Jan. 31, 2022

E196: Relationships and Love with Warren Kennaugh | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, we have guest speaker Warren Kennaugh talking about relationships and love. Warren Kennaugh, born with a curious mind for how things work has been in hindsight; a blessing. As there is only so many mischievous experiments one can...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e196-relationships-and-love-with-warren-kennaugh-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes

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In this episode, we have guest speaker Warren Kennaugh talking about relationships and love.

Warren Kennaugh, born with a curious mind for how things work has been in hindsight; a blessing.

As there is only so many mischievous experiments one can undertake (plus the need to be credentialed for a career) mechanical engineering emerged as an exciting adventure to embark on. While breaking things and the understanding of structure and form was fascinating, the mystery of human behaviour became an undeniable obsession.

The winding journey of understanding human motivation in action has led to careers in sales, people centric innovation projects and leadership with major financial institutions, before emerging into the field of behavioural science.

The Critter Code has been a 10+ year journey of looking through the lens of “the discovery of who we are can be made easier, by fully understanding what we love and attract into our lives”.

So, Unbroken Nation, are you ready to understand your partner's personality secrets?

Listen and join us! Warren shares some insights around the things that he learned about relationships.

Learn more about Critter Code, visit: https://www.crittercode.com/

Get a Paperback copy of Think Unbroken Understanding and Overcoming Childhood Trauma for FREE at: https://book.thinkunbroken.com/

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Michael:Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest, Warren Kennaugh, who is a behavioral strategist of 25 years and the creator of the Critter code, which I'm incredibly excited to have this conversation with you, Warren, how are you, my friend? What is going on in your world today?

Warren: Doing really well, Michael and really fantastic to be here with you and your extensive audience. You know, really looking forward to sharing some insights around the things that I've learned about relationships over the next over the last 26, 27 years.

Michael: Yeah. I'm very excited too. I think people often maybe just because it's a forest for the trees, kind of thing while we are in relationships and all capacities at all times sometimes I think that we forget that and so I would really love to know a little bit about your background, your journey and what's kind of brought you to where you are today.

Warren: Yeah. I started at my first career, as it may seem a little bit strange, as an engineer, and probably, that was one of the greatest things that's board insight to the work that I've done over the last 20 plus years because an engineer you're actually looking at, why do things actually happen? You're looking at patterns; you're looking at areas of sustainability, you're looking with the curious mind about how things are manifested and create it out of that and went into a sales role, which I became incredibly interested in how people do what they do. But the work that I've been doing now, for the last 20 years provided me a bit of an opportunity to take an engineering framework about how are some people successful and really good at stuff and how did the rest of us, actually, just kind of bumble around looking for the light switch in the dark? And so that's been an absolutely fascinating journey over the last 20 plus years as I've mentioned through personal relationships, through a lot of corporate work, through a lot of work with Elite Sports people fundamental trying to understand how they do, what they do both for good and bad.

Michael: One of the things I've always been curious about like to an extent I definitely consider myself to be a high performer, but there's also levels, right? And I think I'm still trying to figure out how to go to the next level and I would argue that most people, despite what we may believe, are actually not as satisfied with their life, as they like, to be because they want to accomplish more, achieve more, have more fulfillment, more love, more hope, more empathy, more everything. What is it that you think these people who studied over the years, who are these incredibly high performers and incredibly successful people, what do they have in common that we all have but we just haven't tapped into yet?

Warren: Look a great question, I think high performance is probably a term that's overused sometimes and misunderstood. You know, to the point where it's almost a bit of a good term sometimes, if we look at the people that are really, really amazing in their field, they absolutely understand who they are, they're really clear on what they're trying to do and most of us have kind of got versions of that. And the third point being is that they tend to go really overweight into being very specific and very focused and very disciplined about certain areas of their world that they want to make better.

The reason I free ride here and so with some of the really high performing people that I'm working with at the moment, I'm actually suggesting that they go and have a look at documentaries of people who are absolutely world-class in their area, people like David Foster, Robin Williams, David Geffen, even to some extent Tiger Woods, all of those people are absolutely amazing in a certain area, but they have sacrificed enormous areas of their life for a winning in a certain area. So, I'm not suggesting we all need to be turning into people, who treat people badly or people with depression because you look at all of those guys and their areas their life that are absolutely terrible. So, to answer your question simply, people that excel at outcomes in a certain area are absolutely prepared to be focused discipline and do things that most other people won't do.

Michael: It's fascinating to me because I think you're right, little of trade off to try to get what you want to have in life you kind of have to give something up. I think unfortunately kind of the the precursor for that often is people it's often relationships, what do you think that is?

Warren: Look, I think to be brilliantly successful at something let's say in a career, you actually have to prioritize that over pretty well, everything else, and to some degree it's selfish and look, if we look at it through the other way, if I want to do a lot of charity work them to some degree I need to over reference that over other things, I need to prioritize and need to do more of that. We look at the success that you've had with your show, I bet there's some days you just don't want to do it, I bet there's some days, you'd much prefer to go to the beach and have coffee with your friends then kind of go, oh my goodness, I need to get up and do this again, right? You know, your success has been on the fact that you've actually prioritize this in your audience over things that I'm sure some of your friend’s kind of goji's, you know, I wish I could see a bit more of it, but he's so busy doing his thing.

So, the concept that Utopia exists and that work-life balance is this amazing blissful thing, all that does is sell the Harvard Business review and magazines like that's all that does. I actually argue to some degree in that sure you can be 50/50 and that's probably great, there's no criticism of that, right? Each person's working their own journey, each person is carrying their own backpacks, each person is finding their own level of personal management. So we know were more critical but broadly what I might suggest if you have a lot of things equally weighted at 50/50, you can end up with nothing.

Michael: That's really powerful. And yes, I think that there are many people in my life who are like, man, you're workaholic, but I'll tell you this Warren and I don't feel that way because I'm very driven and what I'm trying to do and I try to be as good as I can about not sacrificing friendships or relationships or community, but like, to be honest with you, sometimes by proxy it just happens because I'm so zeroed in perfect, example, I mean, look at this, it's a Saturday afternoon and you and I are sitting here having a conversation. And to me, I look at this, and I go this conversation today, could be so impactful in somebody's life, that it creates this massive change and I'm willing to not go to the beach and have coffee today even though I know that would be a really fun thing to do. Now in context, of course, on occasion, I take a break, I will turn off, I will go and have those experiences, but I feel like the only time I've ever had real success in my life and massively focused. I think about this a lot and I wonder if this concept of work-life balance is just nonsensical and what I mean by that is it's one thing to go and have a job and you work for a company and you get to come home and turn it off, I've been there, I've had that job and that's really easy. But I think when you're trying to build something, you're trying to create whatever it is in terms of the life that you want to have, I don't think you can balance it because ultimately, it feels neglectful to try to balance creating the life that you want to have like, does that resonate with you, in any

Warren: Totally great. And I almost take that even further Michael to kind of go what your version imbalance, and my version of balance might be absolutely different to someone else's. And they might look at you and me and kind of go at these guys never rest, are workaholics, they must be unhappy and we're actually kind of going or not really and we might look at them and kind of go, if you just get out of bed a little bit earlier and you want to move. I will never forget a quick story I work with a gentleman 30 years ago and run into him in the street, it must have been about 12 or 18 months ago. And I said it was this time when I said before, what we must catch up for a beer, be wonderful to kind of catch up and I said to him and we were actually in the same career together and in an engineering career together and I said to him, what are you doing, and he said to him, I'm still an engineer and I went wow, that must be really, you know, tell me about that and he's done some pretty amazing things around that. And he said, you know, you remember my wife Jackie and I said, of course I do, I was there when you guys made, I went to the wedding, of course, I remember Jackie. He said, I'm still married to Jackie and I went, wow and he said remember the house that I, that Jackie, and I first moved into, and I said, yeah, he said, we're still in that house and I'm kind of going wow, and it was really interesting and he's just such a great guy, you know, really relaxed had had four kids and coached all the basketball teams and and baseball teams and did all of that. And he said to me, you know, what are you up to? I said, you know, I've lived overseas and I've had a series of careers and this is what I'm trying to do now and it was a really great moment with Phil said to me sounds like you're really restless and it was interesting. I kind of a wife, and I actually said, I'm wondering, what would have been like, what feels had an opportunity to exist, interesting we're at the same starting point, and now we're diametrically opposed and I wondered what he'd actually had that being over relaxed as allowed him to actually have. And whereas, in my case, I've been a bit more driven or restless or something like that and that it afforded other things. So I think there's some really great examples, I could easily look at a judgment or window and kind of go, if you'd have just were a bit more driven and weren't so relax, imagine what you could have had, right? And he's looking at being kind of going, jeez, you must never rest.

Michael: Yeah. It's such a fascinating juxtaposition to me because, you know, I look at people and one of the greatest things that I think I've come to understand probably within the last year is we're all having a human experience and nobody's really, right, nobody is really wrong, we're all just trying to figure out what is the best thing for us. And, you know, there are people who they want the family and the kids, and the coach, the game world and that brings them fulfillment and what I think Warren that is the word that you have to leverage when you're thinking about, how you spend your time because to me, fulfillment is everything.And because of that, it pushes me and drives me to go, okay, what do I need to do to make my life feel like it's exactly what I want it to be? And there may be a moment in time where it comes from like, actually, you know what, I want the wife and white picket fence, and for kids and coach all the games, I don't know, you know, I just always try to live present in this moment and say, who am I today right now? But one of the things that I'm really fascinated by those relationships and why they are so important to us and why often probably more so than not we fail to understand the importance of that. I'd love for you to talk and I've been to that especially being the relationship or that you are.

Warren: Yeah. We kind of get away from relationships even if you're a single person you probably got friends, you relied it work it eats. You know, we live in a world where we need to indirect and enable people in multiples of ways, all the research and people like Martin Seligman, Seligman have done an amazing job over the last 20 years about looking at happiness. All the research proves that we actually thrive better in tribes where tribal animals, we work better when we're connected with groups of, you know, potentially like-minded people, we extend our lives through happiness in relationships and connecting with others. But if I take this somewhere else, is my experiences in the things that I've learned is that what we do when we're either in a personal relationship, or even in a work relationship or just with friends is that we're getting somewhat attracted to people who are somewhat like us but also who was somewhat different to us.

Philosophically, my perception on this is that to some degree we get attracted to someone certainly in a personal relationship, long term life partner relationship of someone that has a piece that we don't have. So if I make it really, really simple, the perfectionistic person who likes all the socks and all lined up in the dishwasher stacked in the certain way attracts in their life the person who is free and makes plans on a whimsical and is enormously disorganized. Now, there's probably two extremes, right? What we're not comfortable with is actually finding someone who's exactly like us, no one wants to come home consistently, and think of this is analogy and find someone sitting in your favorite chair, all right? No one wants to come home and find that after you perfectly stack the dishwasher, someone else's restacked it, no one wants to kind of do that, right? We get really cranky, and it's not going to work if you're in a relationship, if you're a bit whimsical, when you're in a relationship with let's make plans on the fly and let's do the make stuff up as we go along. If both of you are like that, nothing is going to happen, your phone bill, electricity bills never going to be paid. So we kind of work that out to some degree, we're from my perspective, we're attracted to people in our lives who are somewhat similar and got similar values to us, but almost diametrically opposed in pieces that we don't have, and were meant to learn were not meant to grow and become one.

I know the Mills and Boons, you know, novels would be having that, finally, I feel complete when I found someone else and I ride off into the sunset with a white, picket fence 2.7 kids and a black dog and rainbows are appearing, I'm everywhere and everything's kind of happy. I know again that sells magazines and sells romance models, but it doesn't kind of pan out that way.

Michael: Yeah, and what I think is really interesting about that too, as you know, we often I think subconsciously go towards those people. I don't know that ever in my life I've ever really sat down put like a line down a piece of paper and said let me go find the polar opposite human being that I'm gonna connect with and whatever capacity. Why do you think it's so inherently a part of the human experience to go to that polar opposite?

Warren: I think this what we are trying to do, we are trying to complete ourselves, we are trying to learn, right? So if you're in a relationship with someone and let's say that that person is very meticulous and your limit, let me stick with the same example, very meticulous and you're very free, from my perspective what were meant to do is we're meant to kind of go look, they've got a bit that I don't have, they've got discipline, they've got focus, they've got execution, they've got order, they don't have freedom, right? That's okay, I've got that bit and perhaps need to learn how to be a bit more discipline, ordered, focused in my life not the way that they do it, not the way that they do it by the way that I do it. So from a freedom perspective, what does a little bit more discipline and order look like and conversely the other person who's spends 20 minutes, organizing the sock drawer and you know, putting all the shirts and the clothes and the right order, which is fantastic by the way, easy to find could actually to go look today. I'm not going to wear the shirt, I'm not gonna wear the shoe at Max Saturday. I might actually just kind of go witches and I just really love to wear today and and they're not to meant to do it the way that the other person does it they're meant to actually kind of go what's the essence of who they are, and I'm attracted to that, there's something about that I like and some there's sometimes about it, annoys the hell out of me but they're the rub points ride so sometimes it's too much, sometimes the unplanned is too much. But what can I take from who they are, and put it into my world so that I have more Personal Mastery, so that I have a better understanding so that I'm a better human being.

Michael: So one of the things I think is really fascinating in the dichotomy of relationships, is, when you have these polar opposites, sometimes you have this narrative that begins to play out where suddenly one person once the other person to kind of come on board to their lifestyle. What is that control thing? Is that a like this is a comfort thing, where does that aspect come from? Because I've seen it just as some people want more control, some people want freedom and then there's this ebb and flow of like, can I bring you to my side?

Warren: Yeah. Look, and welcome to the human race, right? We're not trained in relationships, right? We're not trying in that stuff at all and when we get a few years under our belt, we kind of work, I understand where my first seven marriages went, right? I said that with a smile on my face right there, but, you know, understand we're kind of trying to grow up and the quarterback, marries the cheerleader, and all of that type of, all of that type of things. And so, where this kind of comes to, if we can value differences, if we can kind of go and let's say, I'm the fruit and person and relationship, and if I can kind of go, I really value how when we go away on a holiday, when either you open your bag, or I open my bag, this everything in order, I can absolutely see how everything's in order. I really kind of value that and that really helps this as a couple. So what I've now done this is not about you need to dial down on the perfectionistic, you know, get it right stuff all the time you need to come across to my side this is not the moment that happens, there's either a blip in the relationship or the moment the cement sets around that, Michael, I can tell you where the relationship is headed. We're heading for divorce and we're cutting up the dog, where there's the heart, your half of the dog there's my heart at that, never it goes. Well, so when it becomes about, you need to come to mine or I need to go to yours, I can tell you long term that's not going to that the relationship is the beginning of the end.

Now, if it's a little blip, there's nothing wrong with that but the moment it sets, it's a problem, what were actually meant to do, we're almost meant to create a co-created space we're at least 51 percent of the time I'm actually contributing to that, I'm contributing to our relationship, it's not about, you need to be more like me. And by the way, that would probably make me feel comfortable, but I'd get pretty bored with that, by the way, or I need to be more like you, which means, I need to give myself away at some point I'm going to get resentful and run off and find the next door neighbor, a bit attractive, and go and refined myself. I see it all the time in careers, where people get into a job, they want to of themselves, they overwork themselves, they take on too much, they lose themselves within a role, they lose their anchor, in their identity then all of a sudden they need to resign to actually go and find themselves again and start the whole process again; we see that in personal relationships the whole time. So, no one wants to not be themselves there's no doubt about that but it's this bit about this co-created space, about understanding the differences, and actually contributing to something greater than ourselves.

Michael: Where do you find the balance? And it's funny because we're coming back to this, where do you find the balance of (A) taking care of yourself versus (B) in other side of it really trying to focus on understanding your partner.

Warren: Look, that is such a great question and a that is correctly adjusted every day, that is correct adjust every day. So, there's got to be a balance for each individual and there's got to be a balance for a couple. And again, it's not the stuff that we kind of talked about, it's not the stuff that we that we tend to get into a relationship and basically say, look, I really like my time alone and my time alone looks like, going for long walks by myself on every Saturday afternoon, how does that fit with you? How would that work for us? So it's this is a negotiated process, this is a transparent process.

And I think that, really good long-term relationships we get to learn about ourselves and we get to learn about another individual and the challenge is actually how do we keep having these really important discussions about you feeling valued? Are you getting in needs meet? That's for each cup, each person in the relationship but also how we going as a couple? how we getting that balance, right? Am I listening too much? Am I talking not enough? Am I to unplanned? Are we counting too many socks on Thursday morning? I think those discussions that we need to become a lot more sophisticated about and I know that's a really simple and kind of come on morons, give me something a bit more headline and a bit more smashing than that, right? But I think that's the practicalities of any great friendship, personal relationship, business relationship, that really goes around calibrating around who we are and what we're trying to do.

Michael: Yeah, and for a moment there, I thought to myself, you know, that sounds so rudimentary, right? It sounds so simple. And why is it that we overcome?

Warren: That's a really great question. Well, it takes courage to lean in, right? You know, it really takes courage to lean in and kind of got how really are we going? Or you know, all jokes aside, you know, if we were recommitting today would you do that? And that's because when might be, you know, the answer goes back, well, not today. You know, what adjustments do we need to call? what adjustments, do we need to go? It's the courage of having them vulnerable conversation where you putting yourself on the line to kind of go, I don't feel like I'm getting enough of me.

So normally what we do is we don't have that we run away, we are the run away with their friends or I might so, we start talking to the attractive neighbor over the fence or we got a track or we do something now, I think all of, that's okay. But, we're not having the discussion, we're not having the vulnerable discussion or the correct understanding with, by the way, the person that we've, you know 2, 3-year 5, 30-year relationship with. And all jokes aside, then get very expensive when you start having those conversations elsewhere.

Michael: And that doesn't necessarily mean monetary, right? That's emotional great that the currency in your soul.

Warren: Hold on, and, of course, because he is the engineer in me Marco then there's the pattern again. And then, you know, we talk about a personal relationship with so a lot of people jump in a personal relationship, get overly committed, lose their rank and lose themselves, you know, end up debt, you know, over-committing then washing their partner’s car, walking their dog and they've only been dating for two or three weeks, then all of a sudden, you know, then the other part, trying to hold this is pretty fantastic, I'm listening, can you pick me up from work tomorrow? I've got a couple things on the girlfriend, we're just cancel that. And all of a sudden, there's a little part of that goes on for 6 months that are person basically says I can't do this anymore, there's nothing in me and it's so again, you know that we pull away break that relationship, go and find us and we start again. We're so much creatures are predictable habit that we don't want to kind of look at and unless that change is going to get the same result every time this is what I've learned over 26 years unless I actually change what I'm doing unless they change and I saw a great quote from Jordan Peterson the other day that basically said, you know, your thinking is so important because it drives your perception, then bird's eye view, decisions and it dries your actions.So what you think about something is really quite? It's the big scheme of things seeking, you know kind of nothing, but when you actually linked it that way like he did and he's so right. And we go back to that example are just had in the person, got it, I'm really loving this person, I really want to commit, I really want to give them all, I really want a real show them everything, I really want to show them my heart and you know all the threads are cut out, here we go again, so you would six months, right? Because we won't see you for the next six because you'll be too busy, you know over loving and over committee go and edit, six months time we do what will happen, you'll pop out of that relationship because you've lost yourself and connect a bit with us until you find commit to.

Michael: And in that, so I won't spoil the surprise because I know that you're going to dive into this, about the relationship of kind of mix and how they play into what you've deemed the critter code and how we can understand kind of like the animalistic relation that we have as human beings in relationships.

Warren: Yeah, look. And this has been on my mind for many years. How do we actually make this fun? So, really couple of distinctions here about the critic. The critic code is known about, it's not about me. So quite often there's a minion personality profiles out there that you can actually find out about, what Disney princess you are, whether you know where you are in Myers-Briggs, all of that. So, and it really is fascinating as my business partner myself, Karen McCready, myself, I've actually been playing with this concept of the critic code and most pulling up morning, when I am cutting, isn't that interesting? You're actually in a relationship, wouldn't it be great to actually show some interest in your partner, to have some great understanding of your partner?

So that, so the critic codes, really designed, if we start back to where it kind of started from is a fun and interesting way where you can actually answer some questions and get a profile back about your partner. And so that gives some really great insights into the person that you're in a relationship with and wouldn't it be great if the other person did the same and you actually sat down and had a cup of coffee and shared the results and basically kind of go, I know this is how I feel about me and this is what I think I know about me and I've been living with me for a while so I think I know quite a bit about me. Isn't interesting as you the person that I've chosen to be in a love relationship, how you perceive me?

Michael: That’s sound dangerous.

Warren: Yeah, let's not be too risky on a Saturday, right? We've had people write back and say, listen, I've been married for 25 years and there are elements of these they were elements of, my partner that I've never understood and more to the point I never realized that I was projecting myself in a certain way.

The great psychologist, Bob Hogan, can talks about we have a night, we have identity and reputation. So identity is about why do I think I'm doing things, so identity can be about, Michael, you and some friends are coming over for lunch, I really need to get this, they're really great friends of mine, I really want them to have a great time. So I'm going overboard on polishing all the toilets, I'm vacuuming the house, I'm cutting the lawn, you know, I'm setting up the house for Vogue magazine in shoot just about, that through the kind of important. And my wife aren't kind of going to me, my goodness, you know, you are punitive, perfectionistic, angry, anxious, so there's the difference so that's not my perception of what I'm doing. My perception is I want to get it right; this is really important to me. So my identity is I really care about Michael and his friends, I want them to have a great experience, I want to showcase some really great cooking that I can do, I want everyone have an in time, so, that's my identity, that's what I'm trying to do. And of course, what we seeming, the outside world is that, I'm cranky, I'm snitch, I'm sure, I'm perfectionistic, I need to get it right, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I'm not communicating. So that's the difference between identity and reputation, Bob Hogan had it, exactly, right? So what were very good at doing is actually working at our own identity now, and that's okay, if you want to live in a cave and not talk to anyone and I think there's a place so self, awareness and self development. But when you're in a relationship, this is very much about having the courage about actually kind of sharing with someone about a perception about how they view you and how you view them. This is not kind of something you wouldn't do without a couple of stiff cups of coffee under your belt, but it is courageous again, right? And would we love to know what they really think of us, every one of ever ask their questions to assess it absolutely, right? I would really like to know what my wife, really thinks of me, right? So we want to know that, but do we have the actual courage to kind of do that?

So the critic I was kind of found it in a way to kind of go. Let's tip this thing on its head a bit, let's not kind of, you know, do the millions of personality profiles out there where people can actually go and find out about themselves. So, we've taken known traits of nine Critters and their bits of fun, so, you've got the Busy Bee, which is a bit perfectionistic and we're trying to make this a little bit of fun so and not take it too seriously. We've got the lap dog who always wax their tile, and just loves to see people and very loving, we've got the peacock who's actually a real, very much about me and look at success, and amazing and it's all about me, we've got the zebra whose very unique different concept with the zebra was there actually a horse, but they're not really kind of horse, there are unique, don't belong type of person. We've got the owl which is all about knowledge and loves to keep to self, we've got the sheep is very, very loyal, we've got the chin pussy pile of fun to be around, but always free and whimsical and doing things, we've got the Rhino who's quite domineering and a great leader and we've got the jellyfish who just kind of floats along. So what we did is we took some some lovable critic characters and we broke them down into three areas. We broke them down into what truly drives the motivation of each one of those Critters.

Now, this is the stuff that you and I were talking about a little bit earlier. The second thing is what's their real strength and the third thing is which is what we call the hero code and the third thing is what we call the villain code. What's the thing that they consistently do that drives you insane and probably ends up destroying the relationship.

Michael: And in that when you go through that and you sit down and you find this out, is there a level of this in which is probably a discussion between partners to determine this but is there a level in which you go, oh, this is clearly, there's so much evidence here that this is not a plausible relationship, the continuation of this is probably more harm than good, you know, we should just shake hands walk like how do you digest this information in a practical way to decide, ok, cool, now we know more about each other, let's go all in or oh shit we know more about each other time to hit the eject button.

Warren: So I think it really brings a great discussion to corner guy. Well, first of all, is that my experience is when someone brings me feedback like that and I've been through to kind of go, okay, how much of this do I know? Let's just accept it as, let's accept it as true just for a moment, all right, let's explore so, the first point is don't react and fine.

So, first of all, I would say, if anyone brings you feedback or if anyone brings to this stuff just kind of go, okay., let me explore, let's sit, let's explore to what degree both of us think that this is true. So it really focuses on the villain code of your partner, the Bees that's really kind of annoying and there's a really simple 5 step process.

First step process is…

You've actually got our own your reaction when your partner is doing their thing. You've actually got to own that what it's pressing within you.

The second thing actually do is to stop reacting to that so we've got a good at the first thing is called own it; the second thing is called Park and park it is very much a really about just stop reacting, stop trying to get even know, stop fighting what's kind of going on and reacting to your own triggers.

The third thing is actually a called hogan and Hogan is actually about having empathy and actually kind of going, look, my partner's probably having a bad day, I can see what they're doing, some things changed in their world, how can I be supportive rather than critical.

The fourth element is sayatt and what we've actually done is instructed ways that you can actually speak your truth in a manner that will be heard to your partner depending on what type of Critter they are.

The fifth thing is actually bank at and Bank it is very much about how do we take, what we've learned and move forward.

Now coming back to your point, Michael. If I'm rigid, if I don't want to shift, if I don't want to give anything, if I don't want to collaborate, if I don't want to add anything to that joint what I would call, as we space in the relationship is pretty well done. And I think some of these conversations can actually, bring is actually bring greater empathy in the relationship but I also think it brings greater sense around, I'm just not prepared to shift on that, which actually then causes you to quite kind of go, is this really for me?

Michael: Yeah, and I think so much of that sounds like in this, you have to assess whether or not. Again, come to your point like, is this accurate, is this true of, who I am, you know what? I think one of the hard parts about whenever you take one of these Personality test, whether they be Myers-Briggs, or whatever is like to an extent, it almost feels like who am I today right now in this moment that's going to determine the answers to these questions whereas what it sounds like more so here you're like, can I take a deep dive into really trying to evaluate and understand who I am in general every day not just in this moment. Why do people lie on these tests?

Warren: To protect their identity, you know, the validate who we are, what we know Michael is that we've all got up, we've all got a map of the world, we've all got a what we value in the world, you know, if you and I were to get together and go for beer and so Michael, you've lived an amazing life. What do you think is absolutely important to be successful in the world? Now, if I wrote those down, that would be your map of the world, you need to be calling, you need be generous, in addition, to work hard, and they do this, is that okay? That's fantastic, that's your map of the world. And so what we don't want to do is and by the way, when we meet someone else's map is totally different, whose DNA code is totally different about the way that they navigate the world, that's where fights begin, right? So if I was to say to you look, I totally disagree, I think we need to be a conniving underhanded manipulative, and just find rich people that we can live off. Now, that's probably going to be a pretty short discussion between you and I, you're probably not going to say, well, I found a kindred spirit and let's play in our life together, we're going to fight against that.

So, first thing that we actually do in the reason why we react as we're trying to protect how we make sense of the world and what we know from all the research that if we can't make sense of what's going on we will never be in a relationship, will never perform to a higher level. So the reason why that I want to reject things that could be possibly right wrong or inaccurate is because I need to protect myself and I find it so fascinating that we get in the critical, we get your partner to feeling questions about you and then potentially bring some findings to you to kind of go, wow, not all of this is accurate, I'm right and by the way, there's nothing, that's 100% accurate, you want that, pay someone to follow you around for about two weeks and watch everything you do.

So, while all of these things, that technically accurate, they're not 100% accurate and of course, you can find fold in anything if that's really what you want to do. So we encourage people to kind of go look for the things that resonate and you might know to be true and isn't your partner actually come see, what basically says look, I've got something here 50, 60, 70 % I agree with and I'd like to share with you about what this says because this aligns with my perception. Now, I'm kind of having a stiff cup of coffee at that point in time to kind of go, right? Let's strap on for this one and of course, my thing to do is not to find fault with it, well, why did you do that? I disagree, totally wrong, you know, that's not going to build a loving, mature, growth focused relationship.

Michael: Yeah. I think also a huge part of it is being willing to reconcile the fact that you don't actually know everything about yourself and that to me is really mind-blowing because you're like, well, I'm only me every single second of every single day, how could that possibly be? And so when people get to this place where they come through and they discover, you know, I did one of Jordan Peterson's test recently, and I just thought, myself for a moment, I was like, damn I really don't know who I am, like, because there's so much depth of the human capacity. And, you know, you think there's research that says, we have six thousand thoughts a day and up to 60,000 thoughts a day and so, when you understand that and you look at that knowing, and looking at the subconscious programming and conditioning, that 95% of your thoughts are made subconsciously, you're only really tell you so much about yourself and so having that reflection, I think that is one of the most important things that we can do. I'm going to tell you right now, there are people listening who are like, this sounds great, but I am so scared of the idea of doing this, it's intimidating, it's frightening and feels alarming. What would you say to them?

Warren:  So there's a couple of ways to do it ideally the gold-plated, you know, position of Mastery would be for both you and your partner to sit down and do it. Do it on your part and learn something about your partner so you can log onto the critical get the report about their villain code and actually understand for you about how better to manage some of the traits that drive you a little bit nuts about your partner, those repetitive truths. And look, I think you're right about the complexity of who we are and what we know from personality, Michael is that there are still power patterns within that. So there are still when I'm under stress and pressure out there's only a certain series of things that I go to and do, there's not an array of 100 things that I do, there might be a hundred things within the pattern, but there's not a hundred patents that actually a kind of going on here.

So step one could be for your own self development and if these partner is important and you want to have a bit of fun go and answer the questions because they're basically in terms of does your partner do this, does your partner do that and then actually I would have to take some learnings about about them that could be an easy place to start. Of course some people might even be at that point where they're actually going to, I don't even need to know anything about myself. So there's enough free online tools to explore the Myers-Briggs, the Peterson stuff, there's lots of great tools out there to kind of do that but as a starting point, you might actually kind of go. I want to understand a little bit more about why my partner does certain things and I want to know privately about how better I can manage that for me as a starting point because it really drives me insane every time the restack the dishwasher, and I don't understand what that's about I've actually and then of course we have a fight. What don't you think I'm good enough to stack the dishwasher on quite successful, don't you know this don't you know that then we're debating about you know, we're ruining the evening if not, the relationship-based on stacking the dishwasher and wouldn't it be great to know how better I might react to that.

Michael: Yeah, and I would guess Warren it's never about the dishwasher as it is.

Warren: Is about that issue and by the way, you know, I could see easy for me to terminate this relationship and then move on but you know I've already attracted one dishwasher stacker into my life but the probably attract another one and of course, you know, where did you do when you get past your twenties in your 30s where you are invincible, actually kind of look back and try to go I think I could have been a bit smarter about that I've had relationships with about 10 dishwasher stackers and none of them have workout right, perhaps, it's me.

Michael: Yeah. Well, that's such a funny thing to have is that experience of reconciling the fact that it actually might be you, you might be the problem and that what I think is really beautiful about that however, is that, when you have acknowledgement, it gives you the ability to framework a new understanding to change a belief to step into a new identity, to create a new framework and parameter of who you arebecause as you know, the brain is plastic, there's so much more ability for you to challenge in shape but if you don't bring attention to it, it'll never be different. And I think that yes, of course, there's always this thing where you go, well, what is my attachment style? Why do I get in controlling relationships? Why do I get in relationships where I'm invisible? Why do I do all these things? And like, obviously, you can't, so much back to this in being your developmental years, your experiences with your own parents, the models that you have relationships, you know, when you were in your developmental stages and ultimately like – you can get into this place where you're assessing your life and your relationships and not judging yourself, but instead just to make meaning of it so that you can continue to move forward and more so, so that you can have something better or different on the other side because I think about this, you know, you put your two or three times you're going to know, not to do that anymore because there's the physical pain of it but in relationships, whether they're in career or work or life, or partners, friendships, whatever it may be often the only time that we have received that our hands on the stove is in retrospect so, if I can come in and do one of these, you know, quizzes tests I get into it with someone who can reflect and mirror that to you, man, I'm telling you, it's so beneficial.

And so for people who are like on on their seat about should I, should I not do this, I'm curious, I think you should just go for it and see what happens. Warren, my friend, this has been an absolutely phenomenal conversation, I want to ask you a couple more questions. The first question is, what do you think is the biggest that people have about relationships in general?

Warren: I think the greatest misconception needs to some degree and we're kind of coming out of a kneeler around this, but you know, all like, love conquers alland I will find the one and while I don't philosophically disagree with that, but that's going to require work, that's going to require to some degree learning about ourselves investing in ourselves relationships, whether they're personal relationship, your friend relationships going to create conflict, are going to be messy and not going to be easy. So I think this great great concept is if I just put a really great photo on social and look good and that's going to cover 90% of it and a way we go.

Now, I know that to some degree, the experimental years and the fun years that's what it's about, which I've totally agree, but it's very much is about learning about ourselves as much as learning about the other person, the moment that you're actually trying to seek your wholeness and who you are in someone else, it's fraught with danger. And as I think back when I was a young fella, I said that was what it was all about, right? That was the whole journey and there's so if we can actually accelerate that there's got to be something in it for you as an individual, but it also is about learning about yourself along the way otherwise, you will consistently, be putting your hand on the same stove every 6-12 months, five years, and actually kind of go, I cannot believe I'm getting burnt and all of our friends are just giggling themselves off a chair because he goes Warren again.

Michael: Yeah, there's so much power in introspection and in personal development and trying to figure this out. And it's incredible to me like the deeper I get an understanding myself, the more I understand about the world and I think that's such a big part of this process is the willingness to first and foremost, be vulnerable with yourself. Warren, before I ask you my last question, can you tell everybody where they can find out more about you and the Critter code?

Warren: Yeah, absolutely. So, pretty simple, all the www.crittercode.com, you can find us to on Instagram @crittercode and that Facebook at crittercodeHQ. So, we're doing, actually do a countdown to Christmas at the motor countdown to the holiday season where we talked about every Critter about what their special Christmas Focus will be both fun and annoying so, we've tried to make this a real pile of fun and I'll get this across to you in an email to Michael, we've written a current and I've written a book about the critter code, as well as doing the quiz and we've also got a code that unbroken 21 that if your people get on and pay do the test, I'll also get a free copy of the book. So I'll send that across to you in an email so that we can so that you can put that up on as this get shared across your network.

Michael: Absolutely, we will put all the links in the show notes, of course, and everywhere for people to come, and take this test because I highly encourage it. My last question for you Warren, my friend is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Warren: Look, it's means to be absolutely as best as what we post, the best is what I possibly can to be to be vulnerable and honest and to do that to be consistently challenging myself to mod living my values, am I doing the things that I believe in? And I am doing that the most courageous and vulnerable way that I can do it.

Michael: Beautifully said, my friend.

Warren, thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you for listening.

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Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

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Warren Kennaugh

Author & People Geek

Born with a curious mind for how things work has been in hindsight; a blessing.

As there is only so many mischievous experiments one can undertake (plus the need to be credentialed for a career) mechanical engineering emerged as an exciting adventure to embark on. While breaking things and the understanding of structure and form was fascinating, the mystery of human behaviour became an undeniable obsession.

The winding journey of understanding human motivation in action has led to careers in sales, people centric innovation projects and leadership with major financial institutions, before emerging into the field of behavioural science.

During the past twenty-five years as a behavioural strategist, I have been fortunate to work with many hundreds of highly successful executives in major blue-chip organisations (who taught many wise lessons) and in more recent times, supporting elite professional athletes as they chase history making performances in professional golf, world rugby, international cricket, and Olympic glory.

Spurred on by clients who were looking to develop closer personal relationships, it became obvious to explore why we attract love into our lives, what that love is here to teach us and how we can easily get it all wrong.

The Critter Code has been a 10+ year journey of looking through the lens of “the discovery of who we are can be made easier, by fully understanding what we love and attract into our lives”.

I owe much to a challenging high school teacher, a niggling thought “that there has to be more” and the unwavering support of my family who permit me the freedom to explore my own path and most recently, the great work of Critter Code co-founder, Karen McCreadie.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.