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Public Put-Downs: Turning Humiliation Into Harmony

Episode #802

Ever found yourself on the receiving end of a put-down from your partner in a public setting? It’s more common than you think, and it’s definitely not a reflection of your worth. In this insightful episode of the TPM Show, join Doug Holt as he delves deep into the delicate dynamics of public embarrassment and criticism within intimate relationships. With humor, empathy, and expert guidance, Doug unpacks why these painful interactions happen and how you can respond powerfully and respectfully to rebuild respect and understanding.

This episode is not just about navigating the waters of relationship dynamics; it’s a lifeline for any man feeling isolated or diminished by public criticism from their partner. Doug shares personal anecdotes, distinguishing between playful banter and hurtful put-downs, and sheds light on the underlying issues of resentment that often fuel these moments. More importantly, he equips you with tangible, respectful strategies to address these situations head-on, reestablish your boundaries, and initiate healing conversations that pave the way for a stronger, more respectful partnership.

Whether you’re struggling with this issue currently or want to fortify your relationship against potential challenges, this episode offers a wealth of knowledge, strategies, and reassurance. Tune in to learn how to transform moments of humiliation into opportunities for growth and connection. Because in the journey of partnership, respect, and understanding are the compasses that guide us to deeper love and mutual admiration.

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Doug Holt  0:00  

What are you willing to put up with? What is acceptable in your life? What’s acceptable in your marriage? How are people allowed to treat you? How are people allowed to talk to you? If you haven’t actually sat down and thought about this? Odds are they treat yacou any way they want? Certain things you might stand up, most things you probably don’t. Because if you become a doormat for your wife or other people, they’re gonna walk all over you. And they’re not getting served to their highest level. Right? My wife is a better woman a better human, when she respects my boundaries. She’s not her best when she’s, if she’s putting me down, she’s definitely not performing at our best. I mean, she’s hurting inside

Hey, guys, have you ever been in a situation where your wife embarrasses you in public or puts you down and demeans you? Well, you’re not alone. This happens actually, to a lot of men. And today, in this episode of the TPM show, I’m going to talk to you about why this happens, and how you can rise above this powerfully to get what you want your results. So this whole concept of your partner, your wife, embarrassing you in public, now, there’s two different things here, right? So I want to really delineate the differences between joking around and putting somebody down. Because for some of us, we grew up in households least I did, where sarcasm was the first language in the house, I grew up in house with older brothers. And so kind of making fun of each other was how we communicated. It’s how we showed love if as weird as that may sound, but that doesn’t transfer over to our marriages. And there’s a difference, right? There’s a difference between your wife giving you a hard time and joking with your buddies about something versus her putting you down and embarrassing you in public. And that difference is the intent. Right? The intent with a joke is I can joke around with my wife where she can joke around about meat round with me. And it’s jovial, it’s fun. But it’s a difference when I become the butt of the joke of all the jokes, or she’s really putting a grievance forward. And what I mean by that is the subtle differences. My wife could joke about me gaining weight, or whatever it may be. Or maybe she’s joking about the fact that I sleep in on Saturday. So I’m trying to make this up. Because this doesn’t happen in my marriage anymore. It used to be me, that was the one that did this, by the way. But the joke becomes, you know, she’s joking about Doug always sleeps, and Haha, you know, he, he’d missed a Saturday breakfast. If I didn’t wake him up, it’d be a joke. Now, if she resented the fact that I slept in, it would come across differently, right? She would be talking about how Doug is lazy. Now that’s different. Lazy is a character flaw. It’s not something funny that happened. She is now complaining about my character and putting down my character, the distinct difference. 

So let me set the scene. Why does this happen? Well, the reason this happens is because resentment builds in relationships, especially marriages, where you’re the closest with your partner. Over the years, resentment has built between you and your wife on certain subjects or certain matters. For most men, you become a nice guy, you thought, okay, crap, my wife’s not happy. So I’m going to do something to make her more happy. I’m going to buy the gifts, I’m going to buy the lake house, I’m going to prove to her how great of a man I am. She should only be as lucky to be with me, only to find out that she is putting you down more and more. Her respect for you is going down despite all the great things you’re doing. And this happens when it comes in public. She will say something embarrassing about you. Or she’ll talk about her resentments with you. And it could look like just imagine your name is Craig. And I’ve seen this happen before. She could say something like, you know, if Craig ever actually got things done, then we’d actually have a good house. Right? It’s the tonality there, right? The tonality differential. She’s really complaining about Craig in this instance, right? Or she’s Oh, and another one that happens a lot is a woman might compare another man to you. Right? And she might do it in front of your friends. And let’s use Craig again and say you’re not Craig. But say Craig built his wife and amazing deck in their backyard, and her wife in his wife is bragging about it. And she might say in front of all your friends or a group of people, she might say something to the effect of, ah, if my husband only had the skills, do something like that, that sure would be nice. He can even use a hammer. Right? It’s the tonality that comes that could be a joke, but that’s not because in this case, she’s putting him down you in this case, putting them down and lowering your level, right? 

There’s a difference between laughing with somebody and making them part of the joke versus making them the butt of the comment and making them the butt of the joke. So you get the idea. You kind of have this innate feeling right? When you’re being made fun of versus you’re part of the joke and part of the laughter. We can kind of innate and innately tell and everybody else can tell and make some uncomfortable. So here are a few strategies that if you find yourself in this situation with your wife, and I’m guessing a lot of you do, just working with 1000s of men through our Activation Method. We get to hear this right? Quite often men are honest with us because we’re honest with them. And so when I hear this, it saddens me because one, this shouldn’t be happening to, I know your wife’s hurting when she’s doing this. And this is her way of lashing out like a child lashes out. And men do this, too. Like I said, I used to do this to my wife a little bit, because I was overly sarcastic, because I thought, that’s how you communicate, my wife wasn’t that way. So it hurt her feelings. So we had to do some cleanup in that area. But if your wife is doing this to you, here’s some strategies you can use. First one, and the one my wife and I employ now is if they’re ever the feeling of this, we gently laugh it off and pull the other person aside immediately. And it can be as simple as, Hey, babe, can I talk to you for a second? Can I talk to you alone for a second, you gently pull her aside, and you say, hey, look, that wasn’t cool, what you just did, I don’t I won’t put up with being put down in public or anywhere else. That’s not acceptable for me. And so what I’m doing here is I’m establishing a very clear boundary. And most people don’t establish boundaries, or aren’t aware of how to do it. Now we’ve done a bunch of podcast episodes on how to establish boundaries, it’s very important skill, when the you like me probably have never learned how to do it properly. And equally as important is holding those boundaries firm. Right? 

So if I give my wife a boundary, like you cannot talk to me, I will not allow you or anybody else to talk about me this way, in public, or any other time. Right? That’s my boundary, which it is for me. Now, if I don’t enforce that boundary, it doesn’t exist. It’s not a boundary. It’s, uh, that’d be nice, right? That’d be nice if that happens. So the key is having those boundaries and forced. The second thing I want you to know is, I gently pulled her aside, so I isolated her from the conversation I did immediately, right, because otherwise more resentment builds, she’s gonna get pissed, I’m gonna get pissed. Next, you know, there’s, there’s a couple in front of you fighting, right? Nobody wants to be around a couple of fighting. So you pull each other aside, you have that conversation, you make sure it’s very clear, I will not put up this as a boundary for me, you’ve setting that boundary. The second, the third thing you’ll notice is my tonality changes. I go, I go into my dad voice, if you will, right, I go into, Hey, babe, I will not allow you or anybody else to put me down in public or anywhere else. If you have a comment, when I have a conversation with me, pull me aside privately. And we can talk about it, this is not cool. So that’s the way I would handle it most likely, in that situation. Now get everybody’s relationships different. And if your relationship is on the rocks, first of all, you should do The Activation Method get reactivated, right, some proven methodology. And I’m not just pushing this, but to push it because it works. And I want you guys to have those tools. These are the tools that I use in my marriage, but also so you can get back and have these conversations and understand how to hold these boundaries firm. Because if it’s been years or decades of you not holding boundaries firm, you’re going to get pushed back. And as you should, your wife can attest that another thing I do, and I’ll do this too, with people and I do this, jokingly a new group of guys or something that don’t know who I am, and I don’t maybe know who they are. 

You’re kind of juggling jockeying for position. Some guy says something out of line. Obviously, as a man, you kind of want to rise up, right? Your chest gets puffed up, okay? This is not cool. But instead of saying that you can joke back with them, and you can do this with your wife. So let’s just let’s just reset the whole frame. Let’s imagine we’re in a group here together with friends. And we’re talking and my wife says something like, Oh, you’re sorry, I’m trying to think of something she could say about me. But maybe it’s about a dog so lazy. He doesn’t even get up on the weekends and help out with the kids. You know, it’s ridiculous. I have to do it all myself. So she’s complaining and putting me down. I might just gently turn to her look at and go, are you okay? No, no, are you okay? What that’s going to do is pattern interrupt what I mean by that, it’s going to stop her pattern of complaining, she might even realize she’s doing this. Right. She’s got internal resentment against me sleeping in In this analogy. But what it also does is stops everybody else. And it points the spotlight on her and her rudeness right away. And basically, what I’m insinuating in here, is that there’s something wrong with her, for her to communicate to me that way, because nobody talks to me that way. Like, so I’ll do that. Again. The tonality is really important, guys.

Like, are you okay? Like, so I’m showing concern, like the fact that she would even say something like this. Nine times out of 10, if not 10 times out of 10. And for me, it’s always been 10 times out of 10. It stops the person in their tracks. And usually they start apologizing. They’re backpedaling. They realize, oh, my gosh, I’m being such a jerk here. When everybody else looks at them, not you. Because they go yeah, that person’s being a jerk. And so this really helps you right? So first thing I do again, is isolate my wife. I’m going to talk to her about it right. My wife and I have these boundaries. We have these expectations. Second thing if that doesn’t work, or I’m in another social situation. I love the use of Are you okay? All right, that’s another one. The third thing you could do which I don’t recommend, but you can do it is just laugh it off, make it seem like it’s a big joke. The problem with this, though, is what most guys do the problem, the reason I don’t recommend it, is you’re gonna harbor resentment and you’re gonna put a fake facade, right? And you’re also telling everybody else around you that you’re the beta, right? Your wife’s the alpha, you’re the beta, or they’re the alpha, you’re the beta, and everybody can pile on to you. It’s different is one thing about being able to take a good joke, and not take yourself too seriously. There’s another thing about being the butt of all the jokes, and being abused. And unfortunately, for most men, that line is really blurred, right, it’s very, very blurred. And you need to have a clear delineation. And that starts with understanding what you’re willing to put your up with. Right? What are you willing to put up with? What is acceptable in your life? What’s acceptable in your marriage? How are people allowed to treat you? How are people allowed to talk to you, if you haven’t actually sat down and thought about this? Odds are, they treat you any way they want. 

Certain things you might stand up, most things you probably don’t, and I’m not putting you down at all I was in a situation to you just don’t know where that barrier is. We’re taught to be nice people be civil human beings. And you should be you should be nice, you should be civil. But you should be nice to yourself first, right? You should gotta protect your own house. Because if you become a doormat for your wife, or other people, they’re gonna walk all over you. And they’re not getting served to their highest level. Right? My wife is a better woman, a better human, when she respects my boundaries, right? Because she’s being more respectful. She’s being more loving. It puts her in her natural center or natural nature. She’s not her best when she’s, if she’s putting me down, she’s definitely not performing at our best. I mean, she’s hurting inside, there’s resentment. And so that’s the last thing I’ll bring up to you guys is if someone puts you down and your wife in particular, there’s, there’s resentment there. And you need to clean that up. You need to come back to it. So I’ll use the scenario again. Right? So my wife, let’s say she says Doug’s so lazy, he just sleeps in all weekend, doesn’t help out with the kids. He’s useless. Right? Again, what I’m going to do is say, Can we talk for a second, you know, and I’ll pull her aside in front of everybody, I’ll pull her aside, I’ll say, hey, look, you will not talk to me about that. I won’t let anybody talk to me like that. In fact, I’ve done this guys in a business meeting, where I had somebody else, talk to me aggressively, I stopped them in the middle of the meeting for everybody and had this conversation. And they apologized in front of everybody. And now everybody in this business meeting knew my boundaries. And I was firm like, I was firm. And you people get it really quickly, boom, you don’t mess with Doug, you don’t talk to him that way. That’s for sure. And this is when I was in a business as an interim CEO of a company. So I did some front of their board. So point is you can do so for your wife to be can also apply this to business. So I pull my wife aside and have that conversation, hey, look, you will not talk to me that way. And nobody else will. I don’t want to be disrespected that way. And then I might also throw in, look, if you really have a problem with me sleeping in, let’s have a conversation about that. What about my act is really what’s really bothering you here. Right, and I’ll let her spill the beans, she’s going to start spilling up. While you don’t do this, you don’t do that. And that’s fine. I’m just going to listen. 

Okay, gosh, I’m not going to use what The Hidden Motives Technique, which we’ve done a whole training on this, if you’re interested, we do have a whole training just on The Hidden Motives Technique that we just released. Right. So that is available to you. We’ve done tons of podcasts, if you want advanced training, you need to go through The Activation Method. But basically, I’m going to go in her shoes, like I’m going to fill it in, I’m going to go into the hole with her go, man, I’d imagine if I felt that way that my partner was being lazy, I would be upset too. This is what’s occurring for me. And what I want for us is I want for us as Bill to go out in public, have a great time with friends and laugh and be each other’s rock and support. Does that work for you? Now I’m getting buy in from her. Yes. Everybody wants to be the power couple, right? Of course she does. She may not be in the place to be the power couple with you today, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be the power couple with an oath with somebody, and she wanted it with you at one time, or she wouldn’t have said I do. You just might have too much mud on the glass or resentment right now. And you needed to have the you need to do a Clean Slate Method, right, which we teach and also using The Hidden Motives Technique to get in there. So you got to set your boundaries. You got to clean up that communication puller aside. If you don’t have the ability to pour side use a line like, are you okay? And then pour aside. Whatever, whatever is the most appropriate thing for that moment. Where you do not want to do is just be the doormat and bite your tongue doesn’t work guys, sweeping under the rug, hoping you’ll get better does not work. It hasn’t worked for you in the past. It’s not going to work for you today and it’s not going to work for you in the future. You’re not going to survive off hopium that things are just gonna get better on their own. You have to attack this aggressively. And when I say aggressively, it doesn’t mean being a jerk. You don’t have to be a jerk. You don’t have to be mean. Just be assertive. That’s a better word for it with this whole thing. And then once you’ve done that cleanup and find out what her resentment is and if you agree, agree with her. 

If you did agree with her hold your ground. This doesn’t mean just because she thinks you’re being lazy that you’re that you think you’re being lazy. You don’t have to acquiesce to everything that she believes or thinks, you get to be your own man and hold your own line. Again, this does not give you a license to be a dick. I’m just telling you now, some guys swing that pendulum too far the other way, and I gotta pull you guys back, right got to be centered and being yourself. This is why you have to become activated, reactivated like you used to be everyone used to have that Mojo within you a little walk in your step, people listened, you had the world by the balls, I want that back for you the best, there’s two things that you need to do to do that at my experience. But you know, it’s The Activation Method, you got to go through that first thing, you have to do an The Alpha Reset, in my opinion, look, my life doesn’t change if you do these things, but your life will. And I want that for you. Hold your ground, hold your ground firmly. There’s no reason that anybody should deliberately embarrass you or put you down in public, there’s no reason there’s no cause for it. All they’re trying to do is raise their status by showing that they’re better you and then demeaning you to make themselves feel good, and make themselves feel popular in front of other people. And that’s just not cool. You didn’t sign up for that you don’t deserve it. So pull them aside, hold your boundaries. Remember, boundaries are things you have to hold firm. And if I make a boundary, I need to make sure there’s consequences for anybody that passes that boundary. And You’re darn sure I do that. Right. So you need to do that as well. Make sure you have those boundaries. Make sure you know what you’re willing to put up with and what you’re not. And then follow one of those two techniques that I gave you, right? Either pull your wife aside, which is my recommendation, or to just laugh at you kind of go, are you okay? And turn the spotlight on her so she can realize for herself, that she’s being a jerk, and then pull her aside. 

But have that firm conversation today. Whatever it is, and you’ll find yourself training your wife and people around you, not to disrespect you, not even in public, but just don’t disrespect you. Right? You deserve the respect of being the man that you are. You’ve made it this far in life. Right? If you’re married and you have kids, well, congratulations to you. Because you’ve done a lot in this world already. You deserve to be respected. And you get to be respectful of others. And just like kids, sometimes the respectful and loving thing is holding a firm line or firm boundary so that you can direct them to the right way. Gentlemen, as always say in the moment of insight take massive action. And this one especially it’s I’m very passionate about it because I want you guys to have the best I love you guys. That’s why I’m here. I want you guys to feel that love, respect and admiration that you felt when you said I do to your wife, and also in other areas of your life with business, the boardroom and the bedroom. So do that today guys. We’ll see you next time on the TPM show.