HOW TO SUPPORT A PHILOSOPHER Freedomain Conference Call - Transcript


0:00 - Welcome and Book Support
13:49 - Personal Feedback and Emotional Support
27:41 - The Power of Honest Feedback
31:31 - Feedback: Me vs. You
33:38 - Regrets and Explicit Feedback Requests
35:25 - Confronting Past Hurts
48:31 - Insights from Previous Experiences
56:38 - Seeking Understanding for Lack of Feedback
1:01:09 - Integrity in Providing Support
1:05:44 - The Challenge of Unmet Needs
1:08:54 - Insights on Human Nature
1:20:30 - The Challenge of Self-Knowledge
1:26:25 - Avoiding Feedback Requests
1:32:01 - Validating Legitimate Requests
1:36:43 - Understanding Patterns in Relationships
1:40:25 - Substituting Needs for Preferences
1:41:20 - Negative Habits from Past Experiences
1:42:14 - Importance of Honest Feedback

Long Summary

In this conversation, Stefan opens up about his struggles with receiving feedback and support for his Peaceful Parenting book. He expresses disappointment in the lack of response despite reaching out to his community, prompting a discussion on the dynamics of audience engagement. Listeners reflect on their perceptions of the show and the challenges of providing feedback, with some callers sharing their struggles with personal criticism and discomfort in expressing their thoughts clearly.

The importance of feedback as a form of participation and validation is emphasized, with Stefan highlighting the significance of understanding the reasons behind the hesitancy to provide feedback. Callers acknowledge missed opportunities for engagement and express regret for not contributing earlier, recognizing the impact of clear communication on fostering better support within a community setting.

Stefan delves into how his personal experiences influence his feelings of neglect and the importance of reciprocity in relationships. The conversation explores the complexities of seeking help and feedback, with callers sharing their own challenges and insights. The significance of empathy, care, and even simple feedback is stressed as essential for building a healthy and supportive community dynamic.

The discussion extends to the hesitancy individuals may face in offering feedback, touching on inner issues and concerns about potential repercussions. Stefan underscores the value of honest and genuine feedback in personal growth and the quality of collaborative projects. Stef engages with callers as they share their perspectives on feedback, highlighting the importance of constructive criticism and its impact on fostering relationships and improving work quality.

As the conversation progresses, a caller reflects on their avoidance of giving feedback on Stefan's work and acknowledges the importance of providing support. Stefan emphasizes the need for honesty and open communication in relationships, encouraging callers to recognize and meet others’ needs. The discussion concludes with gratitude for the feedback and support received, emphasizing the role of transparent communication in nurturing healthy relationships and fostering a supportive community.


[0:00] Welcome and Book Support

[0:00] All right, all right. Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining. I appreciate it. I guess this is a... I mean, it could be anything you want. Anything you want. Anything. But in particular, I'm sort of interested in the question of support, interest, feedback on the Peaceful Parenting book and thoughts as to reasons why. Why? And again, you know, I'd say this is sort of open curiosity, because, I mean, I was asking for feedback, I was asking for help with the book. And, you know, again, it's not like we're married, so the obligation is not there. But you know I think I remember there was one show where I was like I'm not I'm not recording any more of the audiobook because I'm not getting any feedback like I'm I'm I'm so down about it and it's such a negative process for me without any support or very little support from the community and I know this all sounds like negative and accusatory I don't mean it that way I'm just sort of telling you my experience and so I guess if anybody has any any thoughts about that and It could be entirely my fault, obviously, right? And it's certainly always a rational possibility. So, yeah, when I'm saying, like, I'm really struggling, this book is horrible, it's, you know, it's really difficult, and I'm not really getting any feedback, and I feel like I'm pumping, you know, my bone marrow into the void, so to speak.

[1:27] You know, people have a lot of time for stuff, right? Video games, movies, Netflix binges and so on, and yet not a minute or two to say, you know, appreciate what you're doing with the book. I'm sorry that it's hard, but, you know, it's great stuff or, you know, whatever, right? Anything, right? And that's interesting to me. Could be, again, it could be something I'm doing wrong, could be any number of things, but I guess that's my curiosity. Did you have the thought to do that or not, and if so, why or why not, any of that kind of stuff. So, you know, I'm open to whatever your thoughts are on the matter. I find it quite interesting.

[2:10] So i had an idea um tell me what you think about this uh can you hear me yeah, so i was wondering because i remember back i think when you were making some of those comments and i i think i was i just felt bad and i'm like that was it i didn't think of it as i the only thing i could relate it to is like a tv show like oh your favorite character is going through a bad that time you feel bad but you don't you don't really think to do anything like it's like a person you're talking to does that make sense like it's like a parasocial relationship.

[2:46] Uh i mean i sort of understand the mindset but obviously everybody knows it's not a tv show and it is it is a relationship right so it's a relationship in that there's live streams and call-in shows and you know i respond to people's emails and so on and and so so it is a relationship thing if if i didn't do live streams if it was all like solo shows and documentaries i could understand that more but i think it's i mean it is a relationship right.

[3:13] Well i i think i'm kind of changing my thoughts on it but i think where i was coming from was like okay because whenever you watch i know the pre-recorded stuff or the previous live streams you know you just you go through the uh you get the wisdom you go through the emotions but you don't really give input uh as if you were were there like talking to so it's a it's a different kind of mindset to think of the live streams as if we were actually talking face-to-face. It's more like I'm throwing whatever words I'm saying into the void or the chat or something like that. I'm not really thinking about the way I would look. Does that make sense or no?

[3:53] Well, I mean, I hear what you're saying, but I mean, if I am directly asking for something... If I am saying, you know, this is really tough and, you know, I could use some feedback, some help or some support or, you know, anything, right? How do you process that request? I guess that's my, like, we can say all of this stuff like it's like a TV, this, that, and the other. But, you know, when someone you care about, I mean, I know you guys care about me, I care about you. When someone you care about says, I'm having a really tough time and need some help, you know, and the help is like, it's not like, send me your kidney, right? It's not like I need a zillion dollars, right? It's like just a message of encouragement or support or interest or sympathy or anything like that. I guess that's the question.

[4:39] I think that's where there was like a barrier where I don't know. Well, I think I set up a barrier there where it's like, okay, on this side is the performance. I'm at a play, right? So the actor's up there. He's like, oh, he's doing whatever he's doing. And then he says, oh, I'm going through something and I'm sad. I'm like this. like the actor's on the stage and he's performing right so even though he's quote quote sad it's still a performance it's still it's still he's still on the stage does that make sense.

[5:08] So you thought i was faking it no.

[5:11] No not faking it but.

[5:13] Well then you don't get the acting thing because acting is faking so sorry you can't say it's like an actor and it's it's authentic and it's so it's a genuine plea for support but it's also like an act of faking it on the stage right that those two are contradictory positions not.

[5:28] Not on your not it's it's not from your side but from my side where you see this as a conversation but i see this as a play.

[5:39] But it's but it's not a play like you're saying that no i know so i don't understand like you come to the live streams we kind of have a relationship we go back and forth i ask for a little bit of support and you know if if everyone thought it was a play then there wouldn't be any donations because you don't donate. I mean, I guess normally there'd be a price to come in or whatever it is, right? I guess there's some plays that sort of pay what you want or whatever, right? But it's not a play, right? I mean, it's kind of deadly serious stuff, the peaceful parenting, right? So reframing it, I guess my question is, why would you reframe it in your mind as a play when it's not?

[6:18] That's a good question.

[6:19] And I don't mean this in a critical way at all. I'm genuinely curious. Like you say, well, I treat it like a play. It's like, well, why? Because it's not.

[6:28] That is a good question.

[6:30] You know, if you see a friend, you know, like you're over helping your friend move and he's staggering under the weight of some enormous piece of furniture and he says, hey, man, could you give me some help? And you don't. You say, well, I thought it was a play. Like, you understand, it doesn't really make much sense, right? No, you're right. You know what I mean? That's what's confusing.

[6:48] Let me give you another example. So there are obviously you've heard of Twitch, you've heard of other streams, right? So if you compare yourself to them and to that, pretend as if the relationship between us is the same as the relationship between them. Oh, I guess this doesn't explain why, but I guess this just explains that.

[7:07] Sorry, do you mean like a Twitch streamer?

[7:10] Exactly. So if you, I don't know if you've ever watched a Twitch streamer, right? But it's only one way, basically. So you're basically saying stuff, and you don't really feel, you don't really empathize with the person up there. Well, you kind of do, but it's more like to stimulate your emotions, basically. Obviously, this doesn't explain why I feel like this, but I'm just telling you what I feel like. It's changing now, but yeah.

[7:35] But this is certainly not the case for some Twitch streamers. Some Twitch streamers say, I'm feeling down, and they get words of support and encouragement pouring in, right? I mean, I've seen that kind of stuff, for sure.

[7:52] Well, I mean, they do, but it would still be in the frame of the performance. It's not in the frame of the... Maybe I'm wrong with this. I have to think about this, sorry.

[8:04] No, but do you see what I'm saying, right? I mean, that I've seen... I know, maybe it's because I'm not a pretty young woman, right? But... No, seriously, I mean, it is... It is something where if the woman says, you know, I'm feeling really down, is that the other, or I'm feeling really fat or ugly or whatever it is, right? Then it's like, no, you're beautiful, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I see this sort of stuff online all the time where people say, I'm feeling down or I'm feeling negative or I'm having a difficult time or whatever. And what do people do?

[8:38] But it's the way they do it. It's not that they're feeling empathy. It's more like, it's not that. No, no, hang on.

[8:47] I'm sorry. Just so I get a sense that you heard what I said. So, I'm sure you've seen this online where people say, I'm feeling down or I'm having a difficult time or I'm having a problem with this, that, or the other. And what happens in general? What do people say in response?

[9:05] They put like hearts in chat. They'd be like, oh, support, support. Or the opposite, but yeah, they'd be one way or the other.

[9:13] Right. So I don't, you know, given that that's a very common thing, right? I'm not sure why it would be different.

[9:24] Hmm. I'm stumped now because that's what I was thinking about.

[9:30] Right. And again, it's a tricky problem, right? So that's why we're talking about it. Because if it, you know, if it was an easy problem, we would have solved it on Friday. I mean, I can tell you about, and I don't want to interrupt if anybody else has any, let me, I'll just pause here for a second in case anybody else has any thoughts or ideas about it.

[9:53] Yeah, Stef, can you hear me?

[9:54] Yeah, go ahead.

[9:56] I'm just like, I'm just kind of confused a little bit because maybe I'm just ignorant or I just missed it. But I was being always on the live streams when you were writing the book. And I remember you saying that, oh, it was the toughest thing you've ever done. But I'm never remembering you saying that, oh, I'm feeling really down and I don't feel like continuing because I would really, really need some support. So maybe I just missed it, but I don't remember you asking about the support. I don't remember you saying like, oh, I would really need some support right now because it's really tough and I don't feel like continuing.

[10:35] Sorry, so you joining the conversation, about me asking for feedback saying that you never heard me ask for feedback? Because I'm not sure how that contributes to the conversation. I mean, obviously it doesn't apply to anybody who never heard this.

[10:49] Yeah, because I feel like the conversation started like, oh, I never got any feedback on the book. But now, lately, what you were saying, like, oh, I was asking for support and you didn't provide it.

[11:03] Well, but I can't just say, everybody has to write to me and praise the book, right? Because that's not asking for support, right? I just wanted feedback. And so I repeatedly was continually asking for feedback, right?

[11:28] But, but have you been though, but again, I like, maybe I'm just ignorant, but I don't like remember you saying like, okay, please give me feedback. Well, or maybe you did. I'm not sure right now, but, but like for me.

[11:40] So listen, bro, bro, if you never heard me ask for feedback on the book, then this conversation is not relevant to you. Right. So like, let's say that today was your first live stream, right? Let's say today was your very first live stream, right?

[12:01] Okay.

[12:03] And in your very first live stream, I'm saying, well, I'm curious as to why the community didn't respond to my request for feedback on the Peaceful Parenting book. And it's your first live stream and you say, well, I never heard that. It's like, well, it's not relevant to you.

[12:22] Yeah, I understand what you're saying. like but i just like if you've.

[12:26] Never heard me ask for it it's not relevant i'm not sure what we're talking about here.

[12:29] Yeah but like i feel like uh like my experience now is like i didn't realize you really wanted the feedback that bad and i was being on the live streams you know so you did hear it, but well maybe you just like mentioned it but i don't did.

[12:49] You hear it or not i don't understand.

[12:55] Well, I don't remember being such an important thing for you.

[12:58] No, no, did you hear it? Forget about the importance.

[13:06] I don't want to say I didn't hear it. So it's very possible you did.

[13:10] What do you mean you don't want to say? Did you or didn't you?

[13:20] I don't know, actually. I don't remember you explicitly asking, okay, I can really use some feedback on the peaceful parenting group.

[13:27] Okay, so if you never heard me asking for feedback, you're wasting everyone's time. Sorry, I hate to be blunt, but you're wasting everyone's time. So if you never heard this request, I don't know why we're talking about it. If you never heard the request, you're off the hook. I mean, whatever, right? So let's move on to somebody who actually heard the request, because this is unfortunately a bit of a waste of everyone's time.

[13:49] Personal Feedback and Emotional Support

[13:50] If you could uh jump in real quick um so i had a cousin that was uh, going through a rough time recently and he he would only post it on facebook and i reached out to him and he's like later on after everything was you know better like he's like you know you're the only one that actually reached out and you know to see if i was okay i think with your audience being like a predominantly male audience like i think men are just used to not not used to, receiving hardly any feedback even in a in a rough time and um i think it i think it's just a blind spot for a lot of us like even though you were asking for it it it it's just not registering in our minds that like hey maybe we should give some feedback well.

[14:57] I mean this is a tautology though right like my question is.

[15:00] Right right so so saying.

[15:03] Well i asked for feedback and i didn't get it it's like well i guess we were just reluctant to.

[15:06] Give feedback.

[15:07] It's like well Well, yes, we have those facts. The question is, right.

[15:15] I think it's just what we're used to.

[15:18] No, that doesn't explain anything either, because the whole point of a philosophy show is not what you're used to, right? I mean, it's a radical, new, challenging, philosophical approach to reason, morality, reality, parenting, society, politics, art, everything, right? Right. So saying, well, we're only comfortable with the familiar when you're following just about the most radical philosophy show on the planet doesn't make any sense. It's like following a punk band and saying, well, I guess we're just used to classical music.

[15:46] Yeah, yeah.

[15:48] So that's it either.

[15:50] Right.

[15:53] And of course, everyone has, I mean, I assume, I mean, the call-in shows are the most popular. So the call-in shows are people asking for feedback because, usually because they're going through some kind of life crisis, right? So you have heard me hundreds or maybe thousands of times talk to people and help them when they need some help, right? So y'all can't say, well, we're just not used to it, or we don't have any exposure, we don't have experience, like, this is what I do, right?

[16:22] And they're the most popular shows, maybe not for everyone in this conversation, but they're the most popular shows. And so, you know, and you've heard sometimes, like, literally, if somebody sends me a real emergency, I will reschedule, I will stop eating, I will, you know, all of that kind of stuff in order to help them. And so, everybody here has There's countless examples of somebody, you know, needing help and me responding to that. So you can't say you don't know that it's important or necessary or you don't have any experience with it or that kind of stuff, right? Like that's the most, that's what people like the most. And even if it was a male thing, you know, a quarter of the listeners are female and I didn't get squat from them either. So the male-female thing doesn't answer the, I didn't know it was necessary when the most popular shows are exactly this. Me giving people feedback when they're requesting it or asking for it so yeah I mean I'm not trying to be difficult or obstructive but the mystery remains.

[17:29] It does indeed I just had a thought okay, what if it's a case of you expecting someone else to give the feedback where it's like okay okay, I can give feedback, but someone else is going to get feedback, so I don't have to give feedback.

[17:48] But that's just an integrity thing, right? And again, if this was a show about gardening, but this is a show about personal responsibility and integrity, right? So, saying, well, Stef, you know, is really down and really needs some help, you know, but, you know, what do I care if someone else is going to do it, right? Then that's not an answer because, I mean, especially, you know, you guys are donors, you've been around for a while and you value the show. And so that mindset of, eh, I'll just let somebody else do the right thing, would mean that you're following some other show than a philosophy show about personal responsibility and integrity, if that makes sense.

[18:34] Yeah, it might just be like, I'm not living up to my ideals. I think that's what it might be. That's what I'm thinking.

[18:44] Game well but that's that's again that's a tautology right why didn't i do the right thing because i didn't live up to my ideals well yes okay but that's just saying a different way, why didn't i do the right thing well the answer to that is so i just didn't do the right thing and and this is not a moral lecture right it's like you guys didn't violate upb or anything like that it's just a genuine curiosity thing i'm.

[19:07] Racking my brain i cannot it's going to be so simple when it's exposed.

[19:13] No, it won't be. I guarantee you that. It won't be simple. I mean, maybe a little in hindsight, but it's not going to be an obvious thing, for sure. I mean, I have a couple of ideas, but I don't want to jump the gun because I could be completely wrong. And, you know, it's a call, not a lecture.

[19:37] Um okay so i i guess i'll just jump in i had some thoughts um so i was questioning this a lot that i posted the comment the other day on the the thread that i had mistakenly thought i was meeting that need by increasing my tipping amount um and i was connecting that to a childhood of like being provided food but not emotional support and that i was conflating those two things um and then i was thinking about just kind of the question in general because you would you had asked well do you you know do you give feedback to people in life in general um and i don't like i i generally don't fill out like surveys or responses for feedback or write reviews or or anything um and then the only times that i can that are like exceptions to that rule i can think of is when something was significantly negative um and so i was thinking about this and i also posted the the thing uh asking for feedback for the the the title cover for peaceful parenting um it was kind of long and i don't know and i was like going over it with whether or not that was actually like good feedback or not oh you're the one.

[20:53] Who said uh you posted something fairly lengthy is that right.

[20:55] That's correct no.

[20:57] And i appreciate that was great that was great feedback. I appreciate it.

[21:00] Okay, cool. Yeah. Um, the, the whole trying to get to sleep last night, I was like, I was like, ah, maybe, you know, maybe I went like too hard or like, maybe I was critical or something. And it, and it got me thinking perhaps it was something along these lines that just in general, I don't know if a hundred percent, if it applies to, you know, the, the, the main question here of, you know, why the peaceful parenting book didn't get any support, but just for feedback for me.

[21:23] No, it's not why the peaceful parenting book didn't get any support. People don't need any support. It's me.

[21:31] My bad um correct um i i.

[21:38] Mean it's an interesting reframe but anyway go on.

[21:41] Yeah no no sorry yeah that that's a good point um sorry about that um basically the, the idea that i was wrestling with was something along the lines of like Like I have a very high critical, like self-critical voice, essentially. And it's like perhaps there was some element there of when people request feedback, it's almost like not wanting to subject them to the same thing that I, like the same inner dialogue, same like intense criticality that I have inside my own, for myself, if that makes sense. And it made me question then, well, okay, well, if I don't want to subject somebody else to this, why am I subjecting myself to it? And it's maybe something I need to actually work on is if there's such a high level of criticism within myself, then maybe that's actually the root of the problem. And if I can't, I don't know. I don't know. I'm kind of struggling to get the thought out.

[22:48] No, I understand. So your concern is that you would lie. So the beginning of the Peaceful Parenting book is just a passionate introduction to the topic, right? So it's not like there's going to be a lot of technical feedback on that or it's the wrong font. And it was also just the audiobook, right? So have you listened to any of the book?

[23:11] No, very minimal. I think I started it and then I didn't. I kind of thought I would want to do it all at once. I don't know. It was kind of silly, I think.

[23:23] So, sorry, you started listening to the book and how, um, when did you start?

[23:28] I think I, I, when you first started posting them, I think I maybe listened to the beginning of the introduction and that was about it.

[23:36] And why do you think you stopped? And, and, you know, it's fine. I'm just curious.

[23:40] Yeah, that's a great question. Um, I, I'm not sure. I, I was, I was wondering that myself, but I thought that the easy thing was like, well, I didn't have time. And admittedly, I have been having a lot of stuff going on in my life, but I've listened to other books. So I don't know. Perhaps it was very raw and very, like, very, you know, something I didn't want to focus on, if that makes sense, like all the actual hurt and stuff in myself. And so I ran away from the topic, if that makes sense.

[24:09] Okay, so I understand that, and I appreciate that. So you started listening, and it's painful, right? Right. Okay, so when I'm asking for feedback, why not say that? I mean, I'm not asking for a book review. I'm just asking for feedback, right? And the feedback could be, hey, man, like I started listening to this, and it just kind of short-circuited my emotions, or I really felt I wanted to avoid it and stuff like that, right? That's feedback. And that actually helped. Do you know why that helps me?

[24:48] Because other people would presumably be having that same experience?

[24:52] Well, yeah, but why does that help me? Whether it's you or more, Or why does it help me?

[25:04] So you would know how to write? I don't know.

[25:10] Well, the reason it would help me, sorry, if anybody else wants to jump in, why do you think me hearing from people that it's unbearable to listen to, why would that help me?

[25:22] Because my ideas change. Sorry I should probably you can go okay so my thought is maybe you want to change course because you want people to actually read the book and maybe you don't want to trigger them so much that they, abandon the book.

[25:43] No because if I pull back on the book and make it too mild then there's no point writing it but I mean that's a fantastic thought I really do appreciate that but why does it help me without changing the book.

[25:57] Book does it mean that you're on point then.

[25:59] There's some of that for sure it also means the book has power but what's more fundamental than that maybe.

[26:06] You can understand your readers.

[26:08] I'm sorry maybe.

[26:10] You can understand your readers more you're like okay this is what they feel when they read this.

[26:13] Yeah that's i mean i knew that was going to be the case i know the book is scalding right i know that the book is like uh uh here here read this book that's currently on fire without any asbestos gloves i know the book is scalding so that i know ahead of time i'll tell you okay if anybody else wants to take a shot and maybe it'll make sense when i say it but i can tell you why the feedback of i can't handle this book is very helpful because.

[26:36] Maybe you'll stop.

[26:37] Nope i can't stop no it's i have to do this right i.

[26:42] Can't stop i think it might be that you then know that the readers also know what you're experiencing.

[26:52] Well that's a uh a very female answer which i appreciate but no the reason is is i'm you know i'm like sam without frodo frodo without sam like i'm dragging this ring across mordor right, and it's like god this thing is making my legs buckle buckle my knees bleed you know my back is killing me and, you know, one of my eyeballs has turned red, right? It's like this thing is horrible to carry, right? And then somebody else lifts it up and says, holy shit, I just almost lost my arms picking that thing up once. It validates how difficult it is. Because you think it's tough to read, imagine how tough it is to write. So when people say the reading is really difficult, that helps me with the pain of writing it.

[27:41] The Power of Honest Feedback

[27:42] Because it validates, yeah, this is a horrible, difficult task. Because imagine if I put the book out, like this thing was just like sweating blood, right? So imagine I put the book out, and everyone's like, yeah, I breezed through it in an evening. It was really enjoyable. That would be a bit discombobulating, right?

[28:02] Yeah, I don't think that's anyone's experience at all.

[28:06] No, no, but I'm just saying, of course it wasn't. Don't be too concrete. What did you have for breakfast, right? So, but that would be weird, right? Because then it would be like, well, everyone else is finding this easy, and I'm seriously traumatized. And if I say, like, if I say this weight is really tough to lift, and then someone comes over and lifts it with their little finger, that's kind of weird, right? But if i'm trying to lift this weight and other people are like oh my god this is crazy heavy right i'm like okay well thanks because i mean i don't know this is really difficult and if it's if it's hard to even read then that gives me some comfort that it's tough to write does that make sense it's.

[28:44] Sort of like uh you need to go through pain to achieve anything.

[28:52] Well, that's a broad statement, sorry. Well, I mean, if you read the book.

[28:56] If you read the book and you just breeze through it, it's not going to mean anything. But, you know, if you're working out, you're going to go through pain. You're going to go through pain of working out and, you know, doing whatever you do to your muscles and you're going to feel it.

[29:18] Okay, so, sorry, this is not particularly helpful. Yes, difficult things are hard. Okay, got it. My question is, this is back to the person who said, I couldn't, it was really kind of painful to get through, or to even read past or listen past the first few minutes. The question then becomes, why not email me or message me and say, man, I started this book, it's really tough. I don't know how you're doing it. Or, you know, I just wanted to give you the feedback that it's really tough. And I can't listen on right now. I'll try again later. But you know, you've got something really powerful on your hands. and like whatever it is right like something right that's my question right this and i don't mean to pick on the guy hey thank you for contributing i'll now put you on the spot but that's the question is why not email me and tell me that so i'm asking for feedback right and if you found it too tough to consume why not give me that feedback.

[30:14] Right now that's a that's a great question um because.

[30:16] That's honest right that's honest i'm I'm asking for feedback. You definitely have feedback, and you won't spend a few minutes to provide it, right? So why? Do you feel like, well, it's weak or bad to not have gone on, or you failed, or I'm going to be angry at you for not reading the... I don't know. There's something, right?

[30:35] Yeah, there's something. There was another thing that somebody commented on, and I think you mentioned it as well during the live stream the other day, was that... By providing feedback, it was along the lines of, then you're a participant or something, and then you need to, I don't know. Instead of being a bystander, you're a participant. I thought maybe that might be also at play to some layer. I've been a listener for a really long time, but it's only been really recently, over the last year or so, that I've actually started trying to live by these principles. Constables and it it turns out it's actually really freaking difficult um and and perhaps there's like there that was at play as well of just like not wanting to like take the next step of actually you know even more you know having this be a life versus just a like in the abstract kind.

[31:31] Feedback: Me vs. You

[31:31] Of i asked i asked for something that will help me and you make it all about you, you see the problem yes damn it yes but i know i don't like you're being very honest about this right so i say well i'd really i'm you know this is a real heavy burden i'd love some feedback because i feel like i'm bleeding bone marrow into the void and you're like yes but i and it's difficult and i but this be i i it's you know what i mean yeah.

[31:58] No 100 100 percent yes.

[32:01] Because i i was asking for feedback and it's not a lot of time obviously it's not a lot of time like if i had said hey man i need everyone to translate this into klingon and elvish and esperanto and and then railed against people for not pouring you know 50 hours into translating the book i could understand that it's like a couple of minute message right right over four over you know i guess i started releasing it in october so like seven or eight months right and i was repeatedly you know i even did live streams to try and get some feedback how often do i live stream an audiobook recording right so i would like to get some feedback and you know again almost no almost nothing in the comments so that's the interesting question and it is a fascinating question i'm asking for something that costs almost nothing and is very helpful to me and And which I think in hindsight, if you had done, you'd feel better, right? Because it's not a fun feeling. I get that. And listen, I'm not perfect this way either, right? So, but it's not a fun feeling when someone you care about has asked for help and you haven't provided it, even when it was just like a couple of minutes. Does that make sense? Like, it's not a particularly fun feeling, which is why I really appreciate everyone showing up today. But that's interesting, right?

[33:21] I mean, I think most people would have felt like, you know, yeah, I listened to it and And I gave you, you know, I spent five, 10 minutes writing a deep, heartfelt email about my response and stuff like that. I think that you wouldn't you feel better about that?

[33:38] Regrets and Explicit Feedback Requests

[33:39] In the event that I still have the floor, yeah, 100%. Like, I'm kicking myself thinking, you know, in the past, like how many times you had mentioned that, and that, yeah, and that I didn't, and then also don't want to be just pulling it back to my own self.

[33:52] Right. Now, the interesting thing, too, is, and, you know, another question could be, well, Stef, you should have been more explicit, right? You should have said, I mean, I said, this book is really, really tough. I'm really desperate for feedback. I'd love to get some feedback. I really don't even want to continue reading the audio book because I'm not getting any feedback. It's really bringing me down or whatever it is. And so maybe it was like, well, you need to be more explicit and direct. And, you know, I want you to sit, open up your browser, like open up your email provider and write it. But the problem is for me, I'm used to feeding my own enthusiasm. And this is, of course, long predating the show, but even early on in the show, right? I've long been focused on fueling my own enthusiasm. In other words, I had to, for decades, indicates ignore the neutral or negative feedback I got from just about everything I did. And the show wouldn't exist if I hadn't found a way to chew on my own belly fat in order to get across the desert, so to speak. And so for me, I couldn't both carry the ring and have this conversation. I couldn't both wrestle with finishing the book.

[35:02] And in a time where I'm asking for some help and I'm not getting it, which is hurtful, when I'm asking for help and not getting it, I can't then pour my resources into trying to help the people who aren't helping me. Does that make sense? Now I've finished the book, I can do that. If that makes sense.

[35:25] Confronting Past Hurts

[35:25] But it's tough to, I don't know if you've ever been in a situation, like I remember when I confronted a family member about past abuse and that family member like just burst into tears and could barely breathe and was sobbing and, you know, then became all about that person and I never got any of my needs addressed, right? So while I'm sort of feeding myself and not getting the help, you know, and, you know, as maybe it's a male thing as well, but asking for help is not always the easiest thing, right? So it's not always the easiest thing to say, geez, you know, this is really bringing me down. I really could use some feedback on this book, right?

[35:59] So asking for help is not the easiest thing. It's not the easiest thing for me because most times when I ask for help, and again, it could be the way I'm doing it or whatever it is, but most times that I ask for help outside, of course, of immediate friends and family, I don't get it, right?

[36:13] And of course, we all know that But there's been hundreds of people who've poured thousands of hours into providing massively negative, false feedback on me. So, you know, the positive feedback is helpful and useful. So that's the problem is that for me, I have a challenge with the community. And I always want to keep the relationship with the community, especially with you guys, the donors. I want to keep that relationship as positive as possible. And I have a problem in that, in my experience, you guys were a little bit like the old family members. And this is not to put you in the same category. I'm just saying that's my feeling, right? That's most of my experience that I'm asking for things and getting nothing.

[36:55] And so I want to keep the relationship as positive as possible. And that's not blaming you, right? I don't want anyone to get mad at themselves or feel bad because feeling bad is just a magical word like, oh, I just, I guess I just did the wrong thing. Like that doesn't explain anything. That's just a magic word that has like saying God did it, right? Doesn't explain anything. Think the question is why and feeling bad or feeling at blame or feeling at fault is a way of avoiding the why because the why is really fascinating because you know everybody here knows my history right and knows that i didn't get support uh when i was younger and it's not always easy when you haven't gotten support when you're younger to ask for support and again it's a very minor thing that was being asked right it wasn't asking you guys to like move in and massage my It was just like, can you just shoot me a message about the book? So, cause it felt weird. It feels very bizarre. It feels very bizarre.

[37:54] It's like, it's like I'm in a stadium and I'm performing and pouring my guts out. Everyone paid to be there and they're all turned away from me. Saying nothing. No applause, no nothing. It's a weird thing, right? Because everybody's been waiting for the Peaceful Parenting book. Everyone's excited about the Peaceful Parenting book. And I'm pumping it out, and it's a void. And avoid, you know, it's two words, right? A void and avoid. And the question is why? I mean, and again, I have a couple of thoughts, but I don't want to interrupt if other people have thoughts. But yeah, the thought is not, oh, gee, I did a bad thing, or Stef asked for something and I didn't provide it, I'm a bad person. That's not the answer because that's just a condemnation without understanding which is not not what philosophy is about so.

[38:39] I've got a question go ahead oh sorry uh yeah so i've got a question for you here um it sounds like you're almost trying to discuss the why behind it as opposed to um asking for feedback so i am someone who has had a little bit of feedback in my head that's No.

[39:00] I don't want feedback on the book. Yeah, this book is not feedback on the book.

[39:05] Okay, all right. I understand that. I guess I'll write you an email then and accept responsibility that I didn't take the time to reach out earlier. And I appreciate you letting us know that you're not getting feedback and that you'd like more. So for a second, I apologize for not doing that earlier.

[39:23] The issue is not that I'm not getting feedback, right? The issue is that I repeatedly asked, in fact, begged for feedback. and didn't get anything. It's not that I didn't get feedback like, oh, I published a book a couple of months ago, and by the by, nobody's emailed. I wouldn't be mad about that, or hurt by that. It's that I repeatedly asked and begged for feedback.

[39:45] Over the past.

[39:46] Uh seven seven or eight months.

[39:48] So i guess uh now that i understand you'd like it in a different form i'll just go ahead and say i apologize for not having done it earlier and i guess i'll i'll shoot you an email well.

[39:58] I appreciate that and i appreciate the apology but without knowing why what does the apology really mean and i don't mean that you're insincere.

[40:07] But without knowing why we have a community to the extent i guess um I guess the first step on my end is to fix the issue. So I'll send you an email.

[40:19] But you are completely correct. And I appreciate that. I think that's great.

[40:23] Go ahead.

[40:23] But if we don't know the why, it's going to happen again, right? I'm going to be in some other trial or tribulation or challenge. So I think that's the important thing is to understand the why.

[40:35] For sure.

[40:36] The solution is not, oh, I'll send Stefan email with feedback, right? Because that doesn't solve the problem. The question is the why, right? So I'm asking for things. And I mean, there's really only two possibilities. One, I asked for things, of course, like the first guy said, well, if you'd ever heard it, I don't think he, I think he did hear it, I just think he didn't want to say so, because he got kind of foggy and fuzzy about that. So either you didn't hear the request, which lowers your responsibility for feedback. I mean, you know that an author would like some feedback, right? So even if you'd never heard me ask for feedback, you know, pouring pouring my heart and soul into this book, and you know, I'm not charging for it, so you know, some feedback is, so sending me some feedback would be nice. Like, I think everyone can understand that. But that's if you've never heard it. Now, if you did hear me begging for feedback.

[41:29] Then either it crossed your mind to give me feedback, or it didn't. Right now, if it crossed your mind to give me feedback, the question is, why didn't you? And if you heard me begging for feedback and you didn't provide feedback, That's also the question why, right? Did it just completely vanish from your mind? And the reason this is important is it is a little bit of an integrity thing, right? And if you can't provide feedback when someone's begging for help, which is the feedback, I think it can be tough to trust yourself in that sense, right? Because if you have the option, and let's just say it's the right thing, right? I think it's the right thing. Like when someone's handing out a book for free, and the only price is like, just give me a little feedback, I think it's the, and you know, you care about me, and I'm really struggling with this book, a little bit of support would have been helpful, right? It's not some big moral thing, but is there anyone who disagrees that it would be like a pretty reasonable and decent thing to do?

[42:40] Alright, so, and we can disagree with that later, but just for now, we'll take it as like it would have been the right thing to do. So then the question is, if I'm asking for something, and it's pretty clear, right? I'm really saying, please, please give me some feedback. I don't even want to continue with this book. It's too hard, and I really need some feedback, feedback, feedback. So, if it's the right thing to give me some feedback, and even if that feedback is, Stef, I really don't want to give you feedback, I don't even know why, that would be fantastic. Right? That would have been fantastic. Or if the feedback was, I tried listening to this book, I threw up three times, and I'm never touching it again. Okay, that's good feedback as well. So it's like I'm not just alone in how tough it is, right?

[43:24] So if it was the right thing to spend a minute or two giving me some feedback, and almost nobody did the quote right thing or the right thing, then again, the answer is not, oh, no, I failed myself. That doesn't teach you anything. But the question is why? Because this is not, and this fundamentally is me helping. I mean, it's helping our relationship, I think, but it's me helping you. Because this is embedded in your lives as a whole, right? And if you don't know why you didn't do the right thing or the nice thing, and we just say the nice thing, right? I think it's nice to help someone who's struggling with a little letter of support or something like that, especially when they say, I really, really need some support. And you care about the project and you care about the person, right? So if you didn't do the nice thing, it's important to know why Why? Because this is going to show up elsewhere in your life, right? If that makes sense.

[44:21] Hey, Stefan. First off, I'd like to say I'm terribly sorry for just in general, like you didn't get the feedback in this really tough journey. As for myself, like related to this, I would say, yeah, about the Peaceful Parenting book and even your other books. Like i i didn't have that same enthusiasm as other things like live streams and call-ins and i'd say for call-ins and live streams those are kind of the things that i want to do and related to you that's like saying i didn't think about hey maybe what steps need right now maybe i can look at a little less live streams a little less call-ins and maybe hey i could check out this book while he's writing it because he has said hey this is tough it would be like feedback but I was like kind of just put it aside because I was kind of focused on my own needs and I'm very sorry for that and as far as like why I would say maybe it's a form of like punishment to you and I'm very sorry like it's like having that I've having that radio silence when you say hey hey, I really want this, like that turned away in the audience kind of thing that you said. It's like kind of punishing you for having this enthusiasm and going on this journey. And I'd like to say I'm very sorry.

[45:46] I appreciate that. And that's very thoughtful and very deep what you're saying. So help me understand the punishment thing. Now, if I had said, listen, guys, I'm taking six months off from doing the show to write this book, I could understand that people would be like, well, Well, hey, man, like, no, right? Like, I really need the live streams, the call-ins and all that. But I've been doing this on top of the shows, right? I haven't, like, stopped doing shows. I'm still doing three live streams a week and still doing Q&As and call-in shows and even some interviews and solo shows. So you were still getting what you wanted, if that makes sense. So I'm trying to understand the punishment thing.

[46:25] Yeah because i was getting what i wanted like in terms of hey i'm consuming this call and stuff this uh live streams and uh some mcvary shows and it's just like like as far as like the books go because i even like during the friday live stream you said hey it's not only priest or parenting it's about the books too right you said all the books don't really get that much feedback back as well and they.

[46:50] Used to back in the day but but.

[46:52] Yeah i mean certainly.

[46:53] I would say i mean i took about 10 years off writing most of my books when i was my daughter was young but uh certainly from essential philosophy uh and yeah essential philosophy uh the future the present and peaceful parenting, yeah, almost no feedback. Now, with those ones, I was a little disappointed, but I enjoyed the process of writing my novels so much that, you know, that was its own reward, so to speak. So I know that people really like the books, and I know that they get listened to and downloaded a lot. And so the lack of feedback there wasn't, but this book was just so grueling and so hard.

[47:41] And so that was sort of the difference with that. And of course, when I was writing the novels, I was writing them start to end, and I didn't release them until, I think, was the present. There's certainly the future, I think, I might have released in serial. But it was, I wasn't sort of like, you guys got to give me feedback as I'm going through this book, because they weren't grueling they were fun uh and and deep and powerful and i you know there's there's great emotional release for me in writing novels like sometimes i'm laughing sometimes i'm crying and there's great emotional connection and relief but this was just like hacking through the fog of evil uh and it felt very solitary even though it's part of i'm sort of part of a community so uh yeah so i didn't need the feedback as much on those although it would have been nice but with But this one really did.

[48:31] Insights from Previous Experiences

[48:32] Right. And something that's kind of jumping out to me is a lot of times in the streams, or a couple of times in the streams, you've talked about your previous relationship with that woman who didn't reciprocate the generosity.

[48:45] Yeah, yeah. Give me some feedback. That's right. I hadn't made that connection. But yeah, that's very insightful. Yeah, I had this woman I was going to marry. And I helped her out enormously. And then I asked her for a little bit of help with my books. then she wouldn't do it.

[49:01] Right.

[49:02] Yeah, so that's interesting. Yeah, so for those who've heard that story, you know that's a bit of a sore spot for me as well. Even if it's completely irrational, it's definitely a bit of a sore spot.

[49:11] Yeah and i'd say that also goes a little bit into like the punishment thing because we're all kind of like at least for me like i feel like maybe i was kind of replicating that like i'm punishing you in a way like okay.

[49:22] But punishing me for what.

[49:23] Like i i would say like just yeah it's hard to say like the enthusiasm that you had is like it's almost like how, dare you have that enthusiasm and for like i mean it's it's not like really enthusiasm like Like, I mean, you're saying, hey, you're saying, hey, this is this big thing I'm doing. This is this really big thing, very important. And we kind of, at least for me, I kind of just like, oh, okay, I'll just, maybe I'll check it out later. Like, didn't make it like a priority.

[49:54] Well, and that's, but the issue isn't that it was important to me, right? But the issue was, I'm like, can you give me some feedback on the book? Book and of course if you don't want to if you don't want to read the book or don't want to listen to the book that's important feedback to get as well right because you understand i mean honestly i mean if you haven't been around for a long time you wouldn't know this but for those who've been around for a while uh how many requests have i had to write a book, on peaceful parenting well it's been a fairly continual motif of the show for 15 years, and again if you're new you wouldn't know that history but but i do right and so then when people are begging for something and then you toss it out into a void and then you ask for feedback and you don't get any uh it's uh it's confusing right so i i do think there's punishment involved, i do think i think that's i mean i think that's accurate but i think it's tough to know exactly what it is that's being punished and why.

[50:59] Stefan, I was wondering, can you hear me?

[51:02] Yeah, go ahead.

[51:03] Yeah, I was wondering if anyone had match your enthusiasm, anyone at all, on this book?

[51:11] Sorry, anyone had what?

[51:13] Had match your enthusiasm, if someone was near to your enthusiasm about the book?

[51:18] Well, the enthusiasm was for my novels. I was not enthusiastic about peaceful parenting, um i i had to you know eat my own innards to to make it across the desert so to speak, uh and drink my own urine or whatever you want to say but i you know when i said i mean i hate this book this is really tough uh and and i don't even want to continue and so i didn't have much enthusiasm for the peaceful parenting book uh but it's something i mean it is something that needs to be done uh and i'm sort of i'm now that it's over i'm glad it's over and i i never experienced this and like a lot of people say oh man writing a book is you know really horrible and terrible and it's difficult and grueling and right i've never really i've never experienced that before, i've had some different i remember having some difficulties with the plot elements of just poor but until this book you know there's this old saying like oh writing is easy you just stare at a blank page until beads of blood form on your forehead and you know i remember um douglas adams what is the idea i love the sound of of deadlines i love the whooshing sound they make as they go by and his publisher would have to lock him into a hotel room to get him to actually write a book. But I never experienced that until this book. So yeah, it wasn't like this big enthusiasm thing for me. It was very difficult, and that's partly why I think the support was needed.

[52:40] I see. Yeah, this is the first I'm hearing about a lot of this. I wrote a book on peaceful parenting a few years ago and found it to be a really difficult experience. And yeah, it was like carving it out of myself. And I don't know that it went. Wait, so sorry.

[53:05] So you, I mean, that's really interesting. So you wrote a book on peaceful parenting and you found it really, really difficult, right?

[53:13] Yeah, it was, and it didn't come out quite like I wanted, and it was kind of a tortured experience for me.

[53:20] So if you're writing a book on peaceful, you wrote a book on peaceful parenting and you found it really, really grueling and horrible. Then you would know what i was going through right yeah so why wouldn't you write a letter saying hey man good for you for taking this on i know how tough it is.

[53:41] Yeah that's a great question.

[53:42] And again i'm not trying to be accusatory like how do i'm just it's a genuinely fascinating question right like you of all the people in this conversation doesn't make you more responsible i'm just sort of pointing it out you of all the the people in this conversation are probably the closest to knowing what i went through right, right is that fair to say yeah yeah right so then why not why not say anything.

[54:12] Yeah so um yeah i didn't know that um, you'd gotten so little feedback um.

[54:21] No that's irrelevant no that's right i know i know It's not.

[54:24] I know, I'm collecting my thoughts.

[54:25] No, because then you're judging your own standards by what other people are doing, right?

[54:31] Right, right, right.

[54:32] Right, so the whole point of integrity is it's not democratic, right? I mean, you don't go to a store and say, well, you know, most people aren't shoplifting, so clearly I can steal stuff. I mean, they'll survive, right? You don't go to a restaurant and say, well, most restaurateurs pay their meals, so I guess I don't have to, right? I can just dine and dash. They'll survive. And will they? Yeah, they will. But is that how we do virtue?

[55:00] Well, I didn't want to assume that you were going to have the same experience as me, because I saw the outline that you put out, and I thought, he's going to be totally on top of this. This is just so fleshed out. This is so impressive. This is far more advanced.

[55:15] Did you have problems with the table of contents when you wrote the book? No. Or was it the actual writing of the book that was tough? Was it the planning?

[55:33] The toughest part of the book was... Let me think back. It's been three years.

[55:43] Okay. Well, let me ask you this. Did you ever hear me asking for feedback for the book?

[55:49] I can't recall. I don't think so. Because I'll tell you because...

[55:53] But you've watched a lot of live streams, right?

[55:56] No. Or at least listened to them later? The last seven, eight months, I've been pretty spotty. I've had a real health thing going on.

[56:04] I'm sorry to hear about that.

[56:05] Okay.

[56:06] So then you haven't heard the request. So we're back to the second guy who was like, well, I haven't heard the request for feedback. Well, if you haven't heard the request for feedback, then I'm not sure what we get from this conversation.

[56:20] Sorry, but I engaged to ask about your experience. I wasn't necessarily wanting to talk about my experience.

[56:28] No, but I've already talked about my experience. The question is, why didn't people give me feedback when I asked, knowing how important it was for me and how difficult a time I was having, right?

[56:38] Seeking Understanding for Lack of Feedback

[56:38] So if you didn't hear the request for feedback, I mean, I guess you could have guessed that I would have, if you had a book that you tried to write and you found it too emotionally difficult, you might have some insight as to why it was emotionally difficult for me. But if you didn't hear the request, then so my, sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. The conversation is for people who heard the request, just so we can clear that up, right? So if you didn't hear other requests for me to to provide feedback then there's no need to be part of this i mean you can listen of course right yeah but my question is for people who heard me begging for feedback who didn't provide it that's the question right i know you could have of course said stef's writing a piece well you knew i was writing the book right yeah.

[57:21] For yeah it was on my radar for a couple weeks yeah.

[57:23] Weeks what do you mean well.

[57:26] I i you announced you were going to write the book and And then I fell into a hole with my health, basically.

[57:32] So you haven't really been listening for like a year and a half, right?

[57:38] No, and I've listened here and there, but yeah, it's not anywhere where it used to be.

[57:44] I mean, yeah. I mean, now you could have, of course, again, this is not some big requirement, but you could have said, listen, as somebody who's tried to write this book, you know, it's going to be tougher than you think, and you might need some support, and, you know, I was unable to finish it, and here's why. I assume you didn't have health issues when you heard I was writing the book, right?

[58:04] Oh, yeah. They were starting. Yeah, they were starting at that point.

[58:07] Well, so I can understand that, and great sympathies for your health, of course, but let's move on to people who the topic applies to.

[58:15] Sure, yeah, and I was just curious, primarily about the enthusiasm, whether there had been enthusiasm sort of reflected back to you as to the importance of the topic and the salience of it.

[58:28] Sorry, you're asking whether I received enthusiasm from the community for the book?

[58:34] Yeah, I mean… But do you know what this whole conversation...

[58:37] Did you just join the conversation? I'm not sure. Have you been listening?

[58:41] No, I'm not saying the audience in general. I'm saying if anyone at all. And I think you're saying nobody at all.

[58:47] But it's only released to donors who... I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand. It's only released to donors so far.

[58:54] So I guess your wife or your daughter or people you work with.

[58:58] I'm not having this conversation with my wife. I'm having it with the community. so the conversation is.

[59:04] Happening because i didn't really get any.

[59:05] Feedback or enthusiasm and then you're saying well i want to know what you're okay let's just move on so.

[59:09] Yeah if there's anybody else.

[59:10] Who has any ideas as to why the feedback was avoided uh i can be happy to hear it the punishment thing i think is interesting i.

[59:27] Had another thought i'm pretty interesting so i i've been taking some notes uh some things i found pretty interesting from the friday live stream a lot of it has to do with the mentality of feedback i'm sorry with the mentality people have when it comes to the feedback like i've noticed a lot of people myself included um they were saying like they didn't even feel worthy of giving uh some support uh because they saw you as is so confident, very well accomplished, how would our support even make a difference?

[1:00:04] I was really begging for feedback, saying I was having a very tough time. So that doesn't apply.

[1:00:13] Oh. Okay.

[1:00:15] I mean, I wasn't expecting anyone to magically read my mind. I wasn't hiding all my difficulties. I didn't hide all my difficulties and now I'm berating people for not reading my mind. That'd be crazy, right?

[1:00:27] Yeah.

[1:00:31] And here's the thing, like, if, there's like a, the integrity thing is you have the rule, right? Now, if someone you care about is struggling and asking for a couple of minutes of feedback, and you don't provide that, that's not very nice, right? Now, so the rule is, I mean, my rule, my rule is if, I mean, I do this even for strangers, like, so if, like, I just got an email from a guy whose wife is cheating on him and he hasn't slept in two days, right? Am I going to take that call? Absolutely. I'd be doing it now, except he's finally crashed, right? So we'll talk later.

[1:01:09] Integrity in Providing Support

[1:01:10] But I've had people are like, I'm about to leave my marriage, I'm this, that, the other, and I will, you know, drop everything everything, and I take the call. And these are people I don't even know. Now, again, it's part of a show. I get all of that. But even if I know it's only going to go to donors and, you know, that doesn't generate money really when it goes to donors. So I'll do that for strangers.

[1:01:34] And, you know, like it or not, we have a kind of relationship. Like, you guys know more about me than you probably do about most people in your life. I've had calls with a bunch of you all on this call, and so I assume that I'm someone you care about, and you wouldn't do things that would make life more difficult for me when making my life easier and better would be just a couple of minutes of your time, right? So if someone's saying, I need some help from you, I need some help from you, and then you say, well, you think you do, but you don't.

[1:02:16] Like I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and he said, well, I don't have a degree in literature, so I can't really give you feedback on the book. But that's just creating a standard that means you don't have to be nice. So if you're in a relationship and somebody says, I really need your help, and then you say, no, you don't. I'm not going to provide it because you're wrong about that. Right if i say i need you to help me lift this couch and you say no you don't but that would be kind of odd right like if if the waiter you say to the waiter i would like a steak, and and a salad and she brings you just a salad and says you think you want the steak but you don't really i've made the decision for you wouldn't that be kind of odd, yeah if i say if i say to the community and especially the donors right i'm really struggling with this. It's making my legs break. Can I get a little feedback? Can I get a little help?

[1:03:16] And then if people say, well, I'm not this, I'm not that, he doesn't need it, he doesn't, he doesn't, I don't have an English degree, I don't, what can I contribute, right? That's selfish. I know it sounds kind of odd, but it's selfish. Because you're interpreting someone you care about, and this is why I'm saying it's not about me, right? I mean, it's about your your relationships with people as a whole, is that what you're doing is you're saying, well, Stef thinks he wants my feedback, but I'm going to make that decision and decide that he does it. Which is putting something in your own mind and heart above somebody else's legitimate needs, right? And giving yourself an excuse to be not very nice with this, I don't know, is it like a pretend insecurity? Well, who am I to contribute? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's like, no, I'm asking for the contribution from the community. And it's from the donors because the book has gone out to donors, right?

[1:04:13] So if you then get to say, and again, this is not to do with me or the Peaceful Parenting book, but if you then get to say, Stef has asked me for something. It's a project I believe in. It's really important. Stef has asked me for something. I'm going to spend a few minutes and provide it. That's nice. That's helpful. If you say, I know better than Stef what Stef wants, I'm going to make up this pretend insecurity or what can I contribute, blah, blah, blah. But that's making it about you rather than someone else, right?

[1:04:52] And we wouldn't generally accept that. Like, you wouldn't order a car that's like you want a sports car, and they deliver some SUV, and they say, well, I mean, you ordered a sports car, but that's not what you really want. I'm going to give you the opposite of what you want. Well, that would be weird, right? And that wouldn't be a healthy relationship.

[1:05:15] So if I ask for feedback, and then you make up some fog wherein you don't have to give me feedback, you're saying, well, I know better than Stef what Stef wants. Stef doesn't want my feedback. It's like, no, that's not what I said. Like to my friend who said, well, I don't have an English degree, so I didn't give you feedback. First of all, it's not a work of literature. It's a work of nonfiction. And it's supposed to be accessible to the general audience. So making up this standard called, I don't have an English degree, I didn't say, I only want your feedback if you have a degree in English literature.

[1:05:44] The Challenge of Unmet Needs

[1:05:44] I didn't say that. I said, I want your feedback, feedback which is to you every one on this call and everyone who's a donor and and all of that and even it spills over a bit to non-donors because i would occasionally publish i think i know half a dozen times or whatever i publish the feed even in the general live stream and so even non-donors could have provided that and they they all heard that as well so that's the interesting question what is it in your mind where i say it would be really helpful for me to get some feedback i'm really struggling with this book and then you make up some standard where you don't have to provide that and you don't communicate that standard to me. Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. That's not a good relationship habit to have, right?

[1:06:30] I mean, you can say, Stef, I don't think your needs are legitimate, but just ghosting, in a sense. Ghosting someone who's asking for your help, and the help is very inconsequential, so to speak. It's just honesty, right? Just tell me your honest thoughts about the book. And, you know, it can be a couple of sentences. It's not a big time commitment, right? Or, if you haven't read it, then tell me I haven't read it, and I'm nervous too, or I don't really like the topic or whatever it is, right? Or like the people who are saying, well, I'm not a parent. It's like, come on, you know kids, you know parents. It's helpful no matter what, right?

[1:07:09] So I think that sort of foundational thing where it's like, well, Stef's asking for something. It's totally legitimate. It's very little effort on my part. It's a very important project. I'm getting the benefit of the book without paying a penny, right? Even though it's going out to donors, you're paying for the show as a whole, not for the Peaceful Parenting book. So yeah, I can spend a couple of minutes giving him some feedback, which would be nicer and the feedback could be why i'm not giving you feedback right but just i guess my concern is the dissociation right i have a request uh a need really to to help me which is tough for me to ask for right so i have a need can you please help me in this horrible journey it'll only take a couple of minutes right and it worked right i wasn't looking for essays or uh you know documentaries just you know give me a couple of minutes tell me your thoughts about And again, I know a bunch of people have, I can see some numbers, right? I know there's a whole bunch of people who are listening to the book. So what happens in the mind that the request vanishes? I guess that's my real question or concern, right? Right? Where's the switch in your mind where you can say, someone I care about has asked for my help. It's a very minor thing that they're asking for, but I'm just going to pretend he didn't say anything. That's the challenge, I think, if that makes sense. And I don't know what that switch is.

[1:08:36] And this is not to make anyone feel bad, just so you understand. This is not a big criticism or anything like that. It is a genuine curiosity thing. So if you have something, I'm certainly happy to share a thought or two of my own.

[1:08:52] Stefan?

[1:08:52] Yes, sir.

[1:08:54] Insights on Human Nature

[1:08:54] Yeah, you know, I don't know. I just think it's the COVID, the things that happened over COVID just kind of gave me some insight into, I think, I don't know if it's human nature. But I just think people have the intentions of doing these things, but when it comes to action, a lot of people don't act. And I think COVID kind of proved that. I'm in the U.S., so the open border situation, there's just a lot of things going on that you would think. You would think we'd like uh we try to do something to stop these things but you know nobody's really.

[1:09:41] Doing anything i mean write writing an email or sending a message that takes a couple of minutes isn't like protecting the border or undoing the the world yeah look i say come on let's let's let's not escalate this to the point where well all i need you to do is move the moon's orbit and i'll be satisfied like i've been not talking to you to solve massive geopolitical problems i'm just like shoot me an email or send me a message uh, about your thoughts on the book, right? But it's interesting that you'd go to those massive things which we're kind of powerless to affect when I'm talking about something tiny that you can totally affect.

[1:10:16] Yeah, I think, oh, you know, maybe people don't feel that they can affect things. I don't know.

[1:10:21] No, no, no, because I'm asking for people's help.

[1:10:24] Right.

[1:10:25] So when I'm asking for someone's help, like either you think I'm so ridiculous a person that I'm asking for help, when I'm totally wrong about it, in which case I shouldn't be writing anything. I shouldn't be talking about any kind of self-knowledge, and I certainly shouldn't be writing a book on peaceful parenting. If I'm so ridiculous in my thinking, you know, like if I'm trying to lift a cracker and I beg my daughter for help, and I was serious about it, that would be the mark of a significant mental problem, right? So it's a kind of arrogance to say, well, Stef's asking for help, but I don't think he needs it. I don't think he's right. I'm just going to ghost him, right? It's like well no i'm i'm asking for help if you trust me enough to listen to my advice or thoughts about morality and relationships and so on then why would you suddenly not trust me when i say i need some help and support or i need feedback right why would that be so different right.

[1:11:22] Well they would still have to read they would have to listen to the book they'd have.

[1:11:25] No my gosh i don't know if you just joined what did i say about that.

[1:11:31] That so you want to feedback on the book without them reading the book i think i.

[1:11:35] Don't know if i could feedback on the book now feedback on the book is and i already said to the remember the first guy said he only listened to a very short bit of the beginning yeah and what did i say about that.

[1:11:45] Well you said that was fine but i think he had a good reason for not completing the book it was very.

[1:11:50] Pretty hard for him i don't care about good or bad reasons i just want feedback yeah Yeah.

[1:11:56] Yeah, I see what you're saying.

[1:11:56] Right, so if someone says, I'm avoiding this book because I think it's going to hurt too much, tell me. That's feedback.

[1:12:05] Yeah, yeah.

[1:12:06] That's honest. I just ask for honesty. I ask for honesty. What are your thoughts? What is your experience? Give me feedback on this book. And if you're just like, I wouldn't touch this thing with a 10-foot pole because it's too painful, that's honest, isn't it? I'm just asking for people to be honest with me because that gives me some fuel, right? Yeah. And make me not alone with the fucking eye of Sauron that this book represented.

[1:12:28] Yeah. Yeah. Just be honest. I think people are, I don't want to say lazy, but I think.

[1:12:37] No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Nobody here is lazy. Yeah. It's a tough, right? Philosophy is tough. Nobody's lazy. So that's not an answer either. And and if you're lazy then you don't bother listening to two hour live streams or three hour call-in shows right because lazy is like okay i just need i just need a couple of minutes of feedback right yeah well i think don't.

[1:13:02] Don't don't people put you on in the you know have you playing in the background sometimes i mean i used to have you uh when you were on youtube.

[1:13:09] What's that got to do with anything i.

[1:13:11] Don't you know i just i guess maybe it's different it's different i think like the very first guy that was talking was saying you know he kind of saw you as a performer and i'm not saying that you know what you're an act you're acting but what i'm what i'm getting at is that because of the because of the platform because of the nature of the they call it the parasocial relationship.

[1:13:33] Sorry sorry i i can't do this one one again so for instance uh have you ever done or ever been to an improv show i haven't now okay so i've both been to improv shows i've done improv shows and so what you do is you say to the audience give us a scenario right and then you act on that right okay so even if it's a show, feedback is essential i mean feedback is applause feedback is laughter, So when you're at an improv show and the actor says, give me a scenario, if nobody says anything, they don't understand the show. Right? So when I say, even if you did think it was a show, when I say, I'm really desperate for some feedback, that's like the improv guy saying, give me a scenario. Well, you give the scenario, right? Or there's no show.

[1:14:31] I mean, yeah, I don't disagree.

[1:14:34] I mean, if you're watching a movie and the character, like the movie was filmed 30 years ago and the character says, I need some help, you don't find the character, you don't find the actor and phone him up and say, I'm here to give you that help. I get that. But that's not this.

[1:14:47] No. Yeah. I'm not, I'm not, I'm totally in agreement. I think it's just.

[1:14:51] So let's stop with the wrong answers. Everybody's like, everybody's repeating the wrong answers. My question is, dig deep. What's the right answer?

[1:15:00] Hmm. Yeah, you know, I don't have anything that I... Yeah.

[1:15:08] Okay, I'll put out two possibilities. I don't know what you guys are thinking, so I can't tell you for sure. I'll put out two possibilities. Number one, when I say I need help to finish this book and people don't give me feedback, it's because they don't want the book to be finished. Now, why don't they want the book to be finished? There's two reasons. Number one, the inner parents don't want it, and all the parents in the world who are bad don't want it, and that's not a small number. Or number two, if you put a drag on my level of energy and enthusiasm, the book will be lower quality, and therefore there'll be less blowback. In that way, you're trying to help me.

[1:15:52] So I think those two things going off, there's the inner parents who don't want to provide the book any energy, and also there's concern for me, let's say the book went viral, there'd be a lot of blowback, right? So if I don't give Stef any feedback, he's going to have to rely on his own fuel, which means the book will be less good, which means there'll be less blowback, and that's helping Stef. deaf. See, that's why I don't want anyone jumping to, I was a bad guy, or I betrayed a friend, because that doesn't give us any answers. But I think there is an act of sabotage involved in not giving me feedback, and that sabotage could be coming from inappearance, or it could be coming from fear of blowback, or both.

[1:16:34] I consider those, it's not proof, because you guys know your motives, not me. I consider those the most likely scenarios because you are generally good people. And you're generally helpful people. You're supportive people. That's why you're in the supporter-only call. So you're good people. So the question is, when good people do things that aren't very nice, the question is why? So if it's an inapparent thing or a fear of blowback thing, I think that would probably be the most likely reasons, because it also goes along with you guys are nice people and good people, so it goes along with that. Because I can't just say, well, you're nice and good people, but you were just kind of mean about this, because that doesn't answer as to why there would be a difference in the general pattern, because you are nice and good people and very supportive and very helpful and I love you all to death. So when people you care about, do things that aren't nice, there can't be a reason called, well, just bad behavior because you're good people, right? So I think that's probably something closer, inappearance slash fear of blowback.

[1:17:50] Something about that doesn't, it's not, it's not quite there for me. I'm not sure. Something about that is not.

[1:18:10] I mean, you accept the logic of it. That doesn't mean that it's true, but there would be a logical causality behind that, right?

[1:18:17] Of course, of course.

[1:18:18] I mean, if you had abusive parents, do your abusive parents, or do abusive parents as a whole, want the Peaceful Parenting book to come out?

[1:18:27] They do not.

[1:18:27] They do not, right? I mean, that's fair. That's part of what I was wrestling with, right? And not giving me enthusiasm or not giving me feedback, does that lower my energy in writing the book? Yes, it does. If the book let's say the book was absolutely spectacular and went totally viral, there would be a lot of problems right, so lowering the the volume of the book lowering the quality of the book may be totally the right thing i mean as you probably know the first draft was pretty ferocious and i toned it down a lot and maybe saying stef you gotta you're not giving you energy for this book because if this book gets too supercharged, there's going to be too many problems.

[1:19:17] I think that could be, but I would flip it. I wouldn't say we're doing it for you. I'd say we're doing it for, I guess, it'd be more for us. It'd be more like, okay, because if the book is really good, morally we're compelled to share it, to read it, to do all this stuff. And then that puts, I guess, a target on our back. Oh, that's interesting.

[1:19:45] Yeah, yeah, I see what you're saying. So if the book is super accessible and super positive and super friendly and super great and super this and super that, then it raises your obligation. Whereas if the book has, I don't know, some tinge of bitterness or isolation or like something that may result from a lack of support, then you can have an excuse and say, well, you know, it's a good book. Maybe I'll share some of the arguments verbally, but I'm not going to send it to anyone. one ah yes yes brilliant i i think that could be a a great uh a great partial answer i say partial not because i think it's a mix of things but that's that's fantastic that.

[1:20:17] Feels more that feels more true than than um and.

[1:20:21] It does the i mean the i stuff that i was complaining about earlier right exactly exactly i think it's about me no no no it's about me right okay.

[1:20:30] The Challenge of Self-Knowledge

[1:20:30] Because because when you were saying it was like we were doing it to protect you i mean i i guess but I don't think we have a good track record of protecting you in most senses.

[1:20:43] No, but you also haven't really been part of the production process that could be endangering, right?

[1:20:51] Well, yeah, but it's more like... Sorry, I'll have to think about that because I just lost my train of thought when you said that.

[1:21:02] No, but I think if it is about And maybe this is the challenge as well, because this is the long version, and now I have to write the short version. And the short version is going to be, I mean, obviously longer than a pamphlet, but certainly a lot shorter than it is now. And maybe the short version is the one that's more challenging for people.

[1:21:25] Actually, there was this comment here. If we were protecting you, it doesn't explain the level of defensiveness and dissociation. Because I'm thinking back to when you were begging for help, asking for help. So I'd be on the live stream, you'd be doing something, some cool wisdom. I'd be like, oh, I'd be in my brain, but I think about stuff. And then you'd say that, oh, I would be needing help with this. And I would feel something and then I would just disassociate. And then I would come back in a couple of minutes when the course is clear.

[1:21:54] Ah, interesting. So what would you feel?

[1:21:57] I would feel a little anxious, a little worried about.

[1:22:02] And yeah all right like some fear.

[1:22:06] Yeah I'm just be anxious like oh I need some feedback I'm like oh okay and then you know just wait till the course is clear and then talk about something else and then you're like okay you can re-engage in the conversation again.

[1:22:20] Or maybe I'm not such a superhero if I have my kryptonite right like people like to think of me as like oh just striding the world like a colossus and if I'm like no I'm really struggling with this then it makes us more equal and I think some people have Now.

[1:22:33] That's really good at that part where it's like, okay, now that you're on our level, we have to actually go into the trenches as well.

[1:22:42] Right. If I feel no fear, which is not true, if I feel no fear and never struggle, then it's like, well, your struggles are an excuse. But if I struggle and keep going, then that's more challenging, I think.

[1:22:55] Yeah. I mean, you remember whenever you have those rants on the live streams and you're like, oh, you're saying something profound or something. And I'm like, oh, wow, this is so cool. And whenever you do that, I can sit back. I can be like, okay, he's got it. I just absorb. And I don't know, like a sermon or something like that. After the sermon, ah, I wet my head. Oh, that was so great. And I just go back to my day.

[1:23:19] You're right. Right. Any other thoughts, comments? I don't want to take up everyone's day, but I think that's a very good, very great observation.

[1:23:33] A comment. I've been listening to this discussion, wondering myself why I haven't sent a review of the book. I've definitely been getting the peaceful parenting emails, and I feel like the email itself is sort of a request for feedback. And I think that I felt my feedback wasn't worthy. But upon listening to this discussion, I've realized that But because I was not parented peacefully, my feedback is actually really valuable to you. And so now I'm feeling like it's even more important, not just because, you know, you've helped me before by chatting with me or because I appreciate your work, but also because my feedback in itself can be very useful to you.

[1:24:23] Right. So I appreciate that. So what was it that had you decide what I need?

[1:24:31] And I'm not sure. I think it was just sort of an automatic thing. Like I'm looking back, thinking about all the times I've seen these peaceful parenting emails come in and I just kind of, you know, brush over it. And I think there's definitely a part that I'm a little intimidated to read that stuff because...

[1:24:49] Sorry, have you read or listened?

[1:24:52] I haven't yet, but I've been listening to your show for a really long time. And I think really all these years I've just been avoiding it. Because i've been avoiding.

[1:25:01] The peaceful parenting stuff.

[1:25:01] Yeah like i mean i've i've listened to some of your ideas when you do shows and call-ins but i have not touched your official body of work on peaceful parenting so yeah and so did.

[1:25:18] You want to did you want to give help, In other words, if I say, can you give me some feedback on Peaceful Parenting? Let's say you listen to half an hour, right? And then you write me a five-minute email, right? That's feedback. Or feedback is, I know you're asking for it. I know it's important, but I'm having a resistance to it. I'm not sure why. Or whatever. That's feedback too, right?

[1:25:40] Yeah.

[1:25:42] So did you just avoid it as a whole and then make up this thing called, well, he doesn't need my feedback?

[1:25:48] No, I really genuinely think that I had something in my mind. Like you are probably getting feedback from all kinds of people and and maybe you don't need my feedback or maybe but didn't you hear me say i'm not getting any feedback no i mean in this particular chat for sure and now i'm realizing that i i genuinely do want to read oh so sorry so you never heard any of the sort.

[1:26:12] Of repeated requests over the last seven months or so for feedback on the book.

[1:26:15] Well looking back i realize now that you have been requesting but for some reason i've just been okay sorry sorry i.

[1:26:23] Don't understand what that means did you hear me ask for feedback on the book.

[1:26:25] Avoiding Feedback Requests

[1:26:26] I i must have heard you ask for it at some point on like the live streams, but the emails themselves i think are the main thing that's been obvious and i've totally overlooked it and i'm i'm sorry i realize i appreciate.

[1:26:45] That and i appreciate that but then the.

[1:26:46] Question is so and.

[1:26:47] What's your what's your thought about like well i who am i to give feedback right.

[1:26:51] Yeah and it was kind of like maybe i should just get to this later on like it was but you understand that.

[1:26:59] If you say just just i want to be clear about this and this is to everyone right so if you say i'm fascinated by philosophy i love stef's work i've really benefited from peaceful parenting ideas which are embedded in almost all call-in shows, right? So, I'm a donor and supporter of Stef. I love his work. I love philosophy, love what he's doing with peaceful parenting. Who am I to give feedback? I mean, there's a reason it went out to donors, right? I mean, if you guys can't give me feedback, the book has no hope, right? And that's why it was tough to plow on, right? Because if you are not qualified to give feedback, then the book is badly written. Because the book is supposed to be accessible to the general population, not people who've donated to free domain and have been around philosophy in this way for years. Does that make sense?

[1:27:55] It makes perfect sense.

[1:27:57] So when people don't give me feedback, and they say, well, who am I to give feedback, and so on, it's like, well, then the book is badly written. Then you should give me feedback and say, the book is too complicated for me to give you feedback, you need to simplify it. I don't feel I have any ability like if somebody said to me review my paper on quantum physics I'd say I'm not qualified to give you feedback I can't give you a review of your paper I can do the font maybe but I can't review your paper, on quantum physics because I'm not a physicist it's too complicated and I don't understand the material so if you say well who am I to give feedback you're saying that it's inaccessible even to people who know a lot about philosophy and you can't add any value But if you can't add value or you can't give me feedback, then the general population has no chance of understanding the book. And then I've written it to Inside Baseball. And does that make sense?

[1:28:51] It makes perfect sense. And now I feel like I'm genuinely motivated and excited to read your book and to give you the feedback. I feel like I actually have so much that I can offer to you because of my own childhood experiences and because I have so many years of experience listening to you.

[1:29:11] Right. I mean, I appreciate that. And I look forward to the feedback. But the question is, why did you make up something called, I'm not qualified to give feedback and thus override what I was requesting? Because that's a relationship thing. Again, this is just a little, and listen, most people that you disappoint won't have these conversations with you. So this is kind of a unique opportunity, which is why it's a donor thing, right? Right? So, I'm asking for feedback. I'm really begging for feedback. I'm saying it's hard to continue without feedback. In fact, I gave up for a while in continuing for the lack of feedback. And you're like, but he doesn't want my feedback. Right? So, you overrode what I wanted with your own excuses. And that sounds like a condemnation. I don't mean it that way at all. But if that's a pattern, then you need to know that pattern in your life so that you can become more trustworthy worthy to people because if someone says i really need something from you and you're like no you don't that's tough to have in a relationship if that makes sense and if i say i need feedback and you're like no you don't i know i kind of do right and then to not even have that conversation to say, no, you don't, is.

[1:30:25] And again, I know this is an online thing. I know that we're not all living together and so on, but my concern is the pattern in the mind as a whole called somebody wants something from me. It's a legitimate request. It's not overburdening on my part, but I'm going to wave it away with an excuse. That's not going to be great in a relationship as a whole, right? Like, you know, if your boss says, I need you to produce X, Y, and Z by Friday, and then Friday goes and you're like, yeah, you know, you're not right about that. You know, I decided I wasn't qualified. I decided that you didn't really need that thing from me. What would your boss say?

[1:31:05] Well, they would ask you to just try.

[1:31:08] No, they wouldn't. Come on, dudes. What would the boss say?

[1:31:13] You're fired.

[1:31:14] Well, it would be pretty bad, right?

[1:31:18] You're what now? I'm sorry? Were you telling me this just now? You had how long to tell me this? Yeah.

[1:31:25] And if he says all week, he's like, I really need this thing by Friday, right? And then Friday comes and he says, no, you didn't. That would be really tough. And nobody would do that, right? Nobody here would decide if their boss has a request that they would not tell the boss they weren't going to fulfill it, not tell the boss the problems they had with it, but simply decide on their own that their boss was wrong about what he wanted.

[1:31:56] Yeah he'll get you saying i need to borrow you for a minute and then you really do feel like oh no.

[1:32:01] Validating Legitimate Requests

[1:32:01] Yeah yeah yeah and again i know this is like a boss thing but i'm just sort of pointing out it can be it can be a subordinate thing as well right right somebody who's working for you right like as i mentioned the example about the waiter right you order let's say you order dessert and the waiter comes with a salad and says you really don't need dessert i mean that would be pretty bad right and you complain to the manager and the manager might fire the waiter right because you don't get to just interpret other people's needs in the way that makes you the most comfortable, because that's not a relationship right again this is not about me or the book this is a general principle that if someone you care about has a is really need something from you you don't get to wave a magic wand and just wish that away oh stef doesn't really need feedback well he doesn't want feedback from me well you know like that's not a thing in any relationship and you know i mean it is a bit of a relationship right i mean we we all go back and forth we shared each other's lives we you know about me and so when i have i mean this is this is the principle i sort of i know i'm being a bit repetitive but i i really want to get this into your guys heads that you You don't get to wish away other people's legitimate requests. And this is a life thing.

[1:33:29] I just want to add here like when i guess when you like solicit feedback when you ask for feedback like it kind of exposes how small i feel about myself because i was like oh this stuff doesn't need my feedback and by you exposing that in me perhaps i want to make you feel the same way by just doing radio silence.

[1:33:50] Well so so this is a defense called smallness which is not a valid defense obviously it's a defense so it's not valid as a whole so what you do is you get to be mean by pretending you're too small right right so uh and you know oh i i what do i have to contribute blah blah blah blah so but it's still selfish because you're making other someone else feel bad to protect your own feelings so so the self-defense called who am i to blah blah blah it's like but that's not like it's actually just it's not feeling too small it's using feeling too small as an excuse, use to avoid doing something that's uncomfortable right.

[1:34:30] And i get i guess like what i'm trying to like what i'm trying to do there by it's kind of like passive aggressive is like i'm trying to make you feel kind of helpless so you don't ask me in the future again like.

[1:34:42] Yeah yeah it's a that's the punishment thing right there's a training someone to how dare you have how dare you have requests it's like the you know the typical example in the marriage of the wife who says to the husband i I need you to do the dishes. So what does he do? He does them badly. He breaks them. He's like, you know, he's just trying to train her out of requests. It's like, well, I just feel so incompetent to do the dishes. It's like, but it's actually a kind of dominance play.

[1:35:05] Right.

[1:35:11] I mean, the community is trying to train me out of having needs, of being vulnerable, if that makes sense.

[1:35:18] Yep, exactly.

[1:35:21] And that's, again, you know, this book's done, right? And y'all could have been totally right in not giving me feedback, right? Like, maybe this is better for the book. So I'm agnostic about the sort of rightness or wrongness of it. But what I'm not agnostic about is the level of self-knowledge that needs to be there. So that we know why it happened, if that makes sense. And again, it's not relevant to the book. The book's done. But it is relevant to your lives. I mean, I already have this thing where if somebody has a legitimate need that I care about, I won't just ignore it. I won't pretend that they never said anything. Now, again, am I perfect with that? No, no, I'm not perfect with that. But, you know, that's a standard. And if I did ignore something, right? If someone I care about has a legitimate need and I have completely ghosted them on it, even though they've repeatedly asked me for months, I would really have a paroxysm of like, holy crap, why on earth? Like, what dungeon is here, right? Because it would be very much against my sort of commitment to honesty and directness. This is an RTR conversation, just so everybody knows, right? So I'm talking about my experience and I'm not blaming anyone. Does that make sense? Like, this is a whole RTR conversation that we're doing here.

[1:36:38] Just so everybody knows, because, I mean, it's been a while since the book came out, but that's the basic thing, right?

[1:36:43] Understanding Patterns in Relationships

[1:36:43] And I think, you know, that sort of, here's my experience, here's something that didn't work for me at all, but not blaming or attacking. I think that's where the, and I think we've had some great, great insights as to what might've been going on. Is there anything that anybody wanted to add? Totally happy to hear.

[1:36:59] Hey, Stef. So with me and my husband, we have in the past given feedback on things too early and and wanted to completely take back our feedback later. So what we wanted to do was finish the book. And thinking about it now, I wish we had given any feedback or even just said to you, hey, we want to finish the book before we give our full feedback on this. Because my opinion towards the beginning of the book seems to be a lot different than towards the middle where I am now.

[1:37:26] Yes, but that's not what I asked for. So again, you're substituting your own preferences is to my needs so i i ask for book i ask for for feedback as the book is going along the reason for that if there's something that needs to be changed i need to know sooner rather than later right yeah so waiting till it's done it's not what i was asking for and i was very clear about that right like i need feedback as i'm going along because if something like what is the tone the the approach the language is it you know so if if people like the book is 23 hours long if people but listen to the first half an hour and give me feedback about something important, I would need that in the first half an hour, not after I finished, right? Does that make sense?

[1:38:07] Yeah, that's fair. And that's what I wanted to apologize for now, because you're totally right.

[1:38:12] Right. And the principle is, and I appreciate the apology, the principle is, when I say I need something, can you substitute what you think is best without talking to me? Well, I don't think that's a very legitimate thing. You might disagree, and you might say, Stef, you know, I don't want to give you feedback till the end, right? And then I would say, but I need feedback at the beginning, because if something needs to be changed, there's no point telling me. Like, if someone says to me at the end, oh, the tone is all wrong, right? Well, the book's done. I'm not going to go back and re-record 23 hours of audiobook, right? Because that takes weeks.

[1:38:52] Yeah, you're totally right.

[1:38:53] So there's a reason why. So you'd say, well, I want to wait till the end. And I'd say, well, here's why it's important at the beginning, right?

[1:39:00] Right.

[1:39:00] But what you did, and this is really fascinating, it's sort of what I'm talking about, is you took my needs and you substituted what you wanted to do without talking to me.

[1:39:12] Yeah, that's fair. And I shouldn't have done that.

[1:39:14] Well, the question is why? And I appreciate the apology and the should and shouldn't, but that doesn't get you to the why. Why? So why would you interpret somebody else's needs as your own preferences without talking to them and act on that? Even though I'm repeatedly asking for feedback as I'm going along, you say, no, it's better at the end of the book. It's like, but I'm writing the book. I know what I need. Doesn't mean I'm right, but that's the question. Can you substitute your preferences for somebody else's repeatedly stated needs without talking to them? I mean, if you were at a job and you were expecting to be paid $50 an hour, and then at the end of the job, you ended up only being paid $25 an hour. You'd be mad, right? And if the boss said, no, I interpret your value as 25 bucks an hour, it's like, well, we talked about 50. No, but you know, that's my interpretation of your value is 25. It's like, well, you can't just do that. You can't unilaterally substitute your own evaluation of what somebody else wants or needs without talking to them. Does that make sense?

[1:40:25] Substituting Needs for Preferences

[1:40:25] Yeah, it totally does.

[1:40:29] So that's the question is the why. Now, maybe it is about the, if the book's too good, I've got to spread it. Maybe it is about inappearance or parents as a whole don't want the book to be good or out or done. Or maybe it's, you know, protecting not just me, but the community from too much blowback if the book is too good. Could be any number of things, but there is that basic principle. And of course, you know, we grew up like this, right? You know, you say to your parents, I don't like this food. It's like, well, you've got to eat it, right? Like they just substitute their needs, their preferences for what you want, usually without any negotiation. Negotiation. Teachers do it all the time. You're bored in school. They don't care. You still got to study this stuff and Dan will do what they want and your needs don't matter. And, you know, maybe it happens in religion or maybe it happens in relationships or friendships or at work or something like that, where it's just the other person's needs, no negotiation, and they just tell you what you have to like.

[1:41:20] Negative Habits from Past Experiences

[1:41:21] And if you don't like it too bad, you have to do it anyway. So I think that there's a lot in that that provides these kinds of negative habits, but I think that's how it manifested here.

[1:41:34] Yeah. And I'm realizing now I didn't love the beginning of the book. I and I could that's obviously a feedback point in and of itself that I should have given. But part of my thinking was I've loved everything you've written before this point. And usually by the end, I get my feedback would have been way different than what I would have given at the beginning. But you're right, you were asking consistently for feedback along the journey. And that should have been my feedback.

[1:41:57] Yes, because if you already love my work, you'll get to the end. But this book is supposed to go out to people who never even heard of me in fact it's probably kind of essential that they'd never heard of me right so if you don't like the beginning of the book that's important for me to know at the beginning if that makes sense.

[1:42:14] Importance of Honest Feedback

[1:42:15] Right yeah so i was kind of being selfish thinking of it that way.

[1:42:20] Yeah there is and and you know maybe it's like well i don't want to give stef any, negative feedback it's like but i wasn't just asking for praise i was asking for feedback and so saying if i say i want feedback good bad or indifferent and you say well it's bad feedback so i don't want to give it again you're substituting your own preferences for what i'm asking for without talking to me.

[1:42:39] Yeah and i've written stuff before and you're totally right bad feedback is usually what you need or negative feedback it can be more important than positive feedback at times oh.

[1:42:50] Yeah just just anything i mean people can say i really hated this part of the book and that could be a mark of something good something that needs to be toned back something that needs to be improved yeah absolutely yeah okay all right any other thoughts, appreciate everyone's feedback i really do, all right well listen guys hugely hugely appreciate the conversation today i know it's not the easiest thing in the world but i think it's really really important and i certainly feel better about the relationship that that we have because uh it was a little bit of a splinter in the mind's eye for me overall so i really do appreciate that and uh um i i look forward to your feedback on this and other things and i do enormously thank you for the support that allowed this book to get done and there's still time right there's still time because i have to write the short version which is going to be the generally accessible one it's not going to have the scientific proof and it's going to be boiled down so that the arguments are much more consumable so So there's a chance for round two, and I'd appreciate your feedback on that as well. All right. Lots of love, everyone. Take care. Thanks, Abel. Bye.

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May 2024

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