Healthy relationships are just as important as a healthy body and a healthy mind. Spencer Feldman, the author of four amazing (and free!) e-books we are going to introduce to you, says: “We want happily ever after, but our DNA has other plans. It pursues its goal of maximizing genetic diversity by manipulating our neurochemistry and thus how we feel about our partners. To regain control of your romantic destiny, you’ll need to understand the three phases every relationship goes through, the neurochemistry associated with each phase, and the counter-intuitive actions we need to outwit our DNA and get to our own Happily Ever After.” Listen to Spencer and Martin chatting about the importance of healthy relationships and personal growth in this two-part interview!
Podcast 401: Relationships, Kingship, and Personal Growth with Spencer Feldman (part 2)
SPENCER: So let’s talk about the next part if you like. We could go into the second book if you are interested.
MARTIN: I am very interested! I have much to say about all of that! So we just finished talking about the Four Gifts.
SPENCER: Yeah, and it is available for free at Spiritual Secret Agent.
MARTIN: All right, Spencer, let’s talk about the second book, An Invitation To Kingship, also available at Spiritual Secret Agent. I read it with utmost fascination!
SPENCER: I am glad it was good for you! I was raised by my mom, my parents divorced when I was three, I didn’t see my dad that much. I never really had a strong male model to imprint on. So I had to figure this out for myself. And at the end of the first book, I realized that if I want my partner to be attracted to me, if I want to shut down her hypergamy instinct, I have to be the best man. I’ve got to be so good, that no matter who else comes along, she is just not interested. And if I can’t do that, then I am going to risk something else coming along. Now that doesn’t mean I have to be better than everybody else.
It just means I have to be the best that I can be. Another great guy can come along, but as long as I have got my stuff together, as long as I am holding myself in a proper manner, I believe that it won’t be triggering her to find someone better, right? So this was my study on what it meant to be Alpha. And at first, I was looking at animals, and then I started looking at humans. Now, where do we learn to be Alpha? Well, right off the bat, just like genetics plays for genetic diversity rather than for a long term marriage, it doesn’t program most men to be Alpha. It only programs 5% of them to be Alpha, and I was no exception, you know, I was not naturally an Alpha guy. So I had to study it, and I had to learn it. And what I am going to share with your audience are the mannerisms, the language, the body language, the attitudes that I think make for that kind of leadership from the man.
MARTIN: I would say from my own memory bank, I remember years of my childhood, there was a constant struggle for establishing the pecking order in the group. Where I was growing up, there were only seven or eight boys in the group, and there was always somebody vying to be in the leadership position.
SPENCER: Yeah. So there are two ways people lead, right? There is the King and the Tyrant. So the book’s called An Invitation to Kingship. And I define a King as an Alpha man, who is noble, who is taking care of the people around them, and a Tyrant as an Alpha male who is selfish and is taking advantage of people. Now a Tyrant rises in the pecking order by suppressing and pushing other people down, insulting, and intimidating them. A King rises by declining any invitations to be submissive. So all the King has to do to rise to the top of the group is to simply decline the Tyrant, when a Tyrant comes along and tries to make them to submit, and we will talk about how this happens, they just simply decline it, and then work for the good of the group. So if a man is strong and working to help other people, and he is doing it in a fearless manner, he will naturally rise, right?
So the first lesson in Kingship, I believe, is called social play. And you will see this in animals. They will wrestle around on the ground, and there are a few rules to social play. One is they always take turns in who’s on top. The second is there are no real injuries that are caused by the play. And third is it doesn’t really escalate. Animals that get social play are successful at navigating, finding a mate, and defending themselves. Animals that don’t get social play either receive violence, act violently towards others, and are unsuccessful at getting mates. So it is really important for men as we raise our children, that we get down there and wrestle with them. But those rules are: don’t just stay on top the whole time, let the kid get on top, let the kid win, and then you win, alternate, teach them how to alternate with force and play.
When we do workshops with people, I will pair two men with each other, of about the same body weight, and tell them to shove each other alternatingly hard enough to knock the other person off balance. And often the question will be: “well, how hard do I push back?” And I immediately know this person got no social play. And I ask the group: “how hard do you push back?” And the rest of the group always says: “exactly as hard as they pushed you.” And that is the answer, right? So teaching people how to push, how to give a little force, receive a little force. In the workshop, I will say: “okay, one person can push a little harder than they should.” The other person goes falling back. Now there are two things that have to happen. First, the person that got pushed too hard has to be provokable. They have to say: “Hey, that is not cool.” And then the person who pushed too hard has to say: “my bad.” So what we’re learning is being provokable, saying: “Hey, that is not cool,” and then owning up for it and apologizing. And that is the basis of social play, right?
MARTIN: Oh, I am just remembering this exact sort of situation in my childhood, ages 4-15, and getting pushed and having to make a decision, thinking: “Oh, this person wants to go so hard, that if I am not strong enough, I am going to get beat up.” In fact, when somebody who is 20-30% bigger, heavier, or stronger, they will overpower you no matter what you try.
SPENCER: Yeah, you gotta know how to defend yourself in this world! Remember, it is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of a fight in the dog. In some of the most brutal street fights I’ve ever seen in the city, the smaller guy completely dominated the bigger guy that pushed him around. You know, it doesn’t take that much force to injure another human being. So let’s say someone pushes too hard, right? If we don’t push back, what have we taught that person? We’ve taught them that they can push us. So you have to decline that invitation. I will give you an example. Let’s say someone is shaking my hand, and they are crushing my hand. Maybe they got really strong hands, and they are really crushing my hand.
What are my options? This guy is hurting me, right? I could just say nothing. He knows he is hurting me, I know he is hurting me, and I am just waiting for the pain to stop, and at this point, the pecking order has been established, and I am inviting more violence in the future from this guy. That doesn’t work, right? I could give him a left hook and start fighting with him, but we would be fighting and that is not what I wanted either. You can go online and look up ‘release from handshake grips,’ you take the flat of the hand and you slap them hard on their wrist and pull your hand out. Not the edge of the hand, because that is going to hurt them, and now you are fighting. The goal is to hit this guy just hard enough. If you hit him too hard, it is a fight. If you don’t hit him hard enough, then you are inviting violence to yourself later. That is what social play teaches. It teaches how to get that fine line of just enough a reaction so that you minimize the amount of violence. Now, when you were 14 years old, would you have given that guy a good strong shove, he might’ve fought with you, or he might’ve been like, wow, Martin, you got some balls. All right. And then that would have been that, and you guys would have been best buds.
Now, there are two kinds of an interview. There’s the predatory interview, where someone is trying to determine if they can be criminal with you, like rob, rape, or whatever. They are just testing to see where you are on the pecking order. If you were to push too hard, now he has to respond, because he doesn’t want to go lower. But if you hit just hard enough, the same amount of force, you are not saying that you are lesser, and you are not saying you are greater, you are saying: Hey, I will accept equals with you. Nothing else. Most people will go with that. So, social play is the basis of being Alpha. It is understanding how to respond with the right amount of force to the situation as it presents. There are a couple of other things associated with it. Some body language and some verbal language. Let’s go through those.
The Beta wants to go back to the womb, or wants to go back to suck on the breast. So with Betas, you are going to see legs crossed, arms crossed, especially over the groin, head down, they are basically trying to get back to the fetal position. Or hands in pockets, they are trying to swaddle, they are saying: “I really don’t feel that comfortable in the world. I’d like to go back to the womb.” That is not a signal we want to be portraying. The proper body language should be chin up, shoulders back, legs apart, just in a relaxed state.
The actual language is another one. Now this one took the longest for me to kind of shift myself into. So the way in which Alphas, toxic Alphas, Betas, and Kings respond to situations is very different. A Beta will ask permission. A toxic Alpha we will just do it and don’t care, in kind of a threatening and intimidating way. A King will be bold, but within boundaries, they are not going to wait for permission for things that they have to do, but they are not going to go beyond the boundaries and be disrespectful of others. It is that social play. It is that fine line, right? A Beta complains, a toxic Alpha blames, and the King takes responsibility. So getting the complaining and the blaming out of our vocabulary is a very powerful thing to do as a man or a woman. Even though this is about being an Alpha male, this stuff is just as applicable for a woman, in many ways. A woman should understand her masculine side, her warrior side.
If she has to go out into the world and compete in a male-dominated industry, she is going to have to know the same rules on which everything plays out. Maybe she needs to raise boys to men, and there is no strong man around, she is going to have to pass these lessons on. It also is helpful because it will help her understand her mate better, and she will understand the kind of things he needs to do to become stronger. So – never complain, don’t blame, don’t defend yourself. If you are defending yourself, who is defending to whom? It is the Beta defending to the Alpha. The toxic Alpha version is interrogating. You get people that love to interrogate and put people on the defensive. So don’t interrogate, don’t be toxic like that, but don’t allow yourself to be interrogated.
If you want to explain something, you can do it, but don’t do it just because someone is riding you and demanding you to make an account for yourself. That takes us to apologies. And there is absolutely a place for apologies. And I came up with two different kinds of apologies, the hard apology and the soft apology. The hard apology is a tactical apology for a tactical mistake. You are doing something and you did it wrong. Nobody got their feelings hurt, but just say: “my bad, I could’ve done that better.” Right? Maybe it was something like when you are on a hunt, and you step on a twig and the sound alerts the prey and the prey runs off. You gotta be like: “my bad, I totally screwed that, guys.” The moment you apologize, no one can rag on you anymore. If you don’t apologize, they can keep ragging on you. So I like to apologize right up front because if someone then starts coming after me again from my mistake, I can be like, wait a minute, I apologized, we’re done.
MARTIN: Right, this is like owning the error and saying, I see my error, I acknowledge it, and I am sorry for it.
SPENCER: Right, but how do we do it specifically? The moment I take responsibility for a screw-up, if someone keeps riding on me, then I get to say: “wait a minute, you are being aggressive, you are riding me now, and that is not cool.” The second kind of apology is a soft apology. That is where you hurt somebody’s feelings. You say something inappropriate, you were insensitive, and that is where you are like: “Hey, I am sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” So we have a tactical hard apology, and a soft apology. A Beta will do soft apologies for everything. Toxic Alpha, if they apologize at all, will make a tactical apology for everything. Even if they make somebody cry, they go like: “Oh, my bad.” No, you need to show at least a little emotion, show a little compassion! And for the Beta, who is like: “Oh, I am so sorry about that, oh my God.” Dude, it was a tactical error, you didn’t hurt my feelings, learn from it and let it go.
MARTIN: I have a friend who was being made fun of because he would apologize to the woman in the room if somebody swore or said something, he would say: ” oh, darling, I am really sorry that you had to hear that.”
SPENCER: What he could have done is say to the person who swore: “Hey, you know what, there are women and ladies in the room, don’t talk like that, that is not cool.” That is how a King would have responded, right? It would fix the situation and address the person.
MARTIN: Interesting. Those are really interesting examples, and I am sure people as they are listening will be able to come up with a lot of references in their own lives of how this plays out, right?
SPENCER: It was quite a time before I was able to consistently follow these rules for myself. The most difficult one for me was self-deprecation. If anyone ever said: “Hey Spencer, that was fantastic,” I’d always come back with: “Oh no, it was not that great.” And you know, it took me so long just to say “thank you, I appreciate that.” So you know, just nobody is all Alpha or all Beta, right? We all have mannerisms of each, some of us are a little bit of a Tyrant here, and a little passive there, and a little Kingly here. So just observe yourself and if any of these things are things that you recognize, maybe it is something you might consider changing
MARTIN: Indeed. The situation is that indeed there’s only one boss in the office, there’s only one Alpha in any one place, and we need to recognize that, if there are too many Alphas in any one grouping, you end up with conflict. So we have to understand that we can be little Alpha in our little teams, but we need at same time sort of recognition when we’re beyond our reach.
SPENCER: Well, here is how I would resolve that situation, Martin. Tyrants like to make everyone else suppressed because they are threatened by other strong men. It threatens their leadership. A King wants as many other Kings as possible. A King knows that the more Kings there are in the world, the better the world is. Men have failed women in our society. One out of three women is being raped. That is a failure for the men, men are stronger than women, we can’t ask the women necessarily to defend themselves against someone who’s got a hundred pounds of muscle on them. Every woman that got raped was someone else’s sister or mother or daughter. So I don’t blame the women for being pissed off at the men that they are failing to lead.
I would say there is room for as many Kings as possible. The more the better. A King wants as many Kings as possible, he wants as many strong, noble, courageous men by his side as possible, because he knows the world is full of predators. So sure, in the office there is one alpha, that is a leadership role. But that doesn’t mean you have to be submissive, that means you are supportive, you still hold your frame, you still have your self-respect, you still speak the proper way, you still respond the proper way. And if that boss is out of line, you still call them out. If you are in a tribe and one guy is the best hunter, even though you might all be kingly, this guy is calling the shots, he has got the most experience. But then you get back to the tribe, and someone’s been injured, and suddenly a different guy is calling the shots because he can deal with the wound, and a different one is a guy who is figuring out what are we going to do to improve our weaponry. So it is okay to have lots of Alpha men all working together. It is the tyrant that can’t work with other powerful men. You can get a whole room full of Kings, and each of them know when it is time for them to listen to the person who has greater experience.
MARTIN: Indeed there are situations for which we individually are best, and we should recognize that. And this opposite of self-deprecation is stepping up and saying: “let me do this. I know that I can do this.”
SPENCER: If a King goes to a foreign kingdom, and he meets with another King, is he any less of the King himself? No, he is still a King. He will always be a King. Martin, you will always be a King in every situation! And our women want this of us. Not only do they need us to help keep the predators at bay, which we have failed to do, it is also what they are attracted to, and rightfully so. They want a strong man. So that is what book two is about, An Invitation to Kingship.
MARTIN: Oh, there’s much more in that book than what we just discussed, it is beautiful. Thank you again for sharing it with the world, especially in the selfless manner. Anybody can access it for free at www.spiritualsecretagent.com. Do you feel like talking about the third book?
SPENCER: So the third book is about a personal development journey, it is called Purifying the Five Elements. Once I realized that I had to change myself so profoundly from this mostly Beta male into something different, into the version of Kingly Spencer, I thought: “well, in what other ways do I need to change?” And so the third book is going further into other manners in which a personality can be deconstructed and reconstructed. The process is called linguistic upgrades. The book talks about five elements as a way to divide the world. We have air, fire, water, earth, and space. From physics, it could be motion, energy, spin, gravity, and ether. You know, we could see this playing out in lots of different ways. I am mostly interested in how it plays out psychologically. So, these elements play out as fear, anger, depression, materialism, and apathy. So one thing that you can do is when you are noticing your narrative slightly shifted, now it is important that the shift be slight, if the shift is too great, it is inauthentic. You know in the positivist movement, a lot of them have committed suicide, unfortunately, because they were all about: “serenity now, serenity now,” but it is not real. What you can do if you want to be more serene, you have to be honest with what your brain is capable of doing.
All of our mental paths are myelinated pathways in our mind, and we can over time, demyelinate one path and remyelinate another, but it is a slow process, like pruning a tree. So if you want to play around with this a little bit, if you notice you are using a lot of fear language, like “I am afraid of,” or “I am scared of,” upgrade it to: “I am mindful, I am aware of what can happen.” It is a little shift, it is the same energy, air energy, but it is milder. If you are angry with something, don’t say: “Oh, I am so furious that so-and-so did this.” Instead, you can say “wow, that is really inconvenient.” If somebody cuts you off in traffic, if some drunk driver just puts a huge scratch in your brand new car and you are thinking to yourself, “Boy, that is inconvenient.” How strong do you have to be to be able to reframe something that would piss everybody else off as an inconvenience? When you reframe it in these milder forms, you are strengthening your character. If you are feeling a need for something, that would be the earth element, “I need to have this, I want to have this,” just say “I prefer,” or “I prefer to have this happen.” That way if you don’t get it, it is not going to drive you crazy, but you are honest with the fact that you have a preference.
Now, the water element. If you are experiencing sadness, “I am heartbroken that this happened, so sad that this happened.” Upgrade it by saying: “I am disappointed that this happened.” It is disappointing. “Yeah, I got divorced. Yeah, that is disappointing.” If you have the strength of character to be able to reframe these things in honest, but slightly less intense, or much less intense forms, you are kind of gaining your power back from your own narrative.
MARTIN: Yeah, and then you can upgrade it to: “boy, am I glad that I got to learn all of these lessons!”
SPENCER: Yeah, there are lots of ways that you can start working with the way the mind works. And then you can start shutting the mind down entirely if you want. And there are tricks on using paradox to actually turn the mind off. Read the book if you want to get into that deeply.
MARTIN: Awesome. Indeed, there is plenty of room for personal growth. For all of us who want to achieve more, be more, be better, better fulfill our mission on the planet, Spencer has done an awesome job of explaining things and making logical structures that we can learn from. I encourage everyone to take a serious look at these books, and I am just so grateful that you are willing to take time to share this, thank you, Spencer!
SPENCER: Those are very kind words, thank you, Martin.
MARTIN: So this was Spencer Feldman! You can download all his e-books for free at Spiritual Secret Agent, you can also find his products at Life Enthusiast Health Store, his brand is Remedy Link, Spencer is a phenomenal health engineer who has developed things with great deal of understanding and talent. Take a look! If you have questions about any of this, call me at (866) 543 3388! Thank you for listening!