Your marriage and the Law of Receptivity


 

You can listen to the podcast version of this episode on Apple, Spotify, or this audio player:

 
"Giving is a two person operation. It takes the other person for the giving to complete the circuit. And marriage is nothing if not that." — John David Mann, co-author (with his wife, Ana Gabriel Mann) of The Go-Giver Marriage

This episode is taken from our full discussion with John and Ana, which you can view/listen to here.


Curt Mercadante interviews Ana Gabriel Mann and John David Mann, co-authors of The Go-Giver Marriage: A Little Story about the Five Secrets to Lasting Love.


"Everybody has a hard time with ... The Law of Receptivity," said John. "The thing about it is that... Giving is a two person operation. It takes the other person for the giving to complete the circuit. And marriage is nothing if not that. You can appreciate the other person. Look for ways to thank them and to tell them that they're terrific, and tell them what you love specifically about them. But the other person has the responsibility of accepting that, of taking that and saying, 'Thank you. I appreciate that so much.'"


Ana added that it's important not to holding a "giving-and-receiving scorecard."


"In all marriages, we find that people are really holding a scorecard," she said. "And that it's an extremely difficult thing for them to drop. It's like, 'Well, I made him breakfast five days this week. Do I have to do it... Two more?' Just this whole idea that, 'I did the dishes three nights in a row, don't you think it's your turn?'"


"So it's important to remember that as long as you're holding the scorecard, it's you versus me. You're always keeping score in that way that it's like, 'You're over here and I'm over here.'"


For more than a decade, readers of the bestselling Go-Giver series (of which John David Mann is the co-author) have been clamoring for a book on how to apply the philosophy at the heart of The Go-Giver to their personal relationships. From Mann and his wife, Ana Gabriel Mann, a clinically trained therapist, this long-awaited sequel shows readers how to unlock a deeply satisfying, abundant relationship based on simple, everyday acts of generosity.


Ana Gabriel Mann, M.A., holds a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and dance-movement therapy from Antioch New England, where she specialized in working with adults and family therapy. In addition to her work in family therapy and 5 Secrets marriage coaching, she has served as clinical director for a support program for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, co-founded New England’s first college of Chinese medicine, and worked as a corporate consultant, speaker, trainer, and business coach. She is the creator and lead facilitator of the Go-Giver Marriage Coaches training program.


John David Mann is coauthor of more than thirty books, including four New York Times bestsellers and five national bestsellers, including The Go-Giver (coauthored with Bob Burg), which has sold over 1 million copies and won the 2017 Living Now Book Awards Evergreen Medal for its “contributions to positive global change.” He is married to Ana Gabriel Mann and considers himself the luckiest mann in the world.


John and Ana have been dreaming about cowriting "The Go-Giver Marriage" and bringing its message to the world ever since the first draft of John and Bob’s original book came sliding out of his desktop printer in early 2005.


Full Transcript of this Episode:


Curt Mercadante:

There are several... And I like to ask about this too. It's interesting because the book are always fables or parables, but you have a fable inside the fable with the book and the tree. But there're several instances where there's giving and the person isn't excited about receiving. "I'll make you tea." "Whatever." But in the receiving you make the other ... It's again, that circulation of, "When you give to me, I don't want to take it. But when I do, you feel better. And then begrudgingly, I feel better too."


Anyways, that was just an aside about receptivity, and thinking about that and what happened last week, and the continuity of the books. Because I think it's hard for us to accept. Hey, we all [inaudible 00:00:54] giving gifts. But-


John David Mann:

Everybody has a hard time with that fifth law and The Go-Giver, The Law of Receptivity. Bob and I have experienced this for a decade and a half now. Everybody says this first four laws just felt right and natural to me, but the fifth law was a struggle for me. And the example that I think both of us always tend to give, the easiest example to see is, how hard it is to receive a compliment gracefully.


When someone says, "You're looking terrific today." And it's so easy to say, "Oh, what? This old thing? No. Just something I got at a thrift shop." People say, "Well, that writing was fantastic." You say, "Oh, no, no n-[inaudible 00:01:32]." You go, "No. No. No. No. No." You shoo away compliments. We do it all the time. And that's what you're talking about, you were trying to shoo away the [AirBuds 00:01:40], whatever they're called. [Earbuds. Earpods 00:01:44].


The thing about it is that... Giving is a two person operation. It takes the other person for the giving to complete the circuit. And marriage is nothing if not that. You can appreciate the other person. And I was talking about, look for ways to thank them and to tell them that they're terrific, and tell them what you love specifically about them. But the other person has the responsibility of accepting that, of taking that and saying, "Thank you. I appreciate that so much."


And in relation to growing, Jonah was talking about, there's an old saying in sales, you can't sell from an empty basket. You can't give from an empty core. If you're exhausted, and drained, and your life is on hold, you can't give much to the other person. Growing yourself, nourishing yourself, isn't just giving to yourself. It's also giving to the couple. It's giving to the both of you.


Ana Gabriel Mann:

And that brings me to one piece that I want to make sure that we mention before we end today, and that is in all marriages, we find that people are really holding a scorecard.


Curt Mercadante:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).


John David Mann:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Ana Gabriel Mann:

And that it's an extremely difficult thing for them to drop. It's like, "Well, I made him breakfast five days this week. Do I have to do it... Two more?" Just this whole idea that, "I did the dishes three nights in a row, don't you think it's your turn?" It's the whole-


John David Mann:

Oh, I said three nice things to you.


Curt Mercadante:

[crosstalk 00:03:34]. Yeah.


John David Mann:

[crosstalk 00:03:35]. Something nice to me.


Ana Gabriel Mann:

Yeah. Yeah. And also sometimes people will authentically appreciate somebody or give some really positive feedback and there will be a sense that it wasn't received, they'll just grumble and go on their way. So it's important to remember that as long as you're holding the scorecard, it's you versus me. You're always keeping score in that way that it's like, "You're over here and I'm over here."


But when you drop the scorecard, you're able to basically get back to the us. And it's important in all marriages to remember this is the person you were madly in love with, that you married. Think about the day you got married, you were just so excited to join with this person and start the rest of your life.


So it's really important to lose that scorecard. And it's something that people naturally hold onto, because they want to keep score on the giving. They want it to be like, "Well, I gave to you, so you should give to me now." And "Hey, how come you never bring me flowers anymore?"


John David Mann:

Oh, it can be like withdrawal, letting go of keeping a scorec... It can be like withdrawing from a drug. Because people just are attached to that sc... It's a way of reassuring myself that I'm really a good guy, because look at the things I've done for her. I've done six things for her and she only did five and a half things for me and that's not fair.


Curt Mercadante:

Yeah. Yeah.

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