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- The Secret Relationship Superpower - Integrity
I’ve been working in the relationship field for quite a while. One thing that happens so often I can almost set my watch by it is I’m asked to boil down complex concepts into a single soundbite. People ask me for the one thing they can do right away to put whatever I’ve been teaching into action. That’s tough to do. After all I teach about avoiding abusive relationships, ending attraction to emotionally broken men, having a better life. They seem different on the surface. But there’s one underlying principle and skill that helps enormously with all of it. Integrity. That doesn’t mean integrity is always highlighted or even mentioned in the research I read. It’s often hidden in the descriptions or alluded to but not spoken about outright. In some ways it’s treated like a powerful secret that should only be whispered. Yet, integrity is the one thing that underlies every fundamental relationship or personal growth approach that demonstrate strong, lasting results. It’s such a core concept you can think of it as another superpower, something that will set you apart from the crowd and improve your life across the board, personally and professionally. Integrity – from Theory to Application According to Oxford Languages, having integrity means, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”. That’s nice but difficult to translate into practical information that can be used in your life. When I use the term “integrity” I mean saying what you’ll do, and then doing what you say. It definitely includes a foundation of truthfulness and honesty. But in application it’s a simple credo by which to live your life. How does it help? Having integrity assists you by increasing the trust others have of you. If you become a person of your word, you no longer have to yell, or threaten, or count to ten or else. Those around you know you won’t say you’ll do something unless you’re willing and able to back it up. You won’t declare a course of action, you won’t promise, unless you’re willing to move heaven and earth to manifest it. Integrity is a subtle superpower because it allows you to be softer and still demonstrate strength. You can use a reasonable tone of voice. In fact, a reasonable tone is recommended because it shows more personal potency than shouting. Say if you do this, then this will be the consequence. Once you have integrity, the people around you will believe it. Gaining Integrity In the last chapter of Fascination with the Devil, we cover the necessary steps to fundamentally improve your romantic taste. That requires real change. Transforming yourself is very difficult without integrity. Because the most important person to believe you when you say something is you. I wish all aspects of personal growth were as simple to implement as integrity. It only requires small steps, and anyone can do it. The first step is a simple decision that you are always responsible for how you respond to the people and circumstances in your life. Then you take the second step, deciding you’re going to be a person of your word because nothing else is as important. You’ll be upfront and say what you’ll do, then do what you say. Always and without excuses. What this means is that if you’ve told your family you’ll bring home some fruit and milk, and you get to the front door and realize you forgot, you don’t even stop. It’s okay to put your purse inside and perhaps change into comfortable clothes and shoes. Then you immediately go back out and get what you promised to bring home. If dinner is on the table, tell them to put a plate in the oven. No justifications, no rationalizations, even if they say they won’t mind if you delay. You said you’d do it, so you do it. You don’t have to tell anyone you’re building your personal integrity. In fact, it’s best kept to yourself. You don’t want anyone else’s energy on your efforts, especially those who would doubt you or try to discourage or undermine you. And you keep going. You become really careful and thoughtful before you promise to do anything at home or at work. You know if you say it, you’ll have follow through and complete the task. This is a core strength you’re building in yourself. It matters more than pleasing a boss or impressing your kids. Every time you keep your word, even if the commitment was only internally made to yourself, your confidence will grow. Your trust in yourself will build. Other people will begin trusting you, too, even if they can’t put their finger on why they believe you whenever you say something. Gaining integrity is simple to do and it usually doesn’t take a great deal of time before it starts to set in. I won’t claim it’s easy, because if personal integrity is new to you, it may be challenging at first. And consistency is key. You’ll have to stop yourself from slipping into your old ways, whether that’s making excuses for not following through, or allowing someone to get away with something when you told them you’d hold them fully accountable. If you slip up, that’s okay. Tell yourself you’re just not there yet. And start again. Integrity is something anyone and everyone can possess. The Rewards of Inegrity Having integrity is worth it. Even without considering anyone else, if you have personal integrity you can coach yourself through difficult tasks or gain new skills by telling yourself, “You’ve got this.” Just like everyone else, you’ll believe in yourself when you declare something. With integrity you’ll be viewed as someone genuine, moral and trustworthy. Reliable, dependable, honest will also be words used to describe you. You can imagine how your professional profile will improve if those who work with you describe you this way. It will give your kids, even if they’re teenagers, a solid role model to follow. Your partner will admire you for it, and know that you’re not someone who will accept poor treatment or betrayal. You’ll also become less tolerant of people without integrity. In this case, intolerance is actually a good thing. One of the key aspects across the various types of emotionally dangerous men is low integrity. They cannot be trusted. Either they deceive in order to cheat on their partner, they manipulate through promises they never intend to honor, or they exploit other people’s emotions or past histories to get their way. These are all behaviors people of integrity don’t do. The more you build your integrity, the wider the gap will become between you and any type of emotionally dangerous man. My only point of caution here is as you build your integrity, keep your eyes open. Don’t believe other people will keep their word just because you do. Pay attention to see if they keep their word about small things. Those without integrity on small matters won’t have integrity about big ones. You don’t have to dislike them or reject them. You just don’t trust them to follow through and don’t rely on their integrity for anything that’s important to your life. If you’re following me on my website because you’re looking for a better relationship, trying to emotionally leave a disastrous relationship behind, or even advising someone else, know that integrity is a key factor in what we’re doing. All of the best relationships have mutual integrity as a cornerstone in their foundation. Bad relationships don’t. I want you to have the best relationships possible, personal and professional. #DrDinaMcmillan #TheSecretRelationshipSuperpower #Integrity #FascinationwiththeDevil
- How to Attract an Alpha Male
I’ve spent a lot of time in my career helping women lose their attachment to destructive men. In my new book, Fascination with the Devil: Why Women Love Emotionally Dangerous Men, we go over the stops to do this in detail. I even finish the book with realistic tips to help women lose their attraction to the kind of men who break their hearts. Reading the book, you’ll learn how cultural norms teach women that bad men can be transformed by a good woman. If you believe it, you’ll probably reinforce this myth in your own mind. You’ll continue telling yourself and everyone else that wanting hurtful men is just how you love. In your heart, you’ll expect to be able to change him no matter how broken he is or how destructive. That common love myth is a complete deception. It’s pushed generations of women into an abyss of endless heartache. If you’re smart, you’re ready to move past those limiting beliefs and behaviors. But to what kind of man? You need a clear idea because nature abhors a vacuum. It’s not fair to teach you how to stay away from bad guys without giving you a clear, realistic path towards the kind of man who should take his place. If you’re looking for a lasting, passionate relationship with a man you can respect, love and trust, then you want a True Alpha Male. Let’s be clear what I mean by this. An Alpha Male Most people realize the term ‘alpha’ describes someone at the top, the pinnacle, the best. I began studying them years ago because I wanted to identify the category of men who are the most desirable and the least risky life partners for women. Please don’t rely on Google to find information on these guys. I actually looked to see what it says about alpha males. First up is advice that Alpha Males love to be listened to and praised, and want a woman with an impressive fashion sense. True Alpha Males are the optimal males. They’re capable, confident, and natural leaders. They’re self-reliant enough not to need excessive compliments or batting eyelashes. Most aren’t superficial enough to care about your fashion sense, especially if it means it takes you two hours to get dressed and you won’t go anywhere without a thick layer of makeup. Google definitely has this wrong. Not All Created Equal I’ll admit there are two types of Alpha Males. There’s a type of male I label the Alpha Imitator. This is the kind of guy who’s very determined, confident, and is often very accomplished. He’s not shy and speaks his mind. Other guys look up to him because he commands attention. He stands his ground and can be protective of what he believes and those he supports. The Alpha Imitator is also arrogant and willing to exploit others to get what he wants. He’s usually promiscuous and views women as objects to serve and please him. His flexible moral code doesn’t just show up in his sex life, where conquest of a range of partners is his way of proving his virility to other men. These guys often cut corners in business and will do whatever they can get away with if they can see a possible profit. The Alpha Imitator wants a partner who’s a trophy and whom he dominates completely. So your fashion sense and ability to do professional-level makeup probably would be a requirement here. He would also expect to be treated with constant praise if not outright awe. He’d see it as his due. Also evident would be a sense of ownership of his female sex partners and their acceptance of his moral double standard. That misogyny you may have feared when I mentioned ‘masculine’ earlier is a fixed component of the Alpha Imitator. My work in Fascination with the Devil isn’t designed to lead you to an Alpha Imitator. In fact, a good portion of the book covers men who constantly cheat – including Alpha Imitators. A man who cheats on his wife and partner will also swindle and deceive in other areas of his life. These are the kinds of emotionally dangerous men you need to steer clear of at all costs, no matter how charming they may be or what sort of bribes they offer for your attention. Their ultra-selfishness and lack of personal accountability will always turn against you. As for sexuality, an Alpha Imitator will not only be disloyal, he probably won’t even hide his infidelity. He’d expect you to accept it in return for the status of being his partner. I don’t care who you are, you can do better. A True Alpha Male is an honorable man who bonds strongly with his partner. He’s careful in his choice because once he commits he’s all in. Some of the advice I give, the part that seems a little conservative, is because I want you to be compatible with a True Alpha Male. If you need the ego stroke of being desired by multitudes of random men, if you dress to signal your sexual availability far and wide, you’ll make a True Alpha hesitate. He’s trustworthy and wants a woman he can trust in return. Alphas in Relationships While both the True Alpha and the Alpha Imitator are confident, masculine and highly capable, there are two traits that differentiate them like oil and water. Selfishness and personal integrity. It doesn’t take long to figure out the Alpha Imitator is extremely selfish. He’ll do a lot, but only if he receives public acclaim and perhaps financial rewards for his efforts. His ego is huge and anything he does for others comes with an expectation of unending applause. He brags a lot, something a True Alpha doesn’t feel the need to do. Imitators also have no personal integrity. An Imitator will follow the rules only if getting caught is likely and would be expensive. They won’t do anything that would interfere with their desire to expand their territory, their kingdom. They’ll break the rules, but always with a plan to avoid accountability if caught. On the other hand, a True Alpha does what’s right and fair even if no one sees him. He thinks about the consequences of his actions. Unlike the Imitator, he has the ability to empathize with other people, and considers what life is like for others, including his partner. He’s highly protective of others, especially anyone vulnerable, even when no one is around to give him an award for protecting those in need. I meet a lot of men in my work. A good number of them have been True Alphas (thank goodness). They have strong principles that stand behind, but I’ve not met one who’s a misogynist or who believes in bullying others because he doesn’t share their values. They have critical thinking, though, so they’re not as easy-going as Beta Males, who usually follow the crowd and support whatever’s on trend. A True Alpha Male will say no, tell you why, and won’t back down because his viewpoint is currently unpopular. How to Attract a True Alpha Male You probably expected was going to be a “but” somewhere. The issue here is that aTrue Alpha Male wants a partner who’s compatible. I mentioned in the last blog that I’ll be hosting online courses to teach how to attract and keep one of these men. True Alpha Males have high standards. If you try to get away with some of the things your toxic Ex accepted, you’ll lose him, or he just won’t commit to you. True Alpha Males want women with boundaries, standards, confidence and competence. They don’t expect you to be skilled in the same ways as they are, and will appreciate the differences. Most are protective and want to do things for you. In return, they want a woman who isn’t afraid to be affectionate, supportive, nurturing. They’re seeking a partner who needs them and helps give them a sense of purpose without being clingy or desperate. If that’s making you wince a little, I’m sorry about that. But men who are comfortable with their masculinity usually want women who are comfortable with their femininity. That doesn’t mean they’re looking for submissive women who just do whatever they’re told. They’d be bored by that and wouldn’t trust it. They want a woman with a mind of her own and things she’s passionate about and enjoys. They’ll treat their woman with respect and will demand she respect them, as well. If that still bugs you, think about the whole package and consider the alternatives. And here’s another little point. A True Alpha Male will appeal to you on a primal level. When you meet one, he may not even be your type. He certainly won’t match the emotionally dangerous man you left behind. But your hormones and pheromones will start singing. This is the kind of man worth keeping. #DrDinaMcmillan #HowToAttractAnAlphaMale #AlphaMale #FascinationwiththeDevil
- Why Do Women Like Toxic Men?
I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question. Why do women like toxic men? You may even have asked why do I like toxic men? Why can’t I be attracted to a guy who’s strong, loving and loyal? Why do only bad boys give me that rush, make my heart accelerate and my mouth go dry? Why is it only heartbreakers who fill my fantasies? If you’re reading this, you’re not alone. I published my recent book for a reason, and called it Fascination with the Devil: Why women love emotionally dangerous men (Ocean Reeve Publishing, 2023). The book walks you through the many reasons the wrong men can be appealing to many of us. It leaves you with effective instructions to fundamentally change your taste. I’m going to offer some online courses that take you step-by-step through the process to increase your chances of success. In the meantime, let’s explore a few of the main reasons women like toxic men. When these relationship end they wonder want kind of mind fog possessed them. Because they want a decent guy, don’t they? Why Do Women Like Toxic Men-Reason One: The Brain, Part 1 The first reason many women are drawn to toxic men is their brain. The human brain loves intensity.[i] You can tell this by studies measuring attraction levels of strangers put together on roller coasters and other adrenaline-rich activities. Even though the increased heart rate was driven by fear and speed and gravity, people tended to be more sexually attracted to whatever viable partner participated with them. Another factor. There’s a great deal of uncertainty when dealing with toxic men. Research shows intermittent, unpredictable rewards weave a stronger, more resilient emotional bond than reliable rewards.[ii] This works in both humans and other animals. As a result, a man who’s predictably moderate and nice will not be as immediately alluring as one who’s affectionate one day and cold the next, with no clear reason for the switch. If you haven’t figured it out yet from these examples, your brain is not necessarily your friend. And since your brain interprets what you see, hear, smell, taste, touch and desire, you should know it’s inclined to lead you astray. Why Do Women Like Toxic Men-Reason One: The Brain, Part 2 Another powerful driver for wanting toxic men is reinforcement. Reinforcement simply means an action that increases the probability that a desired behavior will occur or recur. The link with toxic men and bad relationships is reinforced by you. This is something you can’t blame on other people. These are thoughts accepted within your own head and words that come out of your own mouth. If you’re emotional when you think or say them, it’s like underlining everything and putting it in ALL CAPS. “Bad boys are more fun!” In my career I’ve heard that hundreds of times. Usually spoken by a woman who’s been in tears a short while before and is seeking help to get through another dark night of the soul. Maybe it’s just me, but heart-splitting agony and betrayal don’t look like fun to me. I don’t share this insight with those who are still hurting because it will be interpreted as blame, and that’s not helpful. But I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit to you the importance of not reinforcing poor decision-making, claiming it as a part of your personality, even bragging about it when you’ve had some wine. In the realm of the brain, what you claim you keep, especially if you coat it in strong feelings. If you want to move past bad relationships and toxic men, monitor what you say about them in your head. Be careful what you say. Consider it something that you used to do. Destructive Social Norms Your childhood is in the past, but the Beauty and the Beast archetype is alive and well. It’s too easy to find modern examples of romantic stories where the hero is strong but cruel, hypersexual and promiscuous. Once he realizes he loves the heroine, he’s able to turn his back on his wicked ways. The film Crazy, Stupid Love perfectly captures this with Ryan Gosling’s character. Remember what I said about reinforcement a few paragraphs ago? Watching any content where the lead male is toxic just wakes up those subconscious beliefs and gives them new life. Start editing what you watch, read, listen to and promote. Resistance I have a close friend who’s bright, attractive, ambitious, personable. She also has the worse taste in men of anyone I know. If she’s so bright, why is her taste so bad? Her taste is due to her being incredibly resistant. Every time her current rattlesnake mean, hyper-selfish user was kicked to the curb, she’d spend endless hours going over all of his faults. At this point, she always had laser focus. Yet, as soon as she met another guy, she’d do the exact same thing that led to her involvement and heartbreak with her previous Exes. She never seemed to learn. Does this mean women are stuck? Are you permanently wired to like toxic men? Of course not. But if you’ve been involved with one or more toxic men for any length of time, invite new learning and change. You have to learn to spot them early and do what it takes to avoid them like it really matters. Because it does. Where to Go from Here Spotting and avoiding toxic men is something I teach women to do. I talk about it in my book, Fascination with the Devil: Why women love emotionally dangerous men. I’m also going to teach brief online courses on how to do this, making it simple and effective. I’ll give you another clue about what’s required. You have to alter your romantic fixed action patterns. These are sets of behaviors you repeat whenever you feel something strongly. Like arguing with that sibling who always pushes your buttons, even when you swore you’d keep your cool. The stimulus appears and your mind pushes an automatic response. And oops, you’ve done it again. We tend to do it romantically, too, acting in a certain way whenever we feel sexually attracted to someone. Disrupting it is a fairly simple process. Not necessarily easy, but simple. You have to catch yourself when you go into a heightened state whether it’s driven by anger or sexual arousal. Pay close attention to how you feel. You can even practice by visualizing realistic scenarios and allowing yourself to become immersed in the experience. In my in-person sessions we role play to really bring this to life. Then you have to disrupt that automatic response by throwing a circuit breaker in – a sentence, a behavior, a planned action.[iii] The important thing is to retain control and keep your rational mind in charge, not the primal part of your brain that wants to jump on the guy with the dreamy eyes and the long line of babies’ mamas. In Conclusion This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be single for life. But if you’re someone whose taste runs to passionate men who take you for granted, who cheat and disrespect you and demand their way in all things, bland and safe won’t do it for you. I’m sorry, but that’s that unfortunate bad news. The good news is there’s another type of man who’s the best of both worlds. That’s the True Alpha Male. My next blog will describe these guys in more detail, but let me say here that True Alpha Males are strong, exciting and have natural leadership ability. They have a deep sense of duty and personal accountability. They bond strongly and passionately to their partners. These men are natural leaders and confident enough to have firm boundaries. They’re also protective and are usually warm and loving. They also have high standards so you won’t get away with some of the things your toxic man let slide, either because he was emotionally dysfunctional and found melodrama sexy, or because he had so much going on with other women he couldn’t be bothered to object. You can decide to choose better, to be better. You can have the passionate, intense relationship you desire, and with someone you can also trust and love and keep for the long term. Let’s keep discussing how to make this a reality. [i] McKinney, K. (2011). The Effects of Adrenaline on Arousal and Attraction. Scholars: McKendree University Online Journal of Undergraduate Research, 17; Chattel, A. (2015). “When it Comes to Romance, Science Has Good News for Adrenaline Junkies,” in MIC. When It Comes to Romance, Science Has Good News for Adrenaline Junkies (mic.com) [ii] Graham, C. (2022). Demystifying Toxic Romantic Relationships: Identifying Behaviors and Post-Breakup Outcomes. Arizona State University ProQuest Dissertations Publishing; Hazel, L., Barker, L. and Pronin, E. (2023) “Playing Hard-to-Get: A New Look at an Old Strategy,” in The Journal of Sex Research, 60:3, 368-383, [iii] Cialdini, R. (2021). Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – New and Expanded. Harper Business Publishers. #DrDinaMcmillan #WhyDoWomenLikeToxicMen #toxicmen #FascinationwiththeDevil #OceanReevePublishing