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Anneli Hansson

In part one of this two-part episode, Chris and Anneli discuss the art of detachment. By definition, detachment means being free from bias or prejudice. And that is key to Chris’s ability to remain objective.

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The Art of Detachment Part 1

If you’ve listened to the podcast long enough (or watched enough videos), you will have heard the joke about Chris being a robot. That is to say; he always keeps his cool.

But how does he do it? How does Chris regulate his emotions so well? Especially in the face of aggressive internet criticism.

In part one of this two-part episode, Chris and Anneli discuss the art of detachment. By definition, detachment means being free from bias or prejudice. And that is key to Chris’s ability to remain objective.

Sep 7

The Art of Detachment Part 1

If you’ve listened to the podcast long enough (or watched enough videos), you will have heard the joke about Chris being a robot. That is to say; he always keeps his cool.

But how does he do it? How does Chris regulate his emotions so well? Especially in the face of aggressive internet criticism.

In part one of this two-part episode, Chris and Anneli discuss the art of detachment. By definition, detachment means being free from bias or prejudice. And that is key to Chris’s ability to remain objective.

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Greg Gunn is an illustrator, animator and creative director in Los Angeles, CA. He loves helping passionate people communicate their big ideas in fun and exciting ways.

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How to observe without judgment

Episode Transcript

Anneli:

Who am I if I'm not emotional, because that is me. I'm driven by emotions, values, heart. I don't see me as that logical person. So, my whole identity is built on being an emotional person.

Chris:

Welcome everyone. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. And I'm so happy to see you, and also my friend Anneli Hansen today. We're going to be talking about the art of detachment and in the spirit of the subject, I'm completely detached from the outcome of this conversation. I have no idea what we're going to do and neither does... Anneli does, but she's going to lead us in this conversation together. And so without further ado, I'm going to turn this over to Anneli. Anneli, can you introduce yourself and tell people what we're going to do today?

Anneli:

Yeah. Hello guys, I'm Anneli Hansen. I'm a brand strategist. I'm an edu-creator. I teach creatives how to do brand strategy. And today I'm here with my friend, Chris, and I really want to deep dive into how to detach myself. I do have a big challenge around this, and today it might be a little messy. I hope this will turn out really good, but to be honest, this is also something that I struggle with. So I want to be super honest with you, super vulnerable. And on the outside you will, you see me. I'm turning four day this year. I'm this experienced woman. I'm often calm, controlled. On the inside, it's a mess. I have ADHD. Every day for me is like an emotional rollercoaster, and I feel emotions so deeply.
So there's a lot of high-high, low-lows with me. And I actually struggle a lot with this. So I'm here with Chris because I think he's the master of regulating his emotions. And it seems like he also know how to detach from things and from outcomes. And I just honestly want to know how he's doing it, and if he can help me, help you to get a little bit more insights and clarity about this. So that's why we're here, Chris. Is that okay for you?

Chris:

Yeah, that's a beautiful setup. I'm super excited to see where this goes.

Anneli:

Okay, great. So what I'm thinking about first is... What I want to do. What I think that I do have a little bit of a problem with is first of all, like I said, how do we detach? How do I detach myself? How do you detach yourself from the outcome of your work. For me, sometimes, I just become what I'm doing, and that's how I judge myself. And that's really, really difficult sometimes. So that's one thing I really want to dive into. And then I also have a lot of detachments from old stories that I tell myself. So that's also another thing. And then we talked about that emotions and emotional roller coaster. So if you could go into that a little bit, like how do you actually do when you detach yourself and don't have this emotional reactions that I often have?
So I wanted to start a little bit just with telling a little story from I was a little bit younger and I do think this could maybe have some effect on how I think about things right now.
Okay, so this story takes place around... I think I'm around 11, 12 years old, and I have a sister. She's just 15 month younger than me, and we were really into sports. And our dad, he loves sports. He's super, super competitive. And he always said something and this, like I can hear it. I can still hear today. He said, second place is the first loser. Second place is the first loser. And when you're like 11, 12 years old and I wasn't that competitive, I wasn't actually really good at sports at all. My sister was super talented. Whatever we did, she was so talented and I wasn't. And so the fear of disappointing my dad was so big all the time and I don't think he said this to... He didn't want to be mean, but he was so competitive. So the only thing I could think about every time, it could be downhill skiing, it could be... I played volleyball, football.
The only thing I could think about was second place is the first looser. I don't want to disappoint my dad. So I think this is something that I really carry with me. And especially I remember one time when we did this downhill skiing, and I'm like around 12 years old. You know how embarrassing it could be with parents. And not only that, my dad refused to buy skiing helmets for us. And he was like, but you're have your riding helmets. And I don't know if you know this, if you have any connection to horses any one of you, but a riding helmet for sure doesn't look like a skiing helmet. And he forced us to have that on our heads and to compete.
And, but that wasn't even actually the worst; to be embarrassed and to have that. It was that pressure of needing to always have to perform because if I didn't perform, I didn't feel seen. I didn't feel accepted and I didn't feel loved. So I still carry that with me, Chris. So, I don't know what you think, but maybe stories like this from we were younger, maybe that affects us a lot more than we think. Maybe that is why I'm very competitive right now. What do you think?

Chris:

Yeah. I want to make sure we're clear in setting up the conversation, because although I appreciate the story about your dad, the needing to perform, putting value on being first and building in you some spirit of competition. I'm not sure that it's a hundred percent related to being detached.

Anneli:

I think it's the being detached to an outcome. When I do something, I value myself after how good I perform. So if we take this from today, if I do something, my value on myself is my performance. That's why I put so high expectations on myself. And I think that is how I detach myself to the outcome.

Chris:

Okay. So you've now introduced another word called expectations and then there's competition. So it's starting to get a little bit more layered. The one thing I wanted to talk a little bit about because of the initial idea behind our conversation today is practicing detachment. First, I just want to give some definition to that, and I also want to analyze with you, is it a good thing to be detached? Because I'd like to get you on board logically and emotionally, if this is something that's even right for you before we drill in much deeper.

Anneli:

Okay. That's interesting.

Chris:

Right. So I'm looking up detachment. This is usually where I begin, because I think one of the things that we often do is we use words we don't fully understand or define clearly between us and between ourselves and one another. So it's always helpful for me just to go to dictionary. So I'm up on Merriam-Webster looking up the word detachment, and it says the action of detaching, which isn't super helpful, but it says basically indifference to worldly concerns, being aloof, and freedom from bias or prejudice. Does that sound like the idea of detachment that you're referring to, freedom from bias or prejudice?

Anneli:

I think when I think... No, I think that was a kind of complicated way. Can you say that in a more easy to understand way? I think that was complicated to understand.

Chris:

Okay. Do you understand having prejudice to prejudge something?

Anneli:

To be honest, no.

Chris:

Okay. So, one of the things that we talk about in modern society and culture is we should not be prejudiced, right? So for example, if you see someone of a certain skin color or ethnic background, you might prejudge them. You're like, those people are really smart. That's a positive prejudice, but it's still a prejudice. And you can see someone else and like, oh, they're very angry people. [inaudible 00:09:02] Okay. Based on what? Right. And so if I start to examine a little bit, why do we have prejudices? Why do we have bias, assumptions that we're making about things and people and events in our lives, it's probably because it's really efficient way of our brain processing a very complicated world that we don't understand. So what we do is we take far too few data points and we make assumptions because we're story creating machines and story consumption machines, as we've talked about before.
And so you might see three things happen and assume that that's enough points of data to come to the conclusion. For example, there's a silly superstition that says, don't walk underneath ladders because that'll lead to bad results. It probably is because underneath ladders things tend to fall including the ladder itself. And so then we associate the ladder and walking underneath it as a omen to bad luck. And so we go and tell ourselves this story, and we carry this story with us and we perpetuate this story by telling it to our partners and to our children. Don't step on a crack, break your mama's back. Have you heard that one? Anneli?

Anneli:

I don't think that's the same in Sweden, [crosstalk 00:10:09].

Chris:

Okay. Okay. Or how about breaking a mirror is seven years bad luck.

Anneli:

Yeah.

Chris:

Okay. How does that even work? I don't break mirrors often, but when I break a mirror, I don't sit there and think, oh my gosh, I'm now going to be cursed with seven years bad luck.

Anneli:

I am.

Chris:

Well, that might be the difference between us and we'll explore that a little bit. So when we talk about detachment, it's freedom from bias or prejudice, so we can understand that, right? So another way of looking at that is to say being detached means you're being objective and neutral. The state of being objective and neutral. Does that sound about right then?

Anneli:

That sound about right.

Chris:

Okay. Now, let's take this call, for example.

Anneli:

Yeah.

Chris:

Did you have any expectations of what this call was going to be like, and then the feedback that you're going to get afterwards?

Anneli:

To be honest, and I'm super honest now, Chris, not this time, and this might be the first time I don't feel that way.

Chris:

Wonderful. And what is leading you to this?

Anneli:

[crosstalk 00:11:14] always have expectations. I don't know. I just felt like I try to be as open as possible right now and share everything and not holding back and being authentic. And I've struggled a lot with this. I always have expectations. What do people think about me now? I have done this for a year. So much anxiety around that. So I just felt like I just let it go, and I'm just going to do this today, and I know it's going to be a little bit messy, but I don't really understand really the topic. I just know that I have a problem with it and we explore it a little bit together. So I don't have expectations.

Chris:

Right. So when we don't have any expectations, can we be disappointed?

Anneli:

No.

Chris:

And now that you're going into this call without expectations, what is your state? What is emotional state right now? Are you calm? Are you relaxed? Are you anxious and scared?

Anneli:

Right now, I start to getting a little bit more relaxed. I was kind of scared, then I freaked out a little bit, but now I'm getting a little bit more calm again.

Chris:

Okay. So one of the things that I try to do in my life is reduce the expectations that I have. And we can practice this in very simple ways like when you go to a restaurant. [inaudible 00:12:30] I have no expectations the food is going to be amazing, it's going to be the best thing I've eaten that day. I have no expectations on the temperature of the coffee that I might order. I don't drink coffee, but that's an example. Or when I go and watch a movie, I also don't have any expectations about this is going to be a great film, it's going to be emotionally compelling, or it's going to be shot beautifully. I just watch. And there's a reason why I do these things. Now, I want to just quickly contrast, that would say my kids or my wife who always ask, what did you hear about this movie? What have people said about this?
And what is this movie about? So there's some anxiety around not knowing, and that's a natural human thing to want to know something before we do it, because we're trying to protect our emotional state from being disappointed. Whereas I say, I don't know. I know nothing about this film. I have no idea about this food. I'm just going to experience it for what it is. As if I were to read a book, I have no idea if this is an amazing book, if I'm going to fall in love with this book, or if I'm going to recommend it to a hundred people, or if it's going to be a total dud. And the reason why I do this is there's a line here about learning to see without judgment, so that you can see things for what they really are.
And there's a quote here from Philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, and he said that the highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment, or you can just remove the word yourself and just to observe without judgment. I think there's something really fascinating about that. We created a state that we may never be able to live up to. And so that difference between our expectations and reality is the root of unhappiness.

Anneli:

Yeah. And this is exactly what I mean, how you can do it because this is maybe the first time in forever I feel this way. I'm often the opposite. And like you said, even if we go on vacation, if we're going to go out in a restaurant, I need to prepare, I need to do a lot of, like I do a little bit of research, I read about it before, I want it to be so perfect. And my husband gets numb because it's like, I don't understand why you do that all the time, because you set the expectations so high. So you will always be disappointed. Can you just be present? And so do you have any theory about why we are so different? Why do you think some people are more like me and what is the reason for that?

Chris:

Shoot, I have no idea, Anneli. I imagine it has a lot to do with maybe gender, social norms, how we're socialized, the culture that we were raised in, the relationship that we've had with our parents and our partners in life, and so those relationships start to form patterns of thought. But here's the thing, and I'm not trying to be overly philosophical on this because I enjoy philosophy as a concept, but I'm not studied in philosophy. But I think about things a lot. Right? So one of the things I think about is when you look at children, children seem to be really happy and they seem to be very pure, innocent and joyful. They say what they think, if there's a booger in your face, they point to your face and say, you have a booger or they say you're fat or you're tall.
They just communicate without inhibition. And then all of a sudden, when they do that, someone rushes over and says, don't say that, that's not polite. You shouldn't express yourself this way. That's rude. And so we start to learn behavior really quickly. And you also notice on the opposite of the spectrum, people are much older, who've experienced a lot in life, I would say people in their 60s and 70s and 80s, they also seem to be pretty content and comfortable with who they are. They've just learned to accept the things in their life that are going to change and the things that they cannot change. I'm not saying this as an absolute, like every single person is this way. But then I start to look at the ends of our lives, the beginning and the end of our life. Why do they have so much clarity as a child before we learn all the rules about what we can and can't do.
And as a person who's just maybe tried to make other people happy and have come to realize making other people doesn't lead to joy yourself and naturally could lead to the opposite. And what can I do as a human being, to align my life, my thoughts, my words, and my actions to be of the type of person I aspire to become. And I'll move towards that. Now. I do want to preface this next part by saying I'm a really emotional person. I really am. There's a joke going on that I'm a robot, but I'm a really emotional person. Or at least I was one all the way up into about 18, 19 years old. I was crying when things made me sad, bawling, tears running down my face. And the after cry, like breathing like [inaudible 00:17:25], that kind of crying. The kind of crying that men are not supposed to do.
And I was riding that same emotional roller coaster with my life. When the person that I was in love with, my girlfriend at that time, when we had a nice moment together, I was at the high high. And when she didn't return my phone call and I couldn't understand why, I was at the low lows. And it took a really strong emotional explosion to happen between the two of us that made me sit back and reflect on my life to say, do I enjoy the high highs if I have to experience the low lows? And then the Vulcan, the logical person inside of me started to break that down and say, it doesn't seem to be worth it to feel those butterflies in your stomach, to have all your nerves tingle and the hair on your back raise for the eventual downturn, which is in the pit of despair, the dark night of the soul, it didn't seem like it was worth it to me.
So I started to analyze and look at my emotions as being not reliable indicators of what's going on. That in fact, in my mind, the emotions clouded my judgment. And so I started to make a very intentional and deliberate practice towards moving away from being ruled by my emotions and regulating them more. And so I've come to understand that the ability to witness and observe my own emotional state prior to reacting and responding to them is a form of meditation.
So when I feel myself getting angry, I can see it from a third person objective point of view, like, oh, this is really making you upset. Why are you upset right now? And what part of you wants to lean into this? And what part of you says, is this an appropriate response to what we're seeing here? And then I make a decision. So I'm curious from your point of view, when you're experiencing an emotion, do you have the ability to step outside of yourself to become aware that, hey, I'm starting to feel something right now, and is this connected to what is happening or is this a response to something else that's happened in my life many, many years ago? Do you have that moment of clarity?

Anneli:

I didn't at all up till about six months ago, I didn't even understand what that was, the difference between responding and reacting, because I'm reacting super fast. I feel something and I react. That just put me in troubles all the time. And I can't just control myself. That's like, I want to be like you, I want to have that opportunity to do that I just don't know how to get there. So yes, I observe really fast that something is happening in my body right now and will probably have a reaction. So I start noticing it. When I'm talking to someone I often can’t hold back and my body language is also really, really clear. So it's difficult to hide it to be honest, I'm not the best poker player. But if someone writes something to me, for example, I stopped myself and I'm like, whoa, that was really an emotional reaction. Why did I react this way? And can I just wait a while before I even answer this? So that's the only time actually that I feel like I can manage it is when I write something to someone.

Chris:

Okay. I have several questions for you.

Anneli:

Yeah. Okay.

Chris:

Question number one is when you say, I can't control it, that sounds like a really powerful and very limiting way of looking at things. Let me ask you something. Can you control what time you get up in the morning?

Anneli:

If I have the alarm on.

Chris:

The answer is yes, I believe.

Anneli:

Yes.

Chris:

You have control, it's if you choose not to control it, that's up to you. And so what we have to do is we have to be clear about what we're choosing to do and not describing it as something that's beyond our control. Can you choose what you put in your mouth in terms of what you eat?

Anneli:

Yes.

Chris:

Can you choose how you spend your energy in terms of physical exercise, physical exertion?

Anneli:

Yes.

Chris:

So when it comes to you having an emotional reaction, you said you can't control it. So why all of a sudden now it's the thing that you can't control anymore? So my question to you is, are you choosing not to control it and describing it as something that's out of your control like you have no agency over this?

Anneli:

That's interesting. I always just thought about it. It just comes so fast and it's over me. And it's like I feel everything so deeply, so strong. And I tear up, can't just stop it.

Chris:

See, I don't like the word can't because it's very disempowering. It takes away our ability to act. And then we become, I'm not a therapist, I'm not a mental health professional. I'm not a philosopher. I play one on TV.

Anneli:

And I'm in therapy. So you don't have to worry about us. This is more a conversation.

Chris:

It's a conversation, and so it's very opinion driven. And so hopefully we'll learn something from it, and maybe I'll grow a little smarter today. So I tend to be very reluctant with using the word can't because it puts us in a state of victimhood, like, oh, I can't do this. Of course, there's no way around this. And so if we tell ourselves we can't do something, what is the likelihood of us being able to do that thing? Probably pretty low. Don't you think?

Anneli:

Yes. I love that you say this. This is so good.

Chris:

Time for a quick break, but we'll be right back. Welcome back to our conversation. Let's just go through the philosophical pathway here to see if we can see the difference between these two ways of thinking. One is we actually cannot control our emotional reactions. We can't. The other one is we can control our emotional reactions, right? And maybe there's a third one in between, I don't know, but for simplicity of discussion, let's just go into two parts. My logical brain is breaking it down in a binary way. So number one, we can't control it, and number two, we can, so let's explore both. If you can control it, then there's no point of this conversation because it will be what it will be, and we might as well just give up and we can then be free of responsibility at this point, right?
If it's something that you can't control, if you get angry, if you explode, if you fall in love instantly and your husband might have a problem with that, because you're like, why did you just fall in love with that person? I thought we had a sacred bond. Well, you're like, I can't control that part, honey. So that absolves you of all personal responsibility. How do you feel about living a life where you have no control over the things that you respond to or react to? Is that a life that you want to live Anneli?

Anneli:

No, because the thing is, when you say it like this, I do feel like I might have a tendency to put myself as a victim sometimes. And especially, I do think that I also hide a little bit behind my ADHD. It's almost like, I'm just like that, accept it. But I'm actually really interested in taking as much control as I can over it because I actually think it's a thing that holds me back in my life and I really want to control it more.

Chris:

Yes. So here's the irony of the different parts of your personality. Some part of you really wants to control everything, right? We talked about this before. We might have some issues or challenges around control yet when it comes to our emotion, we are like, nah, I can't control that. So are you a person in control of your life and your actions and the words that you choose? Are you in control of the relationships that you maintain and the ones that you get rid of? I like to think so. And when you show up for a talk, you want to be in control because you want to be prepared so that you don't come across as taking it for granted and neglecting or, no, I'm sorry. The word might be like, you're taking it for granted that people's time is not important or valuable to them.
So if we want to say like, we feel safe or happier and  we live in a more ordered universe if we can be in control as much as one can control things, why is it that probably one of the most important things that we need to be in control over, we say we can't? So getting back to this kind of binary option, in one universe, none of us have any control over our reactions and our emotions and we're just going to react the way we're going to react. So when a child is having a temper tantrum, you shouldn't get upset. When your boyfriend or girlfriend cheats on you because they've fallen in love with someone else, you should not get upset because we can't control ourselves.
On the other side of the universe where people do have control over how they respond, how they react and have to be accountable for those things, then things start to make a little bit more sense. Now, I don't know which universe we live in, but if I could choose, I would choose to live on the one where we actually have control and have personal responsibility over the things that we say and we do. Now, if the universe existed in these two very polar binary options, Anneli, which would you choose to live in?

Anneli:

Yeah, that's interesting. Maybe this is something that I'm a little bit afraid of because I think for me, the emotions have always been my superpower, but it's also my kryptonite. So if I would say, yeah, I would choose to live in that other world that I'm not driven by emotions, but logic, then I feel like I almost lose my whole identity. Who am I if I'm not emotional, because that is me. I'm driven by emotions, values, heart, I don't see me as that logical person. So I hear you and I want to say that other world right away, but I feel totally lost then, because I think my whole identity is built on being an emotional person.

Chris:

Okay. It's quite interesting how you quickly went there. So you surprised me a little bit. We can experience emotions deeply, fully, in our body and our heart or mind and our soul, and yet choose sometimes not to react that way. For example, if someone says something to me that offends me, my emotional reaction is I'm really angry at you right now. And the logical conclusion that to the extreme might be to punch someone in the face. I can experience the anger, but I can choose not to react to it, and my response could be just to walk away.

Anneli:

This is where I just want to see, okay, can we dig a little bit deeper actually, how you do it? There are logical driven people and there are more emotional. And you seem to be actually, you are a very emotional person, but you just said something interesting. You react on something, you feel something really strongly, but then you can pause, put yourself outside of it in some way, I don't know how you do it, and then you just choose how to control the situation. I think this is so fascinating with you. Can you describe how you do it? Step by step, how do you do it when those emotions gets over you and you just want to punch someone in the face, what's the next step?

Chris:

Yes, but I do still want to get to the core of my question, which I'm going to try it one more time to get you to answer this question and try not to hear it as any other way than the way it's being presented to you. Okay? Option number one, we live in a world where we're not responsible for actions because we have no control over how we behave. Option number two is a world where we have to be personally accountable and responsible because we do have choice in the matter.

Anneli:

Of course it's two.

Chris:

Right. So the reason why this is really important, or why I'm being a stickler for this is because when we say we choose to be in this world where we have personal responsibility and need to be accountable for our actions and our deeds and the things that we say, then all of a sudden we can no longer escape this idea that it's not in our control to say that I can't control my reactions. It's, I'm still going to be an advocate for it. You're choosing not to. But as soon as you decide, I have control, I have agency, I have personal responsibility, then we can get into the work. Because what I don't want to do is I don't want to back tread. Right? So at the beginning of this arc of this story or this decision flow is we have to accept responsibility. So I'm just going to be super clear with you right now, Anneli, when you do things, when you say things, are you responsible for the things that you say and do?

Anneli:

Yes, I am.

Chris:

You must be, right? Because otherwise you can get away with murder, literally. Okay. So I want us to start to use less of that vocabulary where we say we can't do something. We're just choosing not to. Right? Like how some people are like, I can't lose weight.

Anneli:

I agree.

Chris:

You really can. You just choose not to and that's okay. Let's have an honest conversation with ourselves. Perfect. All right. Now let's get into the whole emotional thing then. Your question was, when you feel an emotion, what are you doing? How are you regulating this? And what can we learn from that process? That was your question, right? Okay.

Anneli:

Yes, exactly.

Chris:

I'm going to give you an example of how this might work in very real world terms so we don't have to make this abstract. Most of us are scared, reluctant to create content because whenever we take a position and we share our point of view, whether it be political, religious or otherwise, we're going to open ourselves to criticism. This is the pro and con of social media. The fact is I'm going to say things that some people in this audience are not going to agree with at all, and some people will, and I can't control that. But for a lot of people, they won't produce any content for the fear of the reaction and the judgment that's going to come with this. So when I make a comment, I post on Twitter, somebody inevitably is going to say, you're a jerk. You're rude.
You're a bully. They're going to say whatever words that they want to say. And that's going to create a feeling of negativity in my mind. I'm going to feel angry. I'm going to feel like you don't understand me. Why are you judging me this way? You don't understand me, bro. That kind of thing. Right? I have an emotional reaction. How do I want to respond? Now if I had no control, I would just get right on Twitter and say, how dare you? Screw you. You're stupid. You haven't accomplished anything. Who are you to judge me? Because I'm meeting fire with fire. But I also realize doing so only builds a bigger fire and it doesn't move me forward. So I have to choose now, how do I want to interpret this message?
So when somebody writes something really angry, in my opinion, misinformed, without context, how do I want to respond? Now Anneli Hansen, when something like this happens to you, do you immediately go to your first and most primal instinct and to react a certain way? Or do you want to stop, think about a process and decide what is best for you and the other person?

Anneli:

I wish I could say that I stop, because I know it logical how to do it. I know I should pause now and then I should not react and I should respond in a while. I know that theory how to do it, it’s that sometimes it's really, really difficult for me. So yes, sometimes I totally react. And especially when it's in a conversation like this, when someone writes something or post, it's easier for me to stop and to just wait a minute before I actually post something. I had to have a rule with myself right now that I'm not allowed to write an answer right away. It's because I don't want to have that reaction.

Chris:

So you already know from previous experiences in your life, that if you respond right away, it might not be truly indicative of the person that you want to be, but you get to choose, and you get to slow down. And you might say, walk away from this, or why... My bigger question, and usually I struggle with this. I'm not telling you I'm some kind of Saint. My question is, what is the end game of you responding this way? How are you helping yourself and the other person?
And if you're not, do you still want to respond? And sometimes I still respond. I'm like, how dare you? And I'll just go at it. And more often not, I will stop and not respond or try to look at the world from their point of view and see it as, you know what, I need more information. I'm confused by your comment. And if I can approach it that way. You know what Gary Vaynerchuk will talk about a lot is he says, you know what, I have to learn to love the trolls. I have deep love and infection for them, because I'm trying to understand what they're going through, and so I can respond in a way that's better than the way I would, if I looked at it like they're attacking me.
So, you get to choose, right? And if you're not sure, and you can't trust yourself. Like when you say it's really difficult for me, you're also assuming it's not difficult for me. That's like saying, seeing somebody play basketball and saying, oh, you didn't have to work hard at that, did you? I have to work really hard at basketball. And when they're like look at you like, no, I don't think so. I show up eight hours a day practicing and I've been doing this for 10 years. So if we also say, and this might hurt some people here, if you come to this acceptance that you are not so unique in the universe, that there's only just you and you're entitled to your feelings and reactions because no one else could possibly be going through what you're going through and say that collectively it's the human experience and we have way more in common than we have uncommon.
So I just choose to stop, to take a breath and process the motion and also ask myself, what is the outcome I want from responding this way. So when someone is having a really strong emotional reaction and they're crying or they're yelling, do I believe that crying and yelling in equal measure is going to improve the situation, or is it going to make the situation worse? Nine out of 10 times I'm going to choose to deescalate.

Anneli:

Yeah. I think this is exactly where [inaudible 00:36:22] I want to go to be a little bit more balanced and to give me that time, because you're so right, that of course I can't say that I have a stronger reaction than someone else. I have no idea how people feel. And also if we do look at those evidence is like sometimes I would have to admit that I probably react more often to my husband for example, or my sister; someone that I'm very close to than I would do with a client, for example. And that really means that I can control myself, which is even worse, that I have the control... that I have the emotional reaction to them.

Chris:

So you've been able to exhibit the kind of emotional regulation that you're talking about before. It's just, you choose not to. And I totally understand in long-standing relationships with our parents and our siblings, our husband or our wife or partner, that we can get very short, that we have all this built up energy and sometimes negative that we're responding in a disproportionate way to what's happening in front of us. Right?

Anneli:

Yeah. Okay, this is really interesting. Okay. Yeah. So obviously I can control it more than I think maybe.

Chris:

You can control it, period. I wouldn't even put the more than you think. We've already accepted that if the two universes existed, it's better to believe in the universe where we actually have control and have personal responsibility. Right. And you have also evidence in your life in times in which you are able to control your reactions to things. And so if you've done it before, it just means you're choosing to do it certain points in time and choosing not to do it at certain points in time. Right?

Anneli:

That's true.

Greg :

Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week. The Futur podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. Thank you to Anthony Barrow for editing and mixing this episode, and thank you to Adam [Sandborn 00:38:27] for our intro music. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor by rating and reviewing our show on Apple Podcasts. It'll help us grow the show and make future episodes that much better.


Have a question for Chris or me, head over to the futur.com/heychris, and ask away. We read every submission and we just might answer yours in a later episode. If you'd like to support the show and invest in yourself while you're at it, visit thefutur.com. You'll find video courses, digital products, and a bunch of helpful resources about design and creative business. Thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next time.

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