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3 Minute Monday

3MM: Shadows, Widowers & Love

Published about 1 month ago • 4 min read

3 MINUTE MONDAY

Hi friend,

It’s the 200th edition of this Newsletter!

Two-flippin-hundred Mondays in a row.

It also just broke 200,000 subscribers, so thank you to everyone who has joined and reads every week.

If you’d like to say thank you & congratulate me - just tell your friends to join for free by sending them this link: https://chriswillx.com/books/

Anyway, onto what I’ve been thinking about this week. I love this one.

Shadow sentences.

You’re dating someone and they haven’t seen you for a week.

You ask what they’re doing tonight and they tell you they’re hanging out with some of their friends.

What you WANT to say is “I really would like to see you soon, it makes me worried when you spend time with your friends but not me that it’s because you don’t want to be with me.”

What you ACTUALLY say is “Oh must be a very important night to see your friends again this week is it? Glad to see you’ve got so much spare time to catch up with them.”

You’re out for dinner and your partner is on their phone a lot.

What you WANT to say is “Hey I’d love to speak and I know you’re busy but it makes me feel really good when you focus on me during dinner, can your phone stuff wait until later?”

What you ACTUALLY say is “That’s a very important message to be taking at this time? It’s gotta be really urgent.”

Shadow sentences are not stating what you want or need, but instead saying a thing you hope will cause the other person to realise what you need, and then getting upset if they don’t.

You kind of gesture in the direction of the thing you want without asking for it directly.

It prevents you from having to be open and vulnerable when it feels like someone else has done something slightly wrong.

It protects you from rejection by not actually asking for anything.

It’s the ultimate expression of “if you loved me, you’d know what’s wrong”.

Shadow sentences are so toxic because it reduces both parties’ desire to communicate openly, honestly and with vulnerability which becomes a vicious cycle.

Thankfully they’re easy to fix by just breaking that cycle, when one person starts speaking openly and carefully, it gives the other person license to do the same thing.

MODERN WISDOM

I do a podcast which has had 500 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Monday.
Johann Hari - a fascinating breakdown of the miracle new weightless drug Ozempic and it’s potentially deadly side-effects.

Thursday.
Robin Sharma - what is the wealth that money can’t buy? How can you balance a desire for material accomplishment with genuine happiness?

Saturday.
Jimmy Rex - the reality of what it takes to become a better man. How to integrate emotions, control vices, utilise desire in healthy ways and commit to a purpose.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED

1.
Widowers do very poorly.

60% of 60 year old men say their best friend is their wife.

Only 30% of 60 year old women say their best friend is their husband.

2.
The difference between fame, respect and self-respect.

“You don’t want fame, you want respect.

Respect comes from living up to their standards.

You don’t want respect, you want self-respect.

Self-respect comes from living up to your own standards.

The same standards that you apply to other people.” — Naval

3.
Questions to help determine if someone is right for you or not.

If we're wondering whether someone is right for us or not, here are a set of questions to ask ourselves in order to tease out their true appropriateness.

We can ask the following of them:

- Can this person apologise for their problematic sides?

- Do they have a keen sense of their flaws?

- Can they accept criticism?

- Are they keen to improve themselves in a psychological sense? Do they know that progress in emotional maturity is desirable or possible?

- Can they say sorry, warmly and generously?

- Can they tolerate flaws, your flaws?

- Do they have a rich interpretive model of where flaws come from?

- Are they curious about the details of your inner life, especially events before you were nine?

- Are they comfortable revealing to you when they are upset? Can they be brave enough to share their disappointments? Can they ask for repair when you damage things inadvertently?

- Can they laugh at themselves and at you with generosity and sympathy at the obvious chaos and disappointment of being human?

- Are they curious about the details of your inner life, especially events before you were nine?

- Are they comfortable revealing to you when they are upset? Can they be brave enough to share their disappointments? Can they ask for repair when you damage things inadvertently?

- Can they laugh at themselves and at you with generosity and sympathy at the obvious chaos and disappointment of being human?

- Can they reveal the intensity of their fears and longings?

- Are they able to access the little version of themselves?

- Can they allow you to parent their younger self occasionally?

- Can they parent your younger self occasionally?

- Can you be mummy and daddy to each other, as it were, when needed?

- Are they patient with, and curious about, the madness of the human mind?

- Have they made their peace with imperfection?

What the test reveals is that to a strange and important extent, we're not looking for someone who is objectively impressive or ideal, we're trying to hone in on a fellow broken individual who can like us in our own secret complexity and whose admitted strangeness we, in turn, can embrace and be comforted by.

That might be what love truly is. — The School of Life

LIFE HACK

Vans Comfy Cush.

I am still yet to find a pursuit that these shoes aren’t perfect for.

Lifting, running, pickleball, dinner, partying.

Pay an extra $10 for the Comfy Cush soles and you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds.

Big love,
Chris x

Try my productivity drink Neutonic.
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PS
This is the first Monday since August 2023 that we haven't released a Modern Wisdom Cinema episode. For comparison, we did 4 total across all of 2022. It's been a wild run. Small break then back to it soon.

3 Minute Monday

by Chris Williamson

Podcaster with 400m+ plays. I write about the most important lessons I learn from the best thinkers on the planet. 160,000+ people read my free newsletter. Press subscribe to join.

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