Building Better Relationships

Relationships can be a minefield to navigate when you don’t have the right tools or language to help you. Whether it’s romantic or platonic ones, we all could use a little more guidance and support with it comes to creating more secure, healthy relationships.

In this episode, we’re giving you a sneak peek into our exciting new course, Building Better Relationships, where we guide you on how to build better relationships in your life as well as deepen the one you have with yourself.

Today we’re sharing our personal experiences with the course content and how it helped us improve our own relationships. Join us as we discuss…

  1. Which of the course modules we have experienced the most growth personally?
  2. Which lessons are we currently working on now in our own lives?
  3. What was our favourite lesson to teach?
  4. What are the biggest benefits for students going through the Building Better Relationships course?

By the end of this episode, you’ll have a better understanding of what all relationships need in order to grow and deepen as well as our outline for the Building Better Relationships course.

► Want to go through the Building Better Relationships course LIVE with Michael and practice what you learn in a safe group of men also working through the course?

Then Join the Gay Men Going Deeper Membership coaching community and sign up for the group cohort with Michael on the membership hub main page by May 4th!!


With membership, you’ll also get access to our Healing Your Shame course, monthly group Zoom’s, our private members-only Facebook group as well as 35+ coaching videos ready and waiting for you to dive in!

Or, take our “Building Better Relationships” course at your own pace with our self-study option here: “Building Better Relationships” course (self-study)

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All right. Welcome to gay men, going deeper, a podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talk about all things, personal development, sexuality, and mental health.

today, your hosts are Matt, Michael and myself Calan, and collectively, we have over 40 years of experience in the personal development world, and if this is your first time listening to us, we want to welcome you.

We each have our own coaching practices, but in this podcast, we are giving away all the good stuff to you. Yeah!

So in today’s episode, we are talking about building better relationships, which is really exciting because if you don’t already know yesterday, we released our brand new course. So today we are going to be unpacking all the juicy details about the building better relationships,

this course, and we’re going to be answering and exploring questions. Like if all the lessons in the course, what one have you personally worked through the most? And what one are you currently working through and learning for yourself right now? What was your favourite thing to teach in the course? And what are the biggest benefits of someone going through the building better relationships course going to be?

So we’ll be continuing on these discussions on the last Thursday of every month in the gay men’s brotherhood, zoom Hangouts, where you’ll have your chance to share your own experiences. So make sure that you are in the gay men’s brotherhood Facebook group in order to get access to that. This podcast and YouTube channel is listener and viewer supported. So if you really enjoy what we’re creating,

you can support us by heading on over to our Patreon page, in the show notes and contributing to help support the show or subscribe to our early access option on apple podcasts and gain early access to episodes. It helps us to continue making content for you and supporting the community. So we thank you in end fans. Also, we want to let you know that the gay men going to your membership doors are open.

And if you join between now and May 4th, not only are you going to get access to this brand, building better relationships course, but you’ll also be able to sign up and go through the course, live with Michael. That is right. He’s amazing. As he leads members through each module over the next few months, you’ll also get access to our healing,

your shame course, and the private member, only Facebook group, as well as over 35 other coaching videos inside the membership already. So if this gets you excited, head on over to gay men, going to join us, and we will see you on the inside. All right. So before we jump into today’s episode, let’s read a review from one of our listeners.

In this case, it was a viewer over on YouTube, and it was Viet rock one rock one says this podcast discussion was amazing. It was for the coming out later in life episode. And he goes, I came out after 40 years of marriage, three kids and three grandkids. Unfortunately it was at the start of the COVID pandemic. So I,

so I’m just now starting my new life’s journey so far, I have found both exciting, both exciting and terrifying. Having lived my entire life in the closet. I’m trying to navigate my life as best I can listening to these men share their experiences has been so rewarding. I am so happy. I found this podcast and looking forward to the next discussion.

I love that. So good. So good. All right. So we’re jumping in with building better relationships today. And the first one we going to be talking about is of all the lessons in the course, but when have you personally worked through the most? So I would have to say the one that I personally worked through the most was, oh gosh.

Like I think for me, it’s been communication. It’s a major part in the course. And for me, I always had a lot of trouble opening up and communicating with people correctly. I always felt like I was so stuck and frustrated and lost at expressing myself, especially when I was younger, especially dealing with like dad and his girlfriend and the fact that they wouldn’t listen to me.

And I felt like I was trying to communicate. Nobody was giving me the tools that I needed in order to like progress in life. And so over the course of my life, I’ve been on this journey of like learning how to properly communicate with people because, you know, as pretty brand’s new book came out, the Atlas of the heart, it really does affect your life drastically when you’re provided with the correct language in order to communicate properly.

Like you, you would, you wouldn’t believe the amount of miscommunications that happen simply because somebody is using the wrong word, because if you come along and your, you know, disappointed in something or frustrated about something, but you keep using the word matte to explain what’s going on, people are gonna think that you’re mad about it. But if you keep going to like the deeper depths of it,

what you’re really feeling is frustrated about something. We’re disappointed about something. So it’s not really the mad, it’s the frustration and frustration is something that you can work with with somebody. You can go frustrated about this because of this reason. So communication has definitely been my biggest overarching over the period of my life. And then the second part to this question is,

you know, and what, what am I currently working for or working through in my life. But I’m going to answer that one after. So let’s go to Michael and Matt, let’s go first. I want to go to, let’s go to Michael and see what you have to say about this one. All Right. I mean all of them, but because we have to pick one looking at it,

I think the relationship itself, because I’ve known myself for, you know, 38 years. So for our third, eight of those years, I didn’t realize I even had a relationship to myself for most of that time. But once I kind of figured that out like that, that light bulb moment of wait a minute, I have a relationship with myself.

It was a game changer. And ever since then, maybe like 10 years ago, it has had a huge impact on my life, in every which way, not just relationships, but, but everything. So I went from, you know, someone who really didn’t like myself at the end of the day, despite having so many things. And then all like,

you know, I was living the life that I should by society standards. You know, I did everything that I should do. And I was a good boy and got a nice job, blah, blah, blah. But at the end of the day, I still didn’t really like myself. So once I realized, Hey, wait a minute, I need to do some work on that relationship.

It seems so obvious now. But I think, you know, looking back at that version of me, I was like, wait, I, I, like I said, I have a relationship with myself. This is such a meta concept. And that’s when I really got into personal development in the first place and, and, and spirituality, even.

So, you know, I think it has had an impact because I know myself so much more deeply. And I went from a place of self-loathing to self-love and it doesn’t mean that I don’t like myself sometimes to this day I do things and say things. I’m like, oh Michael, why, why do you do these things? But I can forgive myself a lot more easily.

I have developed a skill of self-compassion all of these things. And I think it’s really fun. I, I look at it and it’s not just me, but I think I don’t wanna give away too much of our course. But as you develop the skill of knowing yourself, you can develop the skill of knowing others, you know, empathy that much better.

And I think that is so much fun for me. I love, and I know you guys do to people and just getting to know what makes people tick, what motivates them. I think everyone is unique in their own way. I think it’s fascinating. I kind of think of my relationship to relationship, to self as like, you know, we don’t get a manual,

we’re just kind of boring and we have to figure shit out on our own, but then I’m like, wait a minute. What if, what if like, I can, I can change things, right? Like what, how am I built? How, who, who made this brain of mine? How does it think, how do I have feelings?

What’s, what’s programmed in, that’s like a default setting and what is something that I can change. So that has been very helpful for me in, in feeling a lot more empowered and confident, which has been a big part of my journey. The more I know myself, the more confident I feel it does. You know, I’ve said that many times on this podcast,

it does not come from anything outside. It just comes from really deeply knowing yourself and aligning, aligning with yourself. So that to me has probably been my biggest journey with respect to the work I’ve done and really getting to know myself that I’m, you know, and we all are, I’m not just saying me, but we all are each, each and every one of you listened to this,

you are very rich, deep, layered, multifaceted being of like a multi-verse inside of you. That I am just fascinated with discovering. And I’m always learning new things about myself and about others. And that by the way, has completely impacted my relationships. I know it seems weird to talk about yourself when we’re talking about building better relationships, but the more I know myself,

the more I can communicate with others, the more I can express myself, the more I can know what’s for me. And what’s not for me, the more I can share of myself. Right. So I can only share as deeply as I know. So yeah, I think that has been my, my biggest learning in my own life is, is the relationship to self,

which is not by a coincidence, the very first module of the course. Well, yeah, it’s important because it needs to be because you can’t have a relationship with others unless you have one with yourself. Yeah. Yeah. And the better that relationship becomes that the more depth there is to go with in a relationship with another as well. Right. All right.

How about you, Matt? Yeah, I think I strongly resonate with what both of you guys are saying. I think In the last few years, my communication has really accelerated. I think it’s because of working within community and, and relationship to self. Yeah. That would probably be my biggest one, but I want to, before I go into that,

I want to just really acknowledge the excitement that I feel in my body right now, because I think this is really for me at least. And I know you guys are probably resonated as this feels like a milestone almost for us, because like we know, I think about when we met Callan three years ago, right. And we, I put out that video and then we did a podcast episode together and just thinking about how much growth we’ve had over the last three years,

you know, it’s pretty unbelievable. And, and that we’ve made it to this place. Like, you know, three years ago, I would have even two years ago, I would have never to be able to do a course on relationships because my relationship game was horrible. Right. So then now, you know, you know, doing some of the deep work that I did in Asia,

which I’ve spoken about on previous episodes, that was really digging into my relationship with myself and my shadows and learning how to integrate these parts of myself that I really hated. And, And I think for me, This course really represents like just how much growth we’ve, we’ve, we’ve gone through all of us personally, and then together, like as a team.

And it’s really, it’s really cool. So I just feel that I feel a lot of excitement about being able to offer the hard work that we’ve put into this course into ourselves over the last few years. And being able to share that with people, I think it’s a game changer, so I’m very excited. So I want it to bring voice to that.

I love that. And then, so I’m very similar to Michael. So my relationship to myself, like I’ve talked about this in lots of episodes before I won’t go into too much detail, but just really struggling as a, as a, as a young kid, I didn’t really get modeled. So how to have self-esteem confidence, self-worth, you know,

lots of these things. So I had to really, I kind of like self-taught in these areas and I had to undo a lot of the learning that I had around what it meant to be gay, what it meant to be sensitive, what it meant to be, these things that I had attributed so much shame to. And I carried all those shadows into all my previous relationships.

And I think now I finally really well, what is it? I’m just going to open up here in the first. So module one relationship to self Michael teaches this one. And then it’s about self-awareness is the first video then personal boundaries, and then knowing your values and needs. And I think I’ve been on a massive journey of learning. Self-awareness like,

who am I? How do I tick in this world? What do I need? All that sort of stuff. And then I started to learn how to set boundaries. Once I started to get clear about what my values and needs were that could then therefore communicate what I need. And I think for, for me, I’ve spent a lot of my,

a lot of my life, other centric, you know, doing counseling, coaching, being empathic, everything is about focusing on others. And that was my family system, right. Focused on everyone, else’s pain to avoid mine. And I think I, I didn’t develop a strong, authentic sense of self. I didn’t have a relationship to myself. I had a relationship to myself as an extension of how others viewed me.

And I think that that was my downfall in pretty much all of my relationships. It was, you know, always being so other focused. So now I’m bringing my energy back inward into Matt and developing this. Like it’s yeah. It feels almost like it’s like, like new, like it’s not like I’m like bringing old Matt back. Like this is like a new version of myself that I’m bringing into the world.

And, and I’m doing that because I’m focusing on my values, focusing on my needs and desires and fears and insecurities, all the things that make up who I am, I’m focusing on those. And then I’m learning how to communicate with other people. So I just can’t emphasize enough, like the importance of the relationship to self. And I think that’s why we waited this long.

We can, the brotherhood we’ve had this space where it’s like, we, we don’t, we don’t encourage people to be engaging with other people in romantic ways until they’ve learned how to start to, you know, have a lot of awareness around themselves because it’ll save you a lot of, a lot of grief. So yeah, it’s a, it’s an exciting time for us and our business and the community to which we serve.

I think everybody’s going to benefit greatly from this. So I’m excited. I love everything That you just said because I just agree with it as well. I mean, both of you like, yes, the relationship with self, it has to come first. And that’s what, that’s why inside the gay men’s brotherhood, we did make it so clear that it’s like this isn’t the space to come into,

to look for a relationship into like glob on to other people and to try and get that attention. It was about, you know, starting the process of that journey. This is your first step in, this is where you’re starting that journey of like, okay, I need to do something different if I want to get a different result, because if you’re going on this journey,

if you’ve been drawn to us, if you found your way to us, there’s obviously a reason you’re here. It’s not just to keep doing the same thing over and over and over again and not learn any of your lessons. It is to move through the process and start the journey. And that’s why we provide this space for you to start that, to kind of dip your toe into the water,

so to speak. So the second part to this question, what was, you know, what’s what, what one are you currently working through and learning for yourself? So what lesson are you currently working through and learning for yourself? And I specifically wanted to put this one in here, this question here, because I think it’s really important for people listening and,

you know, for our community to realize that like we are absolutely not perfect. Like we have our own flaws, we have our own messiness and we are learning our own things as well. Right. But you don’t need to be, and this was a huge lesson for me in general. I thought I had to be perfect before help other people. I thought I had to be perfect before I could,

you know, start doing the work with other people. And it, you know, I was doing this work from like 13, 14, maybe 15 years now. Like it keeps just growing, but I just kept learning, learning and learning, but I never actually acted on it. I never actually like passed it on to anybody else. And so now I’m learning that it’s like,

okay, I don’t need to be perfect. I just need to be doing the work and have a desire to help other people. And you know, when you know, better, you do better. And it’s, it’s constantly, it’s constant growing. So this question was really important because I wanted people to see like what we’re currently going. And so for myself,

one of the biggest things that I’d say I really loved teaching in the course because I was currently learning it, but also had just kind of not finished, but I’d really done a lot of the work around is community because I was such a lone Wolf. And we’ve talked about this in multiple podcasts. Pardon me? And I didn’t let myself connect with other in deep community,

like in real deep community. And I think that that’s been one of my biggest learning lessons like that you were talking about like three years ago. Oh my God. I never would have predicted this like three years ago that we would have come together that we, you know, it’s been what a year and a half, maybe even going on close to two years now of the podcast and like the community and everything.

And it’s just like, I never would’ve thought that this would have gone, you know, as far as it has so far. And I’m so excited to see where it continues to grow, but that all came from community. And by going through the process of developing that community, that’s when I learned, oh, I need community because I used to think,

no, I could do it by myself. And you can, but it’s just so much harder and so much harder to actually like do things by yourself when you don’t have mentors, when you don’t have people who have gone through it, who can show you, oh, I’ve been there. I know exactly what you’re going through. Let me guide you so that you can get there faster.

That’s why we do what we do so that we can help guide people to get to where we w you know, no and say, Hey, come here and we’ll get you there faster. And then, you know, pass them off to a different mentor, a different person and say, okay, now go learn from this person. And I think that,

that in north America, that’s what a lot of things are lacking is that, that just genuine community mentorship of like, you know, finding friends and having friends who are also mentors, who also help you move along on your journey. And so the community aspect of, you know, this course was so important for me because I wanted to also, oh,

I like platonic relationships. Cause we’ve talked about this before in the, in the podcast, as well as the, in the gay community. So, so, so often people get platonic and romantic really confused. And they think because they’ve had these feelings for somebody like these love feelings for somebody, it means that they’re romantic love feelings, but they don’t have to be romantic love feelings.

They can just be like, oh my God, I adore this person. I love this person. It doesn’t mean you have to have a relationship with that person. And so it was really important to show, you know, what’s the difference between those kinds of relationships. And then also like the, the lone Wolf, like, oh, I can do it by myself.

I don’t need community. It’s like you do, we are social beings. Like human beings are social beings. We literally need other human beings in order to survive. So learning how to integrate that into your system and how to reach out to people. I know that a big aspect that we talked about in here is a dating apps because you see it time and time and time again on dating apps.

Oh, just looking for friends, not looking for a relationship, just looking for friends. And I always looked at that and went, what do you mean? You’re just looking for friends because the energy around that, like I get, yes, it can be difficult for people who live out far trying to find other gay people in the community. That’s logical.

That makes sense. But if you’re in that big city and you’re just looking for friends, like, no, that’s your passive way of saying like, oh, I’m going to shoot you down before so that I can protect myself. I can put that wall up. And I can use that as a cover for what I’m really trying to seek, which is connection.

And so learning all different layers of like how to process this information. I don’t use apps and I certainly don’t use them for friends. And I’ve laid out a whole plethora of ways that people can build community that has absolutely nothing to do with the apps, especially coming out of, you know, the pandemic and all the lockdowns and all the things that we’ve been in.

There’s so many people out there who are ready to jump into community. And it’s just that fear of that newness, that fie year of that, I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know how people are going to treat me that holds a lot of people back. And I know for myself here in Toronto, that, you know, that did scare me and it almost held me back from joining the gay dodgeball league that I joined.

And then also the gay choir that I was in. But I knew I had to push myself out of that barrier if I wanted to build a life for myself here. And if I wanted to enjoy life and it, it just all came down to community. So that’s the answer for myself. I’m curious, let’s go in the same order. So Michael,

what’s the one that you’re currently working through for yourself? Yeah. I think a community is a great one. And actually what you said speaks to a lot of what mine is, although it’s a different one, I would say for me, it’s communication, but a lot of what you said on community still resonates with that. And they, they apply very much similarly for me.

So if you remember what I said though, the one that I’ve worked on the most is relationship to self. So great. I’m at this point now where if I’m by myself, great, I can, I can have a wonderful day, wonderful time put me by myself and I’m off to the races. Everything’s fine. But once other people start showing up,

that’s when I get that’s, when things start to wobble, that’s when I it’s it’s, it can be very hard for me to have other people understand my thoughts and then, you know, me do the same. So I think communication has been where I’m at right now, specifically, not just with my, with my partner, but just in general,

like how do I express what I really mean to somebody who has their own baggage has their own story, has their own narratives, has their own beliefs and has their own values. Well, you know, it’s really easy to communicate when we’re in an echo chamber of ourselves, right? And you get it for the most part once you’ve developed that skill self-awareness.

But then when you add somebody else, it’s been very hard for me. So it has been a challenge. And the three lessons in the communication module are listening, expressing yourself and vulnerability. And I would say all three of them equally are very important in the, probably the work I’ve done the most lately. And especially when it comes to people that,

you know, you love parents, people that have been in your life a long time partner, even friends, like there, there’s so much baggage I’m going to call it or that, that comes to the table. And it makes it very hard. I think to express yourself authentically, I can meet somebody new and express myself authentically there, cause they’re new.

I don’t really have that much baggage going on. But with these other people where there’s a lot of love and history and feelings involved, that can be very challenging. So I think that has been the most active lesson in my life. And going to your note on community, I mean those two go hand in hand, right? Like yes, being community is important,

but part of that is knowing how to interact with these people, how to realize that, okay, some people are going to get along with them. That’s great. Other people you’re not gonna get along with necessarily, but that’s also okay. And then there’s the art of like disagreeing and it being okay to disagree and all of that. So I think for me that has been taking it to the next level.

I always say, how do we say, like, if you just put me alone in the world, I’d be very, very happy. Just eliminate all the other humans. And I will have a great time on this earth by myself. That is my lone Wolf. I know that I see that, but I, I always like, oh, wouldn’t it be nice to have this whole world to myself and I’d have such a great time.

That’d be no issues, but that’s not how the world works. Unfortunately. So yes, communication is, is that bridge and it is a skill. And I think it’s definitely a very important module in this course because I mean, we could make a whole course on communication, but that’s another story. Yeah. I think that’s the bridge with, with having relationships to others within the community,

even within yourself as how do you talk to yourself? How do you talk to others? How do you listen to yourself? How do you listen to others? Vulnerability, all that good stuff. So, yeah, that’s my answer. I think I’m at a space where communication has been my, my biggest working these days. How about you, Matt?

Yeah. As always, I can resonate with you guys are both things. I’m gonna take a bit of a different spin. I’m going to go through each one and then it might give also the listener, an opportunity to understand like which modules, cause we didn’t really share which modules are in. So the first module in the course is relationship to self.

And I would say, I’m still working on getting my needs met. I think that’s because I’m still learning to understand my needs. Like I can, I’m the type of person that I can kind of see both sides of everything. So I’m like, oh, I kinda like this. Or I kinda like this, but I’m really like learning what it is authentically,

what I desire, relationship to community as my relationship. That’s the second module as my relationship to myself, becomes more congruent and secure. I’m finding it easier to move into community, less triggers, you know, more open-heartedness. So that’s been a really big one for me. That’s where a lot of my shadow work was done in community, within you guys,

our relationship within my relationship with Reno and different people, like there was a lot of shadow stuff that played out, which is beautiful, right? Like that’s, because now we have this intimacy because we’ve been through these really trying challenges. Right. And then we’ve made it through the other side. So we have this. So I’ve really learned the true meaning of intimacy through that,

that relationship to community romantic relationships. That’s the third module for me. I think sex and intimacy is one that’s coming up a lot for me. I think I’m learning through, through relationships with self I’ve learned to embodiment and I’ve never been in a relationship yet as an embodied being I’ve. So I, I, I’m looking forward to having that kind of tantric soul driven sexual connection with somebody.

And I think I’m preparing for that and preparing to, to have that one of the reasons I know that is because, you know, in the last two years, I’ve transformed into a Demi sexual, which I never was before. And so I think I’m learning how to like bring my heart and my soul into connection sexually, which is really cool. Number four is probably the one I’ll pick that’s.

The big one for me is attachment styles. I’ve learned in the last year that I have an, a fear fearful avoidant attachment style. I always thought it was anxious, but I’ve realized that I’ve, I’ve recognized my avoidance in a lot of my relating as well. And believe it or not, I’m actually doing this healing work within my relationship with my parents.

So my mother also has a fearful avoidant attachment style. And I’d say my dad’s more secure, but has like avoidant tendencies. And so I’ve done a lot of great work with my father. That’s helping me heal aspects. And now I’m moving into mother, mother woundings work. And I think that’s going to be kind of the last piece that I need in order to integrate this,

because I would say like, you know, I’m, I’m probably 75% secure. I still have that 25% of me that’s fearful avoidant, but I really wanna hit home because I feel like I don’t want to bring that into my next relationship, at least not unconsciously. So I want to have a lot of consciousness around that. And then communication, I would say that’s probably one of my strongest skill sets I think is just,

I’m a strong communicator. So I think that’s, there’s nothing really in that realm that I, that I struggled with and then conflict transformation, because in the last few years I’ve had so much conflict of my life. I’ve become a master had hit. Like I, I would say that and I actually teach this in, in a lot of my workshops,

how to be in conflict, how to be in discomfort. And I’m not really afraid of conflict anymore. So I, my, my old people pleasing self used to get really terrified by it. Like I couldn’t handle people not liking me. And now I think I’ve just made peace with that. And so, yeah, that’s, that’s a big, that’s a big one for me is learning how to just let people,

not like me and knowing that it’s their path to themselves really at the end of the day, that they’ll end up discovering. And I, I did that discovery work, right? Everybody that I was having conflict with was just highlighting parts of me that I had yet to integrate. And so now I look at conflict as like sweet. It’s a mirror that I can actually gain more.

Self-awareness about who I am as painful as it is, but it’s at the end of the day, you get that, that treasure in your trigger. So conflict is, can be quite beautiful. And that also pairs with the community piece, because whilst building community, your event, like inevitably going to find people who you just rub up against you, like,

ah, no things and you can’t help it. They’re going to say whatever they want to say, they’re going to be catty. They’re going to be rude. They’re going to be snarky because maybe they hit on you and you were like, no, thank you. And then they just switched it. And they were like, well then screw you. And now they’re just being douchey about it.

It’s part of life, not everybody’s going to like you. So all of these aspects tie together and it’s, all of them are so important in regards to relationships, whether they’re platonic, romantic, the one you have with yourself, all of it. So I love that. I love that, man. Thanks for walking us through those next up. We have,

what is your favorite thing to teach in the course? Or what was your favorite thing to teach in the course? And I’m really excited to share, but I want to, I kind of, I want to hear your guys’ for just before I do mine. So Michael, let’s go to you first and I want to hear what your favorite thing was to teach in the course.

Okay. Yeah. I, I love this question because when I was recording the videos, I did them all in one or two days, but the topic that I got super, like as I was recording, I was like getting super jazzed about it and like my energy totally concerned that the lesson is rejection, which is the third lesson under the romantic relationships module.

It’s the last one it’s called projection. And like, I had a really hard time keeping like under 20 minutes for each of these lessons, which we tried to do because I just wanted to, I get so passionate about rejection. It has perhaps been because, you know, I see so many guys get really thrown off by rejection. And this goes to what you guys were just saying about letting people have their opinions about you letting them know like you and that being okay.

You know, as long as you’re sending in your truth and your authentic self, not that you’re going to get rejected and that’s fine. Not everyone needs to like you and, you know, looking at how I’ve changed. Cause with what, what really, my lowest point was when my ex partner left me years ago and I, I went through a very dark place and that rejection is what really like,

like I was going to throw in the towel. Like I was like, I don’t know. I don’t know how to handle this. I don’t know what to do. And so going through that now and being on the other side of it, it’s, it’s one of those, it’s one of those lessons that I think if I could teach everyone to just like put yourself out there and have the courage to get rejected a hundred times,

I would like, I think the world would be an amazing place. If we all just authentically knew who we were and had that courage, I’m going to call the courage to do that. The right people will find you and they’ll want to be with you and the wrong people. Not that I’m going to call them wrong people, the right people won’t find you am.

I want to be with you. And that’s okay. There’s like 8 billion people in the world. We do not want everyone to like us. It’s just not going to happen. And I, you know, let, let those people go because the right people will find you. And there’s a lot of having a lot of faith in that. So I would say that has been when I was recording it.

I remember getting really jazzed about that one. And, and I, I had a lot of fun with it. And then the other one would be also in the romantic relationships, sex and intimacy, which is the second video under romantic relationships. We know we’ve been talking a lot about that in the last few episodes here, again, for me, I think because in my own life,

I’ve seen such deep transformation and understanding the difference between sex and intimacy and then that beautiful space in between called sexual intimacy. But then knowing that I personally like all three, I like intimacy. I like sexual intimacy and I like just sex without intimacy. And they’re all valid, I think. And it’s just about knowing which one you really want to, and then aligning your actions that way.

So before for me, those two terms, sex and intimacy were very muddied, very confusing. I thought they were the same for the most part. And now that I can tell the difference I can meet those needs. It’s like, it’s like, I used to think there’s only one door and now I’ve realized there’s a hundred doors and that those needs can be met through so many different ways than it does is really opened my eyes.

So I think those to me were the most fun again, because I’ve had my own, my own personal transformation there. Nice. Matt, what about you? So my two modules were module four, which is attachment styles and module six, which is conflict transformation. You know, I just know for me, it was such a game changer when I learned about attachment styles and what my attachment style was.

It just really changed everything for me. As far as relationships, I would say Teaching cause part of the, in the attachment styles I taught, what was it, insecurity or attachment? What does attachment trauma in secure attachment and secure attachment? Those are the three modules. And so I, I love teaching about attachment trauma because I think for, for a lot of people,

when you, when you can understand trauma and the way that attachment trouble works, that it’s re it revolves around disconnection, some sort of event or something happens in your life where it leads to disconnection and there’s relational needs that go unmet. And when, and when we have those experiences, it, it teaches us, it, it basically shapes our brain chemistry.

It shapes everything in us, especially if we have a significant experience where we have experienced abandonment or loss or significant rejection from a caregiver. And I just think that for people that have such an aversion to rejection, which I did, because it stimulated all of my stuff, when I understood how that happened, the original trauma that led to me fearing rejection,

I could go back and do that work and heal it. And I just think that the relationship to self changes so dramatically when you work through your attachment trauma and you quit bringing it into your relationships unconsciously, right? Cause it’s never, you’re always going to have it, but you need to be able to tell the story with in your relationships. That’s what,

what I love teaching, because I know that will make relationships much more conscious and enjoyable and fulfilling when we’re able to understand ourselves and then bring you, bring that into relationships. Our partner can understand this, you know, I just love your guys. I’m so glad that I got you guys to go first because yours both just like, you’re like, what’s it called in sports where they like prepare you to make the shot and then you make the shot,

whatever. That’s a set up, set up plastic sports. Cause that was just so good because both of yours plays in mind because you know, Michael, you talked about rejection and how you could go on forever. And then Matt, you were talking about like the trauma and then trauma in regards to rejection. And for me, the two modules that I taught were his relationship to community and then communication,

but in relationship to communication or to community, I talked about, you know, trauma and also like internalized homophobia. So the trauma that comes from self rejection. So if you’re self rejecting and then that is expressing itself in, you know, internalized homophobia. And then I told this story, this beautiful story about my friend, Billy, who he was the brightest flame you’d ever met in your whole life.

And from the get-go of my hair, when I met him was just like, Ooh, this guy’s so gay, like do gay. And it was my own internalized homophobia that I was working through. It was my own rejection to myself that I was just like, what is it about this person that makes me go there’s something going on inside of me.

And so I tell this story of the journey that I went on of, you know, we ended up kind of doing this competition downtown gathered. So we carpooled a lot and I got to know him and just this beautiful story of me getting to know myself through getting to know him. And it was just, I loved it. And it was really eyeopening.

So all of these things through all of the modules tied together and, you know, come together so beautifully. So that was one of the things that I really loved to teaching that was in the relationship to community because community to me is just been so life-changing and it’s come after a lot of these other things. And one of the, my favorite thing that I taught was communication,

because I think for you guys communications, the thing you’re working on, whereas for me, I got really good at communication young because I had to learn how to express myself because that’s the only way I was able to get through the world because like I had nobody and nothing else to depend on. So I was like, okay, I need to depend on myself.

I need to be able to communicate correctly and, you know, teaching the communication and like the act of listening and then the art of reflecting back and then authentic relating which Matt you’re very firm with. I just love being able to take people and give them the tools on how they can improve their own life. You know, that’s exactly what Bernie brown did with like ads of the heart and like emotions.

She’s just like, here’s all of these emotions. Here’s all the words. Here’s what they actually mean. And here’s how they can help you improve your life. That’s what I did in communication. It was just like, you don’t know what you don’t know. So by providing you with these tools on how to know yourself better and how to express that better with another person,

you’re going to avoid those little nattering fights and those things where miscommunications happen left right. And center. Because the more you get to know yourself, the more, you know, how to express yourself, the better you can sit and express what you have to say and go, okay, let’s use these tools and let’s go through some authentic relating together and let’s bring our whole selves to the table,

whether it’s through a platonic friendship or whether it’s a romantic relationship. And let’s actually just sit and have this communication. But if you don’t have the tools for that, you won’t know how to do that. Those communications can be the ones that people avoid because they’re afraid of them. And so by giving the tools, you kind of lift the veil of that fear and you go,

okay, here’s a way for you to cross that bridge without that fear anymore. Here’s a way to have those difficult conversations that, you know, will be a lot easier because now you have the tools to do so. So I get so jazzed up when I’m talking, as you guys get down, like got real jazzed up. I’m talking about the how one.

So I love, I love that all just wrapped around in a nice little glow. Awesome. Yes, please. Okay. So something that I haven’t done yet, but I’m super looking forward to is I have the honor and privilege of getting to take the people in the membership through this. Should they choose to sign up for the community aspect of her where we go through each module?

I haven’t done that yet. And I’m so excited to talk about this stuff with people who are actually willing and eager to do the work. So that’s something I got to say, I’m, I’m looking forward to. And it’s probably one of my favorite things about doing this course, knowing that I was going to have the chance to talk to people about this and in group.

And like we talked about community and communication, these are all super important things. So yeah, I’m really excited about that part, which is starting May 4th, by the way, Which I’m also excited about that because I was just talking about the tools and providing them to you, what better way to do it then like with the other group of guys who are also going through it.

So everybody’s learning together and you’re practicing how to do these things before. It’s like the dress rehearsal before you go and take it out into the real world and do it out there. So, yeah. So I love that. All right. We are at our last question, which is what is the biggest benefits of someone going through the building better relationships course going to be.

So I’m very curious. I think I want to start with Matt this time. I’m ready for it. You know, I think so. I’ve been working with a mantra for the last about five months. Now. I am worthy of love and belonging. I am worthy of love and belonging. I want you to repeat that to yourself as you’re, as you’re listening right now or watching and see what that feels like to say to yourself.

I had had an epiphany, well, five months ago when I first set that, and I felt a massive block to that, to that phrase. And I’m thinking, holy shit, I’ve done all this work, but I still feel blocked to this. What is going on? And I think I was my heart. Wasn’t open my heart. Wasn’t open to being able to allow this in,

right? When your, when your heart needs to be opened in order for you to be able to receive and give love and to be able to belong, right. We need to have an open heart so people can feel us. And, and so that was a big thing for me. So I’ve been working with this mantra every morning. I sit and I close my eyes and I feel it in my body.

I’m no longer saying my affirmations from my mind. I feel the vibration of each word. Right? What does it say? What does it feel like in my body to say worse worthy? What does it feel like in my body to say love? Right. And what I noticed is I had all of these whenever I would say love. And I was feeling blocked.

I would think of the times when I felt disconnection. Right. And I felt unloved. And, and then I, when I was doing the same thing with belonging, I felt what all the times that I was rejected. Right. And that’s where my mind was defaulting to. And it wasn’t until I started to bring forward the possibilities and the experiences that I’ve had,

where I felt loved, where I felt like I belonged. And those started to come to the forefront. And that’s when I started to be able to feel. And then my heart started opening. Right. And I think that the reason why, why I shared that story is because I think that that’s what I think people are going to get from this,

because this is the work that we’ve done. We are offering energetic transmission, right. People would, they’re going to feel the work we’ve done. It’s in, it’s in it’s energy. Right? Sure. We’re bringing words to two concepts, but what you’re actually going to get in this course is you’re going to come in and you’re going to feel the energetic vibration of the work we’ve done.

And we’re transmitting that to you. We’re showing you the work we’ve done. So you can feel what it feels like. And then you can, it’ll make your transformation a lot, a lot easier in my opinion, which is why working in community is so effective because we’re also benefiting sure we’re being triggered by people’s bullshit, but we’re also benefiting from people’s love and their open-heartedness and right.

So you get both sides of the coin. So I do. I just think that that’s the benefits people are going to get. If they’re going to feel a lot more, a lot more openheartedness, a lot more understanding of, of the, their fears and how their fears are being played out in a relational dynamic and, you know, fear of rejection,

fear of abandonment, fear of judgment criticism, all of those you’ll see clearly which areas of your life, those are showing up in. So you can start to work on them, right? Because otherwise it’s just this big murky messiness that you’re just not sure why relationships scare the shit out you, right. That might be where you’re at right now. But what we’ll help you do is we’ll help you kind of separate at all.

So you can kind of see, this is the area. Now this is my, this is the spot I need to focus on. And then once you start focusing in that spot, things will improve for you. Yeah. I love that. Thanks for sharing that, man. It’s beautiful, Michael. Yeah. Very well said. I think that’s a really good point,

Matt, about when we think about anything that we want, there’s always going to be this subconscious that, which we don’t have. Right. So if we want a relationship, that might be one thing, but it’s going to come energetically with all the, all the other stuff that maybe we haven’t worked through. So that’s a very solid point. I would say for the question is what w what are the biggest benefits of someone going through building better relationships?

Okay. So I’ll speak to my experience. I think for anyone out there, who obviously, if you listen to this podcast, you do like personal development to some degree, you’ve probably read a lot of books, probably listen to lots of episodes of this. And other podcasts probably watch lots of YouTube videos. Right. Which is great. I think the benefit of relationships is that it,

it takes you onto the main stage and out of the dress rehearsal, going to Calvin’s analogy, doing the work on your own. It’s great. It’s valid, extremely valuable. We talked about the relationship to self. Yes, absolutely. But once you go out into the world and have to deal with people for better, for worse, that is where you,

in my opinion, your, your work, the rubber hits the road, it can completely Uplevel. So yes, w while doing the work on your own is valuable and valid. When you’re actually in that arena, doing the things, meeting people, putting yourself in harm’s way of getting rejected, you know, putting yourself in harm’s way of being vulnerable,

finding out how to properly say your, communicate, your needs, all the things that we talk about here. Yes. You’re going to get triggered. And yes, that’s, that’s a good thing. I would say, because when you have the tools, which we give you, when you have the tools to, to, to, to get triggered and kind of learn what that means about you,

that completely, uplevels the way you show up in the world going forward. So I think that the form of relationships and not just romantic, but any kind of relationships is where you learn the most is the most bang for your buck in terms of personal development, because you, and it’s probably the most uncomfortable, at least for me, it has been,

it’s been the most uncomfortable yet the most beneficial in the longterm. So yeah, once we add humans to the mix, right? It’s like I was saying earlier, once you add other humans to the mix of being in this world, that’s where shit really hits the fan. You know, you’re not just reading a book anymore and highlighting the parts that really matter to you.

You’re actually going to have to practice this stuff. So things like communication, vulnerability, vulnerability is a great example for me, obviously, intellectually, I know vulnerability leads to more intimacy. How many times, even to this day, do I have the extending on vulnerabilities door? And I’m like, oh shit, this is one of those moments that if I really want to connect with my partner,

for example, I really need to be able to say this. And like, to this day, actual doing it is completely different than knowing it. And I know it, and there’s still days where that fear comes up. So yeah. Vulnerability, conflict, empathy, patience, understanding, unconditional love, right? That’s a, that’s a tough one.

We all want unconditional love, but really like, have we thought about what that means? Unconditional that’s, that’s a tall order, but this is the stuff of life relationships are. I think why we’re here. You know, it, it is what makes being a human, such a gift. I do think as much as I joke about wanting to be here alone,

I do think at the end of the day, when people are on their death bed, they’re thinking about the people that made their lives worthwhile, family, friends, laughs good times experiences. People are going to be part of that. So it is why we’re here. And I think we just need to get out of our own way. And the course is exactly what that does Beautifully said.

I love that. All right. What do I think? Well, first of all, I just want to say that for anybody out there thinking like you’re, you’re watching us and they’re like, oh, these three guys, like, you know, they, they have something I don’t have, like they go through life is easier for them. I just want to say,

I literally asked somebody out last week and was rejected, like full blown, like rejected. So it’s like, I, we are going through it just the same as anybody else is going through it. I mean, they were in a relationship. I didn’t know, but like I had to be vulnerable. I had to like take it upon myself and go,

Hey, I’m going to miss a hundred percent of the shots that I don’t take. And because I’m also looking into that, moving into more of the romantic relationship energy, it’s just like, I need to start taking those steps. And I don’t and I took, and it was just like, oh cool. Like, yeah, like obviously, but my old self before learning all of these things would have been devastated and I would’ve made it a me fault.

I would’ve made it a me problem, even though it wasn’t a relationship. It still would have been my fault somehow. But having learned a lot of this stuff, I could now walk through that with grace and be like, oh, it’s not a me thing. It’s just a situation thing. It is what it is. So as far as the course,

I think some of the biggest benefits are going to be guidance and clarity. You know, it’s, we’ve gone through a lot of this stuff and we continue to go through this stuff. And so we’re inviting you in to guide you through this because I personally love working with mentors and guides because it’s like, if somebody else has already done it, why reinvent the wheel?

Like if they know more, more things that I do, I’m going to go in that direction and then clarity the clarity of, you know, things that are working for you and the things that aren’t working for you and also your blind spots, because we don’t know what we don’t know. Right? One of my favorite quotes is Bernay brown and it is clear as kind unclear is unkind.

So by going through the course, what you’re going to get is a lot of fricking clarity around your relationships, platonic relationships, romantic relationships, the relationship you have with yourself and also clarity around communication and you know, the tools in order to help you in all of these requires. So those, those are probably the biggest things that I’d say people are going to be getting from the course.

So it’s saying that we have come to the end of today’s episode. Is there anything else you guys want to say before we send everybody off today? Well, we’ll see you on May 4th for the, for the workshops. Hopefully join us. Right. All right. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a star rating on apple, iTunes or Spotify or wherever you listen to it,

make sure you subscribe. If you’re watching us on YouTube, give us a thumbs up and hit the subscribe and hit that bell to get notified. We release new episodes every Thursday, make sure to join the free Damon’s brotherhood group. That’s our peer support group where we can help you go through all this kind of stuff and a bunch of other guys as well.

And if you do want to go through the course, like we’ve been talking about with Michael, make sure you go over to gay men, going It’ll walk you through signing up to the membership. It’ll give you all the goods and stuff. And then inside the membership on the membership website, in the membership hub, right at the top, it’ll tell you how to sign up for going through the course with Michael.

So that’s very exciting, but if you’re not interested in that and you don’t want to go through it with anybody else, but you still want the information and the knowledge you can go to the course by itself, that’ll be in the show notes as well. So have the best day ever. I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and we will catch you next time.

Everybody. Peace levering, rainbows. Bye.

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