4 Crucial Mindsets for Your Relationships
In my recent article 'Scare Tactics and the Illusion of Control', reader Yink wanted to know how he could reconcile not using 'scare tactics' and still have his girl believe that he has options and that he can and will leave her if she doesn't act right:
“Because Chase once wrote that you need to make her feel that you have other options and can leave at anytime if she is not treating you well. So should we use the scare tactic when we feel like she is slipping away in order to make her buckle up? Thanks.”
The solution lies in having the right overall mental attitude instead of relying on individual techniques, thus the title of the article - mindsets vs. techniques.
First off, let's have a look at the definitions of each, as a lot can be gleaned from them (definitions here from TheFreeDictionary.com):
Mindset: a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
Technique: a practical method or art applied to some particular task
One has far-reaching implications for many behaviours and situations, and the other is simply one solitary method to carry out a single function.
So pitting mindset vs. techniques may look as if it's a battle between an over-arching concept of behaviour and single instances of behaviour, but in fact, it's actually a battle between two meta-mindsets: the mentality-seeking mindset and the technique-using mindset.
Let's have a closer look at each of the two mindsets you might take
- the technique mindset, and the mentality-seeking mindset - to see
which of these is more powerful, more flexible, and the one you want to
use - and how you can go about transitioning from one to the other.
The Technique Mindset
What is it?
The technique mindset is the one from which Yink is operating when he asks 'don't I need to use a scare tactic when I feel like she is slipping away in order to make her buckle up?'
The technique mindset looks for stop-gap measures to secure our ends, simply using a technique like a scare tactic when an issue arises, such as the 'slipping away' issue that Yink offers above.
Why don't we want this mindset?
Unfortunately, a man who relies solely on looking for a technique to solve situation's as they arise is one who is forever reactionary.
Not only is he reactionary, but he is often incongruent, meaning that there is a cognitive dissonance in his behaviours.
An example of incongruence:
A man feels his girlfriend is slipping away, so he wants to show her that he has options to re-secure her investment in him. He performs some of the techniques that suggest he does have options, such as flirting with other girls when the couple are out and subtly slipping into day-to-day conversations mentions of times girls have come onto him (whether it actually happened or not).
One day they're sitting on the couch and his girlfriend receives a call from a friend. Her friend is a guy and they're often in contact. In his heightened state of anxiety over the feeling she's 'slipping away', his jealousy overpowers him and he responds angrily, telling her that he doesn't want her to talk to him anymore.
You can see that the man in the example has a mismatch between his first set of actions and his second.
On the one hand he wants the girl to believe he is a stud with options... but then he acts with unreasonable jealousy at her having a male friend, which is something a man with legitimate abundance of women to date will not do; thus, you have incongruence.
The man who relies on techniques without the mindsets needed to support them will likely be found out, because he's putting up the façade of one who carries the mindsets that those 'techniques' flow from, when he doesn't actually hold those mindsets.
The Mentality-Seeking Mindset
What is it?
The mentality seeking mindset is a meta-mindset that consists of an individual looking to a particular mental attitude he can carry to inform many situations and different behaviours.
Rather than looking for a particular technique to secure him control in Yink's situation where a girl is slipping away (a girl slipping away would be much less common in a man with the right mindset's world too), he would observe his mindset and ensure that he is in the right frame of mind.
The technique mindset is looking outward to try and shape your world through performing techniques, whereas the mentality seeking mindset is looking inwardly to shape your world through what you believe.
Essentially it comes down to focusing on what you can do to change yourself rather than focusing on what you can do to change other people... and trying to change yourself is always the better (and far more productive) route than trying to change someone else.
Why do we want a mentality seeking mindset?
You want to be in this frame of mind because once a mindset is in place you no longer have to search for a response to each particular situation that comes your way; your over-arching mentalities are all you need to guide you.
Things become much simpler when you look to adopt beneficial mindsets over holding the technique mindset. This tends to be when getting what you want comes on auto-pilot.
You're no longer reactionary and there will be a hell of a lot less dissonance between behaviours.
Here's that above example of incongruence coming from the mentality seeking mindset:
A man doesn't feel his girlfriend slipping away from him because he has an abundance mindset, an impermanence mindset, a surrendered-control mindset and a core-task mindset.
If the man held all those mindsets (which I'll go over further down) then he wouldn't have had the girl slipping away from him the first place.
But for the purposes of this article, let's say he did. Then all he would need to do is re-align himself with the positive mental attitudes I'll elucidate below.
First, a note on techniques: does what we've just gone over mean that using techniques is always bad?
Nope; it's not. In fact, you kinda need techniques to get to these beneficial mindsets.
For example, abundance mentality requires a long time perfecting your skills in the social arts, and you'll definitely need to go out and use techniques to try and get there. In this case, the mindset comes after the experience, and the experience requires you to begin with some techniques.
The distinction is in the meta-mindset: that is to say, whether you're looking to build beneficial mindsets through propagating the right beliefs or whether you're constantly looking for a technique to fit every situation.
The aim is to strive for beneficial mindsets through techniques. And eventually to make those mindsets habitual so you can cast off the techniques, and all the positive behaviours associated with the mentality flow off you naturally.
Since we've been talking about relationships in this article and the one on scare tactics, I'm going to take you through the mindsets I use to help me in my relationships.
It is important to see that the mentality seeking mindset extends beyond relationships and is something you should try and adopt over all areas of your life. You should be striving to eventually have women attracted by virtue of your mindsets, rather than by using techniques.
#1: The Impermanence Mindset
This is the Buddhist notion that impermanence is an undeniable and inescapable fact of human existence. Thusly, change is the world's natural state.
Our focus here is on the impermanence of relationships; particularly, romantic ones.
We want to remind ourselves that whatever relationships we have now are going to end at some point, in one way or another.
That could be when you break up with a girl; it could be when she breaks up with you. It could be when one of you moves to another city. It could be when one of you gets bored, or randy, or tempted, and cheats on the other.
It could be a long time from now... when one of you passes away of
heart failure, cancer, or another disease of old age.
As a corollary, it can also be beneficial to think about the impermanence of life.
How the Impermanence Mindset Helps
This mindset helps by allowing us to develop a much more fluid notion of relationships, both platonic and romantic.
It syphons out the obsessive finality of the idea of an everlasting monogamous relationship and brings relationship breakdowns into perspective as simply being a natural part of life.
Thusly, it allows us to let go of things much more easily when circumstances require that we do so, which means we carry around less baggage.
It also brings the experience of our relationship into the present rather than projecting it into the future, which can overcome many relationship anxieties and helps construct a much more healthy, realistic romance.
In terms of embracing our own mortality, it can help us 'seize the day', so to speak, and push us towards beneficial risks and behaviours we may not have had the courage to pursue were we not confronted with the short time we have.
Ultimately, it allows us to conduct life and relationships with much less fear, resulting in less neediness. And it'll give a woman you're in a relationship with the feeling that you're not afraid to lose her (i.e. willing to leave), which is one of the effects that people try rather clumsily to achieve with 'scare tactics'.
How to Get the Impermanence Mindset
I use a simple mnemonic technique whenever I need to consistently think about something to encourage the thought pattern to become habitual.
All you need to do is draw a symbol that denotes the mindset on your wrist every morning. It can be tiny; it just needs to bring your mind to the concept.
An example for impermanence mindset would be an 'I' with three dashes through it, each denoting a benefit of holding the mindset.
#2: The Surrendered-Control Mindset
A reading of my article on the same topic will give you a much better understanding of this and how it helps but I'll touch on it briefly here too:
This is the belief that you can never entirely control another person no matter what you do.
In my article on scare tactics, I used those as a framework to show why attempting to control people doesn't work, but any real attempts to control your partner with whatever type of technique is doomed to fail long-term.
Instead, you want to accept the danger and volatility of being in a relationship and let the other person be as she is. Regardless of what you do, you're always risking yourself at least somewhat anyway.
How Surrendered-Control Helps
As mentioned in 'Scare Tactics', by embracing the smaller volatilities and uncertainties in a relationship and bringing them to the surface, you potentially avoid the 'black swan' events that may happen if you attempt to suppress that natural volatility and uncertainty.
You also allow the other person to express herself truly, rather than having her show you a façade - true expression is the strongest environment to facilitate a genuine connection between two people.
Comfortable people are connecting people.
How to Get the Surrendered-Control Mindset
Use the same mnemonic device that you would use for the impermanence mindset.
#3: The Core-Task Mindset
This one's not really necessary for a healthy relationship, and you shouldn't be adopting it solely to help navigate a romantic relationship more successfully.
However, it can help you stay on course through a relationship.
Chase has talked about this a lot and has written on it (see his articles 'Can't Stop Thinking About Her? Here's Why You Need to Meet More Girls' and 'I Don’t Chase 'Em, I Replace 'Em' and do a search for the term 'center point') so I'm not going to go into it in depth, but it basically involves having a core-task or passion in life that you are working towards.
How Core-Task Helps
People tend to get needier and needier in a relationship when the other person they're in it with becomes a bigger and bigger focus in their lives. If a girl is the number one focus of your life, your investment in her is going to be much stronger than if she isn't.
That's why if you're a guy who has a core-task you'll also inject a lot less neediness into the relationship.
Also, if the relationship does go south, the defining pillar of your identity isn't at stake, so that becomes much easier to manage, too.
You don't necessarily need to train yourself to possess a core-task, as the benefits of this mindset can arise naturally if you are a man of many interests outside the sphere of your relationship.
Essentially, a man who has many strings to his bow is a lot less needy than the guy who pours all his time and effort into one relationship.
How to Get the Core-Task Mindset
Chase has written an extremely extensive (10,000 words) article on this
topic explaining the best way to
go about it here: 'The Purpose of Life from a Practical Point
Once you understand it, like our other mindsets we're learning, you can add another symbol to your wrist each morning to remind you of it.
#4: The Abundance Mindset
Again, this is something that Chase has covered in depth in the article on absolute abundance, so I'm not going to go into it deeply here.
Essentially, it's a belief that quality woman are abundant and that you possess the wherewithal to be with them.
Abundance mindset isn't something you set out to display to a girl who is in a relationship with you (that's the reactionary technique-mindset's course of action); abundance is a mindset you have. Something you believe.
If you have to tell people you have abundance to convince them of it, then you probably don't have it.
How Abundance Helps
This is the one that has you give off the aura of having options. Knowing something is in demand (and is scarce) makes people value it more highly. It's as simple as that.
Again, you don't need to show you have options; it's something that should be implicit, simply based on the way that you behave.
Also, abundance means you're less needy, because you know you have options.
How to Get the Abundance Mindset
Chase has written on it quite a bit in his article on abundance linked
to just above.
Just some notes on abundance in a relationship. It can be a little tricky as if you commit to a girl, your belief in the concept of abundance can wane.
The important thing is that you attempt to remind yourself of it.
Again, I do this with a mnemonic wrist symbol. The dashes I attach to this one denote three experiences I've had that reinforce my thoughts of abundance and my ability to get it.
It's also important that while you're in a relationship you don't stop being social and meeting new people, as that will also help reinforce your belief in abundance too.
The great thing is that if you have the other mindsets I've talked about, abundance mindset becomes less defining in your relationship, and also more easily embraceable.
A Final Word on Mindsets
If your relationship is going wrong on her side (i.e. she is slipping away), it usually means you're out of alignment in one or more of the above areas. All you need to do is re-align yourself with the above mindsets and everything will be taken care of.
Forget the techniques to control her; just work on yourself.
Ultimately, adopting these mindsets will make for magnificent and genuine romantic relationships, though they don't assure you that nothing will ever go wrong. Rather, they allow you to deal with your relationships and the problems within them in the best way possible when things do get off track; whether that is a girl slipping away, or the end of a relationship.
Relationship Mindset Recap
That's it for today, here's a run-down:
A mindset is a habitual mental attitude that informs behaviour in many situations
A technique is one way of performing a task
Having a technique mindset involves looking for individual techniques to deal with each different situation
This is bad because it is reactionary and also leads to myriad dissonant behaviours that negatively impact relationships
The mentality seeking mindset involves an individual who looks to carry certain mental attitudes that inform many different facets of his behaviour
This is good because it simplifies life by allowing our over-arching principles to inform behaviours rather than looking to individual techniques – essentially, it's getting what you want out of life on auto-pilot
It's also not reactionary and gives rise to much less dissonance of behaviour
Techniques are the training wheels of mindsets, which are used to reinforce the beliefs that give rise to a particular mindset
There are four different mindsets I use to keep buoyant in a relationship; impermanence mindset, surrendered-control mindset, core-task mindset and abundance mindset
Impermanence mindset is the belief that all things end and the natural state of the world is change
This helps by letting us navigate life with less fear of losing things and having less fear of losing someone is akin to being willing to leave
Surrendered-control mindset is having an understanding of your inability to control another person
It helps avoid black swan events while allowing the person you're with to more truly be themselves, which is pre-requisite for a strong connection
Core-task mindset consists of having a driving passion or task in life that you're striving towards
It helps you be less needy by giving you other things to do outside of your relationship
Abundance mindset is the belief that there are many quality women in the world that you could have access to
It gives one the aura of having options and makes one less needy
Use the mnemonic device of writing a symbol on your wrist to remind yourself of these concepts until the thought patterns become habitual
If things go wrong in your relationship attempt to re-align yourself with these mindsets to have the problems become fixed
Hope you enjoyed this one. If you can think of any other beneficial mindsets you could take into a relationship or any other situation, share them in the comments.
'Til next time,
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