A relationship is a two-way street and you must work through it together. Australian entrepreneur, author, relationship and communication expert Claudia Soul says many people are struggling with their relationship while some can’t seem to find one. She observes that the greatest problem with relationships today is too much analyzing. There’s too much of “you should do this” or “you should be like this.” She says we have to learn to celebrate someone’s individuality, honoring that and supporting them in that. Ultimately, if you really want to be able to connect with another individual, you’ve got to connect with yourself first. The only way and the most powerful way to do that is to own your truth. Claudi unpacks the different relationships and shares her insights about how relationships have changed over time.
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Unpacking Relationships with Claudia Soul
My guest is a woman that we got connected. Her show is called Sexually Connected, which instantaneously raised my interest in wanting to talk to her because it’s cool. I went on her show. We had a fantastic conversation. I got asked some questions that I haven’t been asked before. It was wildly popular on my side of the ocean. You’re in Australia, yes?
I am in Sydney, Australia.
Anybody that gets a chance to go back and visit your show, it’s SexuallyConnected.com. You’ll find the episode that we did together, which was phenomenal. You’re one of the most qualified people to talk about this subject that I’ve met. I dug in and did some research about you, had our show and your depth of knowledge around this confusing idea. It’s taboo to talk about sex and what’s going on in our relationships. I don’t think it should be. It shouldn’t be. You’ve got twenty years, thousands of clients. You’re a psychotherapist. You’re relationship expert. You’re a sexologist. You’re an author of the book, Smart People Don’t Date, They Salsa. I love the title. My mom loves to dance. She’s won competitions and things of that nature. I love to dance too. I’m not as good at it as my mom is. Salsa and any Latino music are amazing to me. It gets the body moving. Why did you choose the name of the book? Why did you choose to title it that?
First of all, it’s not out yet. It’s ready to go. You get a sneak peek. The sub name is 13 Lessons for Success in Online Dating. What inspired it was my journey with becoming single and going out dating and realizing how horrendous online dating can be. That inspired me to share a bit of my journey and then combine my knowledge so that I could help people and give them some important lessons about what to do and what not to do. The title was about the fact that dating and love is a bit like a dance. The better you get at the moves, the more successful you’re going to be. It follows that analogy. It’s a little bit of fun. Learning should be fun. There should be humor in it. I didn’t want it to be one of this straight, “This is what you do to succeed.” There’s some of my funny journey. There are some great powerful lessons in there as well though.
I know how you’re going to save the best for the juicy morsels for the book. You’ve got a clinical background and then you have your real world. As we talked in the interview that I did with you, most of my success is I can point directly back to my failures where I fell down and modified my behavior. That became the biggest lesson that I speak about and why people listen to me. Give me one of your strongest pieces of advice from the straight clinical perspective for our audience.
Stand in your truth. I go back to when I first trained, I was doing my degree. We had some tough training where we had to get thrown into a group and be on the other side of it. We were like clients. We started out with 30 people and ended up with nine that graduated. I tell you why because it is scary standing in your truth. It is to own your stuff and what’s happened to you. For me, it was life-changing. This is why I say to people, “If you want clarity and you want to be able to connect with another individual, you’ve got to connect with yourself first. The only way and the most powerful way to do that is to own your truth in what’s happened to you in the past.” You are a great example of that as we know from talking to you on my show. For me, the truth was that I present and people meet me. They go, “Here’s this attractive, intelligent woman.” Sometimes I get a little bit judged by the exterior.
The reality is I grew up in a domestic violence situation. I know you resonate with this. I remember my father chasing my mom with a shotgun. We grew up in a big rural property. We’re talking serious violence. The effect that it had on me was that I became very shy. People don’t believe this when I say this but it’s true. I became very shy, very introverted because I carried this shame around my childhood. I carried it for many years. When I got into that group when I was training, I was like, “I have to say stuff in here.” They made us do this because the reality is we don’t have a right to ask anybody else to do that unless we’re prepared to do it ourselves.
You can’t take people somewhere you’ve never been. You said you were going to go back and listen to it and use some of this stuff that I was talking about when we started talking about Douche Burners especially in the relationship space: relationship, business, fitness and all of this other stuff. I read a book, now I’m an expert. I’m going to go hire another expert that’s not an expert about how to get high ticket sales and all this other stuff. You end up with lacking competence. You’ve been through that and then they put you through that in your training because you can’t take anybody a place where you’ve never been. I want to address this statement because a lot of words change meanings over time. When you say own your truth, you and I have a real solid understanding of what that means.
That basically says, “I’m going to talk about the mistakes that I’ve made because I can’t solve the problem that isn’t. I have to solve the problem that is. If I’m telling a story that is not full of facts or at least fact-based in my part of whatever pain I created or was created around me, then I have no power to solve it.” One of the things when we misdiagnose things, we talked about it on your show, the difference between strawberries and poison. If you mislabel one of them, one of them can kill you. This is one of those areas when you tell somebody to own their truth. What I think has happened in translation is people have gotten to a place where however they feel is their truth. That causes a lot of pain and a lot of inability to be able to solve people’s problems. What do you think about that?
You’re right on that because these days there’s so much hype around what you meant to do and what you shouldn’t do. I always say comparison will be the death of the individual you. If you compare yourself to other people, I know I did this when I was younger but I don’t anymore. If you don’t like me, bad luck. This is who I am. I’m a good person. I haven’t done anything bad in my life. I’m good so accept me as I am. When you start comparing yourself to other people and it happens a lot on social media, there’s a loss of reality. There are some very false feelings that get generated as well and people lose themselves. You’re right about that. People have a lot of superficial conversations. Couples do it all the time. When I meet couples often, the first thing I’ll say after they’ve talked a little while is, “Let’s cut through all the shit and get to what’s happening here. Don’t give me all this stuff. I don’t want to know it. I want to know what the real problem is.”
That’s where healing starts. What you say is so powerful because I heard it said somewhere before that online people are dealing. My reality is interacting with somebody else’s façade. When my real reality is interacting with somebody else’s façade, that creates that pain that you’re talking about and getting real about your own life. In America, we have a big argument going on, the right and the left always like to demonize each other. It’s hysterical to watch sometimes. When we’re pushing socialism or communism and we have people that are going, “It would be nice because I don’t have and I want to go take from other people,” you’ve got the hard right saying, “There’s got to be ultimate structure.”
You end up with Hitler’s Germany on the right if you go too far that way. You end up with what’s going on in Venezuela if you go too far this way. What happens is they get so angry that people get so angry. In the argument, when you have to start attacking the person as opposed to the problem, you’ve lost the argument. You’re trying to destroy the person because of your argument, which should be strengthened through debate. If I stand on my argument, I should be able to stand on that argument.
If it’s wrong, I can find where it’s weak in the conversation. I can strengthen it. That means I may come over here a little bit and go, “Because you’re a Democrat, it doesn’t mean you’re a blithering idiot or because you’re a Republican doesn’t mean you’re some tyrant or whatever.” When it comes to a relationship, which is obviously an area where I have not been massively successful for the long-term, I want to talk about why. I’m very open. I did a show with one of my dear friends, Traci Porterfield. I talked about this very subject about why I feel like I haven’t been. If I come in here and I’m going to tell you what I think about relationships and this is what I’ve done, it’s a journey. I went from this all the way to where I currently am. I hope to God that I’m not in this place where I’m at now another year from now.
[bctt tweet=”Dating and love is a bit like a dance. The better you get at the moves, the more successful you’re going to be.” username=””]
It’s about the evolution of my journey, trying to become the best me that I can be so that I can then turn around and serve other people. When we talk about owning your truth and getting to the place, how do you know when somebody stops bullshitting you? What are some triggers, some ideas? A lot of times, people that are reading are going to be like, “I don’t bullshit anybody.” Maybe not you, but maybe the person that’s looking you in the mirror. What are some of those triggers that you as a twenty-year expert, thousands of people, what are the causes and what are some of the signs that you now know? I’m dealing with the problem that is instead of the problem that isn’t?
It’s probably three core things. The person will be defended. When you try to throw anything at them, they’ll defend it as opposed to exploring it. There’s a difference. The second thing is the word but. When I work with people, I ban the word but because sometimes when you address something with someone, what they’ll do is, “I know that but.” What they’re really doing in here is going, “I’m not going to acknowledge that at all because I’ve got a reason I end that way and I’ve got a reason I’ll continue to be that way in this relationship.” That’s the second thing. The third thing you explained so beautifully when you talked about the Republicans and the Democrats, which is if you are in a relationship, you have different views, just like a Republican and a Democrat.
This is a great analogy. You can talk about it until the cows come home, but at some point, you’ve got to own some of your stuff and the other person has got to own some of their stuff. You’ve got to shut up and get on with it. The greatest problem with relationships is there’s too much analyzing. There’s too much, “You should do this. You should be like this.” The reality is people are people. They’re individuals. Learning to celebrate someone’s individuality in a relationship, honoring that and supporting them in that and then getting that back is what it’s about. They are going to stuff up. They are going to make mistakes because that’s what human beings do. As long as there’s kindness in there, work with it. It’s not that hard.
I want to come back to and maybe this is a way to transition towards it. As I look at relationships and online dating, I’m not on any sites anywhere. I tried it. I hated it. It was a very bad experience for me. I have friends my age, I’m 47 years old, my age to younger and even older where the relationship isn’t the outcome anymore. We’re entering an age where when I’m looking at it, relationships, they’re either morphing inside of what was considered a traditional relationship or they’re not forming in these long-term ways anymore. That’s what I see. I look at my own journey and how I came through all of that. I look at the lack of lying at all in a relationship.
I refuse to do it anymore because I was a huge liar. It costs trust. It costs me some relationships that were important to me. We’re still friends. We’ve been able to mend those things but I still feel bad about that. I switched all the way over to the other side where I’m going to say the things that I’m thinking because keeping them in causes more damage. I’ve got friends that became professionals. They literally dehumanized the experience to a place where I’m watching any number of my friends and they’re all going to be like, “How dare you talk about me on your show.” I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about a random scenario which is, they’re on there and they get on a thing in there. They’re swiping and swiping. They’re humanized to the point.
I’ve seen women do it too. It’s different start points but they’re swiping. They’re like, “There’s my Monday. Tuesday is covered, I’ve got Thursday.” It becomes physical and you take that. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. The outcome seems to have changed as a whole from going through and being with one person the rest of your life towards somebody that suits you at the moment. Anytime that presses up against who you are, that makes you grow. It’s easily replaceable. Talk to me a little bit about that. Do you think online dating has helped? Do you think it has hurt? Do you think it’s evolving? Do you think we’re moving? Where do you think we are in that realm?
It’s been destructive. I’m probably biased in that I found at a negative experience. I learned something from it. No matter how much you think you know, you always learn something. I was quite shocked in my experience of the lack of courtesy, boundaries swipe and go and even interactions. Even now through Facebook, I had something where someone sent me a message, “You’re hot.” The next message, “You’re sexy.” When you’re my age and you’re more interested in a connection and intelligent conversation and things like that, I couldn’t give a shit. I don’t want that message. That means nothing to me except I’ve got someone who’s very immature sending that. It usually results in a block.
It’s been very destructive in that it’s taught people, “You don’t have to hang with this. You don’t have to get to know someone and build some quality friendship, even with this person.” If they don’t do what you want or they don’t look like what you want, let’s move on to the next one. I even had a guy once going back a couple of years now when I went on my year of online dating disasters. He kept looking at his watch. What he said to me was, “I know you’re not right for me.” I said, “Okay.” I had a bit of ego in there. He said, “You’re great. You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. You’re spiritual too. That’s too much for me.” I was like, “Okay.” He said, “I’m meeting someone else.” I said, “I’ve got to go.” The depersonalization of that is unbelievable.
You’re much younger than I am obviously. We are in that transition place because when you deal with Millennials, it’s normal for them. To us, it’s like, “I got rejected.” For them, they’re like, “Eh,” but I still think it’s got to damage the psychology somewhere along the way to get because it’s a rejection thing. Salespeople understand rejection. When you’re in business, you live with rejection. There are all these types of things. I try to look at what’s good and what’s bad. I haven’t found much good with online dating. I may be biased. I also am very busy. I don’t have time for it. I’ve got friends that are like, “This is Monday. This is Tuesday.” It’s like a full-time job and I don’t have time for it. What’s the biggest benefit of online dating? I want to move into some other subjects around sexuality.
The biggest benefit for people are the time things are myths because it does take up a lot of time. For people, women particularly for instance who don’t want to go to places they could necessarily meet someone they don’t feel as comfortable, it gives them that forum. It’s very visual. You get to see the person first. For every benefit that I put out, I can also think of a negative, which is people don’t always present the real person even visually. Trade carefully is what my book is about. Have solid boundaries, ask the right questions and don’t forget that the brain releases this chemical called PEA, which is that chemistry thing that we feel when we meet someone. It’s great to have that. It’s a euphoric feeling. Dig deeper than that because that wears off in about two years’ time. That’s where you’ve got to have something more solid with the person. I’m not younger than you, Jason. I never tell people my age.
I never asked. Let’s move in a little to this sexuality because we touched it a little bit in your show. My feelings don’t play into my curiosity because something is ridiculous and stupid. I’m missing something if there are over a billion people that have read a book, this Mr. Grey thing, with all the tying up and all this other stuff in the same day and age where #MeToo exists. You have this fantasizing about being controlled. You have on the other side of it don’t control me and you can’t tell me what to do. It’s this strange area that exists right now. I wanted to hear from somebody that deals with couples over and over again in this area. Is there a rise in bondage, BDSM and those types of desires in relationships these days? How is that playing out for the health of the relationship?
There’s definitely an increase in that. Fifty Shades of Grey had a massive cultural effect on relationships and what people wanted to experiment with and try. I’m writing another book. I’ve been doing some other research for it, which included me going into sex shops. I found a couple here in Sydney. I said to the managers, “Would you mind if I came in and interview a few people?” I’ve started interviewing a range of couples. Being in that shop was an experience because the first thing was, “What is that?” I saw so many interesting things. I saw a lot of younger people coming up to the counter. I said, “Why was that your choice?” They were like, “We want to experiment a little bit, add some excitement.” That’s something that I heard a lot, excitement.
I also saw older couples. The theme I saw there were very reluctant females where he wanted to explore that sexual side of bondage. She was like, “Whoa.” You could see it. There was a lot of pressure. I thought, “This is interesting. I wonder how that will pan out in their relationship.” People see this stuff. We get films pushed upon us. They assume that’s now what you do. That’s part of life. My opinion is there’s a bit of dehumanization in the way people connect sexually now. Maybe people want to do that. It’s between two people. They have that discussion. For them, it’s a very private thing. Sex has become less private than ever before and very impersonal that that’s my view.
[bctt tweet=”If you want to be able to connect with another individual, you’ve got to connect with yourself first.” username=””]
I’ve been in a few of those sex shops. I’m outgoing. I don’t get embarrassed about hardly anything. When you walk in there, there’s an instant air of shame. You find yourself walking. You walk like this a little bit, maybe you throw the hoodie up or whatever. You see people sitting in the car waiting to go in until nobody is in there. All it is wanting to experiment with fantasy, the toys and all of the other things that go along with it. There’s this air of shame, which means that I feel like when people hold things back, there’s discipline in doing things that you shouldn’t do. I’m 100% honoring that. I believe that when you’re guilted into not experimenting or not trying things, it creates this whole other dark side of where you’re trying to hide a piece of you.
I’m more babbling in that particular area because it is confusing. I’m not sure. The thing that I love about having conversations with you is we may not come up with a solution, but it helps people talking about this stuff. Because when they hear it and a lot of times when I’m saying something, even my last episode, I talked about my evolution into open relationships. The whole pathway into that thinking and that thought process, I have people going, “I’ve had those exact same thoughts.” Experimenting in the sexual realm, how do you deal with the guilt? I’m not talking about forcing because we had an example you gave me where there was a man that had written in and said, “My wife, I like her to struggle.” There’s abuse.
I’m talking about two consenting adults here. When you’re forcing your partner to do something that they don’t like to do, I’m not down with that. I’m totally against it. I’m totally against being guilted into not experimenting or talking about or exploring different things that you want to explore with a willing partner. How do you deal with that subject of guilt in relationships? When one wants something, the other one doesn’t want it and bringing that together. How do you coach people through that?
The thing that comes into it is safety. If people aren’t feeling safe, they’re not going to want to experiment. That’s usually what it’s about. There will be another underlying issue in a relationship. I’m not necessarily saying that men will want to experiment more. It often is if. If she does not want to, often the reason is there’s something else going on for her. She hasn’t spoken up. That guilt can be there. I dive deeper to find out what else is going on. Why isn’t there a sense of safety? What’s acceptable to each of you? If someone doesn’t want to do something, they don’t want to do it. That’s how it’s going to have to be.
There has to be an acceptance. I have had couples where it’s been such an issue. I remember one man wanted to go outside the realms after seeing Fifty Shades of Grey, tying her up, whipping her and all this sort of stuff. She was not up for this. It did become a massive issue in their relationship because he was saying, “Everyone does it now.” I’m like, “Not everyone does it now.” It obviously appealed to you. Is there a softer version of that you could try first? You’re going from this relationship where you’ve had none of that to going, “I want to tie you up and whip you.” She’s scared to death.
This is a big issue that if the female doesn’t feel safe, I don’t think that they’re going to want to explore, number one. Because from my perspective, it’s been the opposite. I mentioned on your show, I’m a pleaser. If my partner is not having a good time, it ruins it for me. I’m not interested in that at all. The opposite though that I found is that the relationships that I’ve had, there are these desires. There’s trust because they know I’m never going to hurt them. I would never hurt a woman. I’ve made that abundantly clear throughout my entire life. It’s not with my upbringing that you know about. It’s something that turns me off. The trust is there.
You can explore all of these different areas and sometimes in my experience you find out, “I liked that or that’s a little bit too far or this is good.” It comes back to, “I’m not 100% sure where I want to go with this.” That sense of guilt binds up the free flow of trust, passion and love between couples. You’re saying the men came in. I have never with all of my guy friends ever heard anybody mention Fifty Shades of Grey. All of the women that I hang out with love that book. They love it. It’s weird that you’re saying the men. I never even thought of it from that perspective. It would be interesting for us to do the research to find out what the demographic purchase of that book was over the billions or whatever books that sold. It would be interesting.
One thing I would say too that I noticed when I was there in talking to men is the manager said to me, “I wish we could have you every day,” because what happened is I started doing coaching or therapy with these people. Especially the guys were saying, “I’ve got this issue and she’s this.” I’m standing there doing these pseudo sessions with them. It was interesting. One guy bought all of these enhancer tablets and he was fairly young around 30-ish. I said, “You’re stocking up. A couple of weekends are coming up.” He was like, “I’ve got to use these. You don’t understand women expect so much more now.” That was an interesting comment as well. I asked that a few times. A lot of guys, especially younger guys agree. They said, “Women expect a lot more in bed now more than they ever did before.” It’s a changing territory.
I’m enjoying it. I think that everything can be ruined. The thing that I love about you and I wish I would have said it at the beginning of the show, it that you’re not a man basher. I know that you have reason to be with your upbringing and a lot of the experiences that you have. I honor the fact that you look at things from an objective perspective. You’re not somebody that’s biased towards one sex or the other. On my side, I don’t particularly defend men all that much. I find myself doing it more and more in this age of bullshit accusations and all of the stuff that comes out against guys. The territory is not a fair playing place. You hear women going, “Finally, you know what it’s like to be a woman,” where they haven’t been on a fair play. I get all of that. I’m very understanding of it.
I do see good men that are torn down by false accusations and an environment that is difficult to operate and produce and to be the man that you’re supposed to be without there being some ramification of you being a good man. Many things can be taken out of context. I love that about you. Moving from that whole subject of sexuality and moving through the BDSM and the Fifty Shades of Grey subject, what’s something out of your life where it impacted, it was a failure, maybe it was a relationship, maybe something that hurt you, a breakup. I have one big, giant broken heart. Less varying degrees of that probably because I put up defenses. I’m smarter now. I do my research. I notice red flags and those kinds of things. What was the one thing that left an impact on you and turned you into this incredible researcher of human sexuality and relationship?
I’m divorced and I would say that I was never great at relationships and people might go, “How can she talk to other people on relationships?” Someone once said to me, “You should be married and in a stable relationship.” I said, “That’s absolute crap. Anything you do, you need to fail to understand.” We learn from our failures. It’s about knowing yourself. The learning I’ve had through my failures is that I’ve come to understand myself more and who I am. I’m not someone that can be hemmed in. What I also did learn is for a while in my life, a lot of women had been through this, I was very attracted to the classic bad boy. Despite the fact that I can be quiet conservative in private in many ways, I’ve got a bit of a passion for bad boys. I fell in love with one, a bit younger than me and we had six months. The first six months of the relationship was beautiful. I don’t want him to be identified so I have to be a bit careful. I realized that he had many issues.
When you say beautiful, that’s a cover word for you had a lot of great sex in the first six months?
I wanted to be clear that we covered what beautiful meant. Probably all women would understand that. For the men reading, she was having great sex for six months and wasn’t paying attention, none of his bad habits and didn’t care about his socks and underwear on the floor and all of the other things that were blaring in her face.
[bctt tweet=”You can’t take anybody someplace you’ve never been.” username=””]
For people, that’s what good relationships do. People pick you up on what you don’t own, which is what you did with me then. For anyone reading, that’s a beautiful example. Take that with you. That’s true. We had great sex for six months. What I realized is there wasn’t a lot of the friendship element there. It was totally built around that chemistry. It wasn’t sustainable. He had a bit of post-traumatic stress on board from being in Special Forces. I found myself in an unstable up and down situation. Eventually I had to say, “I can’t deal with this. This is too all over the place for me. I’m a happy level person.” I like to wake up and know that the same person that I went to bed with last night is still going to be there in the morning.
Don’t get in a relationship with another woman then.
It’s why I have a lot of male friends. That’s why when you said I like men, I like men. I have a lot of male friends. I get on well with men.
I’m going to get a lot of crap for that. It’s not a sexist remark. It’s true.
It broke my heart. To walk away from someone that you feel your love is very difficult. The lesson was this, I loved a version of that person that I had created in my head. That person wasn’t in some ways real. It was built on something very superficial. That’s probably was a very powerful lesson for me. Besides having to nurse that broken heart, eventually, I came to realize that I was in love with a version of you, that person. I thought the potential that I thought could be there, the real depth to the connection exists.
It’s interesting that you say that because falling in love with the potential of people is such a horrific cause. Even in business, we hire people because of my cousins, uncles, nephew. They needed a chance. I gave them a chance. We fall in love with them as a person. The moniker, “You have to hire slow and fire fast,” and most businesses do exactly the opposite. It’s the same thing. It should be that same technique in dating, which is date slow and divorce fast. You find out all of those peccadillos. That designing what your outcome is in that inner person helps you to be focused in on the fact that great sex makes us dumb as rocks. I can speak from personal experience that when you have that chemistry with somebody, nothing else in the world matters. You’re like, “I don’t care.” That all comes crashing down and that’s where a lot of pain is caused in these types of relationships.
What did you do when you discovered that this was chemistry and you have this other thing, he might’ve felt the same way about you? He might have had that same, “I thought she was one thing and now she’s another.” I’m going to ask this question because it’s on my mind. I’m not good at keeping my thoughts in my head. As I traveled the path of exploring the open relationship and being completely honest and walking down that path, one of the things that I have found is from both perspectives, both her perspective and my perspective, is that maybe one person doesn’t have all the traits that you’re looking for to complete your journey. Maybe it takes two people. Maybe it takes three people. Maybe it takes one person. I’m in a questioning mode right now.
I love that I got the look from you from the sex coach. I don’t know if I want to talk about this. What do you think about that in multiple person relationships, in polyandry? I don’t subscribe to anything like I’m this, I have investigated not lying to anybody. Literally, that’s my philosophy. That’s the relationships I’m in. I don’t lie to the women that I’m with. They don’t lie to me. It makes for some fantastic friendships, deeper relationships, trust and all of the other areas. There’s this one thing called sex that everybody throws into the mix to say, “Because somebody had sex with somebody else, that means that they don’t love me.” I haven’t found that to be true.
We did a show on Sexually Connected on open relationships. A lady came on from London that did that. I agree with you because one of the things that happened to me and as I’ve gotten older is that I’ve learned about myself because of who I am. When I say that, I’m not someone that can be caged or pinned in. I have to be able to go out and reach my full potential and be out there. Not everyone can handle that and I know. When people then try to hand me in, I’m like a caged lion. I’ve got to get out. Nike’s go on and I’m running in the other direction. I’m not saying that I’m not capable of being in a one-on-one type situation, I absolutely am. Relationships have changed. We’re living in a different world. Old fashioned way, you get married, you have children and you do all that. It doesn’t suit the world we live in anymore. They are out of sync.
It’s a locus of control is what I found when I was researching this. There are a lot of different reasons why marriage was popularized and all of the other things why it came to be. For the most part, it was a way to control masses of people under religious doctrine. It’s not that there’s anything bad with monogamy. That is not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that we spend so much time on this thing that we do. Hopefully, you do it seven days a week, that’d be fantastic. From anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours, whatever it is. We throw so much meaning into it. It comes down to that meaning of whether I love you or whether I don’t love you. That’s not what I have found. In the relationships that I’ve been in, they’ve been so honest that you want the best for that partner. You want for them to live exactly what you were saying, “You can’t pin me in.” Here’s what I found. You’ll find this interesting because marriage I believe was born around a locus of control, it works for a lot of people. I’m not denigrating marriage or monogamy. The people that get angriest or the most jealous are the people that want their partner to be controlled and in one place while they go and cheat and do all the other stuff.
I’m going to say as I found it because that’s what I see, “I’m angry, my wife,” and they’re the ones that are accusing them and abusing them and doing all this other shit. They blame their partner who’s not doing any of that for the stuff that they’re doing. The people that don’t have a lot of self-security or self-belief, they can’t handle that side of it. I remember the first time a girl that I was dating in an open relationship said she was going to go on a date with another guy. I literally said this, “The fuck you are.” I was like, “That’s not happening.” I got into it and I was like, “What a hypocrite.” It was around the fear of losing someone. I have found out now if you’re going to lose somebody, you never lose them. People destroy people on the way out of relationships because they want them to be the bad guy. If I fell in love with you, why in the world would I want the world or anybody else or myself to think of you as the devil? Why can’t we maintain a friendship? Remember that we loved each other and that there are those great things and we can continue to lift each other up.
That’s the way that it should be. Unfortunately, it’s often not as people will tear each other apart. I’m very lucky I didn’t have those experiences even when I got my heart breaking. The acceptance of people when they get into a relationship, they automatically go back to that default of, “We own each other,” that sort of thing. They stop succeeding. They stop doing all the things that they should do to become the individual they want to. As a person, for me, I’ve been on my own since about 2013. That’s quite a long time. I’m not saying I haven’t been out with people and that stuff. For me, I haven’t met yet that person that can deal with the fact that I have a lot of male friends. I love male energy. I love having intelligent conversations. I’m not going to give that up because someone says, “I don’t like that you’ve got this many.” It’s like, “What?” People consistently tried to control one another from an insecure base. This is where most relationships go south. There’s no trust. There’s no sense of what do we have between us. The reason is that people don’t develop that in the first place.
There are two pieces of information that I got. One was from Tony Robbins, he was talking about the fact that if you treat your partner at the end of your relationship like you treated them at the beginning, there won’t be an end. I love that thought. Keith Cunningham, he loves his wife so much. He said, “I fell in love with her outcome.” He goes through this story. I use that in my businesses all the time. We fall in love with our customers’ outcomes because of the story that he told about him and loving his wife. Basically asking the question, “How do you feel loved?” Him being totally committed to delivering that to her on a consistent basis. I believe that it works in reverse for their relationship.
[bctt tweet=”The greatest problem with relationships today is too much analyzing.” username=””]
I’m on the outside. All I can tell is that they’ve been together for a long time. They act like they love each other. They’re two wickedly smart people. It looks to me like that philosophy or that strategy works. Those are the two things that I always play back and forth with the idea of and maybe I’ll go back to thinking that they’re in one relationship. I’m not there right now. I honestly have been the happiest that I’ve ever been in that area because I was always out of integrity. I was a liar. I was a cheater. Whatever reason: insecurity, fear, there are all kinds of things that we could assign to me in a negative connotation. The bottom line is that I was hurting nobody but myself. I hurt my ex-wife by cheating on her. I was doing damage to myself. You can’t build on something that’s weak in integrity in any area.
Tony Robbins talks about his first marriage as well. I love Tony Robbins. He’s an incredible man. I admire the fact that they get up on stage and talk about their truth. When you look at them as a couple, we don’t know their relationship from the inside. We can only see and assume that that is the case. It’s very powerful when you see that. There’s a total acceptance of each other. He’s a handsome hunk of a man, very charismatic. You’ve got to admit that. She obviously can deal with that and she can also deal with the fact that he’s in the forefront. They work together beautifully. That’s what it takes to have that relationship is total acceptance. I want to mention this because it’s what I specialize into some degree is they are masterful at their communication. You have to be able to say hard stuff.
The other person hears it without reacting and is able to take that on board and talk about it. There’s a lot of reaction, bouncing off each other all the time in relationships. It should be about responding. “What does that mean for me? How’s it affecting him?” We should be asking ourselves when we’re with someone, and I’m sure that’s what Tony Robbins and Sage do is, “What’s wrong with you that you’re not doing for me? You’re not doing this. You’re not doing that,” which should be more about, “What else can I do to support you?” If both people do that, “How can I honor you as an individual?” then you’re on the road to the right path. Too many people are looking for the bits that are missing. Stop looking for the bits that are missing. I say this to couples and look for the bits that are there first.
I think that how you do anything is how you do everything. When you look at how you treat your spouse or your significant other is how you’re treating the rest of the world at large. We had this amazing experience at Velocity in Las Vegas at Dr. Vuong’s event. As I was going and thinking about what I wanted to say, I kept looking around at so many people that were in pain because they felt they were broken, that I wiped everything that I was going to talk about. I focused in on getting people to realize they’re not broken because hurt people. We’ve heard that fortune cookie before. How do you get to a place?
You’ve got to realize genuinely underneath of your beautiful coaching, your spirit, your wisdom, and your intelligence that you bring to the table. Underlying all of that is the fact that people have to take personal responsibility and the best coaching in the world, whether it be business, relationship, financial, health, it falls on an upside-down cup. If they’re blaming other people if they think it’s up to somebody else. I’ve watched a specific person go and destroy a relationship. Just continue trying to destroy his ex-wife and anybody that tries to protect her and her children in that situation. You can see him dying on the outside. It’s a shame to see that he hates so much for that other person to be successful or to be moving on or whatever it is that there’s no personal responsibility being taken to be able to heal his self. It’s sad. Everybody’s watching it. It’s like a bad train wreck. That message, I’d like to close that in our show.
I want you to talk about anything you want to promote because I’m grateful for our time and our conversation. How do you take people that think that they’re not doing anything wrong? That they think their spouse is the problem, that they think that their upbringing their mom, their dad, their lack of mom, their lack of a dad, their abusive father, they’re an abusive mother, the mother that loved them too much. It’s amazing how we can take good things and turn them bad. The magic is taking bad things and turning them good in your own mind. What is the best idea or the best coaching for somebody that’s in a bad relationship or has had a string of bad relationships to gently get them to look at their own behavior? How do you do that in your practice?
I tell it like it is, that’s the first thing. One of the things that I’ll say to somebody that’s been through a lot of different relationships and they’re sitting there is if you work with me for around six months at least, you are not allowed to have another relationship in that six months. I don’t want you to go near a relationship. Sometimes I see the horror on someone’s face. I’ll say to them, “If you can’t be on your own for six months, there is a real problem here. You need to spend the time with you.” Although you like being with someone like, “How’s that worked out for you?” It’s like one after the other off to the other. You need to spend that time and that’s a condition of working with them.
What’s interesting about that is A New Dawn, the domestic violence place that I work with. If they come into that transitional housing, one of the standards is you will not be in a relationship while you’re going through your transition. That’s fascinating that you came to these same exact conclusions.
It’s important for anyone that’s on our journey. I worked in drug addictions when I first started. I worked for the drug courts here in Queensland for a while. It’s a very difficult client group. One of the things with them is if they got into another relationship during their rehabilitation, it was over. It’s that codependency because drugs can easily be replaced with sex or something else. That for me, I’ve turned people away that I can see why they’re not owning any responsibility. I’ll say, “Come back when you can own at least something. You pass.” “I’ve been terrible at relationships,” at least own that. I don’t want to hear a lot of excuses. I don’t want to hear that. I’m not going to do anyone any favors by doing that.
I’ll give you an example. I had a couple that had been together for many years. It’s a disastrous relationship. They’re on their way out. At very different motivation levels, he was not owning anything. He had an affair. He was addicted to porn. There are all sorts of issues in their relationship. Eventually, I said, “I can’t help you.” I said, “I’ll work with you,” which was the female, “If you want to work with me on it on your own, I’ll work with you.” I said, “I can’t work with you.” He looked at me and said, “I found.” I was like, “I know, sorry. You haven’t owned one thing during three sessions that we’ve had. You’ve not owned a thing.”
That’s not okay with me. If that’s not going to change, I don’t want to work with you. It’s that simple. I’m not going to go through that little dance of pretending that I can fix you. It was quite funny, he said, “The couple that referred you, they said you were good.” I said, “They owned their shit. They sat there and said, ‘We’re on the way to divorce. We need help. This is what I’m doing.’ That gave us the foundation.” I said, “You’re not owning anything.”
Let me tell you something that always bothered me. I think about quite often from my marriages where you think to yourself, “We’re going to go get counseling. We’re going to go hire somebody like you.” It’s usually one person’s idea. The other person isn’t interested. Sometimes they’re both interested. I always had this suspicion that we’re going to go to counseling. I’m going to have somebody else that is going to glom on to the negative. I’m going to do all of this work. It’s never going to be enough. From the male perspective, it gets to a place like it is on the female side, I can imagine is trusting, “You want me to go be vulnerable. If you want me to work on this relationship, then let’s do it but let me win a little bit.” We touched on this in the show that we did on your side. Let me win and acknowledge that behavior that you want to see. I looked back and I think back that caused me not to put in work sometimes.
It’s very common. It’s why I’m a bit of a champion for men because I’ve worked a lot with men throughout my career. I’ve seen men break down and cry because they can’t see their kids or because they’ve been broken hearted or any number of reasons. I used to work with a group of twelve men. It was very humbling for me. I learned a lot about the fact that women sometimes think men are made of steel. They’re not. The suicide rates support that because of relationship breakdown and things, a great trigger for men around suicide. More men take their lives than women.
[bctt tweet=”There’s a bit of dehumanization in the way people connect sexually now.” username=””]
We want to be. The guys that I know, we do want to be Superman. Even Superman got a compliment every here and there.
That’s very valid. Women want compliments. They want constant validation. Sometimes it’s too much. I’ve said that to women before, “You can’t have that all the time. You just come. It’s not like that. What do you say to him? Do you ever tell him he looks great? Do you ever tell him he’s sexy?”
Thank you. That goes a long way. People in business, you want to reward the activity that you want to see. In business, we mean compensation. In a relationship, what are the things that light people up? I don’t need to be told. Every once in a while, I thank you. You did this. You went out of your way, to make sure that this was done. It’s an acknowledgment. That goes a long way for people. It’s been another great wondering conversation with you. People will be entertained and informed. That’s the most important thing. Tell the audience, tell the Misfit Nation here after all of this time, thousands of people, twenty years. What’s your best actionable advice, not a fortune cookie, but actionable advice that they could put to put to work that would improve the quality of their relationship. What would you say to them?
I would say straight up what we’ve talked about, which is praise. There’s this rule when you have kids that you should praise them five times for everything that you pull them up on. Same in relationships, if you’ve got something that’s bugging you about your partner, yes, say it, talk about it. Don’t always expect them to change. Give five times that in acknowledgment around the little things that they do because that’s like the fuel for a relationship basically. That would be my advice, kitsch yourself. I always say to people, is it an issue or a complaint? A complaint is something that is a nitpick thing that something else is in the background. It’s not an issue that’s even worth bringing up.
I said to the couples, “Issue or complaint?” “I’m complaining.” Stop it. Find something. I’ll often say to couples, “When you feel like you’re going to do that, do the opposite, which is give your partner a hug. They’re like, “That’s weird. I’m about to tell him that I don’t like it.” I say, “It is weird but do it and see what happens.” I do that with a couple. They were absolutely blown away by the difference that it made. She said, “I did that three times yesterday. I was going to have a go at him about something. I went up and gave him a hug and he was like, “What are you doing?” because he wasn’t used to it. She said, “I wanted to tell you how much I love you.” She said, “It’s made such a difference in every area.” It’s a small thing but it’s an easy thing to do.
It’s easy if you don’t make life about yourself all the time. The strange thing is that holding back and you being like, “I’m going to make sure that I’m hurting. I’m making sure I’m making my point and whatever.” It’s doing damage to you and to get over yourself and to go hug makes your situation better. Why are video games so popular these days? It’s because of the dopamine hit that’s especially in masculine energy that can go into a video game and win in an environment that they know is controllable. Have you ever played the game Angry Birds?
I think I have done that with my son.
You pull the bird back and it goes and knocks over a bunch of pit pigs. You play that and a lot of people retreat there because that’s the only place that they can win. Instead of a game of finding your relationship or a game of finding your business, I figured out the algorithm behind the game of finding your business and that’s what we teach in the twelve-week course. It’s Session Eleven. It’s so magical. I wouldn’t be able to go there if I thought I was the master of the universe when it came to business and lost that questioning mentality to keep asking questions. “How can I deeper fall in love with the outcome of my clients? How can I deeper fall in love with the outcome of the people that work with me, for me, vendors and all of these other people?” How can I make this something fun and engaging when we essentially have zero unemployment? People can work wherever they want to. If people aren’t working, it’s because it’s a choice. You want to create an environment where people want to hang out and by delivering on their outcomes. That’s a good piece of advice to close up with. What are you working on that we can support you with? What could Misfit Nation do to come behind you and help you out?
It’s interesting you talk about Misfit Nation because one thing I hadn’t mentioned is I’m entrepreneurial. Even though I did this degree several years ago, it’s always been part of my work. I’ll tell you a few things. I’ve been asked back to a university here, the University of Western Sydney. I’ll be tutoring students again. I did that for three years running. I’m doing it again. It doesn’t take up a lot of my time. I do a bit of mental health coaching as well. I obviously run Sexually Connected. I’ve also got another business which is Hair Nation, which is an eCommerce hair care brand that is one of the core businesses that I run as well. I’m an interesting mix of personal development and business probably a bit like yourself. My book is due to come out. One of the things that I’ll be doing along with actor John O’Hare, who was the co-host on the show that you did, Jason, is we’re going to start going into corporates and organizations talking about how people relate in the workplace.
The same things we’ve been talking about because one of the big things that are going on now, particularly with so many singles in the workplace, is there a lot of interpersonal conflict going on, a lot of breakdowns affecting corporations, ultimately productivity as well. Work for most people is the bulk of their life. Why not enjoy it? If you’re in business, why not enjoy it? John and I are going to be doing very dynamic presentations with role plays where we’re going to be giving people the negative scenario of what might happen, the argument you have with your partner before you walk through the door of your workplace. The positive scenario of that. I don’t think my acting skills will be quite up to his but I’ll give it a go.
He’s phenomenal. I hope he watches this.
You should definitely have John on. He’s one of my dear male friends. He got married to a lovely lady here. She’s a very successful lawyer. John is a very soulful person and the champion of many causes as well, just like you are, Jason. We’re teaming up to do a lot of these corporate presentations, which is an interesting combination and actor and whatever you want to call me. Thought we bounce off each other well and there’s a need for it, both in the entertainment industry that John is recognized as well. We’ll be doing corporates but also the entertainment industry as well. Helping males, females relate a little bit better.
Where can they find you? What’s the best way for people to connect with you?
[bctt tweet=”If people aren’t feeling safe, they’re not going to want to experiment.” username=””]
If they want to connect with me, please don’t send me anything rude or anything like that because that happens a lot.
My people don’t do that. They lift people up. The whole thing behind being part of Misfit Nation is everybody’s made mistakes. This is a group of people who have owned those mistakes, done the best that they could to make right by them and decided not to keep making them in the future. Also, they help with their mistakes, help people avoid the same pitfalls that they had. They’re busy lifting each other up. It’s the most amazing group of human beings. If anybody comes in and tries to attack me, I feel sorry for him. They’re rabid. Nobody from my crew is going to come back negatively.
If you want to contact me, you can email me at Questions@SexuallyConnected.com. You can go to the website, SexuallyConnected.com and check me out there. In terms of working with me, these days, I tend to work with mainly business people or corporates. I only take a few people on at a time. If someone wanted to work with me, email me and I can have the conversation. I don’t work with everybody. I do have that initial fifteen-minute conversation to see where they’re at.
If I remember our conversation, you work primarily with high-performing individuals?
Yes, on their relationships.
They’re high performing in business or in sports or they’re high performing in finance of some sort. They’re having this challenge in that area and that’s your niche. Obviously, you get to pick who you work with. That has stuck with me and that’s the type of human being that you’re used to working with. Oddly enough, that’s the type of people that are part of the Misfit Nation, high-performing individuals that have taken their backpack of guilt, shame and blame off of their back. Now they’re freed up and running harder, making more money and changing the world.
That comes with certain problems in terms of meeting that right person and navigating relationships.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.
You don’t that’s why I said it. It’s the same problem here.
It’s not worth it. These days I think about, “I’d like to have a conversation with her.” You never know the person who’s trying to set you up and say bad things about you or whatever it is. My friends and I, we go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that our asses are covered. It sucks because you could get into a great relationship. Every single one of them starts from the perspective of, “I don’t trust you. I could trust you. I like you but I’m telling you, there are protocols in place these days because of #MeToo.” There are protocols in place or I could give coaching or have a great conversation with another female. I’m never by myself anymore. I’m never by myself when there’s not a camera running if I am. It’s shifted these days.
That’s probably for another great conversation because that is a very sad thing indeed.
Let’s do another episode sometime in the future and let’s address that because I can lay it out for men specifically what the protocol is and how to protect yourself. We can have the ramifications of what that means socially, what that means for jobs and growth and all the other kinds of stuff. I think it could be a fascinating subject to talk about.
It definitely is exactly the reason John and I are doing what we’re doing because knowing what the protocols are for the people now, they don’t know. Men particularly are very confused, which is sad, “Can I flirt with this person? Will that be perceived as flirting?” I spoke up for a man at one point. I was consulting in an organization. I saw the perceived accusation against him where he’d banged on the back of a chair a bit and then touched her on the shoulder. She laid this claim that she was being harassed by him. I spoke up for him and went into his meeting. I said, “This is not true. This is not okay.” This poor guy lost his job.
[bctt tweet=”When you’re in business, you live with rejection.” username=””]
It’s total bullshit. That’s the thing. Let’s come back to this and have that conversation. I think it’s a great conversation to have. I’ve protected myself against all of this over the course of the last couple of years of my life because it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not these days. Somebody can say anything they want to and destroy somebody’s life. We’ve got everything recorded, every experience and every area of your business and in your personal life and be careful when you go out drinking. It’s this any other way of limiting liability with your organization. This is another area. Thank you so much for being here. It’s another great wide-ranging conversation. People are going to get a lot of value out of it. I love the fact that I got you to give me a funny look and maybe even made your cheeks blushed a little bit. I have done my job.
That’s the last thing I want to say to people is because I do all this stuff. I’m a human being. I stuff up. I make mistakes. You got your blind spot as everybody has.
I love that about you and that’s how I think we’re going to be friends for a very long time. I hope you learned some things. I hope you got pissed off. I hope you got challenged. I hope you experienced a wide range of emotions to come back to this one. That is that you need to love more, forgive yourself and hate less and bring more of that, lift your people up and forgive yourself more. We’re going to make this world a little bit better place. From all of us, Misfit Nation, we appreciate you being here. Thank you so much. We’ll be talking to you definitely in the future. Please go visit her website at Sexually Connected. Please buy her book when it comes out. Let’s support this woman and help her get more of a message out to the rest of the world.
Thanks for having me, Jason. It’s been a real pleasure. I love talking to you.
- Sexually Connected
- Episode with Jason Sisneros on The Sexually Connected show
- Traci Porterfield – Past episode
- Fifty Shades of Grey Velocity
- A New Dawn
- Hair Nation
About Claudia Soul
Bachelor of Counselling/Psychology
Dip Relationship Therapy
Claudia Soul is an Australian entrepreneur, author, relationship and communication expert. Soul overcame a troubled childhood and a path that was leading her to a place she calls ordinary, to become self-educated and business savvy.
Soul created Sexually Connected, an internet-based radio show where she hosts and interviews Sexy Successful men and women who talk dating, love, relationships and how they achieved success and happiness. It’s based on the belief that successful people exude sexiness, confidence, embrace their uniqueness and are exceptional communicators. The show’s mission is to lead a change revolution by showcasing sexy successful people, not afraid to own their truth and open-up around personal subjects like dating, love, success, and happiness. Our sexy successful guests are fearless, confident and want to change the world. Sexually Connected is entertaining, educational and broadcasts live from Los Angeles, Tuesday’s 5 pm PST and Wednesdays 12 pm EST, Sydney, Australia. Now available on 6 platforms including iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.
Soul has a slight leaning toward interviewing men, yet another difference with Soul, she will tell you that she believes men get bad reviews and instead of demanding they change, she believes that, “We should be working on validating what’s amazing about our men.” So, she’s doing exactly that by interviewing sexy and very successful men! This might also have you wanting to read Soul’s first book, publishing at the end of March 2019, offering 13 lessons in Online Dating, so look out!
Soul’s explores the stories of her guests to create inspiration and awareness of how to bring about your own awakening, increase your confidence and exude chemistry to win in life and love. She’s interviewed London’s highest-paid Life Coach Michael Serwa, actors and successful businessmen like Jason Sisneros, who overcame incredible odds to own and run 26 successful companies.
Soul states that she has a SSS factor. That’s smart, sexy and soulful and she brings her credentials along to ensure that you are getting plenty of great advice. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Counselling/Psychology, and a Diploma of Couples Therapy, Soul is also completing her Ph.D. in Psychotherapy. So soon to be Dr. Soul! She has seen thousands of clients over 20 years and has an uncanny ability to simply ‘know’ what needs to change in order to become confident and successful in life and love. Soul believes that usually comes down to communication, which is where she says most interpersonal conflict comes from. “If you address communication and improve this, a lot of other things simply fall into place.”
Soul also consults to media, television and delivers presentations on Smart Communication to increase the productivity and health of organizations. Soul also takes a select number of clients via Skype or she travels to them. These include successful corporate men and women, high achieving entrepreneurs and celebrities, addressing their relationship and family issues, usually centered around how they communicate.
Soul is also a successful entrepreneur, having founded the E-Commerce beauty brand Hair Nation is 2011. Hair Nation for Hair on U tube boasts close to a million views and Soul is currently working hard to reinvent the brands look and image. So, she understands the pressure of success and what it brings, making her even more effective as a relationship and communication coach to the successful.