Ask Me Anything

Below are questions that have been submitted for me to answer. Logged in members can upvote any question by clicking the up arrow next to it. Every few months I’ll pick some of the most upvoted questions (as well as some other questions I think are particularly good) and answer them in one of my Ask Me Anything videos.

Site members can go here to submit a question. If you’re not a member, you can learn more about the membership here.

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24

How do you suggest understanding where your spouse is coming from regarding sex/intimacy needs?

We get along great; in almost every aspect of our lives. But we can't get on the same page in terms of sex and intimacy needs. It's really difficult to put ourselves in each others' shoes… (Show more)

We get along great; in almost every aspect of our lives. But we can't get on the same page in terms of sex and intimacy needs. It's really difficult to put ourselves in each others' shoes and overcome the struggle without tearing each others' faces off in the process.

23

What are the most important characteristics in a friendship?

We see all sorts of dating advice and our romance lives are analyzed half to death by ourselves and loved ones, but yet friendships are hardly talked about. What separates those who have lots of fun… (Show more)

We see all sorts of dating advice and our romance lives are analyzed half to death by ourselves and loved ones, but yet friendships are hardly talked about. What separates those who have lots of fun meaningful friendships to those who experience few? (demographics, personality and communication, vulnerability, purpose and beliefs, interests etc etc)

22

How to deal with a toxic family member? Remove them/talk to them is not an option.

22

Getting over the feeling of lost time?

This relates to the latest blogpost, which while being focused on loss, was very relation-centric. The question is how to get over the feeling like you have lost a lot of good time, to the point… (Show more)

This relates to the latest blogpost, which while being focused on loss, was very relation-centric. The question is how to get over the feeling like you have lost a lot of good time, to the point it's no longer crippling you from taking actions toward making the future better and you're not daydreaming about what you could have done better in your past. BTW, if it's relevant, I'm a 22 yo about to enter the "real world", feeling like he wasted all the high school and college years and feeling like a loser in general.

22

Mark ... Do you believe that envirnoment is 80% of who you are ?

How much of who we are is Nature vs Nurture ?? Thoughts

22

Why isn't there a forum or comment section on this site?

When I read one of your articles, I usually wish I had someone to discuss it with. I would love to hear about the experiences and opinions of others on some of these topics.

22

Why do we respect strangers more than loved ones?

Recently I was disgusted by a mom offering me politely to go ahead in supermarket cue, after she slapped her child for touching the sweets. Then I drove home, greeted my neighbor respectfully, and entering home… (Show more)

Recently I was disgusted by a mom offering me politely to go ahead in supermarket cue, after she slapped her child for touching the sweets. Then I drove home, greeted my neighbor respectfully, and entering home started complaining about the mess to my spouse.
Josh, 34

21

What is your advice to people who have tried improving their dating life for years and failed?

Should the focus change from improving the current situation to accepting it completely? What would you tell a 40 year old virgin who is probably never going to get laid? Surely not every single person who… (Show more)

Should the focus change from improving the current situation to accepting it completely? What would you tell a 40 year old virgin who is probably never going to get laid? Surely not every single person who tried to improve his dating life will succeed. How do you accept something like that?

19

Any tricks for dealing with PTSD?

I will be charging along and doing fairly well, when out of nowhere something triggers my PTSD issues. Any advice?

19

How do you define maturity ?

When you're growing up, in your twenties what are the things that you're mature or not? Is it self knowledge is it responsability is it something emotional?

19

Social Media: How do I co-exist with it (and even enjoy it) without comparing myself?

19

How do you know what you want in a partner?

If you have limited relationship experience, knowing what works and what doesn’t for you is not always clear. You may want x, but y is healthier for you. How do you get a better handle on… (Show more)

If you have limited relationship experience, knowing what works and what doesn’t for you is not always clear. You may want x, but y is healthier for you. How do you get a better handle on what values are important in a partner?

18

What books do you recommend to get better at setting boundaries with people in your life?

I've read all of your posts and Models multiple times. I'm curious to know which book(s) you found the most helpful when it came to getting better with boundaries.

17

If someone must see just one place in the world, what should it be?

Do you have a specific thing or place someone must see and you can only name one? A monument, national park, street, city, country, festival,etc.

17

You emphasize in your book and articles the importance of saying and hearing NO in healthy relationships. How do I know if I'm a selfish asshole who says no too often?

17

How can I short-circuit my craving for instant gratification?

I have a lot of goals for my future that require a lot of planning, strategy, and patience. For example: I'm a writer and, as you know, it can take years just to finish the first… (Show more)

I have a lot of goals for my future that require a lot of planning, strategy, and patience. For example: I'm a writer and, as you know, it can take years just to finish the first draft of a body of work. But I find myself constantly getting distracted by social media for no other reason than the shot of dopamine, or frustrated with the slog of writing -- even though I'm passionate about it -- just because it doesn't come with a big shot of endorphins the way other, less fulfilling activities might. How do I stop this craving for instant gratification from getting in the way of achieving my goals?

17

Why we care so much about what others think?

Why most of the times we’re more concerned on how something looks for others rather than how it does for us? Why are we deeply trapped into this external judgement dependancy?

17

What’s the best advice for people in their 20’s who feel lost about what to do with their life?

16

Can you give us the hard-core version of "Negative Self-Help" (your preferred/desired title for the book that became "Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck")

Ok Mark, with your avid readers listening and you don't have to listen to asshole publishers saying what will and won't sell, tell us how "Negative Self-Help" really works, what are some unique but transformational ways… (Show more)

Ok Mark, with your avid readers listening and you don't have to listen to asshole publishers saying what will and won't sell, tell us how "Negative Self-Help" really works, what are some unique but transformational ways we can apply it in our lives, and how can I continue to apply it even though it SEEMS LIKE things are breaking down and falling apart.

Case in point, I started reading your book about 6 months ago and soon thereafter, my co-dependent relationship became too painful and I broke up with my girlfriend, and a month after that, I quit my job, moved to a competitor, and started learning new skills in a different industry. My life has changed for the better but I want more ideas to apply negative self-help.

16

How would you differentiate between accurately spotting emotional manipulation and the projection of your own insecurities onto others?

16

How do you judge whether people are worthy of your time, energy, thought and emotion?

My difficulty in being open to new friendships, collaborations, business opportunities etc is deciphering whether I want to invest the time and energy into building a meaningful relationship where I can trust this person. I tend… (Show more)

My difficulty in being open to new friendships, collaborations, business opportunities etc is deciphering whether I want to invest the time and energy into building a meaningful relationship where I can trust this person. I tend not be bothered with superficial relationships because I generally dislike chit-chat. I find it very upsetting when I've just invested energy into someone who in turn throws me under the bus (even if only a little energy, b/c it means I didn't read this person well). At the same time, I want to be open to the relationships that truly add value.

16

How do I start over after feeling like I lost it all?

I lost my home/city, relationship, and I'm separated from my friends. I realize I have to move on, but to what? It's just not possible for me have what I had. How do I find a… (Show more)

I lost my home/city, relationship, and I'm separated from my friends. I realize I have to move on, but to what? It's just not possible for me have what I had. How do I find a way to be happy without the shadow of that former and better life? I'm 38, feel and look a lot younger. I feel like I should have something good to live for.

15

Where's one place you've always wanted to travel to but haven't gone yet?

Name a place you've been wanting to see but haven't been yet?

15

Why we don't do the things we want and know that we if we do them our life will get better?

15

What do you think are the biggest factors in the commercial success of your book The Subtle Art of...?

I love your recent book. Obviously you're a great writer with a superb title but these things don't always guarantee commercial success. What do you think most contributed to your book's impressive sales? (I'm an author myself)

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