Accidentally Intentional

Our Relationship with Trust, Anxiety, & Finally Finding Peace with Mental Health Expert, Dr. John Delony

November 16, 2023 Zoe Asher Season 2 Episode 21
Accidentally Intentional
Our Relationship with Trust, Anxiety, & Finally Finding Peace with Mental Health Expert, Dr. John Delony
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The opposite of anxiety is peace, and in today's episode with Dr. John Delony, we are talking through exactly how to build a non-anxious life and ultimately find peace, in ALL of your relationships. We're discussing the complexities of vulnerability in relationships, plus the difference between trust-building and oversharing. We're then exploring the consequences of the 'I don't want to bother people' mentality, the overuse of the term "toxic," and the importance of setting healthy boundaries. Then, we are discussing how and where to find peace-filled safe connections, and Zoe gets called out on her anxiety, and what can be done to turn the anxiety alarms down in our life.

You can connect with Dr. John Delony on IG here, and snag his new best-selling book "Building A Non Anxious Life" wherever books are sold!

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70% of people do not have a single person that they can call in the middle of a crisis. Let's face it, we are relationally broke. And my mission is to make that percentage zero. But how? By building relational wealth, the embodiment of all your relationships with yourself with others and experiences that enrich your life. I promise you this podcast will help you build wealth in every way that money cannot. And it all starts by being accidentally intentional. Let's begin. This episode is brought to you by party cues, the number one questions app to help take your conversations to the next level, you can download it for free, right now on Google Play and the App Store plus heading to party What happens to you when you hear the word peace? If you're like me, you're probably thinking I want some more of that. And today's conversation is kind of centered around finding your way back to peace. Because we are talking with Dr. John Delaney, who is a mental health and wellness expert. He's a two time national best selling author. He's the host of the Dr. John delone show, which is where people call in and ask him questions about their mental health, relationships, parenting, marriage, you name it, he is willing and ready to step alongside people through whatever they're going through in their life. It's going to be a powerful conversation, because we're talking all about his new book building a non anxious life. So without further ado, let's jump in to this conversation. Well, welcome everyone to the accidentally intentional podcast. We have the incomparable Dr. John de Lodi on the show, and he's already laughing. I haven't even said his bio. I think I'm very comparable. Well, I don't know. I'm just telling everybody here. What you guys need to know is that Dr. John Maloney is a returning guest this podcast, he is a mental health and wellness expert. He has two PhDs, he has two national best selling books, but really, he's someone that I consider a friend as well, he might be out here helping 1000s of people. But today, he's going to help all of us learn how to become better in all our relationships. So Dr. John, my friend, welcome back to the show. What's up Simoni? So today, we're gonna be talking a lot about your new book, building a non anxious life. Because it's a pretty incredible one, it's shot to number one, on so many charts, and there's good reason for it. Because this is a book that will have ripple effects for decades. This is a book that no matter what age you are in life, everything that is taught in here is applicable, and you can take and put into action to find peace. And so I'm really pumped to get into it. Because here's what I know to be true in this book is it's all about making a lot of choices. So the six things that you talked about is choosing reality connection, which is really where we're going to focus today, freedom, health and healing, mindfulness, and also belief. And I don't want to spoil a lot of the book. So what I am going to tell you to do is go buy it, John, you don't have to buy it. I'm sure you know, I had to buy my own two. Oh, so I got a coupon though. So that was cool. Oh, we love a discount. Yeah, we do. I want to start this by talking about a couple sobering statistics. Because you don't know this, John, but the statistic from your previous book, this one rocked me to my core and actually changed the theme of the podcast. Because it's always been about relational wealth. But you actually said on our first episode together that 70% of people don't have a single person that could call in the middle of a crisis. And if you play it back, my face goes white, when you said that, because I didn't know there was a statistic behind everything that I was feeling and experiencing from the world around me. And I was like, Wow, I'm gonna make it my singular mission to help try and get this number back to zero. And so that was a really powerful moment we had and now that you have these statistics from the new book, that really put this in place for people to understand the brevity and the dire situation that we're facing. So 82% of people say that they spend the most time with those that don't know them deeply. 68% have three or fewer close friends. 54% have a friend they don't feel comfortable calling in the middle of the night for help. And 40% struggle with emotional intimacy with their spouse. We're struggling. Yeah. And one of the themes that I kept hearing throughout your book was the power of vulnerability. So I would actually love to start there with you. We have a generation of people, multiple generations. who don't know what depth in relationships and depth in connection? Looks like? You talked about how in the book you're discussing you're experiencing, finding friends and building this community and building connection. And along the way, I'm assuming that there was probably a couple of times when you were struggling with vulnerability, what did you learn through what vulnerability is and is not. I mean, I grew up as a kid Texas, born raised Texas male, like, my dad was a homicide detective. I mean, he's pretty amazing. But yeah, vulnerability was not something we discussed very regularly. I didn't even know it was a thing. I didn't know it was the path forward. And I think this happens predominantly with men, but I'm finding it more and more with women as well. I, I did not understand that I had any value beyond my utility. What I could bring to a relationship was answers, a strategy to fix something probably you and like a way to make money. That's what I could bring. And I could fight right. I could like, punch an intruder, right, because I'm big. And so the idea that I had value just because I was there, made no sense to me, I didn't have a psychology for that. And so when my wife would say, I'm struggling with this thing, and be like, you should just do this. Or if you've ever sat and been the lone woman at a table full of dudes, it's just a bunch of guys trying to solve each other's problems. You should just told them this, I would get kicked out guys. It's like this one. advice giving lecture after another. Yeah. And it wasn't until I had every answer possible. It's only when you cross the stage a second time with another PhD that you realize, Oh, dude, the answers don't solve that big gaping hole inside your chest. And it's only when your wife is like, Hey, I'm Dr. Baloney before you, I'm smarter than you actually. And I don't need your advice, I really just want you to sit here and hold my hand. And I'm like, then the computer malfunctions a little bit. And so all that to say is, I didn't know as a thing. I thought that the path to love was doing stuff. And the more I've dug into it, the more I think that all of us have this, the way I've explained it before, it's just like that, that ticker tape underneath, like the news that just always go on with all the stock market stuff and all the bad news in the world. I think it just is constantly going and it's reminding us, you suck, you suck, you're a loser, you're never gonna get it, you're never gonna get it, he's always gonna leave. You're always going to fill in the blank. You're always the worst thing you ever did. And so yeah, it just, I think most of us feel like we'd be better off not bothering people. Because we're not that great. And I think the greatest thing I could do for my neighbors is to just not bother them. That the statistic of those those that you read off, the ones that are the most terrifying for me, the most heartbreaking for me, is the eight out of 10 people whose closest friends and spouses don't really know what they're going through. Yeah. And I, that one resonated with me the most when when I was with that study was done in house and it there was entire seasons, years, when I would share a bed with a woman that I know loved me then I was like, We're married. And she had no idea what I was wrestling with none, zero. And what was cruel about that to her was she thought that that gap, that distance between us she could feel was somehow her fault, and she needed to fix it. And I didn't have the skills to say, Hey, I'm not okay, because that's vulnerability. And that's what cowards and weak people do. So I just went and tried to get more answers or try to get bigger muscles or try to get whatever, I got louder or get more angry or get more whatever. So I think the breaking point that we all eventually get to is the only way to truly connect with somebody is to be vulnerable. And when you're vulnerable, somebody can really hurt you bad. Yeah, and that's exactly well, yeah. 100% Well, that's the devil's bargain, right? You have to go through this scary gauntlet and hope that when you trust somebody with your innermost stuff that they don't use it and destroy you with it. Yeah. And that's the path to love. And it's a beautiful articulation. And, you know, I'm wondering about someone who's listening to this being like, alright, bro, I get it. I need to be vulnerable and say something about myself to somebody and then they A swing the pendulum so far that they're like, word vomiting, like, here's my whole life story, just please love me, you know, like her shares? Yeah, correct how how would you help someone understand how they can navigate oversharing versus the correct amount of vulnerability that breeds trust. I think oversharing is yet another defense mechanism, I'm going to dump all my crap out all at the same time. And I'm gonna watch you really close. And if you go, Ah, I knew it. Because you know what I'm looking for. I'm looking for what I believe to be true in the world everywhere I go. And I believe people are going to leave because I'm the worst thing I ever did. So here's all the worst things I've ever done ever. Here you go. And then people go, Ah, I see. And that's just, it's, it's you can abuse people, you can really beat people up with your crap. I think vulnerability is something different. It's an intention. I'm going to intentionally be fully me, and not in some YOLO super postmodern, like, I'm just being me, bro. Like, no, you're being a jerk, actually, what I say is like, I am going to tell the truth. And I'm going to do the hard work and say, This is what I need. And I'm going to say those needs out loud. And when I'm scared, I'm going to say the words I'm pretty, pretty freaked out about this. And when I'm not okay, I'm gonna say I'm not okay. And then if somebody says, What do you mean, you're not okay? I'm going to say, I got a lot going on. And I'm going to gauge the relationship, right? Like, if you're one of my two or three inner core friends, five or six, you can handle me dumping my trash out. If you're a casual person that I work with, I'm not going to do that. It's It's irresponsible, right? It's cruel to dump that on somebody. So I'm going to be wise about it. But also, I think there's a lot of, Am I dumping all my crap out to protect myself? And to force you to respond in a way that it's going to justify my actions? Or am I lifting the lid on that thing? I'm telling you, I'm not okay. In an effort to get closer with you. Well, you're obviously talking about how you being a Texas male where this is not ingrained in your body had to go through this process of learning how to be vulnerable. So I would love to kind of hear when you started trying this, how your other male friends reacted. Were like, What are you talking about right now? Because I obviously don't have insight as to what men talk about, but I know that feelings usually aren't part of it. It was It wasn't it has never been what I thought it was gonna be. And I got a close buddy, who's just rolled off being an active Navy SEAL. I've got buddies who are H fat guys and plumbers. And I've got buddies who are bankers and attorneys and medical doctors, everybody in between, and blue collar, white collar, all the collars, no collars, whatever. And not one time have I said do not model right? Has anybody said anything other than bro, grab a drink, grab a seat, let's figure this out. And so I think there's an old joke about. Like, if you walked into a church and turn the lights off, and you just said, Hey, just quick secret. If you have alcohol in your house, raise your hand, and then you flip the lights on, everyone would be like, Ah, sweet, you do, right. Um, I find that same thing when it comes to being honest about what somebody's going through. And, or what I'm going through, I have just never, ever, ever experienced it. Now maybe my friends get together and talk crap about me when I'm gone. I know during seasons when I was trying to hold it all together, and I was not vulnerable. And I was quiet. I know they had conversations like bros about to implode like that. It's crazy. I know they did that. But they cared about me, they love me. And they thought I was going nuts. And they weren't bailing on me. I've never had somebody turn around and burn me in a friend context was something I've shared. That's amazing. And that speaks volume to how people desperately want to be there for others. And I love that you talked about this in the book and how you're saying that. It's such a wrong mentality to think I don't want to bother them because you're actually not giving people that opportunity to show up, which gives them life the same way that would give you life. And so I'd love to hear you kind of just talk more about that and how you watch that change in your own life by putting yourself out there and realizing, oh, people actually feel amazing when they get to come alongside me. Yeah, I mean, let's like let's just call this out, driving somebody to the airport and helping them move. That just sucks. That's just awful. Outsource there Right? Yeah. I had a huge huge thing that I bought this weekend that I had a whole bunch of people over at my house. It was awful, getting it out of my truck and getting into the house. It was terrible. And when it was all over, we'd gouged up the floor. I almost killed one guy and the whole thing was a mess. So disasters is a classic delone did not plan this and think this through moment. And we're all sweaty hot, like our families are out in the in the in my front field just messing around. And one guy goes, dude, I love a good challenge. We solved it, anybody can have high five, it was kind of this like, password, dorks. And this was kind of awesome that we figured this out. Because it was it was a disaster, it was like 1000 pound thing that I should not have. It was so stupid. But, um, so the whole it originated with when I was working with college students, there was such a sudden spike in students dying by suicide. And then I had a particular run over a particular like, over several years, I just got so sick of calling parents and saying your kid has passed away, or I got so sick of leading memorial services or speaking at these young people's memorial services just was wiping me out. And then for those who were thinking about it, or had tried and didn't go through, and you know, weren't successful, I just was doing dealing with all the time. So I started reading everything I could about suicide. And one of the things from His name is Dr. Thomas joiner, out of Florida State, he had like a three, three legged stool when it comes to suicide, and some of his models come and pulled apart. But the one that really rang true with me was this idea that somebody who ultimately dies by suicide is able to do it has means to do it. And they kind of practiced it. But the here's the scary one, the perceived burdensomeness, they felt in their guts, that everyone's life around them was worse, because they were there. And I remember going to help police departments, the local police department with people had died by suicide. And when I saw how carefully some of these young people who died, had, they had gone through such great lengths to make sure that people that they loved who came to deal with the aftermath would not have to deal with a huge mess or wouldn't have to deal with. I used to, I used to like, gosh, if you could just see this amount love that you're putting forth with people you care about, they feel that same way about you. And they couldn't see it. And so I began looking around, like where's this perceived? burdensomeness? Where did that where does that come from? And there's pathology and all that, but then it started occurring to me. I don't remember I haven't asked a neighbor for something in yield years, I just go to Home Depot and buy mine. That dude has 500 tools in his garage that he uses once every three years. And instead of me asking him and he'd be like, yeah, sure, just sitting in there. I go to the store, spend money, I don't have to buy my own. I'm gonna use once and hang it up. And then it went to we don't ask for food. We don't ask for Hey, could you come watch my kid real quick, I get on some app, and I interview somebody so that I don't have to bother anybody. And suddenly, every single interaction in my life is is a transaction. There is no joint communication. And where it changed for me as I move out, one was COVID. Like we I had to make friends with my neighbors. That's all I had. And then we had some great cookouts and some great this is an that said, Hey, I'm running to the store. Do you need anything? So that started a turn. And I remember when my neighbor had asked me, I felt so good because I felt so powerless dealing with COVID because I was everything was off the table. My normal, I've got value was gone. And we went neighbors like Hey, could you go grab groceries? If you're heading out there? I was like, Yes, I would love to. Well, then I moved out to the country. We live on some acres outside of Nashville. And my one neighbor is 75 years old. And he's got a big tractor and my driveway washed out. And I asked him, Hey, can you could I was paying 1000 bucks every time to have somebody come back and regrade it and I couldn't have kept doing that. And so he had attracted, he's like, Man, I'd love to come help. So I gave my son some cash and put an envelope and told him to run up there and give it to him. So he did. Next time I drove I washed out a few months later. And I asked him and he said, Yeah, but I'm not taking don't ever put cash in my house again. And I was like, Well, I don't really let people do stuff for free. And he said, I'm your neighbor. I'll help out. And he did it. And so then I don't know if I put this in the book or not. But instead of giving him cash, my wife made some homemade sourdough bread and she's got gardens for like, miles. She's got gardens forever, and she made a bunch of homemade pickles and green beans and canned them did the whole thing. So we brought him like this basket and we got him some of our chickens eggs. And he was working on something out in the yard. And he was sopping wet with sweat. And I brought my daughter and my son over. And we gave him this thing because I want them to see this neighbor interaction and they could learn. So they don't repeat the same mistakes I made. And he stopped what he was doing and got all choked up and came over and gave me a big sweaty farmer hug. And I realized, Oh, he didn't care about the money, he cared about time. And he cared about, like, Y'all gave up your time, y'all grew some from the ground thrown hands. And this is what neighbors do. And so it really changed this idea that I gave him a gift by asking for his help to do something I can't do. And he felt like empowered. And then I was able to give him something that he can't do, because he knew how many chickens and I do and and so all that to say is, don't rob people in your life have the opportunity to have purpose and to have meaning. And there is no greater purpose than to help somebody in need, there's no greater meaning than to know I've got value because I got a truck and I can show up. Is it annoying? When everybody asked about your truck? Yes, it's the worst, it's the worst. And be a grown up and say no, and it's not a good time. Other than that, man. Don't do life by yourself. Give people the opportunity to say, I don't really know what to say right now. But I love you and I'll sit with you give people that opportunity. And I think if we stop walking around thinking that I'm a burden, I'm a burden, and that person is or thinks they're a burden, you think you're a burden. And like just reach out, then give somebody the opportunity to show up for you. And I think that that's one of those switches we can flip culturally, that would really set us on a different path. Totally. Yeah, that's amazing. And I want to double click on something you said, because you're not saying only give value and become a doormat, right? You're saying you have value innately. And you bring and give value. They both work in tandem, not one or the other. And I think that's that's the beautiful distinction that you're able to articulate so well. And I'm no good for you. By the way, if I've run myself into the ground. And if I come over to help you with your driveway, and I'm rageful about it, and I haven't slept because I can't say no and my wife hates me because I don't show up for her because I'm too busy running around trying to get my needs met by helping everybody. If I become codependent on people reaching out to me, and I start using your you to prop me up. That's no good, right? There's definitely a balance here. And there's a balancing. I asked my neighbor a few weeks ago, Hey, man, my thing washed out again. And by the way, I clearly have an another issue I need to fix. But he said I can't do it. Now. Let's wait till it rains. And that might be three or four weeks. Let's wait. And so I go when I drive up my driveway right now, and that's kind of part of living on the country. But he said no, he's got boundaries. He's 75 years old. You know, he's, but he's got boundaries. And so that's on me to make sure I'm holding well, so that if I do show up, I show up with a whole heart with a good heart. I don't show up resentful and mad. So I don't help people move because I was getting mad. Yeah, clearly this man does not want free pizza anymore. Okay, nope. We love boundaries. Well done. That's actually what I want to talk about next. Because there's a couple of buzzwords that are happening with pop psychology today, triggered toxic boundaries, you know, they're all flying all over the place. Everything's about three times. Everything's toxic. Let's let's talk about what boundaries should look like in a way that they're not manipulative. Say we're taking it wherever you want to go. I just know people really struggle with well, boundaries are manipulative. Or they're like, I can't do that, you know, there's no middle ground. Yeah, boundary is just simply me defining what's mine. And when I define what's mine, I also define what's not mine. And so boundary is me doing the work to identify what I needed my life to be well and whole. And that's different for everybody. For my wife, it's about 72 hours of sleep a night. For me, it's right. But she, we have a rule in our house. No heavy, hard conversations after 9pm Because we've learned that she gets tired, and then I get frustrated, and then I get tired, and they're not productive. So we made up a boundary. And that boundary protects us and that boundary keeps us safe. And that boundary keeps us connected and Well, that's it. Boundaries. Let me know where my yard stops and your yards begins. And we It doesn't sound good. And it doesn't sound right. There's an intellectual argument to be made. Like let's take down all the fences so we can become the greatest neighbors. That's just not how it works in Reality, great fences make amazing neighbors. Because I know where I stop and you begin, and I don't become enmeshed and messy and just all piled in on each other. And so I think the buzzword around boundaries has, we are so insecure, we think so little of ourselves that we have to give a reason this big, dramatic, don't don't don't moment for me to say no, I think that's just silly. I'm, like, Hey, can you come do this, I'm not gonna be able to make that I appreciate the offer, though. I don't have to give you an explanation. I don't have to lie to you. I don't have to make up something. I can just say, hey, no things I did. When the book came out, I reached out like the the PR team reached out to a whole bunch of people to see if we could do podcast rounds. And one guy who I wanted to be on his show, he just wrote back and said, All paths. And dude, I had my respect for him went up even more. There was no big drama, there wasn't like, Oh, I'm not taking clients right now. Or I'm not taking interviews right now. But I would love to, it just said all paths, not for me. And part of me is like, Ah, I kinda want to be for him. And also part of his like, that's kind of awesome. I practice what he preaches. Right? So it's just simple. And a boundary is not an excuse to be a jerk. And it's not an excuse to be rude, or ugly or mean, or isolationist. It just simply is a way to say, hey, what I need to be whole is I can only do three or four really hard phone calls a week, I need a break. And cool. I can't talk this week. But let's talk about next week. Well, I need you right now. I'm not gonna be your guy. And so you'll need to reach out to somebody else. Because here's the scary, ugly, nice part, but kind of true apart. It's your emergency, not mine. Right? And so I know if I'm running around trying to solve everyone else's emergencies, then I end up pretty useless. And I'm not able to help anybody, which was myself. Dang. Yeah, that makes so much sense. So we're in the middle of this conversation, talking to Dr. John Maloney about vulnerability connection, where to go to have meaningful connection and build it in your life, which is probably bringing a few questions to your mind such as like, Okay, well, if I'm going to build new relationships, where the heck do I start? What questions what I asked someone and so I have an answer. Look no further than the party cues app, who is the sponsor of today's episode, party cues is the number one questions as a conversation starter, it is something that I literally keep in my back pocket. No matter where I go. You can go to a bowling alley and start making new friends using these questions. You can take these questions to your Thanksgiving table with your family and your extended family and get to know each other a little bit better. Why is party Q is the best out there? Because the app has over 2100 questions for you to go through and ask the people in your life to build more meaningful connections. Honestly, you can punch awkward silences in the face, because party cues is the answer to all of that. I understand that making new friends and being vulnerable and all of that. It's really challenging, really nerve wracking. And it feels really risky. So what if you had the perfect wingman socially, to assist with that party cues, is that wingman and you can download it for free right now on Google Play, or the App Store. Of course, if you're on iPhone, and also they have a web version of this party And bonus coming soon, they're going to have a party Q's card get which you can sign up for right now by going to party But seriously, trust me on this. This thing stays with me, no matter where I go. Party queues app is essential for building incredible relationships is the perfect gateway to have awesome conversations. And it can start with you right now. Today. Download the app. I promise you'll love it. I do want to say that hearing someone say no as a full sentence. I hate that. I'm just being honest. I'm very, I get very spun up by it. I'm like, What are you hiding from me? Why can't you explain yourself? Yeah. So can you tell me when that's appropriate? To just say no, I assume that there's a relationship level in which it's like okay, well, you do need to explain a little bit more than that. But teach me why why do I not need to be so scared of this? No is a full sentence situation. On on if you're the one saying no. You have to believe that you are worth at least as much as the person you are being requested by. And most of us don't believe we have any value. We don't like ourselves. to our values only found in what we can do and accomplish. And so we say yes to everything trying to prop ourselves up. And we burn ourselves out. And then people ask it, we get mad, or people ask, and we say yes, in our spouses leave, right? They get they get mad if you're the other side of it, and somebody asks me, and I say, No, thank you. And I leave it at that. And you get mad, then, for some reason, you have told your story to yourself that you're entitled to everybody. And that's, that's a, that's a huge problem. Because you don't, and I think there's a limit to missing it like this. It's important to find out that the universe doesn't revolve around us. Right. And it's really hard when when it kind of does until it doesn't, right. And so I think that's why everybody, I think you and I've talked about this. I think that's why everybody goes insane around the national election time. Because there's so much media COVID, so much drama, so much like, what about this and who said this and one time, a long time. And at the end of the day, we each get one vote one, one vote, you get to throw one ping pong ball and the little fish tank gets at the carnival. That's all we get. And it makes us nuts. Because we think we're entitled to all this others. Nope, you get one vote, put it in the pot. And we'll see whose pots bigger at the end. And so I think that's that entitlement like No, no, you owe me more than that. I don't really now mature, you said it best my wife does. My closest closest buddies do. Sometimes my boss says if you want to continue with a paycheck, you don't just tell me? No, you need to explain why you can't do this project I shouldn't do. That's fair. I signed up for that when I started taking your money. But on a daily basis, I don't owe an explanation to everybody. In fact, my explanations can be kind of demeaning. And to me and to the person I'm trying to explain myself to what a great gift if I just let my USBs I'm an OB No. And can you do that? Yeah, I'm in? Or can you do that? I'm not gonna be able to make that. I appreciate the offer, though. Cool. Anything beyond that? I get to choose. I'm getting mad about that. Or I'm not gonna get mad about that. No, is a complete tendency. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. Well, I was going to end the podcast and be like, I'm done being called out for the day. No. No, thank you for challenging that. Because that actually makes a lot of sense. And I am willing to rethink my stance now. I also think that I hate Instagram. True tropes. And so I think that other people have the right to say, Nah, no, thank you. And now was a complete sentence like me, I Twitter clips, like they give me hemorrhoids. Like, I'm not a fan of them. Right. So I think both are true at the same time. Yeah. Let's talk about the word toxic to now that we're talking about Instagram tropes. Where did this come from? Why? Like, everything's toxic. Like, the only thing we were talking about being toxic growing up was crayons. Okay, now it's everything are non toxic. Yeah. The only thing I could think of my buddy, Michael Easter, if you if you and your audience have not read the book, comfort crisis, it's a masterpiece. It's probably one of the top five most important books I've read in the last decade. Wow. And you should have him on your show. He's a way better guests than me. But he um, he really walks through a long story short, about 250 years ago, we were able to because some technological advancements to begin to solve quickly, for things that were uncomfortable. We mostly solved for not dying for most of our or human existence. And then we were able to ship apples across the US. And we were able to do some of the like, able to put a pipe underground just get water from the center of the Earth, right. And so suddenly, these things that had killed us long ago, are killing us. And then we got an opportunity to, let's make the water tastes really good. And let's make sure it's extra clear. And let's make sure the food is humongous. Let's modify it and make it huge. And let's go ahead and package it. So it stays on a shelf for 500 years and let's put leather seats in the car. And let's get an air conditioner. So it's always about 71 degrees everywhere. And let's get heater so we never have to be 69.7 degrees. All these things were awesome. But over time when we kept solving for comfort and technology was allowing us to solve for it faster and faster and faster. I wrote my last dissertation without ever walking into a library. I never entered one and a half Add hundreds of sources to it. Why? Because technology allowed me to just hit a button and somebody else scanned it in and emailed it to me the whole book chapter, the whole article I was trying to read. And so that's amazing. That allowed me to do two years with the research in six months. It was, it was awesome. Yeah. But as we begin to solve for comfort, we inadvertently begin to pathologize and demonize discomfort. So anything that's uncomfortable has to be fixed. I hear people say, Man, that 12 hour ride in the car is too uncomfortable, we need to get a credit card and get flights next time. Or the human body wasn't designed to drive 12 hours and go across six states in one day. That's a lot. And so if you're going to go 12 hours, and one day, part of the bargain that you make is you're gonna be uncomfortable for a while. And that stinks. But that is what it is, right? There's a, there's a comedian that talks about going from New York to LA and he's like, 20 years ago, most of you died on that trip, right? You didn't make it and it took three months. I mean, and so really quick, we've just started solving for discomfort, discomfort has now become our enemy. And in a weird way, we now go into the gym, and we take all the weight off the bar, and we get so mad if there's anything resistant or heavy. And we're all mad that we're not very strong anymore. Wow, it all works together, right? So I think toxic came from this idea that not now that I've solved for all my creature comforts, I'm able to start thinking about ideas. And your idea isn't something that challenges me there's not this iron sharpens iron. Your idea makes me uncomfortable. It makes me think my daddy's dumb. It makes me think my church didn't do it right, or that my version of God isn't the right version, or the job I have or whatever Polit political stance on something. And instead of heading into that discomfort so that we both become stronger on the on the other end, we've created a culture almost overnight that says anything uncomfortable is wrong and bad, and you gotta solve it. And since I can't solve your ideas, I just have to end you, I have to cancel you, I've got to destroy you so that your ideas go down with you. And there is no working towards the greater good. The greater good is me feeling comfortable all the time. And so anything is uncomfortable, I have to label it toxic, and I have to try to destroy it. And that's why we've got this bubble wrap little universe we've created for ourselves. And I think we're all paying a ugly, ugly price for it. Oh, for sure. And even just that thought process, as if there aren't enough thought process that can show how you're disintegrating everything in your being as a result of starting up here. That's a perfect example. So people are like, I don't really want to go to this place. Let's say let's say church is a perfect example. I have church here at the church is toxic. I don't want to go there. Well, okay, where else? Are you going to find a community and build connection because you need a place to do so. So I would love to talk about gold? Oh, yeah, I'm gonna sit on that. Yeah. So I heard somebody recently in a just a private conversation is actually really wise, said, Hey, Church isn't going away. Like you can look at the statistics and say people aren't going to church anymore. churches aren't going away. Yeah. Because if you look at Coffee Shop attendance, and you look at CrossFit gyms, and you look at MMA gyms, they're spiking, like mad. And so people are gathering, they're just not gathering there. They're tired of this conversation or getting lectured at or this fight or this politics or whatever is happening here. They're done with that. But the human spirit will continue to connect and join forces with other people. And so I I think the challenge is not grenading the church, it's being able to step back 10,000 feet and say, that group of people during that time, they hurt me, they did they hurt me really bad, either intentionally, either those two or three people were super intentional about how they sought to hurt me. Or this was just the prevailing cultural winds of the time. These are what we they knew to be true. And this is what they taught me and I ended up with 15 years of baggage. That doesn't mean the whole thing is wrong, right? If your doctor misdiagnosis you and gives you the wrong medicine, doesn't mean medicine is wrong, or medicine is bad. It means that person messed up or that person did the best they could did the wrong surgery and now you got a problem. That doesn't mean you throw out surgery forever. That does mean your body's going to be pretty anxious when you send it through Neck Surgery, rightfully so because your body's not stupid. It's pretty smart. But that doesn't mean you get a pass on getting the tumor taken out. It doesn't mean you get a pass on meeting with people, it doesn't mean you get a pass on believing in something bigger than you. It means you have to own those people hurt me. I gotta go back in. And I'm gonna be more discerning, I'm gonna be wiser I'm gonna ask harder questions. I'm gonna have better boundaries, like we talked about, but I'm gonna go back in because that's where being whole actually resides. Yeah, that's beautiful. And, you know, you're talking about a couple examples, church BJJ gyms, you know, coffee shops, there's places you can meet people. But I want to talk about what what does someone need to think through when they're like, Okay, I need to meet people. Okay, nowhere, versus like, where's a good place where it's safe to build and create connections versus Where's definitely a wrong place to start. I don't, I don't know about that. I've I'm an old fuddy duddy now, I think, um I think number one, you'd have to know that isolation will kill you. It's just, it's you know, you we've all heard that it's worse than smoking and all that. So when your body identifies it, it's lonely. It sets off a cascade of chemicals that will kill you. It's trying to get your attention and solve this problem. That's number one, you don't have a choice, you have to have people in your life. Number two, one person that you can lean on and trust is great. It doesn't have to be this entire. You know, you don't have to have like a whole gang. Two or three or four people I think is better. But start with 1/3 thing is don't ROI people, they're not a 401 K account, you don't do a bunch of nice things for people so that they'll pay off for you later. If you use people to make you healthy. They will feel that 1000 miles away that will never be an authentic true friendship or connection. I know a difference between people that I know like you're a friend of mine, if you called and said, Hey, I'm wrestling with this with saw this be awesome. I know strangers that I meet who are like, Oh, hey, man, you got a second. And they want to tell their friends that they talk to me, or they want to circumvent some sort of. So I know when a friend of mine is reaching out. And I know when somebody's trying to use the skill set that I got. Right? Similar. There's a guy here in the building that built everything. I mean, he's the general contractor on all these buildings at the place where I work. Dude, he got destroyed every day, he got 50 texts, like hey, I need a plumber, I need a roofer I needed this. And he's a great friend of mine. So when I asked him, hey, I need I do need like a retaining wall guy. He's like, I got a guy. So when you're in relationship with somebody leaning on somebody's expertise isn't isn't gross or ugly. When you're using somebody it is right. And so I think I have to know, I have to make friends, I gotta have community, I gotta have connection. And I'm gonna go be vulnerable and weird and awkward. And I'm not going to try to use people to prop me up and you feel better. Because then they just, that's just people or you're trading people for Xanax and Xanax for people. And that's no good for anybody. Totally. You know, everyone's like talking about dating apps. Now. It isn't like, dude, the dating pool is just like, crap, you know, the knot, like I can relate, I'm married. But I always think about it the same way. I'm like, That's so weird that this is like the first time people are talking about how difficult it is to build relationships, as if you're not having the same sort of trouble in the real world where you're not using an app to try and find like, why are we not willing to be uncomfortable and know, you know what, there's a nine in 10 chance, this isn't going to maybe work out the first go around, and I need to keep going back to it. It's just so it's just so interesting to me, but that that's obviously coming from someone who had no friends then got 250 meal dates with 250 Different people to make friends. And yes, it's going to be awkward. And yes, you're going to feel like crap. Like, oh my god, I'm so small. Nobody likes me like, What is this big world I'm in. But then you have a breakthrough because you keep trying. And so you went but what you just said is you intentionally chose a season of discomfort for the strength and resilience and opportunity on the back end. Right. And if you are entering into dating or entering into meeting people, and your chief operating strategy is to never be uncomfortable. goal, you will never have a relationship period, it's never going to, there will never be a relationship, it doesn't have discomfort in it. That's the nature of it. True vulnerability, your body will scream at you because vulnerability can get you killed. It can get you run over by a relational Mack truck. And so if you are only seeking comfort, don't seek relationship man because it's it's a, it's an uncomfortable, wonky mess, and worth every second of it. Yeah, same as don't go to the gym and take all the weight off the bar, just don't go, if that's what you're going to do. If you're gonna put the treadmill on half point five, don't go, don't go walk around your neighborhood, like don't do that to yourself. If you're gonna go to gym and lift weights, lift weights, right? Go there and be uncomfortable for a while because the back end of that is strength and resilience. And you told yourself the truth and discipline, all those good things that come with putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. Yes, yes to everything you've just said. I want to talk to you about mindfulness, because I think this is a big part of it too. Right? And this concept of being curious, you talked about it on your show, often, which plug for the Dr. John Maloney show, which is drops three times a week, it's one of my favorite shows, you should download it subscribe now. All after the accidentally intentional show. There we go. Only finish finish one full episode first before hopping over folks. But this concept of being curious, I find that when I'm anxious. I don't know how to be curious. Because I'm just watching something burned down around me. So I was screaming. So the last thing I'm thinking about is how do I be mindful of the situation? What would be a gateway to curiosity and mindfulness for people that feel that? So I'll challenge you because you're my friend. Okay. So when you're feeling anxious, most of the time, 99.999% of the time, things aren't burning down around you, you are projecting they're about to and you're trying to solve them in the present, you are imagining they're coming, you're imagining this, this stuff's all gonna happen. And it might because if it's actually burned down around you, that's not anxiety, that is stone cold fear, you gotta get that building. It's unfired point. Good point. But anxiousness is out ahead of you. And so what what's so important about curiosity is just the gap between this second and what I'm worrying about is about to happen. And if I can just identify that gap, it could be a millisecond, it could be 24 hours it can be then I can wiggle into that space. What if this all goes right? What if this, I use this in every interview, but that guy cuts me off in the highway. I exhale. And I start making up a story about that, dude, he's a millennial. He's got a stupid truck or dumb car. And he's, like, listening to stupid music. And he's an idiot, he's proud drugs is trying to kill everybody, I can do that. I'm gonna give myself a stroke, and I'm gonna have a heart attack. Or I can go blow all that air out and quietly release the grip on the steering wheel just just a tad. And I can whisper a prayer to God, I hope he gets to the hospital before his wife dies. I get to pick that story. And that story is found in the gap between what just happened and what happens next. And so your boss emails you at 4pm on a Friday. I mean, I'm sorry, at noon on a Friday and says meet me my office at 430. Boom, we are off to the races, all the anxiety, chemicals flood your system, it's fight or flight. It's go time. Yeah. Then I start creating stories on what they're mad about. If he's mad about this, I'm gonna start telling yourself imaginary stories. That's a moment. I'd be curious. I'm gonna be curious. That actually happened recently. My boss Dave Ramsey, sends a note says hey, I need to meet with every with you and one other guy. And I was like, Okay. And then I start I mean, I'm an old man. I started like going down this treadmill in my mind, like, what did I do? I didn't do anything. I think I'm great. And then at one point, I just started laughing. And good Creek, John. Like, and I, this is awful. I went through the checklist. You You and your wife worked for almost 20 years and you pay your house off. You're fine. If if your boss was really mad, it would have he would have called your cell phone. If you Your boss was really mad, your direct supervisor would have called called you before. And want you to send a text to a couple of people and see what the meetings about. And that's what I did. And then I got some great information back. And I went and went on about my day. And so instead of choosing, I can't choose my body's response, it's going to do what it's going to do. I can't choose the guy cutting me off, I can't choose the email from my boss, I can't choose if my wife says, Hey, this marriage isn't working, I can't choose those things they happen. I can choose to take a deep breath as hard as I can and to blow it out and intentionally pull my shoulders down and ask myself, hmm, what are what my body's trying to protect me from? Or from getting fired? That's real, all from my wife just like leaving me. And that's real. Let's pull that apart a little bit. And when my body starts kicking up those stories, and oh my gosh, if he's mad about this, I'm going to tell none of that's real. I'm not ever going to have those conversations because I'm a coward. And none that's gonna happen. And so I'm gonna choose curiosity. As much as I want to cast judgment on everything. That guy is driving in front of me, he sucks. My boss, he always my wife, she just, that's just me judging, judging, judging. I'm just gonna stop with the judgment. That politician he just said that because I don't know, I wasn't in that room. I have no idea why I said that. I can make up a bunch of fun stories that make me feel good and give me a false sense of security. So I can sleep at night. But I don't know what's happening in those meetings. I know it just looks bad. Great. I'm gonna be curious about it. What if? What if he knows something? I don't know. Huh? Tada, one of those things calms me down. And one of those freaks me out. And I'm just at this stage, dude, I'm just looking for peace. Yeah, no, that's great. And, oh, let me say one more thing. Yes, about peace. I used to train him him a lot. And spending time with professional fighters. These are dudes whose make their living by fighting other grown men for money. And they used to be like the funniest like, like, you know, you do for a job, you punch other people in the face for money. Just saying it was just nice, always get a kick out of it. I love that they are the calmest human beings you can be around other than like monks. And every one of them to a person would say, If I get angry in a ring, I lose every time. Because I get emotional. And when I get emotional, my brain stops reacting. On training, it stops, it stops being critical of like, critically assessing the situation. And it just goes bonkers. And that's when somebody knocks your teeth out. And so I have to know this in my home, if I really want to help my marriage, I'm going to be curious and not throw judgments everywhere. Because when I'm curious, I can keep a clear head when I started judging, I get ramped up the cortisol and adrenaline dumps and it's on. If my boss is really going to fire me, and we need to have some hard conversations, I want to be as peaceful as possible walking into that room. Because otherwise I'm gonna get emotional, I'm gonna get mad, I'm gonna say much wild things, or I'm going to clam up. I'm gonna go to my default response systems in my body that that try to keep me safe. I'm gonna go to curiosity, and that's going to allow me to effectively engage in whatever true situation I'm involved in. Wow, yeah, thank you for going there. Because that makes that makes so much more sense. And if you're listening to this, and you're like, that's literally the word I've been looking for my entire life is peace, then you're definitely gonna want to pick up John's book, because he teaches us about how that overactive alarm system called anxiety can actually be recalibrated to, to work at normal levels with your life and help you find that beautiful thing called peace in your life. Once again, John, is there anything that we didn't discuss today that you would love to just share with the audience before we break here? Yeah, we got to dig into that gold chain you're wearing still. Can anybody hear it? Is everybody engaged? It is awesome. It kind of makes me want to stop, collaborate and listen. Come on. I'm proud of you. It kind of makes it good. You know, actually, I'm super jealous. I'm gonna get one this week. Well, it looks looks fantastic. Well, you might be getting mine if you keep talking enough. But the best part is you want to talk about trends. I got this from my 13th birthday. Oh, and the way for 20 years we back baby. That's right. Here we go. And as frozen did not sing, never let it go. Well, John, I just want to thank you publicly because I listen to your show. Millions of people listen to your show. And it's one thing dozens, okay, no, no, I'm correcting you, we're not going to make up stories that there's only 10 listeners anymore. There's millions of people that listen to your show. And it's one thing to hear someone give advice all day long, but it's another to listen to someone who is authentically walking with you in everything and sharing vulnerably his own experience and where he's messed up, and where he's learning to grow, and where he's being challenged in challenging himself. And you are not just that, when you're on a hot mic, you are also that outside of it as well. You have been so impactful for my life. And I'm so grateful for the friend that you are and the unbelievable source of wisdom, hope and inspiration that you are to millions around the world. So thank you so much for all that you do. And I thank you so much for returning to the accidentally intentional podcast. Well, I'm grateful. Thanks for being my friend. And as a reminder, make sure you pick up your own copy of Dr. John Malone His book Building a non anxious life, this is the perfect time of year to buy this because the holidays are coming upon us. Maybe you know someone that's anxious, maybe you yourself, are that anxious person. And I believe we all really can experience the freedom that there is within peace and this very book. Help us get there so you can buy it wherever books are, so follow John Maloney at John Maloney on Instagram and also absolutely, take a listen to his show that Dr. John Maloney show, wherever you listen to podcasts, and also on YouTube Special Thanks once again to party cues for sponsoring today's episode. Remember, you can download party cues right now for free on Google Play or the App Store. And make sure that you have that number one questions app right in your pocket for any situation you find yourself in where you want to build a meaningful relationship and connection. We'll see you next time.

troubling statistics about the state of relationships in America
Dr. John speaks about what vulnerability is and is NOT
how to learn to be vulnerable and breed trust without oversharing
Dr. John shares his first hand experience learning to be vulnerable
Why the mentality of not wanting to bother people actually harms relationships
what should boundaries look like (without being manipulative)
thoughts on “no is a full sentence”, and when that is and is not appropriate
hy is everyone using the word “toxic” all of the sudden
how labeling experiences and people are “toxic” can be very dangerous for us
where are safe places for people to create connection
a discussion on mindfulness and being curious while anxious
Zoe’s encouragement to John