Relationship advice from Dr. Phil McGraw - Ask Oprah's All Stars 104
OWN TV | January 23, 2011
Dr. Phil is back with another round of getting real on the final episode of Ask Oprah's All Stars. In this spectacular finale show Dr. Phil tackles the fear of flying, cheating spouses and overcoming stage fright. See all of his all-star advice below!
Dr. Phil, how can I get over my fear of flying and get my life back on track? -Aracely from Los Angeles, California
DR. PHIL: Well, what I want people to know today, when we work through this later in the show, is that so many of these phobias are controllable and they can be eliminated.
There are four ways - things you need to do to get over fear. Number one, you've gotta differentiate between irrational fears and rational fears. Because, I mean, some things, fear is a good signal that tells you that there's danger around. But ask yourself, is it proportionate. Number two, understand that you have control. Because you're the one that can control what's going on inside of you, and you do that by changing your internal dialogue. Look, we don't respond to what's really going on in the world. We respond to what we say to ourselves about what's going on in the world. And the power of language is huge. If you use words like "horrible" and "catastrophe,"and "devastating," you're gonna have reactions proportionate to that. So, watch what you say. And be willing to challenge your fears. Get help, get people around you that really care about you, to support you and challenge your fears. And it's something called "self directed systematic desensitization" where you can walk yourself through the very things that our team took Aracely through.
How can I go into a store, if I'm going for one item, and just get that one item? And not a whole wardrobe?-Elizabeth from theAsk Oprah's All Starsstudio audience
DR. PHIL: You already asked a question you know the answer to. You said, first question you asked me, you said, "Why do I go into the store to buy one thing and I buy five others?" You don't go to the store expecting to buy one thing, you are not a slow learner. Correct? So you know, because of your history, you know when you go you're gonna spend, right? But you got over 50 high-end purses. You bought 15 comforter sets this year. You gotta be really warm. You have 15 comforter sets this year. You bought 50 of these high-end bags. And you give 'em away
DR. PHIL: You said, "I get an adrenaline rush." Why is your life so boring that you need to get a rush after rush after rush after rush... by buying something? Why do you need that high? Why do you need that fix every day? Well, don't pretend you don't know this, and that you haven't thought about this. Okay, what happens when people take heroin? They get a rush, right? And then when it wears off, how do they feel? If they don't get another fix, they get sick, right? Let's review what you said when you started. "When I go to the store and buy this stuff, I get an adrenaline rush! And then later I get actually sick. So, I go get another adrenaline rush! And then I get actually sick." This is an addiction for you. Do you see that? And you're, you're trying to make it okay. Oh, no, I just do it 'cause I want to. I don't need heroin! I just want heroin! She's not really a heroin addict, we're just using that as an example. But do you get what I'm sayin'? You're on this roller coaster. You got a self-esteem problem.
You know the first thing I want you to do? I want you to get rid of everything that you have purchased that you don't need. I want you to sell it on eBay, or take it back to the store, or have the damndest yard sale you've ever seen, in wherever in the South you're from. You need to downsize and you need to downsize your spending. Deal with psychological issues psychologically. You're dealing with them monetarily, it never works. You need to stop medicating yourself with things.
How do I make time for myself? And how do we budget our time with each of the babies? -Mia and Rozonno
DR. PHIL: Number one, you said, how important is it that we have time for ourselves 'cause obviously these kids are priorities. Look, if you love those children, it's obvious that you do, you'll take care of the relationship between Mom and Dad. And that means you need to recruit all the help you can get: from your church, from your neighbors to, know who they are, make sure you monitor them. But you do need - it's not selfish to say, "We need a break. We need an overnight break. We need to do something where we go off and get back to being the couple we were before we were blessed with these six children."
And you said, how do we get quality time for each of these children? Well, let me tell you something, it's very important - set this goal - have something you do with each child that is uniquely theirs. Like maybe with this one you put together Legos. With this one you read. With this one you do something outside. Something where they can say, "That's what Daddy and I do." "That's what Mommy and I do." "That's just for us." You said if you don't, will it harm them? Yes it will. So you need something where they can say, "This is..." Don't do it with all the kids. Just find one thing you do with each kid that is exclusively theirs. And here's the good news. They will companion each other a lot. You don't have as much time for each child 'cause you have six instead one or two, but they'll companion each other a lot, too. So you got a lot goin' for you here.
DR. OZ: These children are not gonna treat themselves the way you treat them. They're gonna treat themselves the way you treat each other. And so when these little ones see you guys doing all the right things for yourself, they'll do the same thing for themselves.
Two weeks ago I cheated on my wife, I feel ashamed. It was a one time thing only and I feel very guilty. Should I tell my wife? I would just like to pretend that it never happened. -Anonymous email from Oprah.com
DR. PHIL: All right. Well, let me answer your question and first off, I wanna tell you straight up, you don't get that kinda pass. I'm not gonna tell you whether you should tell your wife this or not. I'm gonna tell you what the pros and cons are; you should have thought about this two weeks ago. But here's the deal. Are you tellin' her for what reason? What's your reason for telling her? Is it because you wanna purge your guilt by dumping it on her? If you're doing that, then that's being selfish. And the other option is, okay, do I wanna live with a lie for the rest of my relationship? So, you put yourself in a bad situation. And my dad used to say, "There's no good way out of a bad situation." And you're in a bad situation here. So, I want you to ask yourself is, what's the impact gonna be on her. Is she gonna feel better? Is she gonna feel worse? Are you going to let this guilt, uh, erode you across time?
Okay. Let me ask the audience by a show o' hands. If your spouse had cheated on you, one time deal, never done it again, would you wanna know, raise your hand? (hands go up in audience) Okay, that looks like about a third. If you would not wanna know, put it behind you, don't tell me, but don't ever do it again, raise your hand. (hands go up in audience) Okay... And the rest of you didn't raise your hand, so if you would just kill the sonofabitch, raise your hand. (Gayle raises hand) (laughter) Okay, all right, got it. Got it. (applause) I knew there was an option you would like. I knew there was an option you would like. Okay, now, I guarantee you, you're all sittin' there now saying, "Could that be my husband that wrote that letter?"(laughter) So, how do you spot a cheater? There's seven signs that I want you to look at. Number one, if you get unexplained absences or activities, I mean, he says, "All right, listen, I gotta work. I'm sorry." And he's got a home job? That's a clue. Okay? You gotta watch for that.
GAYLE KING: Or, or he comes home at three in the morning, Phil.
DR. PHIL: Yes, he comes home at three in the morning, or he goes fishing with no worms. Or just one worm. I mean, that's, that's a problem. All right, number two. Number two, defensiveness and withdrawn behavior. Because here's what happens. A guilty conscience, they start projecting it as anger. So they can get really defensive. "And why are you asking me that???? Everything is threatening. Like, "What'd you today?" "Why do you wanna know!? Well, Dr. Phil said you're cheatin', that's why. (laughter) Number three, changes in affection or interest. I mean, all of a sudden they've been chasing you around the house? And all of a sudden they ain't chasin' you anymore? That's a problem, you need to pay attention to it. Communication problems, where everything becomes secretive. Look, people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. They don't hide passwords. They don't hide their emails, they don't hide their cell phones. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Five financial woes, and what I mean by this, they're startin' - money's disappearing. I mean, come on, i-it is just disappearing. And six, lying. And it doesn't have to just be about this. Lying about things that just don't add up. You can always tell somebody's lying when they start answering questions that aren't asked. (laughter) You know, really, they start to say like, uh, "Well, what'd you do today?" "Well, I didn't go to the bar, I can tell you that!" (laughter) You know, they answer questions that aren't asked. I mean, come on. And when it comes to this kinda thing, men are out of their depth in a parking lot puddle. This is not hard to see. Okay? And an unexplained critical attitude, 'cause they've gotta work up a mad to justify what they did. So, if all of a sudden they're just pickin' on you for nothing', there's somethin'.
I just caught my husband masturbating. I am shocked. I thought we had a normal sex life, but when I opened the bathroom door unexpectedly, there he was with his pants around his ankles looking at a lingerie catalog. Gross, Why does he need to do that? Is it normal to masturbate even if you have a robust sex life? -Anonymous email fromOprah.com
DR. PHIL: Well, you're right, there is a lotta guilt associated - because we're a very prudy society. I mean, we really are a very prudish society, and I grew up in a very kinda conservative, fundamental guilt-based religion. And, and they were telling us that was wrong, and I remember thinkin', I was just glad my arms were that long. No, that, that, that can't be an accident can it? That, that our arms were made exactly that long? I mean, can that be...Oh, so I think it is a very natural thing. But listen, and this - you're gonna be surprised at this response. But look, it is a natural thing for men to do, and women for that matter. Less frequently, but it is, it is a natural thing for men to do. When you walk in and catch him, you're gonna have - you're gonna do one or two things. You're either gonna become like the schoolmarm, like, "Oh, I caught you here," and rap him on the knuckles, or something. But really since you're in that situation, at the time it would have been great to say, "You know, can I lend you a hand."
No, seriously. Can I can let, let me, let me help you here, and become part of the process. And since you missed that opportunity, and you're so shocked, Prudence, then you might sit down with him now and say, "Listen, I noticed that, that you were doing that and you left the door open," which is kinda stupid unless you kinda subconsciously wanted to be caught. Then say, you know, let me help you with that. We can mutually do this, or, or just tell me when you're in that mind and you're in that mood. Just incorporate it into your sex life.
GAYLE KING: And Phil, the wife shouldn't feel lesser then? She shouldn't feel - she shouldn't feel lesser than, that he chose to look at a catalogue?
DR. PHIL: Clearly, it is natural for him. And say, okay, now I'm competing with this image. But that image is on paper and trust me, writer, those girls don't look like that. So, you're competing with a false image. Don't go there, forget about that. Just talk to him about it, incorporate it into your sex life and move on.
Dr. Phil, how do I overcome my extreme anxiety when it comes to performing in front of people?-Shanta from Culver City, California
DR. PHIL: Now you play the "what if" game," don't you?
SHANTA: I think unconsciously, yes.
DR. PHIL: All right, what do you think I mean by "what if" game? What do you do?
SHANTA: What if I miss that first note? And what if I trip? What if I - yeah, what if they don't like the song? Yeah.
DR. PHIL: Exactly. You do that. And I don't mind that actually. I really don't. I think that's okay. In fact, I wanna play "what if" with you right now. There's nothing wrong with playing it, as long as you play it out to the end. Let's play the game. So, what, what's the biggest fear you have? What if the audience is there, the camera's are there, millions of people around the world are tuning in. Everybody's looking at ya and you get out there and choke and can't sing. What's gonna happen then?
SHANTA: They'd doubt me. They'd judge me.
DR. PHIL: They'd judge you and doubt you. Okay. And if they judge you and doubt you, then what happens? I mean, would you die? Would you, would you wither up and blow away?
SHANTA: No, I wouldn't. I'd probably be a little disappointed in myself. I might be a lot disappointed in my self.
DR. PHIL: Okay. But you would get over it?
SHANTA: Yeah, eventually.
DR. PHIL: But hear me. What you're telling me is the worst thing that can happen if this goes as badly as it can go... that you would be okay. You're gonna have to do something for me beyond think it's gonna be okay. 'Cause you gotta understand, I'm responsible for all this, right? I mean, it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to create this show. And it beams out - it goes all over the place. I'm just telling you the truth. I mean, let's get real. Let's get real. So, I have a decision to make whether to let you sing or not. Do you deserve this?
SHANTA: I do! I do. I've worked hard for this. I've accomplished a lot. I've overcome a lot. I have worked hard. I've worked hard to get here. Even where I'm at right now, I've - it's taken a lot out of me to get where I'm at.
DR. PHIL: No, talk to me. It's okay, talk to me. Do you deserve this?
SHANTA: I do. I do. I deserve this.
DR. PHIL: I deserve it and I want it and I claim it.
SHANTA: I want it, I claim it, and I'll have it. I will have it.
DR. PHIL: Can I believe in you?
DR. PHIL: Can Oprah believe in you?
SHANTA: Oh, absolutely.
DR. PHIL: So when it comes time, you're gonna step out there and own this?
Dr. Phil, what is your final action plan for 2011?
DR. PHIL: I really believe that life is too fast. We really do need to slow down. And so what I'd like for you to do is for the next month, I want you to make an appointment with yourself and devote thirty minutes each day just for you and relax.
Now that's easy to say, and it's hard to do. You really have to make an appointment with yourself. Maybe it means that you get up thirty minutes earlier than you need to, to start taking care of everybody else in the world. Or maybe it means that you put everybody to bed and you take thirty minutes at the end.
But decide somewhere in there, you're gonna take thirty minutes to be thoughtful, spend it in prayer, spend it in meditation, spend it in just doing something that lets you decompress. It's not just that thirty minutes, that radiates like a pebble in a pond throughout your whole day. Give yourself thirty minutes a day, it???ll make a huge difference to your mental health.