Michelle Chalfant | The Adult Chair | 328 – Understanding and Improving Your Relationship with Dr. Stan Tatkin
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328 – Understanding and Improving Your Relationship with Dr. Stan Tatkin

We’ve all heard that relationships are hard work…but why are they so hard? And what does healthy hard work look like versus putting up with behavior we shouldn’t?


Dr. Stan Tatkin has a unique approach to answering these questions by looking at relationships through the lens of psychobiology. This means understanding how our brain, our body, our nervous system and our survival instincts can contribute to and work against healthy relationships. Yes, it’s as fascinating as it sounds!


In this episode, we talk about how our self-preservation instincts can keep us from experiencing deep relationships and sabotage our happiness, how attachment and projection work, why we pick partners that feel familiar to us and how we can work against the brain’s tendency to “get used to” our partners and keep the spark alive! 


Listen to discover:


  • How our survival brains sometimes work against us in relationships 
  • Why we pick the partners we do 
  • Why relationships change after marriage 
  • What projection is and how it works
  • The power of a purpose-centered relationship 
  • Practical habits for getting out of self-preservation mode and working towards the good of your relationship 
  • How to handle conflict in a relationship 
  • The biological reason relationships lose their spark and why curiosity is a game changer


Dr. Tatkin talks about how great partnerships are built not just on love and emotions but shared values, principles and goals. When the partnership develops its own identity and vision, it helps us look beyond ourselves and seek the good of the whole instead of just the good of ourselves.


This way of thinking and the habits that go along with it create powerful loyalty, intimacy and love that grows with time. This episode will help you work with your human nature to build stronger, more mutually fulfilling relationships with your love…and who doesn’t want that?!


“[Secure functioning relationships] are built on full equality, parity, fairness, justice, sensitivity, collaboration and cooperation. That’s a very simple idea that’s hard to do.” – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“When we are threatened or under-resourced, under stress, we are more likely to act and react automatically.”  – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“We have brains that are always aware of what’s missing…what we don’t have.”  – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“We are picking partners that look familiar, feel familiar in some way.” – Michelle Chalfant


“It makes sense that we would pick somebody that’s familiar enough to get close to but stranger enough to be interested in.”  – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“We are in projection all the time.” – Michelle Chalfant


“We’ve never lived outside our heads, and we never will. It’s all perception.” – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“When being in a relationship, one has to surrender that their perception is correct, that their reality is correct, in favor of the relationship.” – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“We’re inter-dependent, which means we have the same things to lose and the same things to gain.”  – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“[Our partner is] a stranger that we’re always trying to get to know.” – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“Humans have a hard time with ownership and apologizing.” – Michelle Chalfant


“A purpose-based relationship is a commitment to do the right thing when it’s the hardest thing to do.”  – Dr. Stan Tatkin


“When you become ordinary is when I look for the unique and novel in you. That’s my job.” – Dr. Stan Tatkin





Dr. Stan Tatkin Website



Dr. Stan Tatkin Retreats for Couples



Adult Chair® Coaches



The Adult Chair® Coaching Certification 






The Adult Chair® Website



The Adult Chair® Membership



The Adult Chair® Events



The Adult Chair® Coaching Certification 






Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themichellechalfant 


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheMichelleChalfant/ 


The Adult Chair® Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theadultchair/


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Michellechalfant

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