Todd and Cathy discuss empathic listening and how to respond with curiosity and non-judgment when our kids ask difficult questions. Whether it pertains to conflicts abroad or everyday challenges, the capacity to listen to our children is something we can continuously improve over time. Additionally, our ability to understand our partner’s communication style and needs can help us avoid conflicts. For the full show notes, visit


(00:00:00) Introduction
(00:01:55) Tournament of bad
(00:04:16) Todd’s hot-take – college football players make amends after controversial hit (
(00:05:31) Cathy’s hot-take – Taylor Swift movie.
(00:09:08) Zen Parenting moment
(00:15:28) Empathic listening
(00:19:48) Difference b/w Cathy and Todd listening
(27:09:00) Zen Parenting Conference, TeamZen Circle, and Zen Parenting, THE BOOK
(36:36:00) What do we all want + listening tools
(42:00:00) The sake of relationships, get curious
(46:23:00) Reflective listening
(53:45:00) Summarizing techniques
(56:33:00) Todd’s outro music (The End by The Doors)


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If You’ve Come this Far Podcast




Listen Listen Learn Learn

In a world inundated with information and constant chatter, the art of truly listening often gets lost in the noise. This episode delves deep into this topic, emphasizing the transformative power of authentic listening and the continuous journey of learning.

The episode kicks off with Cathy and Todd highlighting the significance of genuine listening. It’s not just about being quiet or waiting for one’s turn to speak. True listening is about being present, absorbing the essence of what’s being shared, and offering a space of understanding. It’s a skill that requires practice and conscious effort, especially in today’s fast-paced world.

As the hosts delve deeper, they identify common barriers that hinder effective listening. From preconceived notions and biases to the sheer urge to respond, several factors can obstruct our listening process. Recognizing these barriers is the first step toward developing the habit of genuine listening.

Cathy emphasizes the crucial role of empathy in the listening process. To truly understand another person’s perspective, one must step into their shoes, feel their emotions, and see the world through their lens. It’s this empathetic connection that fosters genuine understanding and deepens relationships.

The episode takes a philosophical turn as Todd and Cathy discuss the perpetual journey of learning. Life, with its myriad experiences, offers endless opportunities for growth and understanding. Each moment, each interaction, is a lesson waiting to be absorbed. But this absorption is only possible when one approaches life with the curiosity of a learner.

One of the episode’s standout moments is the discussion on the power of pause. In conversations, a pause can offer a moment of reflection, allowing both the speaker and the listener to process the information. It’s a brief interlude that can lead to deeper insights and enhanced understanding.

Shifting the focus to parenting, the hosts delve into the idea of children as teachers. Kids, with their unfiltered perspectives and innate curiosity, offer a fresh lens through which the world can be viewed. By listening to them, not just hearing them, parents can glean valuable insights and learn more about themselves.

The episode also touches upon the importance of listening to oneself. Self-reflection, introspection, and tuning into one’s emotions are integral to personal growth. By understanding ourselves, we can better understand others, enhancing our listening capabilities.

This episode of Zen Parenting Radio is a gentle reminder of the transformative power of listening and learning. In a world where speaking often takes precedence, this episode underscores the need to pause, listen, and absorb. It’s a call to embrace life’s lessons, foster empathetic connections, and embark on a continuous journey of personal growth.


ZPR#733 – Listen Listen Learn Learn Full Episode Transcript – DOWNLOAD


[00:00:05] Cathy: todd, who’s the best listener that you know? Me.

[00:00:08] Todd: Do you think so? No, I’m just kidding. Other than you, sweetie. Yes. Let me think about that. My friend Frank, who I co founded MedLiving with, is a really good listener to the point where I’m like, He pauses a long time before he responds.

[00:00:24] Cathy: That’s what we’re going to

[00:00:25] talk

[00:00:25] Todd: about today.

[00:00:26] Todd: So let’s go. All right, here we go. Here comes the music. Whoa. Listen to the music. Hi everybody. My name is Todd Adams. This is Kathy Adams. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number 733. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio? Because you’ll feel outstanding. And who doesn’t want to feel outstanding?

[00:00:47] Todd: And always remember our motto. Which is the best predictor of a child’s well being is in fact a parent’s self understanding. So glad you joined us. Today’s topic is drum roll.

[00:01:01] Cathy: Which one is it? Is it a drum roll or is it a bummer?

[00:01:04] Todd: No, it’s not a bummer. Okay. What’s the topic, sweetie? Oh,

[00:01:06] Cathy: we’re going to talk about listening, but we’re going to talk about it. I’ve got to listen. I’ve got to listen. We’re going to talk about it as the most important communication tool.

[00:01:16] Cathy: And especially now, because I’m getting a lot of emails and a lot of our Team Zen conversations have been about talking to our kids about conflict, especially because of what’s the Middle East and how we talk about these things that can be Not they’re difficult to discuss. They’re difficult to have final answers and absolutes.

[00:01:36] Cathy: And what I’ve been really offering to parents more is how to be a better listener rather than having Absolute answers.

[00:01:45] Todd: Yeah. But before we do that, we do a few things at the beginning of our show. First is something that I like to call the Tournament of Bad, and I have a little sound clip of our kids saying that from way back when.

[00:01:56] Todd: Where’s the Tournament of Bad? There it is. Tournament

[00:01:59] Cathy: of Bad.

[00:01:59] Todd: [00:02:00] Tournament of Bad. Tournament of Bad. And if there’s anything that annoys me or Kathy, I assume, sweetie, since I didn’t tell you that we’re going to do a tournament of bad today, you don’t have anything. We were in Vegas last week and I got caught behind some slow walkers.

[00:02:12] Todd: And let’s like remove the elderly or anybody who has any physical disability from it. It’s not about not

[00:02:18] Cathy: being compassionate. If

[00:02:19] Todd: you can walk quickly and you’re walking slow. Just stop it.

[00:02:23] Cathy: You know where that happens a lot? And this happened to us as we were there. I’m thinking of two times is when we’re at the airport going through the United terminal and it’s a walkway and people are like chilling on the walkway.

[00:02:36] Cathy: They, it’s hard for me to talk about cause they have a right to do that. I have every right.

[00:02:40] Todd: I just want them to stop, but

[00:02:41] Cathy: I just need to get by. Cause I’m, I gotta go. I’m gonna, I gotta get to my flight. The other place, and this was also in Vegas, Todd and I thought we were gonna, Todd and I went to see U2 at the Sphere and which is their new, what do we call it, their new place where music plays, their new venue.

[00:02:57] Cathy: Thank you. And it’s pretty incredible and crazy, but we thought we were late. And so we were running, anybody who’s been to Vegas knows that hotels are massive. They’re like, Towns of their own. Yes. So yes, we got to the right hotel where we needed to be, but we still had some territory to cover and people are just chilling on the escalators and everything.

[00:03:21] Cathy: Except I’m like, even as I say this, I’m annoyed at myself because sometimes I want to chill. on an escalator. But when I’m

[00:03:27] Todd: in a hurry, it’s fine when we want to do it. It’s just not fine when everybody else wants to do it. Yeah, slow walkers, just move it along.

[00:03:34] Cathy: And my daughter is in Italy this semester and she said that’s one of the things that she’s really had to get used to is she’s in Florence and the sidewalks are tiny and people walk slow.

[00:03:45] Cathy: Yeah. So you don’t really have, A way to get around and you also have to obviously not, I think it’s very American

[00:03:51] Todd: to walk fast.

[00:03:51] Cathy: It is. And that’s why she’s not saying I’m so annoyed. It’s awful. She’s saying I’m learning to appreciate

[00:03:57] Todd: it. The second thing I want to, this [00:04:00] is a hot take. Is this a tournament of batter?

[00:04:01] Todd: No, this is just a hot take. And I’m stealing it from my friend, Jason Gattis, who’s an author and I get his newsletter and he, I’m basically reading what I got in his newsletter. And you’ll like this, sweetie. Okay. If you watch the Colorado. Football game a couple weeks ago, a player named Henry Blackburn from CSU Crushed another player named Travis Hunter from Colorado University in a late hit and probably should have been ejected from the game Hunter had to be taken to the hospital and has since missed two games with a lacerated liver a few days later Blackburn received Death threats.

[00:04:35] Todd: And his parents home address was found. So sketchy from lunatic fans, it’s like people love division and fighting. But instead of fanning the flames of hate or violence, these two college kids surprised the haters and had become friends. They spent time bowling the other day and got to know each other, and sent a message that said, there’s no hate here, it’s just a game.

[00:04:55] Todd: And there’s also a heartwarming YouTube video of these two guys bowling. Will you put it below

[00:05:00] Cathy: so people can look at it? Sure, I’ll

[00:05:02] Todd: make myself a note. I’ll make myself a note. But yeah, if you want to watch it, it’s a long, it’s like their whole day together, they recorded the whole thing. They’re so sweet.

[00:05:10] Todd: And I just thought it was wonderful. It’s another example of… People not signing up for the hate. Yeah. It’s

[00:05:17] Cathy: brilliant. It’s wonderful. I have a I’m going to try and take this in a way that is positive rather than, cause I also have a hot take and I showed it to you the other night. It was also something that was, I had been thinking about it, but there was a person on, I think it was on TikTok who clarified it for me.

[00:05:32] Cathy: Okay. And it’s that It’s going to be about Taylor Swift’s movie. I obviously, if you listen to this show, the Todd and I and my children, we’ve loved Taylor since what, since she started. So we’ve been a fan of hers forever. And we grew up on her music, literally all of us.

[00:05:48] Cathy: And so we’re big supporters and we continue to be. And we were at the movie. This last weekend, and it’s incredible, we were able to see two of her shows in Chicago and Denver. So I thought the movie held up to [00:06:00] the live performance. Obviously, it’s not going to be exactly the same, but it, same feeling, same vibe.

[00:06:05] Cathy: And, there’s been a lot of people on social media who are like, Swifties are like a cult or Swifties are over the top or Swifties, they’re crazy or whatever it may be. because we’ve been wearing friendship bracelets and dressing up like her and, singing her lyrics. And then there’s this guy who points out that forever, and I’ll say men, but it’s men and women, have been dressing up like football players, baseball players, hockey players, soccer players, volleyball players, whatever your sport is, painting their faces, screaming together, getting tickets and doing that.

[00:06:44] Cathy: Forever. So it’s got that undertone of that as this is a language he used, a feminine coded thing that because Taylor Swift is of more of a feminine joy that we look at it as being like, not cool or a problem or something we want to like debate as being okay or not okay. Yet, there are crazy fans and I’m saying that in a positive and a negative.

[00:07:08] Cathy: Crazy meaning so into it and crazy meaning over the top. That paint their faces and dress in jerseys all the time and then

[00:07:15] Todd: it’s okay when we do it. It’s just not okay when other people do it. His

[00:07:18] Cathy: point at the end that made me laugh is he’s it’s like when people walk around and say our team and we’re going to win, yet you’re not on the team.

[00:07:26] Cathy: They don’t know who you are. And I’m all in too. I’m a sports fan too. So I’m not separating myself from these people. It’s just, I think sometimes when we’re so easy to point out the, that’s not. Or they shouldn’t be doing that yet. Everybody is. So do you wanna do the

[00:07:41] Todd: bridge with me?

[00:07:43] Todd: Sure.

[00:07:46] Cathy: I’m drunk in the back of the cup and I cry like a baby Coming home. The ball i’s fine, but it wasn’t true.

[00:07:53] Todd: I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you and I’m snuck

[00:07:57] Cathy: in through the God game every [00:08:00] night that so much.

[00:08:10] Cathy: Down, sweetie, you didn’t do the words right. I did ’em

[00:08:13] Todd: mostly right, but not

[00:08:15] Cathy: really. Go easy. Go easy. It was pretty good, but you had so much time to learn

[00:08:19] Todd: them. I know. I screwed up. What are you gonna do? I know. I’m have self-compassion as opposed to my wife. Okay, I will. Blaming

[00:08:24] Cathy: I You’re right. That was not very kind.

[00:08:27] Cathy: It’s just you. You are always like, I got it. And then you sing it and you miss a few words, but it’s okay.

[00:08:33] Todd: That’s me, sweetie, because you judged me.

[00:08:35] Cathy: Are you sad? I’m sorry, you did pretty well.

[00:08:37] Todd: I know, I’m just kidding. It’s fine. I did. Kathy did a Zen parenting moment, and you started with a quote, and for those of you who know this show, you will recognize this quote, and here we go.

[00:08:49] Todd: But the most

[00:08:49] Cathy: exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you, you love. Hi! How’s it going? The house is on the market. Look out New York. I’m a coming. I’m a coming. That’s just fabulous. There it is. Oh, I’m wondering at the end of that song.

[00:09:13] Cathy: Oh, sexy. I love, that’s my favorite ending of any show ever. Sweetie, come on, stop it. It is. What are

[00:09:21] Todd: you talking about? I know. I just disagree. What is yours? Lost. I’ll go with lost. Okay. Jack closes his eyes.

[00:09:28] Cathy: Jack, I will go with lost. The thing about the Sex and the City finale is that I can still watch that scene and sob because they overlay it with all these things.

[00:09:40] Cathy: Not only are we seeing the girls together, they have that song that you’ve got the love song going and then you’re seeing all these flashbacks where everybody is, Miranda’s with Steve and, what’s her name? Samantha’s doing better. She’s healthier. She’s with Smith. Charlotte’s with all of her dogs and Harry.

[00:09:54] Cathy: Like everybody, you’re just seeing. And then that phone rings. And then it said, what does [00:10:00] it say on the phone, Todd? John. Do you remember? John. J O H N. So we learned Big’s name. Yeah. I know we’re way past this. This happened like ages ago.

[00:10:07] Todd: Hopefully. I will see your Sex and the City. Okay. And just raise you a jack, closing his eyes with Vincent, the dog

[00:10:13] Cathy: next to him.

[00:10:14] Cathy: Amazing. It was the lost, The finale of Lost is like a journey in itself. That’s a whole, like Sex and the City was a little more pop culture. But yeah, so anyway, I used that quote to talk about I can’t remember because that was actually two weeks ago. Relational self awareness.

[00:10:31] Cathy: Because actually there’s another Zen Parenting moment that’s come out since then, but we’re just recording this early. I talked about relational self awareness cause really I was promoting Dr. Solomon’s book cause we had Alexander Solomon on a couple of weeks ago. And she has a book coming out, or it’s already come out called Love Every Day.

[00:10:48] Cathy: And it’s a day by day day by day. Amen. Book about, so you can read one a day and kind of process it. And she does that on her Instagram posts as well. But what she did is she, what did she tell us? She had thousands. She had five years worth of posts and she found 365 of the best.

[00:11:06] Cathy: Like she went through, she and her team went through them. And that’s the book. And it’s amazing. And so I was just explaining what Allie talks about in the book about what relational self-awareness is. And obviously it’s our ability to learn about ourselves in the context of relationships, which is something I think when we talk about self-awareness, self-care, self evolution, self evolving, whatever.

[00:11:29] Todd: So I’m riffing here. Okay. You can have self awareness without a relationship. Let’s say a guy has, or a girl is living in the woods. You can be self aware without being in contact with other human beings. Obviously, that’s not very normal, but it happens. Can you be in a good relationship without self awareness?

[00:11:48] Cathy: I think it’s harder. It depends on your personality. There are some personalities of people who are like not super into that, but they’re such kind, compassionate, low key people that they’re not like big seekers, but they’re [00:12:00] they’re chill, they’re, they can handle most things. It’s different than I thought you were going to say, but I think you’re right.

[00:12:03] Cathy: Yeah. What I do think though, is if we are on, if we’re dealing with any kind of trauma or we’re on an evolving path or processing grief or learning more about ourselves in the process. In a relationship is just like parenting is, it’s a huge mirror, right? And so if we’re constantly getting annoyed at our partner or expecting our partner to make us feel better about everything or to uplift us all the time or whatever it may be, then self awareness might be an essential practice because basically we are deciding that someone else is going to do the work for us.

[00:12:34] Cathy: And really what it is it’s a co creation of. Self awareness, plus how that interacts with the people we love because, like you said, Todd, people can live in the woods or monks can live on mountains or whatever it may be. But can they take that practice off the mat and actually…

[00:12:55] Cathy: It’s harder

[00:12:55] Todd: with human beings. For sure. It’s easier to be… In connection with a mountain, or a river, or an ocean, you throw a human, another human being in there with all of our baggage that makes it a lot

[00:13:05] Cathy: tougher. Yeah, I think that’s why people love dogs, because dogs are non judgmental, they don’t have baggage, they’re not, they love you, they, they honor who you are and they honor the connection, but human beings…

[00:13:18] Todd: I think that’s why, dog is a man’s best friend and all that. First of all, I don’t subscribe to that, but I do have friends in my life who choose not to be in any type of intimate relationship. Correct. Who love their dogs. Correct. And I think it’s because dogs, I think everybody knows this.

[00:13:32] Todd: Dogs are less complicated. Correct. And dogs are going to forgive you. A lot quicker than another human

[00:13:38] Cathy: being is. They don’t even need to forgive you. They never get mad. Yeah. I’m not, I don’t know that. I’m not in a dog’s brain. You’re not? Don’t go any further with that joke. That’s right. Because it could be mean.

[00:13:49] Cathy: Yeah. But yeah, obviously I don’t really know what dogs feel. They’re sentient beings and they have, their own, but I don’t know if they even have to go to forgiveness. They just

[00:13:58] Todd: love you through it. What little I remember [00:14:00] about Eckhart and Oprah talking eight years ago was. One thing Eckhart Tolle said was that dogs have been around human beings so much over thousands of years.

[00:14:09] Todd: Yeah. They actually do take on our emotions now. Whereas a, whatever, a cougar or a lion or a Jaguar. What are the coyotes out in front of our house? We had

[00:14:22] Cathy: a coyote at our door once. I know. And Todd didn’t believe me. He kept saying it’s a dog. No, it’s just a dog. It was a coyote.

[00:14:30] Cathy: It’s a loose dog. And so you know what I did. I filmed him going down the street.

[00:14:33] Todd: And it’s in one of our girl’s birthdays.

[00:14:35] Cathy: And I kept saying, Todd, this is a

[00:14:36] Todd: coyote. Okay. So let’s talk about listening. Let’s talk about listening. What is it that you want to share, sweetie?

[00:14:43] Cathy: I wanted to talk about, as I said at the beginning, the fact that I think there’s a lot of parents who are struggling right now to talk about the conflict in the Middle East, Ukraine and Russia, we’re having some, at least today when we are.

[00:14:57] Cathy: Taping this podcast, there is still no speaker of the house. And there’s a lot going on and we, this generation that we are raising is very different than we were. They have 24 hours a day access to all the news of the world. And not only do they have access, but their algorithms are built in such a way that this information that is being pushed to them so they, if they are watching it, They have a lot, they tend to have a lot of questions or they have a lot of sharing.

[00:15:27] Cathy: And I have found that in my practice as a parent, but also as a therapist, when I’m supporting people or talking to them about this, is that Having final answers about things is not necessary. People come to Todd and I all the time and say, tell me exactly what to say to my kid. And what you say to them and having the exact words, first of all, that doesn’t, there, there are no perfect words.

[00:15:54] Cathy: There’s no perfect thing to say. Because you can’t encapsulate all the truths in one sentence. [00:16:00] Everything is very layered and, everything is very gray a lot of the time. And it’s more about. Being a good listener and asking good questions. And that in itself is a practice. And I’m sorry I have to do this because it keeps coming into my head.

[00:16:15] Cathy: And I don’t want you to play it because it is not appropriate. Okay, I’m just going to say this. Is

[00:16:20] Todd: this what you want me to play right here? No.

[00:16:24] Cathy: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. This is not

[00:16:32] Cathy: a good question and this is not. I need this out. What don’t you want me to play? I don’t want you to play. So there’s a movie called The 40 Year Old Virgin. It’s from a long time ago. A Judd Apatow movie. Steve Carell’s first starring movie. Seth Rogen and all the gang. And there’s, he’s having a hard time hitting on women.

[00:16:50] Cathy: And so there’s a scene where Seth Rogen says, talk to this girl who is Elizabeth Banks. Banks. And just ask questions. Yeah. And he has the best interaction with her. And again, the reason why I don’t want you to play it is it’s sexual in nature and that’s not what we’re talking about here.

[00:17:07] Todd: Let’s try our best to do it from memory. How are you doing? And the girl says to Steve Carell’s character, how are you doing? And he’s I don’t know. How am I doing? How am I doing? And it ends up working out very well.

[00:17:18] Cathy: And he just keeps asking, but then when they go to the dating thing, he tries to do it and the woman’s what are you doing?

[00:17:24] Cathy: Okay. So thank you for not playing that. You’re welcome, babe. But it always comes into my head because we’re, it’s not, we’re not, what we’re trying to do is find a way to. Keep a conversation going and allow the person, especially if they’re struggling with something that’s pretty big, where they’re like asking a lot of questions about propaganda or maybe it’s not propaganda.

[00:17:45] Cathy: It’s like a, it’s pictures that they’ve seen on the news where they’re like, is this really happening? And what is this? And we just start. We, first of all, we listen and I really, the empathic listening is a [00:18:00] real thing. Like it’s something that I teach my college students every semester. It’s very important if you’re a clinician, but I think it’s important for everybody.

[00:18:07] Cathy: Do you want to know what

[00:18:07] Todd: CHET GPT how it describes empathic listening, sweetie? Not

[00:18:11] Cathy: really. Cause I’d rather go through them the way that like, because they’re going to give you a big list, right?

[00:18:16] Todd: No, I’m just the specific definition of empathic listening versus active and passive. Absolutely. Go ahead.

[00:18:22] Todd: It’s a type of listening focused on understanding and sharing the emotions and feelings of the speaker. Empathic listeners try to connect with the speaker on an emotional level and provide support and validation. Kathy, you are very good at this. Oh, thank you. I can be good at this, but it’s not my default.

[00:18:40] Todd: My default is how do we solve the problem? Answers. Yeah, answers. And probably because I feel like I’m valued upon my ability to solve problems. And I think your value is based on your ability to connect with the other. Yeah, I think that’s true. And if I could snap my fingers and be, to be a listener like you or a listener like me, I would be a listener like you in a second.

[00:19:05] Todd: That’s so nice. Thanks. It’s true. And I think most of most people are not. Including me, are not that good of listening through an empathic

[00:19:15] Cathy: lens. I think our ego gets in the way. I think that we really want to supply the perfect answer that makes everybody feel better. And I think our history gets in the way where we start to want to win the conversation.

[00:19:27] Cathy: We start to want to point out my daughter I have, my oldest daughter is a global studies major and my middle daughter is a political science major. So they bring me a lot of information, right? They tell me a lot of things, some things that I don’t know, like I feel like Jaycee has more information about what’s going on in the world than I do she’s much more current with, she, it’s like things that I may know, but she knows it more in depth, and I, my point is that if I was like wait, I’m older.

[00:19:56] Cathy: I know more. Yeah, that’s really nothing. If I’m trying to [00:20:00] demonstrate that I’m better than them, then our conversation is not only going to be very stunted, but it’s going to be a win lose situation. Like someone’s got to be right in this conversation and someone’s got to be wrong. Two

[00:20:12] Todd: weeks ago, we had a, we did a discussion on the seven habits.

[00:20:15] Todd: Yeah. First to understand and to be understood. And I think it, I, cause I overheard your conversation with J. C. And I think a few times you’re like, JC, you’re studying this. Better about this than I do. And I think as a parent, it’s really hard to like, let go of the idea that our kid might know more than we do.

[00:20:31] Todd: And

[00:20:32] Cathy: here’s the thing, the things where I really jump in and join them, if it’d be, if it. Be around these big issues that we’re talking about is where I will validate. Yes. I remember, they’ll tell me a story and I’ll say, yes, I remember when I was in college and then there was a war and, and I will tell my story that I feel like engages.

[00:20:53] Cathy: It’s not saying. No, your story’s wrong. This is the right story. It’s a validation of, I had a similar experience or, oh, isn’t that interesting? It was different for us, and I’ll point out because I think a few things happen there. Number one, it demonstrates that I’m listening because I’m finding a point that matches up.

[00:21:11] Cathy: Number two, I’m also pointing out that it might be changing or that we’re having similar experiences. It’s again, another connective. And number three, it is good for me in a conversation. So it’s not just a dumping one way to engage in, in way, because there’s a difference in needing to have all the information and absolute answers and being completely silent through the whole conversation.

[00:21:36] Cathy: Like empathic listening, even though there’s a lot of elements you said at the very beginning of, you were saying Frank is such a, an exceptional listener and you said sometimes he’s just really quiet and I think that’s a fantastic skill. You don’t always have to fill the void. You can sit and listen, but sometimes I will say, because you know this so I am an external processor.

[00:21:57] Cathy: So when I’m telling Todd a story and it’s very [00:22:00] emotional, and if I say it all and then he just sits there, I’m like, hello?

[00:22:05] Todd: Anybody home

[00:22:06] Cathy: McFly? So I appreciate the fact that you’re like no, see, I’m proving I’m listening, but it’s not. You didn’t feel it. Not at all. Because I just feel like you’re like, yep.

[00:22:15] Cathy: Yep, you’re left with those feelings instead of I feel like we’ve talked about this a million times, but I love, I have so many movie moments that I love with listening, but one of my favorites is in the breakfast club. When Allison tells Andy that he said, what did they do to you? And she says, they ignore me.

[00:22:36] Cathy: And he says yeah. And he doesn’t get ignored. He’s not agreeing with, oh yeah, I get ignored too. He’s actually over hyped in his home. But what he’s saying to her is those feelings. Yeah, I get it. I get it. Yeah,

[00:22:49] Todd: you can validate somebody else’s point of view without necessarily agreeing with that person.

[00:22:54] Todd: And I also want to mention the idea of, and we’ll go in and out of different types of listening, but active listening is something I’m trying to get better at because you’re an external processor, sweetie, you can go on for a while. And for me and my brain, it’s hard to take it all in.

[00:23:09] Todd: And sometimes I use the term mindful interruption. I want to, because if. If you or anybody else is talking to me for longer than three or four minutes, I simply can’t retain it. Plus my brain floats away a bit. So I’ll say, okay, hold on a second. I just want to make sure I’m tracking you. I heard you say that you’re struggling with blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:23:28] Todd: And then now let’s move forward. But like even that pause, and sometimes I do it and sometimes I don’t, because we’ve been taught. Interrupting is rude. And I’m trying to lean into the idea of if you can interrupt in a conscious way to make sure that you’re tracking the person and that they feel like I’m understanding them versus a monologue where I’m just like an audience member of whatever it is the other person’s saying.

[00:23:52] Todd: So I just wanted to bring

[00:23:53] Cathy: that up. And again, this is like a reach because I do understand sometimes I just talk for a really long time and I know that can [00:24:00] be difficult and this is not. I’m not saying I’m right in this, but I don’t know if you have to take in everything I’m saying, because, this is, I am externally processing, which means that you don’t have to track every single thing I’m saying, because what do I usually do?

[00:24:18] Cathy: I’ll say, and then this happened, and then I was overwhelmed. I’m actually not that overwhelmed. It just felt overwhelming, because You don’t need to go back and be like, wait, she was overwhelmed. Oh, but now she’s not overwhelmed. You can meet me where I am at every moment. And again, this is hard too.

[00:24:33] Cathy: But when I, as a therapist, sometimes people go on for 10 minutes and I don’t think to myself, I have to. Remember everything they said.

[00:24:42] Todd: What about when your client is in a loop though? And they just keep

[00:24:45] Cathy: repeating. You want to interrupt. A lot of that is, you know what?

[00:24:49] Cathy: And sometimes that’s reflection where when someone’s like you said, they’re just going in a cycle and they keep going back to the same point. It’s I do things like totally. I totally hear that. And that’s where we were before. And then it gives me, so it’s less about, I’m going to stop you.

[00:25:04] Cathy: Because I think the thing. It’s it’s like the relational self awareness when we’re talking about empathic listening. I always think of how I would want someone to stop me in a conversation. And if somebody was a little too I’m not, I’m going to stop you right there.

[00:25:20] Cathy: Cause I’m not tracking. It can be a little Condescending. And again, I don’t think you’re condescending. And I don’t even think you’re…

[00:25:27] Todd: There’s times when I’m not doing a good job listening and not that I’m condescending about it, but the bottom line is the reason you’re sharing something with me is to connect.

[00:25:35] Todd: And if I am in, there’s that awesome part in Inside Out. Yeah. The dad is thinking about the hockey game when mom and child are having a… Kind of an intense discussion that happens to my brain often. I know.

[00:25:49] Cathy: And the thing that is interesting with you and we are, I think we’re able to have some humor with this is I will sometimes be telling you something very serious and you’ll interrupt me and be like, look at that squirrel.

[00:25:58] Cathy: And I’m like, [00:26:00] dude, I do get it. Cause our brains do that. Literally he will be like, look at that bird or that squirrel. Like I’m not being like dug from up. Like he literally will. I’ll be like, and then I was really scared and Tyler go, Oh my God, look at that. And to me, and then he’ll say, Oh, two things.

[00:26:18] Cathy: One of three things happens. Did that dog just say hi there? Oh, yes. My name is Doug. I have just met you and I love you. My master made me this collar. He is a good and smart master. He made me this collar so that I may talk.

[00:26:36] Todd: Squirrel! What’s funny is I just interrupted you to do the Doug the talking

[00:26:43] Cathy: dog.

[00:26:43] Cathy: I’m cool with that. I’m not that’s totally fine. I think it’s about the seriousness. If I’m telling you a silly story, I don’t really care cause I’m just probably just talking. But if I’m like, okay, and I’m about to get to the big climax of this conversation and you’re like, because you’ll do, I was going to say, you’ll do one of three things.

[00:26:59] Cathy: Either you’ll say, Oh, I’m sorry. Finish. I totally interrupted you, which, I appreciate. Number two, you will forget that I was even saying anything.

[00:27:10] Todd: You forget that I interrupted you. Yeah, and just move on. And you

[00:27:13] Cathy: just move on. Yeah. And then that’s, to me, the feeling I have is embarrassment. Yeah. No, it’s embarrassing.

[00:27:18] Cathy: Oh, okay. It’s not just, I’m not like, wow, you’re dismissive. My feeling is embarrassment. And I don’t know if everybody feels that way, but sometimes I think that’s,

[00:27:27] Todd: might be a different thing. Because you’re opening yourself up. You’re letting your heart open. Yeah. And if I directly or indirectly or intentionally or unintentionally distract yeah.

[00:27:38] Todd: Just move on to something else. You’re like open and. Then you close real

[00:27:44] Cathy: quick. And I feel dumb, in that the feeling the, I’m putting snare quotes, the feeling dumb is embarrassment because you’re like, I don’t think he cares to hear this. And then if you forget to go back to it, it’s weird. I don’t love saying, can I finish what I was saying?

[00:27:59] Cathy: Cause you [00:28:00] obviously are demonstrating. You didn’t

[00:28:01] Todd: care. And there are times when I’m like, okay, let’s pick up where we left off. And you’re like, sorry, window

[00:28:06] Cathy: closed. And what I’ll say, like last time this happened, I think we were on a walk and Todd did squirrel. And he said, and I said you go, okay, hold on.

[00:28:18] Cathy: You go, sorry about that. Go ahead and finish. And I go, no. And you’re like, what? And I wasn’t I said, I just can’t right now. Cause it was like vulnerable and I feel dumb and I will come back to it later. I said, but that it’s not a, see that could so easily. I think you and I have a comfort with each other where I am not trying to harm you.

[00:28:37] Cathy: I am not trying to be like, no. You’re a jerk and you missed your chance. It’s more like I can’t pull that story up now because it was you’re too

[00:28:45] Todd: exposed. I’m too, yeah. And you shut it down. I’m embarrassed. Now it’s interesting to go into Todd and Kathy deep dive. In the past… If you, if I do something that doesn’t land well, like interrupt you or squirrel, and then you don’t want to come back to the conversation because you felt embarrassed in the past and even still sometimes to this day, I will get really small and scared and feel like I need to fawn my way back.

[00:29:13] Todd: Yeah. Lots of fawning. And, and I’m working on it. And I’m, because I remember we were on a walk in downtown Elmer’s the last time I distracted and did squirrel. And I’m like,

[00:29:27] Cathy: okay. I think it literally was a squirrel, which is why I’m laughing. Do you remember what you

[00:29:30] Todd: pointed at? No, I think I wanted to walk into a store, the beer store.

[00:29:32] Todd: I wanted to walk into the beer store. That’s right. Okay. Now I’m remembering where we were. I want to see if they have food in there. And the problem is you’re in the middle of the story, but we’re about to walk past it.

[00:29:41] Cathy: And you had been gone for A week. And I think I was you’d literally been gone a week.

[00:29:45] Cathy: And I think I was like, okay, here’s something, cause Todd and I don’t, when Todd travels, we’re not, we do talk on the phone, but we don’t catch up that much. We wait till he gets home. So I was like, okay. And then you were like, I got to see if they have food. And I’m like, Oh my God. See,

[00:29:59] Todd: here’s my [00:30:00] problem.

[00:30:00] Todd: Okay. I didn’t know the there’s a zero to 10 in seriousness, zero would be let’s talk about the game last night. Okay. All right. All right. 10 is. I’m having some serious issues that I can’t get out of and I need to share these things with you. And then there’s all this middle ground. I mistakenly thought that we weren’t, that you weren’t getting vulnerable.

[00:30:21] Todd: You weren’t opening yourself up to something serious. I’m not saying you didn’t give me those indications. I’m saying. I didn’t receive it because I wasn’t listening. But does it matter? Yeah, because you even said you said, if it’s something serious, there’s no, if it’s nothing serious, then it’s no big deal if I interrupt.

[00:30:36] Cathy: I, then I need to retract because sometimes even when we’re telling a joke. Sweetie needs to back up. Yes. Okay. Say I’m like trying to tell you a joke or tell you something funny. Yeah. And then you interrupt me in the middle of it. That’s embarrassing too. And that’s not serious. That is, it’s just okay, and you’re like wait a second.

[00:30:57] Cathy: Now tell me that joke. And I’m like, the time has passed. And here’s my

[00:31:00] Todd: other problem. Okay. You’re an external processor. Sure. I think I’m an internal processor. How would you categorize me? I don’t know. Be careful with

[00:31:08] Cathy: what you say. I don’t know. Let’s see. Are you an external? Sometimes. I think you’re maybe an ambiprocessor.

[00:31:14] Cathy: I know it’s ambivert. So what is it? Ambiprocessor? I don’t know. Both?

[00:31:18] Todd: I have no idea. You do both. So there are times when I. It’s once again, it goes back to, it’s rude to interrupt. But sometimes I’m like, I gotta get in on this because you’re talking. Okay. So even on this podcast, right?

[00:31:32] Todd: Sure.

[00:31:33] Cathy: The in okay. So a few things, this is connecting to empathic listening. I’m not saying you need to be held hostage by me and you need to never, but there is a way to grab my hand and to say, I want to hear that. Hold on. I just need to see if they have food and then I’ll come back and then you grab your hand and you’re like, okay, the last thing you said was blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:31:55] Cathy: Then I feel like I can

[00:31:56] Todd: keep going. That muscle in me is very underdeveloped. But [00:32:00] the

[00:32:00] Cathy: whole idea of and I do that. And again, it’s the comparison game is like so ridiculous, but I do that sometimes to a fault, like where… They’re, one of the girls will be telling us a story and they, I’ll say, Oh, wait, you have to turn here.

[00:32:18] Cathy: Okay. Wait, you have to turn here. Okay. Let’s get back to your story. You had just ended on blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Because I want them to re engage and let them know that my distraction was only to get us to the right. It was not because I’m not interested. I and a lot of this is because that’s helpful to me.

[00:32:35] Cathy: I think there are people listening. right now who don’t care as much about these things as I do. Yeah. Or, but maybe if they did, some of their communication with their kids or their partner might be better, better,

[00:32:49] Todd: more connected.

[00:32:51] Cathy: Yeah. Because I think that. I think all we want as humans, let’s go back to these really basic principles.

[00:32:58] Cathy: Every person wants to be seen, heard, understood, or validated, whichever word you want to use. So if that’s the truth, no matter who you are, anywhere from Beyonce to, the person walking down the street. That’s what we all want. So if you understand that, and somebody’s sharing with you the ability to listen and ask them questions let me give you just a few parts of empathic listening that are important.

[00:33:23] Cathy: Okay. Focusing on the person who is talking, you do that with your eye contact. You do that with your nodding, your body language. You do that with your sitting and not, there are times when I’m listening to the girls and they’re at the bar in the kitchen and I’m like putting the dishes away and I’m moving while I’m listening to them, but I’m still making eye contact.

[00:33:47] Cathy: It’s almost better because they don’t want to. Face to face, like sometimes too intense. It’s too intense. And so there are ways to do this in different iterations, right? Where you’re like moving around, but you still stop occasionally and go, really? You [00:34:00] demonstrate you’re listening and is

[00:34:01] Todd: there any, I know that comes naturally to you.

[00:34:04] Todd: Do you have to think about that or does it just come naturally? Because for me, I have to think about it. It’s not, it’s a muscle that is not as developed in me. And I judge many others that might be listening to this podcast because, and for me when I’m in the kitchen with you or the girls, like if I’m putting dishes in the dishwasher, like it’s easier for me.

[00:34:25] Todd: The way my brain works, if I’m sitting across from you looking at you intensely, that is a distraction for me. It’s like too intense and there, and then there’s this other side of me that wants to distract myself with whatever. Putting dishes in the dishwasher or listening to music or whatever, like that’s not a good distraction either.

[00:34:44] Todd: So it’s just a muscle that I haven’t quite cultivated that much. Now when I’m in a session with a client, it’s like a different energy. Like I got to be all in. And why do I do that with my one hour session with a client versus all the time with you? Probably because You’re with me all the time, that’d be a lot.

[00:35:03] Todd: And it’s a lot of energy to be that tuned

[00:35:05] Cathy: into somebody. Yeah and again, to be like, if we’re not in a conversation where it’s like, Hey, we need to have a conversation. If we’re just passing each other I’m going to yoga. I gotta call. Bye. We don’t need to be that zoned in. This is not, empathic listening isn’t 24 7.

[00:35:21] Cathy: Empathic listening. I want to go back. I want to circle back to why we even did this show is I’m talking about things where our kids come to us and they’re very concerned about the world and they’re like, listen to what I heard and listen to what I saw. And one of my friends told me this. And I think we often think we need to have an answer.

[00:35:39] Cathy: When really what we need to be doing is listening and asking questions you know what I do a lot is it’s not questions like where’d they hear that? It’s not questioning their questions. It’s things like, they’ll say, my, my friend had this experience where she was racially profiled and it was so hard for her.

[00:35:59] Cathy: And [00:36:00] I’ll be like, tell me what, tell me what happened. What did they say? I. I try to ask more about what happened to them with deep curiosity. It’s not a, it’s not a way to pacify. It’s a really a way to be like, be honestly curious. Yeah. Because if somebody is like, Oh, my friend was racially profiled, we’re like, Oh, wow.

[00:36:20] Cathy: And that’s it. Yeah. I

[00:36:21] Todd: mean, come on. And I guess just to add to that, there’s a discernment that needs to happen to figure out the depth of whatever it is that’s being shared. If it’s about the National League Championship Series last night between the Phillies and the Astros, like that’s really not that important to be an empathic listener, unless I really love the Phillies or the Astros and they lost or whatever, but.

[00:36:42] Todd: Actually it was the Rangers and the Astros. And who won? Last night the Astros won in Arlington. Wow. As we’re recording this, I think that’s game three yes, so anyways, I screwed it up. Phillies are playing the Diamondbacks. Got it. So there’s a discernment of how serious is this topic and the more serious it is, The more tuned in I need

[00:37:03] Cathy: to be.

[00:37:04] Cathy: Or how about this? The more that person is engaged, I have more conversations with my daughter about Twilight, Hunger Games, Mike Flanagan shows any of the other books she’s reading, any of the speeches she’s doing. I… It’s not serious, but it’s important. She’ll be like, that totally reminds me of like in Hunger Games when blah, blah, blah.

[00:37:25] Cathy: I’m like, you’re so right. When, and I engage back in, in I’m just as invested. And obviously sometimes these things that our kids are watching and doing, we don’t have

[00:37:37] Todd: as much information. That was going to be my next question. It’s what if they’re talking about something I have zero interest in?

[00:37:42] Cathy: Then you get well.

[00:37:43] Cathy: Yeah, I get it. I really do get it, Todd. I know it’s not that interesting to you, but you could, which you already do, ask a lot of questions. Who is Jasper? What’s Jasper’s deal? Why, how did he and Alice end up together? It’s almost

[00:37:58] Todd: For the sake of the [00:38:00] relationship, get curious.

[00:38:01] Cathy: Thank you. This is what I’m talking about is part of being a parent, like a, just going to drop a bomb of reality here. Part of the reason why it’s tiring is because of the engagement. Part of the reason I like to be alone, go to Galena by myself, or like Todd and I go to Vegas for a few days, or me drive to the grocery store by myself is I don’t have to do this intense engagement.

[00:38:25] Cathy: Now, People can tell me you don’t really have to. You just, show up and do your thing and not worry about it. And sometimes I do. It’s not like I’m, actively engaged 24 7, but I do believe that relationships are built on that kind of engagement. Sometimes I’m all in and sometimes I’m more tired.

[00:38:42] Cathy: And sometimes I’m very honest with Todd or the girls about I’m done. I’m going to bed or I can’t have this conversation right now. Like sometimes Todd will come, he’ll have a busy day and we will have made a plan to talk about something of seriousness and he’ll come into the bedroom and it’s 11 and he’s okay, I’m ready.

[00:39:00] Cathy: And I’m like, I can’t do that tonight. And that’s me being like, my engagement meter is totally empty. So I’m not saying that I’m like, they’re, I’m not saying I’m always engaged, but I think that’s what’s tiring it from the time babies are like two or three and they’re like look what I’m doing.

[00:39:16] Cathy: Look, that’s engagement and that continues as they get older in different ways. Listen to me, hear this story, listen about my friend, listen about my book, listen about my dreams. Let me tell you all about my day and our willingness and ability to be empathic listeners without final answers and the most important piece, without judgment.

[00:39:42] Cathy: Because honestly, sometimes the things my girls have said, if it’d be about politics or foreign policy or whatever, I don’t always agree with it. They have a very Gen X perspective of a binary of this is good, this is bad. We should do this, we shouldn’t do this. And they don’t have all the history that I do.

[00:39:58] Cathy: And sometimes I’m able [00:40:00] to share and say, can here’s a, something that you may not know. Yeah. And I can offer things, but I’m also not going to be like, you suck. You’re wrong. Cause they’re in the process of

[00:40:09] Todd: learning. So I want to pivot for a second. Sure. Go ahead. I think you and I both have a different relationship.

[00:40:15] Todd: with reflective listening. Okay. And my definition of reflective listening is just giving the person their own words back to them so that they know that I heard them. I’ve been trained to do it in my coaching stuff. I utilize it less rigidly than I used to, but I still think it’s super And I, I make up a story about you is if you’re doing the other stuff right, there’s no, not there’s no need, but you value reflective listening back.

[00:40:44] Todd: Yeah. What do you think?

[00:40:45] Cathy: I think that I have to sometimes have more, I don’t know if the words compassion or patience, because sometimes when you’re doing reflecting back, it sounds really coached and canned. And so you’re like, now, wait. What I’m hearing you say is, and I’m like, oh, for crying out loud it’s just so canned.

[00:41:04] Cathy: Versus, oh, yeah, I got that. It was like when so and right? That’s more conversational. Yeah. But I think what you’re trying to tell me in this conversation is these things that a lot of them are based in my own childhood of wanting to be heard or I used to talk a lot and… A lot of this is my, the reason I’ve developed certain muscles that I have is because of my childhood, because of my job, because of what I do for a living, because of what I practice, because of my hyper, what, not hyper my what’s it called?

[00:41:37] Cathy: HSP. My, highly sensitive person. Highly sensitive person. I kept wanting to say processing. Highly sensitive person aspect where I’m a little more sensitive to everybody else’s feelings. So I’m constantly trying to make sure everybody feels good, which obviously can go off the rails. Like I, I know I have to watch that for that codependency piece.

[00:41:54] Cathy: But my point is the reason I’m going on and on about this is because I think sometimes I just want everyone else to do it [00:42:00] that way too. Yeah. I just

[00:42:01] Todd: want you to… Don’t we all? Yes. We all want everybody to do things the way we think it is. Yes. And, for me I, I think that there’s a lot of value to reflective listening, which is literally giving the person a summation of their words back to them without my interpretation or anything.

[00:42:16] Todd: I use it in coaching nearly all the time. I use it in regular relationships with my daughters, with my wife, with my friends, a lot less. Why do I do it? In a coaching model versus if it’s important, why is it important over here and not over there? I don’t know. Like I, I’m honestly asking that question because I think my clients really appreciate it when I do that because I could just ask a thoughtful question in response to whatever it is that they’re stuck on.

[00:42:45] Todd: But I think that there’s value that I think they feel better when I give them their words back and then ask the thoughtful question. Thoughts?

[00:42:53] Cathy: Yeah. I don’t think you’re wrong. I think my thing is, you just asked why do I do that and I think you’ve been trained to do that. Yes. You just said that.

[00:43:03] Cathy: Yes. So right away, then I wouldn’t call that a red flag. That’s not the right word, but right away I’m like, you’re doing that because someone told you to. Now let’s just say that’s a good thing. Let’s not judge that. My next thing is can you practice that and make it more fluid and flowy?

[00:43:19] Cathy: For sure. I can. Rather than rigid. Because. When you’re talking with a client, because we have team, we have this thing called Team Zen. Everybody knows it’s our amazing community. And we do these live talks every month where people come and ask questions and we answer and it’s a really, other people answer and it’s great.

[00:43:35] Cathy: And sometimes like someone will give this, they’ll tell their story and I’m about to answer and Todd’s hold on, let me reflect back everything you just said. I’m like, I don’t need that. And I don’t know that person needs it. Now that person may say, actually, that was really helpful.

[00:43:48] Cathy: It brought, it helped it be concise for me, but I’m always debating. It’s always the genuineness and authenticity to me. Are you doing that because you’re taught to or because you really need it?

[00:43:59] Todd: I think [00:44:00] I do it because I was taught to do it because the client thinks it’s valuable and it probably helps me a bit because there’s times when they’ll talk for three or four minutes.

[00:44:09] Todd: I’ll be like, okay, here’s what I think I hear you saying. And I’m like, Actually, that’s not, you’re missing it and then they’ll have to restate it. But to do that in a coaching therapeutic place is one thing. It does seem awkward when I’m out to lunch with a buddy saying it, or to you, I would not do it because I know your tendency is okay, enough with the coaching

[00:44:28] Cathy: craft.

[00:44:28] Cathy: So how about this middle ground of this, there’s nothing right or wrong here, but When I’m saying a more fluid, like flowy, I’m picturing like a branch that’s just you are reflecting back, but you’re doing it in a more communicate, communicative style. So if your buddy was telling you something and you were like, so basically what you’re saying is that she wanted you to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, versus let me reflect back to all that.

[00:44:52] Cathy: So you’re conversational. Yeah. And you’re not

[00:44:56] Todd: coachy. Yeah. And I’m getting better at that. I still think I got a ways to go, but I agree with you. Like the more rigid it sounds, the worse it is, but I’m not going to let go of it completely. I just need to like mold it a little

[00:45:08] Cathy: bit. Like a picture it like whenever in this, in the reason I need to be more compassionate and less judgmental is because when we learn something.

[00:45:16] Cathy: We have to learn how to do it before we can break it. Yeah, so it’s if you, and you’ve been a coach for a long time, but you learned something and you put this rigid piece in where you’re like, I’m going to try this. I’m going to try this. And it’s really on, it’s so not malleable.

[00:45:30] Cathy: And then as you practice it, it becomes more malleable where you say it differently and you trust it. And I know that’s what you’re doing. I think, it doesn’t, I’m not in your coaching session, so your clients may love it, but you and I support people together sometimes. And so when you insert it into a Team Zen thing I’m sitting there waiting, being like, yeah, I already, like I’m,

[00:45:52] Todd: we got it.

[00:45:53] Todd: We should survey Team Zen. We should. And say. And I think there’s some people be like, Oh, I love it when Todd does that. [00:46:00] Yeah. Other people be like, why is he doing that? I

[00:46:02] Cathy: don’t think anyone will say they don’t like it. Really? No, I don’t. Because I think that they’ll be like, Oh no, he’s just trying. I

[00:46:08] Todd: think.

[00:46:08] Todd: And what I do at Team Zen a lot is the, it’s usually women because it’s mostly women at all. There’s some guys in there. They’ll talk about their situation for about four or five minutes and they’ll like pivot and move on to a tangent and then come back to it and then move back somewhere else.

[00:46:24] Todd: And I, I try to frame it in one sentence. So the issue is that you’re really stuck on. And I think that’s a valuable thing because if we try to address all the different elements of what it is that they just shared, then it’s. It’s very confusing for me to try to help that person. Yeah.

[00:46:40] Todd: What is the thing? I feel like that you don’t need that as much.

[00:46:43] Cathy: No. And see, this is like the difference is that, what we were talking about being an external processor and that not everything I’m saying is necessary in this solution. I just see people walking through their thoughts.

[00:46:56] Cathy: I don’t need that. I feel I don’t need to verify or validate every single word they just said. I know what they’re trying to get to. They’re speaking through their layers. They’re speaking through the process. And I don’t mean I have the perfect answer for them. I just feel like I know where to go next.

[00:47:11] Cathy: And that is practice. And that is hearing them in a different way. So I don’t think you are wrong. You are boxy and I am spaghetti. Yeah, there you go. I’m awful. It’s your spaghetti. You’re just like, let me put this in a box and make sure I understand it. And I’m like, that needs no box. So in

[00:47:29] Todd: other words, so let’s say a mom shares something that she’s struggling with her son about she’ll talk for let’s say literally five minutes, which is a long time.

[00:47:37] Todd: Yeah. And then you’ll ask a question that will engage them in thought about the issue. And I’m like, I want to make sure that I got the issue before I asked the question. And I think that’s the inherent difference between us.

[00:47:50] Cathy: It is. And that is like our different gifts, like you may, I know that when you’re coaching, you send everybody, or you used to, you send them like a follow up email and you’re [00:48:00] really like, here’s the goals.

[00:48:01] Cathy: And you’re really like, Not for me like that. That’s how I was coached. And I… I’m putting all my energy into that moment in front of them where I’m like, I hear you. Here’s some things to think about. And I don’t, sometimes if I’m like, I’ll tell you about these books or whatever, I’ll email.

[00:48:16] Cathy: It’s not that I don’t have a followup, but I’m not like, it’s not, it doesn’t work that way with me. It’s why I don’t do, it’s why I do sessions and not. I couldn’t even I couldn’t even figure out if I was a therapist or a coach cause it’s such a blend of the two. So that’s why I do, I use both, but I call them sessions because they are, you, people that I see, I want them to have their own therapist already.

[00:48:40] Cathy: And then you’re coming to me. Because there’s an issue that’s not getting worked, and I can sometimes see it a little better. But it, so the point is, if we were going to really summarize as you do. Yeah, let’s summarize. Different, we just have different skill sets. Yeah. And I don’t think anyone’s right or wrong, but I think sometimes when two people with different skill sets teach together.

[00:49:01] Cathy: Yeah, it can get

[00:49:02] Todd: contentious. Yes.

[00:49:03] Cathy: I’m Todd, quit summarizing. I got it. And you may be like, Kathy, quit talking or quit asking questions. Okay,

[00:49:12] Cathy: so can I, can, so empathic listening, I think you were going to talk about a different kind of listening or do you feel dumb? We

[00:49:17] Todd: We did active listening. We did empathic listening. We did problem solving listening. We did reflective listening. Those are the big ones I wanted to hit.

[00:49:25] Cathy: And I’m just focusing on, and by the way, everybody, you don’t have to call these by name.

[00:49:30] Cathy: We’re just talking about different ways that we do listen. It’s not like we have to clarify with our kids, I’m going to do this kind of listening. But just a few more things about empathic listening. If your children are coming to you about things that are going on in the world, the ability to pay attention, to make eye contact, to acknowledge, to let them know that they’re being heard, to ask them clarifying questions, to…

[00:49:52] Cathy: Ask them things like, Oh, it sounds like that really concerns you or what your friend told you. It sounds like if that’s her experience, that’s her real [00:50:00] experience. Like it’s not about, is she telling the truth or is this really the problem? It’s who knows that information? Part of. I said, I always use this phrase.

[00:50:09] Cathy: I used it in Women’s Circle the other day, the more I know, the less I understand. Easy. Don Henley. But I don’t have final answers. I have my perspective and I have that. I have the ability to listen to you and ask these questions and see where you’re going. And to be nonjudgmental with how you feel.

[00:50:26] Cathy: Like one of the things, my daughter was so upset about the images she was seeing and she was so mad and she was so upset. And I was like, yes, I don’t want to solve this for her feelings, her empathetic feelings, her feelings of grief, her feelings of overwhelm. You’re damn right.

[00:50:46] Cathy: We, I feel it too. My, the Women’s Circle, we were talking about that we’re all feeling guilty. And we were able to clarify that a lot of it is just grief. And not our grief of watching other people suffer with things that we don’t have to think about every day. And how do we connect?

[00:51:03] Cathy: And it’s through that feeling of grief. And when my daughters are mad about something going on in our government or across the world, I’m like, use it. And it doesn’t even have to be specifically for these wars. It’s just that empathy that you’re feeling, that grief, that anger. Use it. This is what makes us human.

[00:51:25] Todd: I agree with you, sweetie. You ready for our new outro music?

[00:51:32] Cathy: This is literally one of the most depressing songs that’s ever been written.

[00:51:37] Todd: You get to choose the outro music for next week. All right. But it’s got to be something about the end. I know what it’s going to be. And it’s got to be by the door. We’ll catch you all next week. Keep druggin Oh,

[00:51:50] Cathy: wow!