You Can’t Make a Positive Change With Negative Emotions

Negative emotions are great for defining and identifying a problem.

We are angry when our personal boundaries are crossed. We’re depressed when in a draining relationship. Sad or rejected when others don’t want us or we suffer loss. Cranky when we’re tired.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling these emotions, they are natural and expected reactions to have. But they are all low energy, negative emotions. More importantly, when you start expressing them to others, they are almost always going to be a Display of Low Value of some sort.

Just think about it. Who wants to be with someone who is angry, depressed, emotionally hurt and irritable. Even more to the point, who wants to take their clothes off and get down and dirty with a morose whiny prick?  Vag-clang!

Now you can explode a huge wave of negative emotions at someone and get them to comply with your relationship demands successfully, but it will only be a short-term victory. You’ll buy a few days of peaceful compliance, but at the cost of slowly worsening your relationship happiness. Your partner starts to resent you more and more, as their love for you slowly gives away to far more negative emotions… like fear, pain and eventually hate.

Your endless expression of negative emotions simply makes the relationship worse.

The only true solution of negative problems, is by being positive. Just as negative emotions make things worse, positive emotions tend to make things better.

Calm insistence on good personal boundaries works better than victim puking rage. Being energetic and getting into positive action slowly wins the war over depression. Not wallowing in sadness when others don’t love us and getting out and finding those that do is the path to happiness. Sleep and relaxation trumps cranky and tired.

You cannot make a positive change with negative emotions.

Now this may all sound like Pollyanna playing the Glad Game, but it’s not quite that simple. This is the real world, where things are hard, life can be difficult, money is hard to make and true love is rare, precious and probably not for you.

Hang on…

How did that last sentence just feel?

When I said “This is the real world, where things are hard, life can be difficult, money is hard to make and true love is rare, precious and probably not for you.”  Did you just feel the weight of world smashing down upon you and want to give up even trying to be happy?

I bet you did.

That’s because feelings are infectious.

So stop trying to infect everyone around you with your crappy day. All that happens is your crappy day gets reflected right back to you and you feel worse for it.

Find some part of your life to start working on more positively and productively. In time you’ll find it grows stronger and happier, then those positive feelings start to infect other parts of your life and the people around you. Then your good days start getting reflected right back to you and you’ll feel the better for it.

Now this may all sound like Pollyanna playing the Glad Game…

…but you’ll find out soon enough that only most people respond positively to you being more positive. In fact some people will respond to you even worse than before. Those people are incredibly toxic to you and sometimes the best thing you can do is cut them from your life as much as possible. Sometimes that will be a very negative experience at the time, but ultimately a positive one over the long haul.

But even then, removal of a negative effect in your life doesn’t make you happy, it simply removes something making you unhappy. You still have to act positively to become happy in the aftermath of it.

Sometimes being positive in the face of negativity is the hardest thing in the world. But it’s the only thing that can result in a positive change.

Outcome Independence

Outcome Independence (OI) is usually thought of as making a move for sex on a woman and not caring about the outcome. Free of need for her to say yes, she’s impressed by your confidence and her panties fall off automatically.

What that means in practical reality is you ask for sex, she says no and you walk away trying not to act like Ralph Wiggim.

It’s a good thing to learn, but the true Outcome Independence needed to run a successful MAP is a lot harder than that. Eventually it may come to a place where you aren’t just gambling on a single night, but on the relationship as a whole. That’s all your chips on the table and a single roll of the dice.

This is why I see a lot of guys getting themselves to Phase Three Point Nine Nine and never quite making the jump to Phase Four. Everything is easy and safe in Phase One, Two and Three… but Phase Four and beyond… well that’s starting to get really risky.

But even not pushing to Phase Four is risky after a while, because a long term Phase Three with you being unhappy and not getting what you want…

… is really called Phase One.

The MAP is a bit of a roller coaster some times. Ups and Downs, but you can’t get off halfway if you don’t like it.

Anyway…  from the forum…

 @AlphaBelle talking to one of the guys:  It IS hard, but that’s what outcome independence really is. Not the whole “I didn’t whine when she turned me down for sex” thing it always gets trotted out for.

True outcome independence is saying, “I have no frickin idea how this is going to turn out. Is she going to come around and be a good wife? Am I going to have to go all the way to phase 6? Are we going to divorce? Am I going to push her over the psycho edge by not enabling her anymore? I DONT KNOW.  But I am going to keep moving forward in my MAP and become the best, kindest, strongest, wisest, most productive version of me I can be, and not let the unknown outcome of it all paralyze me or set me off course.”

Emotionally Independent of the outcome, I am MAPing.

Athol:  And frankly it’s no different for the women either. 95% of men and women come to MMSL with the same basic problem – they put up with too much for too long. Eventually you have to push back, stand up for yourself and grow a harder edge to yourself.

Kind by nature, cold by requirement.

And for @AlphaBelle, who is in the middle of her I don’t know…

Yellow Alert and Red Alert

One of the most damaging things I’m seeing in relationships are fights about nothing.

Until a while ago I’d been thinking that most of these fights about nothing, were in fact fights about continuing to establish who was in charge of the relationship. The basic principle being that if you can win a bunch of little fights about things you don’t care about, you’re better staged to win the big fight about something you do care about. You can tell these fights are happening when the point of contention is usually about control. I.e. “Don’t tell me what to do”, “You aren’t in charge of me,” and so on. The fight isn’t really about the correct way to stack the dishwasher, it’s about control, the dishwasher is just a backdrop to the conflict where one person demands compliance from the other. I.e. “Stack it my way, not your way.”

But there’s also another way to have a fight about nothing.

It’s when someone is cranky.

When you’re cranky, even normal requests can become grating demands you no longer want to have to deal with. These can even be reasonable requests in a reasonable tone of voice and it would be very reasonable to agree to them…

…except right now you feel very unreasonable.

So you react badly to them.

Then when you react badly to someone making a reasonable request in a reasonable tone of voice, it’s quite reasonable of them to think you’re being unreasonable, rude and disrespectful. After all, you’re basically reacting exactly the same way you would if you were Fitness Testing them.

So they bump back on you.

Which pisses you off.

So then you Bump back on them.

Which pisses them off.

So they BUMP back on you.

Oh hell no. They did NOT just do that.

Dirty Bump Back right back at you screechtard.


And then as they say, it’s all on. All because someone was cranky.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Jennifer is that she doesn’t really PMS all that much. Even then, when she does PMS, she just announces it in about the same tone of voice one might announce that the mailman came. No anger vented at me, no grumpy pouting and too hard closing the cupboards in the kitchen as she makes dinner. Just a simple, “I’m cranky.”

Those two words are my cue to try and cut her workload down as much as possible. Send her out of the house to relax. Go to the library. Go sip some chai tea in Panera and eat a bagel or something. Whatever it is I don’t care, I just want to move the hand grenade to a safe location. She calms down, de-stresses and comes back. Usually to find basically everything done that needs to be done that evening.

It works because I know she’s not abusing my good nature because she doesn’t fake it. If she’s cranky, she’s genuinely not feeling herself. It also works because instead of things turning into a stroppy evening butting heads together, she takes space and comes back happier and we still usually manage a fun bedtime together. But if I missed her little tell of “I’m cranky”, that would be a bad thing.

My suggestion for clearly communicating you’re reaching the limit of demands on you before you start losing your temper, is a code phrase of “Yellow Alert”. I.e. Yellow Alert =” I’m about to start losing my shit, please give me some space and allow/help me recover and come out of this mood.”

Which brings us to “Red Alert” obviously. That’s when you really have lost your shit and it’s a very dark place to be in. It’s a roiling wave of emotion that overwhelms your ability to “just snap out of it”. It lasts until it’s over. For some people that’s an hour, for some it’s half a day, or a day, or three days, or even longer. When you’re in that place of defensive rage you can say and do some pretty nasty things about and to the people you actually love.

My strong advice is that when you’re in that dark place, simply say nothing other than to announce it and go seek whatever private space you can find, and/or do whatever you can do to get yourself out of it.

Seriously. Just say nothing. Nothing you say will be kind, constructive or helpful. Even worse, what you say might be the Dolorous Stroke that maims your marriage for years to come.

So if Red Alert is an emotional black hole that sucks you in, Yellow Alert is the warning that the event horizon of the Red Alert gravity well is approaching. Take action at Yellow Alert and the Red Alert never hits. It’s vastly easier to take space for an afternoon than walk on eggshells for a couple of days.

Clearly signaling to each other when you are in distress and giving each other space or comfort rather than descending into a fight about nothing is a vital relationship skill. One stupid fight about nothing because someone was tired can wipe out a couple of weeks of positive relationship gains. It’s something I think I’ve gone over with nearly all my couple coaching clients at some point.

Sometimes y’all just need a nap.

In full disclosure, I suffer far more from the risk of falling into the Red Alert realm than Jennifer does. She’s the calm stable one, I’m the passionate intense one. Maybe I’ll talk more about that sometime.

The Real Reason the Blog has Sucked Recently

I always figured when I started MMSL, that I would somehow run afoul of some kind of combination of employer / feminists / appalled in-laws / basic poverty.

Well the in-laws were shocked, then appalled, then curious, then really appalled, then just sort of disorientated, then impressed and finally there’s a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy with my FIL and my MIL simply adores me.

Feminists… well honestly they never really showed. I’ve had vastly more hate from the Men’s Rights angle. Whatever.

Basic poverty. Well we’ve had some of that for a while, but that’s resolving.

Employer. This is where it starts getting complicated. Back in May 2011 Jennifer and I were taken to Human Resources and had a rather odd conversation in the aftermath of being on Inside Edition. Apparently we’re dangerously monogamous and offensively heterosexual enough to have resulted in no less than six calls of complaint to our employer. Like I said, I always figured I’d be taken to HR, but I really didn’t expect Jennifer to be dragged into it too. Jennifer does have a minor PR role for her company, so we do see their point, but even then, it’s no one’s business but ours.

Thus at the time: Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir.

There’s really not too much they can do to us directly, it’s not like you can be fired for kissing your spouse on TV. But after that point, I start feeling like the cross-hairs are firmly drawn on my back and I start getting disciplined at work for things that frankly I don’t think I would have been spanked for before that point. I.e. I see which way the wind is blowing, work my ass off and in June 2012 I jump to MMSL full-time.

Which brings us to now, or more correctly a couple months back.

Jennifer gets a message on a Friday, she’s summoned to HR on Monday. Not told what about. I’m unsure if the intent was to ruin our weekend, but it seemed to achieve that goal. Considering Jennifer is the quintessential good employee, it can only be MMSL related and I feel both shitty and angry. We’re just on the very fine edge of me being able to carry the two of us on MMSL income alone, so I Captain up and green light her quitting her job at any point during that meeting.

It turns out someone from a state agency funding Jennifer’s employer, has been printing off a collection of blog posts and anonymously mailing them to the CEO of her company. So anonymous letter, coming inside a state agency envelope. HR really has nothing to say to her but, “Ahhh… this is awkward, but you need to know what’s happening.” It’s also kinda silly being outed to your employer 2.5 years after you were on national television. The surprise factor lacks a little.

Anyway… what it boils down to, is that someone reads this blog, actively hunting for ways to fuck my wife over… and they are willing to play dirty.

So shoot me if I haven’t wanted to write the blog recently.

Plus Jennifer is mentally distancing from her job, and I see the way the winds will probably start to blow as well.

Thus, I’ve spent the last 2-3 months working like crazy taking every coaching client I can take, growing that part of the brand as fast as I can. I’ve been way over my coaching caseload I feel relaxed with, hardly writing the blog and have next to no idea what is happening on the forum most days. It’s just all hands on deck for immediate cash, piling up a rainy day fund and getting the income level up to speed. Yes we went shopping for stuff for the house, but the primary goal was charting an exit strategy for Jennifer.

Which comes to yesterday…

She put her notice in. Three more weeks and then she’s done. After that, we can catch up on a lot of what I haven’t been able to get to recently. Plus she’s an all-purpose useful behind the scenes specialist. Office managing, marketing, billing, customer service… and a somewhat shall we say, “hands on approach” to managing the erratic ball of energy that is me. Purrrrr. Lots to do and it’s going to be fun. Okay, so it’s also a little like the first drop on a rollercoaster, but it’s going to be wonderful and we’ve worked hard for this. So very, very hard. So Jump vs. Push… meh, get over it, it’s just time.

Plus we plan to take exquisite revenge. Which for us means attending the next Wine Tasting Fundraiser dressed like Nordstrom Shopping Peacocks and doing the Mexican Hat Dance. I don’t believe Ms. Anonymous at the state agency will test us again. Which is almost a pity, because I think I could probably make that sort of thing go viral and we’d love the sales bump.


The week of Thanksgiving Jennifer will finally be home and like King Théoden… breathing the free air.

 Jennifer: It was an odd day at the office today…lots of “Nooooo!  But you can’t leave!” and then lots of questions about who had hired me / what company I was going to.  It’s odd that we’ve been so careful to be under the radar, that very few people in my office even knew about the coaching and the MMSL Empire that I’m leaving for.  Looking forward to being able to be more present on the forum and to putting my energies into building new and exciting things in MMSL Land. (maybe Empire is a bit much?)

Athol:  Sigh. Rescue a princess, inherit a queen.

Jennifer: I can haz a Galadriel video? The “instead of a dark lord you would have a queen!” one?

Athol:  No.


David Attenborough Narrates Miley Cyrus’s VMA Twerking

Take… David Attenborough nature documentary on Albatross

Add… Miley Cyrus Twerking


That being said, once you strip away much of the linguistic subtlety of human interaction, our mating dances aren’t wildly different to that of any other species in the animal kingdom.

What else is football but a display of male physical dominance in search of a mate, while cheerleaders jump around showing how perky their boobs are in a fertility display?

So what are you doing to make yourself more attractive? Are you twerking hard, or hardly twerking?