You’re Hurt. I’m Angry. Now What? w/ Figs O’Sullivan (049)

May 29, 2020

MTW GUEST Figs O'Sullivan copy

Is relationship conflict your ongoing nemesis?

Have you ever been accused of not being sensitive?

Do you really understand empathy (and why it’s essential)?

In this episode, my guest, Figs O’Sullivan, and I mine these questions and more for useful insights to make a meaningful difference in your life.

“Fiachre” O’Sullivan … otherwise known as Figs … is the founder of Empathi (i) which is essentially a program, or a method, that teaches couples how to resolve conflict by way of learning empathy. Figs is a Husband and dad to two little ones, and  a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in emotion focused therapy … 

Now, I learned of Figs’ work actually through my partner, Silvy Khoucasian … she’s been a big fan of his work for years, and has been telling for me for some time to have him on my show … well, like any proud, stubborn man, I decide who’s on my show … and like many a proud, stubborn man, eventually I realized that my lady is right. When his team reached out to me not long ago, I decided to finally learn more about what he’s up to, and I just finally knew immediately what she’d been telling for years: Figs is a wise man doing important work to help couples navigate conflict by teaching them how to create connection in difficult moments. 

I really enjoyed this conversation with Figs. In this episode we talk about conflict, about the myth of men’s emotional sensitivity (that actually men are deeply sensitive); we talk a lot about empathy, why it matters, pathways to experiencing it, and how to create connection in moments where both partners are triggered and upset, and otherwise just unable to bridge their differences in a painful moment. 

I hate to contribute to stereotype, but like so many Irishmen I’ve met over the years, he’s also just a great and funny story teller, and I think you’re going to get a lot of both wisdom and laughter and enjoyment out of this episode. 

Alright …

Let’s dive …


5.30 – Growing up between the terror of alcoholism and the need for safety and connection

13.00 – What is empathy?

16.00 – Allowing your different perspectives to make relationship even better 

26.00 – Is it possible to never say something disrespectful to your partner?

28.50 – What people really need to have a better relationship

34:00 – What happens when a man hits bottom (he’s finally willing to change)

35:00 – The real magic is in repairing disconnects, not preventing them

36:45 – The origins (and naturalness) of feeling abandoned

39:00 – Our brains are constantly evaluating, moment by moment, whether we’re safe (or not)

44:20 – The importance of showing up for the most vulnerable parts of each other

46.30 – We should all bring our “crazy” to our work

48:00 – Men, when given the right container and guidance, have incredible emotional wisdom

52:00 – What vulnerability REALLY looks like


55:00 – Key Insight: Your vulnerability is your greatest strength. Whenever you’re in a disconnected moment with your partner, you’re in a systemic partner, not a you or them problem. 

56:00 – Key Mentor: My Father, Gabor Mate

57:45 – Key Resource: The Blind Boy Podcast

59:45 – Key Investment: Front loader cargo bike

1:01:20 – Key Practice: Appreciation Exercise – Download Here


“The Conflict Solution: Learning to Love Better”get 50% off with coupon code “MENTHISWAY”

Figs Empathy Empathi Course

Appreciation Exercise – Download Here

Dating With ‘Attachment Styles’ as Your Guide

Dating Attachment Styles Guide



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