Dan Griffin is an internationally recognized author, speaker, thought leader, and expert on men’s relationships and masculinity. He is the CEO and lead consultant at Griffin Recovery Enterprises, Inc., and the host of The Man Rules Podcast. He is also the author of several books, including “A Man’s Way Through Relationships: Learning to Love and Be Loved.”
In this interview, Dan first describes how he struggled with internal questions and confusion around masculinity for many years. He talks about beginning this exploration into vulnerability and expressing emotions while in recovery from a serious addiction. Dan then goes into the three main concepts that he deals with in his work: The Water, The Man Rules, and The Woman Rules. He describes The Water and The Man Rules in more detail. He also discusses his experience in men’s recovery groups, and Chris comments on his recent experience at a men’s group retreat.
Next, Dan talks about how we all want to love and be loved. He explains why connection and intimacy are contradictory to The Man Rules, and how being more intimate and vulnerable can trigger a lot of stress and conflict. Chris then discusses some of his struggles with emotional vulnerability. Dan talks about how deep The Man Rules are entrenched in our lives. He goes on to describe the essence of conscious masculinity, and how all relationships are about three things: connection, disconnection, and reconnection.
Chris then talks about how being fully present and conscious leads to naturally attracting women and emerging as the leader of a group. Dan cautions that it’s a lonely road to becoming more present and conscious. He also explains why he believes that the pursuit of success is one of the greatest downfalls of men’s work. Chris clarifies his original statement, and emphasizes the importance of meeting people where they are. Dan then elaborates on the idea of spiritual bypassing, and how the tools we use for increased consciousness can end up becoming blocks to consciousness.
Chris and Dan discuss some of the ways that consciousness can lead to disconnection. Chris then explains how quality leaders develop. He also talks about the challenges that his clients face, and how their desires evolve over time. Dan shares some of his traumas, and talks about how they defined him for a long time. He describes his process of acknowledging and moving beyond them. Chris mentions how traumas pass down through families, and Dan emphasizes that we repeat what we don’t repair.
Dan goes on to discuss The Woman Rules. He explains how The Man Rules and Woman Rules are opposites, and why the path to healing is different for men and women. He also stresses why it’s important for men and women to learn to empathize with each other. Chris talks about victimization and the different traumas that men and women face. Dan then explains how the Man Rules and Women Rules, left unchecked, can play out in ugly ways in our interactions. Finally, he describes the Karpman Triangle, and how people interact with each other in relationships in three main ways: victim, perpetrator, and rescuer.
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