Welcome back Mike! A tricky topic for men these days is the term "alpha" - something that has been under a fair amount of discussion across the media. In the coming-of-age 20's, 30's, 40's and beyond Mike is able to help others rewrite their story inside of relationships. Thinking and acting like what the alpha male should be can sometimes hinder us in achieving our next level selves.
Connect w/ Mike @mikexera
Connect w/ Jade @jadeteta
Learn more about becoming a Next Level Human at www.jadeteta.com
Jade: [02:58] Alright, guys. Welcome to today’s show. So, I’m back with my brother Mike Xera. Today, we’re going to be talking about, I think something that’s kind of a tricky thing for men – we’re going to be talking about this idea of the alpha male. It’s certainly one of these things that Mike and I discuss a lot. One of the things about Mike, and the reason why I like having him on, and want to continue having him on, is that in his coaching, as a relationship coach, he does a lot with men and women, actually. But he gets a lot of guys who struggle with this because they’re kind of in that age range, you know, if you don’t mind me saying – what are you, 35?
Mike: [03:40] 35.
Jade: [03:41] So he’s 35, and so, he spans a nice age range between sort of these young 20-somethings that are coming of age into their 30s, and also sort of these lost 40-somethings who are sort of coming out of long relationships where they haven’t been authentic. And he’s able to help people rewrite their stories in that inside a relationship. One of the things that come up an awful lot is this idea of performing as a male and putting on the act as sort of the alpha male. And you often times talk about the idea that’s kind of a mistake to be thinking about it that way. So, why don’t you kind of launch us into this discussion with kind of giving us an idea about this performing that goes on with people who are trying to be the alpha male, and the idea of the alpha male, the new alpha male as sort of this authentic male. How do we talk through that process?
Mike: [04:41] Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for having me on again. I love talking with you and making our conversations public.
Jade: [04:46] Yeah, yeah.
Mike: [04:47] Because I think there’s a lot value in it. Wow, this a big topic, but I guess I’ll start with the difference between performing and being authentic. You know, I got a lot out of Mark Manson’s book Models, and he touches on it really strongly in that we grow up in an age where we’re so easily influenced by Hollywood stories, Disney stories as children, and we buy into this idea that we need to be a certain thing. We have to seem wealthy. We have to seem successful or together. We have to seem like we drive this car. We just have to seem. And I think when you buy into the idea you have to be something you’re not you constantly have to perform. You have to fake authenticity. By the way, I was victim to this also. I did this plenty a time. Then, when I coach a lot of my clients, people I work with, it’s a lot about forfeiting, surrendering to you’re not going to be this person you think you should be. And you coach this in your honor code work, is who is this man, who is this person, woman even, that you really feel is an authentic version of yourself. And we tap into that, and then through the work, we understand authentically what does this person do, how does he show up in the world – he or she show up in the world. When you can authentically tap into that being, you’re almost – what you do – almost gets called to you naturally. You don’t have to think about what you should say, what you should do. Does that make sense?
Jade: [06:16] Yeah, that makes sense. It sounds like, and I’ll just paraphrase to help the listeners, if I’m thinking about this, and correct me if I’m wrong Mike, but I think about this person who – man or woman – who’s sort of going through the world and measuring how to behave off of the reactions or expectations of the people around them; their family, their friends, their potential romantic partners. And then they start showing up in a way that culture says you should be this way. For example, for a man, it’s you’re supposed to have money, and be powerful, and stand in your power, and be assertive, and only show emotions at potential times, and all of this kind of stuff. By the way, that’s kind of the old way. The new way is you’re supposed to be vulnerable, and you’re supposed to be a little bit more open, you’re supposed to be all these things. But that’s still, in my mind, a cultural level narrative. Instead of basically just being like, wait, how am I? Am I more the strong, silent type? Is that who I am authentically? Am I the more sort of the verbal, communicative type, open type? And if I am that, it doesn’t mean I can’t change and take cues from culture because, certainly, that can make us better humans. So, we don’t want to just be like I’m this way and I’m not changing no matter what anyone says, but it’s to say not to give up ourselves for the culture level narrative. And obviously to grow if that can help us grow, but to more be rooted in who we really are. I tell a funny story about this. I think I may have told it last time, but I’ll just drive this home. I was at a networking event, one of these entrepreneurial events, and I was surrounded by a bunch of women who are colleagues and friends of mine in this space, and we got into this discussion about men crying. One of the things that they said, is they were like, “Well, how often do you cry, Jade?” And I’m like, wow, I don’t think I’ve cried since probably high school. What was really interesting for me is then what happened at that point, one of them said to me – she didn’t mean it in a negative way, it was just funny that she said it – she said, “Oh my God, I thought you were such an evolved male.” And I think she caught herself because she wasn’t trying to put me down or whatever. I found that was funny. Then, rather than like, I didn’t really get a hit, I just said oh, that’s interesting, the cultural level narrative in this space. Then, I said, well, what would you rather have: someone who cries all the time, or someone who never cries, or someone who’s just who they are and kind of cries whenever? And it immediately changed the conversation. I think that’s the balance there. Men, and now – the old school man culture would’ve said never cry – today’s culture would say you should be crying on a regular basis. An authentic male I think would be like, I’m going to cry when I feel the need to cry, and I’m not going to cry if I don’t feel the need to cry.
Mike: [09:05] I couldn’t agree with you more. Everything was beautifully said. I feel like, going back to the new age alpha male, like the 21st century alpha male, it’s being so – I’m going to use your words now – confidently detached from any expectation or outcome, and you’re so rooted in self that if you want to cry you cry. You don’t base your actions or anything off other people’s reaction or what you are afraid to get. I feel like a lot, in today’s world, a lot of people are afraid of rejection. So, when they go out to a bar, or out on a first date, or even multiple dates, they’re performing just to avoid being rejected. It’s like, I ask my clients, what are you doing? Is this something you can sustain long term? The answer’s no, to be honest. The reason I feel no one should be afraid of rejection is simply because we’re always vetting. We’re constantly trying to find, not only ourselves, but the mirror in our partner. Is this someone that I can authentically go have a date with, be with, grow with? And you can’t do that if you’re constantly performing. So, again, the confident detachment piece, for me, is critically important in the new age alpha male, because that man or – that man in this case – shows up in a way that’s truly himself, and not concerned with any repercussions for being that person.
Jade: [10:23] Yeah. Talk to me a little bit about how would someone know that they’re performing? Like, how would they actually kind of know? They’re out and about, they’re trying to be theirselves, and maybe they’re out at a bar, but maybe they’re just hanging out with friends having coffee, or whatever… how do you know when you’re performing? What are some tell tale signs?
Mike: [10:45] Yeah, that’s a phenomenal question. I’ll say, to encompass it, it’s all under the umbrella of premediated. You have an idea of what you’re going to do. If all of a sudden you see a fire in a house, you’re going to do whatever you can to put it out. There’s no oh wait – you don’t think about should I go around the side, how do I put this out. You just – it calls to you. So, I feel like when I see a lot of people perform, they’re saying or being something that’s not authentic them. So, they’re using pick-up lines that are inauthentic. They are… you can help me with this one, but I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of guys go up to women and stand a certain way; you know, they’re peacocking or they’re trying to do something to draw attention to themselves, which may not be in their natural being whatsoever. So, it’s hard to tell. It’s hard to see when someone else is doing it if you’re not in the situation, but it’s anything someone does that is premeditated – you’re thinking about what to say, what to do, how to be – versus showing up, and even fumbling on yourself, like going up to someone you think’s attractive and be like, wow, I think you’re beautiful. If you stumble on that, but if it’s authentic to you… there’s a lot of learning and power in showing up just authentically raw in that moment.
Jade: [11:58] Yeah, and I would say, you know, to me, when – and it’s funny, because I think we all – I often times talk about this idea of base level, culture level, next level human. The culture level – we fall back into these states. So, I know that I perform at times. I’m also very good at telling when other people are performing. I can tell you for me, when I see someone else performing, it basically looks nervous, it looks like they are reaching, they’re thinking while someone else is talking; and when I’m performing, I’m doing the same thing. I’m essentially not present, not listening, kind of being a very different sort of human in a sense. Whereas if I’m – typically if I am being authentic, I’m very relaxed, I don’t have – I only speak if I have something really to say, I laugh when something’s funny, I don’t feel like I have to force anything. But you can kind of see when you watch a group of people, something will be said, it may not even be funny, someone laughs, or you can see them kind of trying to come up with jokes, and just trying to be something that they may not be. I think if there’s a nervousness there, I think that’s already a sign that you are needing to perform. Because from my perspective, anxiety in social situations like that comes from this idea that there’s choices that need to be made. You’re trying to figure out what do I say here, what do I do, how should I dress, what kind of drink should I get? Should I stand a particular way? And you’re thinking all these things versus like, I don’t know, I’m just going to show up in my hoodie, hang out with people, laugh, be 1000% myself, and I’m not really worried in the end what they’re looking at, if they’re looking at my shoes, if they don’t like the way I’m dressed, if ordered the wrong drink, if I said the wrong thing. It’s a very different thing. I know when I show up there’s zero anxiety for me socially, and I think whenever I’m performing, or I’ve done that in the past, I have some anxiety. That’s how I know. I’m usually very comfortable when I’m being authentic and very sort of anxious when I’m not.
Mike: [14:13] You know what it is, a step further, it’s being confident in yourself. Women are very intuitive. They can smell neediness from a mile away and performing is the biggest act of neediness. Needing to earn their affection or approval versus when you show up, you can’t say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, because if they don’t like that they’re not for you… essentially. One thing that I stress no matter what, who I’m talking to, is pay attention to the conversation. One thing that I will share, that you know you’re performing when you are – you know when you go on a date, not you specifically, but you’re seeing a date happen, and it’s that interrogation… question after question after question after question. It’s like, there’s no listening there. You’re literally having a script you’re reading from almost to try and get through the small talk, versus if I’m coaching a man, I’m like, ask a question, and intentionally listen to what she’s saying because there’s a path you can go down. For example, if I say, how was your day today, and she says, oh, my day was stressful because this, that, and the other, ask about the stressful event. Don’t just go to the next question. That is the #1 mistake in performing. It’s like that brprprprprp rapid fire questioning versus just have an authentic conversation and learn something.
Jade: [15:25] Yeah, and it feels very detached to whoever’s in a conversation like that, because it does move all over the place and there’s no deepness and depth that occurs, so I would say the same thing. You’re talking to someone, and I think people who are really good socially – men or women – essentially what they do is they’re looking for commonalities. I’ve also noticed this whole thing, that I know a lot of women have said to me, and some guys have said, about being around sort of potential romantic partners – there’s this idea of some people, especially this is more men that do this, they come at it in a very combative way. They look for, well, why’d you do that, like, what about that, I don’t really understand that, and it feels very combative, whereas a very connected conversation happens from finding a thread of connection and agreement. For example, maybe some says I love France, and you go, oh my God, really? I went to France 2 years ago and stayed in stayed in Paris for 6 weeks and I loved it. What do you love about France? And you’re looking to see these sort of commonalities, and those always end up being the best sort of conversations. Like, you might not, for example, I love Harry Potter.
Mike: [16:39] Who doesn’t love Harry Potter?
Jade: [16:40] I love Harry Potter, and I guess when I was younger, dating, maybe I wouldn’t of – I mean, Harry Potter wasn’t around then because I’m not saying my age – but I probably wouldn’t have voiced that, even if someone mentioned Harry Potter. Maybe I’d be like, oh, Harry Potter’s not cool, right?
Mike: [16:56] Right.
Jade: [16:57] But now, I would be like, oh my God, you dig Harry Potter? Let’s go to Universal Studios and hang out at the Harry Potter thing or whatever. It’s just that very thing where you begin to own, very completely, your likes and dislikes. And I like what you said about the vetting sort of strategy, you hinted at it. To me, one of the things that I know when I’m being in my power and authentic is if I am around certain individuals, I’m not caught in my head being like do they like me, did I say this right. I’m more in my head being like do I dig them, what’s interesting about them.
Mike: [17:27] And 99% of people don’t date with that mindset. I think that is the kryptonite, if I may say it, because when you’re going into a situation worrying about your own acceptance level, how much is this person going to like me, want me, there’s no way you cannot perform. Guilty as charged, right? I’m – like I’ve said, we’ve all done this, but when you come at it from a place of I’m just going to be myself and I’m going to see if I like this person on a date, or even when you’re dating, that’s so powerful. How can you show up in that space versus the other, it’s a completely different mindset.
Jade: [17:58] Yeah. I love the idea, and it’s funny now, because I can speak from this experience. I’m 46 now, I essentially am-
Mike: [18:06] But you don’t look 46.
Jade: [18:07] I appreciate that. It’s the shiny head and fat face.
Mike: [18:12] Not at all.
Jade: [18:13] It makes all the wrinkles go away. I always say you can’t have wrinkles and be fat. No, I’m teasing. But no, I feel like, in the end, at 46 now, if I’m dating people, I look at it that way. In no way, shape, or form will I try to be a different human than what I am. But I do also think that is – this is the other side of the coin, as I always like to make it a little more complicated than it is – but I also do think at my age what you run into is sort of another thing where, to me, there’s authenticity and there’s sort of owning who you are; but then, there’s also this idea of being like, you know what, I’m not perfect and complete, and do want to grow and experience, and this is the other side of neediness. Someone who’s kind of needy and/or performing doesn’t want to show that they want to grow or learn anything. It’s another thing about authenticity that’s weird, the other side of this coin, is like I know everything already, I’m 1000% me, I’m not going to change, I know my type, you have to be a certain way, like, if you’re not, I’m not going to see you. I think women do this a lot, and men do this a lot, where it’s sort of like, I also am looking now, not just to be 1000% Jade, but also realizing I’m not 1000% complete, and there are so many things I don’t know I don’t know that this person may be able to enhance me some way, teach me something in some way. So, to me, this is another aspect of not being needy. It’s sort of the idea of vulnerability in a sense, and being alpha male traditionally is like I know everything. I think this is another subtlety about being like, I may need to change a little bit. It’s not just about being I’m 1000% me, like me or hate me, blah blah blah. That, to me, is also a form of insecurity, because it shows a degree of emotional rigidity. I think we also need to be looking at why we’re interested in people in the first place.
Mike: [20:11] I agree completely.
Jade: [20:12] And I think it’s about growth.
Mike: [20:13] Yup. Completely agree. I think – one thing I’ll add to that, and that I’m hearing a lot lately in my coaching – is this term narcissistic male. I’ve heard it a lot this last few months, like I’m dating a narcissist, this guy’s a narcissist. I’m like, well, tell me more about his narcissistic traits. What is a narcissist? You know, to you, what is it? And it’s always about being a selfish lover, always about him, his time, his schedule, his work; and, to me, being a narcissist is – I won’t get into this rabbit hole – but it is extremely detrimental to growing with someone, mainly in the sense of you can ONLY perform if you’re a narcissist because you’re constantly acting from this place of me, me, me, I, I, I, want, want, want… versus showing up for the partner, for your partner, for your relationship. When I try and coach anyone through dealing with a narcissist, it’s really how – to your point – is this person growing you? Is this person seeing you for your power, or are they only stuck in their being and who they are? My firm belief is if someone can’t see you for your power, your unique superpowers, your strengths and what you bring to the partnership, they don’t really respect you… and they probably don’t respect themselves.
Jade: [21:28] Yeah, and by the way, that whole thing is like, when that happens in a relationship, and sort of early on, there’s some flexibility there, but authenticity and sort of being yourself really is about having boundaries in that regard, and realizing that these are my powers. You either appreciate that or you don’t; and if you don’t, I really don’t have a whole lotta time for you. But by the way, the whole idea of narcissism – this is an interesting thing, and I would just say – narcissism is a true diagnosis. It’s a very, very overused term. In the medical community, you actually get diagnosed as a narcissist. And, by the way, if you want to know if you have narcissistic tendencies, you can take a quiz online, which I actually just did because I was reading a paper about narcissism and I was like, let me go and kind of see my narcissistic traits. So, one of the other things about narcissism though, and I know I always kind of complicate it, is that narcissism is indeed – the major traits are someone of exaggerated self-importance. In other words, they think that their shit doesn’t stink. They believe they are the smartest person in the room. They think they’ve got all the right moves. They think that, whether they have educated themselves or not, they think they’re the expert in, you know, romance; or they’re the expert in nutrition because they’ve read one book. Narcissism tends to make you do that, it tends to make you go well, I’ve watched a documentary on nutrition and now I’m an expert on nutrition. The opposite of narcissism is someone who goes, wow, that’s really interesting but I really know nothing. Now, what’s interesting about that though is the extremes on either side. You definitely don’t want an extreme narcissist; but you also don’t want someone who has no narcissistic tendencies, because then they have no background at all and they’re just kind of pushed around. So, it’s really interesting. What we kind of want to think about is we want to find people who are arrogant enough to know that they’re special… and insecure enough to know that they’re not anybody special. So, it’s like – it’s both. You kind of want to be both, and I think that is what maturity and authenticity does for a male or female. They essentially go, listen, I’ve been around enough to know that I’m not that damn special, that I don’t have all the answers, that I have a lot to grow; but I’ve also been around enough to know, and have done enough personal work that I like these aspects of myself; and with these particular things I’m not going to compromise. So, they kind of have this flexible boundary nature about them I feel like, where it’s just like yeah, I could really grow in that. They’re flexible and a little bit open minded to learn, but they also can be very rigid if their boundaries are crossed.
Mike: [24:10] So, question for you. 21st century alpha male would have some narcissistic qualities?
Jade: [24:18] Yeah, I would think so. I would think you want someone, and this is where the power principle comes in. If we look at charisma, it’s power, presence, and warmth. So, the power aspect of that has to deal with some levels of narcissism. We all respect and want somebody who steps up and is in their power. And essentially, it’s just like here’s who I am, here’s what I do, here’s how I show up. However, if that goes too far, where it’s like what you do is not important, how you show up’s not important, it’s all secondary to me, I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m the best looking person in the room, no one’s a better lover than me, you know, I got it all figured out – that’s when it goes too far. So, I would say someone who is authentic, right, we have this weird thing in our culture where it’s all about humility, and don’t step out of your zone, and know your place, and that kind of thing. To me, that’s not authentic either, because every human has very defined amazing qualities that are their superpowers. And to me, authenticity’s about owning that. Then, authenticity is also about saying, you know what, I’m not perfect, I also have extreme weaknesses and dysfunctions related to me.
Mike: [25:27] So, help the listener. I’m trying to help them, because that line you just talked about, it’s very – it’s a fine line… you know, that I’m so confident in myself and my abilities and who I am, and detached from any outcome. But, then help us, help me figure out where’s that line where you cross it into I know everything. Help me understand that.
Jade: [25:46] I mean, I think it really comes down to when you’re in conversations with people, you can see this all the time. It’s literally, we all know friends like this where certain things come up, they’re very argumentative. And I’ve heard women actually use that term about men. They’re like, I didn’t love it, he’s kind of argumentative, and I’m like, well, what do you mean by argumentative? I think this is where the whole thing about mansplaining and being argumentative, these terms are for those men who essentially don’t sit there and listen, but have to explain to you everything instead of actually being willing to have things explained to them. So, to me, it would look like this, here’s the balance… you’re in a conversation with a group of people, as a male, and maybe it’s women, maybe it’s not -this can happen in either way – and they are talking about something that you know about, that you are actually… feel like you know something about. What will happen is if you’re a narcissist, or you have those kind of tendencies, or you’re a little bit on the wrong end of that equation, you will begin to – or the negative end of that dichotomy – you will begin to want to feel the urge and the pin prick to start interjecting and to start explaining, and start to be like, well, I read this and I heard that, and I don’t know about that. But if you’re on the other side, you simply sit there and listen and wait for an opportunity, or even if someone asks. It’s not even, that you’re such in a place where you’re like I don’t even need to, I’m just going to sit here and listen to see what I agree and don’t agree with. And I think someone who’s pretty solid in this, they don’t even feel the need to interject or say what they know unless they’re asked. I think it’s that kind of thing, right? One of the things that a lot of my girlfriends and a lot of people know this, but me and my ex – I was married for 10 years – Jill Coleman, who’s my ex, we have these conversations a lot, and one of the things that she often times talks about, and I talk about, is this idea that we can sit there, if you’re in the conversation, you can kind of see individuals who just sit there and listen. They listen and they listen, and they’re definitely kind of engaged, but they ask a lot of questions. Then, often times when they speak, they have some of the most interesting things to say.
Mike: [28:02] Insightful.
Jade: [28:03] Because they’re very insightful… and they have sort of that dynamic. I think that… working on your authenticity and working on this balance is where that comes from often times. I’ve always been at my worst, and I’ll ask you this too – I’ve always been at my worst when I am trying to hijack the conversation, which, especially in my younger years, I was like, well, I know about this, I want to talk about it all the time, I want to communicate. I’m at my best when I assume I am the most ignorant person in the room, and I always learn the most.
Mike: [28:35] That’s a powerful place to come from. You know, you asked me earlier in our meeting, you said, or you asked, how can you tell when someone’s performing? They’re constantly talking, and they’re not listening. They’re trying to really command the conversation, or hijack it for their own personal agenda, versus listening and having an engaging conversation. So, what you just said is actually beautiful and so spot on, because there’s a powerful way to listen where you can add to a conversation versus say something in order to. Does that make sense? So, whenever I talk to someone, it’s like where is this coming from. Is it in order to get something? Are you doing, or saying, or asking a question in order to receive an answer, in order to get what you want? Or just authentically you and you’re genuinely curious? I find that the narcissistic male, or anyone who’s not the alpha male, is constantly performing in order to get something. You understand?
Jade: [29:30] Yeah, makes a lot of sense. And that’s that whole idea of, sort of this idea of confident detachment, which you and I use that term a lot, and I think it speaks to exactly what you’re saying. I think, to kind of – I’d like to go through a few things, like how do you do that. So, for example, let’s say that… you have a situation where, let’s say, you send a text message to someone you’re interested in and they don’t get back to you in 2 days, let’s say; and you’re someone who’s not solid in themselves, is kind of thinking oh my God, what did I do, now I’m pissed, or I’m worried, or I’m like, why aren’t they getting back to me, what’s going on – whereas, the person who is confidently detached just goes, well, if they don’t get back to me, that says something about them, and I don’t really need to worry about that. But, for example, I am very much in someone who likes someone to communicate. I don’t like when people don’t respond. I notice if you don’t have your read receipts on your emails. So, I’m looking at it more from that point of view; so, I’m more go, oh, that’s interesting, so that’s a person who doesn’t want to get back to me and is – so, I use that to essentially say maybe this isn’t a person who I want to be friendly with – or I, well, I usually assume at first they’re just busy. I just make that assumption, because you could make an assumption that they’re purposely not responding to you, or you can make an assumption that they’re just busy and preoccupied and you just met them and whatever, and you just let that go and trust that if they want to reach out to you they will. So, I love that kind of stuff, but I know some people – they’re not confidently detached – they’re full of expectations and assumptions. They didn’t get back to me so they must be with someone else; they didn’t get back to me so they must be not interested; they didn’t get back to me so they must be just purposely trying to annoy me or ghost me. It’s those things that go on in our heads that I think when you start seeing those, you have to go yeah, I’m not at that place yet.
Mike: [31:36] That’s so beautifully said, and it goes again to the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. If anyone hasn’t read that, I strongly advise you to pick that up and dive into that because it’s fantastic. But, to your point, literally about vetting, confident detachment, they almost go hand in hand. Because if you’re doing – say you send that text message and they don’t get back to you, versus giving them the power. Why aren’t they getting back to me? What’s going on? Are they seeing someone else? Are they busy? Keep it with yourself that that person’s like ok, do I want to be with someone that doesn’t have read receipts on, or doesn’t communicate hey, I’m busy sweetheart, I’ll get back to you in a few hours, or like, does that settle well with you? How does that sit with you versus what’s going on with her. So, keep it with yourself. You’ve always taught that, I teach that, to constantly vet. Then, I was going to say something, I didn’t want to interrupt you, but it was about the type of neediness. You know, sending that text and then following up text after text, where are you, what’s going on, those essay long texts, that – I’m going to steal your words – that is repulsive to a woman, yes, but that’s only 1 type of neediness. Like, I’m not going to condone that, I’m not going to say any man should do that, because no – or woman – nobody likes that incessantness; but for women, neediness is a feeling. It’s the energy, but you don’t have to send that text message. If you’re emitting energy that is still frantic and showing that anxiety, women are going to pick up on that from a mile away. They’re going to see it, they’re going to read it, so even more reason to be confidently detached from any expectation or outcome, and just be good with yourself. Get rooted in yourself, always come back to am I being who I want to be in the world. And if you can stay there, and stay detached, because that’s where the anxiety comes from, the attachment to the outcome or expectation.
Jade: [33:26] Yeah. This is – I love this, and this is how I would handle it now… because there’s two sides to that. One, let me text, text, text, what are you doing, how come you didn’t text me back. The other is I’m going to go black now, I’m going to go dark, you text me, I’m not going to respond to you. That’s another form of, to me, performing. To me, how I would handle this, and the way that I think a confident male would do this, or an authentic sort of – authentic alpha, I guess – would do this would be like, I send a text message to you, and let’s assume just so we have context, let’s assume this is some you’ve just met; they expressed some interest, you’re interested, and you text them. You know, you’ve had enough interactions, maybe you’ve been out on one date, two dates, and you’re wanting their attention. So, you send this text and you’re just like hey, what’s up, what are you doing this weekend, or whatever. And they maybe had mentioned last time you saw each other they wanted to hang out this coming weekend, so you’re just kind of checking in. No response, two days, let’s say, go by. All I would do is be like hey, I was really looking forward to seeing you this weekend. If you’re busy, no big deal, but let me know if you want to hang out. To me, that would be if they don’t respond to that, that’s basically the last text I would send. Because here’s what I did – I said I’m not hiding anything, hey, I’m letting you know I really wanted to see you, I was really looking forward to that – nothing wrong with that. Some vulnerability in that, yes. It’s kind of just a hey, I was hoping we’d see each other. No response back to me? At that point, I no longer, being an authentic male, want to deal with someone who is not going to respond to that text, and there’s very little that would allow a woman to come back to that for me. I’m not mad about it, but unless they’re like oh my God, I had the worst week, this and this happened or whatever, but if they just are not going to respond because they’ve got other stuff going, I essentially – my interest goes away at that point. And I would suggest that we as humans are vetting people in that way. To me, don’t perform, don’t be like where are you, what’s up, like really checking in, and also don’t do this thing where it’s like, well, now I’m going to give you the silent treatment too. Simply say how you feel, what you want and what you prefer. That lays out the boundary that you have, and then they get to respond or not, and if they don’t, fantastic, because you’ve just vetted someone that maybe you don’t want, you don’t want that kind of communication. So, I set up for me, and I want to ask you what your honor code is, but that’s the point of the honor code. The point of the honor code is like, I want someone who’s kind, generous, a fantastic communicator, and not afraid to tell me exactly what’s going on and is not going to keep me in the dark. That’s important to me. So, to me, I look for that in any relationship, male or female, and also especially in romantic relationships. So, to me, I just go oh, this is a perfect opportunity to see is this person kind, are they generous, and can they communicate.
Mike: [36:18] You’re stealing my spotlight. I can’t add much more to this. But, I will add, you know, a lot of power comes in the why. If I’m working with someone, I can just give them the advice – him or her the advice – I have to ask them a question so they can come to the answers themselves in way. The question I get a lot is why do I feel the need to needy in this sense, or why do I want to text? I don’t want to text my friends 10 times. Why? And it can 9 times out of 10 really be boiled down to the story you’re telling yourself about this person. For a man, it usually comes down to she looks a certain way, or she fits this idea of who I thought I was going to be with, and that mental story that you already have kind of hijacks all your self-confidence, and you’re rooted in self where you’re doing things our of character. A lot of people say, I never thought I would do that, I never thought I would say that, and it’s because that story that they come up with. So, to understand where that story starts and stops is critically important to understanding your behavior. Then, again, being rooted in self. And you can only be confidently detached when you check your story. Like, I’m going to pause the story, I’m going to get back in touch with me, myself, and I, and see where I am. But I thought that was beautiful. Just to give the listeners some power, and all the men out there some power, I have certainly done needy things, and I’m not impervious to doing them again just because I have the awareness. I think that we all come up with these romantic stories that we think, and conversation for another time is the idea of a soulmate. I don’t, you know, I don’t necessarily believe in soulmates or love at first sight. It’s kind of love at first story when someone shows up that looks like that story. That’s a lot of hijacking, and that’s here a lot of neediness comes in; you know, that flutter you feel in your heart when you see someone, it’s like oh my God… and then, you get hijacked. So, I don’t want to go down the – off on a tangent.
Jade: [38:13] Well, yeah, the final thing I’ll say about that, then we can start wrapping up with just a few to-dos, but I would say that story is really interesting. I’ll give you a funny story – one of my younger guy friends recently was having – you know, we live in the internet age right now – so he was connected with the looks, the way someone looks on Instagram. And, of course, that’s the all we can do, because you see people in 2D basically. You may see a video of them, but you don’t get to really interact with them. So, these two, him and her, arranged to meet in another city. They both flew to a city to see each other, and it was really funny, but I was like so, how’d it go, and he goes, man, like, she really is beautiful like she was, but honestly man, I have to say, I’m embarrassed to say, but she had horrible breath. I just couldn’t, like something wasn’t right with her. And to me, I go, that’s what’s really interesting about our story, right? Because we can write all these things about someone, especially in the beginning, and meanwhile – this happened to be a very tangible like thing. Bad breath is not really something you can overcome; but, bad breath also is synonymous with a shitty personality, not being able to communicate, inability to be there for someone and be empathetic. And what we do is we jump – we start forgetting all of those things because we put the story in place where they have to be this way because they look this way, and I’ll just make them this way. Then, you start performing into that story. Again, that’s another great example of once you have a story, you have to perform into that story. When you don’t have a story, you can authentically show up and be like let me see. Yes, this person’s attractive, but let me see. Do I dig their pheromones? Do I like the way they animate, or how are they around people? For me now, I tend to get more attractive to someone only after I meet them, and very rarely now do I judge anyone based on looks. In fact, I might even go the other way. Someone who’s – you’re really good looking – I tend to have a negative story now, which is just as bad, where I essentially go, oh, they probably have some personality challenges because they’ve just been endowed with good looks. It’s one of those things where we’re constantly looking. So, I guess for me now, I would ask, if you were going to say, just to kind of sum it up, what are some things, some take-homes that people can do for – we’re kind of gearing this toward men – but how do they become this authentic, confidently detached guy? Do you have 1, 2, or 3 things where you can say look, here’s where you need to start.
Mike: [40:46] Yeah, I do. I’m going to wrap up by saying one thing on what you just said, because I have to say it because you preach it – beauty is more than just physical, it’s an energy. I cannot stress that enough. Everyone listening, everyone in my earshot, everyone online, you guys, it’s critically important to pay attention to not only how the person you are with shows up energetically, but how you show up energetically, because beauty is absolutely energy. Going to the takeaways, I would say first and most important is stories are powerful, just make sure it’s your story about you. Who are you goes back to the honor code work, essentially. Who are you, who do you want to show up as for yourself? Not for someone else, not for your family, your friends, your job, anyone. Who do you want to be in the world authentically? Tap into that story and walk into that story. Don’t walk into the story of someone else, like I want to date a woman who’s 5’7”, blonde hair, this, that, and the other, works at this job. That’s essentially somewhat ridiculous in my opinion.
Jade: [41:44] And women who are listening, you tend to fall prey to this even more so than men a lot of times, younger women. I definitely think that’s a very important point.
Mike: [41:54] So, my biggest takeaway from this conversation for the 21st century authentic male: get firmly rooted in yourself, flaws and everything. Who are you at your core? Then, from there, who do you want to be that’s an extension of that core authenticity? The more you perform in this world, the more everyone – women, friends, again, coworkers – everyone will pick up on it; it’s not a secret. It’s an energy you emit and you’re not fooling anybody. So, the more in touch you can be with your authentic self… that’s where your life is going to stem from, and that’s where you can build off of.
Jade: [42:30] Yeah, and the final thing for me, speaking of that, my final thoughts would be that honor code, here’s how it manifests when you are interacting romantically. Once you define that – and by the way, on my site jadeteta.com, for this episode if you’re listening to it, I’ll put a link to how to do your honor code there for all you listening – but once you do that honor code, now you essentially – the honor code is essentially a way of behaving in the world that you choose for you; but it’s also a set of boundaries that you have that you will not sort of tolerate. Then, when you meet somebody, it’s not no longer performing because you’re no longer trying to say how do I show up for them to make them like me. But, it’s more like, how do I show up as my authentic self to see whether I like them and how they flow into that. For example, I might want to be kind and generous and a good communicator, and I might run into this woman who is a much better communicator than me. That’s one huge plus for her, where I’m like oh, she can help me in that regard, and I like that aspect. So, it both tells you what you don’t want and what you do want, and I think that is the key. You have to be grounded within yourself.
Mike: [43:43] I’m going to give one last example. I’m a big fan of analogies. So, everyone asks me, so how do I know what to do and not perform? Doing, performing, it’s the same thing. Well, the common analogy or example I’ll give is that of people that excel in their field. Let’s take Michael Jordan for example. Michael Jordan I would venture to guess, even bet, he didn’t wake up with a to-do list, like I have to wake up at 5AM and go to the gym, I have to go shoot 100 baskets, 100 shots at 7AM. There’s no preemptive to-do list necessarily versus he was so committed to being the best basketball player of all time that, with that commitment, the doing kind of followed suit. He naturally woke up at 5AM to go to the gym, then naturally from there went to shoot around and practice. So, when you’re so committed to who your being is, you’re going to be called powerfully into action and what you do, and right there is a lack of performing, and you’re going to act authentically.
Jade: [44:45] Yeah, and what’s amazing about that too is you call people to you rather than you having to search them out. When you’re being that person [inaudible], you actually call the fans to you versus having to seek them out. So, yeah, I love it man. We’ll do another one of these soon, but make sure you check out Mike. What’s your Instagram handle now where they can find you?
Mike: [45:04] MikeXera. M-I-K-E-X-E-R-A. MikeXera.
Jade: [45:09] Alright, love you, homie. Good to see you again.
Mike: [45:10] Love you too. Thanks, brother.
Jade: [45:12] Thanks for hanging out guys.
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