Why Good People End Up in Bad Relationships

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    140 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    We are often drawn to chaotic romantic partners because their chaos guarantees that we will feel needed.

    We can become insecure around stable romantic partners because we worry that they’ll never fully need us. And that’s because: they won’t.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Three things for you to ask yourself

    How much unnecessary drama have you tolerated in your life, simply because it makes you feel needed? What would happen if you stopped tolerating that drama? How would it make you feel?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Set a boundary around drama or chaos in your life. Refuse to tolerate it. See what happens.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    New This Week

    I Quit Alcohol for 500 Days… This Is Why I’m Never Going Back – For most of my adult life, I was drunk a few times per week, every week. Then, suddenly, I quit and posted a video about it. The internet cheered. Now we’re a year further along and honestly, I don’t think I could have imagined how much my life would change. This video takes you through some of the unexpected life changes I’ve experienced being sober. I think you’re going to learn something too. Enjoy.

    The Ancient Philosophy That Doesn’t Give a F*ck (ft. Ryan Holiday) – Stoicism has been helping people manage their stress and anxiety for thousands of years and today, it’s more relevant than ever. In last week’s podcast episode, I was joined by my friend Ryan Holiday, New York Times bestselling author of multiple books on Stoicism. We dive into the life-altering benefits of following a philosophy that encourages you to focus on what you can control, and fuck the rest. Check it out.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to observe instead of speaking up when something doesn’t need to be said. This challenge came at just the right time for our first reader:

    A coworker posted an article to our team chat this morning that not only talked about our product but called out and explained an important engineering feature of it. He was excited about the article and didn’t know the benefit of the feature so thought that was cool too (we’re in internal communications, not engineers).

    It was a piece of great publicity but I first thought: Doesn’t everyone know this feature is needed for something like this to work? Isn’t this common knowledge? Didn’t we all learn this in school?

    Right as I was figuring out how to say that without sounding like a jerk while—let’s be honest—still wanting to show some level of superiority for knowing it, I saw your email. It got me thinking: What would it help to call this out right now? It helps nothing.

    Instead I joined the excitement. Doing what I’d initially planned would have refocused the convo away from that. It may have made him feel dumb and defensive no matter how hard I tried to be nice.

    Our second sharing is also from the workplace:

    As a new employee, you get trained to the best ability the employer can. Sometimes it can take a while for the trainer to get to you, and you may already know how something is done because you watched someone do it.

    I prided myself as an observant employee. When the trainer tried to teach me how things were done, I would interrupt, telling them ‘oh I know… blah blah blah’ until one day the trainer said to me very nicely, ‘You may have seen someone do it, but it doesn’t mean you know how and why, also, it interrupts my processes of explaining, so please let me finish.’

    Embarrassed but put in my place, I kept my mouth shut. I learned more just shutting up.

    Finally, Fruzsi opened up about her lifelong urge to correct others, a story many of us can relate to:

    From a very young age, I felt the urge to speak up and sometimes to correct other people when I thought they were wrong. Over the years, this progressed from correcting others about simple facts (for instance how many continents or US states there are) to more complex situations where if I felt that the other person’s views were really different from mine, I had to express my disagreement. This had always boiled down to zero-sum games in my head where one (of course me) had to be right, and the other had to be in the wrong.

    In the last couple of years, due to Covid and other personal events, this urge—stemming from vulnerability, insecurity and lack of self-confidence in my own ideas—has just become stronger, actually causing me a great deal of anxiety and all the physical symptoms it comes with.

    The world and especially the people in it are complex and layered and we are all trapped in our own narrow perspectives of it. To judge someone for their different opinions without knowing anything about them is totally ignorant and narcissistic.

    I had to learn, and I am still learning, that it is okay to have different opinions on politics or lifestyle or any topic out there. It is okay to let go of the urge to be always ‘correcting’ others or even to be always commenting on something. One has to be open to the different opinions of those around them, be respectful and listen wholeheartedly to those they do not agree with. We really need to learn how to hear what others have to say without feeling threatened by a contradicting opinion.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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