#19. How Dads Can Communicate and Thrive in Intimate Relationships – Kimberly Hill

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My guest today is Kimberly Hill.

We go deep talking about:

  • How to ask for feedback and actually get useful answers,
  • Interdependence vs. Codependence,
  • How to communicate your feelings and needs inside a relationship and make requests,
  • The fundamental desire women have in intimate relationships,
  • How men sabotage vulnerability and trust in relationship,
  • The importance of developing a regular check-in with your partner,
  • The trap of perfectionism and people-pleasing,
  • Why date nights are vital to building a strong relationship,
  • Why filling up your own cup as a dad is selfless not selfish,
  • Dating for single and divorced dads.

Kimberly is a Certified Dating & Relationship Coach and Master Neurolinguistic Practitioner who supports men to attract and keep healthy, loving relationships.

She has thousands of hours of direct intimate work with men on confidence, dating, and relationships and brings a mastery of coaching, emotional maturity practices, and leadership to her clients.

Kimberly’s unique coaching style brings in a humorous and lighthearted approach while getting deep into the heart of what really matters. She will find out what truly moves you and get you the results you’re looking for when it comes to dating, relationships and love.

She has experience with a wide range of modalities and practices from psychology, energy healing, mindfulness-based stress-reduction, relationship theory, dating strategy, neurolinguistics, and solution-focused coaching.

Find Kimberly online at: 

Web: kimberlyninahill.com

IG: @kimberlyninahill


The Gottman Institute Feeling Wheel

Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. Today's guest is Kimberly Hill, we go deep talking about how to ask for feedback and actually get useful answers. Interdependence versus codependence how to communicate your feelings and needs inside relationship and make requests. The fundamental desire women have in intimate relationships, how men sabotage, vulnerability and trust in their relationship. The importance of developing a regular check in with your partner, the trap of perfectionism and people pleasing. Why date nights are vital to building a strong relationship by filling up your own cup as a dad is self less not selfish, and dating for single and divorced dads. Kimberly is a certified dating and relationship coach and master neuro linguistic practitioner who supports men to attract and keep healthy loving relationships. She has 1000s of hours of direct intimate work with men on confidence, dating and relationships and brings a mastery of coaching emotional maturity practices and leadership to her clients. Kimberly's unique coaching style brings in a humorous and light 100 approach. While getting deep into the heart of what really matters, she will find out what truly moves you and get you the results you're looking for when it comes to dating, relationships, and love. She has experienced with a wide range of modalities and practices from psychology, energy healing, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction relationships that are dating strategy and neurolinguistics and solution focused coaching. You can find Kimberly online at Kimberly Nina hill.com. That's kimberlyninahill.com. And as well on Instagram @KimberlyNinaHill. This is an awesome conversation. I love having women on the podcast to give a different perspective from the dads and other men we have on here. And Kimberly really showed up with a lot of actionable insights and hot takes on what it looks like to have a successful loving relationship today for men. One of the things I like most about this conversation was that so many of the tools that Kimberly shared for relationships are actually transferable to parenting, how you show up as a partner with children, how you speak to your children, how you show up as a dad in your children's lives. There's a lot of carryover here. So whether you're looking to become a better partner, or a better father or a better man, there's something in here for everyone. With that being said, let's dive into this conversation with Kimberly Hill.

All right, Kimberly, thank you so much for joining the Dad.Work podcast, I am pumped to talk to you today.

Kimberly Hill 2:28

I'm excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Curt Storring 2:31

Yeah, of course, the first thing I wanted to talk about was why men, you are a female coach of men and what got you into men's coaching in the first place?

Kimberly Hill 2:40

Yeah, it's a great question I get asked it pretty frequently. And there isn't like some poetic answer as to why men, men are just an underserved portion of the population when it comes to mental health and support for dating and relationships. And obviously, I want to show up in support people where it's needed the most. And also, it's just it's very familiar, very comfortable for me. So before I started my coaching practice, I had a corporate job for just about 10 years, just under 10 years in Australia and Singapore, I traveled with my work, but I worked in financial derivatives, and that that niche is very masculine dominated. So I've always worked with men in some capacity where I traveled with them or reported to them, or I hired them or fired them, or whatever it was, I always was in the energy of men. And it's funny when I decided for all these various reasons to leave that role and start a coaching practice. The first thing I did was say, I should coach women, because I'm a chick, I can help other chicks, I can help them succeed in the corporate world, help build their confidence because I had done it. And I thought, Great, I'll impart my wisdom there. But I realized that that wasn't what I was really good at what I was really good at is holding space for men. Because I had been doing that for 10 years. And I thought Great, I had all these misconceptions to be honest about like coaching men as a female and I thought, well, they're not gonna want to listen to me, they're not gonna care. I'm just gonna attract a bunch of guys that want to you know, talk about sex and hit on me and and then I was like, What am I thinking these are all a bunch of self limiting beliefs. And I work with a coach that helped me kind of nail down this niche to support men with confidence, which later turned out supporting men with their confidence in dating and relationships because I I recognize that that was the area that they were really looking to get supported. So why men a whole bunch of different reasons, but sometimes men just need a female perspective and I'm happy to provide it.

Curt Storring 4:56

Yeah, that's so exciting. And that's why I wanted to have you on is because we can Got that female perspective? And it's not just what is she thinking? What do I need to do here and like we can learn all this from experts, friends, mentors, but to hear it from not only a woman who has experienced it on the other side of the man, but also as then working with men, there's probably a lot of stuff you have been able to hear that others wouldn't just touched on very briefly there like why relationships, confidence, it sort of just worked its way in there. But what about relationships specifically, drew you to this? Like, are you in? Do you have an awesome relationship? Like what how do you help men in relationship?

Kimberly Hill 5:33

Yeah, well, to be fair, I think often most practitioners are people in a helping space are often teaching what they need themselves the most. So my dating history was really, it was the spaghetti at the wall tactic, like I didn't know what I was looking for. In a partner, I didn't really understand what my strengths or weaknesses were, when it came to an intimate relationship, I just kind of just waited for it. And I didn't really think much about it wasn't very intentional. So when I had one relationship that ended and it tore me apart, and then another one that kind of didn't work out, and I was really hurt by it. And then another one that I just felt wasn't right, and, and a toxic one, and I was going, what the heck is going on here? Like, I can't just go through life blaming these men, and thinking that these men are the cause of the end of all these relationships, I had to actually look inwards and say, Well, what am I bringing to the table, and where am I also contributing to the problems. And so a lot of it was because I also wanted to learn how to have a healthy relationship, even though my parents have been married for 35 years plus, and they're still together, and there has been no infidelity and things like that. And they love each other very much. Just watching them wasn't enough to teach me exactly what I needed to know, to be successful. And yes, I am in a loving, caring relationship right now. And I'm so happy to have found the man of my dreams. But I still have to work at it. And I want to help people understand that just finding a person isn't just going to then solve the rest of your problems. And so through helping others I help myself. And the truth is, like learning about relationships is is not really something any of us do. We just learn from osmosis, we take in the relationship that our parents had, we look at the relationships that are happening around us, we watch movies and videos, we read articles, and we, that's what our understanding of a healthy relationship is. So when people get in them, and they realize it's not working, or now I'm divorced, or now I'm single, and I have kids, and I don't know how to date again, or why do I keep attracting the same kind of person? Or why did my relationships always seem to end in the same way? It's like, well, maybe it's time to figure it out. Maybe it's time to learn a little bit in this area, it's time to actually invest in an area that matters a lot to you. So yeah, I love showing up and supporting people in this. And the truth is, I'm not perfect, I don't have it all figured out. So all of this is supporting me along the way, too.

Curt Storring 8:14

That's awesome. And I love what you said about having to find out your strengths and weaknesses. Because in parenting, I find that my kids are like my greatest teachers. But relationship itself can also be that teacher that points out the triggers, points out the things that can continue to come up habitual practices and things like this. And so So what kinds of things have you done to find out your strengths and weaknesses because people just go through inertia over and over and over. But there has to be intentionality for change. And so what are some of those things that you've done to? Yeah, strengths and weaknesses?

Kimberly Hill 8:49

Well, of course, I'm an advocate of having a coach. So I've had many coaches that asked me the right questions to help identify that as well along with counselors to and in all, I asked, actually, people around me for feedback. So I've gone to my friends and family and say, What are my top five strengths? And what are my top five weaknesses from your perspective, and got feedback from people around me. And one of the things I learned from doing that was, I love humor. Humor is one of my values. It's something that I need to have in any relationship, friendship or intimate. And one of the things I realized about myself or getting this feedback was that my humor can push a line sometimes with people. So what I find funny, can sometimes come across as critical to another person. And one of the things I didn't really recognize in my prior relationships that I finally did recognize when I started asking for this feedback was that people love Kimberly because she's humorous and she's very light hearted but people can also want to stay away from Kimberly when her humor starts to make them feel less than so and so those that's one of the things that was huge for me the To recognize that I was doing inadvertently, in my prior relationships was actually criticizing my partners. And thinking it was funny. Like, I know a lot of us use sarcasm and wit and humor and and so it was really helpful for me to get that feedback from people around me because I wasn't really seeing that within myself, but it was a pretty big problem. So of course, getting feedback from other people, and then taking courses, working with coaches, you know, doing the exercise is all part of the journey reading books, you know what I mean? There's so many areas that we can draw from.

Curt Storring 10:34

Yeah, and I think it's just a good reminder for people to remember that you can always dig in like any part of your life, if you just put some attention there. It's like, oh, there's some questions that come up. And sitting with that discomfort is another step. But just knowing like, oh, yeah, I guess I can like, ask people. How did you how did you solicit the negative feedback? Because a lot of friends and family will be like, Oh, well, it's your No, you're a good person. Was there anything that you asked specifically to be like? Yeah, I need to know.

Kimberly Hill 11:01

Well, I mean, I said, Please be honest with me, it's not going to hurt my feelings. This is going to help my growth. I was doing it with a coach that I was working with. And so for me, I I asked, most people just point blank and write to their faces. I said, What are my top five strengths? And they were like, boom, boom, boom, boom, rattle them off. And I was like, Okay, awesome. So what are the five things you think I need to improve on? Or maybe I'm not so great at. And I said, Please, like, I gave them this consent, to be honest with me. And so they, they were and so this is going to help me. And maybe I just the product of the people I have in my life that are not afraid of being honest with me, which is a good thing. And they know that I can take it, they know that I wanted this feedback to help me not to make me feel shitty. Hopefully, I could swear here. But of course, yeah. So. So I got honest feedback. And it was super, super helpful for me.

Curt Storring 11:53

Amazing, okay, that's yeah, it's good that you had those people in your life, but simply asking with the language to, you know, where can I improve? And that's what we do in you know, projects. And even in our men's group meetings, we ask one another, not necessarily what sucked. But where can we improve? And that's a good way to phrase it. Yeah. In relationship, the first thing I want to go into is just some misconceptions, because I saw a post recently that you put together on Instagram, about, it's not your responsibility to make your partner happy. Yeah. And I talked to someone recently about this. And they were like, a lot of people come in, like CS. And they try to come together to form an O, but both people should be coming in is full O 's. And what that means is, rather than 50% on each side, I think that each person needs to be coming in at 100%. So maybe, you know, riff on that for a little bit. Talk about more misconceptions that you see that men make, and then you know, don't have relationships work out?

Kimberly Hill 12:50

Well, I think I'm going to speak right to that point. TV movies have told us that we are searching for our perfect match a soulmate, a twin flame, whatever you want to call it. So we're out there looking for someone to complete us. In fact, the Spice Girls started this right when they sang the song, when to become one, it's like, no, we're now singing about codependency, which is not helpful for any relationship. So what we're looking for in a healthy relationship is interdependence. So we don't want to be so independent, that we can't rely on our partners for anything. And we don't want to be so dependent that we need our partners for everything, we want to be interdependent, which means we want to have our own identity. And our partner needs to have their own identity. And we can then come together and we can rely on each other for certain things. We can help lift each other up, we can share a beautiful life with one another. But we're also a separate identity from that person. I know this is really hard for people that get married and then divorce, they feel like they don't know who they are, they lose their sense of identity, because they're so used to being so and so's husband, or so and so's wife. Like, Hi, my name is Kimberly, I'm Andrew's wife. It's like, actually, I'm just Kimberly, to know what I mean. I'm not I'm not attached to something else. So this notion that we need to find our perfect other half, or someone to complete us, leads us to believe that the other person is responsible for certain things in our life. And that is why I put that post up dear man, it could be dear everybody to be honest, that you are not responsible for the happiness of your partner. It doesn't mean that you're not. You can just like give up and not do anything to support them or make them feel good or if they need you. You're like no man, you got to figure it all out for yourself. That's not what I'm talking about here. But what I'm saying is, if your partner is going through a difficult time or they're not finding joy and satisfaction in their lives, it is their responsibility to make sure they're working on that. It is not the partner's responsibility to alter their entire life. to try to make the other person happy, because that's a losing strategy. And I think and myself included, I believe that was true. In my prior relationships, I expected, my boyfriend's to make me happy when I wasn't feeling good. And it was a lot of pressure for them. And when they didn't succeed, they felt like failures. So

Curt Storring 15:23

and so if you're a man who understands this, and he's doing his own work, and he's in a relationship that feels like, this is the expectation, how can he communicate that? And? Yeah, look,

Kimberly Hill 15:37

when it comes to communication, sometimes there isn't the most eloquent way of saying things, it can just be, hey, I feel like there's a lot of expectation on me in this relationship to make you happy, and I'm concerned, right, we can stick to I phrases I'm concerned, I'm afraid, I feel like this is too much. For me, I feel like there's an unequal balance, I feel scared, whatever it might be that you're feeling to share that with your partner, and that it's often to then have a positive request, I would really like us to both work on the things that make us happy, I would really like us to both have hobbies that make us feel fulfilled, or I would really like us to go to couples counseling, or see couples coach or whatever it might be. Right.

Curt Storring 16:22

Right. Okay, that sounds like there's a little bit of almost nonviolent communication going on there. Like, here's a feeling I have, yeah, because here's a need that I have. And then making a request, which I love. I'm a big proponent of that kind of communication. Yeah, I have any other

Kimberly Hill 16:37

Sorry, I was gonna say I have a client right now. Who is was actually considering divorce, he was considering leaving his partner. And so he's reached out to get coaching to get some clarity before making this big decision. And I think that's fantastic. So anyone that's kind of struggling in their relationships, and is like, teetering on the edge of like giving up, get some support to make sure you're making the right choice, because there are things that you can do to improve it before it gets to that point. So the reason I say this is because what I'm recognizing in him is like this, this, it's kind of all his partner's fault right now. Right? And he's not happy. And then I started asking him questions, well, what do you do to make yourself feel fulfilled? And he doesn't have an answer. Right. So it's a classic case of, he has given up the things that bring Him joy and passions in his life, to support and please his partner. Now, he's not a happy individual. And guess what, his relationships not happy. So the other person is no longer making him happy, because he's trying to make them happy. And he doesn't feel connected to them. And so the solution is to then disconnect further, when in reality, I've now encouraging him right now, of course, to do certain things within the dynamic of the relationship. But more importantly, I'm saying, what are the things that you enjoy doing? Why don't you go do one of those things this week, and he's like, wow, like, I'm giving my self permission to go have fun, again, and do the things that make me who I am, make me the man or the woman that so and so actually fell in love with, because so many of us give up these things in order to fit in the construct of a relationship. And then we're, it's like, our soul slowly dies. And it's like, we want to get into a relationship and have our soul expanding and growing, not the other way around. So I think it's just important to share that.

Curt Storring 18:32

Very well said, Yeah, I like that. This, this reminds me that a lot of things that we talked about on this podcast, and then this group is filling up your own cup, which is exactly what you just said. And if you think of it like that, if you have nothing in your cup, because you're all about everyone else, it's not selfish, as a father as a partner to start doing things for yourself, because it becomes a self less act as you can give more to other people around you. And it also reminds me I've been thinking a lot about this lately is that men, I believe, have a huge amount of power to make a relationship work or not. And I don't mean like in a controlling over someone, I don't mean power over someone, but we can breathe so much life and love and compassion into both ourselves and our partners to really sway how the relationship is going. And rather than blaming or showing up 50% and waiting for the other side to come to us. I think if we just go 100% That's the only way you know if it's ever going to work. So is that something that you see as well?

Kimberly Hill 19:34

Oh, 100% like, I mean, I don't know how many times I probably repeat the same message which is, do you be you like when women are attracted to men? It's because they are authentic to themselves. Like the reason I'm attracted to my partner is because when I met him, he was like a package of cool things, right? He he was confident and sure of himself and he was employed He, he, he had friends, he had passions and hobbies that I had nothing I knew nothing about. And I was attracted to a man that had a purpose that had passions, right? What what can happen in a relationship is those passions and purpose dwindle, your then wife or girlfriend becomes your purpose and passion. And that's not really the order of things right? A man should put himself first and his purpose and then his partner, and family and it doesn't mean third is awful, it just means there's an appropriate order to do things. So be who you are, be the man that women were attracted to in the first place, the kind of guy that like was satisfied, and I use the word satisfaction, for a reason happiness, it goes up and down, right? We can be happy when it's an emotion, we're happy one moment, we're not happy the next moment. So we want to measure our lives on a scale of how satisfied we are out of 10. Right? If you're eight or nine at a 10 satisfaction, that's pretty good number you're doing a lot of right things, you have some good balance in your life, you want to be able to maintain that moving forward. So yeah, just keep showing up with who you are. And don't like don't let little pieces of you go away.

Curt Storring 21:21

Yeah, that's great advice. And it sounds like a some of this is similar to what David data talks about in the way it's Superior Man, is that what I'm picking up on? Because yeah, he says in there, like you say that a man's number one motivation should be his purpose himself. Freedom from constraint. And that's actually one of the next questions I was gonna ask is what are women looking for in relationship? And this is so broad. And so general. And I've heard it say that all women are looking to be in a love story. I've heard it say that women are looking for passion and surrender to the masculine. So what what is your answer to that question?

Kimberly Hill 21:56

What are women looking for? Well, let's be honest, women are going to be looking for different things. But primarily, there's a foundation of safety that women are looking for, like, we want to feel safe in all contexts in our relationships, we want to feel, obviously, physically and emotionally safe. That goes without say, but we want to feel safe, in a sense that we trust that partner, to allow ourselves to dip into our feminine to be really vulnerable, and to know that we're in a really safe place with that man that we're sharing our lives with. Safe in the sense that we trust that he's going to make the right decisions for himself and for the family. It's just that container of safety that women want. When we then get intimate with men in the bedroom. For example, if we feel that safety, guess what you get all of us, right? But if we don't feel that safety, or we feel like you might judge us or criticize us, or we're not enough for you, we can't blossom we can't give you are like true essence. So ultimately, women are looking for safety, right? And then of course, women are going to look for slightly different things from the men in their lives. And that's very dependent on the values that that woman has. So for me, what I'm looking for in a partner is adventure, because I value adventure. Like I want to be with someone that wants to go on adventures, because if he didn't I I would feel like there's a part of us that's not really matching up, right? I need a man who has humor and lightheartedness. So without that, well, we ain't gonna jive. Because that's how I am in my core and in my essence. So ultimately, women are always going to be looking for the element of safety, but then it really depends on the values that they have. Right?

Curt Storring 23:48

So yeah, it's it's such a personal question. And I think it's very important to get sort of archetypal answers as well, because there is sort of underpinnings, whether it's masculine or feminine energy that can be shared and, and you're saying the vulnerability piece, particularly, and allowing that container without judgment. And I think we'll probably get to this at some point without fixing it, which a lot of men do. It can allow women to blossom and give, like you said, and it's only two rare that I see this, or I hear about this in my friends in the men's group that I'm in and what are some of the ways that men sabotage the vulnerability and the trust?

Kimberly Hill 24:29

Well, the thing that comes to mind for me right away is like, what sabotage is that vulnerability and trust is if the man doesn't have it within himself. And this is probably like a answer you weren't expecting. But if, if I sense that my partner doesn't value himself or trust himself, I'm going to find it really hard to also trust him. I don't know if that is translating or making sense so men can sabotage it. Yeah, very easily by like giving off that energy of unsureness within their life, and what's going on for them. Yes, women like masculine feminine, right? We want that assertive dominant like in control, like organized kind of energy that we are drawn to because we are in winner we are in, when we are in our feminine, we're very chaotic and emotional and all over the place. So being able to then get attracted to the rock, so to speak, is like creating that polarity. Men can also sabotage exactly what you said, trying to fix, right? If we, if we are vulnerable about something, or we share some experience that we've gone through, and men are very tapped into their logical brain, and they try and solve our problems for us. It makes us feel unheard. Right? It makes us feel like we can't trust our partner and open up to them. Because instead of them just sitting in that feminine with us and just listening to us and caring for us. They're trying to solve the problem, which makes us feel unheard. I always say and I think this is from men or Mars, Women are from Venus, right? When women approach men with an emotion saying like, I felt really distraught today, because this event happened. What we're really looking for the most of the time is for men to just listen to hear us to kind of mirror what we're saying to validate our emotions. A lot of men are really uncomfortable with their partners discomfort, right? Oh, my girlfriend is feeling upset. Oh, I feel so upset. I feel like I've done something wrong, I'm in trouble. I need to solve that problem immediately. So I can get away from my own discomfort. And that sabotage is like the trust. And in that moment where the woman is genuinely looking for comfort from the man, David, data talks about this a lot when like a woman is like emotional. A man can be like, either solve the problem or wants to get away from it, when in reality, women just want you to just grab us and hold us and tell us it's okay. That's where we feel safe in this masculine, right?

Curt Storring 27:09

Yeah, that for me, and for me, this took so long, it took so long to learn. Because you just want to fix because it's exactly what you said, you want to get away from the discomfort. And in my story, it was when someone has a big emotion, it's my fault. And it's my responsibility to then deal with it. And that's often been overwhelming in my life. And so I just like No, put it away. And I see now that connection that has been established. When I say, you know, career or all that sounds really hard. I totally hear that that must suck. It's like, oh, oh, I'm safe. You're like, oh, okay, thank God, then you just get, you know, melted into this wonderful relationship. And what I'm hearing here is that a lot of things that men can do to be better at relationship, much like better at parenting is to work on themselves, is that when you show up fully, when you're not uncomfortable with discomfort, you can just like lay into it, you can go full out you can participate. And so what are some of the things that you work with clients on to show up for themselves so that they can show up for their partners?

Kimberly Hill 28:13

Oh, well, the first thing that comes to mind is learning emotional regulation. So where, where that's going to break down, at least from my experience, where a woman's not going to be able to feel like in that safe container is if a man has got his own traumas or PTSD or other things that have occurred in his life that that don't allow him to stay calm and centered in that moment when the woman's tapping into her feminine. So men need to also and I'm talking women to women, we have our issues and we need to solve them as well. I just want to put that in there because it's not all on men. Right? But to to work on ourselves is a never ending process. So to understand what our coping mechanisms are, to understand how to emotionally regulate ourselves, if we're feeling a flood in emotions do we breathe? Do we go for a walk? Like what are the techniques that we have so we can stay calm and centered and present understanding if you have post traumatic stress or certain triggers that cause you to become super defensive or overly critical or to Stonewall somebody. So we have to be very self aware of what we are presenting and energy we're giving off both men and women do so we always just need to be understanding ourselves more and more and more and more. And I'm realizing this like right now. I'm getting some work done on myself where I recognize like, when I'm in a conflict, what I'm meeting and what I'm actually ignoring in the other person, and I'm starting to understand more clearly my responses that are actually like hindering the connection between my partner and I. So men can also do the same like manner there's a stigma around Getting coaching or getting counseling or getting supports, we think that in order to do that we have to be broken first, and no one wants to admit that they're broken. But the truth is getting support is not because you're broke. And it's because you're an individual values connection and intimate relationships and being better in your life. And you want to learn the tool so that you can actually connect and have a really healthy loving relationship. And there's nothing weak about that. Right? So it's, how do I show up? What are my triggers? What are my coping mechanisms? What is the energy I'm giving off? Do I need to watch my tone? Is there something I can do to make myself feel happier or calm, like learning these things is so important, because otherwise we're never going to be able to have healthy conflict or healthy conversation?

Curt Storring 30:47

Yes, all of those are so important. And I I just want to let fathers know that these things can be used to become better parents. Yeah, yeah. And so it's about learning about yourself, doing the work to find where your trauma is, as you said, healing that working with coaches, with counselors, joining a men's group, and just continuing to find because the emotional regulation piece is so big. And do you find men come to you being uncomfortable with expressing emotions still, because this is constantly one of these things that, you know, we're working on as men being more emotionally aware and intelligent? How does this show up in your practice,

Kimberly Hill 31:27

shows up in every session, one of the first things I do with any client or any client session that I have is we we start off, we catch up and all that good stuff, and then we do some deep breathing. And then we go straight into tapping into what we're feeling internally. And I've asked men like, on these sessions, well, you know, what are two or three emotions you're feeling? They're blank, they have no idea what's going on internally. So I bring up my favorite tool, which is the emotion wheel, which has a bunch of emotions written on it, and I say, well have a look at it. What do you think you're feeling? And then they're like, Oh, I'm feeling indifferent. Or I'm feeling sad, and actually feeling anxious, but also optimistic. And we start to get them to tap into what they're internally feeling. Because a lot of men are just so used to numbness, not feeling anything being so disconnected from their bodies.

Unknown Speaker 32:24

And so yeah, that's a huge part. I go well, so what's making you feel that way? And they're like, what's making me feel that way?

Kimberly Hill 32:34

Although, let me think about it. What's making me feel that way? Oh, yeah, I feel isolated, or I feel sad, or feel lonely or feel disconnected from my partner. And I'm like, yeah, let's get to like the root of what's actually happening inside your body. Because men shove it down women do is to shove it down, we shove it down, our legs are full of emotions, or our bodies full of emotions, we don't know what they are. And guess what that turns into frustration. And it comes out as anger as well. And anger is a very misunderstood emotion. So

Curt Storring 33:05

can you talk about that a little bit? What do you mean about the misunderstanding of anger?

Kimberly Hill 33:09

Well, a lot of people go like angry. Why is that person angry? And often an expression of anger can be because there's another motion underlying that. So anger is a can often be a response to feeling sad, or to feeling abandoned, or to feeling disconnected or underappreciated, or like there's an injustice happening. So anger can also just be anger. someone cuts you off anger, right? Or in traffic or whatever. I feel angry, angry because this happened. But anger can also be like a slow burn, it can be I feel unheard. I'm feeling underappreciated. I'm feeling really disconnected. I'm feeling really lonely. I'm still feeling really lonely. I'm still feeling really lonely. I'm still feeling on hurt. Now. I'm angry. Boom, anger. And it's like, why are you so angry? Well, it's because of all those other things that are actually going on as well. So it can be really misunderstood. That often means something else is happening to

Curt Storring 34:10

Yes, anger as a spotlight, or a red flag or a flashing light to bring your attention to why you're feeling those things is so important for a lot of men. I think that's in our Facebook group, at least like half the men who join say their number one struggle with parenting is patience, anger temper. And so I think it's very important to let these guys know like just how normal of an emotion it isn't. It doesn't mean you have to be destructive. It should be used to like guide your attention into just like you're saying, unheard, alone, whatever it is, and those are all normal things. And anger doesn't have to be destructive. So I'm glad that you went there. That was a very good pickup and thank you. Now, going back to sort of working with partners satisfying partners being in relationship What are some of the ways that we can communicate better? Because this is I mean, obviously a huge topic, I always recommend nonviolent communication, the art of communicating by tech, not Han. But like, how do you help men communicate these things? Because first of all, we have no idea what we're feeling. I mean, you just said that in the first sessions are like, Oh, feelings, what are those? And then having the courage to communicate those like, that's scary. So how have you seen we can communicate these things without feeling weak? or less than or like, oh, I can't be vulnerable with my wife, because you'll think I'm X, Y, and Zed?

Kimberly Hill 35:36

Yeah, well, we have to learn vulnerability. And I guess the precursor to that, too, is like learning to tap into what we're feeling first and foremost. And then understanding what vulnerability really means and how to start slowly with it. And then learning techniques to actually have nonviolent communication, which often is following a structure of I feel something. And then the follow up is making a positive requests after that. And so I say to everybody, and myself included is all relationships should have like a check in now. And then maybe you find out what frequency works for you. Maybe it's every month, maybe it's every quarter, maybe it's twice a year, it's sitting down and saying, How is this relationship going from your perspective? Like, you know, are? Am I showing up? Good for you? Are you feeling connected with me? Is there anything that we should try, or maybe we could do better, or however you want to have that conversation is just saying, Hey, we're two adults that are choosing to spend our lives together, let's check in with each other now. And then, like, it's, it doesn't need to be a doom and gloom conversation, it can be really positive, that partner then you lead with vulnerability and the partner feels that they can meet you with vulnerability, you both share what's really going on. In the relationship, you find out what the other person might need, or what you might need, and then you put effort into give that to one another. It Like It's a, I think we should all do it, we don't because they're so afraid of having these conversations with our partner, because we don't want to be judged, or we don't want to be criticized or we feel like if we actually raise a concern with them, they're gonna break up with us or hate us, or we're gonna make them unhappy. And like, there's so it's driven by fear, when we should be having conversations out of love.

Curt Storring 37:18

Yeah, and that's so interesting, isn't it, that when we have when we think about these conversations, because I have done this with my wife, as well, and it's extremely effective to find out where you're at, physically, emotionally, you know, all the rest of it. And when we think about having these conversations, at least for me, it was, well, you know, if one thing's wrong, then like, Everything's ruined, like, I'm a loser. I'm just like, there's no way to come back from this. And it doesn't need to be like that. And so why do you think it is that like, we're so we feel we feel so vulnerable with someone with whom we're supposed to share a life with? It's like, we can't have one little thing be said to us that we, like, you know, collapse desert or something there? Do you think that we can tap into the like, fix because this should be great. We should be able to be like, oh, yeah, I kind of screwed up. But we just go like, nope, shut down. We're done.

Kimberly Hill 38:10

Yeah, a lot of us don't want to feel like we're a problem. And we feel like raising a problem is a bad thing. And, you know, we want to be perfect all the time, we get into the what's called this all or nothing thinking or this black and white thinking where it's like, one bad argument means the whole relationship is ruined. Or if I if something is going wrong, where we're not connecting intimately as well as we used to the whole relationship is over, right? So we, I always miss say this word, but we catastrophize I probably said it wrong, we make one thing into a big catastrophe. Right. And that's unhealthy thinking pattern. It's this all or nothing thinking. So unless I operate completely perfectly as a girlfriend 24/7. And I do one thing wrong, that's going to end the whole relationship. So I like I'm walking on eggshells all the time. And that's, again, going back to like, a place of fear. Versus I recognize that I'm not perfect, I'm going to make mistakes, but they're not intentional. I'm not trying to hurt my partner. But let's talk about how we can both improve as individuals. So yeah, staying away from that all or nothing thinking and something that we can do around that as obviously creating like positive affirmations around it. Like even repeating to yourself or having notes in your phone or a little affirmation jar that reminds you that, you know, one bad fight does not mean the relationship is over. Or one bit of constructive feedback from your partner does not mean you're a broken individual, right? Because that's how we tend to feel we go to those dark places.

Curt Storring 39:43

Yeah, have you experienced perfectionism in your own life? Like, is that something that you struggle with?

Kimberly Hill 39:50

100% I'm I starsign. I'm a Virgo. So you know the whole world is telling me that Virgos are perfectionist. You know, I'm an eight sight personality. I like to have everything or agonize, I like to be in control. I like things my way. So 100% You know, the first time I had an argument with my partner, and it was a pretty big argument. And I was like, Oh, we had, we had a perfect run up until now I remember thinking that I'm like, damn. But then of course, I reminded myself, wait a second, this is actually an opportunity for us to learn about one another to learn about what I did that upset him to learn about, you know, what he did that upset me and then to come together and like, be more connected and close to the person but absolutely do I struggle with perfectionism? 100%? Yeah, I'm going down to

Curt Storring 40:39

be too. Me too. This is an important point that comes up, I think I'm relating in my head to the no more Mr. Nice Guy. And I don't know if you work with your clients on that stuff. But it's like this idea that if I can just be perfect, if I can just do what everyone else wants of me, then maybe they'll love me. And that's where it came from. For me, like if I attach so much of my personality and my way of being to perfection, that if one little thing goes wrong, I feel that everyone can now see who I truly am, which is not perfect. And if I'm not perfect, the story from childhood comes up that if I'm not perfect, nobody will love me. Therefore I'm unlovable when I screw up and I can't fail. So that's what comes up for me when I think about like, Ooh, I don't want to go there. So

Kimberly Hill 41:23

I know the book, I recommend it to almost every single client I work with no more Mr. Nice Guy and having this people pleasing tendency is giving an order to get which is giving in order to feel loved. We need to value ourselves. First and foremost, we need to love ourselves, even if parts of us aren't perfect. And that's, you know, often why I call myself a life dating and relationship coach is because when someone comes to me to get help with dating and relationships, we have to look at their life first, how are they treating themselves? Are they taking care of the most basic needs? Are they hydrating? Do they go to bed and get enough sleep? Do they move their body? Are they nourishing the body and the consort that they have? Before they get into relationship? And look for that other person to nourish them? Are they nourishing themselves? Do they love themselves even though they have a love handle or a pimple on their face? Or their hair doesn't look so great? Or you know, their biceps aren't as big as they want them to be? Like, do you still love yourself? Because if you don't, how can you expect someone else to love you? Right?

Curt Storring 42:34

Yeah, and I just, I keep laughing to myself, because all these things you're saying are exactly what I do. Or I tell the the dads are like, I want to be a better dad, I want to be a better parent. It's like, Okay, start with you. You know, it all comes back to how you show up and you show up depends on how you feel inside. It depends on all these things and how you show up whether you're taking care of yourself, like you just said. So there's like, there's just so many similarities. Yeah, the next thing I want to talk about is width for parenting, as an example of a strain. That's common amongst two people in relationship. It's not themselves. It's not like all we're fighting all the time. It's like there's this strain, whether it's an illness or parenting or whatever. Do you have any resources or tips on people who can navigate a shared struggle without growing apart? And then feeling resentful?

Kimberly Hill 43:26

Yeah, well, firstly, that's great that you mentioned that because that happens a lot, right? The Gottman Institute says, and they've done their 30 plus years of study that the lowest level of satisfaction in a relationship is right after the first child. Right? And guess why? Right? Because the attentions now on the kid, the routine has been ruined, right? The many, many, many men say they feel so disconnected from their partners, because they're no longer getting the same attention that they were getting before. Because that attentions gone to the kids. So what you can do about it, is read some parenting books before you have a kid, right? Prepare yourself like we would for anything. And also make sure you have some kind of plan or support in place. So when you do have a child, the child is, is hugely important. But what I would actually put in front of that is the relationship. The relationship is more important than the kid now. That is not me saying the child is not important, right? That's not what I'm saying. You're just saying, if you want to give that child a loving home, make sure you keep working on that relationship because otherwise the attention goes to the kid. The parents diverge from one another and then what you're raising someone in a broken home, much less effective than mom and dad taking time out for one another to love one another. So I go back to the advice that I give absolutely everybody is to have a date night once a week. One out of the seven days. Have a date night with your partner. And here are your rules for Your date night, your kid can't come to it. Okay, you can't talk about your kid the whole time. And you can't talk about all the stresses of work. So what are you going to talk about? Right? What are you going to talk about instead? each other, your dreams, your goals, what feels good with one another, you know, complimenting one another planning a vacation or a trip together? What are you going to talk about? If it's not the kid, the diapers, you know, the stresses at work, Sally who said so and so, you know, connect with your partner. Because spent living together and spending every day with one another does not mean you're connecting with your partner, it just means you're spent sharing space with your partner. So carve out time or you get a babysitter, or a mom in law comes and looks after your kid and the two of you, shower and go out and have a nice night with one another. It's so important to keep dating your partner and everybody forgets that.

Curt Storring 46:02

Yes, that is fantastic advice. Just the number one human relationship I have heard is just like you said, has to be your partner, regardless of the kids, and so many people miss that. And they just then live life vicariously through the children. And it never works out. A couple of a couple of recommendations. Just before I forget. You mentioned parenting books. If this is something you're interested in men, the power of showing up by Dr. Dan Siegel. And the raising emotionally intelligent children by John Gottman are two fantastic resources just to get sorted in terms of what your kids actually need from you. So that you're setting them up to be resilient and loving and all the rest of it. Yeah, well, that's

Kimberly Hill 46:45

the same thing. Like when when men now have a little child in their life, I mean, it's going to change them for sure. Right. But it's still reminding yourself to continue making your life satisfying. Now that you have a little baby there, it's very easy to get lost in the focus of the child. And again, lose your own passions and interests are saying no, I'm not going to go have that one guys night this month, because I feel obligated to my wife and child. Like I'm the first one to say, please just go go do what makes you feel full and happy. So that when you do come back and you're there supporting your family, you're showing up with quality. Because how are you going to support your wife and child, if you're tired, and you're fatigued, and you're like, oh, like you have no energy in your soul. Like that's not very helpful.

Curt Storring 47:41

Yeah, and then make sure that you are showing up in those times in your own home, make sure that you put the phone down, make sure that you're giving your wife and your kids like 15 minutes a day, if it's super busy, 15 minutes have 100% one on one time, and actually show up. So that is yeah, that's what it takes in this busy you know, there's so many different things coming at your plate to show up and to fill up your cup essentially, is a message once again, you have to help yourself.

Kimberly Hill 48:11

overcoming those feelings of feeling like you're selfish just for taking time out for yourself. It gets not selfish. I help men have conversations on how to ask their partner for time alone, without upsetting their partner. Right. It's like making requests to say like, it is totally okay to have time away from your partner, it is totally okay for a wife to say she needs a little r&r and whatever that looks like for her she wants to go for a swim, she wants to hang out with her girlfriends. I don't know, whatever she likes doing, man, it's also okay for them to do the same things. Now, of course, there's a responsibility to raising a child together to putting effort into the relationship to family life. But you also have a responsibility to continue to fill up your own cup and whatever that looks like for you. So

Curt Storring 48:58

yeah, can you give us a couple of tips on how that conversation might go? For sure.

Kimberly Hill 49:03

i One of the things I always say is stress in this point is not making it about the partner. So it's not Hey, babe, I need some time away from you because you're stressed out maniac might be how you're feeling. But instead you say, Hey, babe, I'm feeling quite depleted or like, tired or like lack of energy right now. And so I'm going to go fishing for two or three hours or I'm going to go to the gym or I'm going to go for a run. And I look forward to coming back. And spending time with you and so and so this night, how about we watch a movie. So it's keeping it to like I need this for me because I'm feeling x y Zed. I'm going to go do this for a certain amount of time. And then I am coming back to the relationship to then spend quality time with you doing something else that night so I guess like I think of three phases to it. Tell how you feel, what you need and how long you're going to be gone for. Because if a mom is raising a kid, if you're say, like, hey, I need the day and she's like, Well, how long are you going to be gone? Where are you going? And like, you know, we're like, I need you, right? So be specific. Say, Hey, like, I'm going to go for a couple hours or three hours. But I'm coming back. I value this coming back. I'm not abandoning you. And when I come back, how about we have a really nice dinner or whatever, making some kind of suggestion on the quality time you will spend together? I think that makes it a lot easier.

Curt Storring 50:32

Yeah, thank you for that. Is there requirement. And I don't know how to word this necessarily. But is there a requirement to reciprocate? And I don't love the idea of sort of keeping score in relationship at all. And it can be helpful then to offer the same sort of space, rather than a one for one you could even just say, like when you need it, please come to me for the same is perfect. Something that might work?

Kimberly Hill 50:58

Yeah. 100%. Perfect. Like, Yeah, mom needs a break to Christ. Like, you know what I mean? She definitely is going to so absolutely. Like it's you're raising a child together, which means both of you have to put effort into raising that child, you both are going to need time apart. So can you support each other in that and then also spend time the two of you 100%? Hey, next time you need it, let me know. I'm happy to help genuinely, you're happy to give your wife that time to go feel like a woman again? Or human again. Right?

Curt Storring 51:25

Yeah. And to fill her cup so that she can come back more full for you and see exact same thing that we were talking about for the man as well. Yeah. So the last thing that I would love to dive into, and I'm very curious about this, because I don't have the the experience myself, is dating for single or divorced dads. And so I imagine like you said earlier, there is this loss of identity. And I can, again, only speculate that in dating, as someone who is divorced or single with a child, the relationship with the self has to be sort of front and center, I'm assuming, but what have you seen in your practice and your work with men, when it comes to finding someone who will actually work for a single or divorced dad?

Kimberly Hill 52:09

Well, the same thing I say to anybody, right? When you go out there dating, you need to know what you're looking for and what you're not looking for. And you also need to date with confidence, which means if you happen to be a single dad has two kids, like, be proud of that. That's not at x against your name. But I think a lot of people go out there feeling like it is oh, I have like, here's, here's the here's the symbols of my failed relationship while I'm dating, like, it's not like that, right? It's like, be loud and be proud of who you are, but also know what you're looking for. So if you are looking to date a woman, that is okay that you have kids, make it known, right? Like don't go out there trying to like mold this woman into being okay with your situation. If she's not, she's not the one for you and move on from it like a rejection is a redirection, and it can be very, very helpful and save you time. So I give lots of different pointers for men that are dating that have kids, I have a client that I've worked with out of California that has two children, single dad dating has found a woman who doesn't have kids who's okay that he does they. And he had some boundaries, some important boundaries around dating, right? So we got to know this woman, he was very upfront that he has kids from the get go, it's not something you hide from people don't hide it, it's not something you need to hide, be honest. The last thing you want to do is go four or five months down the road with a woman and then be like, Oh, by the way, I have kids and she goes, Oh, like I don't want children. Or I'm, I'm the kind of woman that already or she has her own kids or whatever it might be like be upfront about it and be proud about it. It's not something you want to hide, and then having some important boundaries around. Okay, so when am I going to make space for dating? And what works? Right? Because I also need to make space, make space for my children? And then when is it actually going to be appropriate to introduce this woman to your children as well. So like having some forethought around what dating is going to look like for you and what's appropriate for you. This client that I worked with 78767 months, maybe slightly even longer before she was introduced his children, like they knew that they were, they had this shared values. They wanted the same thing from their relationship. They had built a really fantastic bond. She always knew from day one that he had children. The discussion that he he made the boundary clear, like I will introduce you to my children, but not yet. I want it to feel really good and natural. And I want us to be really, like, secure with one another and she totally respected that great sign. Then she eventually met the kids and it went really wonderfully. And so having boundaries around that I think is really important for guys to

Curt Storring 54:56

write. And so something that's coming up for me is just this opportunity. To the to learn from past. I won't say mistakes because you know we can be we can learn from everything that we've gone through. But what I what I'm trying to do here is bring this both for the single and divorced dads and then maybe use it for myself and the other guys listening who have relationships to be like, Okay, if we could start from frat from scratch? What would that look like? Where would we be? What would we be looking for? What boundaries would we set? And so are there any things that you do with the dads as they're entering the dating scene again? Oh, yeah, to, to do the work on themselves and to like, set that boundary with himself? Because I mean, boundaries is a whole nother conversation. But what kind of work do you do with men who are about to get back into it? And maybe, you know, can that be related to people with relationship now?

Kimberly Hill 55:47

Yeah, oh, so many different things. I mean, I have a huge toolkit of things that I bring out depending on the individual what they need. But for some individuals, we look at what their attachment style is, first and foremost, understanding yourself how you're going to show up, are you a little anxious? Are you a little afraid of it? Are you quite secure? Okay, so understanding oneself, sometimes we dig into what's called a relationship inventory. So a lot of men go, I keep attracting the same type of partner. And I'm like, Okay, let's figure out what's going on there. So we do some of that work first. And then of course, we look at, well, what is the partner that you're looking to have in your life? What are your values, we do values elicitation, we design a dream partner, we look at value based characteristics, we also look at what you don't want, because very important to know what you're not going to accept or tolerate, so that when you date, you know when to say no and move on. A lot of guys value the idea of love over commitment and trust and respect, like they just want to be loved. So they'll actually accept really poor behavior. So I want to make it really clear what they're not going to accept moving forward. Because there are people out there that are going to take advantage of others, like let's be real, like the dating pool is not perfect. So understanding a little bit about how they show up their attachment styles, their relationship inventory, getting clear on what they value, what they're looking for, what they're not looking for, and then how do they want to date? Are they going to use a combination of meeting people in person and a little online? If it's online, let's help them set their profiles up so that they're representing themselves in a really authentic way. Which app do you want to use? Do you understand? When's the last time you use a dating app? Or have you ever used one, so teaching men ways to use it really effectively. So it doesn't very quickly become a pain in the butt. And then also encouraging men that it is totally okay to approach women in person, a lot of guys feel like, Oh, I'm going to come across as creepy, needy, aggressive hashtag me, too. She's going to think I'm a predator like, No, we're going to encourage men to actually meet women in person too, because that's a really effective way of actually getting to know someone. So we look at the dating strategy. And we also look at their beliefs around how that process should go. Because if you're expecting dating to be perfect, you're going to be sorely disappointed quite quickly, probably. So we have to look at all sorts of things, Kurt. I mean, I could go on, but that just gives you a slight idea some of the things I'd be doing with guys.

Curt Storring 58:21

Yeah, thank you so much for all that. I was. Yeah, I have so many more questions. Because sometimes I'll go into my men's group, and there's got a lot of guys dating. They just go like, Oh, I'm so glad I you know, stopped dating before these apps came out because, like, I'm spending hours every day going through these things. And I love that you have sort of techniques and strategies for in person and online. Yeah, there's gonna ask like, is one better, but like, it seems like if you do the work, as long as you can just, you know, find that connection then either could work out.

Kimberly Hill 58:50

Right, I met my current partner on Tinder. And I met my previous partner on a subway train, one in an elevator and one out of gym. So there you go.

Curt Storring 59:02

Cool. Yeah. All right. Well, Kimberly, this has been a lot of fun, actually. Yeah, I have loved the things that you've shared, because they're so aligned with me and the things I'm talking about with dads. So where can men find you if they want to learn more if they want to work with you? Because it sounds like you've got a lot of experience and knowledge talking about. So where can we find you?

Kimberly Hill 59:21

Thank you. Yeah, best place to go is to Kimberly Nina hill.com. That is my website, you can learn a little bit bit about me and a couple of the programs that I have for men, you can sign up for a 45 minute free consultation to find out if I'm a good coach for you. And if I can help you with your specific challenges, so go straight to my website and then of course we want to see like where I hang out and the messages I have and the funny reels I make then find me on Instagram. Same thing at Kimberly Nina Hill. And you can DM me directly there as well if you have questions, so yep,

Curt Storring 59:55

amazing. Yeah. And I will put all those links in the show notes so you can find that on Dad dot work slash pod and Kimberly thank you again so much I have fans enjoyed getting to know you.

Kimberly Hill 1:00:05

Likewise You're most welcome thank you guys

Curt Storring 1:00:14

that's it for this episode thank you so much for listening it means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today, including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave a review work with us go to dad dot work slash pod that's di d w o RK slash pod. type that into your browser just like a normal URL, dad work slash pod to find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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