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Your internal life is wonderfully complex. You have an endless sea of thoughts and feelings, beliefs and reactions, and, for better or worse, they’re mostly your little secret.

It’s not just you, of course: we all know, intellectually, that everyone has just as much going on beneath the surface as we do. But it’s one thing to know something, and another to understand its implications.

The truth is, it’s hard to remember, in the moment, that each of us is an iceberg—what’s visible on the surface only tells a fraction of the story. When we all react differently to the same situations, when we do and say things that baffle or enrage each other, it’s because we thought we were all basically the same, thought the same, felt the same…

But that’s a big “nope”.

This isn’t just a reminder not to judge one another’s actions too harshly; it’s also the reason that sharing our own iceberg is so important. If you want to connect with people—really connect, in a meaningful way—you have to reveal at least some of what’s hidden beneath the surface.

The problem? There’s nothing scarier than revealing what’s hidden beneath the surface.

Let’s talk about why and how and with whom to share yourself—not the carefully polished and manicured self, but your actual self—and ask how we can better understand others, no matter what they share.

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated by Descript and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

Dan: [00:00:00] I think the fallacy, the thing we fall into, the thing that keeps us from ever sharing is this incorrect evaluation of the risks where we think that if we say something that other people object to, we will be cast out into the darkness and that just isn’t true.

Ben: [00:00:35] Good morning, Dan. How 

Dan: [00:00:37] Good morning, Ben. 

Ben: [00:00:40] are you doing? 

Dan: [00:00:41] I’m doing well. How about you? 

Ben: [00:00:44] Have you ever heard that? Uh, yeah, it’s, it’s kind of a metaphor, you know, like you see the duck sitting on the water. You have ducks up there in Canada right. 

Dan: [00:00:56] We certainly do. Yes. 

Ben: [00:00:58] So you’ve got the duck sitting on the water and it’s just floating there.

It looks so peaceful. And then if you look underneath the water, the uh, the feet are just like flapping like crazy. 

Dan: [00:01:13] You answered my question with the metaphor. Okay. 

Ben: [00:01:18] Yup. That’s how, that’s how I feel right now. 

Dan: [00:01:22] That’s fair. 

Ben: [00:01:24] You know, I’m just going to dive right in because it’s so fitting. Uh, yesterday I met with Sean.

He and I had, uh, had had our little coffee meeting. Um, it was really nice. It was, it was nice to get, to just sit down and catch up, but he’s, he was, he was asking me if it would be weird for him to actually sit in. On the live show and be, be a participant in the chat room and you know, and talk and stuff like that when he’s not actually, you know, hosting And the question was like, well, people think, well he’s, you know, he’s in here chatting and stuff like that.

Like, why doesn’t he just hop on a microphone and. You know, and, and I think maybe he had a similar conversation with you. I, I assured him that I, I feel like most of our people, uh, especially those who are in the community, understand the vast difference between being a participating listener and actually hosting the show and all of the things that go into just making the podcast happen.

Even. Even if we’re not doing it live. And then, you know, you had doing it live and that’s a whole other layer of crazy. 

Dan: [00:02:54] It is. There’s, there’s a lot. Uh, there’s a lot that goes into it as, as you demonstrated so capably this morning 

Ben: [00:03:01] So capably. 

Dan: [00:03:02] having none of your technology work properly.

Ben: [00:03:05] That’s right. And I was, I was just telling Sean the other morning, I, I’d really like for this to be a live video podcast as well. And, um. You know then, because obviously obviously my, my technology is up to the task, so I was folks had a rough time this morning. Hi. I went to open, what I feel like is probably one of the simpler applications on my computer.

Skype. Yeah. I know it’s streams, video and handles communications and stuff like that, but. It’s not, you know, it’s not like a resource heavy application necessarily now, like some of my design programs and stuff like that, and I went to open it up and the, the window popped up and it was just a blank screen and I tried closing some stuff down.

I did all kinds of stuff. And then I thought, well, maybe I just need to restart my computer. And I do that. And that’s a whole. That’s the whole problem too, because I’ve got all these applications that I’ve, that opened automatically that I haven’t taken off of the startup list. You know, like, I really should do that, but I have to close all of those down and wait for them to open and wait for the computer to boot up.

I try Skype again. Same deal. I have no idea what’s going on. No, no. Uh, you know, bad ill will towards Skype, but it just. It’s not having a good day. Uh, so we had to switch to another application and we finally got up and running. And this is, this is just like the stuff that you don’t foresee.

In addition to that, you know, there’s the prep work that goes into coming up with the topic and making sure you’ve got your points and, and that we’re on the same page. I’m recording it, and then, you know, all of the after work. At producing a podcast. It’s, it’s, and, and I think, I think most people realize this.

It’s not as simple as just turning on a microphone and talking into it. There’s a lot that goes into it. 

Dan: [00:05:25] There is, but to be honest, I’ll push back on that a little. I think maybe if you ask someone to really sit down and think about it, they might understand. Intellectually that there’s more that goes into producing a podcast than just sitting down and turning on a microphone.

But I think when, when we’re not thinking too hard about it, you assume that that’s exactly what it is. You know, you, you see the same thing in a, well, anyone who’s, who’s been a software developer has seen this. When people go, can’t you just add this, you know, make this little change to your software.

I’m sure it’s not that complicated. 

Ben: [00:05:59] Yeah, yup, 

Dan: [00:06:01] And this is, this is now edging dangerously close to the topic of this show, because the fact of the matter is, we all understand that things that people are more complicated than they appear, but, but we don’t really, we don’t really think about the implications of that.

You know, in our day to day lives. 

Ben: [00:06:21] yeah. And. I like to, I like to think that I’m a pretty thoughtful person when it comes to that in terms of being able to purposefully look a little bit deeper. But it’s, it really is. Um, and, and it’s important to us to be aware of this. It really is a function of our human wiring that.

We make, we make judgments really subconsciously, almost immediately. Anytime we encounter a person, whether, whether we’re, you know, seeing them in real life or seeing something that they post online or whatever it is, our brain is automatically making judgements and drawing conclusions before we really even had a chance to.

Dig any deeper than than what we’re seeing on the surface. 

Dan: [00:07:24] That’s true. That’s a good point. Where those, those judgments aren’t based on, on like a careful and thoughtful. Analysis or consideration of what might be going on? 

Ben: [00:07:36] Yeah, and there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. That’s, that’s a natural, and.

Dan: [00:07:41] Well, well, to be honest, there are many, many terrible things wrong with it, but it’s also natural and inevitable. 

Ben: [00:07:49] Well. Yeah, I guess, I guess what I, what I mean is, 

Dan: [00:07:54] Like people should, people shouldn’t be ashamed that they do that. Like it’s natural to do it, but we need to be aware of it.

Ben: [00:07:59] yeah, well, so it, it’s a, it, it is a useful tool in the human toolbox. Um. In terms of well, in the right environment. Right. And so in terms of being able to categorize things and understand what’s a threat and what’s not a threat, um, and in certain situations, that’s still useful, but in, in many situations, it also gets us into trouble.

It keeps us from being able to connect well with one another. So it definitely. Um, especially in our modern age, comes with a lot of downsides. If, if we just leave it at our natural biology. 

Dan: [00:08:50] Yeah. And so we want to look at that from sort of two angles today in one. One of them is. You know, considering considering that everybody else is going through things now, sorry, I’m gonna interrupt myself just as a, just as a point.

So this is gonna be episode four 58 of the Sean West podcast. Uh, if folks are wondering why it’s Dan and Ben, uh, we had talked about me stepping in to take over from Sean and in 2020 during his sabbatical year, but we’ve started that. Process a little early and to get the full story, go back and check out episode four 56 so you can find that@seanwes.com slash four five six and, uh, well I’ll just leave it there.

You can go take a look. 

Ben: [00:09:39] Yeah. And that w I mean without, without getting into any details, that also. Speaks to, uh, ha. Did we, did we use the word iceberg yet? 

Dan: [00:09:54] No, no. Cause you, you started with the duck metaphor. So now we have to somehow transition to icebergs. 

Ben: [00:10:00] I’m going to switch up the metaphor here.

Dan: [00:10:03] Here it goes. We’re doing it live. 

Ben: [00:10:05] So, so the conversation I had with Sean yesterday about the podcast, and, um, and whether or not people would. Wonder why he doesn’t just, you know, turn on a microphone that got me, that got me thinking about this concept of the iceberg. You see the very tip of the iceberg, but a majority of what makes up the iceberg is under the water.

You can’t see it. and, um, and, and you were kind of alluding to this where. There. There are a couple of different ways to look at that idea. Um, and S and so certainly like when it comes to seeing the work that people produce and you know, whether, whether it’s something that you really admire that you think is really polished or maybe you’re looking at it and you’re thinking, well, I could do that.

Um, whatever your attitude is toward it, almost in almost every single case. There’s a whole, uh, there’s a whole mass of iceberg that you’re not seeing that w that went into that work. And then Mike Wise with, uh, with things that people are going through on a daily basis. You know, like he, you, you have creators that you follow YouTubers, you subscribe to, influencers whose blogs you read consistently.

And. I think a a good question to ask, you know, like how, how much of the picture am I really seeing? Um, because we don’t tend to share the whole iceberg and so somebody, mrs and upload or doesn’t post on a certain day or steps down from the podcast earlier, whatever it is, uh, there, there may be more.

Going on there, then, Oh, maybe they’re just being flaky, or maybe they just missed something. Or, um, you know, it’s, it’s a lot easier to, to tell a quick story too, to help it make sense for us then to really try to not, not probe and like try to get people to, to say, well, what’s really going on.

But to consider that maybe the story that you have that kind of comes to you automatically isn’t the whole story in that there’s, you know, something more going on. I mean, there really could be an infinite number of possibilities as to why something is happening the way that it is. 

Dan: [00:12:55] Yeah, yeah.

And by the time I’d say that, by the time you notice. Something’s going on because people like it. You know? We don’t, we don’t share. I think the default is not to share everything that’s going on with our law in our lives with everyone, especially not with the general public on the internet. So I would say that by the time you notice that something, by the time you’re getting the impression that something might be up.

Something is almost definitely up. Right? But, but you’re right to say that by default we will, you know, human beings are narrative driven. Right. And I think we’ve mentioned that before and we could do a whole episode about the implications of that. So, you know, tune in next week, I guess. But we’re, we’re narrative-driven, which means we, we, we, we’ll kind of, we’re helpless to like not come up with a story when we encounter something that we don’t.

Understand. So if you see someone and you don’t know why they’re behaving the way they are, it’s perfectly natural too. Like it’s, you said this before, like a reflex where you’ll just make up a story about why they’re behaving that way and, and a lot of the, well, and depending on what the behavior is, a lot of the times of this story is negative.

Like the classic example is when someone cuts you off in traffic, it’s natural to assume that they’re a bad person. Whereas the reality is there’s a hundred mostly mundane reasons why they might’ve cut you off in traffic, almost none of which have anything to do with them or you, but, but you don’t know.

Right. So, yeah, the we, we have these two directions that I think we want to explore this idea. And one of them is you don’t know what other people are going through. But the other direction is no one knows what you’re going through until you share it with them. And we’ll get into this a little later, but we want to talk about as uncomfortable as it is, why there, there are a lot of cases where you should share things, find ways to share things, right?

You could even say that, like as a creator, especially, you want to share creative work. You might have to err on the side of sharing some of those deeper parts of the iceberg. 

Ben: [00:15:07] Yeah. Yeah, and I think especially especially for creators, I think there is this aspect of a responsibility. We have.

Kind of, kind of in the same way, you know, when we talk about professionalism and how your lack of professionalism, you know, when, when you compromise on your values, you’re not just, you’re not just affecting yourself and the, the person you’ve chosen to take on as your client, but you’re also effecting how.

That clients’ interactions will be with other creators. You’re affecting the industry that you’re working in. Like it, it has these ripple effects. And so there’s kind of this, um, when it comes to professionalism, you are exercising your professionalism, not just for your benefit, but for the benefit of, of everyone else who shares your profession.

And, and I think that that sharing and pulling back the curtain, um, is part of the, part of the responsibility of the creator too, to give an accurate picture. Um, man, I like, and, and this, this is not to say that, that an individual is not responsible for. Doing their research and understanding what goes into, um, for example, my, uh, my oldest son wants to be a YouTube gamer and, and it’s, it’s easy to look at that and, and to kind of, you know, say, Oh, it’s because you see that they’re successful and you really enjoy watching their channel, and you really enjoy playing video games.

And that’s just the thing that you want to do, but it’s a little, it’s a legitimate. A career path. If you are able to do the right things, if you have the business understanding, um, these are all skills that you have to develop. So, you know, it’s on, on, um, on the part of my, my son, it’s his responsibility to understand what actually makes that a viable profession.

Right. But if, if the people who run those channels never talk about what goes on behind the scenes and all of the things they had to do to make, to reach that level of success, and you know, at least at the very least, they’re just by default putting out this idealistic picture. Um, and at worst, maybe purposefully trying to create this, 

Dan: [00:18:14] Mmm.

Like an aura, an aura of mystery or that like making themselves look like they’re special. 

Ben: [00:18:20] right, like, like, saying, Hey, this is, this is a special thing because I’m special and I, and, and that’s almost never the case. Like in almost every case, it comes down to hard work and consistency. 

Dan: [00:18:34] Yeah.

W w well, which is another thing that we G we can know intellectually without actually. You know? And it does, but it doesn’t stop us from looking, looking for shortcuts or misinterpreting how people do their thing. You, you mentioned the responsibility. And the responsibilities on both sides. I think that like it is, it’s both the case B because this, um, you know, the example of your son extends into, into everything.

When, whenever someone looks at what another person does and thinks I want that, I want, I want to do what they do. I want to be what they are. I want to have what they have, whether it’s, ah, being a YouTube gamer or a model or, uh, professional driver. You know, or running a business or being a musician.

How many, I mean, I, you know, you, you are a musician. You’ve played on stages. How many more of us have had like the fantasy of playing on a stage in front of crowds because we think that would be so awesome. But w without ever contemplating the reality of like lugging all your gear to some bar at like.

You know, 6:00 PM and then lugging it home again at 1:00 AM and all the hanging around and all the disappointments of people not showing up for shows and not getting paid. And like, I can see you smiling on the video cause you clearly relate to this, but there’s the responsibility on the part of the person who thinks they want to do something is to investigate.

Well two things. Investigate what it takes. And then to the extent possible, try it and find out. Right. Cause sometimes you know, there are things like, like writing, writing and novels. My personal example where it’s like you might think you want to do that, you’re not going to know if you actually want to do it until you try doing it and find out either I like this and want to do it enough to sit down and write all these words all the time.

Or man writing words all the time is a drag and I don’t actually want this that badly. And on the, on the part of the, on the part of the creator, you could say they have a responsibility to, I guess, aid in that investigation by sharing the reality. 

Ben: [00:20:47] Yeah. And, and I’m trying to think of, you know, what is it?

What is it we gain by painting an idealistic picture of what we do.

I’m trying to, I’m trying to think of with the music stuff and we, you know, we weren’t wildly successful or anything. We, we had a good run. I’m doing something we really enjoyed, but it never, it never turned into what I would call We didn’t, I wouldn’t say we became career musicians. It never kind of went past the point of being a side thing.

Um, but that said, you know, like we did have those experiences of loading into Ann and playing at venues and staying late, and, you know, people not showing up and still just like playing our hearts out anyway. And, and yet. When I’ve w w th the times, I remember talking about what we did as a band.

I have a tendency, if I’m being honest, too, to kind of embellish a little bit and end, you know, shove those difficult parts aside and really just talking about the highlights as if, as if those other things. I dunno, like am I just trying to make myself look better or seem more interesting or special?

You know, what, what is it that causes us to, to not be more honest about those other, you know, kind of gritty, gritty details. 

Dan: [00:22:42] I think it’s the default, I think. Yeah. Ben, you’re trying to make your. The specialists seem like you’re special like that. That’s not a slam. I’m saying that like, why do we project?

I think one of the reasons we project this kind of idealized image of ourselves is so that we can see it. It’s not just for the other people, right? Like by projecting this image of yourself as a successful musician or of myself as some kind of bearded, pseudo intellectual. I get to think of myself that way.

Ben: [00:23:13] Mmm. Yeah. 

Dan: [00:23:14] you’re honest about like, one of the things that’s tough about being honest about your flaws and insecurities is it forces you to confront your flaws and insecurities in the first place. 

Ben: [00:23:24] Oh, that’s not fun. 

Dan: [00:23:25] No, it’s not fun at all. It’s the worst. 

Ben: [00:23:30] Yeah. So, so I think, I think that’s really just as, as a part of the responsibility of the creator.

Giving people a more accurate picture has to be something that you do intentionally

and, Oh, I love this. This is actually like I was, I was kind of going there, Sean in the chat. See, this is folks you want Shawn in the chat. 

Dan: [00:23:59] You need Sean in the chat. 

Ben: [00:24:03] He says, we see the past through Rose colored glasses, not for what it really was. Uh, that’s part one. And it’s really interesting too, because like, and, and maybe, maybe depending on how far past you’re talking about, like the degree to which you see it through Rose colored glasses changes.

But I’d say even, yeah, I like, I’ll talk about things that happened yesterday and I don’t want to think about the hard details. Just just by default. Um, the only way, and this is part two, the only way to preserve the truth of the past is to document as you go.

And, um, and I think it’s not just about the responsibility of the creator too, their fellow creators, but I think there are so many other upsides. Two.

To helping people see more of the iceberg, to sh to, to sharing more of that, to documenting that one. It is actually interesting content. You know, like you just document your experiences in, in whatever form you can, and that’s a part of your story. That’s a part of your journey and, and people are interested in that and that’s something that you can share.

And, and that’s, that’s content that you don’t have to just create out of thin air. This is stuff that’s happening. 

Dan: [00:25:42] That’s, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to do that though. I mean, we, well, let’s put it this way. It’s not easy to believe that people want to see it. Right. This is another one of those.

This is another one of those diversions between. How we think re how we think things work and how they really work. Cause we go, well, no one wants to hear about the time that I, you know, that no one wants to hear about the time that I struggled with something. Right. They do. They do actually.

But, but we, we tell ourselves they don’t. 

Ben: [00:26:15] I wonder if it’s, um, this is so, so I think about people that I really look up to. Aye. I’m guilty of thinking of celebrities as more interesting. Then people who like. I have who I consider more on my level, like my friends and family and stuff like that.

Like I’m, I’m interested in, in their lives and their struggles and stuff like that. But there’s like with, with people that I, that I follow that I look up to that are celebrities. Like there’s kind of this other level, and

I’m, I’m very interested in the backstories, you know, like the. There. There are these, you know, biographical documentaries made all the time of like, this is how they got their start or whatever. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger has a documentary about his early years lifting weights and, and you know, like how he transitioned into the film industry and stuff.

and that stuff is, is interesting. But you know, like when nobody knew who he was, was that still interesting? And I think that’s kind of the, that’s kind of the struggle that we have when we’re thinking about it. It, it almost feels Mike of a vanity thing. Like I’m going to, I’m going to talk about myself and I’m going to talk about my struggles and what I’m going through.

And, and we think, well, I’m not, I’m not a celebrity. Like who cares about this stuff? 

Dan: [00:28:03] Who, who am I? Who am I to presume that anybody you know, cares about me and what I’m going through? 

Ben: [00:28:10] So then, so then the next question is, do you aspire at any point in your life to be someone who has influence over others in a, in a positive way?

Like. You, you want to have a legacy, you want to be a force for good in your industry. You want to be a voice of encouragement. Um, like you want to have the kind of influence and the kind of reach where you can actually make people’s lives better. Do you do aspire to that? I mean, and I’ll just put this question to you, Dan.

Like if, if tomorrow you could wake up and have. 1 million subscribers or followers like w is that, is that something that you feel like you would use for good and in whatever way that, that you would do that? Like w would you, would you want that or would you say, no, I don’t want a million followers.

Dan: [00:29:13] Well, the, yeah, there’s two questions there and my answers to them might be different. If I had it, would I try to use it for, as, as like a force for good as opposed to, I guess just to make myself a obscene Lee wealthy. Uh, I like to think that I would, 

Ben: [00:29:28] Well, that’s not I. And, and those, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

Like he can you make yourself wealthy and still do. 

Dan: [00:29:36] I think we did a whole whole episode about this awhile ago about why you’re not making $1 million or something like that. Um, but the second question I think is deeper and sort of more to the point, which is do I even, do I even want it? And, and I don’t, I honestly don’t know.

I think I flipped flop on this, like part of me likes the idea of. Having an impact on others. You know, when it comes to say, writing, helping out other people who want to do writing. And sometimes I do, and other times I don’t, I, I’m going to call back to episode four Oh five and four, Oh eight of the podcast from a while back, um, about living in the introvert cave, so-called, where.

You know, I, I kind of flip flop between, yeah, I want to put my voice out there. I want to share myself with the world, and I want to help people with what I struggle with and I wanna struggle with what I help people with and et cetera. And then there’s other days where like, I want to unplug my internet connection and hide under the couch because it’s because it’s, it’s pressure.

That idea of sharing yourself, you know. 

Ben: [00:30:46] Yeah. And, and I get that. And there’s, there’s a whole, cause I don’t want to make the case here that you, in order to have an impact on the world, you have to have a million followers because that’s, that’s not the message. And it’s really important. It’s really important, especially when you’re small, to to go deep with people.

And when I say small, I mean eat like you have. 

Dan: [00:31:18] Well, you, you mean like the vast majority of us who have a, a network of maybe a couple of dozen people and not a million because most people don’t. Most people never will have a million followers and that’s fine. I mean, even the idea before social media, I guess even the idea of having a metric in your life called followers is a little weird.

Ben: [00:31:41] Right. So. I guess, I guess where I’m going with my question is if, if at some point in the future you want to have a deep and meaningful impact,

either either on, you know, like a handful of people or a large group of people. I think what, what makes that

well, okay, so. If, if that’s true, if you want to have that kind of impact, I think that the, the documenting and the sharing of yourself as you go is something that in retrospect, you’re going to be glad you did and it’s, it’s going to serve. It’s going to serve you on your journey to where you’re going because you’re, you’re going to be able to get, uh, create deeper connections with people that way.

And then, and then once, once you quote unquote get there. Once you’ve, once you’ve arrived at the place where you’ve, you have the influence and people, people are interested in your story, you get to, you get to give them something that’s rich and nuanced and detailed instead of this false picture of, of who you are and, and what got you there.

Dan: [00:33:06] Right. Well, and, and this was Shawn’s point with the remarks. About documenting as you go. Documenting as you go is not the same as telling people a retrospective because the point Shawn’s making it, he’s mentioned this before, is you w our memories are not reliable. Our memory, our memories are not like the video stream.

That and audio stream that you and I are recording right now where there is. There is a consistent representation of the sounds that my voice is making that I will be able to repeat in the future. That’s not how memory works. Memory is a bunch of stuff happens and then you tell yourself a story about it, and that story changes over time.

So if you don’t document things as they happen, guaranteed that a week, a month, a year, a decade later, you’ll just have some story about what happened. And it may or may not include. You know, the high points and the low points. And so, so you’re, you’re absolutely right that not only is it valuable to others around you to document not a document, these things, not only is it important to creating individual relationships as well as, uh, relationships with an audience, and we can get into that more later.

But even just for yourself, if you were the last person left on earth. You should be documenting like the difficult stuff that you go through because like to, you know, there, there’s this idea that if you want to understand who you are now, look at what you were doing a couple of years ago, right?

If you want to be someone else in a couple of years, you better look at what you’re doing right now. You can’t get that picture unless you’ve been honest with yourself as you go. 

Ben: [00:34:55] Yeah. So, so you’ve got the, the responsibility of painting. An accurate picture for those who might follow in your footsteps.

You’ve got the, the deeper connections that you can build and kind of the asset of your personal history to be able to share with your audience. And you’ve got this, as you were just saying, you’ve got this record that you can look back on so you can measure your own personal growth. So you can see where you’ve come from.

And more than I, for me, I know that the times that I’ve actually measured my own progress and I’ve, you know, whether, whether that’s with, um, weightlifting stuff, uh, in the gym and, and trying to kind of compete with myself or looking back at video work that I’ve done in the past and. And kind of judging my, my work currently, I like, I always feel so much better and simultaneously, so much more motivated to improve when I’m measuring against myself than I am when I’m looking at other creators and judging myself based on, or, you know, like it.

Um, and, and I think that. Getting into the habit of documenting really is the key. It’s not something that we, that we really do naturally, but we’ve got so many great tools that make it so much easier to document and to, and to keep track of and keep records. 

Dan: [00:36:51] Yeah. You, you, you put, you know, take notes on your phone or there are dedicated journaling apps that have nice features, like they’re password protected.

So. You know, no one else can see, uh, what you’re writing about it. But it’s, it, it’s a good place to start. Cause like you said, you know, you, you will want to have that stuff even if you never share it with anybody. But, but I think we’ve gone down a little bit of a side road and we should bring it back to.

Uh, the iceberg exists and, and sharing it. So I, I, I kind of want to explore why it’s so difficult to do this because I, I find, I do find this difficult. I find it not only difficult in public, like sharing stuff with the, in, with the whole internet, but I, I find it difficult in interpersonal relationships to, to be honest, there’s this, there’s just this, uh, this friction when it comes to sharing.

Difficult thoughts and feelings, even with even with people close to you. So, so I have some ideas about why that is. How about you. 

Ben: [00:37:57] Yeah. Um, you know, for me, I think it always comes back to what might be the, the opposite of what I’m trying to do when I’m talking about my band and I’m, you know, kind of embellishing and leaving out the bad parts because.

I want to see myself a certain way. I want other people to see me a certain way. And I’m afraid that if, if I give them the whole story, hi, I won’t be accepted. Um, and, and I think maybe the most unsettling thing there is, it’s not just acceptance from other people, but, but maybe even acceptance.

From myself like, can, can I accept that these difficult and, and gritty and ugly details are also a part of my story? 

Dan: [00:39:01] That’s, that’s a good point, that that’s sort of underlies everything else. And it may be, it sounds a little trite, but it, it just might be the case that you can’t be honest about things with others people until you can be honest about them and accept them in yourself.

Right. Because if you have a thing. You know, well, maybe you have signing, signing in your past that you did that shaped how you think about yourself. Maybe you, you let down a loved one a really long time ago and it’s, it’s led to you thinking of yourself as an unreliable person. I’m making up an example, but, but go with it for a second.

You know, you might have a really hard time being honest with somebody about. You know what you think of as your own unreliability, whether you are actually reliable or not, because you’ve been telling yourself this thing and you feel really bad about it. Like if you can eventually get to the point where you have a more reasonable perspective, like maybe coming to accept the fact that everybody makes mistakes and it doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t damn you forever to being some kind of of person.

You might have to make that leap. Before you can really share yourself with others. And you know, just to touch on this at that like this is, this is why for a lot of people, you, you need to go to therapy or do something similar because it can be really difficult to even realize what sorts of things you’ve, you’ve got down there that you haven’t accepted about yourself, let alone go through the work of accepting them.

Ben: [00:40:40] Yeah. And and two, make sure we’re not making it sound simple. You’re, you’re absolutely right. Some of this work may be work that you can’t do on your own. Uh, in the same way that, you know, like sometimes you get too close to a manuscript or you’re, you’re too close to the design, you’re too close to the artistic piece that you’re working on.

You’re too close to it to be able to see what isn’t, what’s not fitting, what’s not working quite right. Um. 

Dan: [00:41:24] Yeah. Well, and it’s, and sometimes you’ve, you’ve accepted. You’ve accepted something as the truth that that, and then you never think about it again and it takes someone else pointing out to you.

So, so you might, you might have made an assumption. And so every time you think about this thing, you start from that assumption and you go, well, I’m stuck because of this. And when you find, if you finally communicate it to someone, they might turn around to go, what if you didn’t do that though?

And, and a lot of the times you’ll go, it’s like a slap in the face. You go, Oh. I’d never even considered that possibility. Right. Like it seems wacky, but you’re right. It’s just like any, ah, any sort of endeavor that you’re really tied up in you, you lose the ability to think clearly about it.

Ben: [00:42:12] Sean said, or, or like, you may not be able to reset your broken bone on your own. I just have to say that is, that is a painful metaphor. I just, I don’t even like thinking about it. Um, but I think, I think it’s, it’s also that sometimes, like we don’t, we might be feeling pain and have gotten so used to it that we, that we just think this is.

Um, so kind of to the point you were making like this is, this is just reality. Like this is, 

Dan: [00:42:53] just the way things are. Yeah. 

Ben: [00:42:55] Um, so we don’t even, we don’t even know, Rachel has a really high pain tolerance and I can’t remember, I think she’s playing volleyball in high school and came down really hard on her knee.

And her coach at the time, like I think this coach was fired eventually, but her coach at the time wasn’t having them wear knee pads and told her to walk it off or whatever. So two weeks later, um, it’s been, she’s been walking around on it and it’s not, it’s just not feeling better. Like it’s, it’s still a little bit painful.

And so. Her mom’s like, well, let’s go ahead and take you to the doctor. And it turns out she had a shattered patella and had the, actually, Mike get it fixed up. And, um, and they said, I can’t believe you were walking around on this for two weeks. But sometimes they’re there things that are, that are broken in our lives that are like that.

And, and you just You’ve not either because of a lack of experience or, um, because someone told you it was normal. You, you just think, Oh, this is, this is how this, this is how life is. This is, this pain is normal. This is just, this is what everybody is experiencing. So like, I’m not going to S I’m not going to say anything about how uncomfortable or how hurt or how.

You know, like, I’m not going to speak up because like everybody else is going through this too. Um, I can even think of things in my own life that, that I just kind of, I make assumptions about like certain things that are very hard. I just think, well, other people are going through hard things too.

Like other people probably have those experiences. But, but maybe if I were to talk about those hard things, um, especially with a professional, somebody might be able to tell me, no, that’s not, that’s not normal. There’s, you know, like, it makes sense why you’re under so much stress right now.

Um, you need to, you need to ask people for help. And that’s okay because you shouldn’t be experiencing that level of stress. You know, like. 

Dan: [00:45:32] Yeah. There’s two there. You know, it’s funny, there’s two contrary reasons to share in that kind of case because one, one of them is, one of them is you might think that something going on in your life well and quickly, like I think this is much more common than the broken bone thing.

We’ve, we’ve heard those stories about the person who does a lot of damage to themselves and for whatever reason, uh, like physical damage and for whatever reason, they, they somehow live with it. And then at some point, you know, like a doctor goes, you should’ve been in here six weeks ago. I don’t understand how you’ve been walking around.

Like, that’s a little, you know, that that’s like, wow, I can’t believe that happened. I’m gonna conjecture that most of us have like nonphysical. Versions of that, that we’re walking around with that we just assume, I guess this is fine. I guess this is just how everyone is. And so on the one hand we might be wrong and our situation might be, uh, I don’t know, worst is the right word, but like our situation might be a peculiar, and we, and we just gloss over it.

And so sharing it as a way to find that out and then go and I try to seek help or figure it out, but on the other hand. If it were true, like the funny thing is if we’re telling ourselves, Oh, but everyone feels this way, well that’s even more reason to share it because you know that people will relate to it.

I mean, this is, again, it’s this thing where we all kind of get it intellectually that everyone is struggling with X or Y. But it always takes us by surprise when we finally share something. And the response is, you know, we have these people that we’d never even. Expect come to us and go like, wow, thank you for sharing that.

Because I went through exactly the same thing two years ago, and you’re like, you did. You know what I mean? Like I thought I was the only one, but you’re never the only one. 

Ben: [00:47:23] Yeah. It’s tricky too because I wonder sometimes if the timing is important. Um, 

Dan: [00:47:33] How do you mean. 

Ben: [00:47:36] if you, I guess, I guess I’m thinking of, you know, a situation where maybe you’re just discovering that something is wrong and you haven’t really had enough time with it to be able to articulate it well or to where to talk about it responsibly.

It’s hard to say, cause I, I never want to discourage people from being open and honest about what they’re going through.

But I, but I also don’t want to underestimate how much professional help we might need dealing with those things before it’s safe for us. To be able to, to be able to talk about those things that, that we’re going through and experiencing. I feel like, I feel like we’re focusing a lot on, um, like emotional trauma and, and stress are, were depression, anxiety, like those kinds of things.

Um, so like, it’s. 

Dan: [00:48:45] those are, those are classic parts of the iceberg that we tend to keep underwater at all costs. 

Ben: [00:48:51] Right. Yeah. So there, there are definitely other parts of the iceberg that are not those things. But I like, I like that we’re kind of parking here for a little bit cause um, so, so my, my question is more out of wanting for people to be safe and how they share and not necessarily.

Not necessarily discouraging them from sharing at all, but doing so in a way that doesn’t put that doesn’t cause them more harm. Does that make sense? 

Dan: [00:49:29] No, it does. I mean, I, I think this is, this is a excellent example of a topic where we, we, we want to discuss it, but like, we are in no position to be prescriptive because Y, you know, we, we had a couple of questions and won’t necessarily dive into them right now, but had a couple of questions come up in the community chat about.

You know, w where do you draw the line on what you share? Are there general guidelines? Is it case by case? You know, there’s privacy and there’s relevance to consider what happens. This was a particularly interesting one for us to discuss. Like what happens when there are issues that don’t just affect you, but they involve other people.

How do you deal with sharing those? And you know, we can discuss these things. We can work through them and we can talk about ideas. But let’s just, you know, put down the caveat right now that we are not suggesting that you go and talk about any given thing to any given person because we, we don’t know right there, there’s an unlimited combination of, you know, things that you’ve got in your iceberg, how you feel about it, and think about it.

How any other person will feel and think about it. If you talk, if you discuss it with them, how you will then feel about that interaction. It’s, that’s completely, you know, that’s the essence of a case by case basis. you know, and well, and will, uh, it’s possible that you might, you might get that wrong.

You might have to get it wrong a few times. 

Ben: [00:51:00] Yeah, and I think, I think it’s good to err on the side of caution when it comes to those things because you know, like you’re, you’re dealing with your, your mental and emotional health, which has everything to do with your ability to avoid burning out, to, to avoid breaking down, to be able to continue.

To, to make things and do things. Um, and so, you know, it’s, it’s kind of a, put your, put your own mask on first scenario, ah, your own oxygen mask on first. Because when you share it is, it is something that’s good for you. Um. But I th but I think in many cases that kind of has to come after a time of getting to a certain place, a certain point in your personal healing.

Um, because sharing is also kind of a, a generous act. It’s, it’s generosity. It’s something that you’re, that you’re giving. To other people. When you, when you share your story, you’re helping someone else feel less alone. The like, they’re not crazy or, or maybe you’re eliminating something for someone that they didn’t see before.

And so when you’re, when you’re giving something away, you have to, you have to be able to do that from a place of actually having.

Dan: [00:52:48] Yeah, absolutely. You’re N you because you are, you are exposing yourself to a certain degree, but, but let, let me bring this back a little bit because we have, we started to get into really Deep things like, like the struggles we have with emotional trauma. absolutely. I think w we are, each of us going to have to be very like careful and deliberate about what we share about that with whom.

Um, but we had also brought up things like the struggle of trying to make it as a musician. And that might be extremely traumatic in some cases, but I’m guessing. I’m going to guess for you, Ben, for example, that you might not want to share about all the times that you went to this gig and nobody showed up, but it’s not gonna do a a lot of damage to you to share you.

You are avoiding sharing it for slightly less. 

Ben: [00:53:42] Right? It’s that’s much more about.

Dan: [00:53:48] Well. Well, yeah, it’s, it’s about ego. But I want, I want to get into this a little bit too. I think our reason that we avoid sharing a lot of the time has to do with, um, miss misunderstanding or an incorrect evaluation of the risks. Because I think a lot of the time, like we, we are terrified that if we let people see who we really are, then we will be rejected.

And there is a deep end, primal fear in human beings, social creatures that we are about being rejected. And if you want to take it back to like growing up in the wilderness for hundreds of thousands of years, being rejected by your fellow people meant. Almost certain destruction to a degree that I would say it probably doesn’t anymore, but I think that goes to explain why it can feel so harrowing.

Like, like what’s the worst thing you think could possibly happen if you tell this person about. How your music career didn’t go the way you wanted, but there’s a part of your brain that reacts as though if they respond negatively to this part of your iceberg, that you’re sharing that you’re, you’re gonna like die alone in the wilderness when that’s not the case.

Ben: [00:55:09] Yeah. One of my, one of my favorite things, um, that, uh. Merlin Mann them, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with back to work is a really fun podcast with, um, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin, and they talk about getting things done and productivity among other things. 

Dan: [00:55:34] Many, many other things. Yes.

Ben: [00:55:38] Merlin says, your brain needs a dad. And, and I liked that because it kind of, it speaks to the reality of, of how our brains really are kind of divided into these different parts that, that served and still do serve different purposes in our daily interactions. And there’s a part that is absolutely dedicated to, and an almost.

Solely focused on our survival in anything related to our survival. And, and that part also comes into play when, uh, when we’re telling ourselves stories about things and how we think and feel about those things, it kind of reaches up and, and, and tries to keep us safe. And then there’s another part of our brain that can actually.

Look at the reality and put things into context and, and tell a different story and kind of, you know, kind of calm that other part of our brain down. So this the same way that, you know, my, my kids don’t have all of the context that I have as an adult going through certain experiences. And you know, like I can look back and remember when I was a kid thinking that certain things were a very big deal.

Dan: [00:57:10] Sure you, you have a fight with your friend and your life is over. The world has ended. 

Ben: [00:57:15] Yeah. and my role as a dad is not to tell them they’re dumb for thinking like you’re, you’re not. 

Dan: [00:57:24] Well, it’s, it’s not, it’s not to tell them that you’re stupid because you’re wrong, but it is to say you’re, you’re wrong.

Like you’re, you, this isn’t as bad as it seems like in the most loving way possible. 

Ben: [00:57:37] Like I, I know why you’re reacting that way and, and your F your feelings about that based on how you’re perceiving the situation or not wrong. Um. Those. Those feelings aren’t there to tell you the truth. 

Dan: [00:58:00] Yeah.

Yeah. I, the way I, the way I like to put that as that fee like feet, you have feelings, but feelings aren’t in it. Accurate picture of reality. You have to be careful to like at, on the one hand, it’s like, yeah, if you feel a certain way that’s legit, you do feel that way, but it’s very dangerous to let your feelings very dangerous and very easy to let your feelings, you know, convince you the things are true.

You know? I’m super mad, so something terrible must have been done to me, or this makes me really scared and therefore I must avoid it at all costs. Even if you know, it’s just like having a conversation with somebody. 

Ben: [00:58:41] You know, I think, I think we can use this in a lot of cases for, you know, what, whatever, whatever side of the iceberg we’re on, if we’re, if we’re kind of just encountering people on a day to day basis.

Um, someone, someone that we, that we follow and look up to whose work we admire. Even even things that we think and say and, and talk about with ourselves. I think it’s good to be aware of the, the two stories that, the story that that just kind of is told automatically based on. Are preconceived judgments and ideas and, and like the, this, this part of our brain that just kind of reacts to the external stimuli and, and is trying to keep us safe, trying to help us survive.

And then this second story that we, if we’re purposeful, we, we get to tell ourselves. And neither one of those stories I think has to be factual.

I want to be careful about how I say this. So, so I’m thinking about like when we, when we just encounter people on a daily basis, and like you were talking about with the example of being cut off in traffic, um, the, the reactive story that I tell myself is. That person is, is a jerk and thinks they’re, their time is more important than everyone else’s, and they’re just in a hurry.

And you know, like all of all of those things. 

Dan: [01:00:31] And who needs a pickup truck really anyway. 

Ben: [01:00:33] But I’m, I’m creative enough. I have the, the mental resources and capacity to, to tell another story. One that doesn’t paint that person as a villain, but opens. Me up to the possibility that there could be other things going on.

And in either case, I don’t have all the facts, but one story, it causes me to disconnect, to be angry and resentful and potentially even destructive. And one story allows me to have empathy and to see that person as a human being and to build a bridge. 

Dan: [01:01:21] Yeah. That’s, that’s a great example because the fact is, especially in a situation like that, you’ll never know the truth.

You’re not actually gonna. You know, that person is not going to be interviewed by a reporter later where you’re going to find out what was actually going on. So because you have a choice of stories. But again, this is where the emotions come in. When you get really mad about something, it often doesn’t feel like you had a choice to be mad.

The way that we talk about it is something made me mad. This thing made me. As though you know it, it reached into your brain and you’re just a puppet of external circumstances. And I mean, lots of people would make the argument that in lots of ways, human beings are puppets of external circumstances.

But the truth is you can, and it takes practice, adjust those stories you tell yourself and, and instead of getting super mad when the person cuts you off in traffic, you, you might have this initial flash of like, ah, I just got cut off. This is the worst. But then you can tell yourself, you know, that person probably isn’t trying to screw me over.

and it’s all about like that thing happened, but now what do you do with the next five minutes of your life? That’s up to you.

Ben: [01:02:39] Laura and the chat said, when in doubt, I guess, I think, I think this is it. I think this is the answer to all of the. All of the problems. When in doubt, just imagine people might be needing to use the toilet real bad. 

Dan: [01:02:56] And you want to run. You want to wrap this up? Okay. 

Ben: [01:02:59] Wrap. What up? What are you talking about?

Dan: [01:03:02] the show. I think that’s it. We’re done. Um. You know there are though. There are some good questions here that we could dive into.

So why don’t we, why don’t we take a look? 

Ben: [01:03:16] Yeah. I think that’s a great idea. 

Dan: [01:03:18] Okay, cool. So I alluded to this before. We can talk about it straight up. Now, Tony had asked, where do you draw the line on what to share? Are there general guidelines or is it case by case? There’s privacy and relevance to consider.

Now. I mean, I, the sort of obvious answer to this question is no, there are no general guidelines. Yes, it is. It is case by case. But can we, you know, can we, can we highlight for people some ways that they could even start thinking about. What to share, because I really think that, you know, we can’t tell anybody, you know, you, you know that story about your failed musician career or your childhood trauma.

You need to communicate it in these ways to these people. Like, that’s nonsense, right? We can, we can’t say that but how could we help people start sharing stuff. 

Ben: [01:04:13] I think. I think really it’s, it’s gotta be less of, it’s, it’s gotta be more of a habit. 

Dan: [01:04:22] So what, so then I’d, I’d take it back to documenting, start, start documenting stuff for yourself.

Don’t even worry about sharing it at first, but like write it down. Start a journal. 

Ben: [01:04:33] Right. Oh gosh. And, and I love that you said that because it goes back to this, like, do take care of yourself first. Because I’ve, I feel like when you, when you start to experience and, and you’ve got to, it has to be a habit.

You, you’ve got to follow all of, you know, the rules that you would to form any other habit. Documenting is something that you, you just have to work into your daily life. And. The more you do it, the more you see how beneficial it is, the more comfortable you feel with it, the more automatically it happens.

And then at some point you say, you know, I’m just like one or two steps away from, from being able to share this with people regularly. And when I say one or two steps away, I just mean like one or two additional habits. 

Dan: [01:05:36] Right. 

Ben: [01:05:37] Because you, because you’ve built that foundation of documenting things for yourself personally.

Dan: [01:05:44] Yeah. It’s going to go. I bet it’s going to go a long way to making it easier to share, because you know the, the thing that documenting, especially for, for things that are more difficult or negative, you know. Like you tell yourself stories and you will probably have kind of glossed over those things as you go because you don’t really want to think about or remember painful and negative things.

The habit of documenting, whether it’s journaling, I’ll just, I’ll stick with journaling for now because of the sorts of things we’re talking about. It helps you process that stuff and the better you get at processing stuff, the better the well better, the easier it will probably be to share.

Because if you, if you wanted to share a certain thing with someone and you’d never really thought about it that much yourself, if you like, you might be surprised what comes out of your mouth or, or maybe nothing would come out of your mouth because now that you’re actually reaching back and trying to think about, you know, that.

The, yep. The thing that you screwed up 10 years ago or whatever, you might have all kinds of unprocessed emotions associated with it that you’re only finding out about now. So, so I think that that might be a good step one as far as sharing like the iceberg is to start documenting the iceberg for yourself.

Ben: [01:07:06] Yeah. And, and another, you know, just benefit to doing that is. Even if you’re just doing it for yourself for now. At some point in the future, if you flip the switch and you start sharing more publicly, you have an archive of things that you can share with people. And you know, like you can still, if, if you want to curated and put it together as kind of a a S a story narrative that you tell, that’s fine too.

But. But you have something that’s more accurate than just your recollection of the events that led to where you are today. And, and I think that’s extremely valuable. And it’s, you know, like that’s what I think of as free content. You didn’t have to come up with some idea and do research and write a topic.

Like these are all things that you actually experienced. And because you had. A habit of documenting. You have all of those assets now that you can just synthesize in some way and put out there. 

Dan: [01:08:14] Yeah. There’s another good question here. This is the one that Shawn asked. When it comes to sharing the, the deeper behind the scenes struggles, at what point does someone else’s issue affect you enough for it to be your own that you could share.

And it’s a tough question cause I, I mean, I know what he’s talking about, you know, he’s saying if someone else is going through something and it is affecting you greatly, you know, what’s the, how do you, how do you square that circle of like, this is affecting me and I want to share its effects on me.

But it also involves them. And if I share it, I’m kind of airing now. Now I’m exposing their iceberg. And is that something I can do. 

Ben: [01:09:02] Yeah, that’s a really good question.

I think that I think that because of how. Connected. We all are. That’s almost always true to some extent. There’s always, there’s always like if you’re exposing part of your iceberg, you’re also exposing somebody else’s iceberg and. I think in some cases, like a F, I feel like it’s more of a gut thing than it is.

So like there, there are some ways where it’s really obvious, you know, like if it’s, if it’s something something to do with someone, he was really close to me and the issue is something that’s really sensitive. It seems obvious that you would have to do your due diligence. To get to a place where you could talk about it as your own struggle.

Um, knowing that it’s related to this other person’s struggle and then they’re there. Things that you know, like we don’t feel like we need to go and get permission from another person to talk about Mike some. Some stranger said, some off-handed made some offhanded comment and it made me feel really uncomfortable and it just kind of wrecked my day.

Like I don’t, I don’t feel like I need to go and find that person. And you know, like, 

Dan: [01:10:38] and make sure they’re okay with you airing the dirty laundry that they were a jerk to you. 

Ben: [01:10:43] but I think even then we, in some cases we’ll use some discretion because if, if we know that there are things that we could say that would identify that person.

We might be a little bit careful about the detail that we use in describing who that was and wheezes. Speak about them in more abstract terms. Um, so I F I feel like, I feel like it’s really hard to answer this question because there’s so many different potential use cases and it seems like in almost every case there is.

Some connection to somebody else’s iceberg. 

Dan: [01:11:26] Well, that’s, I think that’s a good observation though, is that we’re almost never operating in isolation. Um, but it, and it does. And all of these things I, like I said before, the answer to any question about this topic is going to be, it depends. And this is, this is what makes it so difficult is that there isn’t really a playbook for how to, how to, how to share ourselves with each other.

But in this case, I think there’s, there’s a bit of a continuum at play here. You know, we’ve gotta be careful of that all or nothing thinking where it’s like, if I say anything about this to anyone, then terrible things happen. But if I don’t never say anything about it to anyone, I’m dying inside.

The F, you know, the, the reality is that there is, depending on how sensitive the topic is, well, you know, I mentioned it before like this is, this is what therapists are for. This is why they have jobs. This is why they, you know, train and work really hard at those jobs is so that, that’s a resource and a, you know, it’s not always easy to, to do.

It’s not always easy to do that financially. It’s not always easy to do it because you have hangups about it. But. The fact of the matter is there are people out there whose profession is being able to listen to things that you can’t tell anybody else. Moving along the continuum, there are the people who are closest to you.

You know, it might be a situation where only the people who know you and the other person really well would have the nuance to be able to hear about it. Right? Yeah. And then, you know, and eventually you move along the continuum until you get to the point where I feel the need to share this publicly now maybe you need to make sure the other person is on board with that to a much greater degree than just sharing it with friends and family.

Ben: [01:13:14] Yeah. There’s, there’s been kind of an ongoing conversation that Rachel and I have had regarding some projects that. That she would like to write that or, you know, like autobiographical in nature, um, memoirs and it’s really tough. Like when I, if I think about sharing my upbringing and some of the experiences that I have in the ways that I remember them, it’s, I start to feel a little bit, I started to feel a little bit hesitant.

When even in telling the truth, as I remember it, I could potentially create disconnection and hurt feelings and stuff like that. And I think a lot of authors who write memoirs go through that. Um, so it’s really tough. And. And it’s not, you know, it’s, it’s just not this clean, simple thing.

Because in some cases, the best thing for you is to get those things off of your chest. But, but I think, I think we, you know, we want to take care of ourselves, but we also want to be careful not to arm others in the process. You know? And I, I think if. If that’s how you approach it and that’s the way you think about it and, and you are careful and cautious, um, then then you can, you can trust yourself a little bit more.

When you find yourself in those situations, faced with those decisions about whether or not to talk openly about something. Hopefully, hopefully it helps 

Dan: [01:15:18] Well, no, I won’t, but I just want to re re-emphasize that point of, of it’s not, there is a world of difference between confiding in a trusted friend about something and publishing a memoir and S and so like, if, if you’re.

If what you feel you really need to do is publish a memoir, then you have some more complicated issues to work through. But if all you’re trying to figure out is, can I share this with anyone at all ever when it involves someone other than myself, I think, don’t forget that there is that continuum and you almost certainly have people in your life that you, you could, you could share this with.

Ben: [01:15:59] Yeah. 

Dan: [01:16:00] Right? It’s, it’s, it’s not all or nothing. Uh, there’s a couple of other really good questions I want us to look at here. I’m going to do this one first. Tony asked, when is sharing something you’re struggling with considered wining versus value? And I’m going to jump on this one and then, and then I’ll, I’ll, uh, I’ll, I’ll hand it over to you.

I think. Here’s the problem, whether sharing something you’re struggling with is considered whining or considered valuable is completely 100% maybe. Maybe it’s 92% out of your control. Honestly. Like if you share something and someone considers it whining, then they consider it whining. If they consider it valuable, they consider it malleable.

So. If you’re worried about coming off as whining when you share something.

So maybe you need to fill in the other side of this, Ben, because where I’m coming down is like brace yourself just like winter is coming. If, if someone thinks that you’re whining, well, you know, dismiss that person, like that’s on them. 

Ben: [01:17:19] Yeah. So I think the fear is you, you don’t want to seem like you are trying to draw attention to yourself and whining or other versions of that.

Kind of really come back to the motivation of, I’m trying to get attention and, and so whining. Whining is not, it’s actually, it’s not that great of a tool in the long run, right? People, people who, um, try to get attention. In more negative ways might have some short term success in doing so, but in the, in the longterm, they end up pushing people away.

And I think, I think we understand that on some level. And so anything that comes across as like complaining or grumbling or whining or, or whatever, anything that could potentially be construed that way. We, we kind of become hesitant because it’s like, well, I, I don’t want to cost myself longterm relationships.

Especially like what if you’re going through a season where just like, one, there’s one bad thing after another, you know, like, like maybe you, maybe you got into a car accident or something and you talk about that and then. The next week, someone in your family passes away and then it’s like, well, the car accident seems stupid now.

And I just like, I was, I was really upset about that and I talked about it, but now this other thing is going on and like, so anyways, all of that to say I think that, I think that it’s, it’s good to recognize that, but at the same time, like Dan said, you can’t, you can’t determine how somebody is going to receive that.

And you know, for yourself whether or not you are just trying to get attention or really wanting one, wanting to share because you think it has value to other people, but too, um, opening yourself up to the possibility that people, we’ll see that as an opportunity to help. And to connect and to support and, and carry you through the thing that you’re struggling with.

And they can’t, they can’t do that if they don’t know. 

Dan: [01:20:12] Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s true. So it’s the your intentions. That’s the thing that I think you really nailed right there is, is like as long as you trust your own intentions, then how other people perceive what you say is on them. Right?

Let, like you said, how do you know? I’m going to go back to the text of the question. When is sharing something you’re struggling with considered whining? Well, if you think you’re whining. Well, then maybe you are or are not. If, if you share something honestly and someone else accuses you of whining, that’s when I guess I, you know, I come back to what I said is, okay, dismiss that person.

That’s not someone you have to share things with. You know, I th I think you touched on it, the, the seeking, uh, attention where. Uh, you know, whining, whining is probably more commonly complaining about trivial, relatively trivial things, getting in car accidents and losing loved ones or not trivial things.

I think it would be unreasonable to accuse a person struggling with those things of coming off as whining. Now I think there’s one last thing I want to touch on, and then I think we probably have to wrap it up. Laura asked. How do you deal with the feeling that even authentic sharing feels performative nowadays?

Is there even a point for discussing non performative acts or is everything ultimately performative? 

Ben: [01:21:46] Everything’s performing. Uh. 

Dan: [01:21:48] No, no, no, no. I think that’s really true. I, I think, you know, whenever we interact with a person, we’re choosing how to interact like. Well, it depends on, philosophically you want to go on this, right?

But I think this is related to the previous question where it’s like, I think both questions are a little too worried and I complete and it’s completely reasonable. I understand it, but are both a little too worried with how other people are going to perceive you when you share things. And on the one hand you don’t really have that much control over it.

And on the other hand. No, your audience, right? There are some things that maybe you only want to share with your closest friends and other things that you should share in public, 

Ben: [01:22:42] Yeah. 

Dan: [01:22:44] but what, what do you think about the, the performative, the, the feeling? I think, I mean the feeling that even authentic sharing feels performative.

I guess dig into that feeling. Why does authentic sharing feel performative. 

Ben: [01:22:57] Because because there’s so, so I think, I think what it comes down to is maybe the idea that,

and I th I th I think this is false that. When we’re, when we’re sharing publicly about something that’s performance based, because there is an end that, you know, there’s the potential for adding value to other people and that value being reciprocated and stuff like that. You know, it’s like transactional.

Um, I don’t think that’s false, but what I think is false is that when we, when we share what we’re going through. With most friends or loved ones who, or like in a setting with, with a therapist that that’s not transactional and I think then the nature of those transactions are different, but it is, it is still like we’re, there’s something we’re trying to get out of it and.

And not, not in a bad way. Like we, we need, we need heal. We need to recover, we need to be heard, we, and, and in some ways I think that having an audience and being able to share our struggles with them allows power, struggle, and our experience with that to become more holistic. Where if we, if we only ever keep it in the private side, it doesn’t, it doesn’t get too reach.

That experience doesn’t get to reach its full potential in terms of what it does outside of us. I did. Is that making sense? 

Dan: [01:25:01] I think so. I want to come at this from the, from the risk, the risk angle again, cause I think a lot of what I see in these questions is a completely understandable fear of how you will be perceived if you share, if you expose the iceberg.

And the fact of the matter is there are people, you know. There are, everyone will always think everything about you. You know, like you can’t control what other people think about you. And they think it for their own reasons, for the most part. But I think the fallacy, the thing we fall into, the thing that keeps us from ever sharing is this incorrect evaluation of the risks where we think that if we say something that other people object to, we will be cast out into the darkness.

And that just isn’t true.

Ben: [01:25:59] Yeah. And, and in, in most cases, there are just so many more upsides. 

Dan: [01:26:08] Well, and, and there are probably there they’re more upsides than there are probably more, more, or at least as many people who will find what you have to share, valuable, relatable, or something that they want to help you with.

As there are people who are, who want to tell you to stop whining, who want to tell you, you know, to go away who don’t like you. And you know that second group of people you can decide that they don’t matter. They’re not the ones who get to define your life. 

Ben: [01:26:43] That’s right. Just just imagine when you’re, when you’re thinking about sharing

and you’re, and your, you know, imagining what people will think and feel about it. Just imagine that you’re sharing with a bunch of people who just need to use the toilet really bad.

I think that’s the, that’s the takeaway, 

Dan: [01:27:11] That really is. And you want to ramp this up, 

Ben: [01:27:15] Dan. Where can people go to find us online? 

Dan: [01:27:18] you can go to Shannon west.com. And you can sign up for membership so that you can join us in the chat and share your incisive, uh, advice about imagining that people really need to go to the bathroom.

You can share that live on the show, but that’s not the only reason. I mean, that is the main reason to become a member. But aside from hanging out with us, when we do these shows, you get access to $7,500, or it might be more now. Of all of our courses, value based pricing, presale profits, 30 days to better writing.

These are amazing. You can take all of them at your leisure when you’re a member and you get the support of this amazing community where you can ask questions and get help. Uh, it’s definitely the place to be. So go to Shawn west.com become a member, Ben, where can people find you online? 

Ben: [01:28:06] You can find me@bentulsan.com and I’m also at Ben Toulson on all of the things.

What about you, Dan? 

Dan: [01:28:14] You can check me out@jjacobson.com and I’m at DJ Jacobson, author on some of the things. 

Ben: [01:28:23] All right. Good show, sir. 

Dan: [01:28:25] Good show, sir.

And do you ever worry that you’ve accidentally put the Turn music on a loop and we’re just gonna both be sitting here smiling while it plays for like five minutes and, and we don’t realize that we should be doing the after show. 

Ben: [01:29:20] I, I don’t worry about that, but I do. I do feel sometimes like surprised at how, and, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, like I think it’s, I think it’s appropriately long.

I think the length is fine, but in the moment light live, it feels like it goes on. Like it’s like, Oh, it’s still going. Okay. Hmm. It’s 

Dan: [01:29:45] That’s right. Yeah. We’re just kind of sitting there like so. Let us, let us contemplate, but I think it’s good because it provides this pause after, like this was a really deep conversation.

And the, the outro music provides an important pause so people can digest before the, before the real end of the show. 

Ben: [01:30:07] interesting that you use the word digest. 

Dan: [01:30:13] Yes. Is it. No. 

Ben: [01:30:16] Yeah. Did did, in your opinion, did we talk a little bit too much about people needing to use the toilet really badly in this episode?

Dan: [01:30:26] mean, I think it was the chief takeaway, so it makes sense that we came back to 

Ben: [01:30:31] Yeah. 

Dan: [01:30:33] it because that that’s a robust strategy. That is broadly applicable. I mean, it’s more, you know, they tell you that when you’re giving a talk on stage to imagine everybody’s in their underwear and that will, uh, make you feel less nervous, supposedly.

Ben: [01:30:49] I th I feel like if I was on stage and I looked out and everybody was in their underwear, that would not be comforting. 

Dan: [01:30:56] No, I don’t think I find it comforting at all, but that’s what they tell you. So, uh, but I think the thing with imagining, everyone has to go to the bathroom. Actually that be even worse because you’re giving this presentation and you’re thinking that now.

Everyone in the audience just wants to leave. Yeah, no, this Laura, that was terrible advice. Just terrible. 

Ben: [01:31:15] Community value. 

Dan: [01:31:17] Yeah. Yeah. I’m going to cut all this out.