Narrator: [0:01] You’re listening to the OverDivorce.com podcast with hosts Tom and Adrian, two guys swapping stories about getting over divorce. If you’re going through a painful divorce and are struggling with anger and anxiety, then you’ve found the right podcast. Hang with us for the next 30 minutes or so, and we promise you’ll gain useful insight and effective tips and techniques for getting over your divorce and rebuilding a better life.
Tom: [0:24] Welcome to the Over Divorce Podcast. I’m Tom.
Adrian: [0:26] And I’m Adrian.
Tom: [0:27] We’ve got a special guest we’re really privileged to have — Hypnotica, otherwise known as Eric Von Sydow, who is an expert on the inner game. Eric has been kind enough to join us. Eric, I’m not really sure. Do I call you Eric or Hypnotica? What do we call you?
Eric Von Sydow: [0:44] I like to be called Eric. Hypnotica is basically when I first came into this industry, you get a lot of people looking for you and I didn’t really have the time to talk to a lot of people, so it’s kind of my pseudo name. As far as Hypnotica, it deals with that type of inner game and stuff like that. Eric is perfectly fine. Hypnotica basically keeps the weirdos away from me.
Adrian: [1:01] Really? That doesn’t attract them…
Eric: [1:06] Absolutely.
Tom: [1:08] How long have you been doing this, Eric?
Eric: [1:09] I’ve almost been doing helping guys really out for about 20 years now. It has really started to evolve. It’s started a little bit before, but 20 years is roughly where guys start to get together and start talking about how to get better.
[1:20] It really was the Internet that kind of turned it all on or guys started to say “Hey, this are issues that I’m having” or “I need help here”, that’s kind of where it evolved from. So, about 20 years.
Tom: [1:29] Wow, that’s impressive. You’ve been doing the pickup thing for 20 years. I would think that would kind of make you a little bit jaded.
Eric: [1:36] I ran strip clubs for 20 years as well, as a general manager of strip clubs all in San Diego. I literally put myself in that environment because I was amazed just to be in that kind of environment, where I’ve seen testosterone involved with manipulation, along with sex, along with social dynamics. It’s my place to learn and evolve from…
[1:53] Jaded, I’m definitely jaded as far as what most people think about things as far as relationships and stuff. But I’m very intuitive as well, because I’ve had so many witnesses to hundreds of thousands of social interactions on these levels. Jaded is not a bad thing for me. It’s good, because I believe in it.
Tom: [2:13] How do you get a couple of SEAL team six guys out of your strip club after they’ve had too many pops? How is that work?
Eric: [2:21] Put this way, they would rather not deal with the military police than the regular police. That’s the short patrol, because the short patrol doesn’t mess around. Seal team six guys, they’re a different breed of their own, but they follow orders well. Put it that way, unconsciously.
Tom: [2:39] So, not the trouble that one would imagine after a little alcohol and naked girls?
Eric: [2:48] Well, you can never imagine the trouble that’s going to happen because you just don’t know. It’s such a chaotic environment to a degree because there is so many dynamics that are being played, so you really never know what’s going on. That’s what always kept it fresh and fun and exciting, because every day is a different day, and there’s always some kind of drama going on which keeps you on your toes.
Tom: [3:07] Do you still do that? Do you still manage strip clubs?
Eric: [3:10] I work for one right now, but I’m doing a lot of their Internet stuff. I do some driving for them, as well, and I also work the door. It’s a new strip club, so I’m kind of going there to help them out a little.
[3:19] I like putting myself in that environment. To me, it’s a fun environment all the way around, and you really bridge the gap between…I’m 40, almost 42 now. Pretty sure the gap between where I’m at now, it’s 18 and up, so now you’re seeing a whole cross those age gaps, and you’re now saying, “Wow, look at all these girls that are 18 and up, and their mentality, and then the young guys’ mentality. It’s just a great place to learn.”
Adrian: [3:39] Yeah. You’re really in the belly of the beast, really, in terms of social dynamics, where you’ve got guys that are really trying desperately hard to interact with these women who appear to be untouchable…
Eric: [3:50] Absolutely.
Tom: [3:51] To see how what works and what doesn’t work must be fascinating from an outside observer checking out what’s going on with the interactions.
Eric: [3:58] Absolutely. Everything is always fresh. I was forged from the strip club, and that’s what really made me. I call it the Melting Pot of America. It’s the only place that you’re going to get high end guys sitting with gardeners. You’re going to get different girls from different…
[4:12] One girl is raised by a decent family, one girl is from the ghetto, and you put them all together. It can be a walking time bomb, but it also can be one of the best places you can actually learn stuff and just get so good with what’s going on around you and the dynamics between them, and the gaps between the years and the ages and everything. It’s awesome.
Adrian: [4:33] What I got exposed to was through a whole different line of afield. That was through some of your hypnosis/meditation products. When I was going through my divorce, I came across a bunch of your recordings. I’m probably butchering this, but the Ho’oponopono.
Eric: [4:52] The Ho’oponopono.
Adrian: [4:54] Ho’oponopono, right, and the Metamorphosis products. There are these great short recordings that I would listen to that would put me in this relaxed state, in this state where I could essentially let go of some of the anger and anxiety that I was feeling while going through my separation and divorce.
[5:16] It was a habit that I got into doing, into playing on a daily basis. I found that it totally helped me relax and transition and to, really, just get my shit together and get my head on straight, and not be so wound up. So I’m interested in how you kind of made that transition from the strip club world into that endeavor because they seem so different.
Eric: [5:42] It’s not a transition, it’s a blending of all of it. I mean I was studying hypnosis and that type of stuff earlier. Basically, what happened is the strip club is where I made my money to support my habit of learning and then the strip club became better and better and I got more advanced.
[5:58] So, they worked hand-in-hand and so I couldn’t leave one for the other and I was experimenting I could get guys out by doing hypnosis stuff on them. The club with their problems and get them to give me a $20 tip. So to me, it was like this is where I was experimenting with all this stuff and it worked completely, perfectly hand-in-hand with each other.
[6:15] It’s hard to say, man, a lot of people don’t understand the fact that I can work in a strip club and still help people. There are lots of people you can help in a strip club. I’m friends with a lot of the girls and I’m a big part of their social…a lot of their support. They don’t have the best lives always, and a lot of guys going in there are usually guys that have girlfriends where they can’t be honest with them, or they’re getting over divorce and there are all kinds of other things.
[6:38] I see what goes on, what needs to happen out there and then I create the product over. Like recently, I just created a new product it’s called get over your ex. And that came out of a direct experience that happened to me. I live an untraditional lifestyle. I have a wife across the street. I had a girlfriend who lived in the house that’s across the way.
[6:56] They wouldn’t know about each other, thing’s cool, but then we broke up and I was put in a situation where, OK, obviously you’re going to feel the emotions, you’re going to feel the pain. And that’s wonderful, such a great way of dealing with life. But then all of a sudden, she lives across the street. So I’m trying to get over it.
Adrian: [laughs] [7:12] Right.
Eric: [7:12] All of a sudden, you see her pull up and you’re like, OK get over it, like you don’t do it and you see her there, and you see her leave, and you see her coming back four in the morning. So there’s so many stuff that was going on and I was like you know what, this is important. Like when you really get to feel what it feels like to be in that situation. It makes you want to get out of it.
[7:29] So, basically, the “get over your ex” is kind of the newest one I’ve did. And that’s really to get out of that mindset. To get over where you were at to turn the page, get to the new chapter, and then I was like OK cool everything’s great over there. And now all of a sudden she starts the new boyfriend now you got to deal with that.
[7:45] I put myself in extreme experiences so that I can get the wisdom from that. It worked out fine we’re all friends now and everything like that. But it allowed me to realize that there’s enough pain that a person can feel and how to help a person get out of it. That’s how I created my products.
Adrian: [8:01] What is at the core of that pain, is it the fear of loss, or anger, resentment, fear? I mean…
Eric: [8:09] Not really. To me, it’s different. It’s not really about anger. To me, it was more about closing the gap because she wasn’t the most communicative person. So she doesn’t like to talk about things and I’m like wondering OK, well, we’ve been going on for five years. Obviously, I know she wanted a little bit more. But she wouldn’t communicate with it, so a lot of it was like wanting to close the gap, wanting to get that loose end tied up.
[8:30] At least know where it was as far as the whole thing. So she just kind of shut down, I’m drawn to answers, so that was the form of what bothered with me. Because I wasn’t sure, hey, is she just trying to push away because she’s feeling that she’s not being loved enough? Is she pushing away because she wants something different? I didn’t know.
[8:49] So that was more the source of my pain. It doesn’t really matter like I don’t get angry because I just move on. As far as that goes, to me, it was just wanting some closure. And that is personally where I came from and that’s kind of where the whole thing was designed around is getting closure to men, because a lot of times, they don’t know and they want to go back.
[9:07] That’s OK every once in a while, if you can work it out, but a lot of times going back isn’t the answer. It’s really like redeveloping yourself. Getting yourself strong again, and basically saying OK. Well, where am I? Where did I falter? Where did I get my manhood away? Where did I surrender my power to? And then start fresh and start again. Hopefully, this time with more knowledge, more wisdom, to really move forward as a man. And be OK with, hey, it’s not a failure. It’s an experience to start fresh.
Adrian: [9:35] I love that idea, the concept of surrendering your power, and without even really realizing it. Getting into a situation where you just let go. You don’t realize it while you’re going through it, it’s only afterwards, if you’re lucky, that you can kind of see it. So can you talk a little bit about that whole transition of how that happens and why?
Eric: [9:55] A lot of men surrender their manliness to women because they don’t really want to take responsibility, or they let the woman take charge. Now, I’m a firm believer that a man leads. I absolutely believe in that. I see when a man leads it works out. The women are always there, they’re always following them. It’s when a man kind of surrenders himself and says oh, whatever you want to do baby, or lets the woman make the decision. That’s OK, making decisions with a woman. When she starts taking charge of the family unit and she starts really stepping up, I find that women can get a little bit controlling.
[10:24] They get a little bit resentful as well, because really — I believe — the man’s the man. When he looks back over his life, he’ll find that all of a sudden, they’ve switched roles. She became the person that was making the decisions, making the lead, and things like that. If that’s happened, that’s usually where a lot of the source of the problems come from.
[10:40] To me, nothing is sadder when I see a man pushing a cart and the woman’s telling him what to do, “We’re going over here, we’re doing this. Now, I told you to do this.” When I hear that, I cringe. That’s the worst thing a person can do is tell me what to do. When I start to see women tell men what to do, I know that they’ve lost that level of manliness, that makes them a man. Does it make sense?
Adrian: [11:00] Yeah, I guess that could go both ways, too. You don’t want the guy pushing the cart, telling the woman to grab the cereal and put the baby food in the cart. Absolutely, there is something — I think — that’s deeper. It’s almost like a primal instinct.
Eric: [11:14] It’s like the man surrendered his real masculine side. I believe that there’s a balance between everything. I’m not saying it’s one way or the other. When I see the woman ordering the man around, you see him sink down. She’s, “No we’re doing this.” You see the man sink down, it’s because he’s given up that power. He’s let her get in control.
[11:34] I firmly believe, hey, the man is the man. The man leads, as far as people want to take it, as far as the feminists and the right side and the left side. It comes basically down to nature. If you look at nature, what a man is designed to do, if all hell breaks out and the world goes to shit, Hey guess what! It’s going to go right back to where it originally came from. That is, the man protects.
[11:55] In this society, unfortunately, women are so put on a pedestal on a lot of ways. They have so many choices that they think it’s natural. They take advantage of it. I’m not saying all women. I’m just saying the way society looks, and the way they preach stuff. It’s just one of those things where a man really has to realize who he is, and what he’s going to stand for, what he’s not going to stand for. Then make those points strong, because that’s going to develop the character of the man. That power is going to come across.
[12:23] When I say “No,” my girl knows that it’s no. I’m not going to argue that, I just said no. I don’t need to say it three different times. I don’t want to be manipulated out of it. When I say, “No,” it means no. Women appreciate that, because they know where you stand. A lot of guys are so wishy-washy that they’ll give in to things. When they give in to thing, they’ve given up their power.
Adrian: [12:40] What’s so interesting about that as well is that the women doesn’t really want that…
Eric: [12:45] Not at all.
Adrian: [12:45] I don’t think. I think most women know that they can trust in their partner and their man. Part of developing that trust is knowing where he stands. What’s OK and what’s not OK, and where he’s grounded. That’s the fascinating part to me, where guys might be giving that up in the hopes of gaining more love or intimacy. They’re really shooting themselves in the foot, I think, by surrendering that. That is fascinating.
Eric: [13:17] Absolutely. It’s validation as well. It’s validation for that. In the way that I look at it is, if a woman knows that she can out-power her man, and make him do things, what deep security does she have if the world goes to shit? She’s going to know, “Hey, he’s — I want to say — weak-minded.” If a woman can over-power him, then in her subconscious, what’s really going on? Compared to, she knows he’s the man, he’s in charge, he does what he says he’s going to do. He makes a good stand, then she’s got a little bit more security.
[13:52] That’s really what woman are going to base a lot of their own stuff around, is their own security. That’s really what women look for, a deep level — most of them. Like I said, I know we’re generalizing here. We’re talking to, hopefully, a specific group of men, who are in those situations where maybe they’ve lost that power or something like that.
Tom: [14:09] I think it’s a lot easier for everyone, regardless of gender, to be reactive, than it is to be proactive. There’s a reason why you make less money as a waiter or waitress, than you do as a CEO. It’s really a function of being reactive versus being proactive.
[14:28] Adrian, I was thinking and listening to Eric and thinking, where does that transition happen when you give it up? It is when you surrender to reactivity. Where you just react to your woman as opposed to act on a vision, or a set of standards, or a set of values that are important to you, that become reliable, in where you say, “This is what we’re going to do. This is the vision I’ve set out, do you want to be part of this or not?” The economics of it come into play. The providing, and the power that’s associated with the economics of it.
Eric: [15:06] Yeah. There is a fine balance. We are talking about men who, through habit, have given their power away. Then all of sudden, next they know, they look around their life and they’re like, “What happened?” Comes from those little things that they surrendered their integrity to, or they didn’t put the effort into it, or they let her make a decision.
[15:24] Like I said, the man, I believe, absolutely should be leading. At the same time, I know that there’s a balance. To really put that out there, it’s not just this way. It’s strong enough where the woman knows, Hey, when he speaks up, and he makes his demand of, this is going to happen, it really should happen.
Adrian: [15:43] How do you decide where it’s an overbearing-type of situation versus something that says, “This is the direction that I’m heading in, in my life”?
Eric: [15:53] I think a big part of it, is really having the ability to go from both perspectives, and look at it from both perspectives. Realizing what’s important, and what’s just, let’s just say, the women are picking for drama.
[16:05] If a woman is getting on a case about something, I just say, “Hey, this will get done.” You have to be able to look at yourself honestly, and say, “Is she right, or not?” If she’s right, then you can say, “OK, this is what I’m going to do.” If she’s just nitpicking, and she’s looking to pick a fight, or she’s looking for attention or whatever she is, you got to be able to realize that too.
[16:24] It’s really about flexibility of perspective. Being able to bounce back and forth, and have that flexibility. You can make that call as a man, realizing, are you being overbearing or are you not being overbearing.
[16:35] Because a lot of things my wife will do, and I say, “No, this is the way it is,” and then she realizes later that I was right. Women look for that. They like to test it. They like to test you, to see how strong you’re going to stand in your convictions. It’s a fine line, and I don’t think you walk the line. You pretty much trip and fall, and stumble through the line.
Adrian: [laughs] [16:52] Right, make your way through there. More like a minefield than a mind in many ways. Especially these days, where there’s a lot of emphasis on the traditional gender role-reversal. I’m interested in how you see that impacting relationships, and the guys that you work with.
Eric: [17:14] It’s scary, right now, that there’s two to four percent more women being born on this planet than men. Through a lot of the toxins that are out in the environment and the food we eat, we’re starting to find that there are a lot of estrogen-related chemicals that are being put out there.
[17:27] Men — I don’t know if you know this or not — but on the average, they’ve been losing about one percent of testosterone a year. What’s happening is, now you got guys that are leaving the moms, the kids are being raised by women. They don’t really have a strong role model, that’s why I believe it’s really important for guys to have places — like what you’re doing here — where guys to have ideas about, “Hey, what does a man do?”
[17:48] Unfortunately, in this society, there is no rites of passage that just says, “Hey, when are you a man?” It’s so important right now, that guys have some kind of understanding what it is. They’re being programmed by the media all over the place, like to be a man, you got to have this, you got to have this. It’s all about the consumer mentality.
[18:04] So, there are so many issues that are going on right now, and I think a lot of it has to do with, like I said, the Internet.
[18:09] We’re in a very strange phase of the world’s history because of the fact that we’ve never had so much information and disinformation available to us that a lot of men right now are just straight confused. I think a lot of people are confused. I mean look at anything.
[18:23] Like I said, health, you got a hundred different reasons why you should be a vegetarian, why you should eat meat. The only thing a real man has come down to is basically saying, “Hey, who is he? What does he want?” and really go out and do what it takes to get that.
Adrian: [18:35] And how difficult of a journey is that for a lot of the guys that you worked with? I think just deciding that, “Who am I?” and looking at that…I think one of the benefits of going through a divorce or a breakup is that it makes you examine that. It makes you look at, “What’s this all about? And how am I going to overcome this adversity? What am I about?”
[18:56] What are some things, some of the barebone things that you have guys to look at when they’re assessing that? Or is that something that you get in with your clients?
Eric: [19:04] Yeah, absolutely. The first thing I say to guys is, “Would you date you?” “Would you date you?” because a lot of guys have got complacent, a lot of guys got lazy, so that really brings it right back down to home and say, “OK. Would I date me?” and then look at that.
[19:19] If the answer is no, then don’t get involved with anyone because you’re just going to fuck them up. You’re going to fuck you up, and you’re going to fuck yourself up. If you could say, “What would it take for me to go yes?”
[19:27] As soon as I can get to the point where I truly enjoy my own presence and I truly believe that I add value to someone else’s life, as soon as I get that is when you’re ready to take off and just explode into all the possibilities around you because of the fact that you have that deep, deep self-love and self-respect for yourself.
[19:47] If you don’t have that, you have to stop where you are and start working on it until you do. To me, that’s the core.
Adrian: [19:54] How do you go out and find out who you are? What are some things that you would recommend guys doing to go down that road?
Eric: [20:00] The most important thing is know thyself, and it’s not an easy road. Like some people are lucky or blessed with, “Hey, I want to be a doctor.” I mean for a lot of people that’s not the way it works like I’ve tripped and stumbled all the way to where I am now, and I still stumble a bit because things are always changing, and there are so much information going on.
[20:19] So really, I first have to say, “Hey, what do you enjoy?” and then focus there. If you can just surround your activities with the things that you enjoy, what you like, the type of woman you want, then I believe you can start to really create that in your life. A lot of it is basically setting up the filters and say, “Hey, I don’t want this type of woman in my life.”
[20:38] Like for me, when I go out the first thing I’ll say to a woman is, “Are you bisexual or bi-curious?” because of the fact that I don’t want to get involved with someone who’s not because it doesn’t help the way that I live my life. I want a person that I can play with. I want a person that can play with my wife. I want a person that we can enjoy together, and if they’re not there, then why even go down that road?
[20:56] When you set those filters up of what is it you want, what is it you’re going to put up with, the type of people you want in your life…You got to really, like I said, get to know thyself and realize what are you about first, and then from there, then you can start to really start to live the life the way you want to.
[21:10] But it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but it does make you sit down and look at yourself and look at, “Are you being self reflective enough? Are you being honest with yourself? Are you trying to fool yourself up with a bunch of bullshit? Or are you going to be truthful and say, hey, this is it?”
[21:24] And then that does come back to that question, “Would you date you? Or what would you have to do in order for you to want to date you? What would have to change?”
Adrian: [21:31] A lot of the guys I think that are listening are just not in a great state from a confidence point of view. What are some of the basic tenets of building that up and rebuilding where they were or becoming who they want to become?
Eric: [21:48] I will turn down clients if they don’t take the responsibility to realize that it’s up to them. A lot of people want to blame others. I call it the blame game. And when you blame other people and you say, “They put me in this situation,” that’s not a power position in life.
[22:01] You got to basically say, “Hey, I’m in charge of everything. It’s up to me. I’m the man. And what do I want to build?” and stop looking at the excuses. As soon as you start looking at excuses, you’re walking down the lame road.
[22:15] So, the first thing I say is, “Man, take responsibility. Are you responsible right now for where you’re at, in changing the way you’re at, and then putting it behind you and then creating something new?” The fundamental first foundation is the responsibility of their life.
Adrian: [22:30] Yeah, whether it’s good or bad or indifferent at acknowledging that. That’s the key to a lot of meditation as well is just acknowledging where you are at the moment and being present and taking full responsibility for that.
[22:45] That’s a tough one. That’s a tough one to say, “Well, I’m basically here because I put myself here.” Admit that, and get out of that whole idea of victimhood. Tom, we’ve talked about that a bit.
Eric: [22:58] Yeah, it’s exactly what it is, playing the victim, the poor me. Like I said, my client say, “Come help me out.” I just go, “Where?” What about all the guys that grew up that made something of themselves? They had the same situations that were a hundred times worse. Where?
[23:09] So, a girl cheated on you, big deal. It happens. So what are you going to do with it? Really a matter of fact is move on. Next. Let’s go. Take responsibility. Let’s stop whining and complaining and kicking sand on yourself, and let’s get up and start to move somewhere because life really is too short especially in the time frame when you get over stuff.
[23:28] You’re maybe only going to meet one to five more people that you may be intimate with, so put it behind you, and be glad that it’s behind. Be glad that the person you’re with…A person that you’re with should want to be with you, not want to be with someone else.
[23:41] They want to be with someone else? Good. Be glad with it. Be done with it. Move on. Now, let’s attract someone into your life that wants to be with you. There’s plenty of woman out there. There’s one, two, three, probably 10,000 that are just perfect for you, and go after and get it.
[23:55] There’s so much choice out there, and as soon as a man realizes that we live in a world of so many choices, then he can start to get active and start moving towards what he wants.
Tom: [24:05] What about online dating?
Eric: [24:06] Online dating?
Tom: [24:07] Yeah.
Eric: [24:08] I think online dating is fantastic. There’s a guy staying with me right now. He lives out in Phoenix. He’s a contractor, so he comes out here. He does high-end houses, and I would let him stay in my house because I had an extra room.
[24:16] He’s not the best looking guy in the world. He got an average body. But when he first got there, with the first 14 days he was here, he literally went out with 12 different women on some of the dating sites. So I think it’s a great idea if you have the time that you want to put into, it gets you familiar with talking with women.
[24:31] You got to put your time into it, but like I said, a lot of people and a lot of women don’t have time to go to the bar. I call it trolling. You put your line in the water. It’s out there. If you’re really committed to going after and finding someone in your life that makes you happy, you’re going to do whatever it takes.
[24:45] So online dating, I’m 100 percent all for, but I would stick to the free sites. A lot of these sites rip you off. Like the OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Badoo, Blendr, those are all pretty much free sites, and you can get all kinds of girls.
[24:57] To me, it’s really dusting yourself off and getting yourself back in the game and being OK and being comfortable with women whatever it takes.
Adrian: [25:05] How quickly do you recommend that a guy gets back in the game from a serious long-term commitment or relationship? Whether married or not, is it something that they should ease into or just go full bore?
Eric: [25:20] I believe there’s a little bit of timing you should take. Psychologists say that for every year that you’re married, it’s going to take about half that time to get over the grief. I think that’s way too long. So if a person was married 10 years, it’s going to take him five years to grieve. I don’t believe that.
[25:35] I think maybe a month. Maybe at the most a month or two months max. You should be able to reflect, find out what you’re about, what you may be lost in that, and start to really get yourself back out there. But one or two months to me is plenty.
Tom: [25:50] After 20 years? A month or two months?
Eric: [25:54] I’ve never been married for 20 years, so I can’t really say that. I mean if you’re getting a divorce, to me one or two months is really like…That’s what it would take to get yourself sorted back up or at least back on track, because if the divorce is final, that’s that. You can still grieve, but you can still go out. You can still meet yourself up with other people or go out and be social.
[26:16] I believe it’s very powerful, and it’s very important to go out right away and be social, so you’re not staying at home dwelling about all of the stuff that was going on, the poor me, or this went wrong, or getting pissed off at things. Take your time one to two months, reflect, and then start getting back out there. That’s what I meant by that.
Tom: [26:33] Just to be clear though, there’s a distinct difference between going out and being social and going out and trying to reconnect to be intimate with a woman, right? Or no?
Eric: [26:44] No, you can, and you can also fall into old patterns as well. That’s why I believe that one to two months of self-reflection, finding out, “Hey, this is where I went wrong I think. This is how I can get better.” What are you going to realize that you’re not going to deal with in the future? How are you going to handle this differently if it comes up again? In that realm, there’s a lot of self-discovery that happens, and then to me, it’s move on quickly.
[27:06] If you want to be intimate, great. I know guys that have been in a relationship with her wife, and then got a prostitute right away. It was like, “Man, I can’t realize enough how good that was for me.”
[27:18] Then I realize guys that don’t need that, and then I’ve seen guys that just sit there, and they just take their time. They’d be alone, and they get involved in their business, and they’re fine as well. There’s not one way to get over it. Everyone is going to grieve differently.
[27:29] But the point is that you sit down. You take a little time for yourself. You realize what it is you want, what it is you need to learn, and then simply have the balls really just to start wherever you are and man up, and then start making the life you want.
Adrian: [27:43] Yeah, and one of the interesting things that I find is the habits and patterns that you automatically go back into. All of a sudden, you find you’re in a relationship, and it’s the same. You’re making the same mistakes, or you’re dating the same person, and you’re falling right back in to those old patterns.
[28:00] So how do you recognize those patterns? Because we can always see other people’s bullshit, but we can never see our own. Then once you’ve identified them, how do you break them? I mean how do you change them, implement new habits, new rituals to propel yourself in a way that’s more conscious and in a way that’s putting a little bit more effort into more awareness?
Eric: [28:21] It’s harder to make a change. It’s harder to move into a new direction that you’re not yet used to. If you do that, you’ll recognize that it’s the powered man that does that. It’s the powered man that moves forward. It’s the powered man that moves on stuff, and it’s a process of creating so.
[28:36] I believe every person knows what their own patterns are, and I believe each person knows how to get out of them. It’s just a matter of do they give themselves that own personal power to actively act on it and say, “OK. I understand this is the problem. Yeah, I’m getting lazy. Let’s just order out pizza. Let’s just watch a movie.”
[28:55] But it takes power to change a process. They called it the 80/20 rule, or 20 percent of the population are the successful ones, and 80 percent aren’t. I believe in that theory that it’s going to be harder, and I don’t believe that if you’re looking to be the victim, then you’re going to really want to make a change.
[29:13] It really comes down to having that desire, having that intention to change, to be better, and then actively going out and doing whatever you got to do to do it like you sit down and watch a movie, you force yourself to go out and go downtown and go dancing with her.
[29:27] It is harder, but it does make a difference. But it’s not an easy question to answer because everyone is so different, and it is so hard to make that change.
Adrian: [29:36] Yeah, there’s that old adage, “Often the right choice and the hard choice are one and the same. You got to take the hard path and not succumbing to the easy one.”
[29:48] That might be a good indicator of where something is conflicting within yourself. It’s like, “Am I just doing this because it’s easy? Am I resisting the hardness, and that’s really the right way to go, my true course?” What are your thoughts on that?
Eric: [30:03] It’s such a tough question because that really comes down to the individual. I just remind the man like, “Hey, this is your life. Is this the type of life that you want to live when you’re sitting there and you’re getting fat and you’re not working out and you’re putting up with a woman who’s bitching and complaining and you’re not putting the passion into it?”
[30:18] That’s the big part of it. Like I said, to me I really just get honest with the guy and make him really look at it like, “What’s going on?” And then helping him achieve what it is he wants.
[30:29] Like I said, a lot of the times like a podcast — what you guys are doing — will give a man a little bit of insight to remind himself that, “Hey, this is my life, and I got to find my own way out of it.” That’s what being a man is. It’s really finding out where you are and finding your own way out of it.
Tom: [30:44] I think it does get back to that idea about proactive versus reactive. Are you going to sit and react to the things that happen to you? It sounds trite, but are you going to let things happen to you, or are you going to make things happen? It’s a very simple choice.
[31:04] I think as you get out of the funk of despair that comes from depression, you’ve got to figure some way out of it, but ultimately you’re going to have to come face-to-face with the idea, “Are you going to be reactive or proactive?”
[31:18] Proactive is probably harder. It takes more time and effort and focus. That’s probably what I need to do versus reactive, and sit and wait for it to come to me. I’m going to have to go to it.
Eric: [31:32] It can’t get any more simpler than that. It’s really just shaking a man and going, “Wake up! You’re a fucking man. Let’s go. Come on, remember who you are. Take back your power. You were put on this planet for a reason. Let’s get that shit done.”
[31:42] As hardcore and bootcampish as that is, that’s really what a lot of guys need, because they want someone to buy into the victim-hood. You can’t. You’ve got to shake them out strong and go, “Hey, too bad. It was over. Big deal. Move on.”
[31:58] As harsh as that seems, it’s really what most men need. You know, when you really hit it hard to them, they either go with it, or they back off of it. That’s OK, too.
[32:08] It’s really their choice, because ultimately, they’re going to have to live with themselves. They know, like everyone knows if you’re not pushing. You know if you’re not really giving your effort at the gym or you’re eating crappy. You can’t lie to the man in the mirror.
Adrian: [32:20] How much does social pressure play into that? And not necessarily social pressure, but friends and family that will allow you to play the victim, like, “Oh, it’s OK. You’re going through a tough time.”
[32:32] Then, when you try to break out and take your own course and do something, you’re not going to be the doctor or the lawyer that your parents wanted you to be, there’s a lot of pressure in trying to have you conform to that.
[32:46] I dropped my sons off at school today, and their hats are on backwards, mismatched socks, while the other kids are running around. They don’t give a fuck. They’re just living this life of complete joy.
[33:00] There’s no social pressure or social anxiety. The kids have got brownies on their face, and they don’t care! Then when you get up into the teenage years, into puberty, everything kind of changes and you get crunched into this conformation machine.
[33:15] How do you break out of that? I think that limits us a lot in terms of choice and direction that you want to take with your life, and then being able to define yourself and who you are as opposed to having schools and parents form you. How do you make a break? It’s a lifetime of being crunched into this and formed into this.
Tom: [33:32] Well, it’s the fear of shame, right? We’re afraid to be ashamed, and shame becomes this huge motivator that you’re reacting to, whatever it is you’re doing. You’re avoiding the pain of shame as opposed to doing the thing you want to do.
Eric: [33:47] Have you ever read the book, or heard of the term “Iconoclast”?
Tom: [33:50] Yeah. There’s a television show called “Iconoclast” on IFC, or there was. It was really good.
Eric: [33:55] Well, iconoclast is basically thinking different. That’s really what you have to do this day and age, and it’s interesting. They say the two things that really get the person into that fear state, is there’s two things. One is the fear of public ridicule, and the fear of the unknown.
[34:09] Those are the two biggest fears that really keep us kind of locked-in. Now, if you learn how to overcome those or get around those, then what happens is you start to think cleaner. You start to think fresher. You start to think more original, and that’s really what you’ve got to remind yourself.
[34:22] It’s not, I don’t think, a matter of going along with life and being bought into all the bullshit that’s going on with what society is teaching you, what the media is teaching you.
[34:31] It’s really coming back to the moment of understanding, “Hey, you’re a man.” It is your individual life, and to constantly be practicing that and getting that into your habit of maybe going against the grain or doing what you want.
Adrian: [34:44] How do you establish that unique frame? What kind of tools do you put into place to get that? Because I think you’re right. You’re kind of creating this own reality, and you have to break out of the mold.
Eric: [34:57] Well, these are experiments that I did personally. Like I said, I’m conventional in the way I did things. But literally, like one part of my life, I was afraid of what people thought about me.
[35:04] So, I basically went out downtown with a friend of mine, wore a dildo on my head. I wore a little skirt, walked around, and we basically were yelling out on the streets, “Hey, blowjobs, 10 bucks!”
[35:17] I kept on putting myself in situations like that to the point where I didn’t care. It’s a very weird transition when you put yourself into that. At first, you feel the self-consciousness.
[35:26] Then all of a sudden you feel that your consciousness expands a little bit, and then you start to loosen up. You start to have fun, and then you start to see other people and you focus on them and how they react to you.
[35:36] It becomes very interesting, because it’s not about you anymore. It’s about the perspective of what you think. I personally put myself through a lot of stuff like that, because I personally wanted to break out of the box.
[35:48] It does come back right down to, like I said, self-responsibility. What are you going to do to break out of the box? You’ve got to do something that’s really unique.
[35:56] I went to nudist colonies, because I had a fear of being naked. I went to nudist colonies, and ended up playing basketball there, did karaoke there. I put myself in the situations that I felt most uncomfortable with, so I could basically break out of that.
[36:09] A lot of people won’t do that. My prescription is do whatever it takes. If you feel uncomfortable, then you know what it does and work against it, or work with it, or find something that you’re going to put yourself in a situation that blows that out of the water.
[36:22] It’s scary, but I think it’s a lot scarier in the end when you realize, you look back on your life and you conformed and you were just a puppet.
Tom: [36:29] It’s that good stress versus bad stress.
Eric: [36:31] Absolutely.
Tom: [36:32] …and distinguishing. I think, personally, I have the hardest time with that. I don’t know that my brain is really wired well to distinguish good and bad stress.
[36:44] I consciously know the difference between that, but it’s purely a left-brained thing. My right side of my brain just cannot distinguish between good and bad stress.
[36:55] The therapeutic stress of going and singing karaoke, or talking with someone you don’t know, and all those things that go off in your head about what I should and shouldn’t be talking about, is it appropriate or not? Is it engaging? Is it self-centered? Am I interested as much as I’m interesting?
[37:14] All that stuff I think gets all wrapped up and you struggle with figuring out what stress is good for you versus what kind of stress is just sort of releasing those bad hormones and racking your endocrine system.
Eric: [37:30] You’ve got to get to the point where you just realize you’re human. You’re going to screw up. You’re going to mess around. You’re going to trip, and you’re going to fall.
[37:37] There’s an ebb and flow of the Universe with pretty much everything. So, you know sometimes you’re going to be flowing, sometimes you’re going to be back-flowing.
[37:44] You’ve just got to understand, “Hey, that’s where you’re at.” To be able to really laugh at yourself and go, “Gawd! That was something stupid I really said.” All the things that I said that were stupid, where girls rolled their eyes or went the other way. Maybe in the moment, it’s a little painful, but when I look back, I always laugh at it.
[38:00] You’ve got to understand you have to be able laugh at yourself where you’re at. It’s hard for a lot of people to do, but it’s very important when you get to that fact that we’re not going to get through this perfectly.
[38:10] We’re going to struggle through it, but as long as you stay in the right direction, and you really take that responsibility, and you do what you believe is best in the moments, you’re going to make that forward progress. I believe if you make that forward progress, you’re going to live a happier life. You’re going to be much more content.
Adrian: [38:26] When you’re pushing yourself like that, like going down the street with the dildo on your head, it’s pretty extreme, but look at the downside. I mean, worst-case-scenario, you might get arrested, or you’ll have a cop say, “Hey, take that down,” or whatever.
[38:42] The case of the nudist camp, you’re not physically going to be harmed. No one’s going to try to kick your ass for being at a nudist camp where everybody’s nude. It’s all really in-between your ears. It’s really like locking your own cage in a way. You’ve got the keys, almost. It sounds so clichCB).
Eric: [38:59] Yeah. It doesn’t even have to be as dramatic as that. I mean, I could spill ketchup over a white shirt and walk around. It could be put your finger up your nose while you’re talking to someone. The choices.
[39:10] You get to the point where you realize that your opinion of yourself is more powerful than anyone else’s opinion of you. The moment that you start thinking that other people’s opinions are more important than your own, you’ve lost. You’ve lost the most important perspective you have, and that’s of your own individuality.
Tom: [39:25] I think that’s a really good point. I think the one thing I really was looking forward to asking you about was futility. You look at something, and knowing when to cut your losses about a decision that you’ve made, or do you just put your head down until you die and you just don’t give up?
[39:43] How do you intelligently approach not swimming against the tide, and recognizing which direction the tide’s going and managing that? Like, you have this vision. You want something, but it’s either not going to happen or you need to move on. You’ve kind of gotten over the issues around shame associated with failure, but there still is the futility and I could be doing something else.
Eric: [40:06] Yeah. Well, I think it comes down to giving your best effort in it. I will set parameters around something like that, and I’ll say, “Look, I’m willing to do this, this, this, and this.” If I know that I do this, this, this, and I give it full power and it still hasn’t really worked itself out, then I will be happy with my decision to say, “OK, cool. Maybe that’s not it.”
[40:23] But, I want to give it my best effort to know that I did that. That way I can at least be like, “OK. I set it up. Maybe it wasn’t for me, but I know that I gave my best effort in it.” That I can look back and go, “OK, cool.” I’m satisfied with that ability, where maybe I failed or whatever. I’m satisfied with the effort that I put in there.
[40:41] It’s a fine line between that. Sometimes things can just keep on beating you down, beating you down, beating you down, and then you pop through the other side. If you make the conscious decision that it’s OK for you to let go of whatever outcome that you were focused on, then that’s your choice, and it comes down to your choice.
[40:58] As long as you have what you’re going to do to give that choice the best effort, then I think you’ll walk away satisfied. I know I was, just with the relationship across the street. I know I did my best to figure out what was going on.
[41:12] I went above and beyond to be extra nice. I went above and beyond to have a certain level of harmony exist between us, even as we’re neighbors. I know I did that.
[41:21] I can look back and go with 100 percent, “I feel absolutely good about the outcome that came out of that.” Did it work out ultimately? No, but it’s OK. I know that I did the most.
[41:31] I’m confident with that, and I’m very pleased with my ability to do that, and that comes down to anything. Just know, if you are willing to walk away from this, what is it that you are going to do one last stand, and give it one last stand, maybe two last stands, to really go after it. To be OK with saying, “Hey, cool. Enough’s enough,” and be able to walk away with your own pride, with your head up.
Tom: [41:51] What do you think about the idea of process versus goals? Are you aware of people that do camps of abandon your goals and commit to a process versus set up your punch list and knock it out?
Eric: [42:03] I try to look at it a little bit differently. You know, you can look at it as goals. They have goals in systems. The goal, for example for say an NFL football team, the goal is to win the Super Bowl. The system is to go to practice every day, and watch films, and run through the different exercises and the different drills that you’re going to do.
[42:21] Now, can you have one without the other? Can you have the goal without the process or the system? No. Pretty much, you can’t. If you don’t have any system, you don’t go to practice, you’re not going to get that goal.
[42:30] Can you get the goal if you do the system? If you go and you practice all the time, you still might be able to reach that goal. They’re complimentary up there of each other.
[42:39] I trick myself. What I personally do is I make it like a map. I look at it like some kind of video game, and like a scavenger hunt. I’m like, “OK. These are the things that I’ve got to go get today if I’m going to make it to this certain area of the map.”
[42:54] Then I’ll say, “OK. I have to do this. I’ve got to do this.” You know what? Then I make it a little bit fun. I don’t look at is goals. I look at it as achievements along the way, or little midpoints on this map to get to a certain area.
[43:05] I kind of trick myself, because goals really don’t inspire me, personally. If I have a direction that I want to go, then I create some kind of game in my mind to have fun doing it. I don’t even care if it’s putting all the goals that I have to do in a hat, and picking the hat and go, “OK. This is the one thing that I’m going to go attend today, or the two things.”
[43:23] I trick myself all the time to doing that, but I take active imagination to really bring that into effect. I mean, it’s everything, whatever it takes to get yourself tricked into doing something.
[43:33] I have a timer. I have to at least do the timer 10 turns a day for an hour, so I have 10 times. It could be like if I turn it to 10 minutes. I get really actively involved in whatever I’m doing.
[43:44] If I’m looking at my kitchen and I’m like, “Man, I just made a big meal. I’ve got to clean this up right now.” I’ll say, “OK.” Well, boom, I turn it to 10 minutes. During that 10 minutes, all I do is clean, and I get actively involved.
[43:55] If I have to clean up my room, I’ll put on two songs. Just during that two songs, I’ll go up and get involved, and I will clean up my room. I like to trick myself into creating the goals and have fun doing it, so it’s not just this methodical, strict way of, “I have this goal. I’ve got to do this.” I make it fun, and use my creativity to do it in a way that most people don’t.
Adrian: [44:15] Fascinating, one, that we have to trick ourselves into doing things like that. My little trick is I put out $80. I take out four $20 bills, and then I assign them to each task that I have to do. Then I have to give away the $20 to any task that I don’t complete. What’s interesting is the fact that I have to play these reindeer games on myself to get myself to do the damn things I know I need to do.
Eric: [44:41] But it works, right?
Adrian: [44:42] It does work! Yeah.
Tom: [44:43] I think we have to give ourselves permission to play those games. It’s the same thing with me running, telling myself, “Nah. You don’t have to run. Just walk. You just get out there, put your shoes on, and walk. You don’t have to run.”
[44:53] Sure enough, as soon as I got out there and as soon as my shoes hit the ground, it’s like, “Oh, yeah. I can run. Why not?” It’s just getting yourself into the very next piece of the task, and telling yourself whatever you need to do to disrupt the whole process of your brain going, “Oh, no,” you know, where it starts to rationalize away from behavior that you want.
Eric: [45:14] Yeah. The bottom line is you get what you want done. If it’s working out, if you find a way to do that, you’ve been successful. I have a couple more strategies, like sometimes I’ll get caught up on YouTube videos. I like to watch YouTube videos and learn that way. I know that I can spend hours there just watching them.
[45:29] What I’ll do is I’ll watch a video and then I’ll go do a set of pull-ups. I’ll come back, I’ll watch a video, and then I’ll go do a set of pull-ups. After 10 videos, I’ve done 10 pull ups, and my work out for the day is done.
[45:39] When I was doing cardio, I hated cardio. What would I do? I got a recumbent bike. I set up my Xbox. I like to play video games every once and a while. I played Call of Duty, a game. I did it so I was online with others. They have these games that are 10 minutes there. I played four games. I got my cardio in. I got my video gaming in, and I accomplished it.
[45:58] So, like I said, that’s the point. That comes back to the creativity and the responsibility of saying, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to whatever way I want.” The goal is to get it done. If you do that, you’re successful. It may not be the cleanest, best way of doing it, but you did it.
[46:13] That’s kind of fun, in a way, to get creative with that, and look back and say, “Hey, you got it done no matter what. You tricked yourself into doing it, but the bottom line is you got it done.”
Adrian: [46:22] Yeah. I love the fact that you can kind of be fun with it and let it go. It’s not this kind of traditional, puritanical way of looking at it, or strict, rigid, like, “I have a to-do list. I start at the top and I work my way down. No, I’m going to mix it up, I’m going to get some Xbox in there. I’m going to make it fun and crunch it out.”
[46:40] Then there’s going to be at least a lot less resistance when you go back to it. Like, it’s not just on the bike, it’s “Yeah, I’m having fun with it,” and then it’s drawing you, then it’s kind of…
Tom: [46:49] I think it’s control, right? It’s like, if you just set it up as break, you know, this has to be done, and it has to be done a certain way. You don’t feel like you have control over it, versus if you’re able to add creativity with respect to other tasks and to break the monotony of it.
[47:06] You’ve taken control over it. It’s now yours and no one else’s, and not coming from outside, it’s an internally-driven thing as opposed to an externally-driven thing. “I have to do this because society says I have to,” or, “I have to do this because, whatever.”
[47:24] If you’ve broken it up, and you’ve applied your own pack or trick like we’ve been talking about. Now you own it. You’ve made that choice. The choice hasn’t been made for you. You’ve controlled it.
[47:35] I think that takes us full circle to this whole thing about what it means to be a man and taking responsibility and control over the situation, because people are more inclined to…
[47:47] It’s easier to be reactive. It’s easier to be told what to do and go, “Yeah, OK,” then you don’t have to think about it. As opposed to, “I’ve got to think about it. I’ve got to envision it, and then I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to take the risk of it failing.”
[48:00] I think this is a really good time to sort of wrap this all up, because our intention was to be 30 minutes, We’ve wound up going a full hour. Boy, I want to say how much, Eric, I appreciate your insight and joining us on the show, and being so kind and generous with your time. It’s really appreciated.
Eric: [48:19] I felt like it was a little bit all over the place, and I wasn’t able to hammer it down. It also comes back into the support for men, because we’re not really used to being able to talk like this. We’re not really having the men’s issues that are out there.
[48:32] I think it’s a great thing you guys are doing. The more men talk about this, the better responses we’re going to get, the better strategies we’re going to have to be able to deal with this. We are going into a very unique time of our lives. I appreciate it as well.
Adrian: [48:46] To your point earlier. The Internet’s really just opened up everything, where now you can kind of communicate on this big bandwidth and reach a lot of people and get a lot of different ideas.
Eric: [48:57] Absolutely.
Adrian: [48:58] Speaking of that, what’s a good place where folks can find out more about you? I know that you do coaching. I know that you’ve written a couple of books. I’ve read “Metawhore.” It was great. It was fascinating, kind of your life’s journey.
[49:11] You also have some products. I think that the “Get Over Your Ex” product would probably resonate with our listeners. Where can folks get a hold of that stuff?
Eric: [49:20] You can go to Hypnotica.org, and my website’s, you know, you can go all over the place. There’s a good section of free stuff. You just put in your email, and you get a whole section of free stuff that’s really good to listen to, especially if you’re dropped down in your confidence a little bit and you’re not feeling all that great. It’s a good place to reset.
[49:40] I’ve kind of specialized in the products that I wish that I had when I was growing up. I wish that I had everything that I put out. During those times I was like, “Man, I could really use some support here.” I kind of forged my way.
[49:51] That’s really what my website’s about is just resetting, and going, “Gawd! OK. Let’s do this.” The “Get Over Your Ex” program, that helped me personally.
[49:58] It’s a great program. I fully believe in it, and grab that program. It’s great. I only want to put out successful stuff. It was useful for me. It really got me out of that kind of “brown cloud,” as I call it, Hypnotica.org.
Adrian: [50:09] Great. Well, thanks again for taking the time to chat with us. It was extremely informative. It was just a lot of damn fun!
Eric: [50:17] Cool!
Adrian: [50:18] Thanks, man.
Eric: [50:19] Well, I appreciate it. I’m going to take your $20 then, because I hate giving money away. I’m going to add that in there, because my wife will love it.
Adrian: [50:26] Right on! All right, thanks so much.
Tom: [50:29] Thanks for joining us.
Eric: [50:29] Cool, you guys. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Narrator: [50:32] Thanks for listening to the overdivorce.com podcast with Adrian and Tom. The opinions expressed are theirs alone. They’re not professionals.
[50:40] Join us next time anyway. It’ll be good for you. Visit overdivorce.com to get your free divorce recovery guide, and get some fantastic resources on making a better life.
[50:50] Contact us via email at [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and like us on our Facebook page. We want to help you if we can.