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Podcast #40 Attraction, Masculinity & Relationships with Jeffrey Platts


Jeffrey in his own words… Over the past six years, in addition to one-on-one VIP coaching, I have produced and led over 170 live workshops, day-long intensives for both men and women on dating, sex and communication. I’ve also had the honor of serving as one of the lead facilitators at the Authentic Man Program, a life-changing course for men.

My work and writing have been featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, ABC News, The Good Men Project and Elephant Journal. I’ve got both Brazilian and US passports, love salsa (dance and condiment) and am a DJ,  yoga teacher and former amateur stand-up comedian. And I love spending time with my beautiful wife, Vanessa.

I only make room for a handful of clients a month to ensure that each client gets the very best support. Let’s see if or how I can help you. Apply for a complimentary VIP Strategy Session here.

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Steve: So Jeffrey, what made you go down this path in life of teaching men confidence with women?

Jeffrey Platts: So I’ve been into personal growth for over twenty years. I started when I was 17 and I’m 40 now so that’s about 23 years.

It started with a Tony Robbins book back in high school. My parents had bought it and I picked it up and that kind of just really set me on this path of just really becoming a personal growth junkie and looking at all the different ways that we could that we can change ourselves and change our lives and have an impact in a positive way.

I learned that who we are and the habits and experiences we’ve created for ourselves don’t have to remain that way. We always have a power of choice and a power of action to do something different.

So it kind of started with a general personal growth interest for me, then it kind of dabbled more into spirituality and then I would say about halfway through my journey I started getting curious around relationships and primarily for my own desire and want to get better at connecting with women.

A lot of it started with the pickup artist stuff. After reading The Game (and I was actually into that stuff even before that book came out), the book kind of helped make it more mainstream.

I think it’s evolved since then perhaps to be more holistic and not as a misogynist. Whereas, at the time it definitely felt very heavily focused on, (at least the way I experienced it and practised it was very focused on) getting validation from women.

Men were viewing women as this prize to get. There was this holy grail of how many numbers can you get or, how many women can you sleep with, etc.

It didn’t really feel good it also was very influenced “peacocking” and trying to emulate this like a stereotypical alpha male. Going to the bars 6 times a week.  6 nights a week you’re out there going out “sarging” or whatever the word was. This is when you just go up and just talk to women, talk to women, talk to women, talk to women in a very methodical, very robotic way. It never really fit me, myself, or who I am.

So then I started to come across other, other kinds of work specifically David Deida and Robert Glover and the authentic man program and things that felt better to me.

I realised I didn’t need to jump through all these hoops to meet women or to have a relationship which had always been my ultimate goal. I just wanted to be in a relationship with one woman. An amazing woman and that’s really what matters to me most.

Being a Casanova and being a ladies man is always nice right, but for me, it’s not really fulfilling. That’s not to knock any particular goal or lifestyle it’s just like, hey, let’s focus on what I want and I try to help guys get what they want. Let’s do what works best to get the result we want.

Steve: I think I’ve gone down a similar path as you. 5 or 6 years ago now I met one of my best friends in Covent Garden in London and he said to me, “hold my jacket a minute”. And then he went over and just started speaking a girl on the street and I was like, what the hell!

He just came back had her phone number and I was like “okay, this is something new” and I started learning about attraction through meeting women during the day, saying hi at coffee shops and such, or literally on the street in London. That is actually a useful skill sometimes (when used appropriately and with social skill).

Jeffrey Platts: Oh totally. I think the social confidence and the skills that come from that are totally valuable and yeah, that’s definitely a benefit to all this work.

Steve: My question to you now is what do you think is happening with the let’s say the evolution of attraction from the male side that you’re giving to men now of like how to attract a woman they like? Because surely you’re not telling them to go to bars and stuff that much?

Jeffrey Platts:  Not really, not at all actually. Part of my philosophy is that you don’t need to go to a bar or club ever for the rest of your life unless you actually enjoy them and you get nourishment from going to a bar or to a club at a core level. If you do, cool, rock it. Keep doing it.

But if you’re like me and I lean more towards the introvert scale sometimes and I get drained and it’s not really fun for me.

So as far as attraction, the core thing around it for me is integrity and alignment with yourself.

I think the most attractive thing for anything man or woman is to be unapologetically themselves.

That’s really what is attractive to people. The way you hold yourself, the posture you carry yourself.

You know are you living a life that you’re inspired by doing your own thing.

Do you have a sense of purpose and fulfilment in what you do for a living?

If you look at what is quintessentially a masculine guy, you know a guy like  The Rock, right. There’s Tom Brady, there’s Russell Brand you know, there’s Barack Obama, there are all these different models of masculinity.

You can also see where they’re very different and almost polar opposite in who they are and how they show up.

And I would say each of them is valid.

The reason why they stand out in people’s awareness and why they’re on the radar as someone who has their masculine essence is because they’re in alignment with themselves.

They’re in integrity with who they are and they just show up as themselves.

So my focus with guys is more get in alignment with who they are more than let’s look a stereotypical alpha male and let’s act like we are guys from the movie 300.

Do you know what I mean?

Steve:  Yeah. I think that was the old model for a lot of guys (and perhaps may still be a model some guys still use). I agree. I think it is far more valuable to be in alignment with yourself rather than think you have to be an “alpha male douchebag”. That doesn’t make sense to anyone.

Jeffrey Platts: Yes. There’s that movie that documentary that came out, The Mask We Live In, I think it was a documentary on Netflix that was about masculinity and the mask that men have to wear.

It speaks about the identities we hold up and that we feel we need to live into in order to be accepted by society.

Of all things that I focus on is really helping each guy get into their own version of who they are as a man.

Steve: On that note of like masculine men to look at and in my life I haven’t really found many or any until very recently actually I very much started watching videos of Gary Vaynerchuck.

Jeffrey Platts:  Yes. he’s great.

Steve: My God, he exudes love and integrity. I literally can’t think of anyone else in the whole planet right now, especially someone of a big voice who really is a guy that I’m like, oh my God, I need to embody what he’s talking about.

Jeffrey Platts: Yeah, it’s a big platform that he’s built for himself and it’s great. I think he has a lot… And it’s tricky right because even though he’s literally saying don’t just copy me, don’t just do what I do, don’t just copy what other people are doing but paradoxically a lot of people will try to emulate.

“Oh, I got to be loud, I got to curse, and I got to dress like Gary.”  It’s that catch 22. that, But there’s definitely the traits which he brings of integrity and he’s incredibly loving and all this stuff.

Steve:  He’s committed to legacy, his whole thing is about how many people are going to turn up at his funeral (probably 1.3 billion people).

Jeffrey Platts:  Exactly. If you look at him 20 years ago and you said okay there’s going a guy that’s coming up in 20 years it’s going to be a really savvy marketing guru, you probably wouldn’t have painted a picture of him.

A New Yorker, who swears like a gansta rapper and dresses in T-shirts, sneakers and jeans all the time. You wouldn’t have picked him or visualized him. You would have pictured a guy that’s a guy in a polo shirt with some khaki’s and a good polished speaker, right.

So, he’s another example, a man who has carved his own path and he’s also an example of him just defining who he is you know. He’s not the typical public speaker that you hire for a keynote. You hire him knowing that he’s going to be a little bit eccentric, a little bit different than the norm.

So, that’s it.

Gary is a perfect example.

Steve: I think Gary has admitted that one of the reasons he stands where he is today is because of his mother and his father. He believes he was perfectly parented.

In some ways, we were all perfectly parented in the respect that we all had to learn different things from our parents in order to be who we are now.

Yet, quite often we didn’t get the gifts of self-esteem someone like Gary has. Do you feel like in your work you’re giving self-esteem back to men? Is that a big part of your work?

Jeffrey Platts: For a client who is working with me they start to become very aligned with who they are, they access their heart and the power of the heart, the power of their mind, the power of their balls.

They become in alignment with those things and start serving the world and serving their family, their community.

I think there’s a good number of psychologists and personal growth people that are in the traditional thing of self-esteem. That it has always been based upon, “look at what you do in the world” and if that’s good, make a list of those things and pat yourself on the back.

“Look at all the things that you value and look at all the ways that you’re making a positive impact. Look at all the actions you’re taking or that you have taken and then use that as a list to feel good about.”

Whereas I feel that is like a trap because there were definitely times when I went through my dark struggles like I wasn’t actively doing much.

I wasn’t taking kicking ass and taking action, I wasn’t hustling in a Gary Vaynerchuck way.

I wasn’t really making a big impact or adding value.

So my self-esteem under that model suffered.

It is only when I started to shift and be like, “you know what I think it’s more about self-value”. My value is independent of the actions of that that I take.

So yeah if I haven’t really done a “good deed” in a week or two weeks or a year or more… does that mean I should have no self-esteem?

I think every kid has value. Every human being has value and it shouldn’t be dependent upon how many good things you do in the world or what you are doing. Because if you’re getting your validation from compliments you receive on Facebook, or verbal affirmations from someone, then if you go through a week or a month of no compliments or no nobody likes your posts, what will you do then?

So I’m really more about like getting people men and women to source their own validation to really be the source of the approval they’re looking for.

Steve: And how do they do that in a practical way?

Jeffrey Platts: Well the one practical thing, you know I just wrote about this recently is that like whatever you’re feeling that you need approval from giving it to yourself at that moment.

So if I’m wanting this woman to tell me that I’m a good man or I want to feel sexy so I need to have this woman give me her phone number so I can feel like I’m a sexy, masculine man.  Okay, cool but let’s just start to tell yourself that.

Give yourself that compliment or that acknowledgement right now without needing someone else to give it to you. So that’s just one practical way to do it.

Anytime you find yourself craving validation from someone else or approval or whatever, acknowledge yourself in a very simple and direct way; without having to wait for it to come from outside.

So that’s one thing and another question that I love to share with my clients is this: “from a place of truly loving myself… what action would I take now?”

So it’s not, “what is the best action to take?” But instead it is, “from a place of truly loving myself, what would that action be?”

Sometimes it’s nothing. No action is necessary.

Sometimes it’s something totally different.

But I think the perspective of coming from that mindset is really important, first and foremost..

Steve: Yeah. It is a literal thing of doing what you love.

Jeffrey Platts: Yeah and loving yourself may be setting a boundary. Loving yourself may be about my friend is asking me to help him move on Saturday, I’ve already booked you know a day off for myself to take care of myself.

Loving yourself may be disappointing your friend that needs help on moving because you’ve already had this thing booked in advance, and you want to honor your own self at that moment. So it really can show up in different ways. It doesn’t have to always look like sacrificing. “Oh I need to be a good friend so let me drop everything every time someone asks for something.”

Steve: And then how might that show up in communication in a relationship with someone who’s not used to that kind of thing where someone would take time for themselves? In a relationship how do you get that balance of having your individual time and then having your time together?

Jeffrey Platts: I think, well part of it is just the ongoing communication.

My partner Vanessa Petronelli and I, there’s no perfection. It’s not like, “oh I teach this stuff to guys and so that means I’m perfect in my own life.” No, there’s definitely periods and phases where we are spending a lot of time together and she goes away for a girls weekend or I hang out with my buddies for a day and I come back resourced and nourished.

Or, I don’t even have to be with friends but like, “hey, I’m going to go to the park and just read for a couple of hours by myself”, or I’m going to spend a day focusing on my business.

It’s really keeping an eye on your emotional tank and asking yourself if you are feeling nourished or are you feeling depleted?

Is this something giving me energy or am I feeling that I’m losing energy?

Whether it’s an interaction or whether it’s where you live or your job or whatever.

So I think part of that is having a shared context of how you view relationships.

Because if one person says, “when you’re in a relationship and it’s healthy you should want to spend 24 hours a day with them.”

Okay, well that’s one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is like yeah, I think it’s going to be an ebb and flow of connection time with my partner.

There’s going to be time for solitude and then there’s time for connection with other friends and people that I care about that are not my partner, that is not my family, but that also who help nourish me and help me resource myself and recharge. This is so I can come back to my relationship charged.

So that’s another way to look at it. That is the view that I tend to associate more with, but you have to have a shared context and a shared agreement. This is why all this kind of communication needs to happen in the first 6 months to a year of a relationship so that you know that partner’s going to be on the same page. Because if you’re not on the same page then that just creates illusions and fantasies of how things are going to go, but you’re not going to be on the same page and that’s not going to help you and that’s where resentment comes in. That’s where the disappointment comes in.

For example, if a guy is feeling stifled and really needs some alone time and he just kind of gets up and walks away without communicating why he’s doing it then the partner may be slighted. They may ask, “what’s going on? Are you going out? Why don’t you just let me know why you’re doing it?”

So, I think communication is critical.

Steve: This awareness that you need the foundation of self-nourishment outside of your partner is very important. Even if you’re single right now, you need to have that foundation of nourishment.

Jeffrey Platts: Yeah and I think it definitely applies to like when you have introverts and extroverts which you know a lot of times tend to attract each other.

The introvert goes to a party with their partner and their partner is having a great time and the introvert gets drained because they’re around so many people, there is too much stimulation and they need the next night or the next day to recharge. But then their partner gets energy from being around people so they want to go out again the next night and so there’s not an understanding between them.

If they even don’t have an understanding of that dynamic within themselves then they’re just going to judge their partner, “why are you such, you’re a party pooper? Why don’t you want to go out to the party?”

And the other person’s going to be like, “why can’t you just be by yourself and just enjoy a night to yourself and hang out at home and connect? Why do always have to be out and about?”

So without that self-awareness, there’s just going to open up the door for judgments, criticism, and misunderstanding.

Steve:  Yes. Very good point. This is just another layer of self-awareness. This is how we become more conscious as people because higher consciousness is higher self-awareness.

Jeffrey Platts: Yes and I think partnerships and friendships are a way or a door to that.

Seeing what you get triggered by in the other person is a great way for you to see what is going on with you.

Relationships are mirrors and to we view ourselves; that’s why the context of the relationship matters I think.

Because cool, do you view a relationship as a place for you and your partner to grow together? Or do you view it as a place like,  “I’m going to do, live my life, you’re going to live your life and then we come together occasionally and have sex and have dinner and watch movies and that’s it.”

Or is the relationship a container, a living, breathing organism?

A container for you guys to mutually explore each other's worlds and move through this world learning about each other and growing. Individually and together. It’s important. I think it’s just a matter of just having that simple context.

Steve: Yeah.

Jeffrey Platts: There is a huge shift because otherwise, it’s just a simple kind of partnership. We’re together, we’re married, we live together, we’re activity partners and that’s it.

And there’s not much there, that’s not the relationship that I want to have.

Steve: Kute Blackson who we had on one of our first podcasts I remember him saying this…

I believe that person you’re with for however long you’re with them is the perfect partner for every single partner you attract is the perfect partner for you in that moment in time and they reflect to you and show you yourself what you most need to see, what you most need to experience, what you most need to integrate, what you’ve suppressed, what you most need to heal or learn or grow into within yourself. They are the perfect manifestation of your unconsciousness of your own self. They are the perfect mirror for you at that time. So you ultimately attract into relationship who you are.

Jeffrey Platts:  Totally.

Steve:  So you get this feedback loop and then you need some time alone to work out what’s going on and then you need the deep communication.

Jeffrey Platts:  Yeah, it’s similar to you both agreeing to show up at the basketball court and play the game of basketball with the rules that you’re both are agreeing to play.

Versus, if you don’t have any choice of what game you are going to play then one person is at the basketball court with their basketball ready to play the game of basketball, and the other person turns up with a tennis racket and is complaining about you not playing.

Whereas, if you just simply agreed that, hey, let’s either both play tennis or let’s both play basketball you know in the context of our relationship there will be a lot smoother sailing. Then if at a fundamental level you both view the path of relationships differently.

Steve:  Do most guys come to you realize what they want in a relationship?

Jeffrey Platts:  I mean part of it is I think is getting clear on that. I think we get a lot of mixed messages on what a relationship is and isn’t.

“A man is supposed to, or men are always going to cheat or men are always like this”, or “we’re biological creatures and we’re always going to be… bla bla bla” So there’s all types of just different peeling the layers of what’s really just bullshit that we kind of picked up along the way (through culture) and what’s really what we would truly want.

For example, I may say to a guy, “I get that that’s what maybe your father was like or that’s what your family was like. But let’s just really, look at what really is true and what do you want as an individual man that has free thought and free will and free choice? How do you want to show up in this world?”

Steve: Yeah, and it’s the same for women listening as well?

Jeffrey Platts: Yeah a lot of the stuff that I teach (even though I work with guys) it also applies to women too. There are definitely nuances that experiences and metaphors that men get, will get more easily. So that’s why I kind of like to prefer to teach from my own experiences as a man. But, I think yeah, they apply to women as well. So, for sure.

Steve:  Yeah in the respect of having this vision of expanded soul growth and realizing that your partner is going to be a reflection of what’s going on inside of you. This is your chance to step up and be the woman or the man that you can be in a relationship.

Jeffrey Platts: Totally.

Steve:  Watching our parents doesn’t have to be the way that you’ve seen it all your life if you haven’t seen a good example of a relationship.

Jeffrey Platts: Yeah, that’s part of it too. A lot of us don’t have models of relationships that are thriving. Also for me longevity of a relationship is not a success. It’s a metric, sure.

You can be with somebody for 40, 50 years and just be sitting on a wall of resentments and hiding it.

Either resentments that you’re aware of or not aware of and hiding them and putting on a happy face and just saying, “oh, let’s accept this about us” and you build up your tolerance of resentments and then what will you be getting out of 50 years together?

That’s  not what I want in my world. I think a relationship that is continually thriving and learning from each other and growing and finding new edges to explore within each other, I think is the ideal way to have a relationship.

And then there are different other ways, you can choose differently. But for me the clients that come to me and the guys that I really want to help are the ones that want to view relationships that are different, in a different way than what’s norm. So, yeah longevity’s great and about quality and quantity in a relationship.

Steve:  Yeah, and always learning and always growing because we always make mistakes as humans.

Jeffrey Platts: Yeah, of course

Steve:  As long as we’re all learning and evolving.

Jeffrey Platts: One of the most bullshit quotes I ever heard is, “all you need is love”, right in a relationship and yeah, it’s a foundation for sure.

But to think that that’s all that there is?

When you have a conflict,  you’re going to need some other things to help navigate the relationship.

Because you know you can love somebody and have them be a really horrible match for you as a partner. And so, that can be a trap to think that, “oh I love them.”

Yeah, there’s a lot of people that I think I’ve loved but they’ve never been ideal matches for me in the relationship. So you’ve got to zoom out and take a look at all the different areas of how the relationship works on both energetic level (do you love them?) And how do you actually work in a day-to-day fashion you know, on a practical level? Are your personality types, are your values, are your ways of viewing a relationship, ways of resolving conflict, are they supporting the relationship and are they supporting you and your own growth?

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