Authentic Push & Pull

Human beings live inside a series of conversations that shape the way we see ourselves and the world around us. One dominating conversation in American culture is around being “pushy.” People live inside conversations around:

  • Not being too pushy
  • I hope this person doesn’t find me pushy
  • I’m not pushy enough
  • I just let things go with the flow
  • Things will happen the way they are meant to
  • I don’t want to force something

Cultural Concerns

There are many more concerns in the world of being too pushy in American culture and they often impede our performance around what we are committed to in our lives.

Consider that attempting to avoid being too pushy and pushing to dominate an agenda can both be two sides of the same coin. Often, our conversations around how pushy or not pushy we need to be are around our own survival at the expense of our own Self-expression and vitality. 

Consider when we are completely on mission, aligned with our purpose, operating from our higher-selves, and completely in flow, the prevailing concern isn’t about being too pushy or not pushy enough but simply honoring our mission at the deepest part of our core. In those moments, if you look, you will see that some people perceive you as “negative” associations of you, such as a version of the following:

  • Being too much
  • Being pushy
  • Being overwhelming
  • Being too intense
  • Persistent (in a bad way)


Then, if you take a look, there will often be people where the very same behaviors occurs as:

  • Confident
  • Persistent (in a good way)
  • Having grit
  • Tenacious
  • Grounded
  • Integrous
  • Easy To Work With
  • Committed


The Experience Of Operating From Self

When you are operating around your deepest purpose and on mission at the highest level of Self, there’s a natural not caring how your actions occur to others and there is the experience of the freedom to be, express, and create. You will notice in those moments you will experience being more productive, in flow, grounded, and naturally not caring how you come across and seeing the “impersonal” aspect of it (both positive and negative associations). 


Eric Schleien | Friendship 1

What Gets In The Way: Push/Pull

What gets in the way of this is the concern of how pushy you are. First, don’t resist your natural instincts. Some people are natural pushes and some are natural pulls. Natural pulls will often be awkward at not moving things forward and it comes off as “weird” in the space or they will feel disempowered around it. Natural pushes often push too hard and feel like shit doing it and feel the experience of Self diminish in those moments.


My Experience With Coaching Clients

When I work with clients, I have them get to acknowledge their natural proclivity. For anyone who knows me, they will know I am a natural push. It’s no secret and pretending like I am not one only fucks me up and has me resort to being a domineering asshole. Not acknowledging your lack of pushiness, one often becomes a frustrating do-nothing to others who want to work with you. Two sides of the same coin. 


Requests & Invitations

An exercise I often do with clients is I share with them the “IDR Continuum” which stands for Invitations, Requests, and Demands. Clients who are natural pushes discover for themselves that their requests are often demands disguised as requests. Even when they are not they can often land as demands. People who are natural pulls and who are afraid to push or have some negative association around it (as an expression not manipulation), will often be making invitations when they should really be making requests. I give a homework assignment that for an entire week they can only make requests (the ones who have a hard time making them) or can only make invitations (when they want to just make requests or demands). 


Not A Technique

What the pushes find is that their productivity goes up by making only invitations and the pulls productivity goes up by making only requests. Of course, this can degrade into an inauthentic manipulative tactic rather quickly so I make it clear it is just an exercise and not a formula.

Permission-Based Dynamics: Entrepreneurs & Dating

Two areas where I see this significantly make a huge positive impact on people’s lives is in the area of entrepreneurship and the area of dating.

Now why these two areas specifically?

Because there’s no contract. It’s all permission-based. If I want you to come on my podcast, I can’t fire you if you don’t show up. If you break up with me, you don’t get a deduction in a paycheck (…unless of course, I’m your sugar daddy #jokes). 


Entrepreneurial Work

When it comes to entrepreneurial work, the more you start to get in your head about how you are feeling overwhelmed by some new opportunity, not ready for something, not sure about something, the more it will impede your performance. However, it’s not uncommon for someone to say they want to come on a podcast, then you invite them on and they “aren’t ready” and don’t come on until 6 months later. In 6 months, I could have done 3 more episodes with them. It’s easy to see where others limit their own performance and harder to see it in ourselves.

Like clockwork, anyone who experiences living fully from their mission and being successful at it will observe others limiting and diminishing themselves when brought with new opportunities. The truth is, people will only operate within their own box. If everyone could see new possibilities and take on new opportunities by the horns without getting in their head, there would be many more business owners and fewer people taking on jobs they hate and felt stuck at. At a job, there’s routine, there are basic expectations, and there’s the threat of being fired if you don’t perform. With looser partnerships, there’s no immediate noticeable negative impact derived from getting in your head and stopping yourself. Of course, there’s a huge impact it’s just blind. It’s the unseen. There’s no boss to encourage you or demand you do your job. Your mental garbage takes over and it clouds your decision making against your own interests. However, when we share and share and share and are proficient at making requests and invitations, people experience a sense of freedom and support around us. In essence, they get the space to be and rise up to the occasion. A demand destroys that. A request that lands as a demand, or is a demand in disguise, does the same. 


Dating & Romantic Relationships

Dating is the same way.

Have you ever noticed a woman who on the surface seems really smart, driven, and all-around has her shit together but then you see the kinds of men she tends to go for and they are fratty meatheads who don’t have a personal development bone in their body? You can bet your fucking ass that this girl has a thing around push and Self-expression. Why else would you only date men with a diminished sense of Self-expression? See, men who are fully Self-expressed will land as overbearing, pushy, overwhelming, and other negative experiences in that world. I’ve also observed women who tend to attract men who are pushovers and they are never happy in their relationships. Nearly all of them are constant demands for attention so they attract men who will feed that flame. Men who practice weird pickup shit tend to attract women who are into that and they tend to be immature and manipulative. In essence, when you start making invitations and requests authentically, you end up attracting men or women who value the freedom and space and are in a certain headspace that will thrive off that communication.


The Dynamics/Games You’re Committed To

At the end of the day, if you find yourself in certain dynamics, it’s easy to keep going harder at what you are already doing. If you are afraid to make requests, then often being more passive becomes the new technique. Like women who expect men to put in way more than they do. It’s a game that pushes away mature men that really value partnership and don’t want to feel like they are doing all the work. They will push away givers with strong boundaries and end up attracting manipulative men, wealthy sugar daddy wannabees, or pushover nice guys who will feed into that. And like men who expect a woman should always do all the work, who won’t go down on them, etc, and end up attracting really giving women who give to takers and have low self-esteem.

When you are unsatisfied with the dynamics in your life, it’s always on you to notice the dynamics/games you’re committed to engaging in. 

Set the conditions, see who shows up to the party.


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