Are You Giving Those Close To You Enough Room To Change? with Guy Finley

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

Let’s face it, if we want someone else to change, just telling them that they need to change is probably not going to get results. So what’s the alternative? In the fourth and final episode of a series with Relationship Magic author Guy Finley, Dr. Daniel Amen and Finley discuss how leaving space for objective realizations can be crucial in helping others make better decisions for themselves.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: I'm Tana Amen. Here we teach you how to win the fight for your brain to defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD, and addictions.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we've transformed lives for three decades using brain SPECT imaging to better target treatment and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information, visit
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information, visit Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast.
Dr Daniel Amen: Wow, welcome back. This is our last podcast. Guy Finley and I have enjoyed this so much. Thank you for doing this with me.
Guy Finley: Thank you, Danny.
Dr Daniel Amen: He's an internationally best-selling author, teacher. The author of a new book called Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together. It's not just about intimate relationships. It's really about all relationships.
Guy Finley: Yes.
Dr Daniel Amen: How we react sort of matters. During the break, I was showing him a scan of one of my patients who had decreased activity in left temporal lobe which often goes with mood instability, irritability, dark thoughts. Low activity in his frontal lobes, which means he really is not good at-
Guy Finley: Dealing.
Dr Daniel Amen: ... controlling what he says. You know, Jerry Seinfeld once said the brain is a sneaky organ. We all have weird, crazy, stupid, sexual, violent thoughts that nobody should ever hear. The front part of our brain is the brake. If I get a thought about Tana that's rude, it prevents me from saying it. My prefrontal cortex sees the future. It goes, "If you say this, this is the hell you're going to pay for it, so don't say it." Clearly there's a biology to this, but there's also a deep psychology.
Guy Finley: Incredibly, Danny. I'm enjoying this so much. Excuse me. If you weren't finished here, go ahead and finish what you were saying.
Dr Daniel Amen: I want to take this to practical things people can do. The takeaways from the book that people can use today to help their relationships at home with their kids, with their friends, with their co-workers. What would you say are your top ones?
Guy Finley: I'm going to answer that, but I will kick myself forever if I don't say what I have to say right now. You said something I thought was so important. If I understood, we have sort of a mechanism tends towards negativity. Then we have our frontal lobe which is supposed to mitigate what that activity suggests that we do.
Dr Daniel Amen: Correct.
Guy Finley: That the mitigation is usually, as you said, I think about what will happen if I was to actualize what this other part of my brain's doing. We're talking about kind of a war, Danny, in our own brain. I'm suggesting that there is a way in which, instead of mitigating the activity, we can integrate it so that the whole brain can't act against itself. Nothing whole acts against itself. The work that I do, and I know that you do, is about this process of integrating.
Now to answer your question, the idea that how many people have been helped by the discoveries you're making? That the knowledge that you've gained as a scientist, as a doctor, has brought into the world some understanding that wasn't there before. For the new understanding, new possibilities for the people who will embrace it, so self-knowledge becomes tantamount.
It's the same when it comes to relationships with each other, with our friends, family, partners. Relationship magic begins with self-knowledge. That's really what this book does. Is it lends the reader new understanding about themselves that they have yet to realize lives in themselves.
Examples now. When you went through some crisis of some kind, Danny, and we all have. Did you change on the other side of it because people were banging you on the head? Because Tana was saying, "Be different. Be different. Be different." Or was it some moment for whatever reason suddenly Tana goes, "You know what? Wow. I had no idea that that was in me and it was doing to me and others what it was doing." In that moment of an objective realization a transformation took place in Danny that nobody could have brought about. Actually contrary that the more people were trying to control you to bring it about, produced the opposite inside of you. People go, "You should be different." You go, "Yeah, well what about you?"
One day I see I need to be a different human being. Then when I see I need to be a different human being, something that was disintegrated up here is integrated. Heart, mind come together, and I change. Here's the point and something practical. If you want your partner to change, give them room to do it. You want the guy at the office not to be the same guy he is that looks at you and you feel disdain from? Give him room to see himself. We give each other no space.
Dr Daniel Amen: How would they do that?
Guy Finley: Yes, exactly. We give each other no space because when I see you looking at me, we just talked about it. What do I do? I look back at you. Same part of the brain. Same reaction. Same relationship. No chance. If I actually understand that the relationship isn't because of the way you are, it's because of what we are. Then in that moment I can bring a new understanding. Instead of pushing against you, give you room to see yourself as you are.
I see something that's troubling me to no end. We all have this with relationships. My tendency is to say to you what's troubling me. What if I understood that really what's troubling me, Danny, is what I need you to be so that I can be free of myself? See if I actually see something like that, I know where the work starts. The work doesn't start trying to change you. The relationship changes by giving you room to change yourself. How do I do it? By giving myself room to see myself as I am.
It's such magic, Danny. You already know this in your own relationships. That this discovery of how I have actually fomented the very thing that I wanted to be free of. The minute I stopped stirring that pot with this old reaction, something new can take place. We can have a new relationship. Give your partner room to grow. Do you do any planting? Do you have any flowers? I know your Dad-
Dr Daniel Amen: My father did.
Guy Finley: Yeah, we know who.
Dr Daniel Amen: No because when I was young, he had me doing it for him.
Guy Finley: Oh, okay. All right.
Dr Daniel Amen: It never turned into a love for me.
Guy Finley: You understand that I create, right?
Dr Daniel Amen: I create all the time in the writing I do and the podcasts we do.
Guy Finley: Can you continue to create and grow if the pot remains the same size or does it become root-bound?
Dr Daniel Amen: It becomes root-bound.
Guy Finley: It has to have a new pot. That's what we're talking about. Realizing that in order for my relationship with my husband, my wife, the guy at work, the person checking me out at the grocery store, I cannot go into that moment with the same pot. I have to have room to grow. I grow, Danny, by first seeing what it is in me that wants to squash the growth. This is terrible what I'm going to say. Negative reactions are growth squashers. How's that for a highfalutin statement? That's exactly what they are.
Dr Daniel Amen: That's exactly true.
Guy Finley: Yes. The more we understand that, the more we will be willing to consciously bear the advent of this reaction and see that is it harmful to me first. What is it doing to you obviously? Then we can begin from another ground. This is critical because people go, "Well, how am I going to stop that?" We don't try to stop it. We just want to see a little bit of it. The more I can see-
Dr Daniel Amen: The more you can observe what's going on.
Guy Finley: That's it. The freer I can become.
Dr Daniel Amen: The more you can disconnect.
Guy Finley: That's it. That's exactly right.
Dr Daniel Amen: All right. We have to stop, but what a joy. Relationship Magic, Guy Finley. You can get this anywhere good books are sold. How can people learn more about the foundation and your work?
Guy Finley: Actually, am I allowed to ... If a person goes to,, they get the book from many of the major retailers, but they also get a free audio book of me reading this book. Some people like to listen as opposed to read and a couple other gifts if you go to You can get it anywhere, but I thought I'd put that in.
Dr Daniel Amen: Absolutely. Thank you so much for being our guest on the Brain Warrior's Way.
Guy Finley: I loved it.
Dr Daniel Amen: Thank you for listening to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review. You'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free, signed copy of the Brain Warrior's Way and the Brain Warrior's Way Cookbook we give away every month.