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(Editor's Note, this was all done before Doc's death in August, 2020 but still relevant as Doc's principles are timeless).
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SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT HER SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDS?
I’ve been dating Desiree for nine months now, and up until recently, we’ve had a great time together. She’s strikingly attractive and has a friendly, outgoing personality, which I like because I’m more of an introvert. I’d also say that she is a Flexible Giver, which I know you think goes a long way in a relationship.
So what’s wrong? In a nutshell it’s this. Desiree has this thing where she e-mails other guys who get in touch with her on her Facebook page. I’ve also learned that she calls some of them up. She has done this many times, and she doesn’t talk to me about it or tell me about it. I find this infuriating because I don’t know what’s going on between her and these men. When I complained about this behavior, she looked at me like I was nuts and said that nothing was going on, she’s just a sociable person and these contacts are just the result of having a Facebook page.
Now Doc, I am a jealous and insecure person by nature, which I know goes against “The System.” So, I have recently sought counseling in order to mend my ways and become a better man because Desiree has made me feel that our conflicts over this Facebook issue are basically my fault.
Here’s my question. If Desiree doesn’t tell me about these conversations and correspondences she has with these guys and keeps them a secret to protect my feelings, does that make it right? Am I overreacting in this situation? Am I being too nosy when it comes to Desiree’s computer and phone habits? Should I mind my own business and respect her privacy?
Thanks for any coaching you can give me, Doc. I’m really feeling upset about what’s going on here and worried about my future with Desiree.
Clive – who’s tortured in Toronto
You mention that this girl of yours is a Flexible Giver, which presumably means her Interest Level in you is high. But what troubles me, pal, is that you didn’t mention INTEGRITY, which is made up of HONESTY, LOYALTY and TRUST. If Desiree is talking to lots of other men, do you feel that’s something that really demonstrates the quality of Loyalty?
Now let me get this straight. Desiree is writing to other guys and calling them up on the phone when she’s in love with you? That’s what you’re telling me here? Whoa. The truth of the matter is this: this girl’s Interest Level in you is 55% and she’s not in love with you. And the problem here is that your Interest Level is 90% or above.
I know you’re worried about what’s going with all these other guys, but it doesn’t make any difference what’s going on with all these other guys.
All women, especially when they resemble Jessica Alba, look at you like you’re nuts when you bust them. They don’t say “You know what, honey, you’re right – I’ve been talking to 13 guys on the computer and that’s being disloyal to you. I’m not going to do it anymore!” You don’t really expect that to come out of Desiree’s mouth, do you? And you know why it won’t? Because she’s a beautiful woman, that’s why. She’s got all the power here.
It’s a half-truth to assert that being jealous and insecure goes against “The System.” To you Psych majors, it’s okay to be jealous and insecure if that’s the way you feel. But you just can’t act upon it verbally with your girlfriend. You don’t show her that you’re jealous and insecure because it immediately puts you into a position of weakness. It’s okay to confide in your dog and your best friend that you’re out of your mind with jealousy, but you’re not going to be insecure with your girlfriend. And the only way you can show her that you’re all bent out of shape by what she’s doing is by opening your mouth. So, keep it SHUT.
But instead of completely losing your Self-Control, you’ve gone and paid a shrink to help you straighten yourself out. This is just beautiful! Desiree’s the one talking to other guys on the sly, she’s the one who’s got a problem with Loyalty, but she’s telling you that it’s your problem. Man, is this girl sharp or what?
No, trying to “protect your feelings” doesn’t make what Desiree’s doing right. If somebody robs a bank and nobody knows who did it, that still doesn’t make it right! You’re not overreacting to this whole situation, guy, so go easy on yourself. But rather than try and talk with Desiree about it or pay a shrink, though, you just should have dropped her. But of course that didn’t enter your mind because you don’t have my materials memorized. You’d much rather prefer to be a doormat.
My friend, it’s not wrong for you to be nosy about what your girlfriend is up to when she’s doing stuff behind your back. Therefore, there’s absolutely no point in minding your own business and respecting Desiree’s privacy. These are non-issues, Clive.
Stop torturing yourself, dude. You know what you have to do.
Remember, guys: when she wants to talk to other guys via social media that means she can’t be in love with you.
WHY I SUGGEST THAT YOU GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AFTER MAKING A MISTAKE (ADVANCED SYSTEM CLASS)
You didn’t say the right thing to her; you didn’t act in a SYSTEM way in that last encounter; you didn’t do a great job on the proposal because you missed a key input.
It happens – mistakes are inevitable – you can be as careful as you want and you should be – but you’re not a robot as I’ve said many times and the mistakes you make will – in your mind – knock you down.
So, what do you do as a SYSTEM student?
Pretty simple, you get back up.
Once a mistake happens – or you didn’t do as well as you know you can – you know what you can do about it?
It’s in the past.
Captain Obvious, right?
However, I know many of you – and I have fallen into this category myself from time to time – keep replaying mistakes in your mind. To the point where it can ruin your sleep or next day.
I know it’s tough to let go, especially if it’s a big mistake – one of people’s favorite pasttimes is feeling sorry for themselves as I’ve written before so it’s easy to turn on yourself and give you a hard time.
Don’t do it – use the “will I remember this in the next 5 years rule.” If you won’t remember what you did in the next 5 years – or even the next 5 weeks don’t stress about it. Okay, maybe it’s something you’ll always remember – but regardless you can’t do anything about it.
I think the worse thing you can do is not learn from it – as I said mistakes are inevitable but repeating the same ones over and over again are not – promise yourself you’ll do better then do better.
Remember guys, as you’re learning and growing you will make mistakes but you need to be able to take lessons from them and move past them so sustain your knowledge and growth.
Until next week, thanks for your support.
I appreciate it.
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