Show Transcript for Episode 259: What To Do With A Hot-Tempered Man

Announcer 00:00
The following content is not suitable for children

Laurie Watson 00:02
George are you impatient?, a little bit Do you ever get angry like road rage or anything like that?

George Faller 00:08
I’ve been known to in the past, I’m reformed some tried to change my ways.

Laurie Watson 00:14
Well, today we’re going to talk about hot tempered men and what to do about it.

George Faller 00:18
Sounds good.

Laurie Watson 00:21
Welcome to foreplay radio couples and sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:27
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist,

Laurie Watson 00:29
And we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:35
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart, and the body.

Laurie Watson 00:45
For a great personal lubricant, please check out uberlube.com and use the coupon foreplay to support us at the podcast. Thanks, George, we had a review that we want to talk about. All right, and I’m going to read it. And first of all, it was a five star review. Thank you so much, we appreciate that. But we also wanted to kind of talk about the content of it. And the title of it is to men This is not just for women. Thank you. Actually, we are a slightly more male dominated in terms of our listenership. So we knew that. So I’m going to read it. Love this podcast so much. It’s not just about sex as the name would imply. It’s actually mostly about human connection and communication and relationships. As the pursuer, I still think withdrawers are more problematic, laugh out loud. But I’m understanding the other side a lot more. And it’s improved my relationship. Fantastic. One thing however, sometimes I feel like George dominates or seems slightly annoyed that Laurie is too giggly or light hearted when the topic is serious. But I don’t mind that much. Because I want to learn. He could ease up a bit though.

George Faller 01:54
All right.

Laurie Watson 01:55
What do you think?

George Faller 01:56
That’s a, you know, there’s a little ouch when you hear it, but it’s, it’s nice. I think we both really welcome feedback, and flexibility to feedback and changes what’s what’s behind resilience. So I think there’s some truth, I think a lot of my teaching, over the years has been trying to get more focused, trying to get cleaner sound bites, right to the heart of something.

02:27
Yes. And

George Faller 02:27
I think with success, there also comes costs. Right? So when things are off focus a bit, my brain gets a little like, let’s get it back to the focus, right. So I think that impatience is a good sign of kind of what happens when I get to too much tunnel vision on what I want to get across, and not seeing the bigger picture about maybe what that impact is like?

Laurie Watson 02:57
Well, I think, you know, we’ve talked about this before that sometimes, I do seem to be not following on track. And I think not following you, as well, as you follow me and I have been listening to myself because I do part of the editing. And I think you’re absolutely right, I don’t do that. I think I have a tiny bit of add. So sometimes it wanders off. And I think that ironically, with my patients, I feel like I follow closer than I do you but also just got to become one of your patients. You already are charged just in your way. And I also think you’re really funny. So I probably am laughing at you a lot. Sometimes it is sometimes when I’m editing too, I I like catch things that I didn’t catch the first time around, because you’re so dry, that I that I laugh again. But I do think in terms of your teaching, you are a brilliant teacher, you are so targeted. And I think that that’s your go to mode and probably on the podcast, my habit is a little bit more conversational. So that might be it.

George Faller 04:08
And I think that’s really important contribution. Right? The conversation if I’m getting to focus on information and not the connection, the spirit of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Right, you need that balance, you need that. And that’s why I really welcome that feedback and patience. It’s It’s when my brain is slipping into judgment and kind of what it wants, and it kind of loses the importance of the connection. So, you know, I hope our listeners keep on giving us this feedback, right? I mean, it’s how we learn more about ourselves that you know, that make better shirts is what I’m going to do as a dad and as a husband and as a friend. Right? And the more that people could lovingly hold up the mirror and say, Hey, you know you’re doing it again, because most of the time I didn’t realize I’m doing it, right my body just still it’s what it needs. And I think it will So it’s been exacerbated by what’s happening with COVID.

Laurie Watson 05:03
Yes,

George Faller 05:03
you know, we’re all locked away. I mean, I think the impatient meter is increasing for all of us these days never end. And, you know, as far as therapists, we’ve never been busier. So it’s, and I think this will help us lead into some of the function of what that anger impatience is. But you know, being intentional about trying to become more aware of it starts to give you some choice over it, instead of it just doing its thing and not even realizing it’s happening. Mm hmm.

Laurie Watson 05:32
And, you know, I, that makes me feel warm all over that you’re so open to this, I just, I think in terms of COVID, as well, you and I have just not have very much time together that’s casual. I mean, we saw each other a couple times in person up in New York, but since then, it’s all rush, rush, rush, get the podcast done. We don’t have that relaxed time, maybe for a cup of coffee afterwards, or something that we could get to know each other a little bit more and feel more comfortable. Ironically, we’re having this really deep conversation, you know, and we don’t even get to get a coffee together. So,

George Faller 06:11
yeah, which is, again, what feeds the intensity, let’s have a deep conversation around repair. And you know, that we’re going to get into deep conversation around something else. And there is really something to be said about the need to not do that sometimes to be playful and conversational, and, and to not always have a target and a focus and just try to be present.

Laurie Watson 06:34
So true. So true. Let’s talk about hot tempered men, because this has come up in my conversation with EFT ears around the United States, probably three times this week, with men who they say, you know, I don’t know what to do with this. Sometimes they are sexually pursuing men that become very demanding, very angry, that their partner is not responding to them, or just in general, you know, they become hot. So what do you think causes that when men lose their temper? What what’s I’m not excusing it, but I do want to understand it.

George Faller 07:13
Right? Well, so much of what we’re trying to do, it’s about creating safety and relationships, and anger, when people don’t feel safe to be themselves. Right. It’s Robin, it’s that relationship of safety. So it really, I want to make sure we’re drawing a line that went right. Anger crosses a line towards abuse, and control and domination. That’s where comes super counterproductive. And you have to put safeguards in place to protect yourself and your family, because we all deserve that as human beings.

Laurie Watson 07:47
Absolutely.

George Faller 07:49
And we like to say here, how do you connect with a function of something before you try to fix it? So how do we get curious about what works about the anger? Hmm, clearly, a lot doesn’t work about the line anger? Mm hmm. But I think in the short term, anger really provides some quick change, right? It tries to get people to listen, to kind of realize. So if we go back to my impatience, right, it’s, the anger starts to say, Hey, listen, you’ve something really important to say, and you don’t want to go off target, you kind of want to get which what you need, or what you think is best. And when a person is not cooperating, that anger is trying to send a signal and kind of gets them to adjust. And a lot of times it does cause people to adjust. So it allows you to kind of get your way. Mm hmm. So it kind of works in the short term. The problem is it what is it doing a long term that often is what people who are angry, don’t say,

Laurie Watson 08:50
right? In the short term, they get through to their partner or to their friend, or whomever? Because maybe there is something important a need or something that needs to change. But in the long term, that strategy, disintegrates, or slowly disintegrates the relationship and the safety.

George Faller 09:10
Exactly. So we’re starting in that short term, that that a nice thing to think about is what would happen for the person who’s angry if they didn’t say anything at all. Hmm. The fear is, if I don’t say anything, it’s that fear of saying nothing drives the anger. If I don’t say anything, nothing’s gonna change. My needs are not gonna be met. What I think’s important, won’t be met, it’s written, there’s a lot, they’re vulnerable why’s that often never gets expressed.

Laurie Watson 09:39
So they just have to hold those feelings, do nothing and it kind of just builds up inside their, their sense of nothing’s going to happen. I won’t, my partner won’t know what’s going on for me. So they’re holding all of this inside. Their first option is just to do nothing. Which we can imagine how bad that feels inside How frustrating that would be, you know, if you have something important that you need to tell your partner, or something important in the relationship that needs to change or something that you feel like, I just got to get it off my chest, to hold it inside can be enormously frustrating. Maybe adding to the anger and their sense of, I’m going to explode if I don’t let this out.

George Faller 10:25
Right? It’s silence is hopeless, this, nothing’s going to change, then the speaking is it the hope that maybe something will change. That’s the immediate impulse, the anger is give them hope it’s giving them power, a lot of people feel much better than getting out of that place of silence into a place of speaking, allows you to feel stronger about yourself, and get you away from the bad feelings and you feel empowered, and the person might listen. So it’s doing a lot in the moment of kind of engaging. Mm hmm. It’s, it’s what happens after that, that often is so insidious, that people who are angry don’t realize,

Laurie Watson 11:06
yes, for them. It feels good to get it out. You know, I deal with a lot of people who say, I’m just angry in the short term, I get it out, and then I’m over it, you know, I don’t understand why my partner is always holding the grudge. I, I do think, and I just want to say a word about the other person’s perspective, sometimes the angry person, as they get it out, it’s like, they’re vomiting, they’re vomiting out their feelings. And the other person is stuck there then with vomit all over them. And they got to get over that they got to go take a shower and repair, you know, and feel better before they can reconnect.

George Faller 11:47
Jaeger makes it all about you. And you can’t see the other person. If you can’t see the other person, it’s not going to really strengthen the emotional bond. So let’s talk about how to do it differently after break.

Laurie Watson 11:58
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George Faller 12:37
So when both people become more comfortable using it, we have more to work with and play with.

Laurie Watson 12:44
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George Faller 13:02
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Laurie Watson 13:05
It ties.

George Faller 13:07
So Laura, you know, at times I can be a bit old school. Yeah, screw it up with a bunch of man who didn’t do any kind of trimming or cleaning. They just kind of just let it roll. So I think I’ve tried to get caught up with the Modern Times said, Hey, when you notice all what women have to do to go through the grooming plane and make them slacks racks and all this stuff that seems quite painful. I figured at least I can do is I’ll give a little tremens freshen up the promise I used you know what I was using to shave my son’s head, you know, it didn’t feel so good out here. So

Laurie Watson 13:43
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George Faller 13:56
Where are you going close to the family jewels, you better be safe and take your time.

Laurie Watson 14:02
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George Faller 14:35
g spot. Hey, man. Remember we have many tools. Besides a penis. The tongue is a mighty weapon, and it’s the only muscle that is attached on just one end.

Laurie Watson 14:51
So I want to talk about what it’s like to be on the receiving end as the woman or potentially just witnessing you Partner do this with your children, you know, and how it might feel to them. Okay, because I, I think that what I hear from women is they see their partners as bullying, you know, using I think it’s, it’s hard to imagine as, as a man, potentially how volume and intensity can radiate off of their body and cause a woman who is smaller, weaker, you know, even if she’s a fit woman, odds are, she’s going to be a lot less strong, and how scary that can make you feel, just physically, even if your partner would never hit you, or lay a hand on you or anything, that level of intensity can be really frightening. And especially if you come from a background where there was anger in your family of origin, or God forbid, you know, angry chaos, alcoholism, things that were out of control, where it was unpredictable. If your partner gets really angry, I just think as a woman, you know, you can kind of shrink down, feel small,

George Faller 16:11
I think it’s really important, but you’re sharing that a lot of times is men, this is a privilege that we take for granted that we don’t recognize that we’ve been encouraged to speak up thousands of times that there’s this just like, I don’t hesitate, I just think I know what I need to say. So I just say it. And oftentimes you don’t realize how that lands, for somebody who is more hesitant, who kind of feels can feel intimidated by that decisiveness. Because it’s sending a message that what you’re saying is more important than my experience. Mm hmm.

Laurie Watson 16:46
And I, or even an I am, right. Because even that what you’re saying the angry person is more important than who I am right like that your choice to be that enraged, hurts me on a level that is it’s invalidating of who I am even. Especially, I think, you know, if you see that done to your children, and I mean, I have dealt with lots of angry men. And to be fair, we will talk about angry women as well, which is no good either. So it’s not just men that get angry, I recognize that. But I hear lots of women. And I think the differential is the strength piece.

George Faller 17:30
It’s so important, what you’re sharing, that the problem with anger is, it creates that tunnel vision where you, you know, in your heart, the intent is not bad, but the impact is really hard to see. And the impact, you start to go to a place where you feel like you’re not important that if you can feel so small and so scared, and the person seems to be oblivious to it, and they’re fighting over something, so tactically, really not a big deal. It’s it’s having a horrific impact on you.

18:01
Mm hmm.

George Faller 18:02
And the worst thing is, even that moment, it’s like when’s a good time to talk about that moment, because when things calm down, you’re not gonna want to bring that up. Now, there’s really never a chance for you to get help in these spots where you need help the most. And I think that’s a lot of times with people who are angry, never really get a chance to, to notice what their anger is actually cause it and someone else.

Laurie Watson 18:25
And it’s never a good time for the person who received it to bring it up again, because you don’t want to retrigger that, you know, you just want to keep the peace, you’re walking on eggshells. And I would say because we’re a sex podcast, I see this happen over the sexual relationship, where sometimes men just lose their mind, and are so intense and so angry. And the problem is, is our connection with our partner is certainly emotional, but it’s of the body. And when you have heard your partner even a long time ago, be enraged your body as a woman, I think tunes into that as like a vibration. You know, I cannot hear the eroticism from my partner, if I’m still remembering that vibe that came from them that was so intense and so angry. It’s like, that’s what I’m resonating to that frequency, not the erotic frequency that he wants me to resonate to, but to the angry frequency. And I would say to men look at, you know, if you say, but I haven’t been angry in two years. It’s like, dude, if your wife says, You know, I remember that I, I just, you know, I still feel that it’s like, you really have to repair that, and I do believe it can be repaired. But I know women’s bodies, and they just will not resonate to the erotic if they’re scared.

George Faller 19:52
And that’s the irony here. It’s the woman being able to speak about the fear and for the partner that they guy in this case to take ownership for that. That’s what creates safety. They say I know my heart. I wasn’t meeting that, but I get that’s how I laid it for you. And I’m so sorry. I’m so glad you could speak to me about it. Right. That’s what allows the trauma, the anger to be discharged. Mm hmm. And yet so often what happens is it actually, when you get feedback, it causes defensiveness. And then the defensiveness turns the frustration, and we’re right back into same feedback loop.

Laurie Watson 20:28
Yes, yes. And that’s why this is such a hard problem to resolve. And, you know, we obviously would encourage people if you can’t resolve past angry moments get into therapy, where there’s a third party who can see both of you help you resolve that, because, essentially, it’s a trauma in the relationship.

George Faller 20:50
So maybe we should roleplay it, Laurie, and let’s see how gualberto how we could repair it. Okay, what do you want me to get angry at?

Laurie Watson 21:00
What do you want to change? You probably have

George Faller 21:03
a child you can you can want a button where a couple and get angry at the kids?

Laurie Watson 21:07
Sure. Sure. Let’s do that. Yeah.

George Faller 21:12
So imagine we’re all in a kitchen and our son does something that triggers me. Okay, and I’m just gonna kind of speak to my son and

Laurie Watson 21:24
George is gonna get angry. Brace yourself.

George Faller 21:27
Alright, so this is not real Georgia, right? People give me copies of slack. This is not the real George This

21:36
is right. So it is a loving father. We’ll

George Faller 21:40
get to anger like hopefully we all can to understand. So if if I’m played a dad who’s a bit overextended and tired and and, you know, then sees his son, you know, get up from the table and leave his dish. For example, that might be a trick. Oh, yeah, I could set this off. So

21:59
anything even little things?

George Faller 22:01
Little something little like that. So imagine, I’d say to my son, like, what’s wrong with you? I mean, are you like clueless? Do you not see a plate day? You’re not going to pick that up? What do you think’s gonna have to pick that up? Hey, hey, what? Wait, wait, wait,

22:15
wait. I got it. I got it. I will talk I will deal with him. Let it go.

George Faller 22:22
This is the problem. You always want to let it go and stick up for him instead of him taking responsibility not just get a change of mom always picks up for him every time.

Laurie Watson 22:31
You’ve had a bad day. You’re too hot. Let me deal with it.

George Faller 22:36
Whatever.

Laurie Watson 22:38
Okay, that was totally mild. Just for the record. George. I could have stopped you in a heartbeat. You want me

George Faller 22:44
to come on to you further. I can? Yeah, like,

22:46
Yeah. Good. Okay, let’s go. What’s

George Faller 22:49
wrong with you? Don’t you see a pot in a problem? I mean, not only does the kid not pick up himself, but you’re gonna tell me to calm down. Instead of telling him to take care of what he needs to do. This is the problem. You You just enable everything that’s wrong with our kid. And then you want to kind of sit talk and put it on me. I mean, that’s what’s so crazy. Make me like, All I’m trying to do is get this kid to do the right thing. And you’re making problems worse. You better look in a mirror.

Laurie Watson 23:15
I can’t I get it. We will deal with this. But let’s not deal with it right now at the table. The table is sacred you I will deal with it. I will deal with it.

George Faller 23:26
I have a lot of confidence that

Laurie Watson 23:27
you are so easy to make not so angry. Well, I mean, I know we have to have like an all out blow out so that we can see what what a woman should do. Because I you know, you’re you can be tamped down too easy. The bs man that I’m dealing with cannot be tamped down that easy.

George Faller 23:54
Well, there’s also a lose your mind. A lot of this men, I don’t want to lose their mind. Right? So you keep giving them an exit. They’re gonna probably want to take the exit. Sure. So it’s, it’s when you start to go back that it really starts to escalate.

Laurie Watson 24:08
That’s right. So that’s right. And I’m not about to escalate when somebody has that escalated.

George Faller 24:13
Right? So that’s why it’s working. Mm hmm.

Laurie Watson 24:17
But there are times that that there needs to be stronger magic.

George Faller 24:22
Oh, why don’t you tell me what the strong magic is?

Laurie Watson 24:25
You got to lose your mind at me. I’ve seen you lose your mind in class. Like you did a really good demo once I was like,

George Faller 24:34
scary. Are you want me to cross over a line? Yep. All right. And again, if the anger is not being responded to, it wants to feed. So my anger would want to say to you, you’re you’re just an idiot. You don’t listen to anybody. You just think you know what to do. And like, you can’t even see the nose in front of your face. You’re hurt not child’s I mean, I Know what, I don’t even know what I’m doing here with somebody who’s so clueless. I need to do like not even get yourself. I mean, I can’t even believe who I’m married to. I mean, if you like a clown, you’re like pretending to be somebody who like you’re not like you and be all calm here. You know, you’re not gonna do shit. You’re just soon as I leave, you’re just going to all pull a little sun and nothing’s gonna change. You’re like,

Laurie Watson 25:23
George.

George Faller 25:25
I don’t want to hear your voice. Do you not understand? No one’s listening to you. You have nothing important to say.

25:31
Okay, we are done. Just

George Faller 25:32
shut up yet when we should be done. Okay? I’m not gonna lie with you. Just please, please. That’s what you’re good for anyway. That’s right. This is all you do is walk away. don’t deal with anything. Nothing changes a joke. Absolute joke.

Laurie Watson 25:54
So I did actually walk away from George. And when things get like that, that’s, that was beautiful. George, you did a great job, man. Where’d you grow up in Queens? Did you hear something like,

George Faller 26:07
Hey, listen.

Laurie Watson 26:10
That was That was great. That was exactly what I wanted. But I do think you got to remove yourself from that. Because it’s, it’s so angry. It’s so abusive, she’s got to get out of the room.

George Faller 26:24
There’s nothing you can say that’s got to combat there

Laurie Watson 26:26
is nothing that you can say there is no comeback. So I think too, and this is what I say. And I don’t know what you’re gonna think of this, George. But when that happens, and let’s say it’s repetitive, I think that the woman has to leave for the night, you know, she’s got children, she’s got to pack those kids up and go to a hotel for a night, if she feels like the children would be at risk for his anger, she’s got to get them out of the house, like, leave for a little bit go out, go all the way out into the neighborhood, you know, get away from this angry kind of person, and then get your kids go for the night. And then I would call and say I’m safe, you cannot take your kids, it’s not legal to take your kids not tell your partner where they are just for the record. But send a text and say we’re safe, go to a hotel. And then, you know, you got to come back and say that can ever happen. Again, if it happens again, you’re gone two nights, if it happens again, you’re gone a week. And then you’re you know, then it’s like serious, serious competition in case you cannot let your kids to hear that that’s abusive, to let your kids hear that. You cannot hear that. You can’t you got to get out. That’s crazy.

George Faller 27:42
Pissed all over the world, that you got to interrupt that. Right. So taking space, this is a great example of where space is necessary. You got to create change, you have to be able to stand up and say that’s, that’s not acceptable in a loving relationship, that not only you’re going to lose your shifts, and it’s going to make everybody feel scared. What there’s no repair that’s going to come afterwards now. So why would your body trust that it’s not going to happen again, that you need the person who loses it to be able to take responsibility for you to have hoped that change? It’s it’s gonna come it’s it’s not gonna happen again.

Laurie Watson 28:22
And it needs to be more than the honeymoon phase back right, I’ll change I’ll never do that, again. It’s like they need to get into an anger management class, they need to be into individual therapy, they need to show demonstratable change. Because that level of anger is unacceptable. In relationship,

George Faller 28:42
right? It’s the sorry, oftentimes is a sorry, because I don’t like how I feel about myself afterwards. Sure. The sorry, needs to be focused on my partner. What did I do my partner? Do I get what my anger did? if if if the person who’s been hurt, really starts to feel that their partner is getting them what was lost here, the ability to keep the focus on their partner, they couldn’t do it with the anger, you’re gonna have hope that’s going to do differently. That’s the missing ingredient. Can you keep your focus on the person you hurt?

Laurie Watson 29:16
Right? And, you know, I feel for the angry person, it’s dysregulated. To be that angry, it’s, you feel a lot of shame, you feel out of control. It’s terrible. And we just want to say to you, if you are the angry partner, there is hope. You can get regulated, you can manage it. I will say I grew up in an angry household, a very angry household. And I made a commitment in my life that when I reached a certain level of anger, where I was afraid I would explode, I would put a door between myself and my family. And I did that for years and managed a temper and I mean, I didn’t lose my temper for like 20 years, literally 20 years. I didn’t lose my temper and I grew up in a home where that was an everyday occurrence.

George Faller 30:01
Well appreciate you sharing. Yeah. And certainly our listeners will feel less isolated because this happens in so many families that we need to get better just talking about this stuff.

Laurie Watson 30:12
Right, so stay safe. Thanks for listening.

George Faller 30:15
Keep it semi hot. Very excited. Laurie, upcoming Couples Retreat weekend. Great love, great sex. What an opportunity for couples to work on that sexual and emotional cycle.

Laurie Watson 30:33
I know I’m so excited we get to partner together to actually teach and share with couples and we are going to start our enrollment for this basically in December, you can come to our website on foreplay radio, sex therapy calm, and there will be a page there about the great love great sex retreat. It’s going to be on Friday, on February 5, and we’re really encouraging you to take the weekend away together to do this material with us. We’re going to have interactive parts, talking about the emotional connection, the cycle, asking your partner questions, we’ll have little breakouts, we’re gonna keep it fun, keep it hot. It’s going to be a fast day. We’ll start at 10am on Eastern Standard Time, February 5, great love great sex. Find us on the website and sign up.

George Faller 31:24
We don’t give many guarantees. But if you show up for this retreat, you will have conversations you’ve never had with your partner before.

Laurie Watson 31:32
We have a little referral for those of you who are in the EFT world and who are therapists interested in attachment theory. One of our colleagues who is brilliant is Dr. Annabel Bugatti. And she is publishing a book called using relentless empathy in the therapeutic relationship. And this is awesome for laypeople. So, if you’re interested on how using relentless empathy works in terms of healing you and healing your relationship, we really encourage you to go ahead and pre order this book on Amazon. We’ll put it on our website, but it’s basically how the power of empathic responsiveness coupled with attachment science and interventions helps heal us and we are excited and proud of Dr. Annabel Bugatti, and her new book relentless empathy and her contribution to the field where we’re proud to represent her and to encourage you to go to Amazon and buy this book.

George Faller 32:28
Empathy is often the missing ingredient. The sad thing people are craving the most. And Annabel Bugatti is an expert than helping partners learn how to provide that

Announcer 32:38
highly recommended calling your questions to the foreplay question voicemail dial 833 my four play that’s a three three the number four play, it will use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay Media.