AS Seen On

By: Stephan Spencer


Communication between men and women is often a mess. We think we understand each other, but we often don’t. Here to discuss the discrepancy between men and women is Alison Armstrong. Alison is a world expert on male/female and masculine/feminine dynamics. She is the author of Queen’s Code and creator of the widely acclaimed Queen’s Code Workshop Series and the Understanding Women Workshop. She’s here to share her favorite communication tips and to break down the best ways to communicate with your partner.

Alison Armstrong
“‏‏A woman being happy sets everybody else free, makes everybody smarter, more creative, more cooperative, more everything.”
Alison Armstrong

In this Episode

  • [02:00] – Alison talks to us about the different stages adult men and women go through.
  • [03:45] – We hear how the stage a man is in will help determine what he is focused on, what he can provide, and what he can’t provide. Alison describes men in the Page and Knight stage.  Pages being young boys who are developing themselves into heroes. Knights being reluctant to spend energy on things that do not develop them, challenge them, or provide some kind of adventure or conquest.

  • [06:00] – Alison explains the phases of the Prince stage, where a man’s life is now put together enough for him to begin to build.
  • [06:19] – She talks about the differing views men have about how a partner fits into the Prince stage.
  • [07:20] – Alison tells us why men in the Prince stage are often called workaholics, and why that is unfair.
  • [08:10] – We touch on the Tunnel stage of a man’s life, often called the mid-life crisis. Why men begin to question the value of the work that they have done up to that point.
  • [08:47] – Alison gives a warning to women: if you don’t support a man during his time in the tunnel you may stop being the women in his life.
  • [09:13] – Men in the tunnel phase may lose interest in things, and they become less willing to engage in things they are not interested in.  Alison talks about why women try to manipulate men most of the time and how showing respect is a better option for both men and women.
  • [11:46] – Alison tells us why the stages that women go through are more complicated and less direct than men’s stages.
  • [13:16] – Alison stresses the importance of women noticing where they go, within themselves, to make big decisions, that will change during different stages, and be difficult or impossible to do during a women’s time in the tunnel.
  • [14:40] – Alison explains that women can be affected by the masculine stages of development and that they actually have access to all the aspects of their femininity from the very beginning.
  • [16:12] – Alison says “All of our femininity is available to us all of the time, but the parts that are not hormonally supported, we have to consciously choose to nurture that.”
  • [16:38] – We talk about the Temptress, Mother, and Queen stages.  Alison explains why there is not a Princess stage.
  • [17:31] – Alison talks about how men and women go through the different stages differently.  
  • [18:48] – Sleep nurtures all stages of femininity.  When women are not well-rested they tend to function through their masculine tendencies.
  • [22:47] – When talking about the feminine; we call the Temptress the physical, the Mother the emotional, and the Queen the spiritual.
  • [23:41] – Alison talks about the happiness of a women having a profound effect on the happiness of those around her and how withholding her happiness can be a way that women manipulate those around them.
  • [24:07] –  Alison discusses the differences between the human-animal and the human spirit, and the implications of those differences on human behavior.
  • [28:13] – We talk about dating as a sorting process.
  • [31:19] – Alison tells us why self-confidence and authenticity are the two traits men find most attractive in women.
  • [33:47] – We chat about the value of making a commitment to leave someone better than when you found them.  Taking the Hippocratic Oath to at the very least, do no harm.
  • [34:15] – Alison talks about strategies for understanding the ‘code’ that the opposite sex speaks in.
  • [37:50] – Alison explains that the communication between men and women is a mess because we think that we understand each other.
  • [39:17] – Alison goes in-depth about the ‘Meadow Report’ and how estrogen shapes the female brain.  The instinctive impulse in women for accuracy and detail. How women’s nature as gatherers has developed into a diffuse awareness, awareness of everything around them.
  • [42:10] – Alison tells us why she NEVER recommends that men ask women “how they are”, she gives excellent examples of what to ask instead.
  • [44:44] – We talk more about the diffuse awareness of women compared to the more focused and intensity of men.
  • [46:15] – Alison expands on the idea of men being goal-oriented, almost always having a specific goal, intention, or destination in mind. How they will screen out all of the things that are not relevant to that goal.
  • [47:16] – “Men get frustrated because they’re committed and women get overwhelmed because they are aware of so many things.”
  • [50:12] – Alison explains what a ‘sleep slide’ is and the dangers of getting in the middle of it. She brings up her love of Dr. Breus’ new book ‘The Power of When’.  He was a recent guest on this podcast, go listen to that HERE.
  • [52:12] – Alison talks about her communication tip called ‘holding the trash’.


‏‏Hello and welcome to Get Yourself Optimized. I’m your host Stephan Spencer. It is my distinct pleasure to invite on the show Alison Armstrong. I am such a huge fan of Alison’s. She’s a world expert, the world expert on male, female, and masculine-feminine dynamics. I’ve learned so much from her. I’ve taken her workshops. I’ve learned stuff. Her material is taught by Tony Robbins so that’s where I was first exposed to it. She is a sought after speaker in the areas of gender differences, well-being, empowerment, sexuality, and relationships. Alison is the author of the Queen’s Code and creator of the widely acclaimed Queen’s Code Workshop Series plus a host of other products and programs designed to foster understanding and further partnership between men and women. I had the pleasure of attending her understanding women workshop in 2014. That led to some serious breakthroughs in my relationship with my fiancé, soon to be wife. We’re getting married in December in Costa Rica, super excited about that. The stuff that I learned from Alison was pivotal in taking our relationship to the next level. It’s such an honor and pleasure to have you on the show.

‏‏It’s great to be here and congratulations on getting married. That’s amazing.

‏‏ Thank you, I’m so excited. Let me start with a question around something that you pioneered which was this idea of different stages that men and women go through. You mentioned one of these stages in the title of your book, the Queen’s Code. Could you walk us through what these stages are for women and for men, and why it matters?

‏‏Do you want the three-minute, five-minute, ten-minute version, today?


‏‏I know you have other questions so box me in.

‏‏How about three to four minutes?


‏‏Actually, let’s say three minutes for the feminine version, and then for the masculine version let’s do another two or three minutes.

‏‏Okay. If it’s alright, I’m going to go on the opposite order though because one illuminates the other. Stages of development is one of the first things that I discovered about men, basically looking at men from their point of view, what if there’s a good reason for that? What if no one’s misbehaving? What if there’s a good reason? Noticing that as a woman of 30 something at that time, I had been imprinted, if you will, by younger men and expecting older men to behave the same way. The older men would look at me like I was ridiculous or crazy or that I had really disrespected them. They’re insulted that I was projecting onto them the behavior of a teenager. The whole process went on and on but basically what we’ve seen is that men continue to grow and develop just like people are familiar with child development where certain things happen at certain ages and that it determines what a man is focused on, what he needs, what he can provide, what he can’t provide no matter how much he might want to, which women often think if you really love me you would do that for me and men kind of look at them like, “I just can’t.” And women don’t understand that.

The kingdom is about the stages of development as the amazing development of men which is two different recordings too then. Because it’s one of the most important things to understand about a man that if he is a knight, that determines what he’s focused on, that he’s developing skills and challenging himself and testing himself against other people, their standards is idea of what he could perform. It’s not that he’s lazy, it’s that his whole system is rebelling against the idea of spending energy on something that isn’t going to develop him, challenge him, test him, provide some kind of adventure, conquest, new skill, everything that is going on for him instinctively will prevent him from putting himself into that. Can you imagine if educators actually knew that and set up school that way? It’s set up the opposite.

What am I going to use this for, never mind, study it, you’re going to have it on the desk but what am I going to use it for my life? It’s not important. It’s critically important. I can’t engage myself if you don’t tell me. That’s what we call knight, as in knight in shining armor. Before that, it’s what we called pages which is young knights but you’ll see little boys challenging and developing themselves and wanting to be heroes. After knights comes princes which is a huge shift in a man’s life where he’s now put together enough ability that now wants to build something with it. I’ve got the tools, I’ve got the know-how, I’ve got a vision, it’s time to get to work and to build. One of the things that women don’t know is that men have different views of how a partner fits into that. That some men, “Okay, it’s time for me to build. Where’s my wife? Where’s my partner to build with?” Other men it’s, “It’s time for me to build. I don’t have time for anything but building.

After I build it then I’ll find my wife that I’m going to give it to.” There are really different perspectives. Something to know is princes happening is there are phases within being a prince. One phase, early princes figuring out what he’s going to build and where. He might try a lot of different things. Although he doesn’t think he’s trying, he’s just doing what he thinks will work and then if it doesn’t he’ll drop it and pick up something else. The middle princes are clear. This is the thing. This is the path. This is the place. Head goes down and work, work, work, work, work and they get accused of being workaholics and that’s not fair, they’re just building their butts off and they need a lot of support. They don’t have a lot of extra RAM for the details of the other people in their life although they cherish the people in their life, they’re building for the people in their life, their wives, their children. And then late princes have a lot of points on their board. They can see, actually, if you talk to them they’ll say, “Yep. I just got a couple more hills to get across and then I’ll be there.” They look up and around and they have space for more things in life and there’s a sense of confidence about a late prince that’s really attractive and interesting. It sort of belies what’s about to happen.

If the woman in his life doesn’t support him in doing that, then she may not stay the woman in his life because she is not honoring who he really is.

Then, he goes into what we call a tunnel which our culture calls a midlife crisis where now that he’s built it, he’s questioning the value of how he built it and who he became in the process of building it and does it matter anyway. He might have built something that was according to somebody else’s value, somebody he was trying to please or gain the respect of and actually dishonored himself in the process which means he’ll start all over again with something that’s true to who he is. If the woman in his life doesn’t support him in doing that, then she may not stay the woman in his life because she is not honoring who he really is, she just wants the picture that was painted for her of a life instead of a man. The tunnel is intense. It’s amazing. It’s sacred. I can do a whole hour just honoring man while they are in their tunnel. And then he comes out to the other side a king and kings are really clear about who they are, what they value. They use the term, “I’m not interested in that.” Women think they can get men to do things they are not interested in and you cannot. Maybe if you pull out the big guns like withholding sex but that is not sustainable.

Women think they can get men to do things they are not interested in and you cannot.

‏‏And not nice either.

‏‏It’s not nice. It’s not sustainable. It’ll crash and burn but women try to manipulate men most of the time, a lot of the time, and many of them don’t even know they are. From the point of view of your show Stephan, optimizing the stages of development is having respect for them. If you have a business for example and you want somebody to work for you, the work’s got to be consistent with their stage or it’s not going to turn out. It’ll be short-lived and might be miserable for both of you. The stages apply to everything. To what a man can give in a relationship and what he can’t, the kind of dad he’ll be. Knight dads are completely different than prince dads. They are a completely different than king dads because what they can provide is so different given what they’re focused on.

‏‏So true. I started as a dad at 20 years old, actually 19 is when I got married and I instantly became a stepdad and then we had our first child together at 20. I was 20 and my wife at the time was much older than me, what a difference. It was okay for a while but the age difference which is almost 16 years became a big problem as the years went on. I was married for 18 years. I have three grown daughters, a 25-year old, an almost 24-year old and a 20-year old, all girls. What a different dad I was. I was a lot of fun and everything. I wish I would’ve known what I know now but that’s just I guess the nature of the beast. I love what you’re saying about if you are employing somebody, a guy who is in a particular stage, you need to be mindful and give that guy appropriate responsibilities and roles that fit that place he’s in in life. That’s great. Let’s go to women.

‏‏Women are interesting as usual, more complicated, less direct. If we’re in the workforce, if we’re having a career, we’ll be affected by the stages as well. I meet women who are building. I meet women who are in their adventure and challenge period. I meet women who are kings and I meet women who are actually in their tunnel, in their crisis of identity. Women ask me about this for years and I didn’t pay much of attention until I found myself a few years ago using king language. All of the scenario saying, “I’m not interested in that. Nope, not spending any time on it. I’m not interested.” Wait a second, that’s what kings say. Why am I saying it? And that’s when I realized, “Oh, that six months of my life, that was the worst six months of my life. I was actually in the tunnel. I was actually questioning my entire identity and purpose and all the most I could do is just keep my appointments. Wow, okay, I better look into this.”

You had a place that you look for your certainty or truth. Now you have a new place to look for your certainty and your truth.

What we found about women going through that crisis which has illuminated men in that crisis, I try to tell women like, “Notice where you go in yourself to make a big decision. Where do you look for that truth? Where do you look for that certainty? Notice if it used to be a different place that you went through in yourself. Like 10 years ago you had a big decision to make and you went through a different place.” That’s fine. You had a place that you look for your certainty or truth. Now you have a new place to look for your certainty and your truth. Imagine you need to make a big decision and you go to that place and your connection to that place is really weak. And then imagine you go to that place and you’re not connected to any place, you can’t even find a place that is the source of your certainty, your identity, what you’re committed to. Imagine that there’s no place and yet you’re supposed to make big decisions. Welcome to the tunnel.

A dear friend of mine has been going through the tunnel for the last year and just watching her lose her own grounding, her own rock, her own source of herself and be lost and afraid. She said, “I am an angry woman in the dark.” Just lashing out and then there, she’s coming out of the tunnel. She has a strenuous connection to a new place that honors herself and she said, “But the old place which was doing what I should do for everybody else is trying to call to me again.” Women can be affected by what I would call the masculine stages of development or if you’re a hunter, a hunter and a builder but femininity is really different. We actually have access to all the aspects of our femininity from the very beginning. It’s just is it nurtured. In our culture, the temptress, the playful sexual sensual energy is more nurtured in our teens and in our 20’s which is when we’re ripe to reproduce. And then after we reproduce, the mother energy in fulfilling other people’s needs and caring and tending is on our brain and in our brain and part of our hormonal cycles and then it’s after our childbearing years that women more naturally have access to the queen because the care and tend part of their brain shuts down. But just because hormonally it works that way, it doesn’t mean that it has to be that way.

As we get older, we need to pay attention to turning back on the care and tend

Actually, as we get older, we need to pay attention to turning back on the care and tend because otherwise, we don’t care and we will not tend and the people around us still need to be nurtured and we have to feed our own playful, sensual, sexual energy or we can just become dried up and dried out. Everywhere along it. All of our femininity is available to us all the time but the parts that aren’t hormonally supported, we have to consciously choose to nurture them. That’s what our Queen’s Code For Life program is about. How do you nurture your own qualities, your own sense of self, your own embodiment? Who you get to be as a human being? How do you do that?

‏‏You have the temptress. You have the mother. You have the queen. Is there also a princess?

‏‏I’m not really for princesses. There’s a funny book that takes off on the frog prince story where the king says to the princess you better be appreciative because you’re useless. That strikes home. I think princesses are like an archetype or a stereotype and a center of the universe that can often be the embodiment of the least attractive, most survival-oriented qualities in women where it’s all about me and I’m entitled and you owe me. It doesn’t go well.

‏‏It sounds like there’s a different kind of evolution for the hunter builder than it is for the feminine like the temptress, the mother, the queen. It seems like a woman could be bopping around between all three during the day instead of like the guys and there’s a tunnel for the next couple of years until he finally makes his way out.

There are all these different qualities that are part of being a temptress or the mother or the queen. We won’t have any of them if we don’t rest.

‏‏Most of the stages are about 12 years long, 10-12 years long for a page, a knight and a prince and the tunnel can be six months to three years long. There are men who never make it out of the tunnel and then there’s beyond kings. There are some men who become elders which is a completely different kind of organism. It is what men describes as beyond ambition which ambition is a way that many men know themselves. As usual, men tend to be much more direct and linear than women. We’re more of a tangle and fall back in on ourselves. It is a matter of what’s nurtured. For example, sleep. Sleep nurtures all of femininity and if a woman isn’t getting enough sleep she’ll just be in her hunter mode. All she’ll have is pressing through and spending testosterone to produce results. She won’t have the qualities that are normally associated with femininity of nurturing and playfulness and compassion and creativity and spontaneity and sensuality and all of these different aspects, the graciousness and generosity. There are all these different qualities that are part of being a temptress or the mother or the queen. We won’t have any of them if we don’t rest. If we’re exhausted, we’re just running on our adrenal glands and we would just be masculine.

‏‏What’s the downside of that? What’s the consequence? Women living in their masculine instead of their feminine core that repel potential suitors in their lives. Does it breakdown marriages? What happens?

‏‏I’m sure you could speak to it from personal experience. I appreciate you asking me and let’s see if you want to be my instant panel. Several quotable things. One man called femininity color in a black and white world. A man recently spoke about his wife who’s always in her masculine and so he and his two young sons, he said we lived in a world of gray. Men are fed by feminine energy. Literally, literally fed, energized, enlivened, invigorated wood to make fire out of. Man who the woman in his life is not that source of life force that femininity is, he’ll be tired, worn out, less sexual. He’ll be hungry, he’ll be looking to be fed by a smile, by a woman who’s happy, by someone who notices him, by someone who flirts with him. Woman flirting with a man assume that it’s such a jolt of life. Single men, what they say is I’m not looking for someone who’s like me. I need what I’m not, I don’t need more of what I am. I’m looking for what I’m not. The attraction to the feminine and we distinguish it as a different kind of attraction which is part of my study in men for a quarter-century is how men respond to the playful, sexual, sensual energy is has men be affectionate, it has men be attracted sexually, it has men feel attractive. Like, “Oh my gosh you find me attractive which is very empowering.” It causes participation whether it’s sensuality, sexuality or playfulness, they all cause engagement and participation.

The qualities of the mother, it’s a two-way sword. We call it Walmart. When a woman is very nurturing, people see her as a place to go to to get what they need, to get filled up, to get fed, to get comforted, to get put back together again, restored, repaired, comforted are all things that men look for in the qualities of the mother and women do too by the way. And then the qualities of the queen are the ones that inspire people. They get inspiration to be a better man, to be a better woman, to provide more. The queen is the spirituality of the feminine. We call the temptress the physical, the mother the emotional, the queen is the spiritual. All of femininity is transformational and her qualities lift from human-animal to human spirit. She walks into her room and everything is different which is what men will say about women all the time. A woman walks in her room and everything is different. Our consciousness, because of the way that our brains work, it emits itself. It fills a space and people access parts of themselves inside of our consciousness. It can be a beneficial consciousness or it can be a drag. It can go either way. As you know, one of the things men say, happy wife, happy life.

‏‏Women say that too.

A woman’s happiness energizes, frees, which is one of the reasons why women withhold their happiness in order to bind people to them instead of set them free.

‏‏Yeah. A woman’s happiness energizes, frees, which is one of the reasons why women withhold their happiness in order to bind people to them instead of set them free. It’s a way the woman manipulate that many don’t even realize it. A woman being happy sets everybody else free, makes everybody smarter, more creative, more cooperative, more everything. It’s one of the biggest gifts women can give to people that they love.

‏‏You said that this can lift the human-animal to human spirit. Could you elaborate on that because I know you’ve got some really interesting things to say about what that means?

‏‏Yeah, thank you. I’m not unusual in seeing human beings as a duality, that’s pretty common. What I try paying attention to in optimizing being human is take all of the compulsions that go with our survival instincts which have a tremendous amount of energy in the intensity of our survival drives, it is beyond measure. We don’t have to plan it. Driven by procreate then protect then provide. I’m interested in how to retake that energy and upgrade it. Take the compulsion to procreate which is sex plus everything that we build and create. How do you take that and add consciousness to it? For example, the dating and mating rituals, how do we add integrity and self-honor and the honor of other people to our dating and mating which is normally a very manipulative process because human animal is about surviving and surviving is inherently competitive. Human-animal sees other people as adversaries that could be potential allies in the face of a mutual enemy and we might cooperate temporarily with an adversary. What many people crave is clearly an expression of human spirit. Every instinct that I’ve discovered in human beings in 25 years pulls in the opposite direction of partnership, literally opposite, tug of war which is why we call it choosing partnership in a victory of human spirit. It takes a lot of courage to do what it takes to partner and overcome one’s own instincts to self-protect and conceal and just show what you think will be attractive and hide everything that you think would turn someone against you.

It takes a lot of courage to do what it takes to partner and overcome one’s own instincts to self-protect and conceal. Click To Tweet

‏‏The human-animal is all about instinct and the human spirit is all about choice.

‏‏Yeah. Exactly the way I put it. Can you take that instinct and add choice? Can you take for example a man in his twenties and his need for sex and add integrity and forthrightness and clearly stating and advertising what you’re up for, not up for and will and won’t provide and can and can’t be counted on instead of for example telling potential partners what you know they want to hear in order to provide sex?

‏‏In the days of Tinder and all of these hop into bed sort of mentality, that’s basically going to select themselves out of the picture before they get a chance to get in bed.

‏‏In some ways, it can be that way and I have a man in my life who does what I was just saying and it’s very interesting because women are attracted to his own personal sense of honor and what is honorable to do in the pursuit of sex. I think he comes out ahead. He tends to attract grown-up partners who approach the whole thing more maturely and responsibly. It’s pretty cool to watch how it works.

‏‏You’ve equated dating to a sorting process. I’ve really enjoyed listening to your audiobook which is actually a recording of your workshop In Sync With The Opposite Sex. It’s available on iTunes and it’s amazing. I love the part in there where you talk about the sorting process. Do you want to elaborate a little bit about how a woman should approach dating as a sorting process and do that with efficiency and effectiveness?

Human-animal lives in a world of scarcity where there is the one. The one sounds beautiful but it’s actually an expression human animal that you’ve got to find the one and when you meet someone who might be the one be very, very careful with them not to blow it.

‏‏Yeah, sure. This is the opposite of what a human-animal thinks. Human-animal lives in a world of scarcity where there is the one. The one sounds beautiful but it’s actually an expression human animal that you’ve got to find the one and when you meet someone who might be the one be very, very careful with them not to blow it. I find that illogical if they’re in fact the one then it must be impossible to blow it. That seems logical to me. But what I like to teach women to do is to fly your flag. Be yourself because it’s not a finding problem, it is a sorting problem. There are way too many candidates. If you have to be the one that’s always telling them you’re not right for me, that’s a lot of work. Whereas if you are honest about what you need and what you’re looking for and the timeline that you’re on which women are in fact on a timeline, it’s a biological problem, it’s not something to be ashamed of. To be really honest and forthright about what they’re up to and who they are and keep being yourself. That’s a conundrum for most women. They don’t know who their self is which is a quality of the queen, knowing who you are.

Keep being yourself and if someone doesn’t like how you are, they will remove themselves from the picture. You don’t have to remove them, they will go away and they’re doing you a favor especially since we have eight billion people on the planet now. Someone who responds to your profile, responds to the way that you communicate, the way that you express yourself, what’s true about you, the way that they respond to that, if it’s to go away they did you a favor. A person who’s going to be a fit for you is the person who’s going to respond to your authenticity. What we’ve seen in men which is just fascinating to me, I was raised to be mysterious, my mother was always trying to get me to be mysterious and I found as I started staying with men the more honest I was, the more mysterious I became. Because most women are honest. If you’re honest, authenticity is the second most attractive quality in a woman, self-confidence being the first. If you’re being authentic, that shows self-confidence and it will have a man know right away if you could be something for each other and if he knows I’m not a fit for you but you are amazing let me help you find the person that is. Even as he chooses himself out, he’s drawn to provide for her what would be a fit for her which I find beautiful.

‏‏One thing I’ve always thought about doing is leaving somebody better off than I found them. If it’s not a good fit like a one ex-girlfriend while we were dating I realized that wasn’t a long term fit but I took her to a Tony Robbins seminar because I knew that would really help her and it changed her life. We broke up right after that at the end of the seminar. It changed the whole trajectory of her life and it feels pretty good.

‏‏Can I say something about what you just said?


‏‏I was six months into studying men and the only woman that I admired and whose life I wish I had called me on emasculating men. I never had any thought about leaving men better off than when I met them. I was raised in Sierra club. I would leave nature better than I found it. I would leave any public bathroom better than I found it but I never left a man better than I found him. Until I gave up emasculating men. My husband, at one point I broke up with my husband because I was in love with somebody else and he sent me flowers at work with a card thanking me for him being a better man than when he met me. It was stunning to the women in my office like, “Why did he send you flowers?” “I broke up with him and he wanted to thank me.” “What?” And it was having given up that right that many women think they have to punish men for not acting the way a woman would. Most women do it without even knowing doing they’re doing it. It’s a huge part of what you’re talking about. I love what you said. The commitment to leave someone better off than when you found them. For most women, I would say to at least do no harm, take the hippocratic oath, at least do no harm. Don’t criticize him. Don’t complain about him. Don’t compare him to other men in a deprecating way, at least do no harm.

‏‏It’s powerful. Let’s say that a woman is not used to saying what she means and instead is speaking in code. This might happen on occasion. What’s a man to do about this because plain talking, just say what you mean is like the male code like, “Hey, just come out and say it. What were you trying to say?” But women don’t operate the same way. We’re wired differently so what would you recommend men do to elicit out what’s really that issue. A great example of this that just pokes fun of this whole thing is a YouTube video. I think it’s called It’s Not About the Nail. You might have seen this.

‏‏I’ve seen it so many times. It’s my favorite thing ever.

‏‏It’s not about problem-solving, it’s about listening. But I can solve this for you, it’ll take me two seconds.


‏‏What’s a man to do?

‏‏It’s a beautiful question, I love your question. I would say the same thing that I asked the men who participated on the panel in our workshops. One of the questions women ask is what would you change about the way women communicate with you? Another question is what’s the best way to tell a man you need something? Women put this question all the time. What’s the best way to tell him that you need something? And left to their own devices the men will say just come out and say it or be direct. What I tell the men is women would be direct already if they knew what that was. Script them. This is what I would say to men. Women need you to script to them. Women need you to leave them in the conversation. An instinct that most men have will prevent this from happening and that is the instinct that if she wants me to know, she’ll tell me.

Men being warriors naturally conceal and naturally have this regard for privacy that is quite beautiful but women interpret it as you’re not interested or you’d be asking me questions.

Men being warriors naturally conceal and naturally have this regard for privacy that is quite beautiful but women interpret it as you’re not interested or you’d be asking me questions. Men think if she wants me to know, she’ll tell me. If she needs something, she’ll tell me. Huge number of instincts to conceal what you need which men, you have them too, a need is a weakness so do not reveal it. Self-sufficiency is a value so get everything you can yourself. We basically have to tease it out of each other. What do you need? They’ll give you the twenty-year history. “Honey I don’t need the twenty-year history of why you need it. The fact that you need it is good enough for me but you have to tell me exactly what you need.” “What do you need?” “I need more time alone.” “Thank you. You need more time alone.” “Okay, what would that look like?” “Well you know it’s because of my mother.” “No, I don’t need to know why. Why is fine. I believe you.

I may ask you what you’ll get out of it and what that would provide for you but that’s cool. I’m assuming you’re asking for good reasons so when do you need time alone and what’s time alone? If I’m in the house are you alone? If you’re in the other room? You have to describe it to me.” That’s the thing I’m teaching men and women all the time is our communication is a mess because we think we understand each other. When I asked my husband I said, “I need affection from you every night.” He said, “You want to have sex every night?” That told me what affection looks like to my husband but it also told me I had to describe affection to him, that’s what we have to do. We actually have to say to a person this is what it looks like. In our partnership course, we have a course called The Dancer Partnership and we distinguish between help and accountability. This is a way that human beings get in a, “Oh we get our knickers in a twist.”

When we ask someone to be accountable, we have to describe what they’re being accountable for.

Because someone will ask someone for help and they’ll take over. No, I didn’t ask you to take over my accountability, I asked you to help me. When we asked for help we actually have to describe what help looks like. When we ask someone to be accountable, we have to describe what they’re being accountable for. If we just assumed that we didn’t understand each other which is what I like about couples who have different first languages, they don’t assume that they understand each other so they actually are more careful to explain and they’re better off than two people who both speak English or German or something.

‏‏You’ve got this terminology called the mental report and then you have to interrupt or something. What exactly are you needing because I don’t need the whole history of the last 20 years. That’s the way that women are wired. They like to go into sometimes excruciating detail, well for men that’s excruciating. How does this come about? This is an evolutionary sort of thing and you call it the mental report. Can you elaborate on that?

‏‏Sure. It’s funny you mentioned Tony Robbins because he loves the concepts of [00:43:11] and the mental reports. He actually teaches my stuff in his Date With Destiny program.

‏‏Yes, I know.

‏‏I love it. I know the masculine and how it shows appreciation is by taking something and using something. The feminine shows appreciation by reciprocating. You give me a compliment, I give you a compliment. I don’t need a compliment. I want you to take the compliment, feel more beautiful, and go shine your light. But the mental report has to do with the way that estrogen shapes the brain which is consistent with being together. We have diffuse awareness so we notice the physical, mental, and emotional states of everything in our environment. It also has to do with the instinctive impulse that our survival depends upon accuracy. We really have an intense compulsion to be accurate. For example, if a man says to a woman how are you, he’s expecting fine, good, great, wonderful, crappy. He’s expecting a one-word answer which is what he would give.

But as a woman with this compulsion for accuracy which is why I had to ask you how long of stages of development did you want and why I was wrestling with two minutes because there are important details to be accurate and so if you ask me how I am as a matter of instinct, I am compelled to tell you how my physical self is, how my mental self is, how my emotional self is, how my spiritual is and also how are all the selves that I identify as myself that exist outside my body. How is my son? How are my two daughters? How’s my horse, my donkey and my one-year-old puppy? How are you can be a very long answer just for the purposes of being accurate. To a woman, that seems like a very important thing to be which is why I recommend that men never ask women how they are.

‏‏What do you ask instead then?

‏‏I recommend that you find out, for the women who are consistently in your life, what are their favorite questions to be asked. Their favorite questions are either going to access their passions or show compassion, and women need both. The showing of compassion will get you so many points.

‏‏I love getting points, that’s so good.

‏‏Yes, exactly like, so you’re having a good day? Just that. That doesn’t have to be a long answer but the fact that you asked, you just got a lot of points. You care about me and you get points for that. Saying so how’s your day going, you could get a 40-minute answer. So you’re having a good day? Then even if I’m having a terrible day, I am so sorry you’re having a terrible day. And then you can go on with business. Or asking her favorite questions. Greg asked me, “So is there anything you want me to know about you?” That just cuts to the chase. What I want him to know about me? It’s not a long answer. Or when we have a lot of time, he’ll say, “So what’s it like to be you now?” Sometimes that’s a really long answer because I am constantly transforming including I wanted to tell you stuff on my date with technology for the last two weeks, my engagement in multiple technologies at the same time in order to put our curriculum online. It’s transforming my existence.

‏‏Good for you.

‏‏Thank you.

‏‏I’m not going to ask how you are.

‏‏Don’t ask me how I am but I’m good. I’m so excited to have everything about accessing the queen. On October 14th, it’ll be the most important location, yours. It’s going to be on demand 24/7 on October 14th. I’m beside myself. Then when we can find out how to nurture the woman they want to be. Break it down. Make it simple. Optimize it.

‏‏I wanted to circle back to one thing that you just really briefly mentioned. This is the concept of diffuse awareness. Men and women are wired differently. Men go straight to the point or a singular focused like don’t interrupt them in the middle of writing an email and then they get in trouble. Women have this diffuse awareness which is means that they are aware of the mess in the room adjacent and you’re trying to seduce her and she is worried that there are laundry three rooms away.


‏‏Let’s talk for a moment about that.

Women can have a conflict with herself when she’s home alone.

‏‏Okay. You did an understanding women workshop a few years ago and I updated it last year for the fact that women are spending more time hunting these days than gathering. We have this conflict of the need to focus and that our brain is naturally paying attention to everything all at once including our safety. Women can have a conflict with herself when she’s home alone. What we’ve seen is that actually they’re operating states, there are operating mode. A man at play, it changes your brain and you will be open to options and possibilities and alternatives in a way that the rest of the time you’re not. It’s one thing that women don’t understand about men that you almost always have a specific goal, a specific intention or a specific destination almost always. You’re almost always on your way somewhere. You’re almost always producing something and your brain naturally screams out everything that it considers irrelevant to that thing you’re committed to in the moment, including her voice. It’s not something you do on purpose it’s not because you don’t care or you don’t respect her.

Your brain does it so that you can produce the result that it thinks all our survival depends upon. In her brain, it’s the opposite. Her brain is sensitive to everyone’s voice. My husband’s swearing at his computer in the other room is highly disruptive. He’s not swearing at me, he’s swearing at his computer. The things that we see and the things that we do, it has us get overwhelmed. Men get frustrated because they’re committed and women get overwhelmed because we are aware of so many things. I know we don’t have much longer so I’m going to make a recommendation that’ll help everybody and that is that most women don’t know that our sense of wellbeing is very much tied to us having built the hormone oxytocin. Most people are aware of spending oxytocin and there’s a lot of research on that but building it is more important because you spend it when you take care of other people, you spend it when you’re affectionate, you spend it when you have sex and you really spend it when you have an orgasm. If a woman hasn’t built enough oxytocin, she dreads taking care of other people and she dreads having sex.

The thing about being together is that what we have done for millennium with our hands as gatherers picking berries and grains and grinding flower, all those things naturally build oxytocin. Rhythmic hand emotions build oxytocin and give us a sense of wellbeing and give us the hormone to have an orgasm with, to look forward to sex. Most of our lifestyles are removing rhythmic hand motions, we’re not vacuuming and dusting and ironing and handwashing dishes. When we are, we’re doing this as fast as we possibly can so we’re not building oxytocin. One of the things that I do in order to concentrate because I’m in a lot of phone calls all day is if you saw my office right now you would see that I have a coloring book.

Women are spending more time hunting these days than gathering.

‏‏That’s awesome.

‏‏I actually have three different coloring books and I have watercolor pencils and I’m currently working on an Arabian inside her tent in Morocco. I’m on the phone and I’m coloring. I’m having rhythmic hand motions, my pencil’s going back and forth and back and forth. It’s having me not pay attention to the crooked pillows. I’m actually able to screen out all the things in my environment that would normally have me cleaning them and fixing them. I’m as present as my mentality is going to allow me to be to another person.

‏‏That’s awesome. My fiancé Orion, we were at a restaurant in Venice beach and they had a coloring sheet and crayons and she went to town with it. she made this really amazing drawing. She was so creative for the rest of the day. She was commenting on like, “I just feel like it’s flowing. I’m just plugged into the fabric of creation. I’m just like on fire.” That’s a great tip. Get a coloring book or something. Start using your hands. I like that. That’s great. Quick lightning around for just a couple of minutes, I wanted to just quickly for listeners to know what is a sleep slide because that has practically saved my relationship on many times like, “Oh that’s a sleep side. I’m getting out of there.”

A sleep side is how I describe when my brain, specifically the amygdala, the worry center of the brain has been dulled sufficiently that it’s not telling me what I should’ve done, could’ve done and better remember to do tomorrow.

‏‏That’s awesome. A sleep side is how I describe when my brain, specifically the amygdala, the worry center of the brain has been dulled sufficiently that it’s not telling me what I should’ve done, could’ve done and better remember to do tomorrow. I’m drowsy and my system is all shutting down and I’m going to go to sleep. If it gets interrupted, it’s as if you pushed me off a slide and I landed on my butt on the asphalt. I will hate you and I will likely not go to sleep for a couple of more hours and I’m going to be a cranky person tomorrow and no, I don’t want to have sex with you. Sleep slide’s really important to take off. There’s a new book actually about sleep cycles that I’m very much into because it’s giving me compassion for myself, it’s called The Power of When.

‏‏I just interviewed Dr. Breus.

‏‏Did you really?


‏‏Oh my gosh. I love him so much.

‏‏He’s great.

‏‏My husband has apologized to me for trying get me on his schedule for the last 24 years when I am a dolphin.

‏‏That’s great. I’m a wolf and Orion is a lion as well so that’s completely opposite. She’s so frustrated that I stay up late and she wants to go bed together and stuff but that’s for a whole other episode which will be coming soon. I know you got to go so that’s a sleep slide and then last idea which is holding the trash.

‏‏There’s a lot of things about women and trash. We want you to take out the trash. We want you to put the bag in. You want us to tell you when and we think it’s obvious. There’s a whole fight but this holding the trash is that when a woman is overwhelmed and she needs to literally barf everything that’s in her mental, emotional, and physical space out of her and she’ll ask a man to just listen which is mean. Women, just stop asking men to just listen. He’s not built for that and men stop agreeing to do it because it will biologically emasculate you. Instead offer, “Well I can’t just listen but I can hold the trash.” When you’re holding the trash you don’t have to remember anything she says but if she pauses wait a bit and then say, “Anything else?” That’ll feel like love. You gotta mean it. You can’t hope that there isn’t anything else. You got to mean, “Anything else? You’re the most fascinating creature in the entire world.” This is foreplay. It will actually have her more receptive to sex and get a feeling to her a lot less often which will save your life. She’ll mostly just go blah blah blah blah. If you’re a woman listening you can set a man up to totally save you. One time I asked Greg, “Could you just hold the trash?” By the time that I was done I forgot that I asked him to do it so when he said, “Poor baby.” I just burst into tears and said, “You’re so wonderful I can’t believe you said that. That is the perfect thing to say.”

‏‏It’s awesome.

‏‏He laughed. He said, “You told me to say it.”

‏‏It’s beautiful. I know you have to go. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom and vast experience with my listeners. 

‏‏And her feelings are hurt. Yes, thank you for linking that.

‏‏Because that just changed everything for me. When I watched that video I got what happens when I just hurt my partner’s feminine side. Her masculine side she’ll just get my face, whatever but if I hurt her feminine and she just crawls up into a ball and then she just can’t find her voice, until then the critical voice comes out eventually and then that just says stuff and it has a mind of its own and she doesn’t even know what she just said but it was horrible and everything. That’s such an amazing video. Thank you so, so much. We’ll include links to your website to the courses and everything. Is there a particular page that you’d like to send people to on the Understand Men site or a particular workshop that you’d like to recommend folks to check out?

‏‏If you send them to the programs page, specifically the programs for women, between now and April 21st, our entire Queen’s Code curriculum is going to be online. Everything from being able to give up emasculating man to get what you need to understand yourself as a woman and to bring out the best in yourself as a woman to picking the right mate or working out with what you have. All that is going to be on-demand. My whole life is about it.

‏‏It’s amazing. That’s amazing and it is life-changing. I speak from experience. Thank you again, Alison, and thank you, listeners. This is Stephan Spencer signing off.

Links and Resources:

Checklist of Actionable Takeaways

?Think of people you know who are going through a ‘tunnel’ experience. Offer them support by respecting their time in the tunnel and allowing them to work their way out of it.

?In order to have a better understanding of themselves, encourage the women you know to pay attention to their own internal process of making decisions and how that changes over time.

?Sleep nurtures femininity. Do you or the important women in your life get enough rest? Formulate a plan to ensure that begins to happen.

?The innate ability to affect the happiness of those closest to them is a trait strongly associated with femininity. Reflect on the times in your life when the presence of particular women changed your state of mind or emotional state.

?Women – Withholding our happiness from others can be a form of manipulation. Meditate on times that you have purposely not been happy around someone.

?Women – One of the qualities of the Queen stage is knowing who you are and knowing who we are brings peace. Make spending time on your mind, body, and spirit a priority in your life.

?Part of being an honorable person is being committed to leaving people better off than you found them. Make that commitment or at the very least do no harm to others.

?Communication between men and women is often a mess because we think we understand each other. Make a date with your partner and together evaluate how you communicate with each other. Be specific.

?Sometimes it is easy to see the ways our partner is not good at communicating, but more difficult to see how we do not communicate well. Go watch this video ‘It’s not about the nail!’.

?Go check out Alison Armstrong’s website to learn more about communicating effectively with members of the opposite sex.

About Alison Armstrong

Alison Armstrong, author, educator, and creator of the widely acclaimed “Queen’s Code” workshop series, asks the question: “What if no one is misbehaving — including you?”  She explores the good reasons behind the behavior of men and women such as fundamental differences in the ways we think, act, and communicate. She offers simple, partnership-based, solutions to improve our communication and intimacy by honoring ourselves and others. She’s known for her insight, sense of humor, and ability to articulate the human experience and predicament of gender.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments, or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Stephan Spencer, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.


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5 thoughts on “Communicating and Connecting with Your Partner Through Your Authentic Self with Alison Armstrong

  1. Thank you Stephan Spencer, for this most powerful, deep, and insightful interview about Alison Armstrong! I’ve been a fan of hers for years and learned all kinds of new information! I’m posting and sharing it, and looking forward to listing to other interviews you have in the future.

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