Todd and Cathy discussed the importance of developing talents and the challenges of pursuing one’s passions. They also emphasized the need for understanding and empathizing when teenage boys lash out or question their belonging (they share an audioclip from Dr. John Duffy). They shared the difference between empathy and sympathy, and why it’s important to be really clear about what you need and ask for it. They ended the show by discussing the victim, villain, hero triangle and what it really means when you are ‘hero-ing’ someone.

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Blog Post

Finding Balance and Understanding in Family Dynamics, Passion Pursuits, and Effective Communication

Parenting, relationships, and personal development are three critical areas where understanding, communication, and balance play pivotal roles. Whether navigating the complexities of parenting teenage boys, following one’s passions vs. talents, or engaging in effective communication, these subjects intersect in ways that can profoundly impact our lives and those around us.

Nurturing Belonging and Understanding in Teenage Boys

Parenting teenage boys in today’s rapidly changing world poses unique challenges, especially when it comes to fostering a sense of belonging. In an episode of “Zen Parenting Radio,” hosts Todd and Cathy discuss this intricate dance. They reflect on conversations with teens about connecting with parents more than friends, defying authority, and grappling with societal expectations. It’s essential to create an environment where our sons feel seen, heard, and understood. Recognizing their need for belonging and addressing it through empathetic communication can bridge gaps, dispel misconceptions, and reinforce their place in the family and society.

Passion Versus Talent: A Path to Fulfillment

The debate between following one’s passion and leaning into one’s talents is a perennial one. In an enlightening conversation, Todd and Cathy navigate this territory, pondering the nuances of each approach. Drawing inspiration from various perspectives, including Scott Galloway’s advice on talent and hard work, they highlight the importance of recognizing and nurturing one’s inherent abilities while being open to where our passions lead. The key lies in balancing the pursuit of passion with the practical application of talent, aiming not to compromise but to complement one another on the journey toward fulfillment and success.

Effective Communication: A Cornerstone of Relationships

At the heart of any relationship, be it within a family, among friends, or between partners, lies communication. Through their discussions, Todd and Cathy underscore the significance of articulating needs, desires, and boundaries clearly and compassionately. Whether addressing the dynamic of providing support in a relationship or engaging in tough conversations about responsibilities and expectations, the way we communicate can either build bridges or create barriers. It’s about finding the right balance between expressing oneself authentically and being receptive to the other person’s perspective.

Navigating These Intersections

The intersections of parenting, pursuing passions, and effective communication are laden with opportunities for growth, connection, and understanding. By fostering an environment where teenage boys feel they belong, embracing the dual paths of passion and talent, and prioritizing clear and empathetic communication, we can navigate these challenges more effectively. These narratives from “Zen Parenting Radio” not only offer insights and guidance but also remind us of the universality of these experiences. Engaging with them thoughtfully can lead to more fulfilling relationships and a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.



Todd: Here we go. My name’s Todd. This is Cathy. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. This is podcast number 761. Why listen to Zen Parenting Radio because you’ll feel outstanding and always remember. Our motto, which is the best predictor of a child’s well being is a parent’s self understanding.

Todd: I gotta turn off John Duffy’s microphone. It’s annoying. Is 

Cathy: that what it is? I’m like, what is that sound? Ah, gosh, it’s like white. It’s like white noise gone. 

Todd: I blame John Duffy. 

Cathy: Well, that’s been on. He was here on Friday. It’s been a few days. As 

Todd: a matter of fact, we’re going to talk a little bit about the Zen talk that we did.

Todd: Um, we do this, we have this thing called, uh, Team Zen. And every now and again, we invite some of our friends and speakers and thought [00:01:00] leaders and experts. And last week, uh, we had John Duffy in studio, which was fun. And there was a specific question that I thought he did a really good job answering. And I wanted to share it with our bigger audience.

Todd: It was about an hour and 15 minute conversation. We might play two minutes of John, but it’s just more of a sneak preview that if you If you like what you hear from John, um, jump in on Team Zen. Right, sweetie? 

Cathy: If you’re in, if you’re on Team Zen, you can listen to it. Um, and that’s not the only thing. We’ve got how many?

Cathy: A hundred? and 

Todd: 74? Uh, something like that. 

Cathy: Um, other podcasts there. Some of them are just Todd and I answering people’s questions, like a Q and A. And then there’s some where we have special guests. We’ve had Shefali. We’ve had Rosalind Wiseman. We’ve had Debbie Reber. We’ve had John Duffy a few times. We’ve had Michelle Eichert.

Cathy: We’ve had a lot of people. 

Todd: Um, so this one, so this is Zen Talk 185. We’re going to end up playing a clip there. So you have, the minute you [00:02:00] join, you could listen to all, all 185 Zen Talks, but basically it’s a, it’s a Zoom call with Kathy and I live. It’s kind of like a radio show, but we can see each other’s faces.

Todd: Um, but last week’s with Duffy, all we do is say, Hey, who wants a question, who wants to ask a question, who wants some supporter on something? And these are the topics from last week’s Zen Talk. Teenage son connects with us more than his friends. Okay. Which is an interesting one because a lot of people say the opposite.

Todd: It’s usually the opposite. Uh, topic number two, renegade sixth grade boys are defying authority. Okay. Renegade. Um, phone addiction. Okay. Um, straight and cisgender teenage son feeling not being looked out for through the lens of society. Not being seen. And then the last thing was teenage son is not doing.

Todd: great outside the home, but not he’s doing, he’s doing great outside the home, but not interacting with us at home. It’s 

Cathy: very, it was a boy central. It was a boy centric, uh, Zen talk because we had Duffy who has 

Todd: rescuing our sons. That’s his book. So that was the nature of it. But we also have, so anyways. [00:03:00] You 

Cathy: know, what’s funny.

Cathy: I, you just said it was like a radio show. And when I was in my late twenties, maybe it was my early thirties. I don’t know if we were together yet or not, but I did a vision board. I’ve got a lot of vision boards. Yeah. And one of them was that I wanted a radio show. 

Todd: Well, we got one, sweetie. We got a radio show on the computer.

Cathy: Yeah. Well, it’s, it was called Zen Parenting Radio. Cause we thought it was going to be sold to a radio station. 

Todd: That’s right. Because 

Cathy: there’s many 

Todd: radio stations out there that want to buy us. I’m for sale. 

Cathy: You just didn’t understand. I did know what a podcast was. We’re way ahead. Uh, it was 2011 when we started, but I still thought it wasn’t going to be a thing.

Cathy: I thought someone would buy our show. 

Todd: Someday sweetie. Dare to dream. Just send us the millions now. 

Cathy: All the people who would have bought our show don’t exist anymore because it would be other radio stations and they’re gone. They’re probably out 

Todd: of business. Yeah, so. Um, but first I wanted to, um, just share something.

Todd: We’re going to do this in the quick takes, I decided. Oh. Okay. Thanks. You’re welcome. Um, Scott [00:04:00] Galloway, who is somebody who I admire. He also annoys me. He’s writing a book, uh, I think on sons. He has another, uh, book out there called the, the Algebra of Wealth, I think it’s called. 

Cathy: Well, just to like summarize him is that he’s a, uh, a businessman, um, who has sold a lot of businesses, been a big part of that whole experience.

Cathy: He’s got a lot of, um, information when it comes to how, how businesses are bought and sold and 

Todd: traded. 

Cathy: And he’s also a professor. And he does the show Pivot with Kara Swisher, so he’s got a very, uh, he’s got a podcast that’s in demand. 

Todd: I’m on his newsletter list and he sent this to me, to me and you personally, I just sent it to me.

Todd: Oh. Um, and it’s called Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Talent. Okay. Okay. And I’m going to read it. If someone tells you to follow your passion, it means they’re already rich. And typically they made it their fortune in some unglamorous industry like iron ore smelting. [00:05:00] That’s his effort at being funny.

Todd: Whoever smelt it dealt it, sweetie. That’s what I’ve heard. For most young people, following your passion isn’t actionable. By one estimate, only 20 percent can even identify a singular passion they want to follow. If you have one, It’s probably in one of the creative fields. Industries that are notoriously exploitative, exploitative of young idealistic workers.

Todd: Only 2 percent of professional actors make a living from their craft. The 97th percentile of YouTube creators generate enough views to make more a mere 15, 000 per year. What’s more, What’s much more likely than finding success following your passion, is that making your passion a career will spoil it, turning it into a thing you do for a little money, not love.

Todd: Um, in closing, what do you It’s just long. It’s just a paragraph. Okay. Oh, is it really? And I’m trying to, like, read it, so instead of me, like, read it in a [00:06:00] monotone fashion You’re trying to give it a little I’m slowing it down, give it a little zing. 

Cathy: Okay. 

Todd: Sustain rewarding passion is something you build like wealth by applying hard work to your talents.

Todd: Unlike passion, talent is observable and testable. It can be more readily converted into a high earning career and it gets better the more you exploit it. Your mission is to find something you’re good at. And apply the thousands of hours of grit and sacrifice necessary to become great at it. As you get there, the feeling of growth and your increasing mastery of your craft, along with the economic rewards, recognition, and camaraderie, will make you passionate about whatever it is.

Todd: Follow your talent and passion will follow. Um, so, um, As we do a parenting podcast. And I think that there’s a lot of parents out there that say things either, Hey, follow your passion, or instead they say, follow your talents. And I want to hear from you, sweetie. Well, it’s interesting. 

Cathy: Cause while you were talking, I was, um, listening to me.[00:07:00] 

Cathy: The whole thing. Yes. No, I just, when there’s, you know how I feel about that, when, when we, when Todd reads long things, but see, I, what I want to say is that I could be wrong, meaning people listening may be really tuned into what you’re saying. I just feel like. I hope so. It’s, it’s. I hope they’re not flaking out.

Cathy: And it doesn’t mean that you’re not reading it well. It’s that I think quick bits are better than like long things. You 

Todd: know what I mean? Yeah. And I could have said that quicker saying, Hey, Scott Galloway thinks that you should be. Yeah. be more mindful of following what you’re good at versus what you love to do.

Cathy: Right. And you know, it’s all good now. It’s up. I’m sure people loved it. Um, so I was looking up the difference between talent and passion because you and I started talking about this, but then sometimes Todd and I start talking about things and I’m get really excited because I think it’s really interesting.

Cathy: And he’ll say, stop, save it for the show. Yeah. Which feels a little like, am I going to be able to remember this, what I’m saying? But I think what I said to you at breakfast the other day. I know what you said to me, if you want help. I think I said, I [00:08:00] kind of feel like these are the same thing. That’s exactly right.

Cathy: I said, I think it’s semantics. But I looked it up, um, just to kind of get, you know, what does, what does the Google say? The Google says the talent is something you’re born with and not something that you develop over time. Uh, one can be very passionate, but if they do not have the talent to back up the passion, it becomes nearly impossible.

Cathy: So, I guess this is just a word thing because. I don’t agree, um, completely with that because when I was young, very young, I wanted to be a writer. Um, and I actually, I think I’ve told this story, but I’ll say it very briefly. I, my mom was an English teacher. So I always got, Entered into young authors contests or I did for a few years and one year and I did pretty well I got like honorable mentions and stuff like that one year I wrote this story and then I got a bigger award not not like first place But something it was recognized and then my teacher read it to my class Have I told you [00:09:00] this?

Cathy: No, I think I have Woodpecker But the story was loosely based on a Woody Woodpecker episode. Okay, 

Todd: and 

Cathy: And I used different characters, different, like, it was, but the, the structure of the story was based on, it was like something about finding money or something. I can’t remember. And all of the kids in my class were like, that’s a Woody Woodpecker episode.

Cathy: I felt like such a fraud, Todd. Oh, really? Yes. Now, I have since learned. that that’s called being inspired because I didn’t tell the same story. I didn’t, I wasn’t like Woody Woodpecker did this. It was like completely new characters. But at the time I thought this is fraudulent. So I let go of writing except for essays and stuff like that for school and term papers.

Cathy: And then, um, went back to it and learned how to do it over the last 25 years. And it doesn’t mean everybody loves it. It just means I know how to write. So is that, so they’re saying talent is something you’re born with But you can’t develop it over time. I don’t [00:10:00] buy 

Todd: that definition that Google just gave to you.

Todd: Talent is something that maybe you were born with and you’ve worked hard to get to be good at it. I’m 

Cathy: thinking of like musicians. Like some, some kids, there are wonderkins who can get on a piano and they just understand it. Yeah. Totally get that. But there’s plenty of people who learn piano or learn, um, guitar or learn how to write or learn how to draw.

Cathy: And I don’t necessarily, and they develop their talent. I mean, just the word developing your talent. Do you know? Just the words, just the phrase. 

Todd: So I think for this argument or this discussion, it’s your talent is what you’re born with and what you have cultivated over a long period of time. Your passion is something that lights you up.

Todd: So I’m going to give a real world example. 

Cathy: Okay. Say that again. Your talent. Your talent. 

Todd: Is something that you’re either born with and or you’ve cultivated over a lifetime of experience. Okay. Think of like the grit thing with Angela Duckworth, right? Just, you know, something that you have to work at for 10, 000 hours before you [00:11:00] get good at.

Todd: And that’s Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm Gladwell. But I think he was referring to Angela Duckworth, but I could be wrong. Whatever. Okay. And then there’s stuff that, that lights you up. Okay. That you may or may not be good at. Okay. A lot of people. Love golf. It lights them up. And they’re really bad. They shoot a hundred like I do.

Todd: Or me on the drums. Or you, well, you’re getting better at the drums, sweetie. Don’t be hard on yourself. 

Cathy: Well, I’m not like a natural. 

Todd: But compared to me, you’re really good. So it depends on who you compare yourself. Okay. So one of the things that I’m talented at, I would say, is Uh, selling connections to pre stressed concrete manufacturers.

Cathy: That’s so cool that you say that. You are. So I 100 percent agree, but I rarely hear you talk about 

Todd: how good you are at your job. I am very good at my job. I am not passionate about my job. Okay. So you’re talented as a salesman. I’m a good salesperson. Okay. Uh, it’s not my passion. It’s not what lights me up in the morning.

Todd: Some things that, um, I’m passionate about [00:12:00] is White Sox baseball. Okay. I love White Sox baseball, even though they’re the worst team in the league right now. 

Cathy: You’re gonna try out for the team? 

Todd: Uh, no. They don’t want a 51 year old guy who’s got a glute slash hamstring issue. Are you sure? Which I currently do have.

Todd: Um, I also love pickleball. I’m passionate about it. I love playing. I’m not going to go pro. So, um, let’s say I’m not 51 years old. Let’s say I’m 10 years old. Okay. And. You are my parent, which sounds weird, but there you are. Are you going to tell me to, hey, work on your selling skills? Are you going to be like, or maybe I’ll say 20 years old or instead go try to be a minor league baseball player?

Cathy: Uh, I wouldn’t say either. Okay. I would say, um, just go towards what you love and kind of take all the reroutes as you go. So I wouldn’t, I, if someone, if my kid was like, I want to be a major league baseball player, um, male, female, any gender, [00:13:00] I would say, well, that sounds amazing. Go toward that goal, but I wouldn’t be like, go be a pro, well, I mean, I might, I’m not, I don’t want to get too caught up in the, you know, the weeds about words, but I might say go toward that because I really do believe when we go toward things we love, we may have challenges or information, like for example, to make it easier because baseball can be a little different.

Cathy: If you’re five, what are you? Five, eight, five, nine, five, eight or five, and you’re like, I want to be a professional basketball player. Yeah. Yeah. The odds of that happening, and not just because you could be, you could be the Caitlyn Clark of hitting logo threes, um, but you’re still only 5’9 You’re not going to make, you know, and, and I may know that, you know what I mean?

Cathy: But I may say go toward that because you’re going to find a way to live in that world, you know, become a sports reporter, become a coach, um, become a physical trainer, become a commentator, you know, sell tickets at the stadium. Like I don’t care what it is, but just move toward it. 

Todd: I, I totally agree with you and, [00:14:00] um, but let’s say that that same baseball, that same basketball player that we’re just making up a fictitious person, the 5 9 1, 5 8 5 9, also happens to be really good at corporate finance.

Todd: Okay. And he said, you know, mom, I don’t know what direction I should go in. Should I go take this 200, 000 a year job at this corporate finance place? Or should I instead, uh, move towards finding out how to be a, um, be in a minor league basketball even though there’s no minor leagues in basketball, but like, how do I take the step towards being a professional athlete?

Cathy: How old is this person? How old is this 5’8, 5’9 person? Let’s 

Todd: say he’s just leaving high school. 

Cathy: Okay. So just leaving high school. So, um, so is one route college and one route isn’t? 

Todd: Um, well, we’re getting into specifics I haven’t quite thought of, but. 

Cathy: Does he have blonde hair 

Todd: or brown hair? Right. Um, give me your question again.

Todd: Sorry. [00:15:00] Is this college versus not college? 

Cathy: Let’s say he’s exiting college. Okay. Exiting college. So we don’t have to make that decision. Um, you know what? I would not make that decision for them. And the advice I would give is you’ve got to tune into yourself because there is rewards. There are rewards. In both paths.

Cathy: Part of us may say, Hey, go make the money first and then maybe you can go back and do that other thing. But part of me is like, if you’re that age and you don’t have any responsibilities yet, I’m assuming this 5’8, 5’9 person does not have a family yet, go do, go try that. 

Todd: Right. 

Cathy: That’s where your passion is first.

Cathy: And maybe you can get back into the corporate world and do the other thing if you need something. Or can you do a little of both? Yeah. Can you be, you know, have a part time job doing this? And a lot of people say, well, that’s not possible. Of course it is. I have made a living out of doing things that people told me weren’t possible.

Cathy: Yes. And so I, you know, I, I told Todd that, um, like even when I was in college, I decided to switch my major from [00:16:00] journalism to teaching. And so I went into elementary education, just felt like the right thing to do. And people are like, you want to be a teacher in an elementary school? I mean, my whole family are teachers, so it wasn’t that farfetched, but I was kind of like, I don’t know.

Cathy: I just know I want to go into this. I, but then my, the Dean and all my advisors were like, well, this is the only job you can do with teaching. Like, if you’re going to get your teaching certification, you can only teach in a school. Yeah. And I did everything but that. I taught in a company. I taught in a hospital.

Cathy: I taught, my point is, is that sometimes we’re told that you can only do a certain thing with this and really you can do a lot of different things with it. So my, but what I would go toward is the same thing I’d probably say to my kids when they’re younger. Like you got to put, and I’m being very literal here.

Cathy: But go with me as far as the way we think about it, you got to put your hand on your heart and figure out where you want to go right now. Because your life is your own, your life, this morning I said to Todd, this isn’t a dress rehearsal. No way, man. And it’s, I think I’m the first person who’s ever said [00:17:00] that.

Cathy: No one else has said that. Yeah, nobody ever. No one said that. You invented that. I did. Um, but it is. It is, this is your life. And so what will, when you wake up in the morning, what do you want to be working toward? Because here’s the thing, your kid may be like, okay, I don’t know what I want, but I just want to go toward basketball.

Cathy: And who knows what they’ll find? They may end up being the Accountant for the basketball team. 

Todd: Maybe he does corporate finance for the Bulls. 

Cathy: Correct. And so I think that we don’t trust ourselves and we think we have to have this really planned out path. And there are some people that they’re more comfortable, that feels more safe.

Cathy: Totally get it and go for it. Like, there is no right or wrong here. This isn’t like, if you don’t follow every passion you’ve ever had, you’re doing it wrong. Because, I don’t know if you know this, but I am not a professional dancer or singer. 

Todd: Well, and let’s go to the world of Kathy Crisanti Adams. Yeah, 

Cathy: Crisanti.

Todd: When you graduated from college, you got some kind [00:18:00] of weird recruiting jobs. What did you do? 

Cathy: I was, uh, an executive recruiter. 

Todd: An executive recruiter for how long? 

Cathy: Uh, one year. 

Todd: One year. I was 

Cathy: very, very bad at it. And 

Todd: you graduated with what degree out of college? 

Cathy: elementary education and my teaching certification.

Todd: Okay, so elementary ed, all of a sudden you’re a corporate or an executive recruiter. So 

Cathy: there’s an example of me, I wasn’t really asking anyone what I should do, but what I knew in that moment when I graduated from college is yes, I have my teaching certification. I went on a few like, um, interviews, but what I realized is I wanted to move to Chicago and be with my friends.

Cathy: So what I put on the back burner was my teaching and I Focus more on I want to live in this city with my girlfriends. So I took a job that, that could be an entry level job just to make money. I was not thinking career yet. 

Todd: Yeah. 

Cathy: And so, and I sucked at it and I was so bad at it that my boss tried to fire me and I pretended that he wasn’t firing me and [00:19:00] then the next day came in and quit.

Cathy: He’s like, okay, that was easier. Um, but I was just awful at it cause it was a bunch of cold calling and disappointing people and trying to talk people down. It’s every skill that. Do I have the skill? Yeah, I did for a year, but am I good at it? 

Todd: No. So then, really quickly, so then what happened for you to start following your passion?

Cathy: Oh, so then, um, once I, that job didn’t work out, um, I had my best friend’s mom was a vice president at NIU, Northern Illinois University. And she told me about a job opening there. She said, you know, it may not be exactly what you want, but it’s somewhat administrative, but it’s involved in education. And she just.

Cathy: So I did and I decided I got hired and so I was, I was really bad at this job too. I was the, I was the assistant to, um, the regional 

Todd: manager. 

Cathy: No, no. I was an assistant to this [00:20:00] kind of crazy professor guy who had all of this grant funding to like create all these programs for education. But I wasn’t really involved in that part.

Cathy: I just managed the meetings and ordered food and shipped books and controlled the budget. And I was very not good at these things. I did them, but I did not wake up saying yay. And you met Stephen Covey. I did. I got to introduce him, sit at the table with him. So do you see, I had this like foot in, so Todd, let me go back.

Cathy: The recruiting job that I had, that I got fired. I also, one of my client, my clients was Nightingale Conant, which was the place that Wayne Dyer would record his books. And so I really focused on Nightingale Conant as like my top client. So I already had like my foot in these places I wanted to be. I was, I was still going toward what I wanted, but not knowingly.

Todd: But 

Cathy: then in this job, to just cut to the chase, to land the plane, as we would say, while I was working in Northern and was not doing great here, my boss, who was a woman, who I’ll always appreciate her for this, she came to me and said, you don’t seem to [00:21:00] love this. What do you love? And I said, well, I’m a good teacher.

Cathy: She said, well, why don’t you start teaching at the businesses that we go in and train? Because we used to do quality control. And I started teaching education and math and some other special kind of classes to frontline employees. And I did that for about three or four years. 

Todd: There you go. And so then And that’s not even the end of your journey.

Todd: Then you went back to school and 

Cathy: then Well, then I realized these people didn’t need reading and math. They needed social work. 

Todd: Yeah. 

Cathy: And I then also realized I was working with kids occasionally because I’d work with their kids. I worked in something called the migrant program. And I was like, I, I need to be a social worker because I also, sorry, a little back, back up a little bit, I also had a, just like, I’m forgetting I’m doing a podcast.

Cathy: I feel like we’re just at breakfast. I had a really bad breakup that was kind of life changing and I also moved, my friends all moved out with their boyfriends. So I was living alone for the first time. I was by myself and I also needed to figure out my career. So I’m like, I’m going to go back to school and do what I really [00:22:00] want to do, which is be a therapist and a social 

Todd: worker.

Todd: And how were your parents? Were they in full support? 

Cathy: No, because they weren’t against it. But at NIU, I had been told if I wanted to go to school and get my degree in education or in business, that I could do that for free. And they didn’t have a social work department at NIU and nor would they have paid for it because that had nothing to do with my job or so they thought.

Cathy: And so I had to go. I had to do it. Just do it all by myself. So I went to Loyola. I paid for it. Um, but they, when I, when they saw what I was doing and how much I loved social work, they were psyched for me. They were never against it. They were just like, what are you doing? 

Todd: So if we can encapsulate this conversation of, uh, inviting parents to look at it a little bit differently between what, what kids are, what our kids are good at.

Todd: Like should we tell our kids to chase their dreams or be more logical and rational? Both. So it’s not one or the other. 

Cathy: No. Because the logical and rational part is things like, college really helps. Like, you know, as I’ve said a million times on So somebody has 

Todd: a kid out there saying, my kid wants to [00:23:00] be a YouTuber.

Todd: The data is, suggests that it’s really hard to make a living being a YouTuber. So it’s really hard to, um, And encourage our kids to go down what appears to be kind of a dead end path from a career standpoint. 

Cathy: Well, and see, okay, so let’s go deep on this. Like, say one of my kids was like, I’m not going to do college.

Cathy: I know mom. So I want to say this about college, something that my dad told me a lot, and this could be true for community college too, by the way, everybody. So this is not just about four year schools and I don’t care where the school is. It doesn’t have to be an Ivy or anything big. My dad’s like, what happens in college is less about your education and more about your social ability and your ability to be with a lot of different people and live on your own.

Cathy: He’s like, that’s what it is. And so it took a lot of that educational pressure. He was, he was an educator himself, so he believed in that. But I just kind of saw it as kind of a social experiment for four years to not quite be on my own yet, but to be moving toward that. If I had a child, if one of my daughters wanted to be a YouTuber and they’re like, mom, I have to try this because this is [00:24:00] my dream.

Cathy: And they seemed. To it was less about I have to be famous and more about this is something I’m creative. This is something I see myself, myself doing. I, I would support it. And, and what the other part you said about being realistic is you have to get a waitress job or a job, um, somewhere doing something where you’re making money.

Cathy: to pay. And the reason I say waitress or waitstaff is because you can, depending on where you are, you can bring in some serious money. Do you know what I mean? Where you can pay some rent, a lot of other jobs like that are part time. Um, you know, not always. And again, people who are, um, waiting tables right now, maybe I’m wrong.

Cathy: I don’t really know what the, what people get now. You know what I mean? But I know when I was younger, if you could get that job, then you could bring in a couple hundred dollars every time you were waiting. Um, so, cool. Anyway, I would say then do both, you know, like, because we wouldn’t just be like, live at home and do YouTube.

Cathy: Yeah. We’d be like, you have to bring in money because that’s, it’s so easy, [00:25:00] easy is the wrong word. It makes so much sense. We used to talk about this when our kids were little, about parents would be so confused about how, if they should let their kids do something. And a lot of times there’s laws, either literal laws on the books or kind of laws of life that make it easy.

Cathy: for us to make decisions. Like for example, when my daughter was like really young and was like, I don’t want to ride in this car seat anymore. We were like, this is just the law. Yeah. 

Todd: Sorry, Charlie. Sorry. 

Cathy: And, and again, I know some of those laws can be broken. Some kids turn red on, you know, right on red when they’re not supposed to.

Cathy: It’s not that it’s like set in stone. It’s just, and you know, some kids have drinks before they’re 21. Like I get it. It’s not, but it gives us a little leverage in that. If you are going to not go to college, which is fine, and do something else, are you going to make enough money to live? 

Todd: Yeah. 

Cathy: Because either you’re going to do, 

Todd: do you know what I mean?

Todd: Yeah, of course. Like it’s set up. You’re heading the clouds and your feet [00:26:00] on the ground. 

Cathy: Yeah, there has to be something where you’re, paying for your phone bill. Um, and that to me just makes sense. And that I may also say, Hey, but I’ll take you out to lunch and buy it. Like, it’s not that I’m trying to prove any big point except that now you’re 20.

Todd: Well, and the risk is, um, you know, there could be parents or children. That get on this career path like, well, this is just what I have to do because I have to make money. And then they’re 20 years into their career saying, Oh my God, I’ve made a colossal mistake. 

Cathy: Thank you. You know, like flipping this now, because the whole time I’ve been talking about the other one is there are people who are like, Nope, I’m going to stay on this path.

Cathy: This makes the most sense for, you know, the best internship, four years of college, get that high level job. And I’m going to, you know, stick to this path. And as you just said, they’re miserable. Not everyone, but some people. And it is a, but they also may be able to save the world. Significant money where they can buy a house.

Todd: Yeah. 

Cathy: So there’s a trade off. [00:27:00] Um, and I think as parents, we have to be really mindful of what makes us most comfortable. And while we can pay attention to that and utilize that. in conversation and, and see it as some kind of wisdom that we’ve attained. We have to keep a little space open for that. There are other ways.

Todd: Sure. One of the one way to skin a cat. 

Cathy: Right. 

Todd: Okay. I say we move, we pivot. Where are we going? Um, I want you to set up this question. that was asked on Team Zen. And then I’m going to play Duffy’s response. 

Cathy: Okay, so there was a question on Team Zen, um, about how, and I’m going to kind of generalize it because I, I think it’s true.

Cathy: I’ve heard it from more than one person, which is, That, uh, somebody has a son who they, they are within a family where there’s some pretty, you know, strong values around we treat everybody with dignity and we honor everybody’s journey. If it be their journey, um, you know, when it comes [00:28:00] to their gender or their sexuality and there’s this sense of valuing all people and that their, their son has grown up with this and I’m specifying son on purpose cause this is who we’re talking about.

Cathy: And then as the son gets older, they start to, either them or them and their friends, they and their friends, how do I say that? They and their friends. They and their friends start to get a little annoyed. Or start to maybe have some derogatory comments about people that may be, um, different when it comes to the gender spectrum or when it comes to the spectrum of sexuality because they start to wonder, is there a place for them?

Cathy: Because there seems to be a lot of attention focused on women’s rights and then gender rights and then sexuality rights and, and a white, straight, cisgender male, especially teenager. starts to be like, well, where do I fit in? Now, some of you listening may be like, come on, you know what I mean? Like they have all the [00:29:00] power in the world, right?

Cathy: But sometimes teenage boys don’t know that. They just look out and see, um, it, so it’s not a shock that they sometimes listen to the podcasts or the people on the news that they do who tell them their rights are being taken from them, right? Isn’t that what they sometimes hear is that you’re, you’re becoming inconsequential.

Todd: Yeah. And the other, other people, like they, there’s a division. 

Cathy: There’s a 

Todd: division, like it’s us versus them. And the person who asked the question is like, a lot of what I’m hearing from my son and some of his friends are against what I, what our values, what my value system is. 

Cathy: And she’s like, I don’t know how to address it.

Todd: Yeah. 

Cathy: And so that is what we’re talking about. So you tell me when you want to make cuts, 

Dr. John Duffy Audio Clip: Sophia. Um, so, uh, first of all, Cara, I can tell you’re so like, I can tell this is hard, right? It’s really hard probably to hear certain things from your, your guy, right? Who sounds like a really sweet, kind, thoughtful, inventive [00:30:00] young man, right?

Dr. John Duffy Audio Clip: You know? And I, I work with a lot of boys. Like this I’ve experienced what you’re talking about where you’re jarred by like, you know, whoa, whoa, whoa Like, you know, you really like you’re such a kind person. This is surprising to me that you have this us versus them mentality, right? But what it really speaks to I’m finding the more I talk to these boys is how unsure they are of in this landscape, where as a, as a straight boy, do I stand, you know, like, am I a bad guy?

Dr. John Duffy Audio Clip: Am I, you know, like what? So they’ll talk about like other roles and like, uh, and, and, um, other gender identities or, or, or sexual identities and vilify them. But the question really is, is that I find these boys are struggling with is where do I belong and how do I, if I’m an ally, what does that look like?

Dr. John Duffy Audio Clip: You know, I don’t, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to [00:31:00] do. I don’t like that. I’m in this box where I have to be cautious about what I say or what I do. And, um, And he may or may not be listening to, um, podcasts, uh, playing video games, watching stuff on YouTube that supports that point of view that, hey, we straight white guys, stuff’s being taken away from us, you know, by all of these other people, women and everybody in these other identities, right?

Dr. John Duffy Audio Clip: Um, so I think if you can find a way to, to empathize with that, with that. And it’s tricky. I have to say, it took me a while to get there, even as a therapist. These aren’t even my children, but if you can get there to a point of understanding, then, then you can engage in a discussion with him about, you know, um, without just being, um, defensive and angry about like, this isn’t how we talk about people in this house, you know, but to really talk about like, well, what, what could your role be?

Todd: Is that good? Oh, [00:32:00] that’s good. Yeah. That’s a good end. Okay. I just, I mean, I don’t really have much commentary on it. I think that this is something that is a topic that is, um, important. I think it’s happening a lot. I think Duffy’s response to our Team Zen listener was, uh, one to kind of help her get curious about it.

Todd: Uh, try to be, you know, cause for me, I’d be like, if I saw my kid acting from a position that is against my moral compass or my standards, I, my first reaction would be to shut them down and tell them why they’re wrong. And that doesn’t get you anywhere. No. So John is asking our Team Zen person to like, you know, try to look at it through their lens.

Todd: and get curious and really and not compromise my, their own value system and just, you know, blindly agree with your son or get small and pretend that you don’t have a different, different opinion, but really try to engage in a discussion. Like what is it specifically about da da da [00:33:00] da. So anyways. 

Cathy: Yeah.

Cathy: And I think it really, regardless of what the issue is or, or gender or anything, I think this is a way that We, you know, it’s the, the ideal conversation and way of communicating with our kids, which is I want to hear you out. I want you to be able to say all the things because usually what comes out is the stuff on the top.

Cathy: The first things that are said are, are often derogatory or, or, you know, going after somebody or just a lot of like commentary that’s maybe snipey, you know what I mean? Snippy. Snipey. 

Todd: Uh, I think snippy might be 

Cathy: better. And then as they share more, it starts, it’s, think about it as like, um, you know, a bunch of sand that’s inside of a, a glass or something.

Cathy: That’s kind of the way I see it. An hourglass? Maybe. No, not an hourglass. Um, that takes me on a different kind of the thing 

Todd: where you’re like Yeah. You’re like, the sand falls down and you keep rotating it. 

Cathy: Yeah, but I’m thinking about it more in terms of something like [00:34:00] digging a hole. Whereas the top sand starts to come out and as you start to get down into the glass, what really lives below all these derogatory things he’s saying is, I don’t know where I belong and I’m scared.

Cathy: I don’t know who I am and I’m scared. You’re trying to get 

Todd: to the root. 

Cathy: So you’re trying to get to the root and you are, Allowing him to say all the initial things, not agreeing with him. Like Todd said, it’s not like he says some derogatory and you’re like, yeah. You’re just like, oh, that’s so interesting.

Cathy: Tell me more. Or, um, what made you think that? Or where did you hear that? You know, and not to again, not every communication is about teaching a lesson. Sometimes you’re just like allowing them to unload. And then, and then maybe after they unload, if they haven’t gotten to the root to say, Well, from the way you’re describing it, that can sound pretty scary, huh?

Cathy: And maybe helping them own some of that. They may not say, yeah, mom, I’m scared, but they may be like, well, yeah, where am I supposed to go? What, what if I don’t get a job? 

Todd: Well, and if they’re angry or trying to, um, be combative, underneath anger is usually fear anyways, right? Correct. [00:35:00] 

Cathy: That’s what I mean is that that surface stuff, that derogatory commentary is not them.

Cathy: It’s the. Result of the deep seated fears about where do I belong and everybody has this, you know, but Todd and I have heard enough from Team Zen and from the things we read and the things we listen to in our own clients about that and from Duffy for sure, um, about teen boys really struggling with this.

Cathy: Like, where do I belong? And a lot of times, like Todd said, we can be like, Hey. Teen boy, especially white cisgender boy. You have all the power in the world. What are you worried about? But again, they don’t know that and they know that things are changing. Now, when I talk to girls and women and they know that things are changing, guess what?

Cathy: They’re excited about things changing. But guess what? They, you know, the boys and men that you work with are sometimes not super excited, not because they don’t necessarily believe in equality, but because they’re like, okay, where will I end up? 

Todd: Well, and, and [00:36:00] generationally, why would we want to give up any of our power?

Todd: Correct. 

Cathy: And that kind of ability to. to own that and to then be like, how can, you know, the last thing Duffy said is, what kind of role can you take on? You know, how could you see yourself different? And a lot of this different role is embracing tendencies that I think sometimes as a culture we call more feminine, which is, Being more of a caregiver, which is being more of an ally, which is being somebody who’s supportive, which is, you know, being in touch with emotions and helping other people.

Cathy: Like we’ve got, you know, I, you know, I’ll just say as a, as a teacher, you know, um, as a professor at a university, I have social work students and how many, uh, boys a semester do I have Todd? In my social work class. Two to three, tops? Tops. Two to three. It’s always, it’s a very, and a lot of those, the boys or, or young men.

Cathy: It’s a big job. That are in my class are in my class because they have to take it to become a police officer. Yeah. So they’re not even really becoming [00:37:00] social workers. Some of them are, but a lot of them are doing it because they’re getting into criminology. So, um, we need to, as parents, we have this opportunity when these things are coming out.

Cathy: I know they’re scary and uncomfortable, but to. help them get down to the root of it and maybe not in the first conversation. Again, you don’t have to teach in every communication, but you allow that conversation to happen rather than like Todd said, shut it down. And then maybe you give them some opportunities and you give them some feedback about, well, how could you be in this culture as things are changing and feel good about what’s happening rather than believe that everything is either I get or I take.

Cathy: Or no, is that what it is? 

Todd: Give and 

Cathy: take. Yeah, but I’m trying to think like, how do you think, what imagery or what words can we use to talk about traditional male, um, qualities? Wouldn’t it be that I get what I need and I take what I need kind [00:38:00] of thing versus I give? 

Todd: Yeah, I guess it would be, uh, independence.

Todd: Um, it would be, um, you know, I think of a former president says America first, right? Just take care of yourself. 

Cathy: That’s 

Todd: what it’s about. 

Cathy: Yeah. 

Todd: Um, and what you’re, I think, trying to cultivate is an interdependence. 

Cathy: Correct. And that they already have this interdependence. That’s the thing that’s interesting is that you’re not like, hey, why don’t you embrace connection and interdependence?

Cathy: They already need that to survive. So it’s more about how, How do you notice that more? How do you recognize that more? How do you lean into that more? And how do you make that, because that feels pretty darn good too, to have relationships where you can depend on each other and treat each other in such a way.

Cathy: I just saw something on Tik Tok that made me laugh really hard or not laugh, but made me smile a lot, which was, It said, um, what boys do and what men do. And it was the, it was about the Taylor Swift album about TTPD and [00:39:00] how, um, this guy who’s a, who is the man version, when the album came out, his, um, girlfriend had, you know, finally gone to sleep after listening to the whole anthology, which was 31 songs, by the way.

Cathy: And he got up early in the morning and blew up a bunch of balloons and put out, like, You know, like a journal and like made breakfast and did all these things to celebrate this new album because she loves Taylor Swift so much. Now, I’m not saying you need to do that and that makes you a good boyfriend or man, this is, but we make, the whole language even on TikTok is this is what a man does, which means showing up for people, doing something heart centered.

Cathy: Versus being like, Taylor Swift sucks, you know what I mean, and being like, you can’t even go there because it’s too girly and only girls like that. It’s so dumb. 

Todd: I love Taylor Swift. 

Cathy: I know. And I also want to say, if you are, if you, you know, identify as male and that’s not your music, that’s fine. It’s not about everyone needs to love her.

Cathy: That’s [00:40:00] not what I’m saying. If you’re a hater 

Todd: without 

Cathy: listening to it, that’s a problem. Or a hater just because you, you’ve listened to it and you’re like, But I just think it’s too big or she has too much power or no one would ever say that, but, um, well, they would, but they wouldn’t claim it. They wouldn’t own that because then that sounds like fear.

Cathy: My point is, is that I think we are as a culture trying to point that arrow, what it means to be a man, towards a more blended, uh, version of a human being where they have, you know, all the masculine and all the feminine together. Yeah. 

Todd: Um, I’m wondering if you want to pivot to our last topic. Sure. Whatever you want to do.

Todd: We could close shop too, but the last topic is, um, The asking for what you want piece, do you feel like you can set that up? Sure. But first I need to play my sound effect.

Todd: So that’s gonna, I’m gonna play that whenever we’re [00:41:00] moving from one topic to another. We tend to pivot a lot. Um, so go ahead. Take a run at it. 

Cathy: Well, I think I already, we talked last week, I, I’ve gotten more emails about the Weaponized Incompetence podcast than I’ve gotten about a lot of podcasts that we’ve done since we’ve done like 82 million of them.

Cathy: Um, but people really liked that or they listened to that with their partners and I’m so glad you did. Um, because Todd and I were in real time, I wouldn’t say we were disagreeing, but we were dealing with those issues in real time. And We didn’t, we usually don’t do that on a podcast. Um, uh, but it just felt like a good time.

Cathy: Sweetie, 

Todd: we broke our own rules. 

Cathy: I know. And I think we did a good job. Just being good to each other. Like I didn’t need, just like we were saying, I didn’t need to win. I just needed to be heard as did you. Um, so I think I’ll start it here and then I’ll go to the other story again, trying to keep it simple, uh, about, um, Last weekend or two weekends [00:42:00] ago, we mentioned this on the Weaponized Incompetence podcast about how I realized that I was feeling overwhelmed and finally I woke up, um, one day and said, I’m feeling frustrated at Todd.

Cathy: I’m thinking this. And instead of me wishing he would do certain things, I said, listen, here’s what I need. I need you to take care of me in whatever way that looks, you know, like, it may not look like something like making me dinner, but maybe it may be like checking in with me. Yeah. Like, make me priority rather than fight me for this, this, this space of taking care of our kid.

Cathy: Yeah. Which is like, why are we wasting energy? Just, I’m doing it, now you take care of me. Which is, again, a great, for those of you who have kids who are young, Depending on the partner who’s at home, the other person, you know, of course you want to be with your kids and take care of them, but also support that partner, you know, anyway, who’s, who’s doing the caregiving.

Cathy: But then I also had a friend who told me a story about how she had, she, and it’s another person I know, she, she has a good [00:43:00] friend who, whenever she talks to this good friend about her challenges, If it be with family or work or whatever, her friend has this reaction that’s really kind of, instead of empathetic, it’s very sympathetic.

Cathy: Explain 

Todd: the difference. 

Cathy: Uh, so empathetic, I’ll start with sympathy. Sympathetic is where you’re like, oh my god, how do you deal with that? Oh, you have it so hard. That’s so difficult. So sympathetic is where it’s like the person listening to you. is so stunned by what you’re telling them and they’re so overwhelmed by it and they’re kind of distant from it.

Todd: Yeah. 

Cathy: There’s like a sense like, oh my god, how do you do that? Whenever 

Todd: I try to explain sympathy and this is probably an oversimplification and probably a little bit edgier but it’s when one person says to the other, oh it sucks to be you. 

Cathy: Basically right. Or yes, the two versions, there’s the sucks to be you, and then there’s a bless your heart, and then there’s a oh I’m so sorry you have to go through that.

Cathy: It’s this like, detached form of I’m listening, but I don’t get it. Or pretending I don’t get it. [00:44:00] Empathy is Wow, that is rough. I totally can relate to that in many ways. I’ve had similar experiences and I know you’re going to get through it, but man is it tough right now. So you’re kind of, maybe I didn’t do that perfectly, but you’re kind of putting yourself in there as like, this is something you understand.

Cathy: You’re not above it. You’re not below it. You’re not better than it. You just understand. And so you’re meeting them where they are. My friend, um, This friend that she was telling these things to, this friend was too sympathetic and it made my friend feel awful about herself. Because every time her friend, you know, I’m probably confusing people saying her friend, her friend, but every time my friend would share something about her life, this other friend would be like, Oh my God, your life is so hard, you know, and it made her feel awful.

Cathy: It made my friend feel awful. So finally she said, my friend said to this woman, you know, when I tell you things, you make me feel really bad about it. And you’re not really helping me. 

Todd: And I would say that the person who [00:45:00] was not being a good listener, let’s say, didn’t know. No, she didn’t. Like, she thought, I’m guessing she thought that she was trying to be empathic, but it was being done in a sympathetic fashion to make your friend feel less than.

Todd: So what I liked about that story was, Your friend said something. Yeah, typically happens is they will put themselves in that position then complain to somebody else about it 

Cathy: or stop seeing that or stop seeing 

Todd: that. Yeah. And instead. She told her. 

Cathy: Yeah, 

Todd: and then now the woman knows. Hey, I may not be Holding this space as well as I could and now I’m aware of it So I 

Cathy: started really good.

Cathy: I did too. I think she said something after like, oh, I’m sorry I thought I was helping because when I was going through struggles, that’s what I wish people were saying to me Yeah, she wanted more sense. She wanted people to be like, how do you do it? How do you do it and she didn’t get that and he’d met and so then she was taking that and putting it in On to the next person, but the next person had different needs.

Todd: Well, [00:46:00] and that’s why this whole personal growth, human development thing is so complicated because we’re all different. 

Cathy: Yeah. Right. Yeah. There’s not one way, which is why this whole idea with conversations like you and I, the whole podcast basically has been about conversations. We started with how to talk to our kid about passions and talent.

Cathy: And then we, you know, talked about Duffy’s comment during Team Zen. And then this. All of these things that we discussed necessitate a conversation and our, if we have an unwillingness to have the conversation, we’re, it could go away. There’s a 10 percent chance everything just blows away in the wind and it all gets figured out.

Cathy: There’s also a 90 percent chance it either gets worse. We build resentment. We have disconnection. We have miscommunication. We create more problems by avoiding things. And sometimes, okay, I will say this, sometimes I need a little like runway where I know I need to say something, but I need a little time.

Cathy: I need to [00:47:00] like, you know, um, definitely with Todd, like sometimes the reason I had, I said that to him a couple of weekends ago and we had another talk last night that was hard. I hate when there’s two things in a week, cause I know you probably feel a little beat up Todd. 

Todd: Um, a little tired. Let’s just say that.

Cathy: Yeah. And my intention is never like, I’m just gonna. Talk about all these things and make Todd feel bad, but I, I do believe because we’ve been doing this long enough that letting it sit 

Todd: Isn’t good. 

Cathy: It makes it worse because if it, if the thing happens again It builds resentment. And then I have to pull back from another story and be like, don’t you remember two weeks ago?

Cathy: And I’d be 

Todd: like, why are you bringing this up two weeks ago? 

Cathy: Correct. So I try to really handle it in the moment as best I can but sometimes I need a night or a day to be like, And I also need to sit on things sometimes because I’m like, am I just grumpy? Do I just feel the need 

Todd: to Approach your situation with a little bit of curiosity saying, is this about something that I did or said or didn’t do?

Todd: Or is this just because you had a bad day because [00:48:00] our kid is sick or something like 

Cathy: Right, right. You have to, there’s, like Todd said, we have Personal growth is hard or self awareness is hard because there are multiple layers. You know. It’s 

Todd: never easy. 

Cathy: But it doesn’t mean that some things can’t just be true as they are, which is communication is always key to helping us understand each other better.

Cathy: And we may not communicate that day, but we have to make a, you know, I just, you know, I just talked to so many women who what they need necessitates a conversation that they just keep kicking. The can down the road. 

Todd: Yeah, that’s called a hero move. Something, you try to do something, there’s a short term fix and some people might distract themselves with work.

Todd: Some people might have a glass of wine. Wait, explain that to me. You 

Cathy: said that’s a hero move. That’s interesting. 

Todd: Connect that 

Cathy: to me. 

Todd: So, from the drama triangle, victim, you’re at the effect of your surroundings. Right. Villain means you’re blaming somebody. Okay. There’s a few different type of hero moves.

Todd: And one of [00:49:00] them is Trying to solve the situation in the moment. Okay. But nothing in the long term gets resolved. So an example would be, um, you and I just had a big Disagreement. I’m just making something up. Let’s say you and I just had a big fight. Well, instead of working that fight out, I’m going to go to the bar and have three beers.

Todd: That’s a hero move because what I’m doing is I’m numbing out from the situation. I’m numbing out from my pain or sadness or fear or anger that I’m feeling. And I’m just going to distract myself by going to the bar and drinking for three hours. That’s a hero move. 

Cathy: And I, it’s just the word hero. I always think it’s about rescuing other people.

Todd: It’s got a lot of different, as I continue to grow as a coach, I’m going to Hero, what I used to think was victim and villain are taking less than a hundred percent responsibility. A hero move is when I’m taking much more than a hundred percent responsibility. So instead of, um, letting my kid feel sad.

Todd: for a bad day at school, I’m going to go buy them ice cream and all that other stuff. So that’s You’re going to [00:50:00] overcompensate. I’m going to overcompensate. 

Cathy: So again, let’s go back 

Todd: to going to the bar to drink. How is that hero? Anytime you know, any, anything you do that is going to not fix the problem, but you kind of get away from it in the moment.

Todd: Okay. So any type of numbing. And when I’m coaching guys, they’re experts at numbing. 

Cathy: Okay. 

Todd: Like, I don’t want to feel this sadness. So when, if somebody just got into a fight with their partner and they’re feeling sad or mad or afraid, instead of. feeling the feelings, they’re going to, or what I do is I go to my computer and I check my email.

Todd: That’s my hero move. Interesting. It’s just a way of not dealing with it. 

Cathy: And, and, okay, I think I get it now because what you’re saying is there’s many different. There’s a 

Todd: lot of different, uh, ways of, a lot of people don’t like hero. Some people say rescuer cause rescuer, but that’s even rescuers. 

Cathy: But then aren’t you rescuing yourself?

Cathy: Versus the other person, if you’re numbing out, like who are you rescuing? Nobody’s being 

Todd: rescued. Um, when I [00:51:00] numb out, nothing good happens. Right, but A rescue, a rescue happens when you prevent your kid from ever failing, and I’m going to take their lunch to school every day for the next five days because they have since forgotten it.

Todd: Correct. That’s a rescue move. Right. Okay. Yeah. 

Cathy: So I get it and I don’t need you to go through it again because I, but do you understand why it’s confusing to say a hero move is to numb out? 

Todd: And for me, any type of move that’s not going to deal with the problem in a 

Cathy: got it way. Okay. It just, the bell went off.

Cathy: So basically any, so taking your kids lunch to school every single day without talking to them about, Hey, can you work on this? Okay. Is a hero move because you’re trying to avoid it. Yeah, 

Todd: or you’re, you’re trying, you’re, another version of hero is you’re not giving somebody else the opportunity to take 100 percent responsibility for their life.

Todd: So when I’m taking the lunch to school, I’m taking 200 percent responsibility, and I’m having my kid take 0 percent responsibility. 

Cathy: And by the way, I have taken my [00:52:00] kid’s lunch to school plenty of times. What Todd’s saying is like every day, 

Todd: where you never comment on it. Yeah, so if my kid just texted me, what time is it?

Todd: It’s 2. 16, but let’s say, uh, it was this morning and my kid’s like, I forgot my lunch, and I wasn’t doing anything, I’d go take, I’d go take the lunch. Now if she did the same thing tomorrow, I’d be like, You know what, I kind of need to work a little bit, and I’m not available, I don’t think I’m available, and then like the third day, if there is a third day, I’ll be like, Sorry, you’re gonna have to be hungry.

Todd: And deal with it. Because these kids can deal with a lot more than we think they can deal with. 

Cathy: Right. 

Todd: So. 

Cathy: Yeah. 

Todd: So in other words, the, the, the first ask, hey, we all screw up. We all forget stuff. We forget our wallet. We forget our phone. I’m going to help you. Day two of the same thing, same activity, same behavior.

Todd: Then I’m stepping into some hero consciousness. 

Cathy: Right. And, and I would, my version of it, cause you’re like, hey, you can starve. And that’s kind of always the place you go to where I’m like, okay, today we need to have a conversation. That’s where I go. 

Todd: Oh, so you’d still [00:53:00] take it. 

Cathy: Well, I don’t know because that’s, but I just think the whole idea of like, well, I’m going to give my kid this hard lesson versus, okay, we need to figure this out.

Cathy: Let’s be peers rather than me. Well, and hopefully 

Todd: that happens on day one too, right? 

Cathy: Correct. That’s, that’s why I’m, I don’t want to make a big issue out of it because that first day I would have been like, is there, what’s going on? Yeah. 

Todd: Um, what can we do to make sure? What can we do? 

Cathy: Exactly. Um, okay. I get it.

Cathy: That’s helpful. Yeah. And 

Todd: it is confusing a lot of people and you know, I sometimes get confused. Okay. But for me, any type of numbing behavior is a hero because you’re not dealing 

Cathy: with it. So if there’s, if it’s the triangle, where do people want to be? If, if you’re not going to be a victim, you’re not going to be a villain and you’re not going to be a hero.

Cathy: Who are you going to be? 

Todd: A coach, a creator, and then there’s a third word. So instead of being, um, the villain, you’re the coach. Um, actually, let me pull it up now that you’re 

Cathy: Did you know that I sent you a podcast last week? Uh, Lee Slonan’s podcast, and she had someone from CLG on? 

Todd: Uh, [00:54:00] it does not surprise me at all.

Cathy: I sent it to you to that’s Todd’s coaching program, uh, Conscious Leadership. 

Todd: Um, so instead of So there’s a challenger. So instead of villain, so let’s say I’m villain. I’m blaming everybody. 

Cathy: Uh huh, 

Todd: the above the line version of that is you challenge. 

Cathy: Okay, 

Todd: and you provoke others to take action. We’ve talked a little bit about that.

Cathy: Yeah 

Todd: The other one is a coach and that is the opposite of the villain. Okay, instead of blaming somebody you’re going to Facilitate self empowerment. You just said 

Cathy: blaming again isn’t blaming. Blaming is 

Todd: below the line. Okay, right So the above the line version of a villain is coached Okay, and then the above the line version of hero is creator.

Todd: You claim your personal power. Okay So there’s all these different and it’s all frameworks like, you know This has been taught for thousands of years and the people that I have tracked Have created this little framework that sometimes helps me. But I spend [00:55:00] all my time in Victim, Hero, and Villain because we spend most of our time in Victim, Hero, and Villain.

Todd: I spend very little time in Creator, Coach, and Scaling. Meaning 

Cathy: when you’re working with people. When I’m 

Todd: working with people. Yeah. 

Cathy: Mm hmm. Because they’re, if you’re working with them by definition, they’re struggling in that 

Todd: area. Never anybody, you know, most of us spend most of our time there and it’s, um, uh, and we’re going to get back there.

Todd: We’re, we spend most of our time scanning our environment for what’s wrong. It’s just the, Bottom 

Cathy: line. 

Todd: So anyways. 

Cathy: Okay, sounds good. 

Todd: So we’re 55 minutes in. Any farting comments on anything we just talked about, sweetie, or do you feel good? All right, I’m going to play the music. Um, yeah, nothing to promote.

Todd: Anything you want to promote? Sure. 

Cathy: Um, oh, but they might’ve missed it. This comes out on Tuesday. If you’re listening to this this morning, You can join Team Zen really quick and be part of our conversation at noon central time where we’re going to talk about Sephora Kids and we’re going to talk about the makeup industry and everything and how to talk to our girls [00:56:00] about it.

Todd: There you go, uh, keep trucking everybody.