah. So, when I said, intimate relationship I really mean any kind of dating relationship, it could be after a few days where there is some juice, some emotional chemistry. Perhaps I should have stricken the word intimate relationship. Just get yourself in a relationship where there is emotional chemistry, and you are going to start getting your buttons pushed and you are going to start this deep learning journey.
Now, ideally, once you start having emotional chemistry with somebody you can initiate what I call the truth in dating conversation. Like, “We like each other. We have got some chemistry going. It looks like we want to pursue this. I value this relationship enough to want to make an agreement with you to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Tell the truth and see where it goes so that I am on a path of integrity. I am on a path of honesty. And I value you enough to invite you into this with me.”
It's an invitation to your partner. A lot of guys will say, “Oh sure. I value that too. Let's do it.” And they won't really know what they are getting into. The truth is, neither of you know, completely, what you're getting into.
Certainly, if you read my book ‘Truth In Dating’ you will have a little bit better idea what you're going to get into. But the fact is that the truth does hurt sometimes.
So you will want to, in your agreement process, say to each other, “I'm willing to hear the truth from you even if it hurts sometimes. And I want to know that you are willing to tell me the truth and not sugarcoat or hide or tell me you want to do something with me and then just go out of obligation, because you don't want to disappoint me.” I want to hear, “I would love you to go with me, but I still want to hear your true feelings about it.”
See the thing is, Alissa, a person can do something out of obligation. Just as an example, this is an aside - can do something out of obligation - but if they confess that they are doing it out of obligation, they say, “I don't really want to go to that party with you, but I care about you so I am going to go”, then it shifts the energy and it's not out of obligation anymore. It is a choice.
In fact one of the little benefits of telling the truth is that once you tell the truth, the truth changes. The key to life here is just to keep energy moving and not get stuck in any rules or beliefs or have to’s. Each moment is fresh and new.
So, that is what you are really inviting your partner into. It's taking risks in each moment to say, “What am I feeling? What am I thinking about us, here and now?”
That's what the truth telling agreement is. It's not telling all the details of all your past relationships unless you think that that would be a good exercise for you to get over having your buttons pushed about that stuff. And then go ahead and do that.
I've got a whole section in the book about how you define the boundaries of what truth telling is. And each two people will define those boundaries differently.
Some people will say, “Yeah, let's tell everything that we've ever done of which we might be ashamed.” Other people will not want to bother with that. They just want to be in the here and now, but maybe say, “You know, I'm having trouble with your mouth odor right now.”
Alissa Kriteman: [laughs]
Dr. Susan Campbell: A lot of people really love it when somebody will tell them that. When I tell my boyfriend that, he says, “Oh, thank you for telling me.”
Now other people will be offended. But if you have the truth telling agreement, you will be more apt to be able to know that if you've got bad breath your partner is going to tell you. And then you can relax.
Alissa Kriteman: This is great. This is great stuff. Who are you dating to be so open and free? But it sounds like there's a lot going on here with setting up agreements and having open communication.
We are going to take a short break to support our sponsors. This is Alissa Kriteman, and I'm with Dr. Susan Campbell. We’ll be right back.
Alissa Kriteman: We’re back. I'm your host Alissa Kriteman. We are talking to Dr. Susan Campbell about the importance of telling the truth while dating.
Before the break we were talking about being honest early on and setting up agreements. Having open communication and dialogue, and maybe some key words, a language of communication in dating will actually help you have the relationship that you want, the marriage that you want, and the life that you want.
So, Susan, now we are going to talk about your 10 truth skills, why these skills are important and how we can use them in our lives.
Dr. Susan Campbell: OK, good. The first truth skill is experiencing what is. That truth skill teaches you to know the difference between what you actually see or hear and what your mind does with that.
So, let's say you are at a cocktail party. Your date is looking around, not looking you in the eye, but looking around the room as he is talking to you. That's what you see. He is looking around the room.
Alissa Kriteman: A big no-no.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Let me ask you Alissa, if your date is looking around the room while you're talking to him, what do you imagine?
Alissa Kriteman: I imagine that he is looking for other women to - he's looking for something more interesting. That is annoying. That's what I would make up.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Yeah. That's the common interpretation. This example shows you that there is a behavior and then there is an interpretation that your mind does about that behavior. Your interpretation is often based on one of your worst fears. It's based on your button.
I mentioned earlier that we all have these buttons - fear that I am not lovable, fear that I am going to be abandoned. So, it's very important as a truth skill. You can't tell the truth unless you have enough self-awareness that you have these buttons and that you're likely to make these interpretations.
So that's the first truth skill, knowing the difference between the data and the interpretation.
I'll move on here. We'll do it quickly, and you can ask questions in the next segment. The next truth skill is called ‘being transparent’. That is simply being able to let to the other person know what you are feeling and thinking. You might say, “I notice you are looking around the room and I am feeling kind of scared.”
If you check in with yourself, that is what you're feeling. You are feeling nervousness. Then you can say, “My self talk is ____”. This is another skill that I teach people. “What I am saying to myself is _____”.
This is often humorous when you reveal yourself. “What I'm saying to myself is he's probably looking for somebody he wants to talk to next if this doesn't work out.” Or, “He’s probably looking for somebody who is more attractive than I am to talk to.”
You just say, “Now look, that is myself talk. I'm not saying that is true for you. That's what's going on in me.” The other thing about these truth skills is that they help you talk just about yourself and reveal yourself. You might have an interpretation about the other person, but that is about yourself.
Alissa Kriteman: That is exactly what I was going to ask you. I could stand there and think, “OK. He is looking around the room for something more interesting.” And I could playfully say to him, “Hey are you looking around for something more interesting?”
But that's not very attractive. What you're saying is I need to confess, “Hey, I'm feeling as though you're looking for something more interesting.” This happens all the time.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Well, you don't take it too seriously. You learn, through using this practice that you don't take your mind chatter too seriously. It's your mind chatter.
So you reveal, you go, “You know what my head is doing with that now? You know what my mind is doing? I am seeing you looking around. You know what my mind is doing with that? I’m seeing you look around and you know what my mind is doing with that is you are looking for somebody more interesting.”
After you learn to use that truth skill enough, you realize, “Hey he could be looking for wherever the men's room is.” Or,” He could be looking for his buddy who he was supposed to meet.” There are lots of things that could be going on.
But no, your mind goes to the worst interpretation and you begin to have some distance from that interpretation, some detachment from your interpretation.
You also might check him out. There is nothing wrong with saying, “OK, that's what my mind is doing. Now I want to hear what you have to say about that.” Check out your assumptions. That's perfectly OK to do too, as one of these truth skills.
That's part of knowing the difference. That's part of the first truth skill, is knowing the difference between what is really going on and what your mind is doing.
The second truth skill, being transparent is revealing what your mind is doing, just as a confession, as you said.
Now, the next truth skill - you are going to have to let me know how we are doing on time here -
Alissa Kriteman: We are doing great.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Because I might not get through all 10 in this segment but I will do my best. Noticing your intent is the next truth skill. That's knowing the difference between when you are communicating to relate, which means to reveal yourself, to get to what the other person is thinking and feeling. It's all about being present together. That's relating.
The other intent that your communication could have is the intent to control. Some people communicate to relate. Sometimes we communicate to control. We all do both, but we are hardly ever conscious of when we are controlling.
Controlling isn't just when you are bossing somebody around and telling them what to do. That's not the main type of controlling about which I am talking. I'm talking about a lot of times we try to control the outcome by being entertaining. Make sure he likes me even though I'm feeling terrible. I've got to keep talking. I've got to keep that conversation ball rolling.
That's controlling. Or, “I couldn't tell him what I am really feeling because then he might move away. He might think I am too much.” That's controlling. So anything you do to control the outcome - and we have numerous patterns, each of us has numerous automatic ways we try to control like being pleasing, being nice, trying to impress, not asking for help, because we are afraid the answer will be no.
Anytime we withhold, because we are afraid of getting the wrong result, that's controlling. What I believe is, if you continue to communicate with the intent to control you will never get inwardly strong and realize that you could handle it if you don't get what you want.
Yes, it will be painful. But you will handle it. That's life sometimes. So telling the truth and hearing the truth are such important values for being more mature, for growing up.
We keep ourselves little by thinking, “Oh I couldn't control this outcome. And I couldn't control that outcome. I couldn't handle it if he says he doesn't want to see me again.” Well, it will be really painful. Yes, it will. But you will handle it.
The next truth skill is giving and asking for feedback. This is such an important skill. Just being able to say, “When you didn't call when you said you would call I felt disappointed” rather than blowing it off like it is no problem.
It doesn't have to be a huge problem, just letting him know when you are disappointed or letting him know when you're happy. “When you touched me that the way I felt so loved.”
All the feedback stuff, in the dating stage is teaching the other person how you like to be treated. It's really important during this early stage to let the person know what you like and what you don't like.
Then you will see if he's the guy for you. If he is able to respond to your feedback in a way that is nondefensive, that's really wants to please you. Sometimes he can't always please you but there is a connection there.
When you give feedback, you are making a connection. You're saying, “Here is something that is going on in me right now. I am disappointed.” Or, “I'm pleased.” That brings you present.
So getting feedback is a way of teaching the other person how you like to be treated, it's a way of bringing yourself present. It's also a way of clearing the air about something that might be bothering you, like he didn't call and you are bothered by it. But you're trying to push that under the rug.
If you try to push it under the rug, it usually won't go under the rug. It will dribble out some other way. You will show your upset in some other way, sooner or later. So this is an effective way to clear the air.
Alissa Kriteman: I feel like this one is very, very interesting. This one is very interesting because we are talking about asking and giving feedback. And I think that is actually an art to not only ask for feedback, but going back to the last thing about which you were talking, communicating to control, I could see where there were ways we would ask for feedback as a way to control a situation.
Or giving feedback that is more like a demand or something. So what are some ways that we can actually use this truth skill to open the conversation versus close it down?
Dr. Susan Campbell: Well, when you give feedback, first of all you have to give feedback by what I call staying on your own side of the net. So you are only talking about your feelings and thoughts. If there is any interpretation, like, “When you were rude to me” or “When you yelled at me”. Those are interpretations.
You have to go back to the first truth skill and know that when you are making an interpretation that you need to revise that to what is the behavior. So that, “When you raised your voice to me” - you know, yelling is an interpretation, or, “When you weren't listening to me” - that's an interpretation.
“When you walked out of the room while I was speaking” - that is an actual fact. That is something you can describe. So when you give feedback, you have to be more disciplined than the average person is.
How to do all this is described in the book. It's pretty simple. It's, ‘when this happens’, and then what you felt. ‘I felt’. Sometimes the other person will feel controlled. That's not really a feeling. They will feel angry or they will interpret your behavior as controlling.
But it's not controlling. They may have a button about being controlled. They may have a button about disappointing you, so they can't even handle any negative feedback. But this is a learning process.
If you get that defense of response from somebody like they think they are being controlled or they think they are being attacked then what you need to do is say, “I hear you say that. I feel sad. I am concerned that you are interpreting my attempt to reveal myself as trying to control you or tell you you did something wrong. I want to go back and let you know that I'm just telling you how I felt. I would really like to hear how you feel now.”
Keep it in a two-way dialogue. Make sure after you give feedback you ask the other person, ” How does that sit with you?” If you tell somebody you are disappointed that they didn't call you, they are going to have some feelings back.
Make sure you don't make a long speech, a big diatribe about what they did. You just report. You really just report your feelings. You are not trying to punish them for what they did.
In fact, you are being self revealing. You are being vulnerable. Have that attitude when you're doing it rather than, “You did something wrong” attitude. That will help a lot.
Then, of course, as I said, after you have given difficult feedback say, “Now I really want to know how that came across to you. Because my intention is really just to clear the air so that we will get back to being.” So all those things help.
Alissa Kriteman: This is great. I heard recently too that with men when you ask a question like that, you know when you are asking for feedback, you have to wait 30 seconds. The really deep heartfelt stuff from a man is going to come after a pause or two without interruption. What do you think about that?
Dr. Susan Campbell: Well, it's funny; one of my truth skills is called embracing silence. That's the last, that's number 10 truth skill. And I'm very much in favor of, after you ask a question, pausing for a lot longer than you feel comfortable pausing in order to let your words sink in to the other in order to feel the vibes between the two of you.
Don't think every communication depends on words. You have spoken your words. Now feel the feelings that may be emerging out of letting those words sink in.
And of course, as you said, giving the man time to respond. I think that's a good practice, whether you are talking to men or women. I don't like rules. If you get to know me better you will know that any rule that says men are this way and women are that way, I will reject.
But most people spend too much time filling up the silence and not enough time embracing the silence and just feeling. A lot of times, if a guy asks you a question, pause. I'm going to jump to the 10th truth skill now and we'll skip that later on.
Pause and let his words sink in. Feel what you feel. Then respond. Don't think you have to have a quick, witty comeback or a ready answer all the time. That's controlling - to think you have to be a certain way in order to be accepted.
Alissa Kriteman: Right. Right. This is great stuff. But I must say though I have been practicing with pausing, not timing it, but just really shutting up after I ask a man a question. I must say it's fascinating, fascinating what I am learning about the men that I am with when I really take on the silence and the pause and let them process and think.
Not so much with women, but I am starting to see exactly what you are saying. There is a huge depth to what happens in the silence, what happens in this pause. Even for myself, I didn't even realize it is controlling. It's also kind of a nervous energy to talk.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Exactly.
Alissa Kriteman: When you've asked a question and interject. So that's my practice. It's completely transforming my dating life for sure. So, I love that truth skill as well.
We are going to take another short break. We'll come right back and hear the rest of these truth skills and then talk about sex. I'm Alissa Kriteman. We are with Dr. Susan Campbell, and we will be right back.
Alissa Kriteman: We are back. I'm your host Alissa Kriteman. We are talking with Dr. Susan Campbell about the power that comes from telling the truth and the steps we can take to have more intimacy, love and connection in our lives.
We are talking about her book ‘Truth in Dating’. During the last segment Susan was telling us about the first few truth skills. Now we are going to cover the rest of the truth skills and talk more about telling the truth in sexual relations.
OK, Susan, what are the rest of these skills?
Dr. Susan Campbell: OK. So, we have 10 truth skills. We've talked about four, and I'm going to go through five through 10 rather briefly here.
The fifth one is asserting what you want and don't want. It simply means it is very important to be able to say ‘I want’ or ’ I would like’. Some people just can't utter those words. They hint around, but they just don't directly ask for what they want.
It's important to be able to ask for what you want even if you have the idea that you won't get what you want. Just affirming your wants is a self-loving thing to do and you grow from that. So that's number five truth skill.
The next truth skill is kind of advanced. It's called ‘taking back projections’. Sometimes we project our worst fears onto other people. It's called getting our buttons pushed, and I've talked about this already. So I will just refer to it.
It's knowing how to recognize when you are getting your buttons pushed, like the other person is looking around the room and you are getting your buttons pushed. You think he doesn't like you, because he's not looking you in the eye. That's your button. You're able to look at it as your button and something that you need to heal inside your self.
By the way, the way we heal this is by accepting that we have buttons and by knowing what that feeling is, what that fear is and just loving ourselves even though we have that fear. So that is the way to heal, just by loving our fear.
Number seven is revising an earlier statement. Sometimes you're just not a very conscious or present. That's what this whole thing is about. A lot of times we do put our foot in our mouth. Or we do say something that we wish later we could take back.
Well, you can take it back. You can go to the person and say, “You know, yesterday when I told you that I thought you were a nice guy, I was holding back. What I'm really feeling is that I'm wildly attracted to you, but I just didn't want to seem forward. But then I saw how you withdrew when I said you are a nice guy. So I figured maybe you could handle the truth.”
See that's revising. I call it also ‘going out and coming in again.’ You can take those words back. Give yourself permission to do that.
Alissa Kriteman: Well, it's almost like upgrading them.
Dr. Susan Campbell: I didn't hear that.
Alissa Kriteman: I said, it's almost like upgrading them.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Yes. Upgrading them. Telling them, “If I were more conscious or more daring yesterday when I made that remark I would have said this.” So you are really upgrading the level of truth.
Sometimes you're just more aware later on than you were in the moment, because you were anxious or whatever.
The next one is ‘holding differences’. The other way to say that is ‘embracing multiple perspectives’. In this truth skill you know how to say the sentence: “I hear that you want this. I hear that you want a vacation in Tahoe. I know that you like the mountains. I want something different. I would love to spend time by the beach.”
You just acknowledge the other person's want or the other person's perspective. And alongside that you put your own. There is anxiety sometimes when people have differences but it's really important to be able to name those and hold that you would really like your partner to get what he wants. But you also want to be able to get what you want.
Don't think that those are mutually exclusive. Sometimes when you can hold differences and have a conversation about things that seem contradictory or mutually exclusive, you find a creative solution. So holding differences is a very advanced communication skill, but we can learn to do it especially when we know these truth skills.
Number nine is called ‘sharing mixed emotions’. Have you ever had the feeling that you want to tell the truth to somebody? You want to tell him about the bad breath, but you're afraid that is going to hurt or offend him.
Alissa Kriteman: Sure.
Dr. Susan Campbell: If you could use of this truth skill you could say, “You know I have something that I want to share with you that I think will just make us closer. But on the other hand, I'm afraid that you will take it wrong. And it will hurt your feelings. I want you to know that I am sharing this with the intent to make us closer.”
So you share both the wish to speak your truth and the fear of speaking your truth, both in one preamble. That's called sharing mixed emotions.
We have already covered the number 10 truth skill. It's embracing silence. It's leaving those pauses after you speak, rather than filling in all the time with words, out of your own anxiety.
So those are the 10.
Alissa Kriteman: Perfect. I can see if we are really, really utilizing these truth skills and putting them into play in our lives, we would have completely different experiences with men.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Completely. Just identifying, “Wow. I'm kind of going off into a mind spin here. I'm thinking this. Maybe I should just share with him what I am experiencing it a very nonjudgmental nonthreatening way.”
Alissa Kriteman: I love this. And also I want to say the transcripts of this podcast show are available - the text, the transcripts are all on the website personallifemedia.com. We'll cover that a little bit more later. But it's a lot of information so I just want people to know right now that this is all available. You can listen to it as many times as you want, but it's also available in transcript, in text form.
OK. Let's talk about sex. What to do we need to know to get what we want in the bedroom? Because clearly, if we can't even ask to go to the beach, how are we going to ask to have a particular type of orgasm, right? It's like night and day. So, talk to us.
Dr. Susan Campbell: So, one of the big truth skills is asking for what you want. But beneath that ability, and I suggested this earlier in the interview, to ask for what we want, is often a fear.
So the first thing is getting in touch with any of your fears about asking and revealing this even before. Not while you are in the bedroom - or call it the bedroom, hopefully people have sex outside the bedroom as well as in the bedroom but we'll call it in the bedroom.
When you're not in the bedroom or in the sexual arena have a conversation about fears of asking for what we want. Have a general conversation, and then bring it to sex.
You might say this: “Sex is a very sensitive area for both of us. It sure is for me. Somehow, that is the hardest area for me to ask for what I want.” Just be transparent about this. “ Sometimes if I ask for what I want once, and the person doesn't quite get it right, well then, I never ask again. I don't want to be doing that with you. I want us to be able to work things out and learn to really please each other.”
I want to ask our listeners, can you imagine yourself having that conversation? Probably a lot of us will say, “No way. It's just not my style.” So you're going to have to find your own style for talking about these truths. But it does require some personal change to become more of a risk taker in the sexual arena.
You are going to have to go through some discomfort. So just being able to first of all have the truth in dating conversation that I talked about before - I call it the truth in dating conversation - it's inviting the person into an agreement field where you both say, “We value this relationship enough to speak the truth even when it is uncomfortable.”
The next chapter is ‘How about in the Realm of Sex? How do we do it there? Again, you can have a conversation about the basic thing in sex, asking for what you want and talking about your feelings and not doing things out of obligation.
One of the other big things in sex is we kind of get started, and maybe things seem like they are going to go in a sexual direction. And then one person realizes, “I'm just not there.”
So again, sometimes outside the bedroom you go back later and you go, “You know last night I went through with it”, you do the revising truth skill, “I went through with that. But maybe you could tell I was going through the motions. I want to be able to push pause when we are in the middle of a sexual encounter and tell you. I'm going to need some help right now. I'm not quite there yet. I need some help getting to where you are.”
Those kinds of things, being able to employ the truth skill revising, and employ the truth skill asking for which you want, sometimes even when you think you're not going to get it. It's important to be able to ask in a vulnerable way.
Alissa Kriteman: Right, right and I think it's probably an important arena.
Dr. Susan Campbell: And I also have the ‘Truth in Dating’ card game. I don't know if you knew that, Alissa. But the Truth in Dating card game has 50 cards that are in what is called the ‘Sex Deck’. We have the ‘Sex Deck’ and we have the ‘Getting Acquainted Deck’. Then we have the ‘Deep Dating Back’, which gets into some of the deeper issues like the stuff that we have been talking about in this interview.
But the Sex Deck gets people talking about things like what they want. Some of the most satisfying things for me are, things I longed for, things that make me feel loved.
It even talks about things like prostate massage, and G-spot massage and things like that that a lot of people never get into on their own. So the game will kind of jumpstart you to get into conversations that might be a little bit of new territory for you.
Alissa Kriteman: I like that. I like that. It's a nice icebreaker, especially if you're dating. You can really learn a lot about someone if you say, “Hey let's check out this card game.” It takes the edge off doing it in the moment when you are in the middle of a situation and wanting to tell your truth.
I like what you said earlier about asking for what you want outside of the bedroom and getting into the practice of asking for what you want. So when you do come up to sex and asking for what you want with regard to sex, it's a little bit easier.
It's probably a little bit lighter, especially if we're out of practice with loving ourselves enough to ask for and go for what we want and tell our truth in the moment. And actually set up the scenario with our partner: “Hey listen, I'd like to have an open dialogue about what you are interested in sexually, where I am sexually, what I might need as we move into that realm.”
These are all kind of - I mean, even for myself, it takes a lot of boldness; it takes a lot of confidence to do that.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Yes, yes. But you know, if you can't tell the truth to your partner then where is this relationship going? Let's say you are looking for a long-term relationship. Are you going to live your life with somebody, where you are ashamed with certain parts of yourself and you can't tell them about them?
The way we get over our shame, a lot of times, and there is a loss of subtle shame around wants and needs sexually, is by being open and transparent with somebody that we trust.
How do we learn to trust somebody? Partly through taking a risk and sharing our vulnerability and then trust gets built that way. Sometimes you are disappointed. Then you have to know how to comfort yourself. We are not always, always going to get what we want. But we can comfort ourselves when we don’t.
Alissa Kriteman: Perfect. Beautiful. Susan, we are just about out of time, but I would like to ask you one final question. What would you say if you could leave us with a bit of inspiration for our future dating adventures? What would you say? What would you leave us with as a tidbit of ‘do this’?
Dr. Susan Campbell: Well, I've been single for a while. I'm in a relationship now, but for quite a long time recently I have been single and I find that when I take the risk to tell the truth and start the truth in dating conversation the other person is usually very appreciative.
The conversation might be a little awkward. But the fact is, most people really really want to be known and want to be more honest and want to be in a safe place where they can be themselves.
So if you take the risk to start this conversation, you'll probably find that the other person is right there with you with gratitude.
Alissa Kriteman: Great. Take risks, ladies. It's true. It comes from us. If we want to have these great, amazing lives that we are committed to having, we've got to take risks.
And buy your book. It's called ‘Truth in Dating’. Where else can we find it on the Internet? What's your website?
Dr. Susan Campbell: I’m at susancampbell.com. That's where you can buy the Truth in Dating game. That's only available as my website – susancampbell.com.
Alissa Kriteman: Great. Again, Dr. - Dr. Susan [laughs] thank you so much. This has been an amazing interview, very insightful.
For text and transcripts of this show, like I said, and other shows on Personal Life Media just visit our website www.personallifemedia.com. If you have more questions about the truth in dating, this topic or other topics you would like me to cover on the show, just send me an e-mail to [email protected].
Dr. Susan Campbell, thank you so much. I look forward to speaking with you again in the future. Thank you for being with us.
Dr. Susan Campbell: Oh, I've enjoyed it tremendously Alissa. Thank you.
Alissa Kriteman: Great. So this is your host Alissa Kriteman, signing off, always expanding your choices. We'll see you next time.Announcer: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com.