The Benefits of FAFO! Transcript

Questions

Hi Stef, I just want to say, despite listening to you for close to a decade now, I have only recently started to feel comfortable with the idea that other people’s negative emotions do not necessarily (and in most cases) have nothing to do with me or my actions, including my parents! Logically I have known this for a while thanks to you, but it only recently feels like I am beginning to feel it and believe it. I actually found humor (after initially feeling some guilt) about a random angry person I came across this morning. Well I think the humor came from my own realization of the absurdity of feeling guilt or anger because of someone else’s actions or emotional state, who doesn’t know me and has nothing to do with me. My parents sort of fit this category actually.
For my question - When you encounter scenarios like this,I.e. random angry person, someone calls you rude over a simple misunderstanding, how is that jolt of guilt or pain or shame halted or ‘sandboxed’ so it can be evaluated? (or is there not even this ‘jolt’?) I think there is something fundamental I am missing about this. Thanks a bunch, Stef!

What are the steps I could do to become more self expressed as opposed to self erased , I've defooed already .
A bit like the "30 year old virgin " caller , I spend a lot of my time in my head carefully weighing things up , a mixture of self censorship and appeasement .
Note that : When I defooed , at the time it was more of a knee jerk reaction as opposed to anything based on reason and evidence and proper philosophical principles and virtues , later on as I listened to you (big thank you ) I had more language to describe what I instinctively experienced with the Foo.
I think the real question is : how do I move from a mode of bomb disarming / hyper vigilance to a mode of cool relaxed /creative expression?

Hey Stefan! I've got a small group of local moms unfamiliar with your work but who are earnest about improving their parenting and being the best moms they can be. I mentioned your Peaceful Parenting book, and they're definitely interested. Could I share it with them in order to start a PP book club? I would, of course, encourage them to donate if they find your work valuable.

Thank you for clarity regarding the components to a proper apology~

Since starting your journey of RTR & self-knowledge, would you say you have fewer occurances where you need to apologize, more occurrences, or about the same? 🧮🤔

Does decreasing frequency of occurances where we need to apologize (not for the same transgression -- concerning genuine apologies) help indicate progress in self-knowledge, or indicate we may be flying close to the sun of vanity? 🌞

Hi Stef, how do you identify the line between what would be considered ‘Banter’ or jokes and when it could be considered closer to verbal abuse or designed to cause hurt.

I find lad culture nauseating but I do have some exposure to it in a golf group I am part of. A recent comment from a friend from that group really struck a nerve . I don’t want to be over sensitive but the comment whilst a joke had an undertone that seemed aimed to do just that.

I know this is also important to know when you make a joke yourself and don’t want to hurt other people .

Thanks in advance for any information.

Stef, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the intellectual discipline it takes to maintain healthy skepticism without devolving into unhealthy pessimism.

I’m sure you’ve touched on this before, but I’ve only recently “discovered” you and while I’m going through your older stuff, I skew towards listening to your most recent content

Context: I had my kids late (first one at 40-I’m mid 50s now) and while I want them to have healthy skepticism, I don’t want to embitter them with the worldview my difficult life has led me to.

In short, I want them to be skeptical but still have the capability to experience “Joie de vivre” without making them misanthropes

I’m sure I could had worded this better, but I hope you get what I’m driving at even if I haven’t captured it with sufficient language

I love my kids. I want them to avoid bad people and decisions but still retain the capacity to enjoy the company of good people and consider their futures optimistically

Best regards and keep up the good work!

Chapters

0:00 - Introduction and Questions
1:00 - Dealing with Rude Behavior
17:29 - Moving from Hypervigilance to Self-Expression
21:24 - Childhood as Disarming a Bomb
23:11 - Disarming the Bomb
24:57 - Memory Bound Together
26:59 - Evolution and Trauma Environment
29:55 - Peaceful Parenting Book Club
30:13 - Apologies and Restitution
32:58 - Banter vs. Verbal Abuse
38:22 - Confronting Negative Behavior
39:01 - Healthy Skepticism vs. Unhealthy Pessimism

Long Summary

Today's conversation is a deep dive prompted by our community's questions, exploring the evolution of understanding negative emotions not being tied to one's actions. We discuss finding humor in the face of anger, questioning societal dynamics contributing to modern rudeness. Society's shift away from consequences for rudeness has emboldened individuals, leading to incivility without fear of reprisal. We share personal anecdotes to reflect on consequences shaping behavior and discuss the repercussions of shielding individuals from the effects of their actions.

As we unravel societal conditioning's impact on behavior, we confront a world where accountability is fading, prompting a reflection on our interactions. The conversation touches on gender differences in learning from consequences, with men advocating for accountability while women lean towards shielding from negative emotions. We explore the link between the absence of consequences and increased rudeness in society, emphasizing the importance of accountability in curbing aggression.

A philosophical discussion ensues on insults and the lack of consequences in the modern world, contrasting historical consequences like dueling with our current litigious society. We delve into personal growth, sharing experiences of self-discovery and transitioning from hyper-vigilance to creative expression. Childhood experiences' role in shaping habits is highlighted, stressing the understanding of coping mechanisms developed during difficult times.

An analogy involving bomb disarming is used to depict the impact of childhood trauma on adult behaviors, emphasizing the need to acknowledge past experiences. The importance of creating a safe environment for personal growth is emphasized, highlighting the significance of supportive and non-abusive relationships. The conversation culminates in reflections on healing from past traumas to foster personal development in a nurturing environment.

We wrap up the discussion by exploring parenting, apologies, skepticism, and positivity. We touch upon starting a peaceful parenting book club, the components of a proper apology, and the dynamics of banter versus verbal abuse. Balancing healthy skepticism and optimism in parenting is discussed, emphasizing the need to shield oneself from negativity while recognizing evil in the world. The conversation concludes with a reminder to engage with the community, fostering a culture of learning and growth.Listeners gain practical advice and philosophical insights on life and relationships in this engaging and introspective exchange.

Transcript

[0:00] Introduction and Questions

[0:00] Well, good morning everybody. Hope you're doing well. Stephen Molyneux from Freedomain.com. Great questions from the great, illustrious, and occasionally devious community at Freedomain.locals.com. And the questions are as follows. Hi Steph, I just wanted to say, despite listening to you for close to a decade now, I hope without interruption, without sleeping, blinking is occasionally allowed. out. He says, I only have recently started to feel comfortable with the idea that other people's negative emotions do not necessarily, and in most cases, have nothing to do with me or my actions, including my parents. Logically, I've known this for a while, thanks to you, but it only recently feels like I'm beginning to feel it and believe it. I actually found humor after initially feeling some guilt about a random angry person I came across this morning. Well, I think the humor came from my own realization of the absurdity of feeling guilt or anger because of someone else's actions or emotional state who doesn't know me and has nothing to do with me.

[1:00] Dealing with Rude Behavior

[1:00] My parents sort of fit this category, actually. For my question, when you encounter scenarios like this, i.e. Random angry person, someone calls you rude over a simple misunderstanding.

[1:11] How is that jolt of guilt or pain or shame halted or sandboxed so it can be evaluated? Or is there not even this jolt? I think there is something fundamental I'm missing about this. Thanks a bunch, Steph. Well, that's a great question. That's a great question, and I appreciate it. So, let's talk about what's going on and why. Because you need to know the why. Now, rudeness is a modern phenomenon that arises out of two things. One is the banishing of violence, and two is the violation of free association.

[1:52] Forced association is a violation of free association, and the state has a lot to do with political power, has a lot to do with forced association. So, in the past, if you sort of think of the typical rude person, intrusive person, invasive person, and so on, then they would usually be dealt with through violence, right? There would be some sort of assault or some sort of beating. I guess in extreme cases, men would punch each other half to death, or there would be a duel or something like that.

[2:25] Honor, and so there was a very respectful society because the consequences of failing to respect people was usually violence. And of course, remember, throughout human history, violence was even more risky than it is today. day, right? I mean, in the past, if you punch someone and broke their nose, it was very easy. How do you, how do you set it? There's, you know, it's really tough and, and there's always the possibility and probability sometimes of infections and all kinds of crazy stuff was going on. So it was very easy to die from violence. I mean, even, even a broken bone or something like that, a cracked skull. These were all often fatal. So people tended to be somewhat respectful because of the omnipresent risk of violence and the massive negative consequences of violence. So there was less, you know, fewer people yelling in your face, fewer people using that kind of aggression. I mean, it would happen in families sometimes, but definitely in stranger relationships, There was quite a bit of politeness. So the banishing of violence, you know, this is not a moral analysis, right? This is just a consequentialist analysis. The banishing of violence, you know, if you insulted a guy and he could demand justice.

[3:51] A duel, and you would be ostracized if you didn't do the duel. And if he killed you in the duel, he would not face any negative consequences legally. You know, people tended to be fairly nice. So we have a society, because of the banishing of violence to a large degree, or at least that sort of violence, we have a society where being rude, being aggressive, being insulting, to strangers in particular, has a few negative consequences. I don't know if you've seen the videos but there's these HOA videos where you know someone comes up some Karen comes up I know it's a negative slur but you know some busybody woman comes up and tells a guy you know you can't wash your car in the driveway you know we don't like it it's not good and then you can't have three cars in the driveway and and so on right now in the past of course that person would just be.

[4:46] Thrown off the property like it's my property right then then and this guy does say this one guy is in a pool and the woman comes up and she's like you can't have three cars in the driveway and you can't do this and you can't do that and he's like get off my property or my dog's going to attack you and that kind of aggression would within the past yeah the dogs would attack you and well she was on my property and i asked to leave and be like okay well it's your property right so now everything's gotten kind of tangled up where it's it's it's tough to be decisive right because people play victim they get lost the lawsuits there's like all kinds of tangled crazy stuff and the legal system is not exactly designed for massive amounts of justice at the moment to put it mildly so the diminishing of violence has increased the people's invulnerability to consequences for significant rudeness. And also, it's kind of a male thing to deal with that kind of rudeness. It's less so of a female thing to deal with that kind of rudeness.

[5:51] So, that's one reason why people are becoming more rude, is that they don't face any particular consequences. And the consequences don't have to be violence, of course. The consequences can be ostracism, Right, so if some guy challenges you to a duel because you insulted him or his wife or something like that, then you don't have to go to the duel, but if you don't go to the duel, then you will be ostracized.

[6:19] So, it was either violence or ostracism with the two major methods of control and pushing back against busybodies and intrusion. And that made everybody nice and polite because there'd be negative consequences. Now, ostracism is a tool of social control. And I don't mean control in a negative way. I mean, there's nothing wrong with a boycott of a manufacturer whose business methods you don't like. That's a kind of ostracism, and there's nothing wrong with that. Ostracism is a very benevolent form of social management. Management might be better than control. So in the past, of course, if a woman left her husband for a lover, then she would be ostracized from her community. Even her family might ostracize her, or if she left her family for no particularly good reason. Then she would be ostracized.

[7:21] It's very powerful. If a woman got pregnant out of wedlock, she would be ostracized. If a man failed to provide for his family, he would be ostracized. And so social management was achieved through ostracism. But one of the main purposes of political power is to violate freedom of association so that ostracism cannot be used as a tool of social management. So if some guy abandons his family, then the consequences aren't so negative.

[7:50] And the state steps in and you know either tries to get him to pay which is fine or they they pay through the welfare state and so on and so freedom of association is foundational for the social management approach of ostracism and the state won't allow that right because it'll take your money like if if there's some woman who keeps having babies without a husband around you would you would stop helping because you wouldn't be helping her and because of the welfare state and all of that which is basically the single mother state uh you you can't ostracize women or men or anyone really who's making really bad decisions somebody who decides to smoke weed rather than get a job can go on welfare or and you can't ostracize that that behavior so because Because of negative consequences, either violence or ostracism, because they've largely been removed from society, people are just running wild. I mean, there's a consequence free for rudeness. And of course, we all know the anonymity of the internet and so on allows the beasts of bad conscience to truly rule the personality. So I just sort of wanted to mention that. So when I look at someone who's kind of in my face or angry or upset or whatever it is, I just remember that they're like a toddler whose face has no consequences.

[9:16] And unfortunately, they've lived in a society that has denied the negative consequences of bad behavior.

[9:23] And that's, I mean, it's kind of tragic, but I view them to some degree. Of course, you know, they're acting badly, and I hold them responsible for all of that. But there are a lot of people in the world who only learn empirically. Just remember that. I mean, the people who've got no inner dialogue, people who, you know, they can't pass the theoretical of if you didn't eat breakfast, what would happen? But I did eat breakfast, right? They don't get the theoretical. They don't have any inner monologue. It's not necessarily an intelligence thing, although it's often related to that. But there are a lot of people...

[9:58] Who only learn empirically. They don't learn through theory. They don't learn through concepts. They don't learn through reason. They only learn, you know, F-A-F-O, right? Frack around, find out, is a very sort of common phrase on the internet. And it is, you know, make terrible mistakes, do stupid things, and then you will find out the consequences.

[10:22] And there's nothing in particular wrong with that either. I mean, I know this sounds like a big negative. I was actually talking to a fellow the other day about this. And I was saying that, you know, when you're a parent, you tell your kids, this is unwise. You shouldn't do this. This is not a good idea and so on. And you want your kids to not listen to you from time to time and to try it for themselves, right? So my daughter, I said, you know, be careful turning on gravel. It's on your bike. like it's kind of skiddy and so on, right? And then she decided to really turn sharply on gravel and she fell and she, you know, hurt her knee and whatever, right? And that's fine. I mean, because here's the thing, like you want your kids to not listen to you because otherwise they're just like slaves to everything you say. Well, my dad said I can't turn on gravel, so I guess I won't turn on gravel. And there's nothing wrong with them taking good advice. Of course, that's helpful, but you also want them to try it out for themselves to find out if you're right. Like maybe, maybe you're wrong. oh, maybe you're, for some reason, you're either mistaken or you're lying. So you do want your kids to try empirically to test the theories that you're putting forward, right?

[11:33] So this F-A-F-O is kind of natural. So when I look at people who are kind of aggressive, it's like, okay, well, unfortunately, you can't learn by theory or you haven't learned by theory or empathy or whatever it is, right? And society has prevented you from learning by experience by shielding you from the consequences of your rudeness. And so your pathology, your rudeness, your aggression has flourished without feedback. And, you know, clearly you lack the empathy to be nicer.

[12:08] So society having shielded you from negative consequences for bad behavior. I mean, imagine, just to understand this, right? Like imagine in school how badly you would do if you were never tested or never graded. They just kind of went there and you just, you know, I guess this would be like the pandemic, right? There'll be a whole cohort of people. Nobody can trust their knowledge or their degree because they all were working and cheating from home with AI. So I think that's important to understand, right? So my mother, I sort of mentioned this before, but you know, for those who haven't heard the sort of case in a while, my mother did not listen to me. She did not listen to me. Now, why didn't she listen to me? I could have done her some real good. I'm pretty good at helping people with issues. And I could have done some real good. And why didn't she listen to me? Well, she didn't listen to me because she faced no negative consequences for not listening to me. She couldn't learn by theory for whatever reason, even though she's highly intelligent, she couldn't learn by reason. And so she would have been brought to heal in a sense through negative consequences.

[13:14] And because the government takes money from me and gives it to my mother, I don't have any practical authority with my mother. So she can act badly and be negative in society without consequences. I mean, she still gets her health care. She still gets her dental care. She still gets her income. She has a rent-controlled apartment. She has subsidies all over the place. And she gets her pension and so on, right? So, I mean, there's no way to have practical consequences for bad behavior. So we have lost control of trolls in a sense right so if you sort of remember that that we live in a society where negative consequences have been eliminated due to a hyper feminization of the political process right because it's the moms and i understand this is not not a criticism it's just a fact that dads are like yeah they can try it out and they'll be fine and it's important for them to learn through consequences. And moms are all about like, going to prevent, right?

[14:24] There's this video of a kid with a fork next to a socket and the kid's trying to put the fork into the socket. And the mom's like, don't do it. And the dad's like, hold up, let him try. Right? And you're not going to do that again, now are you? Right? So there's a certain amount of learning through consequences. And that's because men face consequences. So men want people to learn by consequences because men face consequences more so than women because, you've seen all of these videos of a man hitting a woman pretending to like it's a setup right man pretending to hit a woman and everyone drags the man off the woman and so on but then if there's a woman and she's a big woman hitting the man nobody cares right a woman cries and she gets a million dollars a man cries he gets scorn and he gave me the ick right so men face consequences and And therefore.

[15:16] Men want people to learn by consequences. If you fail to practice for a running race, then you'll come in last. And women don't like the fact that kids are sad about coming in last, so now everyone gets a participation ribbon and a trophy and everyone's called a winner and you're just a winner. So we've removed consequences. So rudeness has flourished, aggression has flourished because people aren't either being aggressed against physically or being ostracized. So it's very sad it's very sad I mean I don't I'm not saying it's sad that people aren't aggressed against physically but what I'm saying is that if, you were to insult a man and I said the dueling thing came out because if you were to insult a man it would destroy his reputation it would destroy his job prospects it would destroy his status within society it would destroy the marriage opportunities of his children so you were doing him massive material harm and now I suppose you can try and do some sort of, defamation claim through the court system, but Lord knows that's going to take forever and cost a fortune, and the certainty of a just verdict is not quite 100%, I think. So it would be way better to have an efficient court system.

[16:33] If you really do harm somebody's material interests, and then they aggress against you or challenge you to a duel, that's one way of dealing with it. It's not the best way of dealing with it, but having a consequence-free society is causing aggression to really flourish that way. All right. So, yeah, I just look at them as victims of a hyper-feminized political process that removes consequences, and therefore it sets people adrift who can only learn through consequences. They then become kind of feral because you have removed from people these social corrective mechanisms for good behavior and for the people like it's really prejudiced our society is really prejudiced against people who learn by bitter experience because it's reduced or eliminated any bitter experiences and therefore you have removed from people that which is most likely to make them or help them be moral so all right now what other steps i could do to become more self-expressed as opposed to self-erased.

[17:29] Moving from Hypervigilance to Self-Expression

[17:29] I do food already. A bit like the 30-year-old virgin caller, I spend a lot of my time in my head carefully weighing things up, a mixture of self-censorship and appeasement. Note that when I do food at the time, it was more of an eejerk reaction as opposed to anything based on reason and evidence and proper philosophical principles and virtues. Later on, as I listened to you, big thank you, I had more language to describe what I instinctively experienced with the food. I think the real question is, how do I move from a mode of bomb disarming slash hypervigilance to a mode of cool, relaxed, creative expression. Right, right.

[18:03] So, you really only escape your childhood if your childhood is bad, right? You really only escape your childhood when you escape the consequences of your childhood. So, if you grow up in a verbally abusive, hypercritical environment, then you're not overthinking things at all. You're not overthinking things at all. You are thinking things entirely appropriately to a verbally abusive, hypercritical environment.

[18:32] So people say, well, I think too much. I overthink things. It's like, no, you don't, relative to a particular environment. Now, if the environment changes, then it's going to take a while for the habits to change and so on. But that is really, really important to understand. It's not like, oh, I overthink. I think too much. It's like, well, no. No, you don't. No, you don't. so i'll give you sort of an example right let's say that you're just pulling a piece of electronics apart because you want to get the components right there's something in there some motherboard thing or whatever you you want to get some components so you're just ripping it apart or maybe you just want the wire so you're just cutting the wires and you need the wires for something else or whatever it is right so you just it's just an inert dead piece of electronics and you're just pulling it apart and and so you don't have to be careful you don't have to worry about breaking it you don't have to be delicate, right? You just pull it apart and that's appropriate to that, right? On the other hand, if you're trying to defuse a bomb, well, you're going to be just a little bit more careful, aren't you, right? Of course you will. Because if you're defusing a bomb, you have to be extremely, like extremely careful. Because if you get it wrong, you're going to blow a hole in your head the size of your head, right? So, you know, we've all seen the scenes in movies, they're kind of endless.

[19:54] It's like, is it the red wire or the green wire? I don't know. Whoa, goodness, it was the right wire and whatever it is, right? So there's this stress.

[20:04] Now, if you were taking the approach of the bomb defusing to the just disassembling a random inert piece of hardware, that would be kind of crazy, right? I'm sweating, my hands are shaking, right? That would be overthinking. On the other hand, if you're trying to disassemble the bomb, in the same way that you would disassemble an inert piece of hardware.

[20:28] Well, you'd probably die, right? So if you look at your childhood as I had to disarm a bomb, then you could understand the stress and the tension and the... It's not overthinking. It's perfect. Like, we don't just overdo things. We don't just overdo things.

[20:45] Like, if a guy is running to tackle someone, like in a football game, he's running to tackle someone, he doesn't just run past that person, keep running, run up in the stands, climb down the wall, keep running down the street. Like once he tackles the guy he stops running so you're not overthinking things like that's part of staying in the insulting arena of a bad childhood you're not overthinking things at all, i when i all of the habits that i had as a child were perfectly appropriate to the dangerous situation that i was in it was not over it was not under it was just right right.

[21:24] Childhood as Disarming a Bomb

[21:24] That was a very funny meme about one of the bears who was being read the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. And the bear says, read that part to me again, where she burns her whore mouth on my porridge, which I think is very funny because it's, you know, empathy for the bear. The phrase whore mouth on my porridge is just innately funny because it's so wantonly aggressive, which might fit a bear but anyway i just sort of that's one of those memes that just made me double over because it hit me with such a funny surprise so yeah perfectly appropriate.

[22:02] Perfectly appropriate if you see a bear in the forest and you freeze and your heart starts pounding that makes perfect sense if you see a rabbit in the forest and your bear and your heart You freeze and your heart starts pounding. It doesn't make as much sense.

[22:20] So, you say things like bomb disarming, hypervigilance, and so on, right? And it's not hypervigilance. It was not hypervigilance based upon how you were raised. It was an absolutely appropriate level of vigilance. It was an absolutely appropriate level of vigilance. So, if you're walking in the woods at night and you hear the wind in the trees, it doesn't stress you. If you hear the giant crack of something stepping nearby on a stick, then you're going to be alert, right? So you wouldn't say, well, I'm hypervigilant because I'm, it's perfectly appropriate, right? So don't look at the habits that you have as excessive or inappropriate or wrong or bad at all. You were a child in a dangerous situation.

[23:11] Disarming the Bomb

[23:11] For probably at least 15 years until you were sort of maybe big enough to push back or at least not be pushed around as much so you were in a highly dangerous situation while you were developing for 15 years straight, all the habits that you don't think of yourself as wrong or broken or excessive or deficient or I'm too anxious or I'm hypervigilant or I'm overthink everything don't think of any of that Right? You had to disarm a bomb. And I'm not kidding about this. It's a bomb in the brain, right? You had to disarm a bomb at great peril, great peril, for 15 years straight from even before you can remember. Remember, you had to disarm a bomb, the bomb of your parents' aggression or abuse or abandonment or neglect or avoidance or like whatever, manipulation or punishment or direct violence, like you had to disarm your parents on a daily basis. So you developed skills perfectly appropriate to that situation because that's how we evolved and you did things exactly right and you survived.

[24:22] Now, I understand that when you're no longer diffusing a bomb, but simply pulling apart a piece of inert electronics, that you're still going to have those habits. You're still going to feel like, because you spent 15 years disarming bombs, and your first 15 years, you're going to feel some stress and anxiety about that, right? Well, that makes sense. Of course you will. But it's not inappropriate. You say, ah, but it's inappropriate to now. Well, the question is, is why don't the habits erase when you're no longer in a situation of danger?

[24:57] Memory Bound Together

[24:57] Why do the habits erase when you're no longer in a situation of danger? You get your fight or flight when you're running from a bear, and then when you get to your cave and you're protected by your kinsmen, you relax and your heart rate slows and so on, right? Well, the reason that the habits continue is that memory is all bound up together. So if you say, I want to lose the habits of my direct empirical experience of the first 15 years of my life, how are you going to erase what you experienced without erasing all of your memories, including things like language and caution? Like, there's just one big mechanism for memory. So you can't just selectively erase things, right? Like, isn't the auditory nerve kind of bound up in the facial muscles and so on? So if you cut the auditory nerve, then the facial, like, things are kind of bound up together, right? So you can't just selectively take out If you mix a bunch of different colors into water, you can't just take out the yellow anymore. It's all mixed in together. And so we wouldn't have the ability to just selectively erase memories and habits, because the whole point of our memory and habits fundamentally is to allow us to survive and flourish.

[26:14] So to say, I want to erase the memories that allowed me to survive and flourish, or at least survive, would be to say that I want to both survive and then do the opposite of survival.

[26:28] So if you live in Africa and you saw a bunch of people get eaten by lions, you'd be frightened of lions. Now saying, well, when I become older, I want to stop being frightened of lions. I want to erase all of my caution of lions. Well, that would be to get yourself eaten by a lion. And of course, the option to not be in a traumatic environment was impossible for all of our evolution. The option to be in a non-traumatic environment. Now, that's possible now.

[26:59] Evolution and Trauma Environment

[26:59] I grew up in a traumatic environment. I live in a wonderful environment.

[27:03] And that's really only been possible over, I don't know, what can we say, maybe post-Second World War, since sort of self-knowledge and independence and so on has occurred. You could say maybe, I mean, people fled the countryside in the enclosure movement. They were forced out a little bit. Some fled because they just wanted to get to the cities and so on. But really, you could say it's been, it doesn't really matter whether it was 100 years ago, 200 years ago, or 70 years ago. It's so ridiculously recent that it has no impact on our evolution. So you evolved to survive. And if you grew up in an abusive environment, then you were going to live in some tribal situation, you were going to live in that abusive environment until the day you died. So there'd be no point getting rid of your the habits that you developed over being abused, because you would then become an abuser. And then you would have to have all of those habits and knowledge. So there was no way of escaping the lion. So what's the point of losing your fear of lions, right?

[28:11] Now, I do think, though, that our instincts are empirical, right? Like, I mean, if you've ever been in a situation, I think we all have, right? We've all been in a situation where you're waiting on tenderhooks for either good or bad news, right? Maybe you had some test from the doctor and you're waiting for good or bad news, right? And you're anxious, right? And then the doctor calls you up and says, it's nothing, right? It's nothing. We did the biopsy. It's nothing. Then you relax and you stop worrying, right? for the most part.

[28:43] So that's empirical, right? You're anxious, you get good news, and you relax. So if you have had that history of growing up in a situation of significant danger, then you have to get to a situation of significant safety in order for these habits to cool down. As I said, if the bear keeps chasing you, you can't relax. Every man, and women too, but every man directly has had this experience. If you own a house, you wake up in the middle of the night and you think you hear someone moving. You think you hear someone, there's a creak in the hallway, there's a bang from downstairs. You think you hear someone in the house. So what do you do? Do you just turn over and go back to sleep? You do not, because your heart is pounding, right? So what you do is you get up, you grab a weapon, you get a flashlight, you roam around, you check everything in the house. Now, once you have checked everything in the house and there's nobody in the house, then you can relax and go back to sleep. So you have to confirm safety before your instincts will relax and unwind, which means you just can't have destructive or abusive people in your life.

[29:55] Peaceful Parenting Book Club

[29:55] Hopefully that helps. Hey, Steph, I've got a small group of local moms. I'm familiar with their work, but are earnest about improving their parenting and being the best moms they can be. I mentioned your peaceful parenting book and they're definitely interested. Could I share it with them in order to start a peaceful parenting book club? I would, of course, encourage them to donate if they find your work valuable. Please do. Please do. I appreciate that.

[30:13] Apologies and Restitution

[30:14] All right. So thank you for clarity regarding the components to a proper apology. Since starting your journey of RTR and self-knowledge, would you say you have fewer occurrences where you need to apologize, apologize more occurrences or about the same does decreasing the frequency of occurrences where we need to apologize not for the same transgressions concerning genuine apologies help indicate process and self progress in self-knowledge or indicate that we may be flying close to the sun of vanity i don't think i i have fewer needs to apologize these days i have fewer needs to apologize so decreasing frequency of occurrences where we need to apologize well apologies and restitution, see, if I do someone wrong, then I should make apologies and make restitution.

[31:02] For our mutual benefit, for our mutual benefit. Sometimes apologizing is tough. Sometimes making restitution is uncomfortable or challenging or whatever. And the reason we do that is to train ourself out of the bad behavior that we did. So apologies and restitution, of course, they're They're supposed to benefit the person you've wronged, but they benefit the wrongdoer as well, because it trains you out. Through negative consequences, it trains you out of whatever you did that caused the need for restitution, right? So if I make a mistake and cost someone $1,000, and then I apologize and I give them $1,000, maybe plus whatever money for their time, if they had to deal with it, whatever, right? Then the reason I apologize and the reason I make restitution is to say to myself these are the negative consequences for doing wrong or for making a mistake or for harming somebody's interests these are the negative consequences, that I experience.

[32:03] For careless or bad behavior. So I'm training myself. And so the reason why people who avoid making apologies and restitution, people who avoid those things, they end up avoiding improvement, right? So people who they've done you wrong, they won't apologize, they won't make restitution. They're just saying, well, I don't want to experience any negative consequences for my bad behavior, because I want to keep doing it. And then they don't want to train themselves out of it. So apologizing trains yourself out of bad behavior or careless behavior and the commitment to not do it again, right? So the three parts of an apology, the direct apology, the restitution, and the commitment, and an empirical way of measuring it's never going to happen again.

[32:50] All of these things are there to benefit both parties. So yeah, certainly as I've I've made apologies, I've had to make fewer.

[32:58] Banter vs. Verbal Abuse

[32:59] Hi, Steph. How do you identify the line between what would be considered banter or jokes and when it could be considered closer to verbal abuse or designed to cause hurt? I find lad culture nauseating, but I do have some exposure to it in a golf group I am part of. A recent comment from a friend from that group really struck a nerve. I don't want to be oversensitive, but the comment was a joke, had an undertone that seemed aimed to do just that. I know this is also important to know when you make a joke yourself and don't want to hurt other people. Yeah, I mean, I've had that sort of situation. I actually ended a long-term friendship with a man. We'd actually vacationed together and all of that, but I ended a long-term friendship because he was just relentlessly telling negative stories about me in social situations.

[33:44] So, one of the ways that you know that it is a hierarchy stab, right, a stab to move you down in the hierarchy, is does the person, let's call him Bob, right, so Bob keeps making jokes at other people's expenses, the question is, does Bob also make jokes at his own expense?

[34:01] If you make jokes at your own expense then making jokes at other people's expense is more funny it's funnier it tends because you know it's not a status thing if you only make jokes at the other person's expense and you never make jokes at your own expense then that's a hierarchy move now of course you could also make a joke at bob's expense and if bob gets kind of huffy like he makes lots of jokes at your expense you make a joke at bob's expense he gets kind of huffy then he's just a a hypocrite and a status seeker and a dopamine dominance pursuer right so that's that's sort of an example as well if it does seem to be compulsive like we all know the people who are compulsive jokers or at least we've probably known in the past every pause in conversation they've got to fill up with some joke they just have this anxiety about pauses or quiet and and they just constantly this and it's kind of exhausting right there's this relentless role of of inconsequential humor humor it's kind of distracting and it's compulsive right so if it's the same way with making jokes at other people's expense if it is just what do they call it the jellyfish in bridget jones diary somebody who says things that are just always kind of half putting you down but then there's a big laugh if people make jokes about you that aren't funny but are negative towards you then they're not joke right oh come on man it's just a joke it's like no no jokes are supposed to be be funny.

[35:22] Oh, you're just being oversensitive, right? It's like, okay, but if, and this is the other thing, too, if you say to the person, you know, they, they did kind of sting, I didn't find that particularly funny. Oh, now, if they immediately dismiss you, then they're cruel. Right? Because if somebody makes a joke, quote, joke, and it stings, and then you say, hey, that kind of stung. And then they're like, they insult you, like, oh, you're just oversensitive. Oh, you just can't take a joke or whatever right well then your concerns are meaningless to them and they will just use that opportunity to insult you right and so they're trying to put you in a no-win situation right so the no-win situation is you either take the quote jokes which are actually insults, or you complain in which case you're oversensitive so you either let the person lower you in status by constantly insulting you and everyone gets what's going on deep down right so they're constantly insulting you under the guise of jokes either you laugh along with it in which case you're subjugated to them or you complain in which case they put you down directly.

[36:29] Right so there's i mean there's a couple of strategies that you can use so i would not deal with the content of the sting i would just say you know bob you you seem to constantly that they want to make jokes at other people's expense. Why do you think that is?

[36:46] I don't do that. No, no, you do. People are just being oversensitive. Hey, I'm not saying I'm sensitive about it. I'm just kind of noticing this pattern. Does anybody else notice this pattern? Like it's kind of over and over. It's like making jokes at other people's expense and you never make jokes at your own expense. So it does come across as kind of hostile and a little cowardly, like if you have a problem with someone, right? So you can just identify it directly. That's a power move. Responding to the content of people's statements is a weak move. Responding to the form of people's statements is a power move so rather than saying hey what you said really upset me you'd say i kind of noticed that you you spend like a lot of our social time making fun of other people, and you don't really make fun of yourself so it's kind of always kind of half putting other people down and you know what why do you think that is or do you notice that or or did you grow up with something like that or you know so you don't deal with the content you deal with the form right Right? Like when somebody says, there's no such thing as UPB, I don't deal with the content, I deal with the form. Right? Because the form is compliant with UPB. And in any contradiction between the content of a statement and the form of a statement, you deal with the form. Right? Somebody says, language is meaningless. Well, they've just used language, right? You know, the argument, right? So you don't argue, well, language is not meaningless, or language is meaningless. You say, okay, what's the form of the statement? Dealing with the form of the statement is much more powerful than dealing with the content of the statement.

[38:15] So, that's, you know, somebody says you don't exist, well, you've just addressed me, so I must exist, right?

[38:22] Confronting Negative Behavior

[38:23] I would say, it's a power move to say, you know, Bob, it seems to me, you know, I've sort of been noticing this, and I think it's an interesting topic, right? I've just sort of noticed that you kind of make these jokes, they're not particularly funny, but they do kind of put other people down, and you never make jokes at your own expense. Seems a bit asymmetrical, seems a bit off, if that makes any sense. Like, what do you think of that? Now, he's going to get maybe aggressive and defensive and so on, and you just kind of keep patiently pointing out the facts and, you know, Maybe he'll blow up or whatever, but instead of you dancing to his tune, he dances to your tune, and that's what you need in life. Hopefully that helps. All right.

[39:01] Healthy Skepticism vs. Unhealthy Pessimism

[39:01] Let's see here. Let's do one more. Steph, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the intellectual discipline it takes to maintain healthy skepticism without devolving into unhealthy pessimism. I'm sure you've touched on this before, but I've only recently discovered you while I'm going through your older stuff. I skew towards listening to your most recent content. Context, I had my kids late. First one at 40. I'm mid-fifties now, and while I want them to have healthy skepticism, I don't want to embitter them with the worldview my difficult life has led me to. In short, I want them to be skeptical, but still have the capability to experience joie de vivre, joy of life, without making them misanthropes. I'm sure I could have worded this better, but I hope you get what I'm driving at, even if I haven't captured it with sufficient language. I love my kids. I want them to avoid bad people and decisions, but still retain the capacity to enjoy the company of good people and consider their futures optimistically best regards and keep up the good work. Well, thank you. I think you did capture it perfectly and I have no issues with that. So there's a lot of evil in the world and a lot of delusion in the world.

[40:03] And there's a lot of bad art in the world, but there still is beautiful art. And if you spend all your time looking at bad art, saying it's bad art, you're going to corrupt yourself, right? So skepticism is most art is bad pessimism is i only look at bad art which means you don't really so if you say most art is bad then you'll say when somebody says come and see my painting you'll be like that's probably going to be bad and by bad i don't just mean technically bad but it's going to be like horrible i watched some of a show called baby reindeer and the sexual predator the older gay man. The Sexual Predator had a painting by Paul Klee of like a weird little round face with two squares for mouths that's really kind of haunting and weird and gross. And it actually hung in my apartment when I was growing up. It was a big prominent piece of art and I always found it.

[41:03] And disturbing or like the scream right it's just horrifying so bad art isn't just like good or bad technically it's like negative and amplifies horror and negativity and and alienation and and so on like like the weird paintings i saw this in an open house once just weird paintings of weird people like with bloody bird cages and rubber gloves on their hands and distant weird weird, psychotic, empty faces, you know, just serial killer art, right? So, yeah, most art is bad. So that means that you eliminate most art from your eyesight and focus on the good, beautiful, and noble, and elevating, and uplifting art. So the purpose of seeing bad things, evil, corruption in the world is to clear it from your vision and your social circle so that you can focus on the noble, and the beautiful, and the uplifting. So the reason we identify corrupt negative dysfunctional or evil people is not to stare at them and say oh tragically lost humanity there's no good in the world which is you know a black pill you take not even orally but the purpose of identifying malevolent negative.

[42:20] Hysterical manipulative or evil people is to not have them in your life right so the purpose of of identifying bad art is to avoid bad art and consume great art. I started reading some novel the other day and, oh God, I mean, it was a modern novel and I know modern novels are just concentrated horror juice mixed with lemon and applied directly to the eyeballs. And Tabasco is like, and there was a story and in the story, a kid's mother had been murdered and he'd been trapped in the room with her decaying body for a week. It's just like, just straight up rotten maggot filled fish jammed in your mouth with a toilet plunger. It's just absolutely hideous, revolting, repulsive stuff.

[43:06] I mocked one of these plays in my novel, Almost, one of the Weimar Republic plays in Germany. In fact, I went pretty deep into the whole corrupt Weimar culture in that novel, which is a completely fantastic novel, and you absolutely should get a hold of it. It's available for free at freedomain.com slash books. And I was just like, it was like the book had come alive and was infecting my fingers. I literally had to throw it away from me when I came to the scene, because it's just repulsive. It's just repulsive. And you know, you know, that there's not going to be a good, noble, uplifting hero who's going to eliminate the evil. It's going to be just, you know, the world weary, exhausted, black pilled detective. And you know, it's just, it's going to be just a relentless this grind of negativity like having your balls slowly sanded by being lowered on a conveyor belt full of broken glass. Thanks, but I think I will not. So yeah, there's a lot of evil in the world and we identify it in order to avoid it as much as possible. And that's like doom scrolling, right? You're just looking through, oh God, this bad news. Oh God, this bad news. Oh God, this terrible news. And yeah, there's bad news in the world. And there's also beauty and nobility and virtue and courage and so on in the world and that's what i think you should focus on so.

[44:31] Identifying things you can't eat and separating them from things you can eat is so you don't eat the things you can't eat you don't just sort of mix in the gravel with your salad and say well, i guess there's some things i can't eat and some things i can eat but let's mix them all together other no you you identify the things you can't eat right you don't you don't i mean as you get older you know you concerns about teeth breakage right so every time i eat anything like an olive or whatever i have to make sure that oh do they have the pits i don't want to crunch down the pits i want to break a tooth or whatever right so you know you don't eat the pits right.

[45:07] I mean, you can eat an apple with the skin, but you don't eat a grapefruit with the skin, right? You don't eat an orange with the skin or the banana with the skin, right? And you separate that which is not good for you, like the skin of a banana from that which is good for you, like the innards of a banana. And you discard, you understand, it's a bit obvious, you discard that which is bad for you and you retain and ingest that which is good for you. So, you steer according to benevolence and viciousness, that which is uplifting and that which is corrupt. And again, a novel that is uplifting does include that which is corrupt. But what is uplifting has to win, and what is corrupt has to lose. And that's a rule I have. I'm sorry, this is a spoiler, but that's a rule I have. Because otherwise, I'm spreading despair, not enthusiasm for virtue. So, anyway, I hope this helps. helps freedom.com slash donate if you appreciate these shows and you find these insights helpful and useful i know how helpful useful and powerful they are i hope that you recognize it too and will help support the show the conversation which is going to be here for all time freedom.com slash donate lots of love from up here it's a great community at freedom.locals.com you can also join a community at subscribe star.com slash free domain lots of love take care everyone bye.

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